November 29, 2003


One of the fun things about depression is you get to catch up on your television viewing.

I just watched HBO's presentation of "Drumline" which I really liked.

It's the first movie I've seen about marching band. Now having been a band geek large it's nice to see that the sports movie world has grown large enough to include marching bands. Watching the movie I learned (or rather it was reinforced) that brass and drums are the most important instruments which makes my flute playing seem a little pointless, fun but pointless. I say this because you can't really hear the woodwinds above the brass unless of course you play the saxaphone but that's for another time. It's about time Marching Bands got a movie. After all the baseball, basketball, football, cheerleading, skiing, skateboarding etcetera movies, Marching Band got its due.

Being that I started playing the flute in 4th grade I marched in 9 Memorial Day parades, goodness knows at how many football and homecoming games and competed in at least 3 marching band competitions at Hofstra University.

I missed the competition my senior year because when riding my bike to join the band for the bus at my high school my big enourmous Q-tip hat got caught in the front wheel causing me to fly over the handle bars and landing on my front teeth, smashing my face and bruising my hands as well as other parts of me. It hurt. It happened 5 minutes from the school. I landed in front of Dave Farrante's house and his brother called my mom. When she arrived I expected that I would just wipe myself off and continue to the competition. I ended up at the hospital with nothing worse than two broken front teeth and a bloody mouth.

I was also in orchestra and in Senior Year I was the first flute. I played POMP and CIRCUMSTANCE at my graduation sitting in front in my cap and gown.

Good times, good times.

If you were or are also a member of the band feel free to contact me and tell me about your marching band or orchestra experiences. And when you do write, let me know if you want me to post your email or not.

I keep hearing that music programs are being cut all over the country. Maybe some good stories from people who benefitted from SCHOOL MUSIC programs will help the cause.

Freedom is Slavery

Another one of my readers offers up the following to this blog's ongoing discussion of the book 1984.
Anonymous Blogger's definition of doublethink needs tweaking. It is not precisely believing something to be true that you know is false, but something equally paradoxical. It's the ability to hold two contradictory beliefs in one's head at the same time, and accept both of them.

Essentially, this means one lets the Party think for you. If you can satisfy yourself that there is no objective reality, then there is no "truth" or "falseness" and anything can be true or false at the same time.

Orwell based the world of doublethink on Stalin's Russia and their dupes in the West -- who, of course, were famous for telling the most outrageous lies and seeming to believe them. We now know, however, that few of them were really practicing doublethink in the true sense of the world. They were either outright liars, who knew the truth but refused to say it, or powerless followers who just mouthed the Party line out of sheer fear of death.

I guess Anonyblog is anti-Bush because of his dismissal of U.S. foreign policy as doublethink, but this isn't the right description. If you think Bush is spouting untruths, then you should rightfully call it lying, not doublethink. Actually, one group of people in the world today who actually DO seem to practice doublethink are the United States' enemies.

I'm thinking, of course, about Islamic terrorists and their supporters. On the one hand, they believe the massacre of Westerners is a delightful thing. On the other hand, they didn't do it! It was the Jews' fault! So you have people who seem to sincerely believe that Bin Laden was a hero for attacking New York, and also that 5,000 Jews (or 10,000, or 2,000, or whatever) were given advance warning by Mossad and stayed home on Sept. 11.

Saturday blahs

I'm having one of those days where sadness prevails. My heart is heavy with I'm not sure what. I feel myself sinking, spiraling down deep into a well of tiredness. I'm not sure what is wrong. I thought working would help me get away from myself a little bit. It's helping, but just the littlest bit. At least I know I have nothing to fear at work on Monday because I'll be ahead of the game and that will help me rest easy on Sunday night.

Perhaps I just have the blahs and I'm hoping more than anything, it has to do with the weather. It's getting cooler and overcast. It looks like snow is heading our way. I haven't heard the weather forecast so I'm not sure but I feel it in my body and in my bones. Our bodies are the best barometers.

