Monday, December 20, 2004

Boy I'll tell you what.

Don't miss your flight. I got to JFK too late tonight. I had to come back to Queens. Now I gotta go back around 2am tonight to catch a flight at 7:00am.

The first lady gave me a lecture about getting too late. What was I doing getting to the desk forty minutes before the flight? I refused to answer her. I was late--I wasn't getting hysterical, why must she? She said there was nothing I could do. It was Christmas--there were no more flights. But I got back in line and talked to another lady who was much more helpful and friendly and she booked me a new flight.

If I can blog tomorrow night, I will. Because I will be so incredibly fucked-up with sleep deprivation.

I hate this blog entry. I will never do another like this. I swear.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

1st Annual Drunkest Blog on the Net Award Nomination

Here's my second nomination. I'll be keeping tabs on this fellow. I'll see how much an honest drunk he is. The winner of the Drunkest Blog on the Net will be a blogger who puts to best use either drunken-ness or the drunk lifestyle in the context of the blog medium. Ideally, the paradigm of Drunk meshes with the paradigm of Blogging to create a new mode of self-expression.

Nominate your favorite drunk-themed blog today!


with Tude.

I think this gal should meet this man. He might make her happy.

Maybe I'm going a bit crazy with the linking. If you have too many of them your blog becomes like a comic book where the speech-bubbles are speaking through the people.

I'm an Idiot Part 2

Aron Ralston has a book out.

I'm up early. Not too hungover.

There. I did the link right. I'm intrigued by the possibilities of ironic linking. Linking is blogging as editing is to film.

That's not really ironic linking. More like random linking.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Life or Limb

Okay. This is why I made this. I'm sick to my stomach. I'm not gonna puke. But I'm definitely drunk. DRUNK. The HERE AND NOW. I'm talking Hiking related amputations. Let's get serious here. I'm not a real hiker. I don't invision myself in a situation where I'd have to remove an extremity. Extremity in extremis. I got a piece of pizza at the Sicilian place off of Ditmars, and I burnt the roof of my mouth. Little dangly pieces of flesh.

There are crazy roommates afoot. In the city. In the boroughs.

Burroughs is derivative of Burgo. As in the Burgomeister. Burgos is the Spanish town I hope to be making my home in circa February to March 2005!

I was at the bar tonight. Ashley the bartender is going to Ireland; there was a karoake party in her honor. I just drank. Night.

First Annual Drunkest Blog of the Net Award

To be awarded on the night of the academy awards. I am taking nominations.

Upon a very casual googling I came across Drinking, Writing and Living in Greece. This is interesting to me because hopefully soon I will be Drinking, Writing and Living in Spain. I'm blogging too much sober. I need to stop. Sorry.

You are exponentially more likely to be hit by lightning in the backcountry than to be forced to amputate your arm.

Great Article on Saint Ralston and Perecki.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Here is another post about Aron Ralston. Maybe this page can become the official Aron Ralston blog. (Here is another article about him, by the way.) While we're talking about Mr. Ralston, let's talk about another gent. The Buster Keaton of the boulder-trapped amputees: Bill Jeracki. Ralston is my hero, but Jerecki is my talisman. (Jerecki is Old Testament worthy I believe!)

Six Myths about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict!

Here are the six myths.

This is to draw my line in the sand as regards to this particular conflict.

(Oh yes, I'm an atheist too. Though I'm Jewish.)

I'm such an idiot

When you're a blogger, you link like this:


Thursday, December 16, 2004

"It is unfortunate that one individual would choose to flaunt air regulations"

This really is one of the great stories of our time. Something about it is just transcendently great.

I know I linked it before. But I just had to link it again. As they say, in our age, linking makes it real. Well, I'm trying to make it doubly real.

Read Thomas Bernhard and listen to The Velvet Underground to make more real.

