Monday, December 11, 2006

SNL Skewers Mel Gibson


(NOTE: I still plan to see the movie, though.)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

My New Reality

It's been 2.5 months now since I made the transition from marketing to sales, and so far, despite the exponentially increased workload and almost total lack of free time, I'm still pleased with the decision.

It was admittedly a bit nerve-wracking to leave behind 13+ years of experience on one side of the fence to effectively go put my money where my mouth was, but having my first signed contract for 2007 roll off the fax yesterday -- a $329k schedule for Cover 2 in all of our print products -- eased that tension a bit. :-)

This afternoon, my ad director sent this out to our sales team in an email titled: Sales Expense Compliance

Let it load and fast forward past the first 45 seconds of credits. Someone had way too much time on their hands, but it's quite funny and spot on!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Call me muy lame-o!

So, I'm in Boston with a free night, an expense account and my first appointment tomorrow not until 10am and a mere three blocks away from my hotel and I...

1) Walked 5 blocks over to Faneuil Hall and had dinner at a divey Mexican restaurant I could afford on my own;

2) Rushed back to my room to catch Grey's Anatomy.

I am a disgrace to the sales profession!

Earlier in the day, I got lost several times while navigating via Hertz' NeverLost GPS, which tends to not work well when it can't pick up its signal, like when you're underground, or say, when you're driving through parts of Boston that happen to be -- wait for it -- underground. The name, "NeverLost", is a smart bit of literal marketing, as you will never truly get lost while using it, but you will often find yourself backtracking for missed turns, or worse, driving a few miles further out of your way while it recalculates your route when its directions don't account for detours.

Fun times!

All three appointments were productive, both for potential business and for my own comfort level with the job. I still have days, many of them, when I question my decision to move over to sales, so much of it hinging on a part of my personality that takes a lot of effort to bring to the fore. Contrary to popular belief, I'm not really a people person; generally speaking, I prefer alone time to hanging out with other people. Unless there's alcohol involved, in which case, it's the exact opposite.

And yet, with a rather lively bar right downstairs, here I am sitting in my hotel room, just having finished watching Grey's Anatomy, blogging about nothing.

C'est la vie.

Two more appointments tomorrow, a bunch of proposals to put together before Thanksgiving, and the slowly growing sense that this job is going to work out all right. I think...


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Life of a Salesman and other stuff

Heading up to Boston tomorrow (8am flight!) for five meetings in two days, pitching the two magazines that really attracted me to the position in the first place. (There's five I sell for altogether, but three of them are pretty well established and don't have as much new ground to break.) Two existing clients, one newish client (my first sale) and two brand-spanking new ones. If I can pull some solid business from at least two of them for 2007, it will be a successful trip, worth the stress and inconvenience being away from home during the week causes.

Did I mention the 8am flight? How about not being able to check in to my hotel before my first appointment, so being fully suited up for my 6am car service?

Getting the appointments was tough thanks to conflicting schedules and the distances between most of my prospects up there, and getting anyone out for dinner proved impossible. Only one of my appointments is actually in Boston, the rest in the suburbs as far away as 30 miles west. I suspect Jet Blue, Hertz, NeverLost and I are going to become well acquainted over the next several months. I'm really tempted to try and score a Mustang, and if someone rented Mini Coopers, I'd be all over that!

In other life news, Monday before last I randomly stopped in at 13 after a couple of drinks with the guys from PCS and had a blast, ending up hosting the second half of the open mic, covering Roger's "Blue Sex Prodigy" and kicking an oldie of my own, "Running Bases", Taylor Mali-style, reading it off of my Blackberry. It's a weird feeling, missing something but knowing you can never really go back to it; sort of like a recovering alcoholic who sneaks a sip now and then.

My new favorite song:

Check them out on MySpace:

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Catch of the Year!

"The strength to be there."


11:52pm Update:

Shit! Losing sucks, but you have to go down swinging, not staring at strike three. Shit!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Random Thoughts and a Flashback

Work's starting to develop a rhythm; staccato, perhaps, but a rhythm, nevertheless.

I haven't stepped on a scale to confirm it, but my pants have been telling me I've gained back the 10+ pounds I lost over the summer. The bike I got for my birthday has been used twice since August, and the elliptical bike we bought last month is already a clothes hanger. There simply isn't time for exercising.

As a Mets fan, I was hoping the A's would pull out the ALCS, but as a baseball fan, I'm glad Detroit won. Now if only the Mets can get right and knock off the Cardinals. The last time they made the World Series, in 2000, Isaac was born the night they won their only game.

Nice little flashback, this:

Monday, October 2, 2006

Me, Interviewed

It's been a while since the tables were turned and someone interviewed me, but Bloggasm's Simon Owens seemed to think I had something to offer, doing a little research beforehand and asking some really interesting questions.

Get to know me a little better: Interview with Guy LeCharles Gonzalez from Comic Book Commentary

In other news, my return to regular blogging is at least a few weeks away, and may be further pre-empted by NaNoWriMo.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Where'd You Go?

Does anyone even read this thing any more?

For the three or so of you who are still checking in, a quick update: I finally found a new job! After 14 years in various types of publishing-related marketing, I'm stepping up to the next rung on the ladder and moving into sales.

