Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Driving to L.A.

...can be defined as: 60 hours of trying not to get killed by 18-wheelers. While that's a slightly narrow definition of the process, and excludes key enjoyable aspects, it is the situation that presents itself with the most regularity.

I'm writing from an Econo Lodge in Grants, New Mexico, which although lacking in the customary continental breakfast most motels seem to provide these days, is a welcome step up from the motel we stayed at last night in Oklahoma City. For some reason, all the motels we tried in the O.C. (as I like to call it) required late night check-in at a glass window, reminiscent of liquor purchases in the ghetto. We settled on a Hospitality Inn on the west side of the O.C., and as we drove to our room we noticed two shady young men sitting in a parked car directly outside what was to be our abode for the night. It was totally secluded on the rear side of the motel, and I've been lugging my computer into the motel rooms for safe keeping, so I wasn't excited about the prospect of doing all this with these men right there. Then the door opened to a room on the second level, and three young men of equal shadiness emerged, walked down to different cars in our area, discussed, looked shady, then walked back up, while the two men outside our room remained in their car. It became clear to us that there was some kind of drug dealing going on. Meanwhile, Susan and I sat in our car watching all of this, no doubt looking very NARC-ish, and wondering what the hell to do. Long story short, we changed rooms. The Indian man who ran the place greeted us in our new room with a phone call, assuring us that his establishment was one of repute, despite our suggestions to the contrary. Right.

The night spent there was one of restless sleep, with cars pulling in and out of parking spots all night and the man in the room next door chatting up whomever he was with until three in the morning. It sucked.

On another note, all they get on the radio down south is Hannity and O'Reilly, spewing falsehoods and mischaracterizations. No wonder these states are red. New Mexico does actually have an excellent network of NPR stations, which may account for Gore's narrow (388 votes!) victory in NM back in 2000. Interestingly, NPR reported the break-in and theft of 200 completed but unprocessed voter registration forms from a New Mexico elections bureau. Who do you think that helps?

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Operation: Throgs Neck

Sitting in the painted, white square the transit police directed me to, I reflected on the events that had led me beyond the law. I was on the Throgs Neck Bridge late Saturday night - in the midst of a journey from a Southampton wedding (congratulations Emily & Noah) to Greg's childhood home upstate on the eve of it being sold and in the throws of a raucous and nostalgic bon voyage gathering. This is a drive Mapquest swears will take me 3.5 hours if I encounter no traffic. And I didn't encounter traffic. I encountered a parking lot. 3 lanes down to 2 down to 1 and construction workers merrily picking at a cityblock's worth of asphalt just past the bridge. I was very bored.

So I took out my camera and began videotaping the bridge. I had brought the camera to the wedding. I had it with me in the front seat and just thought some footage of the pylons and the lights and the cars and the night would be fun to capture. I zoomed into tail-lights. I zoomed out. I took a lot of footage of myself - the kind where you pretend you're not watching the camera you're holding but are instead really, seriously, dramatically focused on the driving you're doing. I shot the Triboro bridge down the way and I leaned my head out the window and shot the giant bridgeness of the bridge. As I pulled the camera back into my window, I noticed a woman pointing at me and frantically dialing her phone. I smiled at her - and immediately imagined them tracing my license plate, tapping my phone and ensnaring me in a devious set-up with no conclusion but a long, sludgy stay in Guantanamo Bay. I calmed down. No way. I played the racist card and saw myself through their eyes - a harmless, white filmmaker clearly out to capture the essence of the Throg and the Neck. How could they suspect me of anything?