(Incidentally, the other great story of our time is the story of the guy who had to cut his arm off when he got trapped on a hike in the country cause he got said arm trapped beneath a boulder. I am actually am friends with a guy who knows that guy. You know the guy I'm talking about. He was on David Letterman one night. The guy I'm talking about video-tapped himself before and after the severance. But they only showed a little bit of the before part on Letterman's show. Fifth and final beer. Night.)

Here's the link:

Aron Ralston's the name. The guy went to school with a guy named Kirk Morgan, who I met on the bus in Seattle. We befriended; we went camping together and had barbecue. Kirk's girlfriend is Shernan, who went to a school in Nebraska, where, incidentally, the daughters of my High School English teacher Mr. Gerkin went to.

Just watch out for those Jimjams.

my first comment

is from somebody named shadowlane...

This is my favorite post from her so far:

Oh yes.

Another thing.

Ah, forget it.

I don't remember what I was going to blog about

Oh yes. How could I forget? (Except for the fact that I'm on my fourth beer...) I am very angry. Very angry about the political situation. I was reading political blogs before I knew what a goddamn blog was. I can't stop reading Atrios, for instance. I feel so stupid sitting here typing away into ether nothingness. But it is better than just reading, I guess. I wish Kerry was president. Even if Cheney's assassination task force was all set to take him out. Some manchurian Oswald type all ready to kill the New England Grin. I am filled with some sort of despair, the despair of not knowing how they would have TAKEN DOWN Kerry. If only Bush had lost, then instead of plotting the world's doom, they would have just figured out more ways of besmirching Democrats. But now the world is doomed. At least in the immediate future. And what a coincidence! The rest of my lifespan happens to occur in the immediate future! Hence my anger! (What an egoist I am! What a fucking jerk! Meta-jerk at that!)

A thing about hawks. Hawks in NY. There's been stories on the news about hawks being kicked out of their snazzy perches. I don't know in their upper west or east what have you's. Anyhow, these birds were being kicked out of their whatevers. Hell, this is the great thing about blogs, you don't ARTICULATE, you LINK:

Even a drunk can paste.

A digression: I looked up on google for these damn hawks and I found this instead:

This is about a man who shipped himself to Texas from New York. I want to talk about this in a later post. Just a reminder for myself!

Anyway, back to the hawks. So these hawks were going to be kicked out of their fancy homes, but these New Yorkers mounted this huge protest and so now the hawks don't have to go anywhere?

Hold on. I'm going to get another beer. (Thanks to Jason. Who is in Brooklyn right now with his girlfriend Wendi. Love Wendi. She's great. Both Wendi and Jason are great. But to the beer...)

Okay. Beer retrieved. Back to the post. So what about the homeless? You get the message. Who's mounting a huge protest to re-home the homeless?

It is fucking freezing in New York. I guess people do what they can.

Something else I was going to say.

I won't blog every night. I'm not that much of a drunk!

Oh yes. The Velvet Underground. I am listening to the Velvet Underground. So should you. As my friend Leslie would say, I'm a little obsessed with the Velvet Underground. We can mention people's names on a blog post? I love how it says "Publish Post" on the blogger interface. I've always wanted to be published. Is that too meta?

I was reading a film theory book today and Truffaut said that the future of film was the uber-personal. Many of his generation, their early films were depictions of their youth. 400 Blows and all that. I don't know if it is true. The American mainstream seems to be going that way: Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (not a film, but au courant), Tarnation etc etc. But Truffaut also called Werner Herzog the greatest director of our time. (That would be in the 80's; coincidentally, the decade which Truffaut would die in.)

But that leads to me the best thing I came across today. A quote from Jean Renoir: "I hate the sanctity of suspense. It's a leftover from nineteenth-century romanticism."

If I ever see a book titled "The Sanctity of Suspense" I know they will have stolen it from my blog. And I will either sue you or kill you. Possibly both. Because I'm that kind of asshole.

Ooh! This is so fun! One more.

