February 28, 2005
"I really don't appreciate the negative connotations of what you're saying. Like all people, the Polish have a wide intellectual range, from Nobel Prize-winning poet Wislawa Szymborska and labor leader Lech Walesa, down to the unfortunate retarded individuals such as I portrayed in I Am Sam. Even these brave people would be able to master the relatively simple task of changing a lightbulb, and would never resort to the labor-intensive method you suggest."This has been Great Moments in Humorlessness, Featuring Sean Penn!
JERUSALEM -- Gonen Segev, a former Israeli Cabinet minister, admitted to attempting to smuggle 32,000 Ecstasy tablets into Israel as part of a plea bargain, the Israeli media reported yesterday. --from today's AM New YorkIn all fairness, though, I should mention that the prosecutor's original offer was for Segev to rob a convenience store and take the cashier hostage.
"Frankly, I'm both hurt and confused. Despite being relatively sure that the front of my shirt was free of either debris or stains, I looked down when you pointed at this alleged problem. And I think we both know what indignity followed. Was that facial attack my punishment for trusting you? If so, it was a cruel punishment for a crime that will never be repeated, much like the execution of my character Matthew Poncelet in Dead Man Walking. Now, please leave."This has been Great Moments in Humorlessness, Featuring Sean Penn!
- Late Friday night, I overheard a woman speaking to her companion from behind a post in the hallway between the subway and 33rd Street PATH station. Her piquant comment: "I ain't the first one that pissed here and I ain't gonna be the last!" Well told.
- Stopped in at the soon-to-be-condominiummed The Plaza last weekend while a friend and I were up visiting The Gates (yes, it was an all-capitalized-The weekend). Oddly enough, while I have walked by the giant hotel dozens of times, it wasn't until I entered the building that I realized it was, in fact, the The Plaza. I suppose I thought it was some mythical archetype rather than actual lodging, but it did remind me of my favorite The Plaza story, related by a female friend of mine:
"A date was taking me out to dinner at The Plaza, where I was to meet him after coming into Manhattan from New Jersey. He asked me if I knew how to get to The Plaza, and when I hesitated he said, 'You get out of the train station, get into a cab, and say, 'Take me to The Plaza.'"In my post-graduate naivete that just seemed like the height of urbane sophistication.
- As part of our Central Park visit we stopped in at the cozy Zoo, and during our meanderings we were lucky enough to chance upon the some classic reproductive activity among two terrestrial reptiles.
In other words: we saw two turtles fucking. And frankly, that doesn't really it justice since these turtles (well, at least the guy turtle) were going at it, just total turtle pornstarring, mouth agape, head flailing about, the works. Of course, this had attracted the attention of several visitors, most notably a sevenish-year-old girl who was straining to see the spectacle over the railing.
Now, did the tyke's father see what was happening and whisk her away to a less graphic display, such as the lazy polar bears? Of course not. What he did do was lift her into the air, asking "Do you want to see the turtles, honey? Then upon scoping the situation exclaiming, "Oh, look, the turtle's yawning."
Well, now that a little time has passed since the official Worst Year of My Life finally and mercifully ended. For those of you keeping score, the WYoML was triggered at around noon last February 18, when my supervisor took me into a conference room and kicked me to the curb like a leaky plastic bag of expired shrimp. But I'm not bitter or anything.
Anyway, things are starting to look a little up (despite March outside swimming in like a sea otter). I'm performing again, there's a pretty good chance my search for a new place to live will have a happy ending, a new season of Deadwood begins this weekend, and the hellish workload of my first two copywriting months was, if not exactly an aberration, at least not a permanent condition (though certain current events may cause that situation to change).
So life is looking a little better and several folks have called me a lazy sod, which means it's time to get back to the blogging!
February 10, 2005
I was one of the fortunate ones who got to spend time with him over the past few years, at Shea, Seaside Heights, The Apollo, Foxwoods, and assorted other places where a person might be able to find a glass of Maker's Mark. He was a fascinating guy, a great conversationalist, smart (except about the comparative merits of Modest Mouse vs. Wilco), funny, and a whole lot of other things. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every minute I ever spent with him, and if there's anybody else I can say that about the name isn't coming to mind. Well, now that I think about it, there were those jealousy-filled minutes at Siberia when he was surrounded by women who scattered when I joined the conversation, only to re-surround Mike when I left, but other than that it was all good.
When I started this blog all those years ago I wasn't really expecting much, and in terms of, say, money or sex my expectations have been fully met. What I have gotten out of it is the opportunity to meet a whole bunch of really good people, with some of those people actually becoming friends. A lot of us got to meet Mike this way, and we should be eternally grateful for these past few years. The world is a dumber, colder, less hip, more self-important, crueler, less funny place than it was yesterday. He is and will continue to be very much missed.
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