Yeah. That's good. For now, I'll blame it on the weather.

It's easier to feel victim that way.


The Anonymous Blogger (link to the right) offered this discussion in response to my post on reading 1984 (see below, in italics). In it, he elaborates further on the subject of dystopian literature.

Thank you for your input. If you would like to participate in this discussion, you can email me at the above address and I will gladly post what you have to say with regard to the below subject.


Orwell's 1984 was the first known piece of literature about a Dystopian future (a theme found throughout much sci-fi nowadays). He was very much influenced by the rise of Communism (even more evident in his novel "Animal Farm", which is also a good read). It's very much about the dangers of GroupThink. The concept of "doublethink", in which you believe something to be true despite the fact you know it's wrong, is still relevant today (particular with the President's foreign policy).

Fahrenheit 451 has many similarities to 1984 (other than the use of numbers in the title), but I think Bradbury was trying to present the idea in a different way. People in 1984 were afraid of the government and did what they were told. People in Fahrenheit 451 WANTED to not think and just watch their wall-sized TVs and not concern themselves with new concepts.

Orwell's society is forced. Bradbury's is (mostly) voluntary. A version of the future closer to Bradbury's can be seen in Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World".

The Story of Bread

Jon turned me on to a new link which I have posted to your right. It's and from what I can tell, it's run by James Lileks who is just funny.

Mr. Lileks version of the Story of Bread made me laugh so loud my neighbor came down to ask me if I was alright (this didn't actually happen).

I also enjoyed the post below.

Just because

just because it's funny.

thank you for yet another good laugh.

The Nightmare Before New Year's.

'Tis the season to be shopping. Fa la la fooey.

The holiday shopping season has begun.

Don't you love Capitalism? (bah humbug) Thank goodness Christ was born otherwise we'd have no infrastructure.

November 28, 2003

A Day Off

I did not go into the office.

I did not clean out my filing cabinet at home.

I did not take care of that paperwork piling up next to my desk.

I did not scrub my house from top to bottom (actually I did that yesterday).

I did take a nice, relaxing bath at 2:30 in the afternoon.

I did lie down on my couch and start reading my book.

I did fall asleep around 3pm and stayed asleep until 5pm.

I did listen to the rain for 10 minutes before I decided to get up.

Times Sq. sightseeing

If any of you are walking around Times Square, which otherwise should not be walked around in, make sure you check out the big Air France billboards at Seventh Ave. and 50th St. One shows a beautiful, goddess-like babe peeling an orange, out of which flies a jetliner. But you have to look at it closely to realize the unpeeled skin on the orange forms a perfect world map.

This ad alone goes many miles toward improving Franco-American diplomacy.


I am reading 1984 for the first time.

Somehow, I managed to skirt reading it in school. I know it's part of the curriculum but I was in all these English classes for advanced students that assumed I'd read a lot of books that we were supposed to have read.

The book is excellent. As much as I love science fiction that explores a future of incredible technoligical advances and utopian society scenarios, I also love the books that present an anti-utopian future. These books also include technological advances but the authors of these books imagine that technology will be used against us instead of to help us.

In 1984, Orwell imagines nothing good about the future and he anticipates that television will be used to spy on us instead of entertain us. Television is a tool the government uses to disseminate it's brainwashing propaganda discouraging individuality and freedom of thought and ideas.

Another author that imagines a dismal future is Ray Bradbury. In the story of Farenheit 451, the government burns books because again individuality is considered a threat.

In both, although I haven't yet finished 1984, the protagonist works for the government but starts questioning the vailidity of their work and mistrusting the government and ultimately this questioning of their world leads to trouble.

Anyway, I'm enjoying 1984. It's smart and interesting and I'll probably finish it before the day is over.

That is of course if I don't decide to go into work for a few hours, which part of me hopes happens and a stronger part of me is fighting.

November 27, 2003

Being Catty

It has come to my attention that readers have been discussing mistakes I'm making on my site. Actually, it's just one reader who is also a friend. I would invite this reader/friend to write to me directly when he finds mistakes I've made so I can remove them and correct them and not look foolish. I prefer that over finding out about them over drunken bar conversation.