This semester I taught Maus I. Listen to me. This is the first real semester I ever taught. And I was just taking over for somebody who got sick. Well. Whatever the fuck. I have an MFA. I can teach how to write. Right? Anyhow, I was searching for bad blogging and I found this enlightening entry from a fellow blogger:

Blogs can change the world. If you can't see that, you are mediocre. That's my angry and sloppy take. (Wrong and late as usual!)

Disturbing the neighbors with my shocking politics

I'm going to post something I wrote after the election. I have so far drank three Harpoon IPA's and I've started on the Schlitz that Jason bought earlier this week. But here's the thing I wrote:

Waking the Neighborhood

Last night I had a little wake for the sake of our departing something or other. I made a mix CD of depressing/mournful music. There was a moment before the wake, before my friends arrived, sitting in the gloom when I felt like crying. I didn’t. But the feeling was pretty real. There was no Eulogy delivered but perhaps I should have written one. I would have talked about why I needed to do this. Why I had emailed my friends and offered my place for the evening. The why of it: We need to wallow for a moment. We must adequately Grieve. We must allow ourselves a moment to feel loss and sadness. This moment should not pass without meditation. We must savor our feelings so we may recognize them for what they are. So we may enshrine these feelings.

Is this a turning point? Possibly. Things certainly feel different. I feel a loss of innocence. (But how much innocence can one possibly lose in one’s lifetime?)

So my friends started showing up. It was really good to see them. And we did some shots of whiskey. It was really good to drink the whiskey, as Hemingway might say. I had thought earlier that week that maybe we should do a New Orleans-style procession with snare drum and trumpet. (I have the snare drum.) But by the time of the wake’s start I didn’t want to talk politics. I just wanted to enjoy the company, to fix drinks and drink them, moreover. But as the evening progressed and the alcohol took effect I had to release the tension of my mounting grief. I said it was time to go up to the roof and rail against the prevailing powers. To let the universe know we do not sanction this occurrence. We neither accept nor submit ourselves to our president. He is the enemy. I brought up the snare drum, others were armed with guitars and kazoos, and we yelled, we beat and we populated the night air with our anguish.

We yowled for a minute or so. And it felt good. We thought maybe we should do it again; we were about to but then someone spotted the cops. So we decided to go back inside. We did. Maybe five minutes later someone came in our apartment with a drawn pistol, both his hands were on it, steadily leveling and angling it just slightly downwards—tense and ready for action—the man said for everyone to raise our arms. Something like five cops spilled in after—half of them plainclothes. They started asking in their dumb, abrasive and nervous coptalk if we were up on the roof. Someone heard gunshots, apparently. My roommate Judson kept them at bay, telling them they had no right to be in here. That we hadn’t done anything wrong. And we denied even being on the roof. They searched the house—they seemed utterly convinced that one of us was hiding a gun—they knocked on my roommate’s room where he had been with his girlfriend. He emerged dazed; here we were; politically-wracked, grieving for our future, arms upraised and in a surreal stasis. A woman cop said we could lower our arms. A cop went up on the rooftop looking for the elusive gunman. Then, miraculously, the door swallowed up all the cops it had spit into my apartment and the nightmare was over.

