Sunday, October 29, 2006

I forgot about Friday

We had a meeting with a record label late in the afternoon, we met them at a recording studio in Hells Kitchen. We were ten minutes early even though I was sure we would be late and a storm was tickling the sky. The meeting went well, it was with a legendary house DJ, one who I have followed since his first, genre defining single. He had his managers with him, and one of the acts on his labels roster. There was weed everywhere and the room was cramped and hot. When we got up to leave he mentioned he was playing at a club that night and asked if I wanted to be on this list. I wrote my name down plus one. He said I’ll see you tonight and shook my hand. When we left the building it was drizzling in the street.

I had another date that night, to see a rock band at a bar in my neighborhood. They are a newly signed group with buzz build from blogs and on a cool record label from New York City. They are called Cold War Kids and the hype was right, they were amazing. I’d had a few drinks at home before my friend came to pick me up then I had another cocktail at the bar while I watched the Kids do their thing. I made conversation with people and nursed my drink responsibly. At about midnight I started saying my goodbyes. When I walked to the train the sky was pouring.

I got to the club at about 1.30. It used to be called Centrofly and was world renown as one of the planets hot spots. But it closed two years ago to much fanfare and an epic party in which Fat Boy Slim finished his set and was carried from the DJ booth in a coffin. Everyone was there. All the papers covered it. Now it is called Duvet and the drinks are $12. There are huge beds everywhere and people would sit and sip and lean into each other. The dance floor was covered in whirling lights, but people mostly just stood, I think the beds confused them.

The DJ’s manager tapped my shoulder and led me to the VIP DJ booth to hang out with them. There were couches and a fully stocked bar and a bouncer at the entrance in charge of a small velvet rope. I was nervous so drank quickly and kept refilling my drink as the night wore on. Hennessey neat. I don’t know what got into me. Eventually it was 4am and eventually I couldn’t see straight. But I was trying to keep on my game face because it was not fun but work and I cant look unprofessional in front of the stars and paparazzi. I mumbled something about how fun everything was and how great it sounded and that I hoped to hear from them soon. It was still raining hard when I huddled outside to light my cigarette before walking to the subway.

The car was empty and I stretched my feet out. About three stops in I rested my head on the window and let the raindrops pitter-patter lull me to sleep. That was a big mistake. When I lifted my head back up I was in Coney Island. Miles away from home. It was still raining and the station was outdoors. The air was cold and wet. I cursed myself. Kicked the wall. Held back tears of frustration. Still drunk, I smoked a cigarette and waited for the train back home. I fell asleep on that one too, but woke up at my stop and clamored through the closing doors. I honestly would have cried if I had missed my stop twice. On the walk home the rain had let up a little but a thick damp cloud hung in the street. Even so I trudged slowly, letting it soak me more. I don’t remember much after that.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Vintage Prince

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Clock the Climate

Lets take a few minutes together.

New york is getting cold. Fall television programming is in full effect. We’ve pulled out the air conditioner and wear sweaters at night. The landlady hasn’t turned on our heat yet, or if she has we haven’t felt it, so in addition to leaving curt messages on her machine, we have taken to putting heating pads under are butts while we enjoy or weekly half hour sitcoms. We also watch some dramas, but I wont get into that right now. I’ve pulled out my autumn wear, but haven’t unearthed the scarves and long underwear that the winter wardrobe entails. I will suffer the cold for as long my skin will allow. I appreciate weather. I am not afraid of its change.

The city actually gets livelier during the colder months. Everyone is back in town. The skyscrapers are filled with taxpayers. Students trudge along the avenues. Bars and restaurants get crowded, everyone is open for another drink. In the summer people escape. They visit family members in other states. They take vacations across the Atlantic. They go where there are lawns or beaches or quiet spaces where they can think. They leave the city to its own madness. They take off for a while. But when winter comes they are all back in position. Behind their desk or in front of a stove or standing in line waiting for their number to be called. They get back to the race. The city brings back their purpose.

Soon we will look down at ourselves and see layers of clothes. We will fumble with our metrocards wearing thick, protective gloves. We will stamp our feet on the welcome mat before we go through the door. We will leave our umbrellas at home and tighten the string in our hoodies. We will browse in heated shoe stores, looking for fur-lined boots, then brace ourselves for the arctic blast before we step outside. We will tighten our plans to minimize outdoor exposure, we will be punctual and efficient, and avoid waiting at all cost. We will become quick again, like we were last winter.