The woman and her friend kept pace with me for a long time, watching me play with my radio and return to being very bored. As we came down to one lane, they got a few cars ahead and pulled into the toll lane. I was clearly imagining things back on the bridge. Sure, I shouldn't have been shooting. But no one was turning me in. No way. Oh, that's funny. I wonder why that woman is talking to a police officer. How ironic! How coincidental! How totally disconnected from me! Breathing a little heavier, I enjoyed a mint. That guy's eating a mint. He can't be guilty! I pulled even with the officer and waited my turn for the toll, officially not noticing him studying me. He walked into my blindspot and just as I was about to check my sideview mirror for him, I thought, hang on, don't look at him! That's what guilty people do. It's a hot move by the cops. If you're innocent, you won't think the cop is looking at you and you'll not check him or her out. Although, even if I wasn't trying to avoid attention, I'd still want to look at the police officer. When a man or woman with a gun walks by - even one sanctioned by the law - I like to know why they're standing in my blindspot.

"Hello. Were you filming on the bridge?"
Awkward pause.
"Is that not - um - allowed?"
"No. No, it's not."
Awkward pause. I think I was making a funny face - smiling without any sense of joy or happiness whatsoever.
"I was coming from a wedding. And I had my camera. I was really bored. Here it is." I handed the police officer my camera.
"Okay. Can I see your license and registration?"

Guantanamo Bay, here I come! As two more police officers approached, I could see my evening's plans taking a turn for the detainment. The three of them studied my documents. Travelers whizzed by, watching the very tired looking terrorist smile painfully at the police.

"Sir, you're going to pay the toll and then pull into that white square this officer directs you to."

Oh man, I was going to jail, going to be interrogated by the FBI, marked as a lawbreaker forever AND I was going to have to pay the toll. The tollclerk absorbed my very sincere thanks. He might be the last civilian I see for a long time and I think he knew that. He nodded with a look that said it all: No one escapes the white square.

But I did. It was just past the tollbooths and over to the right. I sat there, casually but NOT guiltily watching the police out of my sideview mirror. My car looked foreign to me. I didn't want to turn the radio back up but I also didn't want to turn it down. I certainly didn't want any more granola. Why was I still wearing a tie?

"Sir, your license checks out okay. And your registration too. But your insurance is expired."
"It is. I-" I'm fucked. I'm done for. My insurance is expired and that's it. Panic. PANIC! HELP ME! OH MY G-
"No, I'm sorry. I read it wrong. Your insurance is fine. Thank you."
"We've rewound your camera to the wedding at the start of the tape. And now, sir, we need you to erase what you shot on the bridge. Can you do that?" They handed me the camera.
"Um. Yeah. YES! Sure. I - uh - well, I can record over it. Is that okay?"
"That'll be fine."
"It's going to take me as long as it took me to shoot it."
"That's fine."
"Probably about 25 minutes."
Awkward pause.
"Then, you better start recording."

During the 30 minutes of recording my lens cap with three police officers flanking my car, I tried to think of things I always wanted to ask police officers. This was really the most time I'd spent in their company and overall, the tone was very sedate. But I didn't have anything worth asking. I kept my recording vigil quietly while they talked among themselves about shifts and other officers at other points along the bridge. I apologized a couple times and tried to illustrate how dumb I felt for adding so much time to my already behemoth expedition upstate. Strangely, I wanted to bond with them - make some jokes at my expense. I'd say the closest we came to bonding was a story the first officer told me.

"I used to film a lot on road trips - from the passenger seat. I mean, it was on road trips so you know - it was cool. And I think you'll appreciate this, being a filmmaker and all. I was filming the windshield while we were driving along the highway and all of a sudden a pebble hits the windshield. And I filmed it. I taped the pebble hitting the windshield and we played it back in slow motion and you could see it getting closer. Closer. Closer. And then bang! And you could see the windshield just crack right as it hit it. It was crazy."

Thursday, September 23, 2004

A Random List of Things & People I Hate

1. Having too much milk in my cereal (and yet it's a mistake I constantly make).
2. Gary Sinise, even before I found out he's campaining for Bush.
3. Vin Diesel once he started buying his own hype.
4. Loud groups of teenagers that feel the need to make a show of their conversations when in public.
5. Waking up from any nap that begins after nightfall.
6. The smell of malt vinegar when served with fish and chips.
7. People who answer their cellphones in movies and proceed to have conversations.
8. The rise of punditry and the corresponding death of hard news.
9. People behind me who honk right when the light turns green.
10. Any song Little John has been involved in.