You know who you are.

New Link

I link to James Cassell's blog because I am interested in what this nice 15 year old boy has to say about his life and about the world. I find his niceness not necessarily refreshing because that would give you the idea that I am disenchanted about this current crop of teenagers.

Generally, I think that his niceness is reflection of what is right with kids today. He is an accurate representation of young adults we don't often hear about. He is an accurate representation of what it means to be young in American.

He links to a page by Marshall Brain who also has an interesting view of the world. So, I invite you to visit Marshall Brain's blog for a look into the interests of a creative and intelligent world of a 21st century teenager.

I hope that one day James realizes that I've linked to his page and that he tries to get in touch with me.

Thanksgiving Day

Today is Thanksgiving.

My friends Caren and Dawn wrote lovely posts about what they are thankful. They have inspired me to do the same.

I am thankful that I finally got a decent job and that I didn't have to move back home with my parents. At 36 years of age, one should not have to do that. So, thank you universe for setting into motion the events that led me to my current job.

I am thankful for my new friends. You know who you are.

I am thankful for bar trivia. I am having so much fun playing and co-hosting. I finally discovered something that I really, really enjoy doing with a group of other people. I never thought that would happen.

I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my unborn nephew (who will be with us shortly).

And most of all, I am thankful for blogging. Without blogging, I wouldn't have been able to write these words of thanks that you are now reading in the comfort of your own home only seconds after I've written them down. That's pretty exciting.

Parade coverage.

CBS is showing commercials for it's ice skating championship coming on sometime soon.

They announced,"It's the Russians vs. the Canadians!!!"

Hmmmm. I wonder if they are going to have French judges.

Random dialogue

Valerie asks: Notice how Littlefoot the dinosaur never gets older, even after 12 or so cartoon movies in "Land Before Time"?

Jon answers: Well, that's because it takes place before time existed! Duh!

November 25, 2003

Smarts on Display

On the evening before Thanksgiving, Wednesday 26th, 2003 at 7:30 p.m., people from all over New York City will be gathering at Dempsey's Pub to exercise their first amendment right to gather in a public place and participate in a peaceful demonstration of their smarts.

Drinking and Thinking, a weekly gathering of New Yorkers, led by Janet Rosen, a book agent and comedian currently appearing at various venues in NYC, will feature the co-hosting talents of Valerie Goodman, a young marketing professional and amateur writer.

Drinking and Thinking takes place every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Dempsey's Pub, 61 Second Ave. (between E. 3rd and E. 4th Sts.) Based on the "conventional" model of bar trivia, it features five fast rounds of 10 questions each. It's been going strong at Dempsey's Pub since February, when it was launched by Jon Blackwell and Janet Rosen.

November 24, 2003

Courtesy of my Mother

20 Ways To Maintain A Healthy Level of Insanity

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and Point A Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with That.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It "In."

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once Everyone Has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch To Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write "For Sexual Favors"

7. Finish All Your Sentences With "In Accordance With The Prophecy."

8. Don't Use Any Punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10... Ask People What Sex They Are. Laugh Hysterically After They Answer.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To Go."

12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play Tropical Sounds All Day.

15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You're Not In The Mood.

16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, Rock Hard.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream "I Won!, I Won!"

18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking Lot, Yelling "Run For Your Lives, They're Loose!!"

19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. "Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go."

Monday, Monday, Monday

Good morning.
Today is Monday, November 24, 2003.

Today we will be invoicing, reconciling bills, filing, and entering hours from people's time sheets.

I am ready for it. This weekend was extremely restful and nurturing.

What a difference 2 days make, 48 little hours.........

Remind me to tell you all later about how I'm co-hosting at Dempsey's Pub, Thinking and Drinking, (trivia night) this Wednesday night coming.