If you can only see art through a microscope, is it really worth anything? I'm not sure, but these mitesize pieces are interesting to me, so thats worth something, right? My friend sent me this cartoon. Is it funny? I forget. Another friend of mine is helping these guys on a very good looking documentary about the history of techno music. You should check it out. What you should not check out is this video. At least dont check it out if you have even a modicum of respect for hip hop legend Doug E. Fresh.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

day six: the free pound

The phone ringing woke me up. I looked at the number then put the phone down without answering. It was one of my labels, in town from Europe and anxious to meet. I didn’t have my game face on yet, so I opted not to speak to them. I climbed out of bed and sat on the edge and rubbed my eyes and yawned. I checked my phone again to make sure they left a voicemail then I yawned and stretched again and went to the kitchen to make some coffee.

We were out.

I did some math in my head and came to the conclusion that in my depressed economic state it is not prudent for me to buy individual cups each day, I needed to get a full pound then get it ground and make my own, that would be the fiscally responsible thing to do. I'm all about being fiscally responsible these days.

I went to the bathroom and took a piss. Looked in the mirror and wiped the drool from my face. Ran my head under cold water. Stuck my tongue out and caressed my crows feet. I'm a horror in the morning. A foul breathed, crease faced, on edge horror. I’m amazed any woman would permit themselves the experience of waking up next to me more than once, let alone each morning for 5 years. Were the tables turned, I might have went running a long time ago.

I pulled on some clothes, multiple layers to reflect the sky’s gray, grabbed my wallet and my keys and lumbered out the door. The streets were largely empty, which is always strange in New York. You expect to see old drunks milling in front of their apartment buildings. Cops slowly patrolling the corners. Taxpayers on their way somewhere important. But it seemed to just be me and a few tired shop owners. On the walk my face is dotted with light raindrops, the warning trickles of a storm. The coffee shop wasn’t far and I didn’t put up my hood, I figured if anything the cold wetness would help me wake up.

At the coffee shop, behind the counter, was a school chum of mine. A girl, very nice, who I talk to when we are on class break. She seemed either really excited to see me or really jacked up on coffee because she screamed my name from across the shop and began beaming when I acknowledged her. We made idle chat and she gave me my pound of coffee for free. I tipped her three dollars and wished I could tip her more. She didn’t seem to mind either way. I told you she was nice.

When I left the light rain had let up a little and I rolled myself a cigarette. Then I walked home slowly feeling pleased that I took the initiative to leave the house so early. So far the day has gone ok, I’ll let you know tomorrow if it ended that way.

Monday, October 16, 2006

day five: the diet

I have a horrible diet.

And I don’t mean I eat unhealthy foods, I mean I just don’t eat. It’s not like I plan it either, I’m not trying to lose weight and its not like I don’t have food, it just so happens that I’m never really hungry. So I just don’t eat.

The thing is, I know I'm supposed to eat. And sometimes I remember that I haven’t eaten in a while, so I just cram some food in my mouth for the sake of it, in hopes that maybe I am adhering to some sort of eating schedule that the nutrition gods have come up with. Ill find myself 8 hours into the day and realize I’ve had anything to fill my belly save a few cups of coffee from way back when I first woke up. I’ll eat a cheese sandwich and be full for the rest of the day.

My girlfriend says its because deep down I'm an insecure teenage girl. I say its because I'm just not hungry.

But the truth of the matter is I think I smoke too much weed, and cant get an appetite unless I have the munchies. Because lord knows when I have the munchies I can eat a herd of baby unicorns with some BBQ sauce on the side, but unless I get some weed in me I'm completely oblivious to the pangs of hunger.

