Conversations with the wife and politics

Putin knew what he was working with

New York Historical Society - Old Police Equipment

Felt rough all week; my leg was swollen like a sausage and I was under the weather. So I stayed home one day, put on my most comfortable, ratty tee-shirt and what can only be described as capris for men.

I’m not (terribly) proud.

The wife saw me puttering around and pulled me close, nuzzled me, and gave me a kiss. She then pulled away and looked me deeply in my eyes.

“You look like a homeless person,” she said.

On a more somber note, the news is full of what’s going on in Israel and Ukraine. On the former, it’s a complex subject and one I’m not qualified to address, although I have my own particular views on the matter.

On the latter, however, I read with interest how Putin is publicly shocked at what’s gone on despite being actively involved in the unrest in Ukraine since the first day. Which immediately recalled to mind a story I once told you years ago.

Putin’s been working with murderous thugs for years and he’s suddenly surprised when they start acting like murderous thugs.

He knew what he was working with when he started.

Location: home, with an ice pack
Mood: old
Music: Tell my wife I love her very much (she knows!)
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Ollie’s, Heisenberg, Mill, and Chock Full o’Nuts

How much change can we take before we’re not us?

Me: You know what our problem is, don’t you?
Bryson: What?
Me: Even though we know we’re 40, inside, we still think we’re 17.
Him: (laughing) That is so true.

Gave my buddy Bryson a ring the other day. Been laid up with my bum leg again; got injured a few weeks back and it’s not getting better. Bit the bullet and called up the doc today. I’m praying it’s not another ACL tear but it looks more and more likely as the days go on.

Disconcerting. Moreover, it’s the main reason behind my insomnia these days.

In one of those hazy nights, remembered when I actually was around 17. Was at Columbia University at the time. There was an Italian diner on the corner of 116th and Broadway called Ollie’s, run by an Italian dude named Ollie, natch. You could go in and get spaghetti and meatballs – which I did often – a burger, and Chinese food. The reason was because it had a Chinese cook.

Down the street was a diner called The Mill. Picture your typical diner with spinning stools and that was The Mill. They had a Mexican cook and a Korean cook so you could go to there and not just get a burger, but also a burrito or a Korean dish.

They’re both still there but The Mill’s been gut renovated and is now a Korean restaurant. And Ollie’s? It’s now a chain of Chinese restaurants in the City.

No one remembers what they used to be. That’s not true; I remember.

Did you know that Chock Full o’Nuts, the coffee brand, is called that because a fella named William Buck used to sell nuts. But then the depression hit so he had to sell coffee for a nickle.

Thought of that Sunday night when the Breaking Bad series finale came on. The Mill, Ollie’s, and Chock Full o’Nuts – they were born one thing but the world changed around them and they became something else entirely.

Like the Ship of Thesus, I wonder how much change we can go through before we’re no longer the person/thing we once were. Sometimes, something changes us so fundamentally the only thing left of us is our name. In Heisenberg’s case, not even that.

Bryson: The wife is telling me I should take up running.
Me: Ha, mine is telling me the same thing. I’d do it if I didn’t find it so boring.
Bryson: It’s hard to explain why we are the way we are, isn’t it?
Me: Don’t really think I understand it myself. (pause) But it wouldn’t be us if we didn’t do what we do.

Location: my pad, with ice on my leg
Mood: concerned and #$@#$ tired
Music: really want to stay inside and sleep the light away

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Someone’s going to have to Rosseta Stone us in a 1,000 years

The way things are going, I worry about us as a species

Been cleaning up my room and I came across a small stack of MiniDV tapes. The problem is that I don’t have a MiniDV player.

Thought of this recently as I read the news.

As I said earlier, it’s depressing. Between the Kenyan mall shooting, the church bombing in Pakistan, and shootings here in the states, I wonder about our future as a species.

Historically speaking, when violent uprisings happen, there’s not just a wiping out of people, there’s a wiping out of that people’s civilization. After the burning(s) of the library of Alexandria, the western world saw 600 years of dark ages where knowledge was lost and only slowly rediscovered over centuries.

In Mali, the Islamists aren’t just killing people, they’re destroying ancient manuscripts, temples, and art in Timbuktu.

And if any one of these people nutjobs get a hold of a nuke, well then all those sci-fi films like Planet of the Apes – where major cities like NYC are little more than ruins – become very real.

Perhaps then these harddrives and computer will just have a wealth of knowledge on them that no one can read. After all, for about 1,400 years, no one could read Egyptian hieroglyphs until the Rosetta Stone was translated in 1822.

All that knowledge gone for 1,400 years.

Of course, I could just go to ebay now and pick up a MiniDV player and a computer with a Firewire in port to record the info on these tapes of mine. I’m geeky that way.

