Friday, June 27, 2003

Today, I made my first ever contribution to a political candidate.

Dennis Kucinich pulled second place in MoveOn's primary and is staying in the race for the Democratic nod.

Seems he's crossed the $1 million dollar contribution line that the media uses to separate the legitimate from the fringe. Not bad for someone not even officially declared as a candidate!

Today's web site: Flashback!

PS: Nell's Breakfast Blend? Official YUM!

Thursday, June 26, 2003

I've been checking out this Howard Dean guy that's running for the democratic nomination and, on the surface, he seems like the something different I'd be willing to vote for. While I like his outspokenness and grassroots approach, I am disturbed by the fact that he's supported by the NRA and he is in favor of the death penalty. is running their own primary to determine if and whom they will support for the Democratic nod. They've got a great resource for checking out all nine of the candidates and, after reading through some of it, I'm leaning towards Dennis Kucinich myself.

Kucinich's pretty left field and probably doesn't have a shot but, to be honest, after playing it safe with Al Gore (I preferred Bill Bradley), I think it's time for the Democrats to make a stand and really differentiate themselves from the Republicans. And not in that self-righteous Ralph Nader way, either.

Kucinich seems to stand for all the right things; isn't afraid to speak out unequivocally, no matter how touchy the subject; his voting record is pretty consistent; and, he's got a working class background that suggests his positions on the important issues come from actual values, not polls. If only the media would take his candidacy a bit more seriously, he might have a shot. Of course, the grassroots thing is working for Dean and I suspect he's due for a stumble in the next couple of weeks that could set Kucinich up as the true alternative to the status quo.

This all bears watching. Are you registered?

In other news, I've been desperately trying to find a place that sells Fair Trade coffee and it's been a frustrating experience. D'Agostino's supposedly sells Green Mountain (my current preference) but the Union Square store didn't have anything but the usual stuff. Went to Whole Foods this weekend, sure they would have a good selection but all they had was two types of Dean's Beans which would have been fine if not for being the flavored kinds, Hazelnut and French Vanilla. Yuck! The woman working the section asked if she could help me and when I told her what I was looking for, she was like, "Really? And that's all you'll buy?" Apparently Organic still means commercial!

Anyway, I decided to join Green Mountain's Coffee Club and just received my first shipment! Smells amazing. I got two of Newman's Own Nell's Breakfast Blend, one Peruvian Select and one Espresso Blend. Yum!

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

I love this song, although, reading the lyrics, I realized I had no clue what the hell it's about! Abortion, maybe? Definitely a suicide in there.

The Freshmen

When I was young I knew everything
She a punk who rarely ever took advice
Now I'm guilt stricken, sobbing with my head on the floor
Stop a baby's breath and a shoe full of rice

I can't be held responsible
'Cause she was touching her face
I won't be held responsible
She fell in love in the first place

For the life of me I cannot remember
What made us think that we were wise and we'd never compromise
For the life of me I cannot believe we'd ever die for these sins
We were merely freshmen

My best friend took a week's vacation to forget her
His girl took a week's worth of valium and slept
Now he's guilt stricken sobbing with his head on the floor
Thinks about her now and how he never really wept he says

I can't be held responsible
'Cause she was touching her face
I won't be held responsible
She fell in love in the first place

For the life of me I cannot remember
What made us think that we were wise and we'd never compromise
For the life of me I cannot believe we'd ever die for these sins
We were merely freshmen

We've tried to wash our hands of all of this
We never talk of our lacking relationships
And how we're guilt stricken sobbing with our heads on the floor
We fell through the ice when we tried not to slip, we'd say

I can't be held responsible
'Cause she was touching her face
I won't be held responsible
She fell in love in the first place

For the life of me I cannot remember
What made us think that we were wise and we'd never compromise
For the life of me I cannot believe we'd ever die for these sins
We were merely freshmen

For the life of me I cannot remember
What made us think that we were wise and we'd never compromise
For the life of me I cannot believe we'd ever die for these sins
We were merely freshmen
We were merely freshmen
We were only freshmen

from Villains (RCA Records, 1996)

For some reason it's been stuck in my head today, though I haven't heard it anywhere recently. Went a'googling and found this on a search of "shoe full of rice." Interesting, if a bit anti-climactic. Whatever, it's got a great arrangement and a haunting chorus and, like great poems, there's enough leeway in it for individual interpretation.