November 22, 2003

Time Bandits

Jon told me today that he has a vivid memory of the 20th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination (by the way, that word always makes me giggle because of the recurrence of ass). This came up in conversation because I was talking about a startling realization I had earlier today about getting older but I'll get back to that. After telling me about this memory from 1983, he pointed out that in 2003 we are as many years away from the 20th anniversary as the 20th anniversary was from the event. That made him feel old.

Here is what made me feel old. I realized, walking through Madison Square Park, on my way to the subway after work, that the children I babysat as a teenager are all grown up and conceivably having children of their own. Also, the children I took care of at the Children's Center at SUNY Purchase (I worked with the two year olds) are probably getting ready to take their SAT's and preparing for college.


November 21, 2003

It's The End of the Week As We Know It.

Today is Friday!!

I never thought this day would come. I feel like I've been working for a month this week.

Now I'm looking forward to settling in for a wonderful Friday night. I will be joined later by that special someone on whom I'm counting for plentiful and meaningful hugs. Perhaps I will make my famous potato tomato soup for us to enjoy or perhaps I will order food in.

I've been eating out and ordering out so much lately, however, it might be nice to actually spend a few moments in my kitchen preparing a nice meal.

I have to start my work day now but I have a feeling I'll be visiting this site later to share my views on the current Michael Jackson situation. I'm so surprised at what is going on with him. I just didn't see that coming. Who would have thought that he would ever be suspected of and arrested for molesting children and cancer patients no less.

Later dudes.....

November 20, 2003

as written by M
(copyright 2003)

So your mommy told you not
to sit on a public toilet.
Some of you listened.
Good girls!

Some of you also listened to your mommy
when she repeated that ageless rhyme:
If you sprinkle while you tinkle,
please be neat and wipe the seat.

Good girls!

Some of you are very very very bad girls
because you didn't listen to your mommy about this.

Which makes it a very disgusting mess
for those of us
who don't do as our mommies tell us
and do sit on the seats.
And most of us do wipe the seats
(before and after)
because we know what it is like
to sit in your tinkle.

So please ladies.
Listen to your mommies.
Don't date bad men.
Don't do drugs.
Don't belittle yourselves.

And for goodness sake,

November 19, 2003

Happy Birthday Matthew!!!

Today is my little brother's birthday.

Join me in wishing him a beautiful day and a beautiful year to come, especially since he is going to become a daddy very shortly.

I'm very proud of him and love him a whole a bunch. (sniff)

Note this!

Today is Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday.
It will be a fun day, fun day.........

Awww heck!! Who am I kidding? It's Wednesday. It's the middle of the work week and I'm tired.

If you have been following my blog you know that I hosted trivia last night at the Baggott Inn. This was enjoyable.

I was in charge of three categories; general knowledge, top ten list, and the audio round. I guess I can post the questions. That would be the best way for the reader to get a feel for what happened. So here it is. My general knowledge round......

1. In what city is the Taj Majal located?
Agra, India
2. In filmdom, there is a legendary couple named Nick and Nora Charles. They were the title characters of the Thin Manmovies. What was the name of their dog?
3. What is the 5th letter of the Greek alphabet?
4. What is the French word for born often used to indicate a woman's maiden name?
5. In what popular tourist wine growing region will you find the towns of Calistoga, St.Helena, Oakville, Rutherford and Yountville?
Napa Valley
6. Volcanologists study, monitor and write about this volcano more than any other in the world. Name it.
Mt. Etna
7. She's been acting on Broadway and in movies since 1938. She won two Tonys, one of them for the role of Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", and has most been recently been seen guest-starring in "Oz." But she's best known as the co-founder, along with her husband Herbert Bergdorf, of HB Studios, an acting school in the West Village. Who is she?
Uta Hagen
8. They are the only brothers to play three at a time in the same team's outfield -- the San Francisco Giants in the 1960s. Who are they?
Alou (Felipe, Jesus and Matty. Felipe manages the Giants now)
9. 362 billion of them have been sold since 1912 making them the best selling cookies of all time. What cookie am I talking about?
10. What abbreviation is given to faster-than-sound passenger aircraft such as the late, not-so-lamented Concorde?