Then again, maybe some information is best lost and left undisturbed.

Case-in-point, this photo below of me right before my MRI in some fetching blue slippers. No one needs that.

I mean, I’m showing it to you, but, really, no one needs to see it.

Location: trying to get to the gym
Mood: concerned
Music: make the change, it’s up to you to break the chain
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The greatest trick the devil ever pulled

On evil: Nothing is ever anyone’s fault

Incandescent light bulb

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And like that, poof. He’s gone.
Verbal Kint, The Usual Suspects (film)

The insomnia’s been pretty bad lately. I should just stop wasting your time and my time and just write, “insomnia” and move on.


Being awake at night, thought about Boston, Newtown, and Aurora and the nature of evil. Something about the dark turns one’s thoughts dark, I suppose.

People wonder if there is evil even actually exists.

I believe it does.

People are always surprised by that. They think I’m naive, but I submit that I think you’re naive if you don’t.

I think some people are evil not because of how they were brought up, or what happened to them. Theyr’e just twisted with no other explanation for it. Not biology, not upbringing, not society.

Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. I happened. You can’t reduce me to a set of influences. You have given up good and evil for behaviorism, Officer Starling. You’ve got everybody in moral dignity pants – nothing is ever anybody’s fault. Look at me, Officer Starling. Can you stand to say I’m evil?
Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs (novel)

Put a little less eloquently, some people are just born ______-up.

Don’t believe it when people try and convince you that there’s no such thing as evil. It’s there. And the sad thing is that you don’t need to go far to see it.

As I wrote the above, I got a news alert on my computer that five people were dead in a shooting. This just happened.

Which just makes me wonder if evil is a self-destruct sequence for our kind. Then again, all this is just my opinion. What do you think?

Me: Do you know why I hate things like the Disney films?
Him: No, why?
Me: Because the monsters all look like monsters. But Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Mao – these guys were just normal, plain-looking dudes. No one would have looked at them and thought, “Monster.” But that’s what they were. (later) Thanks for not choking me until I passed out.
Him: (laughing) Anytime, man.

Location: about to run to Chelsea
Mood: pensive
Music: I saw Satan laughing with delight the day the music died
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I’m all for marriage, gay or otherwise

Marriage is not just a piece of paper because we’re not teenagers

Black and white dinner setting

I wrote the below a long time ago to a friend who told me she loved her boyfriend but wouldn’t marry him because marriage was “just a piece of paper.”


Let’s put aside all these teenage ideas of love and romance and talk about this like realistic adults, ok?

This fella named Pericles once said, Just because you do not take an interest in politics, doesn’t mean that politics won’t take an interest in you.

Hold that thought.

Yes, you can live without a piece of paper that says you’re married. But you’re gonna need a lot more papers without that marriage license.

  • Have a bank account together? You’ll need a piece of paper that says you have access to all monies in each of those accounts.
  • Have a car? You’ll need a piece of paper that says you’re allowed to drive it.
  • You live in his house? You’ll need a piece of paper that says you’re allowed to stay in it if something happens to him.
  • He’s in an accident? You’ll need a piece of paper that says you’re allowed to see him.

You see where I’m going with this, yeah?

We’re talking thousands of different documents – and you’ll also need to predict the future.

Can you predict that you two will be on vacation one day, you’ll both be riding motorcycles, a mudslide comes, kills him, and your passports are in your hotel room lockbox that only he knows the combo for and he put the room on his credit card, so you cannot say goodbye to him at all?

That’s an actual case!

So, without that license – that “piece of paper” you so casually dismiss – each time you two do anything together, you’ll need a different piece of paper.

You also need those papers notarized because the mom/dad/brother/former kid will fight you on it. You need to go to court to prove it’s real. This happens constantly.

Google “stieg larsson girlfriend.” Constantly.

I’m working on something where my client has spent $60,000 to disprove a SINGLE signature on a single doc.

Another true example (and why I’m for gay marriage) an insurance company disallowed a man from collecting the $1 million for insurance for his mate for cancer treatment. He went to court and eventually won – but his mate died in that time.

He didn’t have the right to get the legal grace of marriage. You do.

Look, if you don’t want to get married because of the cost, or because you don’t really love him, or whatever, say that. But don’t say it’s because you don’t need a piece of paper that says you two love each other. We’re not teenagers.

Just because you do not take an interest in politics, the government, doesn’t mean that politics the government won’t take an interest in you.

My legal $0.02,



They broke up not that long ago

I wrote once that attraction is not a choice. Integrity forces me to say that it’s not a qualified statement: Attraction is not a choice for straight people only.

As for me, I find marriage comforting. It’s nice to know that someone is on your side.

Life is hard enough without someone on your side. Everyone needs someone on their side.