Speaking of poems, I hit Acentos last night and it might have been the best one yet, energy-wise, at least. Oscar has really found his comfort zone and handled a light but energetic crowd quite nicely. Finally got there early for once - have I said how much I love living in the Bronx again? - and chilled at the bar, working on my "relevance of slam" essay that I'll probably need to rewrite as this draft has gone off on its own direction.

Anyway, I suspected the turnout would be low as the feature, Toro, isn't that well-known and most of the Borg probably wouldn't hike up to the Bronx for him. Turned out "most of" was "none of." Too bad as Toro put on a strong set, backed by guitar and djembe, with a mix of poetry and song, of sorts. He could front a grunge band pretty well and his performance made me want a band myself! Oscar suggested LeCharles Lites. (Have to ask him what that means, now that I think about it!) I'd love to front a Rage Against the Machine kind of group where the "singing" amounts to yelling yourself raw. With tight lyrics, of course!

A nicely varied open mic list included impressive pieces from Jayme (with a Marty McConnell-influenced delivery), Frog Prince (chock-full of comic book references) and this skinny white kid from Chicago (blanking on his name) who started out with a beatbox and then was like, "Nah, I'm just going to read a poem." Nice job of winning over the crowd. Caught Lenny's love poem for Fish (the person, not the food!) and had to smile at the pure sincerity and lack of pretense she brought to it, remembering what it was like when you first start out and are just doing it for the love. I closed out the open mic with a dirt-old piece, Confessions of a Serial Killer, that Toro's hip-hop comments sparked a taste for. In the move, I dug up a bunch of old work, including my first chapbook and the first issue of my old zine, zuzu's petals. Have to re-type my review of It's a Wonderful Life and post it on my web site so you can see what kind of twisted mindset I had back then. That's actually the issue of zzp that brought Salomé and I together! But that's a story for another time...

SIDE NOTE: I can't remember if I did this or not, and I'm too lazy to check, but let this be a reminder to all to get their copy of 5 PAST 13. Not only is it an amazing collection of poetry celebrating five years of a little bit louder, it's also the only way NYC-Union Square is going to get to Chicago for Nationals! Much as part of me hopes they end up on a bus to remind themselves of where we started and why, it IS a long-ass ride and they won't have Staceyann to entertain them this time. Get them on AirTran, at least! ;-)

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Get it today!
Which Jedi Knight are you?

You're Anakin. Congratulations.

You are the one who is destined to bring balance to the force, Whatever the hell that means.

Until that time comes, however, you're happy just being a really annoying and angsty teenager. Yeah, you might end up being all kinds of awesome once you're Darth Vader, but just cool it for now - you're likely to make many more enemies being the shithole Hayden Christiansen portrays you as.

Monday, June 23, 2003

I'm reluctant to write this as I'm sure it will stir up some shit and likely be misinterpreted as sour grapes or something, but it's just been bugging the hell out of me since I first saw it and I've never NOT written something because of the potential trouble it might cause.

Subject: [loudNOTES] womanEDGE Tonite!!!!!! Monday, June 23rd

Tonight's show...[t]here's an open mic full of short sexy poems by women-you-should-have-known-and-will-love plus an EDGE feature by extraordinary poet/vocalist Mara Jebsen.

It's worded only slightly better than what's on the web site:

...and all night: open mic including short sex poems by women you know and should have loved.

THIS is how you promote a night intended to honor women's voices? All that's missing is "Ladies free all nite; Guys $10 B4 Midnite, $20 after!"

