September 25, 2004
currently working on a show for :
September 16, 2004
I've been enjoying Larry Lessig's book: Free Culture - really wonderfully written arguments around intellectual property and P2P sharing. Highly recommend this as a second book - something to have alongside the sizzler.
Gaming is king. Lots of interesting things are happening using game structures in public spaces:
is one of my favs - katie salen was a big force behind this, and her text book on gaming theory : Rules of Play - co-authored by Eric Zimmerman is approachable and immensely interesting.
September 14, 2004
on page 16 of the current issue of Print magazine there's a small article on Red Alert
technically my old street ended at court street. court allowed only one way traffic to the south and therefore only a right turn was possible. across the street, a half a block to the north and next to a starbucks, dean street began or ended, depending on your perspective on the world and fair trade coffee.
A sign at the end of my street said "All traffic" and an arrow pointed to the right. The sign was put there to supplement the one way directional sign underneath it which clearly wasn't doing its job. A few times a week a car will turn left and make for dean street against traffic. This pissed me off immensely as it does others in the neighborhood. I saw a bicyclist stop a car once, the thirty odd pound frame against a multi-ton hulk. He didn't budge, stern faced, pointing the car back down court.
The memory of this incident came back to me as I was crossing the street a few months back. A dark blue Chrysler sedan made a left and inched in on me, waiting for me to pass. I stopped, already trembling with anger.
"Its a one way street" - I shook my head no as i said it, noticing the pitch of my voice had already risen. He was an ugly man, large pasty face and broad frowning lips. He rolled down his window.
"Thank you very much, thank you". He turned his wheel and passed in front of me. "Thank you very much." He didn't mean it. He meant "F*** you, you little shit" He was smiling.
"A child got hit on this corner last week, because of an asshole like you." I shouted.
this wasn't true, but i couldn't help invoking what seemed to be a universal subject of pity. Had I seen a dog lover bumper sticker, it would have been a beautiful collie that had been struck down, raising its head from the pavement to lick its owners face before it gasped its last breath.
I stood watching his car hoping that he would circle back to get the details of last week's tragedy. perhaps if i told him the boy's name: "Christopher Johnston" maybe, tears would well up in the indentations where his fat face allowed light to his eyeballs. I pretended to write down the license plate as the car slowed and approached the next stop sign - no complete stop.
I haven't been in a fight in years. The potential is still there, but manifests itself only in small incidents. Being skipped blatantly on the pool table at a local bar, being cut in line at the train station...some bastard making a left at a light. at least here, against these local transgressions, I can make an impact.
September 11, 2004
#16 is my favorite.
i had thrown my back out the day before, playing squash with a new york state supreme court judge. i had looked his name up on the internet when i met him and found article sin the voice condemning him as an inept conservative that had grossly screwed up a minority shooting case against the NYPD. He was friendly though, and quite generous in teaching me the game.
When my back goes into spasm its nearly impossible to do anything except lie still; perfectly still. It happened to me once in Seattle this summer, in the middle of the night. I had a mild panic attack as i realized i couldn't even get to a phone that was four feet away on the bedside table. and i had to pee...really bad.
at home, finally after howling like a little girl in the gym (they knew me there - i was the guy who had fallen off the treadmill), i took vicoden and ate a medium pizza until the orange haze overtook me.
at 10:30 AM i was woken up by my answering machine and my sister's voice.
"Hey, ze...we're under attack, i mean the country...the US...they bombed the capital, where are you?"
I rolled sideways to my knees, then stood up and went to the television. All stations were dead. My clock radio was working and I heard about the towers. Outside my window I noticed the thick cloud of smoke and ash rising from behind the houses across the garden.
I lived about three blocks from the east river, on the brooklyn side, overlooking downtown manhattan. It took me about twenty minutes to walk those three blocks, my back locking up every few steps. The cars on my street were covered with fine powder and small scraps of paper.
i started crying when i saw the island engulfed in smoke. uncontrollably. the release of emotion startled me and for a moment I was two people, one watching myself cry and the other staring at where the towers had been.
a woman, a nurse from the Long Island College Hospital, came over to me and hugged me, and told me that she was sorry, and held on to me for a moment.
September 10, 2004
3rd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues is sometimes referred to as the "safest block in NYC". The Hell's Angels have a clubhouse halfway down on the North side of the street. Harleys are parked there year round under the watch of a lower echelon member, and i've witnessed rowdy college boys get tossed into piles of trash for making too much noise at 3AM.