No, it's not American Express redux! I can think of a million better ways to have my soul die a death of a thousand cuts and I have no interest in revisiting those particular depths.

It's the northeast territory for a group of publications I've been doing marketing for for the past 2+ years, so it's an internal transition that has been a glowing example of why you're sometimes better off quitting and reapplying for a job instead! On the plus side, I got to keep my previous salary as my base, which is way better than I'd have gotten elsewhere, as I technically have no prior sales experience. (Most people don't realize that selling financial planning in a lower-middle class region mere months after 9/11 is fifty times harder than most other types of sales, not to mention the thick skin a few years of knocking on doors as a Jehovah's Witness helps develop!)

Anyhow, I officially started today and it's perfect timing as it's the beginning of the selling season for 2007. It also means I'm going to be busy as hell for the next month or two as I have a couple of major conferences to go to in Vegas and Nashville, plus have some regional traveling to do to meet with my major clients and prospects. Boston, Philadelphia, Ann Arbor, I'm looking at you all in particular.

One of the most intriguing things about the move is that in publishing these days, especially in B-to-B, the path to Publisher goes through sales not editorial. The idea's pretty crazy considering I fell into publishing via my first post-Army temp assignment back in October 1993, but ever since then, I've had aspirations of setting up my own publishing company.

Sometimes I believe that things really do happen for a reason...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Muthaf**kin' Snakes!

It was everything I hoped it would be! Instant cult classic!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Friday, August 18, 2006

Celebrity Look-Alikes

I don't know some of these people, and a couple of them are a serious reach, but it's kind of interesting. (via Phil)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Come on ride the trains...

What trains of the world have you been on? (via Adam)

Got at!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

Come drink with me tonight at Botanica, 7:30pm - until...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Parent's Day at Summer Camp

Isaac's Day Camp held its Parent's Day today, busing a sweaty microcosm of the Bronx up to the woods of Pearl River for a few hours to see how much fun the kids are having every day, and why they fall asleep so easily at bedtime! Isaac was already in the pool for their morning swim when we arrived, and I caught about 15-20 minutes of him happily holding his breath underwater and splashing around, and reluctantly learning how to float with and without a boogie board. He was easy to find in the midst of a ton of kids because of his bright green goggles.

After the swimming, all of the parents joined their kids' respective groups and spent the next four hours hanging with them as congregated at their morning pow wow for announcements and camp songs,

...a game of tee ball, where I had flashbacks to our softball game Monday night (which we lost 14-10, with me contributing three errors at shortstop when my arm inexplicably went dead and going only 1-4 at the plate),

Our Retirement Plan
...and after a lunch break we hit the drama tent where they warmed up with a goofy song and then pretended to make a big group cake, including acting like chickens and laying the eggs.

After a bathroom break, it was time for a game I'd never seen before, where everybody gathers around what seemed like a rainbow parachute, flapping it up and down, bouncing a ball back and forth, attempting to get it to a specific person.

At one point, it was Isaac's turn to get the ball, and I snapped a picture a split second before he got it...right in the face!

He was okay, though, shaking it off and getting right back into the game.

After a water break, it was time for the parents to head out, and apparently many of them hadn't read the info the camp had sent home about the day because I heard several complaints about either not being able to take their kids home with them early, or not being able to stay the entire day. There were actually quite a few complainers I overheard throughout the day, including one mother saying she'd only sent her kid for half the summer because "who wants to be running around in the woods all day." Because hanging out in the humid concrete jungle is preferable?

I'm glad things worked out the way they did with our tax refund coming when it did and Salomé's job change happening after we'd already paid for the camp because Isaac's having a blast, and more importantly, his willingness to try new things and be more extroverted is getting a nice boost. My biggest concern about him, especially as small as he is, is that he'd hit public school and be marked as an easy target because of his shyness and seemingly random fear of new things. Even though he hasn't met anyone who will be going to his new school like I'd hoped, his experiences this summer will definitely put him in a much better position for a comfortable transition and give him the confidence to tackle new things without fear.

Days like this make me feel old, but in a good, proud father kind of way. :-)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

They Said it Wouldn't Last!

Salomé and I celebrate our 8th anniversary today!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hot Butter on Breakfast Toast

The company softball season is rolling along, and after a tough loss last night we are now 4-2, with three games remaining in the regular season. Last two games I played center field and moved up to the second spot in the batting order and have done quite well. Plan on switching back to SS, though, as the main field we play on is rather small and you don't so much as play center field as you play the fence most hits end up clanging off of.

Through five games (I missed our first game of the season), I'm 6-13 (.462) with 2 doubles, 1 triple, 2 walks, 5 runs scored and 5 RBI. Graig Nettles would be proud. ;-)

PS: David Wright is going to make NYers forget that A-Rod guy by the end of this season. They won't even bother booing him anymore, they'll just chant "MVP! MVP!" and everyone will know who they're talking about.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Renaldo Balkman

I'm not a big basketball fan, and I stopped following the Knicks after Jeff Van Gundy left town, but this was funny:

9:36 -- There are those moments in sports when you expect something great, and then it actually happens. And then there are those rare moments in sports when you expect something great, and something even greater happens. This was one of those moments: The Knicks on the clock, the crowd pushing for Marcus Williams, and then ...