What sucks most is that I really wanted to see Mara's feature. When I originally booked her, it was going to be the louderEDGE format, enabling us to explore the interesting background of her being raised in Africa and how she is received/perceived by different audiences before and after her first words. Instead, it's been converted to what seems to be the latest version of House of Woman. The woman-centric format, laid to rest after I returned for lack of a sensible mission, suddenly reappears, taking advantage of a woman already being booked as the feature!?!?! Hopefully it's at least got the, edge?

It also pisses me off that this was one of two nights I specifically wanted to host after I stepped down and was politely denied in the interest of retaining some "consistency" in the hosting, something I'd pushed for the first time I left at the end of 2001 and there was talk of rotating hosts. I took it to mean Eric would be hosting and was relatively cool with that. Turns out Eric won't even be there - a moot point as it's the womanEDGE format - and instead of either Lynne or Marty hosting in the name of House of Woman / womanNOISE consistency, it's Syreeta and Ginna who I'm pretty sure have never hosted anything on Monday night?!?!

Much respect to them but, Lucy, ju got some 'splaining to do!

I was on the fence about going tonight as there's still some things I need to get done in the house, not to mention that article to write that's a week late now, but this all kind of pushed me over the...ahem, EDGE, and I just can't deal.
Okay, exactly WTF is this?!?!

"Bling-bling" makes new Oxford dictionary

Among the 187,000 definitions in the latest edition, published by Oxford University Press, there is...bling-bling, a reference to elaborate jewelry and clothing, and the appreciation of it.

Is this some kind of elaborate joke? I mean, come on! As usual, Boondocks nails it.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Your Daily Horoscope for June 22, 2003

Dear Guy,
At first glance, Guy, everything is going just fine. You have a lot of energy, and people put their trust in you. However, the time has come to change directions, and to take a second look at your strategies. There are probably certain things you need to improve in some of the projects you started recently, but there is no hurry! Your wonderful ability to bounce back is going to help you a lot.


Friday, June 20, 2003

Interesting! I think I like it.

What famous poet on Live Journal are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
Daphne Gottlieb
Daphne Gottlieb

You are Daphne Gottlieb, the poet on attack.
Let all who cross, you, guilty or innocent,
beware, beware, beware!
Many people title their journal entries. If I did, this one would be something like Fun With Anesthesia.

I've been avoiding getting my wisdom teeth out for years, ever since the consent form I had to sign for the Army dentist highlighted every possible danger of extraction. My bottom right has been impacted forever but since it doesn't ever bother me, I haven't bothered it. The past couple of years, though, both of my top ones have been giving me problems and now both of them have cracked. I've only ever had three cavities and I can't remember ever having any teeth extracted.

Had an appointment scheduled today @ 2:30pm. Got in the chair at 2:45pm, napped for about a half hour, the doctor finally came in just past 3:30pm, shot me up by 3:45pm and by 4:15pm I was heading back to work, teeth still in and mouth numb after being evacuated from the building because of a fire! Coincidence? Maybe. But if I die in the chair, anyone that reads this will know the signs were there.

Had to walk down from the 15th floor, the faintest odor of smoke in the air, unable to breathe through my mouth and fascinated by the 9/11 flashbacks some of the people were having. It was all rather surreal and when we got outside, I just kept on walking back to work. I wasn't really nervous at all, but was in that out-of-body observer mode I slip into in weird or stressful situations. The writer in me takes over and I just watch things unfold, usually disconnecting from the situation entirely. It's weird.

The anesthesia didn't fully wear off until after 9pm and the pain in my jaw where he shot me up made it difficult to eat. It's like I have TMJ. I can barely open my mouth. Some might say that's a good thing!

Finally joined the broadband revolution tonight as the computer is hooked up and Optimum Online is in effect! Good timing, too, as my internetting at work is getting cut back drastically. My 3-month review went well but one of the things noted was the amount of time spent on personal browsing. Busted! At least I'll be in on time from now on.