Today I haven’t eaten a thing. Not even a slice of cheese, or a carrot, or some water. just some coffee and some cigarettes and now I'm feeling weak. I think I need to eat, but I'm not hungry. Whats with that?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

day four: the haiku

Saturday, October 14, 2006

day three: the stoop sale

My landlady is in a sweater and shivering on the steps, outside in the cold and surrounded by nick nacks. Autumns been confirmed but she wants to have one last stoop sale. People are lumbering around the tables, poking through her garbage, but I haven’t seen anyone make an offer, not yet. Its all crap though, gaudy glass lamps and creepy figurines, broken kitchen appliances and cheap paperback pulp, so who would want to? The only person that would want to buy it are people just like her, who will likely end up selling it two summers down the line in a pathetic stoop sale of their own. Half priced. I never even bother to look through the shit she’s offering. I’m polite. I pretend it isn’t there, like a foul smell or a ghost.

She has lived in this brownstone all her life. Her parents bought it before she was born. My office, our smoking lounge, used to be her bedroom. She would slide down the banister and sneak out as a teen, she says she did this a lot, that’s how it got so loose. It was once one great home, now its three separate units. I'm on the top floor, she’s on the street level, and we have neighbors on the first floor, the middle unit (they bore me).

When her parents died they left the house to her, and she’s very protective of it. At least once a month she has to come into my apartment and poke around. She leaves us notes. Random hints and tips on how better to take care of our place. Sometimes we read them, sometimes we don’t. We like the place. We take care of it. Get off our back.

It’s fifty degrees outside. A few people milled about in front of a toaster oven, still in it’s box. An elderly lady stood and stared at a rack of clothes. I walked up to her and asked how things were going and she rolled her eyes and bundled her sweater and said its going, its going. I smiled and grunted and went back inside. The skies are clear but the wind is sharp and on the news they said it was gonna rain tonight.

Friday, October 13, 2006

day two: the book snob

This afternoon a friend of mine, a very close friend who I have great respect for, sent me an excerpt from an inteview with Richard Dawkins, a noted scientist who gained recognition with his evolutionist theories. Now, I am in awe of Dawkins intelligence. His mind is flaming red with brilliance. And I also am keen to his theories of evolution, finding them an insightful as well as intellectual argument for the scientific definition of why we are.

He is also a raging atheist, which I don’t mind, as I have nothing invested in the idea of a God nor religion whatsoever. My friend, on the other hand, is a God hating troll, cursing the idea and anyone who believes it. This is also fine by me. It takes all kinds, right?

But this bit of interview made me sort of annoyed. I thought it seemed not only unenlightened, but sort of fascist as well. Read on:

Interviewer: it's interesting that you link those two words -- intelligent and atheistic. Are you saying the more intelligent you are, the more likely you are to be an atheist?

: There's a fair bit of evidence in favor of that equation, yes.

: That sounds like an elitist argument. Do you want to cite that evidence?

: It's certainly elitist. What's wrong with being elitist, if you are trying to encourage people to join the elite rather than being exclusive? I'm very, very keen that people should raise their game rather than the other way around. As for citing the evidence, a number of studies have been done. The one meta-analysis of this that I know of was published in Mensa Magazine. It looked at 43 studies on the relationship between educational level or IQ and religion. And in 39 out of 43 -- that's all but four -- there is a correlation between IQ/education and atheism. The more educated you are, the more likely you are to be an atheist. Or the more intelligent you are, the more likely you are to be an atheist

Now, the fact that he mentions the Mensa Magazine immediately set alarm bells off in my head. Can you be more of a pretentious douchebag please? Still, fair enough, I’m sure he reads it and is most likely a member, so fine, name drop your holier than thou rag, douchebag. But the tone he took I found quite offensive, and thoroughly condescending, to say the least. (also, to cite a study that only involved 43 couples is just dumb, or misleading, if you ask me. But I’m not a scientist, and many can attest to that.) Saying youre an athiest and have done enough research to prove this to yourself is fine, to say that everyone else should rise to your intelligence and denouce their God though, well that’s just plain ignorant.

I would assume that the more intelligent one got, the more they understood that not everyone can reach the same stratum of intelligence. The more educated one is, the better viewpoint they would have, the better understanding of the human condition they would have, the deeper tolerance they would have towards society. To actually propose that those that don’t have the same beliefs and ideas as you, are wrong, is sorely unenlightened, to say the least. With intelligence should come a further depth of sympathy, beyond the instinctual, moral obligations one has for their peers. With intelligence one should process more easily, the trials of others. It should be a deeper concern, as one gets more intelligent, not what others are thinking, but why they think it.