--Stern: "With the 20th pick, the New York Knicks select ... Renaldo Balkman."

(Crowd explodes in horror.)

--Stern (over the boos): "Renaldo is not here."

--Patrick (without missing a beat): "And it's probably a good thing."

(Shot of a beaten-down Spike Lee laughing hysterically.)

9:36 -- That was fantastic. Everyone kept e-mailing me to write about Isiah and the Knicks last week ... what else was there to say? OF COURSE Isiah was meant to coach this team as his final job in the NBA before retiring to a life of greeting people at casinos and doing informercials. If somebody clogs your toilet, you ask him to clean up the mess. That's just the way life works. I'm telling you, we're going to remember the Isiah/Knicks Era the same way we remember things like Enron, the Hindenberg and the Bay of Pigs. It's reached that level. I don't know what else to say. Honestly. I have Knicks fans e-mailing me every day asking me if it's OK to root against their own team. What else can you say at this point?

(Wait, I know ... Renaldo Balkman!)
At least Yankee fans will have someone to feel better than during the offseason when they miss the playoffs this year and the Mets win it all!

Me, Me, Me Meme

1. What time did you get up this morning?

2. Diamonds or Pearls?

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
X3: The Last Stand

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Grey's Anatomy

5. What did you have for breakfast this morning?

6. What is your middle name?

7. What is your favorite cuisine?
I like a wide range of food, but I got in trouble last time for not saying "Anything my wife cooks." ;-)

8. What foods do you dislike?
Weird textures, especially mushy stuff.

9. Your favorite Potato chip?

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment?
The last mix CD I made.

11. what kind of car do you drive?
1998 Plymouth Breeze

12. Favorite sandwich?

13. What characteristics do you despise?
Wishy washiness and insincerity.

14. What are your favorite clothes?

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Isla Mujeres, Mexico

16. What color is your bedroom?
Sage, I think?

17. Favorite brand of clothing?
Old Navy

8. Where would you want to retire to?
Isla Mujeres, Mexico

19. Favorite time of day?
Early morning, right before waking up.

20. Where were you born?
New York, NY

21. What is your favorite sport?
Football and baseball equally.

22. Who do you least expect to send this back?
See final answer...

23. Person you expect to send it back first?
See final answer...

24. Coke or Pepsi?
Dr. Pepper

25. Are you a morning person or night owl?
Night owl

26. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with everyone!
Isaac started summer camp yesterday and Salomé's going to become a special ed teacher.

27. What did you want to be when you were little?
A lot of things, but writer was the most enduring.

28. What is your best childhood memory?
My memory sucks.

29. What are the different jobs you've had in your life?
Paper boy, library page, everything from busboy to bartender to short-order cook, bank teller, mechanic and parts clerk, circulation manager, emcee, writer, membership manager, financial planner, marketing manager, editor.

32. Eye Color?

33. Ever been to Africa?

34. Ever been toilet papering?

35. Been in a car accident?

36. Favorite day of the week?

37. Favorite restaurant?
Too many to name, but I've been itching to go back to Esperanto.

39. Favorite fast food restaurant?

40. How many times did you fail your driver's test?

41. Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail?
I get way too many emails to keep track of which came last.

42. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
Midtown Comics

44. Who are you most curious about their responses to this questionnaire?
Anyone who takes the time to respond

45. Last person you went to dinner with?'s been a while; most likely Salomé.

46. What are you listening to right now?

47. What is your favorite Color?

48. How many tattoos do you have?

49. When is your birthday?
August 16, 1969

50. How many people are you sending this Email to?
None, but if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged. ;-)

Monday, June 26, 2006

What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

Your Birthdate: August 16

You're incredibly introverted and introspective. You live inside your head.

You spend a lot of alone time meditating and thinking.

People see you as withdrawn, and at times they are right.

You are caring and deep, but it may be difficult for you to show this side of yourself.

Your strength: Your original approach to thinking

Your weakness: You tend to shy away from others

Your power color: Pale blue

Your power symbol: Wavy line

Your power month: July

5 Things Tagomeme

Via Salomé; now consider yourself tagged!

5 things in my refrigerator:
1. Nestlé Quik Chocolate Syrup
2. Nathan's Brown Mustard
3. Gallon water dispenser
4. Assorted chocolate candies
5. 4 bottles of Heineken

5 things in my closet:
1. Shirts
2. Pants
3. Shoes
4. Comic books
5. My old Vectrex system

5 things in my pursebag:
1. Gameboy Advance SP
2. MP3 player
3. Composition notebook
4. Cell phone
5. Plastic baggie w/baby wipes

5 things in my car:
1. 2 Children's car seats
2. Stroller
3. 2 Folding lawn chairs
4. Isaac's Grow to Pro 3-in-1 Baseball Trainer
5. One each of Isaac and India's first sneakers

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Isaac the Graduate!

Isaac graduated from kindergarten last Wednesday, and thus ends his indoctrination into Catholicism! Next year...public school.

Seriously, though, as much as I hated their incessant nickel-and-dime fundraising (we drew the line at the not-so-nickel-and-dime $25 raffle tickets!) and their tendency to close because it was snowing in Pennsylvania, Isaac learned a lot this year. He can read on his own, has some basic math skills, and survived being the smallest kid in his class. It'll be interesting to see if he notices any significant differences switching to public school. He certainly won't miss the daily prayers!