Speaking of work, now that I brought in some headphones, I'm LAUNCHing like a you know what. Have submitted over 1,000 ratings and my station is playing some really good stuff now. Check it out. Heard some of Queen's Flash Gordon soundtrack today, plus some Terrence Trent D'arby I hadn't heard before! No Milli Vanilli yet, but it's coming, I'm sure.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Stopped in at NYHRC to start my membership before our enrollment period ends tomorrow. It's a great gym that I'll never be able to use even half of but the fact that it's right across the street leaves me no excuses for not going and getting back in shape. You'd think I was the one that had two kids! They've got a pool, racquetball, squash & basketball courts, all the equipment you can think of and a Chinese menu of classes! I'd really like to get back into boxing as that's one of the best overall workouts you can get but they don't offer it at this location. They do have something called Boxerobics that I might give a try once I get into the flow.

They also give you one personal training session to start you off, which should be interesting. Like an idiot, I scheduled it for Friday, the day after I get three of my wisdom teeth pulled out! The dentist claims I'll be just fine and can even go to work right after but I still remember the disclosure they gave me in the Army that scared me out of doing it back in '92! With the top two cracked, I have no choice now.

Went to get a manicure and pedicure afterwards (for the second time ever!) and felt like Annika Sorenstam on the PGA tour! The only man there, I kept catching these odd glances in my direction, like someone in a restaurant trying to figure out if that's a roach or just a stain on the wall. There wasn't even a men's restroom, just one, marked "Women." Nothing like a regular barbershop, either, as it was dead quiet in there. The workers go about their business, ask one-word questions and the customers stare into space or read magazines. Weird.

My feet look much better now. After Isaac, a couple of months back, looked at them and said "Yucky," I knew it was time to do something! My fingernails are all shiny and feel strange, almost heavy. I can't really tell if I let them dry long enough or not but I was getting anxious about taking such a long lunch after coming in late thanks to something happening on the 4/5 line that kept me between stations for nearly an hour this morning. Ended up walking from City Hall and getting in at nearly 10am!

The foot and hand massages were amazing and much needed after the past week of lifting and building and general soreness. The, um...not sure what you call her as manicurist seems so limiting but, she had these powerful little thumbs that dug right in and loosened me up. I heartily recommend it to all men and I'm going to try and do it once a month. Okay, every other month!

Today's web site: I got a 30.17751% - Total Geek!

Monday, June 16, 2003

Woah! Midtown Comics is scary cool!

They sell EVERYTHING. They even had a lot of Moon Knight, though I'm glad I changed my mind about him before I went in there.

Spent my whole gift certificate (not as easily as I expected, either) and got a few more of the Loeb/Lee Batmans I wanted, all four of the Baron Karza mini, the latest Micronauts, couple of the new Titans series and the new New Mutants. Also grabbed a Batman graphic novel, The Long Halloween (good looking out, Oscar!) which just happens to pick up from the Batman: Year One storyline! Gotta love synergy.

Salomé came with me and, while it wasn't quite as bad as when Lynne went with Eric and I to the Planet of the Apes marathon (all five movies, in Ape chronological order!) and was the ONLY woman there, it was close. Of course, nothing can top the dork at the theater walking around like an ape. Priceless.

Felt like the proverbial kid in the candy store, going through boxes of comics, remembering issues I used to have as a kid, trying to find something new. The new stuff is the hardest part. I don't want to just stick with the titles I remember as a kid but I don't know enough yet to comfortably experiment. Forgot most of the stuff I'd seen in Wizard that had intrigued me, too. Early post-high school, when I was reading a novel a week, I'd just randomly pick something and give it a chance. Came across some great books that way, including Fool on the Hill and The Roaches Have No King. Have to do that with comics so I can find some off-the-beaten path stuff.

Need to pick up some comic bags and a box, too. Don't want to "collect," per se, but I do want to take care of them after I read them.

So I guess it's official. I'm really buying comics again. Lord help me!
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

Father's Day was surely the best yet. The fact that we were busy all day unpacking and shopping (after spending all day Saturday moving our clothes and miscellaneous stuff) and didn't get to bed until midnight was actually the best part of it. I didn't even blink at how much money we spent at Pathmark. That's how much I love this apartment and am relieved to finally be back in our own space.