Stay tuned for a random list of things I appreciate.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

God Bless the Triple Feature

Went to AMC 25 today and caught three talkies for the price of one. What a day at the Nickelodeon. If any readers of this blog happen to be employees of the AMC Empire 25, you might have seen a short fella wandering between floors and checking showtimes over the course of six hours... that was me!

First was the director's cut of THX-1138, a movie that many people find wildly boring, but I find thoroughly entertaining. I enjoyed the digital enhancements made (unlike Lucas's Star Wars tinkering), although they introduce a new plot inconsistency that didn't exist before. The shell dwellers that attack THX towards the end of the film have now been replaced by CGI creations, and resemble ragged monkeys with the heads of normal midgets with 1970's haircuts. That's all well and good, and decidedly creepy, but it doesn't jive with the fact that THX, SEN and company are joined by a shell dweller earlier, in the detention area. This shell-dweller remains a normal little person in a white jumpsuit. Perhaps it's implied that under his jumpsuit there is fur and a tail, but this "vintage" shell dweller walks upright, while the CGI-enhanced shell dwellers that appear later dart around on all fours. On the whole, the changes are excellent, and the fact that Lucas still embraces this rather grown-up film (replete with masturbation and packaged violence for the masses) makes me hope that there's a human being in there under all that machinery.

Garden State was fine. Some great moments, but a little too cutesy for me on the whole. For example, this exchange:

Zach Braff (to boat dude): Good luck exploring the infinite abyss!

Boat Dude: Thanks.


Boat Dude: Hey!

(longer pause, Zach waits)

Boat Dude: You too.

(Zach smiles, turns face up to the meet the falling rain)

I mean, come on. But Natalie Portman is adorable.

Last came Sky Captain. Granted, Casimir lowered my expectations a bit, but I really, REALLY enjoyed it. That's all I have to say on the matter.

I was really thirsty by the end of it all.

Someone Should Teach that Robot to Love!

I think it's high time I weighed in on one particularly sparkly, new movie: Taxi - starring Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah. I was just moseying past Madison Square Garden where a three story banner hangs down the arena's side on 31st. Street. There's always a bevy of made-by-committee movies that come out any given Autumn but the more I looked at this mesmerizing poster, the clearer it became this movie was made by a computer.

Hey, maybe it'll be awesome. I'm not one to pass judgment on a movie I haven't seen. Except that I am and often do. Actually, I think it's my right to pre-judge for eagerly bouncing into theaters to see the cheesiest mainstream stuff Hollywood serves. I'm getting better at skipping the most obvious candidates for forgettable moviemaking but there was a time when these big, glittery movies would leave deep scars. Seeing a special screening of Hook soured me forever on Spielberg - I even denounced Schindler's List without seeing it. And I'm proud of that particularly ridiculous stance.

But back to Taxi. Here's the pitch: Jimmy Fallon. Queen Latifah. A fast car. A robbery. Models. Models with guns. More fast cars. Queen Latifah showing Jimmy Fallon some 'tude. Jimmy Fallon showing Latifah some 'tude back. Car. Gun. Models. Bikini. CarModelsGuns. Maximum 'tude And... SCENE!

I guess what I'm saying is: This will be bad - a unique blend of contrived bad and energy suckage. In imagining its creation, I feel like variables were basically eliminated by a Studio supercomputer who hadn't yet learned how to love. Beepboop oscar nominee beeepfizzleboopbop hip hop star beepBEEP Queen Latifah. DingWhoopBeep. SNL Star Eeep.OOp.Beep. Brash comedic talent beeeeeeeeeeeep. Jimmy Fallon. Click. ModelsCarsGuns Click. Click. Moooooooooooovie.