Bonus footage: Hot Mom!

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Rolling With the Punches

That's pretty much my rule of thumb when it comes to life in general: roll with the punches and wait for an opening to land your own, and when you do, make it a good one. Sometimes, though, life delivers a vicious flurry and you just need put up your dukes and start hitting back or you'll get knocked out.

I'm developing a plan for the rest of the year that will culminate in my not only participating in NaNoWriMo this year, but going into January 2007 with a completed manuscript ready for submission. To where, I have no idea, but first things first, yes?

Two good things to relieve stress: a game of softball (preferably one you win), and post-game Two Boots pizza with a cold bottle of Magic Hat #9.


EDIT: Coincidentally, I'm wearing #9 this season, representing my all-time favorite Yankee, Graig Nettles. Didn't make the connection when I first posted this!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


The problem with blogging so infrequently is that things pile up to the point where there's just too much to cover and I end up not covering anything. Bleh.

Long story short, things change, all the time, and sometimes there's the sense that there's a reason for it, a master plan, and other times, it seems random as a three-legged dog ordering a drink at your favorite bar.

The "Dream Apartment" in Inwood fell through last month as our credit, which isn't great but is good enough to get a mortgage at a decent rate, wasn't good enough to get into the building. Yes, we can borrow $300k, but we can't rent a $2000 apartment. WTF?

So we decided to stay put in the BX, signing a two-year lease that will keep us relatively stable until India's ready for Kindergarten, and wondering what the next curve ball would bring. As if on cue, Salomé changes jobs, accepting what seemed to be the best of the three offers on the table, only to find out she'd been sold a Volvo when she was in fact getting a Kia. Plan C = NYC Teaching Fellows, which comes with a significant pay cut, some serious belt-tightening and a hint of some light at the end of the tunnel. Coincidentally, it also means staying put for two years while she completes the program, a program that would have been out of reach if we'd gotten the apartment in Inwood.

Things change, sometimes for a reason.

As for me, I'm in limbo and not particularly thrilled with it. That Plan C offers the possibility that, in a few years, we can move from the area again with one of us having a transferable career is a good thing, making the necessary sacrifices a bit more bearable. At the same time, a few more years of sacrificing for a vague end result that will undoubtedly include its own set of compromises is more like looking forward to Thanksgiving than Christmas.

Days like this I wish I had simply gone to school for something tangible, like marketing or accounting, instead of doing the pseudo-creative thing, sowing my oats and opting for life experience over resume experience. I've pretty much hit the ceiling in marketing, a career I fell into rather than chose, and would have to complete my BA to move any further, an unlikely thing before Plan C, but is now a definite no-go.

More and more, I'm tempted by the idea of going into sales, but loathe the idea of starting in Classifieds and doing most of my work over the phone.

And, of course, there's my writing, which despite the comics stuff keeping the juices flowing, is feeling more and more like the red-headed stepchild in my life.

Some things never change, presumably for a reason.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Pedro & Us; plus, Good News Coming?

I've been off since last Thursday and am returning to work tomorrow, wisely taking an extra day to recover with a day all to myself. Yesterday morning, Salomé and I both headed in to our respective jobs to get some paperwork we needed for the "Dream. Apartment." application. Since Isaac had a podiatrist appointment that she was taking him to in the afternoon -- poor kid's inherited my flat feet, possibly even worse than mine -- she took him with her while I dropped India off at school on my way in. While I was at work, I received an email from the Mets promoting last night's game, with Pedro Martinez going for his 200th win in their first matchup of the season against the Braves, and decided Isaac and I just had to go to the game! Scored some decent Upper Box tickets on the 3rd base side, a few sections over from where we sat on Saturday, and then Googled free WiFi spots in the City and ended up chilling in Bryant Park for an hour or so before heading home.

The game was great -- though cold and windy as hell throughout --as Pedro was much more crafty than dominant, Nady and Delgado popped the big apple in center field with home runs, and Billy Wagner sent the crowd into a frenzy when he entered the game in the ninth inning with Enter Sandman blasting from the speakers. It's the specific situation he was brought in for, to close the Braves out, and he pitched a perfect inning to seal the deal and send us all home happy and optimistic that this really is "The Team. The Time."

In other news, today's horoscope cuts very close to home:

LEO: Keep your cell phone charged and check your email often today. You're likely to receive good news about your career or a financial matter. A friend may give you a heads-up on a job opening, or you may hear that a mortgage or loan you've applied for was approved. Your luck today may seem tandom, but if you think about it, you'll realize it is the result of your recent good work.
Papa likes!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Ignoring the kind of luck it takes to catch only their second loss in 10 games, today's Mets game was a blast as Isaac and I -- along with evil Dan, Yankee fan and official bad luck charm! -- enjoyed some great weather out at Shea Stadium, decked out in sorta-matching Mets gear.

While it wasn't his first baseball game, it's probably the first one he'll really remember, and it was definitely the first time he asked questions about how to play. He wasn't even one yet when we went to the first post-9/11 game, sleeping through Piazza's home run and the uproar that followed it; and we went to a couple of games down in Virginia to see the Norfolk Tides play, the summer before he turned two years old, but that's the minor leagues, and other than India's birth, 2002 has pretty much been scratched from our mental hard drives.