I asked my rabid, god hating friend why Dawkins would have such an ferociously narrow point of view, when it seemed to me that as he was vastly smarter than most people. Why would he even consider the notion that people who believe in god raise to his level of intelligence and thus, let go of their faith, when it seemed perfectly reasonable to not only accept them as intelligent human beings, but to let them believe in a higher being if it got them through the day. They believe in god, they aren’t stupid.

It seemed incredibly arrogant to me that Dawkins would take this stance. The only thing that seemed almost as arrogant was man saying he was created in Gods own image.

In any case, I figure that even though Richard Dawkins would intellectually intimidate me if I ever met him, I would still think he was a douchebag and try to find I way to tell him so.

And I don’t know if there is a God, and I don’t really care to tell you the truth, but I do think the human mind is an immensely powerful organ, and we should try to use it more, if only because it really is the only thing we have to offer. Regardless of belief, it is our duty, if nothing less, to explore the blemishes of history and, to some extent, accept our future will be impaired. Our not. Do as you will. The world will spin nonetheless.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

day one

Brooklyn is being overrun by squirrels. They litter the streets like chewed up gum. They parade the avaenues as if they own it. I walk to the store and I see them darting by cars, up into trees and out onto limbs, where they sit and watch you. I hear them scurrying in the shade. Leaves rustle and twigs crack. Fallen nuts cower in fear. I don’t know what to make of it.

Anyway, I’ve been busy lately. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. I have meetings and appointments and all manners of task to complete. I’ve got papers to write. I have books to read. Ive got my girlfriend to love. I have all the rest to ignore.

I realized that trying to post once a week doesn’t work, so I will go back to trying to post everyday. Then at least you get 2 post a week, if you’re lucky maybe more.

Words have been elusive lately. Sometimes I find the only way to manage them is to spit em out every day. Don’t give them time to rest, keep them honest. If I don’t then they become arrogant. Or shy. Or lazy.

So starting tomorrow its back to post every day jon. Which means there will be post of only links. Post of just a thought. Post about television. Post about movies. Post about sex and drugs and what not. Post that are about nothing at all. Post every day. Every single day.

Monday, October 02, 2006

If I Were a Filler Blog post

If I were a high school locker, I’d have graffiti all over me, and when you opened the a door a bunch of trash would fall out onto the floor, and a lewd picture of a naked person would be taped to the inside of it.

If I were a plant I’d be one of many in a patch of plants just like me. I’d also grow wild, and in the areas most inviting to dogs that needed to relieve their bladder.

If I were a pair of socks I’d be thick and comfortable but make your feet sweat horribly.

If I were a radio station I’d have no particular format and thus have trouble keeping regular listeners. Advertisers would shy away from commitment and I’d be forever desperate for money, but with annual benefit concerts and the occasional stroke of luck, I’d be able to keep myself on the air. This would be made easier by my accepting a position on the side of the dial with decidedly lower frequency.

If I were a disease there would be a vaccine but no one would ever find a real cure for me. I would target the elderly in dry climates. I would really have it in for the elderly.

If I were a pornographic movie I’d be very low budget and all the girls would be hot, but not so hot as to seem entirely out of the league of my average viewers, even if in actuality they were. And there would be nothing blurred out, like there is in some Japanese porno movies. What’s up with that shit?

If I were a dog I would wish I were a cat.

If I were the sky, I’d be wet but never rain. People would be totally annoyed by me because they took their umbrellas when they left the house, only to carry it around all day and then forget it at a bar.

If I were a frosty beverage I’d be cheap, but not the cheapest. I’d be domestic and sold at most gas stations and corner stores. I’d come in six packs or big glass bottles. And I’d always do the trick.

If I were a song you heard on the radio I would be catchy but repetitive, with dense layers and very subtle changes. It would be to the publics understanding that I was best understood when under the influence of drugs.

If I were a car I would be reliable and get great miles to the gallon, though I would always be out of gas and a strange smell would come from my backseat.

If I were a political philosophy I’d be too sympathetic to practice in today’s modern society. But there would be lots of books written about me, and a small group of people would stand on my ground. Eventually, throughout history, I would take shape in small governments and then eventually large and powerful ones. In the end though, I would always be the cause of their downfall, as I am inherently flawed.
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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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