Me: (to wife) Can you help me with something?
Her: Sure.

Location: getting dressed to see my pop (again)
Mood: hopeful
Music: You’ve got your home of the brave and I’ve got my land of the free
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business personal

Socialism for banks, capitalism (and arrests) for the rest of us?


We both know that it’s rarely political here. But every once in a while, gotta say something.

Got mixed feelings about the Occupy Wall Street protests. On the one hand, agree with the core tenet of it, which is capitalists cannot assert socialism for banks and capitalism for the resta us. On the other hand, just let people get to work and make a dollar already. There’s definitely an element of whiny in it to me.

Having said that, the above video enraged me. Fast forward to 1:33 where a woman outside a bank protest and not actually protesting – she’s wearing a business suit – appears to want to leave the bank. She’s then grabbed by someone in regular clothes, physically tossed into the bank and then either locked in and/or arrested.

Clearly, something is wrong with this picture.

While I don’t agree with the protesters, their right to peacefully protest is something the cops should be defending not making worse. Far worse, IMHO.


Mentioned it in passing in my last post but there’s a seasonality to my work; summer’s usually pretty quiet and right around October, work picks up dramatically.

Last year, this was kinda true – this year, it’s definitely true. Keep wondering when the economy’ll finally turn around but this year is shaping to be onea my best outta the past three.

Which is not really saying a lot looking back at the last three years.


 Gonna be tweaking this blog over the next month or so; don’t mind me.

Former LJ’ers, changed the comment system so (I hope) you will be notified if you leave a comment and someone responds to me – like me.

Leave a comment so I can test our a few things?

Location: this past weekend, out in Queens
Mood: busy
Music: had no idea of the state we were in
YASYCTAI: Leave a comment and I’ll response – let me know if you get an email? (10 sec/1.0 pt)


A million ways to buy it

I started volunteering in my church

(c) AP Photo/Seth Wenig

I heard one guy died in that explosion. Sad.

The thing about living here, is that there’s a million ways to buy it in the big city.

When my accident happened, it was exactly like those VW commercials where two people are just chatting and a half-second later, BAM!

Your life can really change just like that.

I know a few people on the East Side, two in particular spring to mind. But we’ve lost touch. They’re all, by chance, part of the people I cut yesterday.

Just as well, what would I say?

Me: Hey, just calling to make sure you’re alive.
Her: I picked up the phone didn’t I?
Me: (pause) Yes. Yes, you did.

I’ve decided to start volunteering in my church.

I’m hoping it’ll balance out my Thursday thru Saturday drinking and womanizing.

Location: 7PM yest., 110 & Broadway, buying a slice
Mood: still maddeningly busy
Music: I hope you know That this has nothing to do with you
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Peace, Hope and Harold

Good people make all the difference

I’m still excited about 2007, it’s only a few days old and I’m hopeful for the future for two reasons.

Reason One
So the big thing in NYC is this 50 year-old guy, Wesley Autry, jumps onto the train tracks to save the life of a kid he doesn’t know. The train rolls over both of them and his two daughters, four and six, are sure he’s dead. But it turns out, Autry pushed himself and this guy into this pit full of sewage as the train rolled over both of them. They’re both fine.

Still believe that people as a whole are a bunch of selfish scumbags. I should know, I’m one of them. That’s why when something like this happens, an entire jaded city of 11 million plus takes note.

They just re-did the Milgram experiments and the results were the same. What a freaking disappointment. But you’ve got singular people like Autrey who, when asked why he did what he did, shrugs and says, “I thought the guy needed help.”

Reason Two
I have a plant that my family brought over from Asia. His name is Harold (yes, I name my plants – trust me, that’s the least of my oddities).

He’s been with me for over a decade. When my ex moved in with me, her two cats used him like a #$@@# salad buffet so I put him outside where my upstairs neighbor promptly dropped buckets of cement on him.

Harold’s been a nasty mess for months now but this morning, I noticed that he was growing new shoots.

It’s beautiful outside right now.

Blue skies above; cold, clear air below.

I’m hopeful.

Location: @3:15, standing in line at the post
Mood: hopeful
Music: I’ve been searching for a long time, I still have hope, I’m gonna find my way home



(c) Peter Foley/European Pressphoto Agency

I had a bit of a mind warp today.

Today the Yankee’s pitcher Cory Lidle slammed a plane into the side of a building in the Upper East Side. I remembered all of 9/11 again. I still can’t believe it was five years ago. Today was 10/11 so it was freaky. Poor guy just wanted to fly.

I can relate.

Rain doesn’t have a TV so he called me for details. I also called my family – I don’t know, just because…

I’m always surprised at how I’m still surprised by anything anymore.

11:57:36 PM
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