Major League Baseball was celebrating Jackie Robinson Day, commemorating the day Robinson crossed the foul line onto the playing field as the first African-American "professional" baseball player. (Yeah, because the only reason the Negro Leagues weren't "professional" is because a bunch of white guys said/say so.) Robinson's widow, Rachel, was there; the Christ Tabernacle Youth Gospel Choir performed, including an excellent a capella rendition of the national anthem, a song that always gets to even my cynical ass; and Adriana Lee, a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar from Rutgers University, who threw out the first pitch to Carlos Delgado.

I had no idea when I bought the tickets on the spur of the moment yesterday, having been inspired by the weather forecast and the realization that, if Isaac's going to be buying us a nice house in 20 years off of his fat baseball contract, I need to get him into the sport ASAP. Even though he hates watching it on TV -- like his mother -- he had a pleasant enough time at the game, bored here and there as even I get sometimes, but when I put him to bed a few minutes ago, he said he had fun and wanted to go again. Fortunately, he does like to actually play -- at one point during the game, he asked he if could go down on the field and play -- so as soon as we get ourselves re-settled again, I want to get him into Little League.

Speaking of re-settled, just when we thought we were staying put for another couple of years, it looks like we'll be moving this summer after all. Since we want to stay in the City for as long as India needs/qualifies for the school she's currently in, and our long-standing day care is disappearing as of June 2nd, we decided to look into taking the plunge and moving into Manhattan and a better school system. Surprisingly, Inwood is still relatively affordable -- assuming you can handle the initial $$$hit of getting past the brokers and/or supers who act as gatekeepers to the neighborhood -- and we just may have found our dream apartment yesterday, pending credit and income approval.

Dream. Apartment.

Hopefully more news on that late next week.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Yeah, Sounds About Right

I Am A: Chaotic Good Half-Elf Ranger Thief

Chaotic Good characters are independent types with a strong belief in the value of goodness. They have little use for governments and other forces of order, and will generally do their own things, without heed to such groups.

Half-Elves are a cross between a human and an elf. They are smaller, like their elven ancestors, but have a much shorter lifespan. They are sometimes looked down upon as half-breeds, but this is rare. They have both the curious drive of humans and the patience of elves.

Primary Class:
Rangers are the defenders of nature and the elements. They are in tune with the Earth, and work to keep it safe and healthy.

Secondary Class:
Thieves are the most roguish of the classes. They are sneaky and nimble-fingered, and have skills with traps and locks. While not all use these skills for burglary, that is a common occupation of this class.

Solonor Thelandria is the Chaotic Good elven god of archery and the hunt. He is also known as the Keen Eye, the Great Archer, and the Forest Hunter. His followers respect nature, and only hunt when needed, but are quick to defend the forest from intruders. Their favorite weapon is the bow, and they tend to be extremely talented with it. Solonor Thelandria's symbol is an arrow with green fletchings.

Find out What D&D Character Are You?, courtesy ofNeppyMan (e-mail)

Anniversary Time!

Wow! Three years and eight years, respectively. Crazy shit!

Tuesday, March 28th @ 7:00pm
featuring TRIO CON CUATRO,
plus a Showcase of past features from the series' three year run,
With a special performance by SAHELI

Our anniversary fiesta promises to be off all chains possible! Come check out a special presentation of the premier Latino and Latina poetic voices from the first three years of Acentos, including Rachel McKibbens, Carlos Andrés Gómez, John Rodriguez, Mahina Movement, and many more! You'll also be treated to a special set by the amazing voices of Saheli...after which, we'll top off the evening with the Llanera-Soul rhythms of Trio Con Cuatro.

Preceded as always by the Uptown's best Open Mic, and featuring DJ Geko Jones on the 1's and 2's, all in our brand new theater space at the Bruckner! Come through and join our familia for an unforgettable anniversary celebration.

And don't forget: the start time is 7pm SHARP!

ACENTOS @ The Bruckner Bar & Grill
1 Bruckner Boulevard (Corner of 3rd Ave)
6 Train to 138th Street Station
Hosted by Rich Villar
FREE! ($5 Suggested Donation)

Coming from Manhattan: Exit by the last car on the 6. Take the exit to your left, go up the stairs to your right to exit at Lincoln Avenue. Walk down Lincoln about 5 blocks to Bruckner Blvd, turn right on Bruckner past the bike shop, the Bruckner Bar & Grill is on the corner. For more directions, please call 718.665.2001

louderARTS: the reading series
celebrates EIGHT YEARS of poetry and performance
at 13 Bar/Lounge (35 E. 13th St., Union Square)

Monday, April 3, 2006
7 p.m.
$5 ($4 for students)


… with showcase poets including Patrick Rosal, Patricia Smith, Bassey Ikpi, Tara Betts, Samantha Raheem, Roger Bonair-Agard, Lynne Procope, Marty McConnell, Laura Moran, Emily Kagan, Rich Villar, Mara Jebsen, Oscar Bermeo, Abena Koomson, Elana Bell, Matthew Charles Siegel, Scot Williams, Raymond Daniel Medina, music by Rebecca Hart and more.

