Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Au Revoir la Suisse

Daisies say it all.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Der Eiger

This Alp is for you. One is plenty.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


This is cheese land. Beware.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Have Some Questions

Why do so many people loathe the idea of a strong benevolent Socialist government but gladly work for feudal modeled corporations that enslave them?

Why do people in the Midwest continue to deny climate change while their cities and lives are being flattened?

Why is everything loaded with garlic?

Why is it totally cool to have millions of dollars and then want millions more while others cheer you on to obtain it?

Why can’t I take a high speed train all across the continental United States in fifteen hours?

Why do people continue to buy horrible cheap shit that makes them fat and sick?

Why do people think they should have something for nothing?

Why are so many people flaming out publicly?

Why do we get old, the whole time pretending we are young?

Why don’t I own a Havanese?

Why do I continue to run the air conditioner when I know this is slowly eating up all the mountain tops in West Virginia?

Why do men from New Jersey wear clunky pinky rings?

Why is competition absolutely everything?

Why is it that even though I would like an economy based on compassion, I somehow understand that this is impossible? Is it because I have been brainwashed?

Why did I always try to impress people when, really, everyone was already so upset about themselves that all great deeds just made them feel even worse?

Why is there MRSA at all?

Why is the sun still here?

Why are we all alive right now and not at the point of true extinction?

Why are people having all these late life babies that might have had better brains if they had had them twenty years ago?

Why is rice pudding so tasty and empty?

Why do we look better when we are thin?

Why do I own such horrible headphones, taken from the back pouch of an American Airlines seat?

Why are clams so tasty in the same way in absolute value uniqueness that cashews are?

Why do things change so quickly and then we are so quick to make fun of how things just were? Is this part of the fear of time-death thing?

Why do I care?

Monday, May 23, 2011


Begonia test

We are going to Switzerland in a few days. Took a test to see if I could blog a picture right from my phone--Sure can.

Alps, cows, cheese. All of it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gmail Labs

Advice to friends with GMAIL.

Go to your Settings (the little gear to the upper right) and choose LABS and pick some things. They add functionality.

I am all for the UNDO feature and the CALENDAR.

The UNDO feature gives you about six seconds to UNDO the FLAMER email you just sent.

The CALENDAR puts your gmail calendar in mini form in your left column. In the calendar, be sure to check options and have it show the monthly calendar in addition to the agenda.

Or do nothing at all.

But, you know, it is always good to be reminded in this world of endless options that some things are actually worth choosing.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Staten Island Tonight @ 7PM right off the Boat

Yep. I'm serious.

Here it is again:


The Rapture will not happen if more than five of my friends come to this reading on Friday night--

These writers are great. It’s always funny and touching. The spirit is right. Worth the free boat trip and free admission!

The reading is right near the terminal. There is always a ton of food and drink around. And art to buy. And people to talk to.

I will be reading from my blog-book, Open Trench. Have you heard of it?

This time it’s all about lockers, locker rooms and maybe a guest appearance by my dead grandmother.

120 Stuyvesant Place, Staten Island


Staten Island Ferry Schedule

View Larger Map

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Art By the Ferry Friday Night at 7


The Rapture will not happen if more than five of my friends come to this reading on Friday night--

These writers are great. It’s always funny and touching. The spirit is right. Worth the free boat trip and free admission!

The reading is right near the terminal. There is always a ton of food and drink around. And art to buy. And people to talk to.

I will be reading from my blog-book, Open Trench. Have you heard of it?

This time it’s all about lockers, locker rooms and maybe a guest appearance by my dead grandmother.

120 Stuyvesant Place, Staten Island


Staten Island Ferry Schedule

View Larger Map

And Now, A Word About Trump

A few weeks ago, someone seriously asked me, “And what do you think about a businessman running our country? What do you think about Trump?”

I finally got it. People dream of themselves in the role of big tycoon. This is their financial porn. And they want to see it manifested so they can keep jerking off to it.

Do they not understand that a nation is not solely a business? That much of what a nation does has absolutely nothing to do with profit?

Trump did it for the same reason I blog: for posterity, it seems?

Trump, of whom I am slightly freaked to share a first name with, is no different than those nasty-ugly kings and courtesans you see in paintings at Versailles. No peruque on earth can save their weak chins, their odd noses, their pasty eyes or their height. (I know, I’ve tried it.)

So why did he do it at all? Was it just fun for him to parade around pretending to be the leader of the free world? Like acting? Like trying on a suit? If so, well, who am I to judge? We all do that kind of thing. He just happened to have the cash to go for a big costume party.

I have compassion for the weirdo. He is completely repellant yet imagines he is wanted.
(As opposed to the rest of us who are completely wanted yet imagine ourselves repellant…a slightly less offensive tragedy.)