The Edge is a bar a few doors down to the East. The Edge is protected. If there is trouble in the bar, the Angel's will come by, and because of that, there isn't any trouble. Its my favorite place to have a drink these days, since the passing of McGovern's. I cried when McGovern's closed; when they tore up the stage my band had played on every Thursday night for years. It was a haven for the losers of New York, myself included, and has since turned into a swank club. I heard rumors that Justin Timberlake was spotted there a few months back. Screw im and his mouth jamming...that's my bar.
Sonnie is a manager at the Edge. He's a small man, born somewhere in Central or South America and has a high pitched Muppet-like voice. We never have spoken much: like most career barmen or famous people he has one running conversation with the world. You're either there, or you aren't.
It was the first cool evening in August and we were standing outside of the bar. I was smoking and he was waiting for time to pass.
"You going on any vacations this fall, Sonny?"
"No, just work, i don't like that shit though...vacations. I get bored, you know...just sitting there"
"Yeah, me too. I like to do things"
"Why leave New York, you know. You got the seasons here, there its just one thing. You know, when I was growing up, we only saw the snow on TV. But today I woke up and it was cooler, and i said 'I'm gonna wear my leather pants"
"Nice. I didn't notice"
"Yeah, you know here, its always different, you get to wear new clothes, get to wear sweaters and jackets, different kinds of pants. Each season is different. You know...you have to have something to do in your life"
he paused and looked away.
"You have to have something to do in your life"
September 9, 2004
it was raining and i was wearing my hurtful shoes - birkenstocks, a gift from london that had already caused me to bleed. my right foot, it seems, is larger in girth than the left...but leather stretches, i thought it must to accommodate the change from calf to cow. a loosening of one pip relieved the pressure but caused me to claw at the front of the sandal with my toes - exposing a new raw patch - a saddle burn on the top of the piggy that went to the market.
on the east side all the consulates are huddled together near the UN...close to the water and quick escape. There was a huddled mass outside the Ukrainian embassy, all smoking and looking at passers-by suspiciously, especially the one with the bloody foot and crumpled Fed Ex envelope used as an umbrella.
the metal detector didn't go off, thank god. I still can't walk through those things without being reminded of shoplifting an Al Jareau tape when i was eighteen - being led out of Crossgates mall in handcuffs past my mother who happened to have needed a new pair of shoes that day.
on the other side of the bullet proof glass they summoned Angela Terfloth at my request (Terfloth is one of the few names/words that sounds better in German than in English - "ich liebe dich" or "i love you" sounds like the death cries of a drowning snake). I'd spoken with her a few times on the phone, most recently the day before yesterday, regarding the process by which i could renew my German passport.
"I don't recall ever having spoken you to on the phone."
You could tell that she resented that I spoke English. I can understand German quite well and my accent is nearly perfect, but my ability to structure sentences properly or assign gender to things like butter and chairs is long gone.
I'm a dual citizen. my parents are German born and i was born in Ithica, NY while my father was on sabbatical in the states. An arrow of geese flew overhead as i left the hospital...whatever the fuck that means. I'd had a German Passport before, when i was younger, and had last used it to travel through Europe soon after my arrest. I had been advised, rightly, that a German passport would speed me through customs even before the EU formed. German proved to be an excellent language to know while i travelled, especially in Spain where no one seemed to know English. The Germans are voracious tourists, with a knack for telling locals where the best spots are to eat in the town they are visiting.
"Where is your old passport?" Angela was visibly frustrated with me.
"Did you report it to the police? You know German passports are real just like American ones, you have to report to the police when you losed (sic.) them"
you mean they aren't fake? not like that weird ass monopoly money you use? its like...a real document? no shit.
"I think it got lost in a move"
"Well, we will have to see if you are still a German."
i felt like dropping my pants and showing her my uncircumcised penis...a vestige of my heritage i had to endure in the high school locker room. "The hooded hog", "A snake with a turtleneck", all the boys with mutilated genitals would call my poor penis.
"I experience more pleasure than you, you've lost sensation." I would say.
of course i have no idea if this was true. I have been told though that many men in their adulthood who are circumcised long for the return of that morsel of skin... and it ain't easy to reverse the process.
so i have to go back. with papers and signatures, my foreskin, and pictures of my parents when they were younger. and all of it with the hopes of working in london, and showing off my calloused feet to the one who gave me my hurtful shoes.
September 7, 2004
September 6, 2004
both me...and my email account : please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
also doug, the scribbler collaborator has been hit by both hurricanes so far and is bracing for a third. please cross your fingers for him and the rest of the sunshine state.