On a similar note, here are some Bad Movies I tried that are worth double featuring or at least, pre-judging :

1) Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse
- I've never seen a movie written to sound more like a videogame. Characters pop in and out with important information a la narrative video game interludes.
- I just realized this is the second mention of RE2 in this blog. I am sorry.

2) Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
- Yawn but pretty. Couple funny lines. YAWN.

3) The Brown Bunny
- It's not so much bad as it is wildly self-indulgent which can be good except for the fact that it is mostly bad but interesting and therefore okay but bad. VG's BJ made me melancholy.


Friday, September 17, 2004

RE: Out of the office and possessed by Demons

To my fellow co-workers:

I will be out of the office on Thursday, September 16th visiting Amityville, NY and the site of the Defeo Family massacre - the notoriously possessed house which inspired the Amityville Horror. I am reachable on my cellphone though I am not sure how great the service is going to be out in suburban Long Island. Also, if I do not return to work on Friday assume I am recovering from possession and will be taking a sick day. Thanks!

No, really. I did go to Amityville. And I did send a similar memo to my co-workers thinking that'd be a funny thing to say to them. And I think one person responded fairly neutrally. But I was excited. Work is good when it is weird -when you are paid to go on adventures. You see, I'm working on doing a shoot of the actual house depicted in The Amityville Horror for a promo for the movies on my channel. They changed the address of the house - which legend has it is the place where the eldest son in the Defeo family murdered his parents and siblings and where subsequent owners, the Lutzes were haunted and forced to leave - to avoid tourists and nosy people like myself parked out in front of their house, filming the facade with impunity. To make my pilgrimage, I had to do some research on the internet for confirmed and up to date directions. The main thing to remember is the house in the movie is actually a location in New Jersey and thusly, the house in real life - which has also been remodeled - has little resemblance with the movie. My thoughts on the scouting trip were as follows:

1) The town of Amityville - rife with strip malls and potpourri scented restaurants - is creepier than the house.
2) Long Island is confusing. Ben - copilot and certified exorcist - and I had to take the LIE to Southern State Parkway to Wantagh Parkway to Sunrise Highway. It was a different universe. Cats and Dogs were living together. I think the Sun was setting in the east. It was weird.
3) The sound of wind - as captured through the camera mic on my digital camera - is a very unpleasant sound.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Or even the Receding Hairline Vote

Even though I'm on Kerry's side, there may be others out there with hairlines that have suffered under the strain of the current administration who can not see the connection between the disenfranchisement of their once glorious scalp and Mr. Bush's stress-inducing policies. Were it not for the chaos in Iraq, the rising deficit, the record-setting unemployment rate, the embarrassingly corporate and fundamentalist Christian agendas of the Bush regime, I believe I would be sitting here now with a stunning bouffant atop my noggin. Instead - without a Gore-type conditioning and scalp-massaging government - I'm receding from the Bush conservatism. Kerry must strengthen the roots of these voting strands. Even Cheney. He clearly doesn't realize the damage Bush has done to his dome.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Fat Vote

If Kerry should go on to lose the election, historians will look back and marvel at how he ignored a crucial segment of the voting population: the fat vote. These voters can be swayed by a single question... "are you thinner than you were four years ago?" I, for one, am not.

Ths is not to be confused with the "fat cat vote", which Bush has pretty much locked up. They were asked the question "are you eating more babies than you did four years ago?" The answer, of course, is yes.

Monday, September 13, 2004


Here is my deepest thought from last night:

Milla Jovovich is the female Keanu Reeves.

Both pretty.
Both bad.
Both making up for their badness by being kind of heroically unpretentious.

You think they're being pretentious but then you realize they're actually trying REALLY HARD to emote and are unable to make their facial features respond in any way short of grunting and looking their uniquely pretty brand of ugly.