Since 1998, louderARTS has provided a nurturing and challenging community for NYC artists, showcased established and emerging poets, and set a standard for excellence in fusing the written and spoken word.

Kimiko Hahn is the author of seven books, "We Stand Our Ground," "Air Pocket," "Earshot," "The Unbearable Heart," "Volatile," "Mosquito and Ant," and "The Artist's Daughter." She received an American Book Award, an Association of Asian American Studies Literature Award, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award, and a Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize. She is a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and teaches in the English Department at Queens College/CUNY.

Thomas Sayers Ellis is the author of "The Good Junk" (1996), published in Take Three #1 (Graywolf 1996), as well as "The Genuine Negro Hero," (Kent State University Press, 2001); "The Maverick Room" (Graywolf 2005) and the forthcoming "Song On" (WinteRed Press 2005). An Associate Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) and a faculty member of The Lesley University low-residency M.F.A program. He co-founded The Dark Room Collective, and he has received fellowships from The Fine Arts Work Center, Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony. Mr. Ellis is a contributing editor of Callaloo literary magazine.

louderARTS' Monday reading series includes seven formats: SLAM, Pinion, louderEDGE, Raise the Red Tent, GrooveNation, OUTloud, and UPPERCASE. Each format incorporates an open mic and seeks to shape or expand the audience's understanding of poetry and the world in which we seek to create it.

For more information on louderARTS: the reading series, please visit, or email curator @

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Days Like These

So, Monday was a double dose of fun as Isaac's school called Salomé to let her know he was complaining about an earache which turned out to be the very early stage of an ear infection. Poor kid's had so many, he knew it right away; even the doctor said she might not have noticed it if not looking for it specifically. Later that night, in the parking lot of the Rite Aid where Salomé was picking up his prescription, I happened to look into India's school bag to check her communication notebook -- where her teachers and Salomé and I communicate about her progress -- and found a note about the rash on her ear, which we thought was eczema, asking whether or not it was ringworm. Folded into the notebook was a letter from the school warning about a ringworm outbreak and letting us know that any kid with ringworm would need a doctor's note clearing them to return.

Thank goodness for Dr. Julie! Having a pediatrician for a friend has gotten us out of a jam more times than I can count, and this time, at 7pm Monday night, she was able to check India's ear, write a prescription and a doctor's note, and limit her to only missing a day of school.

That was yesterday, which meant we got to sleep in while Isaac returned to school -- catching the ear infection that quickly meant he was good to go -- and Salomé went to work. I had to pick up her prescription at 10am, so we hung out relaxing for a couple of hours, did a little water painting and talking about animals, before getting dressed and heading out for a couple of hours. Snuck in an oil change and a car wash while we were out before returning home to a shitload of email that I still haven't caught up on.

Six months in to editing Buzzscope and I'm thisclose to stepping down. When it's fun, it's great, but more and more, it's becoming Work, which isn't fun. The redesign/relaunch still hasn't happened and content hasn't been posting as regularly as I'd like since there's one guy who handles all of that and he's been swamped. Some of our contributors are better than others about deadlines, and the amount of editing I have to do varies greatly, too. Late submissions + sloppy submissions make Guy an angry boy.

It's my fault, really, for once again jumping into something with both feet that I don't have full control over. Yes, I'm a control freak, that's not news, but when things break down and the causes are beyond my control, it gets frustrating. Especially when it's not really anyone's fault, per se. Shit happens, no one's getting paid for working on the site, so it's hard to be mad at anyone who chooses not to make it a priority. I'm getting to that point, where I now just go to bed instead of pushing through editing something that may not run on time anyway, and that's not fair to our contributors, especially the one's who get their stuff to me on time.

I also feel like I've crossed the line a bit and am more "connected" than I really want to be, privy to some of the more unpleasant aspects of an industry that eats its young and feeling increasingly frustrated and cynical about it all. It's like a kid tugging on Santa's beard too hard only to realize he's sitting on drunk Uncle Bob's lap and all of the fantasies he had about Christmas were lies. Not that extreme, of course, but yeah, frustration, disappointment, and a bit of boredom, which is the kiss of death.

It's the internet's fault, I think. Access to information is a great thing, but too much of anything can be, well, too much. And I'm an information addict so the internet is like a 24/7 open bar where I can rationalize the drinking as learning to bartend.

It's one of the reasons I blog here so infrequently these days. I don't really have anything interesting to say that Salomé's not saying better than I would, and the internet doesn't need yet another "Today really sucked..." blog.

So, yeah...yesterday didn't suck because India and I got to hang out, and we picked up Isaac a little early from after-school and he was pleasantly surprised to see his sister, which always brings a smile to my face. All things considered, we're doing a pretty good job raising them, which is a good bit of news in the midst of the other depressing, angsty shit we're going through.

Today, I'm back at work, still digesting the fact that my boss handed in an open-ended resignation last week, not to take another job elsewhere, but because she's burned out. Being a Director of Marketing who spends the majority of her time cutting budgets each month in order to maintain a profit margin, instead of, you know, marketing stuff, will certainly do that to you. The worst part is, what should totally be an opportunity for me to step up is reason #273 to get the hell out of dodge, as there's no way in hell I want her job as it currently exists, and am in no mood for the inevitable clusterfuck reorganization that looms on the horizon.