I fashioned the questions around answers you often find in crossword puzzles.

My top ten list was to name the 10 first ladies after Eleanor Roosevelt.

My audio round - well, here are the answers to that......
1. The Blue Danube - Strauss
2. The Messiah - Hallelujah Chorus - Handel
3. The Moonlight Sonata - Beethovan
4. The Valkyrie - Ride of the Valkyries - Wagner
5. Romeo and Juliet - Capulets and Montegues - Prokofiev
6. The 1812 Overture - Conclusion - Tchaikovsky
7. William Tell Overture - Rossini
8. The Flight of the Bumblebee - Rimsky Korsakov
9. Requiem - Mozart
10. The Four Seasons - Vivaldi

Caren, the master of ceremonies, took on the current events and Visual rounds. Her visual round consisted of 10 city maps, which the players had to identify.

A few people came up to me afterwards to compliment me on the classical music round. Usually the music is more contemporary (70's and 80's) so I thought it would be interesting to shake things up a bit and it worked out well. A couple of people tried to argue that Ride of the Valkyries was indeed "Flight", but I double and triple checked and I was indeed right. Indeed, the title of this movement from Wagner's Valkyrie is Ride of the Valkyries. So, if you were thinking about complaining, feel free, but you would be wrong.

All in all, this was a highscoring game, which didn't surprise me. Last night's group was very bright.

Next week's co-host is excellent. I don't know if he wants me to mention his name on line so for now I'll keep him listed as "next week's co-host". But I can guarantee you that you will feel challenged, smart and popular by the end of the evening. What more could one ask for in an evening's entertainment?

November 18, 2003

A Crisis of Trivia

I had a near trivia crisis when I discovered this morning that I hadn't forwarded the answers to my audio round to my email at work.

But disaster was averted when I borrowed a cassette player from one of my coworkers and I was able to reconstruct the list.

Guest Writer

Here is another contribution to my web log from writer Jon Blackwell.
My long-ago colleague Carl Strock, a columnist for the Schenectady Gazette, used to write a column that would occasionally list people with Dickensian just-perfect names. Sadly I cannot remember any of them ... but in the last week I ran across two amazing and perfect specimens from history.

Brief pause while I wow you with them...

The architect of the present-day Catalan Parliament building in Spain was a Dutch engineer who orginally built it as an arsenal. His name was Prosper Verboom.

A leading merchant of 19th century New York rose to great wealth from a humble career as a whaling captain. His name was Preserved Fish.

I'm not making that one up. Incidentally, he is buried at Marble Hill Cemetery on East 2nd Street, around the corner from my former venue as a bar trivia host at Dempsey's Pub on 2nd Avenue. Former President James Monroe was also once buried there, but sadly was disinterred and his earthly remains moved to his home state of Virginia, and the reason I know this is because I was a bar trivia host.

Sadly, I used to keep a mental record of people I'd met with bizarrely appropriate names, but can only remember one of them right now. He too was someone I talked to in my days as a reporter for the Schenectady Gazette. He was the chief lobbyist for the New York State Beverage Association, and his name was Jim Popp.

November 17, 2003

A Heaping Pile of Love

Saturday night, Jon and I saw the movie Love Actually which I have retitled Love Actually Stinks. (ha)

The movie disappointed me on so many levels. For weeks, I have been looking forward to seeing the romantic comedy which stars Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Laura Linney, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Liam Neesan and other English actors I'm not that familiar with.

The movie was a series of vignettes about love. These vignettes were glimpses into the lives of several couples which all seemed to be linked by the Arrivals gate at Heathrow. There was so little character development I didn't really care what happened to anybody and there were so many stories I didn't really have time to care.

