Archive for the ‘Nonsense’ Category

First there was this:


And then there was this:

And finally:



Read Full Post »

Brother Jeff’s Corpse Story

“I’d been smelling this stench on my hall for about 3 weeks, even complained to maintenance over a week ago, saying that I even thought it might be someone who died, I got the semi-racist response “it’s probably just a Chinese person cooking a cabbage, that always smells bad.” Finally yesterday the old Ukranian lady who lives across the hall from me knocked on my door to ask me if I agreed with her that there was a terrible smell in the hall, she had complained to maintenance and they blew her off as an annoying old lady. So she and I went to the maintenance office together, and convinced them to come check out the smell – they came, blowing us off all the while, insisting that it was “not a rotting smell,” one maintenance guy saying he smelled nothing, and the other guy saying it was “definitely from someone’s dirty apartment.” When they left, having done nothing, the nice asian dad who lives down the hall came out of his apartment and said he couldn’t take it anymore, even his 3-year old boy had been complaining lately, and come to think of it, he hasn’t seen his neighbor in a while. The neighbor in question was a portly man in his 60s, lived alone. Rent bill still on his door. We decided we should call 911, so I called and told them there was a stink on my hallway, we feared someone might be dead. So the cops came, very funny cops. They arrived on the hallway a little later and immediately said “oh yeah. It doesn’t look good for this guy.” They saw the rent bill on his door and said “it’s always the same.” (picture all of this being said in the most stereotypical NYC cop accents). They called in a third cop, who talked exactly the same way. When he arrived I escorted him from the elevator asking him if he smelled what we were talking about – he said “Naw, I don’t smell nothin’. I wuz down at September 11.” I thought he meant that he smelled so many stinking corpses at the twin towers that nothing bothered him anymore but he continued: “I developed a cancerous growth in my nose – they hadda take it out, and now I can’t smell nothin.” So this is like a superhero cop with no sense of smell, who gained his powers from chemical exposure at the Twin Towers, and they bring him on for particularly smelly jobs!! Amazing! I went back to my apartment, not wanting to be standing around when they broke down the door and hauled out this 3 or 4 week rotting corpse of a fat guy – but there was no question – when I was in my apartment, about ten minutes later, this horrible smell suddenly permeated my place, even from way down at the opposite end of the hall, it must have been when they opened the door. I opened all the windows and turned the fan on high and started burning incense. Finally, about 6 hours later, I got the courage to leave my apartment and go outside to get away from my building for a while. Down on the street was the “meat wagon” and a couple of medics with a stretcher trying to gain access to my building – I let them in – I couldn’t believe it had taken so long for them to arrive. I was sure the burst of stink from 6 hours earlier was from the body being removed, but apparently it was just from when they opened the apartment door. I watched them get into the elevator with the stretcher and I took off, not wanting to be in the lobby when the elevator came back down!

On the good side, at least somebody on the co-op apartment waiting list is going to get a nice letter soon.

And remember – that’s the only way ANYbody ever moves out of the co-ops!”

Read Full Post »

Are you kidding? I was robbed, my contribution – “Would You Like To Stay for Dessert” – was way better.

Can you start a write in campaign on my behalf?


Read Full Post »

further reflection.



at 21 i was given my first breathalizer. i passed. shortly thereafter, my first drunk test. i passed. albeit barely. the first incident was ridiculous. a completely unnecessary situation that erupted out of unfortunate machismo (not guilty) and an inability to walk the other way (… ahem). in any case, it was silly. especially in hindsight.
the latter situation was far more dicey. combine two work shifts, a rock show, snowy roads, 4 am… and, yeah, drink. as something of a prank, BG insisted pretty adamantly that i transport GG from show to home. GG was a famous drunk, known most commonly for soiling his pants on two occasions. with nos. 1 AND 2. and, naturally, at 3:15, he was pretty famously not sober. he lived “on my way home” in one of those ways that folks in small towns can only understand. the word nuisance has an entirely different meaning there. in truth, it was bullshit. he wasn’t even much of a friend. and BG lived three blocks from me. but i’m a mensch, see? and we’re all neighbors.

we discussed the talking heads in the car. i think i was listening somewhat regularly to a david byrne record at the time. it was our only common ground. but at that hour, it’s enough to keep you going. at one point we neared a traffic stop (again, small towns…) and wiser minds (mine) told me to steer clear. which i did, deftly. twenty minutes added to my journey, i left GG in his driveway, probably peeing in the yard or some shit (to be fair, i took some poetic license with this… he probably went inside, sans incident; i heard years later that he drove a car through the side of the house not too long after that, in an ill-advised stab at parking), and redirected my course toward home.