Yes, Seth, while you were whimsically viewing the sentimental piffle that is Godfather, Part 1, I was hunkering down for a sobering, academic contemplation of Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse. Notebook and light-up pen in hand, I and the other philosophers in the audience absorbed the text, subtext and supratext from a zombie film that is really more a metaphor for creation. Or destruction. Or maybe even life itself. I'm still tallying plotpoints and analyzing remarkably dense dialogue so let me get back to you regarding its implications for the future of mankind.

I, too, bemoan the dearth of nights you might find me up late smashing windows and huffing paint. There came a point where 8 hours of sleep became an asset to my existence. I like to think that without my job - being more a night person than a morning person - I would probably go to sleep most evenings around 4AM. Sadly, having to be up at 9AM does not make this possible. Lack of sleep plus minute levels of consistent stress = devolving Casimir. Literally, with too little sleep, my body just starts breaking down. I sweat at strange times, in strange areas. I get suspicious of inanimate objects. I drink large quantities of Fresca. It's not pretty.

I have given up coffee though - 6 days jitters free - and my sleeping has improved substantially. Though I am more consistently a little tired, the time I spend asleep is restful and healing. Maybe staying up late is better left to all the coffee drinkers out there.

Now, if I could only kick the Nuke I've been injecting into the space between my toes.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

I Will Take It

Just saw a midnight screening of The Godfather at Landmark Sunshine on Houston. Fantastic to see it on a big screen. As the scene approached where Michael suggests that he be the one to kill Sollozzo and McClusky, I immediately thought of Bilbo volunteering to take the ring to Mordor in Fellowship. Same scene, only they don't laugh at Bilbo like they do Michael. In Star Wars, I guess the analagous moment is when Luke returns to the Lars homestead to find the burning bodies of Owen and Beru. Luke's moment isn't as cool, because he only answers the call once he's got no other option. Pussy.

I know this isn't really a deep thought, but it's four in the morning, and I don't often stay up this late anymore.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Better. Stronger. Clinton.

Don't fret about Kerry's advisors, Seth. There's help on the way.

We've been told 4 of Bill Clinton's key arteries were almost 90% blocked. We're meant to understand he is recovering from quadruple bypass surgery. We've been led to believe he will sit out the final months of the election season.

I think not.

No, I have it from a very good source - psychedelic mushrooms - that Clinton has been outfit with his most extreme bionic implants yet. Already a superhuman politician, the cybernetic circuitry applied to his nervous system and integrated into his musculature, will make him the greatest campaigner the world has ever known. His prototype teleporter - welded to his previously reinforced spinal column - will allow him the mobility to reach millions of swing voters in their homes simultaneously. Able to support huge amounts of weight, the newly improved Clinton will routinely throw, chuck and heft Swift Boat Veterans for Truth vast distances. With a quantum computer aided intellect, Mr. SuperClinton will dole out supernaturally profound advice to John Kerry, deftly parrying the scare tactics of Vice-President AND dark wizard Dick Cheney - who's own "pacemaker surgeries" were in fact a smokescreen for hushed-up ritual sacrifice sessions and dark arts training seminars.

With John Edwards's recent discovery of an abandoned subway platform and formal meeting with an old man offering him all the divine powers of the Greek Gods, I'd say things are looking up.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


Not the charmingly genre-defiant band but the mysterious New York City complaint service.

I called them today to complain about two things:

1) The water fountain at Cooper Park - where I play basketball - which has been either exceptionally warm and funky or just plain trickling since the summer began. I told them to trick it out.

2) A pothole at the intersection of Graham Ave. and Meeker. I lied and told them my car had gotten a flat tire, just driving over it. Kablamo! If the city doesn't fix it, I told her, my car and my family might blow an axle next time and careen into a school. Really, it's just scared me a number of times. But disaster could strike. It's a brutal and strategically placed pothole.

