Monday, April 7, 2014

Meanwhile, on one of my OTHER blogs...

I'm still alive. Thanks for asking!

So anyway, I haven't been updating this in a while, but I recently updated one of my OTHER blogs. Give it a look!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It's Hard Out There for an Author of a 160-page Book about a Pimp

Dolemite is dead, but can I still write about him?

Occasionally I seek freelance work to take up some of the time I use to not update my blog. The Craigslist "writing gigs" section tends to carry a number of bizarre ads, like this one that appeared today: 

All right. The three grand is certainly a great deal, considering that most of these so-called "gigs: pay bubkes.

But I would have several questions for the author of this advertisement, including:

  • Why do you employ 10 words to declare that "Writer is responsible for finding the subject of the story" rather than the mere four it would take to say, "Find your own pimp!"?
  • I don't have any experience writing pimp biographies, but is it wrong to have assumed that the pimp would be provided? I don't know the first thing about finding a pimp; can you pimp me — I mean point me — in the right direction. And will that direction be Detroit, or should I wait until DeBlasio takes office, when New York will likely become more pimp-friendly?
  • Is your 160-page specification firm? Will that include the acknowledgements, glossary, appendix, and works cited pages?
  • Define "life of." Do we need to discuss the pimp's childhood and education and pimp apprenticeship, or should I dive right into the main pimping?
  • If my research reveals that my subject does not, in fact, keep his pimp hand strong, should I abandon the project and find a new subject?
  • Will that three grand be paid in U.S. cash, or in "ho bucks"? I'm equipped to handle either.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Simple Pleasures

I've never been so happy that I've
been compelled to tushy-touch, however.
Are you happy all the time? If you are, please allow me to punch you in the face.

But I digress. I used to be a lot angrier most of the time, but I've actually mellowed out as I've aged, even though I think I have even more stress than ever in my life, and despite being even closer to death than when I was an angrier younger man.

Or maybe I just gave up. But I've noticed — as I grow older and the stresses, memories, and regrets pile up like that mound of junk mail that I'll eventually spend an entire afternoon shredding because I fear gangs of identity thieves rummaging through my garbage and signing up for numerous Capital One cards in my name — that there are the occasional, fleeting, and otherwise insignificant moments that stir in me feelings of pride and perhaps even joy.

I'm not talking about the times when my kids do something awesome or when one of my Facebook friends has a baby. (By that I mean one of my Facebook friends whose baby announcement doesn't set me off, muttering, How the hell can they afford a seventh kid?)

I'm talking about those minor incidents that are all too easy to shrug off without realizing that hey, sometimes things do go your way.

Among those fun-size moments of joy include:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

How to Get Tossed From Yankee Stadium and Into the East RIver

Just kidding, Mo.
I was listening to the postgame press conference following Mariano Rivera's final game at Yankee Stadium. It was a very serious affair, which began with manager Joe Girardi at the podium. 

However, the questions that beat writers asked went from probing to ass-kissing to rhetorical to moronic, so when I heard someone ask Joe something like, "How did Mariano improve your life?," I tried to think of the absolute worst, Stuttering-John-like questions I could ask at one of these things.
  • "Joe, which will endure longer: Mariano's reputation as one of the greatest closers ever, or Mariano's reputation as a notoriously horrible tipper?"
  • "Joe, Mariano's got 652 regular season saves, but it's been said that more than 300 of those were actually achieved by his little-known twin brother, Manolo, who would don the Yankee uniform from time to time. Your thoughts?"
  • "Joe, everyone likes to talk about all those saves and his low ERA, but honestly, with a career batting average of .000 (3 for 4, with one walk), is he really Hall of Fame material?"
  • "Joe,  Mariano's legacy will be 'World's Greatest Closer,' both to the fans who come to Yankee Stadium as well as the Bronx prostitutes who hang outside the Stadium. Any idea why that is?"
  • "Joe, can we stop all the Mariano Rivera nonsense and talk about Alex Rodriguez now?"

Thursday, August 1, 2013

An Ode to My the Adhesives in My Life

This week the carpet in the hallway near my work area is being replaced, and the new flooring consists of large patterned squares that needed to be glued to the floor.

My co-workers in other areas of the building have asked me, jokingly (I hope), "Have you gotten high off the smell?"

I've never been a huffer, though there have been certain aromas that are both toxic and alluring, including:
  • Sharpies
  • Dry-erase markers
  • Gasoline
  • The leather jacket my high school girlfriend wore during our first date, to see the Bill Murray movie Scrooged
  • The orange-infused cleaner I would employ to sanitize the restrooms during my high school janitorial job
I could have (and, due to the boredom I was experiencing today, should have) gotten high off the carpet glue, but there was one problem: the smell was loathsome.

But as the fumes started to destroy my brain cells, my memory was also prodded to recall various glues that I've used throughout my life.

That sounds like an exciting blog topic, right? Read on!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The End of My Token Friendship

And where an adult can be a bankrupt adult.
I've been in a casual relationship for about five years — and this was after a break of about 20 years. Like most relationships I've had, sometimes I hated it, and sometimes I was thankful for it. Other times, I didn't think about it.

But now I'm aware that it's going to be over very soon. It won't end with any speeches, nor will it end abruptly; it will, like some relationships I've had, just fade away.

I'm talking about my relationship with Chuck E. Cheese.

I was a big video game fan, so when a Chuck E. Cheese arcade opened in my town while I was in sixth grade, it was the equivalent of putting a liquor store within walking distance of my house today. Or, for some of the kids in my sixth grade class, it was like putting in a liquor store.

Back then...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

On Dennis Farina (RIP), Whom I Never Met but Wish I Had

Class. And a classy 'stache.
I've never been particularly starstruck. One time I met Spike Lee at a cocktail party following a speech he gave at my university, but instead of asking for his autograph or trying to push a script — one guy confronted him with a screenplay pitch that consisted of two minutes of rap — or land some sort of job with 40 Acres and a Mule, I peppered him with questions about Jungle Fever until he slowly made his escape in the direction of a pile of canap├ęs.

I will admit there are a couple of famous people that I would love to meet, around whom I would try to be all cool but would likely be tongue-tied and unable to utter/stutter more than, "I'm like a big fan."

One of them is Darryl McDaniels, aka DMC of Run-DMC. Another is Dennis Farina, who died Monday.

Thankfully, there have been plenty of tributes about the guy, so it's not as if he's not getting his due as a popular character actor (which is a benefit because I won't have to repeat the entire career retrospective you can easily find elsewhere), but I do have a few things to say about him.