exhausted and no longer leaning on the crutch of a boozy lunatic to keep me awake, it wasn’t a great drive. nor was it long. but so be it… my lack of dramatic flair prevents me from lazily recounting the cliched tale of slippery roads, and an even slippier sense of whether i should stay awake or sleep, but, alas, at shortly after 4 am, i had demolished the neighbors’ mailbox. all of 2.5 minutes from home. and gotten the car stuck in a bank.

i woke the neighbors myself.
i called the police myself.
later, i paid for the mailbox, which is not nearly as cheap as it should be. it was hideous, to boot.

in truth, i would have run, but the car was quite stuck. and i went to high school with their kid. we weren’t friends. i remember trying to explain to the police when they arrived that the roads were slippery, and i just lost control of the car on a turn. while all along they were looking over my shoulders at tire tracks in the snow (damned snow!) that told an entirely different story. tire tracks that didn’t veer even remotely from a direct path straight through a certain mailbox.

“it looks more like you might have drifted off at the wheel, no?”
queue drunk test. queue lectures. again, i passed. i suppose it’s not really the point. i was 21. i was following a pen with my eyes. i was walking on an imaginary tightrope that had been drawn in the snow by a police officer’s foot. i was 21. welcome home, kid.

nine years later…
i made my first dinner reservation. and shortly thereafter my first cancellation. at 30. i’m not sure how much growth has been involved. and, yeah, this is a super loose thread to be pulling between a driving incident and an unfulfilled promise of dinner, but that’s life, kid. they seem connected… or at least i think there’s a case to be made.
and, no, i haven’t been able to claim any mailboxes since. my slate is mostly clean.

but there are memories, and then there are memories, and while it seems reasonable for me to recollect upon the crashes, and the consequences, that have come before….
it’s quite a different battle to explain how i have not many fonder memories than spending an entire afternoon getting blissfully drunk and epically scrubbing down every inch of a house that wasn’t even mine, just so that we could comfortably spend six hours in a dank and soundproof room in the basement (an entirely other room) with a drum machine, a half-case of miller high life, and a few guitars, without having to dread the rotting filth that awaited us upstairs.
i know that makes little sense. but that’s kind of my point.
or, how, in the very same house, you once split my chin open with your forehead for no good reason. i awoke the next morning bandaged and clean.
these passings don’t make for very fine anecdotes, but they live vividly in my head. as evidence of a decade past.

and, yeah, in between there were graduate degrees, girlfriends, partners, ex-girlfriends, one fistfight (in which i threw NOT a fist), debts, etc.
but that’s not what sticks. not at all. i forget daily that i ever went to graduate school. i do remember frequently that we had the best flat parties at UCL (as far as i could tell), and that one time an aged scottish man wore a kilt with nothing underneath and tricked you into thinking that he was dying. and that our greasy greek landlord lied about literally anything, and that we could fit five people into the ridiculous sauna in your bedroom. yeah, there was a sauna.

i suppose looking back, i’m not sure what to keep. it’s not that i hit the mailbox, or that i did or didn’t pass the seriously arbitrary drunk test… but rather that the woman from across the street was the first to find me, and the first, no joke, words out of her mouth were, “are you fucking wasted?” and that the guy delivering the local daily ended up pulling my car off the bank with a rope tow before the police even arrived. i’m keeping that.

i’m not keeping london. or the goose and granite.
i’m not keeping rejection. or success.

instead i’ve got your toothbrush, and when you brought up seth cohen the first time we kissed. i’ve got the way-too-many-times you’ve mistaken the salt for sugar and yet still haven’t managed to fix the labels. i’ve got your poor poor english, and your endlessly fascinating love of dick jokes. there’s your loop pedal, and your crazy insecurities. there’s you at the cinema, the family stone perhaps. there’s the mummy marathon. there’s peggy wang. there’s ping pong, and euchre. banjos, and ukes.

i’ve got your beautiful potential, and my total lack of ambition.
it’s all flapping. and all not flapping.

Read Full Post »

caroline kennedy = POTENTIAL appointee for 1 senate seat (out of 100) in 1 state, outside of an election
sarah palin = ACTUAL vice-presidential candidate (um…) for an entire nation, during the most celebrated election perhaps ever

so, yeah, well…

also, tina fey looks nothing like caroline kennedy.

but, wait! “you have a vagina?! i have a vagina!”
case closed.

life is hard.