Has anyone else used this service? The thought of direct access to the City infrastructure makes me feel loved and protected. I don't know how quickly they'll attack these problems. But the woman I talked to was very nice and her voice filled me with hope. I asked what the general problems people called up with were. Mrs. 311 told me noise and potholes.

I will report back with updates on these trivial but tangible problems and how quickly they are remedied. Start making noise so I can complain about that too.

Bait and Switch

I was thrilled to hear that Kerry had conferred with Clinton regarding the campaign, and that Kerry was on the verge of flushing his staff and filling it with standouts from the Clinton years. Then the smoke cleared, and Kerry had actually appointed heavyweights from the Dukakis and Gore campaigns.

This is like hearing that the original Van Halen will be playing your house party, and they show up with Gary Cherone.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Other Recommendations

I guess I'm in a recommendation mood. Here's another event I think is cool:

Greg Glassman's Jam Session
At Niagara - Avenue A and 7th St.
Every Tuesday night from 12AM - 330AM

I've been going intermittently to Greg's Jazz Jam sessions for several years and usually enjoying them in a detached, gosh, I wished I played an instrument kind of way. This last Tuesday - and from what I hear for many Tuesdays - it has taken on a real lively, accessible spirit. The line of musicians clamoring for the stage was inspiring to watch. They weren't pushy. They were supportive and making a fantastic illustration of the flexibility of Jazz music. A horn section of 5-7 horns (3 trumpets, a trombone, a couple saxes) and a flute waiting patiently for each other's solos was moving - both in the clear support of one another's turn in the spotlight and the fact that such songs exist with the room for so many parties. When the trumpets would burst subtly in the background with a series of hits while a sax meandered centerstage, it was of a unique harmony.

Also, cheers to my friend Tashi's animated drum-face. He took a rousing turn on the drums in tandem with a reknowned, equally animated pianist there that night. They grunted and squeezed and wrinkled and rippled in compelling efforts to sustain a thrillingly unwieldy tune. It's good to see people who are truly 'in it.'

Fight Nights

In essence, I avoided news and events for two days. While I imagined this decision would be cathartic, it wound up being more of a drain on my optimism. I find that I have to be connected to the daily polling and minutiae of the campaigning to keep my spirits up. But instead, I tried to escape, trying to ride out the Bush post-convention bounce with some serious video-game surrendering.

I don't play too many games anymore - but Elliot got me hooked for two days on Fight Night, an X-box, boxing match type dealio. It's unusual in that you control the boxing with variations on control stick swiveling only. The buttons are only for your special punch and your cheat punch (headbutt, low-blow). You get to build a fighter and follow his career (training, fight stores, trophy cases, scheduling fights, etc) as he moves up in the rankings. The middleweight I started from scratch struck fear into the hearts of his opponents with his moniker 'Baby Kittens' etched across his lime shorts. His green motif (hair, shorts, gloves, shoes) was in stark contrast to the other fighters pummeled routinely in my illustrious 8-hour career. I thought Mr. Kitten's success would ease the weight on my soul - like the occasional 2AM Big Mac taking the edge off a diet starting to work. It did give me a breather from being connected - but did I really need a respite from information? Still, it's a game I'd like to recommend - it had the least retina afterburn of any game I'd played recently as well.

Speaking of connected, an informed and eager friend of mine - Aram - is going out to Ohio to both encourage voters to vote AND to vote in Ohio himself. I had no idea you could declare residency so quickly and vote in a battleground state only a month or two before the election. I think it's sneaky. But I like it. A lot. In line with Seth's comments below about rising to the Republican challenge, why not go in search of the loopholes favoring the Democrats. Plus, if good-natured people like Aram are heading out to Ohio for this cause, there must be Red-Staters moving into places like New Mexico and Pennsylvania for a strategic Autumn rental.