I've got two of the most beautiful kids in the world, a ridiculously sexy wife, a job I like, and I'm finally living back in the Bronx. Does it get any better than this? I'll never write another poem now! ;-)

PS: Salomé gave me a $50 gift certificate to Midtown Comics yesterday. Bad news. Gonna have to take a long lunch today to use it!

Today's CD: Unstoppable 90's: Hip-Hop

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Today is the the first anniversary of my official appointment as a financial advisor with American Express. What a difference a year makes! Swung by the office on Saturday night while we were in Virginia, fully expecting to see at least one poor soul still working but, to my surprise, everyone was gone. They finally disabled my access to the Market Group web site so I can't check who's still there and how everyone's doing any more. The only two people I'm still in touch with left before me and moved out of the area. Guess that chapter is now officially closed.
The quality of American life must keep pace with the quantity of American goods. This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.
John F. Kennedy

I realized this morning that we've gone over six months without the majority of our material possessions. Furniture, electronics, DVDs, CDs, name it, it's all been in storage. All of our clothes, a few of the kids' toys and the computer are all we've really had with us since we've been back. As Eric and I were loading the truck, I noticed I'd even forgotten about some of the things we owned. It's nice to have all of it back but, at the same time, it's nice to know we could live without it if necessary.

Looks like my cousin will be moving into our new building pretty soon. They looked at two apartments and have put in their application. Maybe as early as July 1! It'll be nice to have family in the building, especially with their two kids. Growing up as an only child [my brother and sister weren't born til I was 12 or 13], my cousins were like my brothers and sisters and I saw them pretty often. I'm still close to a few of them - they all live in the Bronx! - and would love to have Isaac and India grow up with a similar closeness to theirs. Alternating babysitting will be nice for both of us, too!

Today's web site:
[I missed the premiere episode of the Smurfs because that was the day we moved from Manhattan to Mt. Vernon. I held it against my mother for months as I missed the origin of Smurfette. I've forgiven, but never forgotten!]

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

It's been a hectic week since last I checked in and I'm tired and sore as hell.

The move is pretty much done. Painted and assembled on Friday; drove to Virginia through steady rain on Saturday; hung out in Norfolk on Saturday night; loaded the truck and drove back on Sunday; moved it all in on Monday; did more assembling and started unpacking on Tuesday. Should actually sleep in the apartment for the first time this coming Saturday. Woo-hoo!!!

Saturday night in Norfolk was fun, if unexpected. The hotel in Virginia Beach was a waste of driving as the rain made it impossible to hang out there. Ended up at Jillian's in Waterside (in the middle of Harborfest) where we caught game six of the NHL playoffs and the Gatti-Ward rematch. Haven't watched boxing in ages and it's a fascinating mix of revulsion and awe seeing two guys pound the hell out of each other for sport. Think I'll stick to the overly stage-managed WWE for my occasional testosterone fix.

[NOTE: Spike TV debuts June 16th! Spike LEE is an idiot!]

Went head-to-head with Eric in air hockey and got my ass kicked. Brutally: 7-6, 2-7, 2-7, 1-7, 1-7. Afterwards, he's like, "You know I had one of these in my house when I was growing up, right?" Fucker! We had a bumper pool table when I was growing up. Yes, BUMPER POOL, the short bus of pool tables! With the reversible table top that could be a regular table or a card table. It was nice, for a bumper pool table, but it was a bumper pool table nevertheless. I hated that thing. Got pretty good at it but so what? It's like being good at shuffleboard and bocce ball, skills that do you no good before you turn 70!


Moving in on Monday was smooth - what a difference an elevator makes! - even though it was just Roger and I. We still got it done in a little over two hours. Not sure how we accumulated so much stuff in Virginia but, barring a court order or something, I can't imagine moving again for a looooong time. Knock wood.

Crazy busy at work playing catch-up. I'll check back in on Friday.

Web site of the day:

Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Hello. My name is Guy and I buy comic books.