Read Full Post »

where to begin?

an honest-to-goodness actual upcoming event:

Mystical Yoga Poetry Jam with Uma

awaiting your contributions…

Read Full Post »

Where my pants at?

“working hard on walking out / my shoes keep sticking to the ground / my clothes won’t let me close the door / my trousers seem to love your floor”


if some strange force (and what force would that be? and who’s?) were to compel you to open up my closet this afternoon, you would find the following:

– unmatched sock pile
– college diplomas, numbering two…. to be burned, maybe?
– enema kit
– a single tie, and an unused belt
– a basketball
– backup rain gear
– the requisite shirts, etc.
– alternately, 5 or 6 pairs of jeans… each subject to varying degrees of use, abuse, disinterest, and so on

the list could go on, but you’ll figure that out when you peek (and, again, why are you peeking?).
in any case, it is the last denim-y item here that interests me today. see, because today is Thursday. and because of various scheduling conveniences, Thursday is the day that I stop at buffalo exchange after work. which is where I continue my intensely frustrating and tedious quest for new clothing. buffalo exchange, as it were, is your basic consignment/thrift store, and as these things go, it’s pretty mediocre.
and the staff, bless ‘em, say things like, “hey! awesome shirt!” or, “can’t beat that!” when you approach them at the register (which, naturally, would be all fine and good—perhaps encouraging—save for the fact that they’re so obviously not sincere about it; it’s a three-button navy oxford shirt, afterall. and you’re wearing a striped serape and feather fedora; what am I to you?)
but this is portland, and for lack of a beacon’s closet (hey brooklyn!), it’ll have to do.

anyhow, re: denim… what gives? who needs so much of this shit?
seriously. I’ve been to almost every thrift store in town and it’s everywhere. endlessly so. and I’ve had enough of it. that’s right, thrift store. I’m talkin’ to you. you with your rack-upon-rack of trendy fades, ripped knees, button flys. you with your size 40 waist / 26 length.
I’m over you.

here’s a few things I know about denim:
oh, you’re wearing jeans? what? me too! oh… and you? jeans? well, I’ll be. I’m also wearing jeans. oh, not you, too! and so on and so on.
are you getting this? you have jeans, I have jeans, we have jeans. there’s nothing new here.

and, still. so here we are. my legs need pants. ain’t no two ways about it.
and while I certainly have room in my heart for the right pair of jeans, the rest of me yearns for more… more fabric. more soft cotton. more poly blends. more NOT denim.
at present, I have one single pair of lonely pants. and they are fading quickly. and they weren’t that super to begin with. I’m up against the wall here. and while I can certainly see the end for these pants, I’m nowhere near seeing a beginning for new ones.
and this is distressing. what do I do when all of my pants are gone?
(answer: wear jeans….)

now here’s the rub:
pants are out there. I’ve seen them. my housemate wears them. my friend scott wears them (exclusively… and they’re all fantastic). where are they finding them? I’ve asked around. it doesn’t help. scott’s a magician… finds them in free piles, garbage bins, Goodwills.
this is incomprehensible to me. I’ve been looking for years now, and what do I have?
the pants people are better than me… that much I know. and until I can share in the pants love, I’ll never be even half the man I aim to be. and that’s a shame. ‘cause I aim high.

so, yeah. tonight. thrift store. what awaits?
surely more jeans. surely more denim. surely more awful pants that wouldn’t fit any kind of body shape that I have ever seen, or even have thought to exist. seriously, how does a consignment store end up purchasing clothing with these sizes? how can someone so, well… big … be so short? and how can they wear such terrible jeans anyhow?

right. getting carried away. something needs to be done. that much is certain.
what to do?
really, what to do? I’m asking.
I’ve been at this a long time. I’m still wearing denim.

but I have a dream… a vision. of a world with pants. and me in it.

in pants.

in my mind, i am sporting a perfect pair. and, really, it’s not asking so much… i don’t need sequins, stripes, pleats, secret pockets, pouches, bold colors. i’m not reinventing the wheel here. at some point in time, at some places in the world, there were/are people in pants. sign me up.

so, then. tonight I will boldly march into buffalo exchange and head straight for the racks. I will wince at the sight of endless denim and I will dig. I will shift hangers, I will dodge fellow disappointed shoppers. I will frown at the mobs waiting in line to sell yet more denim, more fades, more rips. I will expect, well, pants.


A Better World.

A Better World.

Read Full Post »