I also mention this because Aram and his support network (Soundscape Education) are having a fundraiser for this cause on Thursday, September 9th. Check out this info:

Aram Rubenstein-Gillis/Soundscape Education
House Party/Fundraiser
on Thursday September 9th from 7-9 pm.
at 252 7th Avenue Suite 7W (on 7th avenue between 24th and 25th above Whole

Aram: 917 364 3734 OR

I'll be there and hopefully visiting them in Ohio for a couple days too. They welcome volunteers and donations and probably any kind of encouragement at all.

Friday, September 03, 2004


Don't feel ashamed of your meltdown, Casimir. Trying to decipher the strange utterances of the Bush twins would be enough to crash anyone's operating system.

While at Long Beach Island I spent whatever time I had not on the beach or eating ice cream watching the convention, and scouring the channels for some commentary that went beyond two pundits barking talking points at one another. I was disappointed by Lehrer, largely due to the presence of David Brooks. Chris Matthews was amusing at times. I enjoy the rare occasions when he calls people on their bullshit, but it'd be really great if he put less bullshit on his show to begin with. My favorite coverage belonged to Charlie Rose as he talked to two young wonks whose names I never learned. Just smart talk, with nothing at stake personally for those involved, other than the elucidation of the entire process.

One point that was mentioned repeatedly on CNN, MSNBC and Fox (yes, I watched it) was the idea of the Republican Party as "big-tent" coalition, into which one could fold a wide variety of viewpoints, like peanut butter and chocolate chips into a delicious cookie of inclusiveness. This was, of course, portrayed in stark contrast to the Democratic Party, which should apparently feel guilty for its widespread internal agreement on matters of abortion rights and social issues. The democrats are clearly guilty of intolerance for other people's viewpoints. Perhaps they should model themselves after the Republicans, in which anyone is welcome to speak towards the continuance of their rule, while retaining the right to have their opinions on social issues (Giuliani, Schwarzenagger) ignored. Brilliant!

The last night of the convention was pretty well put together. I was actually moved by the movie that preceded the president's speech, until I realized that its main selling points were the timely use of a megaphone and a well thrown baseball. But really, we can't overstate what an amazing pitch that was, especially now that we know he was wearing body armor at the time. I'm being serious.

But we have got to put an end to this 87 billion dollar voted-for-before-I-voted-against bullshit. Isn't there some way for Kerry to put this to rest? Kerry voted yes to a version of the bill that paid for the 87 billion via a partial rollback of the Bush taxcuts. The Republicans voted against it before they voted for their own version which ultimately passed, despite the protest votes of Kerry and Edwards, who knew the thing would go through anyway. It seems Kerry is on the verge of getting mean, and I'm all for it. If this campaign has taught us anything, it's that you should just sling the shit, and the media will help it stick. By the way, I heard Cheney's "other priorities" during the Vietnam War included the writing of a specialty cookbook on eating babies.

By the way, have you heard about the hot new drinking game? Just take a swig anytime a member of the Bush administration mentions Osama Bin Laden's name. The great part about this game is that it's even safe for recovering alcoholics.

Bill Clinton, get well soon!

Ways to Die

I am personally trying to avoid falling out of a plane at cruising altitude.

I had a similar grandparent experience at Disney World when I was young. At some point we all agreed that we wanted to do different things. They were fond of light shows set to music. I was particularly enamored of the shooting range where you could make owls hoot and men play piano by hitting targets with a light-rifle. We split up, and I wandered the Magic Kingdom by myself. It seems strange in retrospect, this eleven year old hopping on Small World or Pirates of the Caribbean by his lonesome and chatting up the families he shared boats with, but that's what I did. I'm surprised social services didn't snatch me up. I hear unclaimed children are sealed into character costumes and sign fake autographs for the rest of their lives, never to be heard from again.


Okay, that was a big, smoking failure. I'm not mad at Republicans. I'm not mad at Democrats (maybe Zell Miller a smidge...)
I just felt yelly. I think I've been holding back a lot during this election season and letting go seemed like a nice respite from restraint. But I'm over it. Even keel. Back on my meds. Let's talk about something else.