I was clean for over 10 years but I've recently relapsed. I'm not quite ready to admit that I'm powerless or that my life has become unmanageable, but the potential is there. Comics are like $3 each these days! Damn Omar. I told you he was evil, didn't I? I haven't gotten crazy yet, but it's enough to necessitate an adjustment to my lunch menu. Hot dogs and knishes, like back in the day!

Sunday, I had to return a movie to Blockbuster (Ghost Ship: disappointingly blah, not even Julianna Margulies could make it worth it. Think Event Horizon and Titanic without any of what made either of those good.) and decided I'd run into the comic book store next door to grab a couple of Batman back issues from the current Loeb/Lee run but it was closed. There's at least two on Central Avenue, though, and the other one I know of was on the way back to Hartsdale so I stopped on in. Didn't have any old Batman but I did pick up two more issues of the new Micronauts run plus issue 35 of the original Marvel series which has the origin of the Microverse. It was weird digging through the boxes of old comics and recognizing all of the random titles I used to buy: Dazzler, ROM, Groo. Still no Moon Knight, though! Captain Carrot: yes. Moon Knight: no. What the hell is that about?!?!

Anyway, I felt a little guilty after I bought them and was figuring out how I was going to sneak them in the house. Felt like a crackhead! In the end, I showed Salomé because I was so excited that I got the Micronauts back issue for only $1.00.

Next thing you know, I'll be playing Dungeons & Dragons again...

Monday, June 2, 2003

We've said it before but I really think THIS TIME, we've found a place we'll be staying in for a while. Stopped in on Saturday to take measurements and they were almost finished with everything. The master bedroom and living room are bigger than we've ever had, plus the separate dining room is a nice extra. Hardwood floors throughout, lots of closet space, lots of sunlight. Going to paint on Friday, head down to VA to get our stuff out of storage over the weekend and move in on Monday morning. Can't wait!

If there's any store that I should own a piece of by now, it's IKEA. The Elizabeth, NJ one, to be specific. I've furnished some portion of every apartment I've lived in since 1995 with IKEA products. This weekend, we went a little crazy with new bedroom and living room sets, plus a few rugs and other knick-knacks. Got the kids the coolest little picnic table ever. Then, we hit Home Depot and dropped stupid money on paint. Paint is expensive. Custom colors are ridiculously expensive. I'm convinced it's not included in the redesign budgets on Trading Spaces. No way they do what they do with only $1000 AND pay for paint. Definitely not the brushes and stuff!

Only got into one argument over how much everything cost! Go ahead, call me cheap. It's true. I can take it.

Note to the world: I hate Verizon. Shady bastards and their "Freedom Package!" Any coincidence that the voice of Darth Vader is their pitchman? All they did was jack the prices up on individual services, making it cost-prohibitive to get anything other than the full deal. On top of all that, they can't get us service until JULY 17th?!?! If cable internet were available in our building, I'd go with that and not even get a phone, just stick with our cells. At least in Virginia there was an alternative provider (Cavalier) that was pretty good and much cheaper. Of course, there's no alternative to Cablevision, either, so it's not like the cable route is that much better.

In other news, I'm going to 13 tonight, unexpectedly, as I won't be able to make Acentos next week because of the move. Want to catch Bonafide while he's in town and it's the only option. The collective meeting was this weekend (no, I didn't go) and I was a little annoyed to find out that the June 23rd reading - Mara's feature - got turned into a womanNOISE instead of letting me host it like I'd asked when I stepped down. Most annoyed that I found out by checking the schedule instead of being told first. Whatever. Curious to see if they'll pull off the women's organization-collaboration that I'd insisted on if the format continued, or if it's just back to the usual unadorned pseudo-womancentric read. House of Woman was great in the beginning when we were evolving from the male-dominated Nuyorican scene but I think we've come way beyond that as female voices have been one of our strong suits from early on.

Whatever. I need to learn to stop saying "we."


Hold the phone! Decided to call Cablevision to confirm our lack of internet options and it turns out that it IS available in our building. Ironically, they just haven't updated THEIR web site. Screw Verizon, then! We'll stick with our cell phones for now. Which happens to be Verizon Wireless... Bastards!