What a collasal waste of talent. Can you imagine? You are directing a film and two of your stars are Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. Wouldn't that be good enough for you? The two of them alone could have carried the whole movie...but noooooooooo. The greedy director had to show off all of the talent that was willing to work with him, cramming them all into this painfully slow wannabe romantic comedy,so much so, that nothing about the movie worked and nobody's talents came through. There were no discoveries of new talent because showcasing talent didn't even seem be to an issue for this director. (talent, talent, TALENT) The NY Times printed a review which perfectly captured the badness of this film however I can't link to it because my log-in perpetually has problems and I can't log into that page.

I'll conclude by saying these three things. I'm angry at the director of this film for wasting my time with this heaping pile of monkey love; I was so bored I didn't even want to stay for the credits because I couldn't wait to get out of the theater; and finally, do not pay 10 dollars to see this movie.


Today is Monday, Monday, Monday.
It will be a fun day, fun day
All day long.

November 15, 2003

Tuesday Night Trivia

Clear your calendars for Tuesday, November 18th because on that evening at approximately 7:30 pm I will be co-hosting Tuesday Night Trivia with the fabulous Caren Lissner.

This event is becoming the thing to do on Tuesday nights. The crowds have been great. There were so many people there this past Tuesday that guests of the event were sitting on the stage.

You might meet your future life partner or you might just make lots of new friends. You might win prizes and you'll definitely be able to drink lots of Heineken for a special rate given especially to those who participate. Getting back to the prizes, the giveaways are great. T-shirts, hats, keychains and most importantly the teams that come in first, second and third win $25, $15 and $10 off of their bar tabs respectively.

So come to the Baggott Inn on Tuesday Night and get in touch with your inner geek. The Baggott Inn is located at West 3rd Street in New York City between Thompson and Sullivan.

I'll be waiting for you and I don't like to wait.

November 13, 2003

Tuesday Night Trivia

Amazingly enough, I was able to attend Tuesday Night Trivia. Why is this amazing? Because on Tuesday night at 10:30 I ran sound and stage managed The Last Cigarette for my friend Irene. It is amazing because my boss and friend, M, drove into the city and was able to drive us down there and drive me to St. Marks for my 10 pm call time. It was amazing because after doing the show at 10:30 the night before and after working the equivalent of three days in one day at work I still had the energy (barely) to be social for 2 hours or so.

With all that said, here is the wrap up.

I don't really know what any of the rounds were because I was so tired I didn't participate. Yes. I was writing down the answers as they were being whispered to me but that was basically my contribution.

That and correctly identifying the album covers for Animals and Spinal Tap during the visual round.

I also remember that my team, The Olsen Twins, came in second place. Playing on my team were Tony, Nick, Chris, M, Erik and myself. We were in first place after round 1 but slid to second because the identify the album covers visual round was thoroughly challenging.

I also remember that the top 10 list were first 10 elements on the Periodic Table. Tony was able to identify most of them my remembering a song parody from a Gilbert and Sullivan thing by I think Tom Lehrer? I could be wrong about the song writer but I definitely remember Tony singing the song. That was fun.

I had to run out of there so fast afterwards I think I left leaves spinning in my wind trail.

We played the show to about 6 people. Most people came the two previous nights. The author was in the audience Sunday and Monday night. He lives 5 minutes away from St. Marks theater and was notified when the director paid for the rights to use his play. He seemed to enjoy it very much.

It was definitely a worthwhile experience but I'm zonked. I don't have that fun 2o something energy i used to physically or mentally.

But if you haven't operated a sound board for a show yet I definitely recommend it. Great fun.

Signing out now.
Alright. I'm home now and analyzing my web log. (like I don't have anything better to do, like clean my house, take out my trash, sort my laundry for drop off, etc.) It is my computer at work that is giving me a hard time. If you are indeed having trouble seeing the links on my site let me know and I'll write blogger and see how they can best advise me.

Mind you, I have done nothing to change the format of my website, yet somehow it has magically been transformed into something that looks awful. I don't understand why my links aren't showing up, or is that just me.

To those of you to whose pages I'm linked, I apologize for something I didn't do.

Hopefully, your sites will reappear soon. Of course, it could just be this computer that I'm looking at right now...........