On the subject of the Sea Dragon, I used to go to county fairs a lot (Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, etc). Having never been on a roller coaster in all my days gone, the back and forth rides that swing you up and off the ground were the extent of my brushes with amusement park mutilation. Strangely, I never felt nervous on them - though I recall thinking the mechanism at work in my seat-restraint was somewhat precarious. If I or the ride did break away, I'd survive the fall and just coast onto a nearby big tent, bounce once, backflip and applause. 10 year olds are brilliant.

I also went to Great Adventure a lot with my grandparents who never wanted to take me on anything worse than the Pirate Ship (the sea dragon equivalent). Actually, I think they parked me in the ride and watched from a safe distance. Or maybe they left me in it for hours and got drunk on GA Cosmos. Haha. Hmm. Sob. Being on a ride by yourself is a uniquely lonesome exhilaration. I was also at Great Adventure one time when someone was decapitated on the roller coaster. Or at least, I've convinced myself of being there for that episode - lending credence to my fear of truly death-defying experiences at amusement parks. Is that the saddest, most useless way to die? I think it might be... Choking on gum? Getting stuck in a sewage grating? Falling out of a small tree but bouncing off a rock and rolling into a chasm? What other deaths are people trying to avoid?

I hear you're moving to Los Angeles.
Please elaborate.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Fuck yeah!

I'm in.


I am a Republican starting right now!

Invade those foreigners!
Beat those hippies!
Live smug!
Cancel my subscription to the New Yorker! YEAH.
Set me up with some cd-rom bibles! Uh-huh.
Get me some Halliburton stock. You know it!
and let's ROCK those fucking red states!
All this doubt and anguish building up...
All this art I've been supporting...
All this TRUTH I've been looking for...
I am in!
Where do I sign? Who do I kill? What must I UNLEARN?
I'm throwing out my Liberal porn and getting good Republican smut!
I'm eating Republican tobacco for breakfast tomorrow and washing it down with some Big Oil!
I'm masturbating to the Bush Twins and scoffing and tittering while reading my Clinton Autobiography.
This is going to FUCKING ROCK!
Let's go Alan Keyes! Bring back D'amato. Dig up Nixon. Make him a corpse president!
I don't fucking care anymore because I am a Republican and I am saving up for a Hummer and recycling is for bitches!
When the world ends, I'll be on the winning team, you ninnies!
Corporations are PRETTY!!!

See you suckers in November! HAHAHAHAH Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Revenge of the Sea Dragon

Back from four days on the Jersey shore. I have muddled emotions towards the beach. As much as I hated that line from Attack of the Clones, sand really does get everywhere. We were attacked by flies in a scene right out of a cheap horror film, and while attempting to bodysurf the waves, I got flipped over by mother nature, straining my back in the process. To top it off, Susan has a relentless fixation on a little ride called the Sea Dragon at a small L.B.I. amusement park, and needs to ride it once every time we visit. I'm a huge fan of roller coasters, but I tend to get freaked out by the smaller rides found at small town parks or traveling carnivals. I imagine the pimply faced ride operator leaving us on the ride for way too long, either out of neglect of a malicious spirit (this actually happened to us at the Meadowlands when a clearly drunk German teenager left us on the Music Express for upwards of ten or fifteen minutes, laughing and dancing maniacally the entire time), or I envision the under-inspected ride simply breaking apart, launching me towards a messy ending. Hell, if it happened at Disney, it can happen anywhere.

What usually happens is that I encourage Susan to put off the Sea Dragon for as long as possible, but as a result I'm faced with a low-level but constant dread during the entire vacation. We finally went on it last night, and of course it was fine. The guy in front of me seemed more freaked out than I did, and other anxious individuals are always a good antidote for my own anxiety. My demeanor immediately improved once we got off the thing. We've since made an agreement that in the future, the Sea Dragon will be the first thing we do the minute we set foot on the island.