Apologies if this rambled as much as I think it did, but I don't have time to reread it. I figure at this point, if you're still checking this blog, it's because you're a friend who's emails I've not answered recently and are simply trying to stay in touch. Bless you for your tenacity!

PS: As much as I think Kevin Covais making it to the Top 12 was an embarassment for American Idol in an otherwise surprisingly strong season, there's a part of me that wants to see Ace Young voted off first. That falsetto of his makes me wince, and he's more boy band material than solo star. Also, what the hell was Paula on last night?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Is that Spring around the corner?

Yikes, I can't believe it's been a month since I last blogged! Here, at least.

Lots of things happening but I haven't really had the time or desire to blog about them. The kids are doing well; Salomé and I are once again in full-angst mode over our living and working situations; and I've reached a little bit louder-levels of busy with the comic book stuff.

The weather's finally improving and I can sense the winter blahs starting to fade a bit. Been a rough few months and the feeling that spring was taking forever to come was like a dark cloud hanging over everything. We hit the Bronx Zoo on Saturday for a much-needed day out, and then went crazy at the Mall with a little unplanned shopping therapy. Not unlike a night out drinking, it's fun in the moment, but damn the hangover when the receipts are added up later! All good, though; the simple fact that we could do it at all is a plus, considering this time four years ago we were on the verge of going extremely broke.

On the "big things changing" front, one door officially closed a couple of weeks ago; the second, and most favorite, seems to have closed, though I don't know for sure yet; and the third, my second favorite, feels like it might happen, details pending. Can't say more than that at this point.

Last night's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition reminded me how much I envy people of faith. The power of Guyism -- the belief that I can only rely on myself to get by, which sometimes leads to brief but severe moments of depression -- pales in comparison to that of other, more stable religions. I totally understand the need to believe in something greater than one's self, but my logical brain simply won't allow it.

In lieu of anything of substance, I leave you with this, swiped from Salomé, who is doing much better at the blogging thing than I am these days:

1. Would you say that you are good at keeping in touch with people?
Not in the least. I'm quite horrible at it, actually.

2. Which communication method do you usually prefer/use: email, telephone, snail mail, blog comments or meeting in person? Why?
Definitely email, though in light of the answer above, it's not ideal. In person, as long as it's someone I feel like talking to, is best.

3. Do you have an instant messenger program? How many? Why/why not? How often do you use it?
I tend to avoid IM as I'm usually working when I'm online and don't have the time to chat. GMail's adding chat has made that a bit more difficult recently.

4. Do most of your close friends live nearby or far away?
See next answer.

5. Are you an "out of sight, out of mind" person or do you believe that "absence makes the heart grow fonder"?
Totally "out of sight, out of mind." And you don't even have to be out of sight for all that long. That said, I do make an attempt to touch base with my best friends now and then, whether they are near or far.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Google Me

A co-worker/friend of mine is tracking himself through, trying to get his site listed as the number one search on Google, Yahoo! and MSN for his name. Out of curiousity, I manually searched my full name on each of the search engines to see what my years on the internet have reaped.

Google Top 5:

Comic Book Commentary

loudpoet productions

BUZZSCOPE :: Establishing Shots #4: One Year Later

Blogger: User Profile: Guy Gonzalez

louderARTS Project
I'm a little surprised by the last three searches as they seem rather specific, especially the Buzzscope column and my louderARTS page. I'd have expected my staff page on Buzzscope to have ranked higher than a specific column, but that column does include my Top 10 list for 2005 and had a lot of links to it so it illustrates the importance Google places on incoming links, but at the same time, it makes the Blogger profile and the louderARTS bio page seem odd as I doubt there's more than a handful of places those are linked from. Also suprising is the absence of this blog, my most consistently updated internet presence over the past 3 years, despite the recent lull.

Yahoo! Top 5:

Comic Book Commentary

pairNIC - Domain Name Registration guy stuff

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez: About

a little bit louder
My comics blog and personal site get top ranking here, too - though Yahoo!'s seemingly not updated the description since went down for a week last month when I was fixing my spam problem on the account - but the rest of the results differ greatly, not recognizing Buzzscope at all, and double-dipping on Most surprising is my old GeoCities site for a little bit louder ranking so highly, which must partly be due to Yahoo! owning GeoCities and ranking their pages a bit higher than they realistically should be.

MSN Top 5:

Blogger: User Profile: Guy Gonzalez
* guy stuff

Comic Book Commentary: Review: DEMO #1-12

BUZZSCOPE :: Establishing Shots #4: One Year Later

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez: Appearances
MSN comes in with the oddest rankings, with my Blogger profile on top of the list, and specific pages from the comics blog and Buzzscope beating out my personal site. Even weirder is that is represented by my appearances page, instead of the main page, the about page, or even the writing page which gets listed as a secondary result. MSN is also the only one that doesn't give direct props to my poetry-related sites.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Blog, I have forsaken thee...

Remember when I used to post every day, sometimes multiple times a day? Those were heady times, between the war and the elections and the poetry scene, etc. Nowadays, I don't think I'm even averaging one post a week.