Why does the city smell like dog poop today?

November 11, 2003

Jessica Lynch

Because today is Veteran's Day, I thought it would be fitting to talk about a veteran. Jessica Lynch is a young woman who joined the armed forces to serve her country and earn some money for college. I think her aim is to become a teacher. Like many young soldiers with a similar intention she found herself stationed overseas, deep in the heart of another one of America's not so clear battles.

A series of events led to her capture and she was later rescued from a hospital.

On her return to the United States she found herself being celebrated as a hero and now she has become a representative for the young people of her generation serving our country.

There is a big controversy of course that is growing up around her image. Not so coincidentally the controversy has arisen during televisions big autumn sweeps month. There was a recently a television drama based on her exciting story which Jessica Lynch has herself said is full of inaccuracies and tonight Diane Sawyer will be interviewing her for 90 minutes during prime time. I don't begrudge Jessica Lynch any of this attention. I think it is well deserved.

The controversy has to do with pictures Hustler has decided NOT to run in their magazine. These are "alleged" pictures of her "cavorting" topless with two young men. Honestly, you care?

My point of view of this. If Pamela Anderson Lee decided to lay down her life for our country and survived a POW situation I would be just as grateful. So, let's let this controversy die down and not pay it any mind.

Thank you Jessica Lynch and Happy Veteran's Day.

I hope you are able to handle the American Celebrity system as gracefully as you handled serving your country.

Saturday Night

Saturday Night I attended the monthly event called POP GEAR hosted by Dawn Eden, Kitty Beat and Michael Lynch.

Good times. Good times.

I just found out that the Anonymous Blogger was there. I've been following him through Caren Lissner's page and I'm fascinated that he was at Rififis for the 60's pop music event and that I had no idea at all who he is.

Anonymous Blogger. I salute you. Thank you for adding some mystery to our lives.

November 08, 2003


It's early Saturday morning. Well, not that early by farmer standards but early for a New Yorker.

I took the day off yesterday because I had to go to a tech rehearsal for a play I'm working on. I'm the sound board operator. It's exciting because I've always wanted to do this and now I am.

Granted, I'm not operating the kind of sound board one might see at a Broadway show. It's a relatively simple and straight forward setup but I'm doing it and that's the point.

The show I'm working on is being directed by a young woman, 23 to be exact. I do feel like the crone on the set. The actors are under 25 but the lighting designer is a little older. It's strange to be oldest person in the room because it seems like only yesterday, that I was the youngest trying to establish credibility with the older people around me.

You probably want to know about the play. It's a one act that takes place in a bar between two people fighting loneliness.

If you would like to come see it here are the details.

by Steven Fletcher

Featuring Mary McHale, Andrew Katz and directed by Irene Carroll

It will be shown at the theater under St. Marks Theater at 94 St. Marks Place between 1st and Avenue A. Tickets are 7$ at the door.

Showtimes are:
November 9th - 8 pm
November 10th - 10:30 pm
November 11th - 10:30 pm

Please come support the young art scene. The young men and women I've been working with this year are the future of American theater and it's important that they pay their dues in front of live audiences otherwise the experience won't have as much meaning.

So, I implore you to come out and see this impressive effort.

November 06, 2003

Like Thursday for Friday

Today is Thursday. But, it's like Friday for me because I have the day off tomorrow.

It's my first day off since I started my new job.

Isn't that wonderful?

Happy Thursday.

November 05, 2003

Day 3

Today is the third day of my personal no smoking ban which isn't going as well as non-smokers would like but pretty well for the rationa"lie"zing smoker that I am.

My friend Dawn has been pretty supportive in posting my plight on her web log (which of course I encourage you to visit) and from a posting where she quotes a friend of hers with regard to quitting smoking, I've learned a new word. That word is "SMOBER".