Goodbye Trump. Continue your trippy ego trip. Your daddy taught it to you. You taught it to your kids. It will be interesting to see them when they are older. They may end up just like you or they may take a divergent path, get a reasonable haircut and think about someone other than the bloated self loving hog in the mirror.

Full disclosure: I once worked for one of The Donald’s companies. I never met him. It was lowest common denominator garbage. But I guess it turned a buck.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Words to a Beech Tree

How can you not like misty rain?

Walking through Central Park today, it was misting like the lettuce area in the produce department and everything was at its peak of green. It was frigging Ireland out there.

Near the corner of Columbus Circle, that whack shopping mall, in the park, is a huge beech tree, high enough to scratch the moon. I stood there grinning from ear to ear.

Trees are very destructive to my nose when they are fucking. This year, they went on for three weeks. (Please stop the global warming, or climate change, or whatever you want to call it---it is turning the trees into nympho-monsters.)

But when the sex is all over, and it seems to be now, it is the full leafing that follows. (Don’t want those pesky leaves to get in the way of the girly parts. Ah, evolution…brings us tulips and little piggies in April.) Strange, my spell check loathes piggies.

That beech tree. I wish I were as large and in charge. Then again, it’s fine with me that things are the way they are.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

XX XY Trouble

When unconscious men write television shows and movies and include women in the cast, often these women are objects. Tits with legs, serving their masters.

When unconscious women write television shows and movies and include men in the cast, often these men are unreasonably sensitive or unreasonably aggressive. Testosterone experiments ready to be dominated or to be feared.

These unconscious people who create these things are not so much wrong as they are selfish and lazy. Selfish, because they are sucking on the wishes of their own fantasies. Lazy, because if you really look around, most people are nothing like this.

If we actually accepted moderation, would we then have no watchable stories? I do not believe so.

When one depicts the opposite sex in one color, I do think it is politically bizarre and understand the backlash, but worse, I believe it is unappealing. Ignore it. Have your children ignore it and it will go away.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Root of Humor

If anger is at the root of humor and you get over your anger, then will it follow that you will also lose your humor? Or even worse, retain some sort of toothless humor?


Did dogs really help us to evolve?

Schrodinger’s Cat. Twenty words or less.

Beech trees. Apparently, they are everywhere…I never know which one it is.

Do successful fat actors hold onto their tonnage for fear of losing future paychecks?

Birds. I am not a bird watcher. I prefer mammals.

I play Facebook Scrabble. I do not play Angry Birds.

I wish for variety. I am happiest with the known. Mix it up.

Percentage-wise, less people die in war today than ever before.

I do not like being out in the sun but I do like it to be sunny.

Is Newt Gingrich serious?

MRSA, do you have the symptoms? Or do you just need a nap?

I still can’t get over how good Clare Danes was in that Temple Grandin HBO movie.

I do not understand stories about identity.

Brains plaque up in everyone. Exercise. Get off your ass.

If you had the moral dilemma that went like this: Your neighbor, whom you like, will die, unless you take on a nasty cold for the rest of your life. What would you do?

Boats—really? Not interested.

Pot holders are getting extremely fancy.

The original PC’s that came out in the 80’s really did not seem futuristic to me, then.

Broadway Show Idea: Sea World, the musical. Takes care of everyone.

I want a dog. That’s what this is all about. A dog.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Please

Washington Square

Perfect Night. Sixty-Two Degrees. No Pollen. Insanely mild and pleasant. More please.


Columbus Circle


Monday, May 09, 2011

Drafts and Drafts and Drafts

Writing about writing can be very uninteresting---unless, of course, it is in the name of helping others.

So let me help you. A little.

First of all---no matter how long you think it’s going to take you to write something in the long form, multiply by that by about sixty. No exaggeration. It takes about sixty times as long to write something as you think it will when you start out. Sure, anyone can text, make a blog entry, poke off an email, you name it, real quick. But if you want to write something that will be publishable or producible, you have to go over it again and again, with your own eyes, the eyes of people you trust, the eyes of people you don’t trust, and then some. And the thing you thought you were going to write, by the end, is something, usually, much more streamlined and much clearer and hopefully deeper and better than that first draft you zipped through.

Writing songs is a quicker process than writing scripts or books. But songs are short. I am starting to think that songs are more fun. But they cannot possibly cover as much ground in the idea department. Of course, they can go much deeper in the feelings department. But funny, not everyone who hears it can feel it.

If you are going to write in a long format---just write. Start writing out a little paragraph of an idea or not even the idea. Just start writing. If it grabs you---go for a bigger thing. You have to weave story, character and growing needs into a climax and some sort of resolution. Or not. You can just do the shaggy thing. But if you do the shaggy thing, well, good luck. That’s hard.