Details emerged afterwards. Our friend Liz had been in the bathroom; she opened the door to a cop pointing a gun at her. Our friend Ero had been patted down—they seemed momentarily convinced that he was the gunman! He told me later that he had considered staying up on the roof but then changed his mind at the last moment. It was a decision that possibly saved his life. I feel tremendously guilty. It was my wake. I am the wakeman. I delivered no Eulogy. Only a loud burst of snare drum fire. I could not say anything with the cops in the room. I was already half drunk. I was angry. My anger is both cultivated and congenital; an irrational anger drawn from both sides of my family. I like my anger. It is a source of creativity and life. But it has its consequences. And then I froze when the cops arrived. I have always had a tremendous cop-fear. I am deathly afraid of getting pulled over when I am driving. And ever since 9-11 I have been having anxiety dreams about marshal law, about US tanks aiming their sights on my home. Blowing up my friends and family because I don’t agree with the government. Because I’m not blindly patriotic. Because I’m not for ruling the mid-east with an iron fist. Whatever. I mean, here I was lamenting the loss of something—I don’t want to say democracy—but let us say that I feel that Lady Liberty is on life support. I had said earlier in the evening that one of the possible things we were grieving about was the potential for future grieving: A shot economy; future terrorism inspired by the Iraqi revolution; more violent death directly or indirectly caused by US foreign policy; more tortured prisoners; and, perhaps, a loss of privacy via future Patriot Acts. And, just in case, I mean, let us suppose I wanted a hint of what we were potentially grieving about. We were provided with a concrete case of our diminishing freedoms. We walked a straight line and found the limits of our free society, to paraphrase Norman Mailer. Perhaps it was wrong to wake our neighbors. And maybe my angry drumming sounded like gunshots. But this is the time to make noise. If we do not surmount the Time of Apathy, then the Time of Tyranny will surmount us.

For the rest of the evening I was not in the mood for more politics. After an experience like that there was no more need for discussion. At least for me. The experience exemplified and epitomized everything we were grieving about. Subsequently, the grieving gave way to shock. Meditation had given way to numbness. Numbness all over again. Numb is what I felt on Black Tuesday, the day of the election. The evening had been soured; it had become profoundly uncarthartic. I saw no option but to guzzle Martinis. I was a terrible host. I passed out after smoking some pot. One regret of the evening is that my friend Debbie has a minidisk recorder and while the cops had paid their visit she had gone back to her apartment to go retrieve it. (She was going to record party conversations—it’s okay, she’s a composer not a voyeur. It is for the purposes of Art.) But she missed the whole episode. How great would it have been to have that whole interaction on audio? To hear the sounds of that suspended moment: the sound of no one breathing. I could have transcribed the coptalk, the diction of oppression, the dumbly articulated mandate of the claustrophobic mind. (If I sound prejudice towards Astorian cops, that’s because I am. Right now there is a case where an Astorian cop shot a teenager who worked at a deli. There has been no investigation; the entire affair is extremely suspect.)

I’ve yet to end my wallowing. Perhaps that’s dangerous for me because I am damn good at the long hard wallow. But this is wallowing with a purpose. I am wallowing over the same patch of Earth to mark this spot. This is the spot. In the past four years there have been too many defining moments. First there was the election of the idiot, then there was 9-11, then there was the militaristic call to arms (which was as traumatic to me as 9-11) and then there was that evening when we started raining superbombs on Baghdad—and then, crucially, what I thought at the time was the defining moment of my lifetime: Abu Ghraib. And it was all illusion. None of it mattered. There is no reality to these people. We have reached a profound level of non-reality. There is a total lack of discernible, relatable meaning in the spectrum of American Culture. This is the vertigo I am reeling in. I cannot know anything except that I felt like it was George Bush with the gun pointed at me. Fuck you, he says. Here I am, half-drunk, reeling with grief, I’ve assembled my friends and asked them to share my grief and have the police point guns at them just in case they felt their grief was too vertiginous to have any meaning. The guns say: Feel something new. This is why you are grieving. This new feeling you got when the gun is pointed at your chest. Cry.

Angry and Sloppy

I am both. Here is the here and now. I am typing this. But I'm not one of those meta-jerks. (Jerky about being a jerk? Maybe I am.) Anyhow, this is the deal. My MO is LATE and WRONG. So maybe I should have made my blog named ANGRY and WRONG. But it's too late. So...Wrong.

What's the deal. Who am I? Why do you care? Why do I care? That's what this site is for. We're gonna try and figure this shit out if it takes a whole drunken night. I don't have much to get drunk on. I have to go to New Jersey to teach my class tomorrow. Actually, I don't have to teach tomorrow. I just have to go collect papers.

Anyhow, this is just my drinking blog. I don't plan on having any profound sober thoughts here. Get the picture? Got the message? Stay sloppy and angry.