This is an excellent expression because quitting smoking is like quitting drinking. You just can't smoke. You always want a cigarette but you have to consciously decide not to smoke every time you want one. You can never have another cigarette as an alcoholic can never have another drink. I've quit before. I'd quit once for over a year. All that crap that people tell you about the craving going away, or you get over the need after the first three days is just that. Crap. In my experience, you always want one. That first cigarette I smoked after having stopped for so long was greedily welcomed by every pore of my body; my body drank the nicotine like a thirsty man drinks water.

It's a lot of work but I guess that's what it means to "work on oneself".

So, thank you Dawn for your public show of support and thank you friend of Dawn for your encouraging words.


Writer Jon Blackwell makes his first special appearance on my weblog.

Please join me in welcoming him.


Valerie likes to hear my stories of writing headlines for The Post, a job that could be likened to limerick-composer or bathroom graffiti artist -- a lot of fun with creative writing, but hard to take seriously. Her chuckles at a good headline ("That's so droll" is a favorite) is one of the delights of the job.

Today I told her of a headline I wrote for a story about the unveiling of a design for Robert De Niro's new hotel. (In case you hadn't heard about it before, De Niro is the principal partner in a $43 million project to build the luxe development in TriBeCa.) It was pretty routine stuff, but easy to remember at the end of a busy day: "ANALYZE THIS HOTEL." Then I told her about my frustrations that one story I wrote a headline for never made it into the Post. This was about a team of experts who are digging up the body of Petrarch (13th century Italian literary great, namesake of the Petrarchan sonnet) for archaeological study. This one was PROFS TO PARSE PETRARCH'S BONES.

But when I segued from one headline to another, I apparently didn't make it clear I was talking about two different stories. So Valerie's reaction was: Why are they putting Petrarch's body in De Niro's hotel?

November 04, 2003

Day 2

Day 1 was a tough day being Monday and all. Not smoking proved extremely challenging and when I walked out of the building at the end of the day, I went to the drug store and bought a pack. I smoked 3 cigarettes last night.

Day 2 was not such a tough day but my body started aching for the goddess nicotine and I smoked 2 cigarettes when I walked out of the building, walking toward the West Village, walking to meet my cousin for sushi, and then walking to Tuesday Night trivia.

So, it's not the cigarette with coffee that I miss, nor the one most people enjoy after a meal. The cigarette I miss and will miss the most is the one you smoke after completing a satisfying day of work. The one you smoke when you walk out the door at the end of the day and feel that blast of fresh air that tells you you made it through another day of work.

I call it the accomplishment cigarette;the one you smoke after cleaning your house, after baking a cake, after drawing a picture or writing a thing. This probably sounds like a ritual to you and if it does you're right. It is my ritual to celebrate the end of a project in a small way and that small way has become smoking a cigarette.

Maybe, I'll replace smoking with situps. That wouldn't work either though really because then I would want a cigarette after doing situps.

Well......that was day 2, for what it's worth.

November 03, 2003

day 1

I want to get rid of the dark circles under my eyes. I want to get rid of my constant sinus irritation and my post nasal drip. I want my complexion to return to peaches and cream from the current sallowness it's acquired over the last few months. I want get rid of my painful reflux disorder. I want more energy. I want my red blood cells to carry oxygen freely without a wall of tar preventing it's free flow in my avioli.

Believe it or not, this can all be accomplished by quttting smoking.

So, I quit smoking.

Today is day 1.

Wish me luck.

November 01, 2003

A Letter

Dear readers,

Hello. How are you? How are your families? Are you enjoying the nice weather?

Here in Astoria we are having unseasonably warm weather. It's 9 am on Saturday morning and my windows are up because the air is fresh and lovely.

I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know you might not be hearing from me for a while. I've decided that the energy I spend writing here is going to be spent working on one of the 20 or 30 projects I've been preternaturally blocked from writing for the last 10 years or so.

But don't worry. I've invited a couple of friends to be guest writers for this site. If they take me up on my offer, there will still be entries to satisfy your collective internet wanderlust.

If they don't take me up on this offer well then you are all S.O.L.

Either way, you'll hear from me soon, probably sooner than later.

Sincerely yours,