Stories, very simply, imitate the life flow. Birth, life, death. It can be the birth, life and death of any person, place or thing and even better, a little tiny piece of any of those. It is simpler and harder than you think.

I used to want to be sweeping and throw a very large net. I am starting to think a very small net is the way to go.

Perhaps it is time that we all reread To the Lighthouse.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Exhausting Death

Beyond the sadness and the travel and the early mornings and all that comes with a funeral, it seems to me that death is so tiring because your brain has to do all this work to get the reality of someone moved from alive to no-longer-alive. And we resist big new ideas, now, don’t we?

Bob, my fine father-in-law-if-right-wing-conservatives-would-stop-their-prejudice, is dead. Strong word, dead. The three biggest words on earth, really, are alive, love and dead. They are the basis to all stories. Getting the brain to move someone you know so well to transition in between those words is quite something, especially if you are resistant to change like I am.

I think by tomorrow I will begin to approach the dead thing as if it’s real. Dead. Bob is dead. It’s weird to type it.

I only feel warmth when I type it, though. It’s the word Bob that does it.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Death Comes in Three Flavors

I am alone in my apartment in New York listening to a Pandora channel that has lots of Joni and Redbird and Nick Drake…and facing death and time. Fine. This is living. They say death comes in threes. For me, it is coming in three flavors.

My Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner’s-father died. Though it is sad, and it is sad, it is also sweet since my feelings for Bob, my future-father-in-law-if-they-ever-allow-him-to-be-called-that, which of course will be in the past, are sweet feelings. Bob was dry and funny and a scientist, three things I enjoy, the remove. That easy, inquisitive remove. In the later years he suffered from Lewy Bodies Dementia, not a fun thing, so it is also with a certain sweetness that I feel relieved for Bob since, you know, who the hell wants to barely walk around barely not knowing what the hell is going on? Especially if one likes to inspect and inquire—

Bob was a Dupont physicist by way of Yale, having spent a portion of his career working on the spectrum properties and applications of the color yellow. Truly. This happens in research careers. He was a true Quaker pacifist, a bike rider, a sailor and above all in my life, a warm and wry presence who naturally made me smile. I liked to make him laugh and he liked to laugh, something about busting through his propriety into his inner whoopee cushion was very satisfying. I wanted to take him to Greece but he got too ill for that. We once took him to the Queen Mary in the Long Beach Harbor. I’ve traveled with him to national parks, to Kauai, throughout California and a bit in the East. Old fashioned in manner and modern in thought, Bob was a great combo. He always brought out feelings of tenderness in me. Always. I will miss him. I feel sad, but I feel sweet about it. Time is passing.

Osama is dead, long live Obama. I feel good that the job is done and that this bad dude is gone. But I do not feel anything close to closure, prideful or victorious. Okay, I do feel victorious---only because “my guy” got the job done in a smart way as opposed to “that other guy” who swaggered around in battle fatigues, succumbing to shoulder shaking smirks, having the tiny enough balls to stand on a boat declaring “Mission Accomplished”—like some bad late night cable access hawker dressed up in aspiration-wear. Fuck that guy, really. Outside of my competitive nature in politics, I do not know what this means.

I don’t care so much that there’s a new extremist corpse disposed of. I mean, better his corpse than yours or mine. But what does it mean? Really? Will Iran ever become modern? Will Israel forge a representative government inclusive of ALL people within its borders? Will someone (okay I’ll do it!) come up with a religion called Worldishness that mergers the greatest hits of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hindu, Confucianism, what-have you? Then water it down a bit to make it palatable to reasonable moderns? Something? What will time bring?

The Nanuet Mall is being torn down. This is something else. It was built in 1969. I remember when it opened. I remember taking the bus there and shoplifting at Expressions and Bambergers at Christmastime with my brother and friends. (I was both a very good and very bad kid.) I remember the two curvy sculptures at one end on the upper level---you could sit in them. They were highly polished yet distressed metal so you could slide some. Brushed aluminum? I used to wonder. I got too old too quickly to fit in them and whenever I would see kids playing in them when I was older, I grew wistful for when I could fit inside, too. Eventually, Paramus Park became much more enticing---with its huge fountains and zig-zag construction and trees and carousel and large bird sculpture, being ridden by a Native American, was it?

I used to take my grandmother to the Nanuet Mall. But she preferred Alexanders, also closed.

Stores close. Time passes. Paul Simon, now on Pandora, has admitted he has lost any edge he had. I grow gray and fat. I better laugh. Have another clam roll at Friendly’s.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

You Decide

I would like to say that this is ALMOST as good as falling down and knocking yourself out while choking on a pretzel, but it will have to do.