Part of the reason is that comics have pretty much taken over the little bit of free time I have, so most of what I have to say these days either goes on CBC or Buzzscope. On the personal front, I've always been reluctant to get too personal here, and Salomé is doing a much better job of keeping people updated on our lives than I would anyway, so I'm not really sure what to do with this blog anymore.

I don't even have time for memes!

That said, still no news on that thing you've all got your fingers crossed for me, though I'm getting a sense that the odds have shifted against me as the playing field has shifted quite a bit from when it first came up. Straight out of Proverbs, though, it looks like as one door's closing, another might be opening, so keep those fingers crossed! This new thing would be huge; like dream come true huge!

I just realized that this bit of vague limbo I'm referring to is another reason I'm nt blogging much of late. This new thing would actually cause me to re-evaluate my blogging overall.

Cryptic enough for ya?

Pating shots:

1) Yay, Bettis! Seahwawks fans need to stop complaining about the refs. Good teams find a way to overcome that sort of thing.

2) Boo, Jets! What the hell is going on over there? Two dudes my age running the show? Talk about a rebuilding program! Another 10 years of cheering on somebody else's team in the Super Bowl.

3) Let's go, Mets! It's the 30th anniversary of the 1986 championship. This is the year, baby!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Oh, yeah...Frey!

I knew there was something I wanted to blog about recently. The Frey guy and his fictional memoir, A Million Little Lies, or something like that. Glad to see Oprah ripped him and his editor a new one over it.

Reminded me of the poetry debate we used to have over "fiction in the first person", and whether or not it was cool for poets to perform first-person tales of woe without clarifying the truthfulness of the content.

Noel Jones wins!


Yeah, that's all. Hit the comics blog if you want verbosity from me these days. :-P

No news is good news

...for the time being, at least. I'd say it's a 50/50 shot right now, which is actually a little better than what I thought a week or so ago. Keep those fingers crossed!

In other news, I need a vacation. And another 3 hours added to each day!


PS: Cleared out 12,000+ emails from my email this weekend, dating back to March 2005, when I abandoned it to an overload of spam. Caught a few emails of interest in my deleting frenzy, though - batches of 200, sorted by subject, made for some interesting anecdotal marketing research - including the fact that I am apparently a lifetime member of Poetry Slam, Inc! If you sent me anything there in the past year or so, I wasn't ignoring you...I never received it! Next up, a site redesign?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I Must Be Getting Old

...because I'm enjoying this can of Rheingold a little too much.


Ok, it's the third can, but all three have really good! :-O

PS: Keep those fingers crossed. I should be getting the good or disappointing news sometime next week.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Good Vibrations, Part II

That went well. Now it's cross your fingers time. Probably be two weeks before I know anything. :-)

Good Vibrations

If you catch this in time, at 10am EST, send some good vibes in my direction. Got a meeting that could result in a big personal change. :-)

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Farewell 2005

Don't let the door hit you... No, not really!

It's been a year of extreme ups and downs (and the downs were particularly rough), but the end result has been relatively positive. For the most part. I'm too lazy to shoot from the hip like Salomé did, and I already covered the comics side of things over at CBC, so here's a meme to wrap things up here:

1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before?
Dealt with an autistic child and the death of a close friend.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't recall making any specific resolutions last year, but I certainly acheived a couple of goals I set forth myself, while falling woefully short on several others. Probably do something similar this year, though with a few more lofty goals.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I've lost track, but Angelica was born this year, yes?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, Peter.

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
A new job, and a little more time to focus on my own writing. A house, perhaps.

7. What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 2nd, the day India was officially diagnosed as autistic.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Taking over as Buzzscope's Senior Editor back in October.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Getting very little of my own writing done.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
That armpit thing that brought 2004 to a screeching halt and kicked off 2005 on the wrong foot.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A print of Klimt's Salome, which I had framed, and gave to my Salomé for her birthday.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
India, for her rapid response to ABA therapy, and Isaac, for his handling of having to grow up a little bit quicker than he should have had to.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Anti-Union reactions to the TWU strike from NYers who should know better.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills. And the kids. And comics.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Taking over as Buzzscope's Senior Editor back in October.

16. What song will always remind you of 2005?
"Shake it Off," Mariah Carey

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? fatter
iii. richer or poorer? about the same

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
My own writing.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Already passed, but ideally, with Salomé and the kids alone for at least the first three hours.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
I don't like talking on the phone, so probably Salomé.

22. Did you fall in love in 2005?
Again, yes.

23. How many one-night stands?
As I said last year, with two kids, it's always like a one-night stand!

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nope. Hate's too tiring these days.

26. What was the best book you read?
Men of Tomorrow, Gerard Jones

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Rediscovering my favorite songs from the early 90s.

28. What did you want and get?
An MP3 player and Vs. cards.

29. What did you want and not get?
World peace.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Mad Hot Ballroom and Batman Begins

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Turned 36 and hung out with some close family and friends here at home.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Doing more of my own writing.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?
Simple and easy.

34. What kept you sane?
Comic books.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Fancy? I think George Clooney's a rather fascinating guy, but I "fancy" Shakira.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Hurricane Katrina

37. Who did you miss?
Peter, though I realized that too late.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005:
Being resilient isn't an option, it's a requirement.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"You can be the President, I'd rather be the Pope.
You can be the side effect, I'd rather be the dope."
--"Pope", Prince