Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I'm hungrier than a pigeon in slop. There's a lot of work to do. Let's braid each other's hair and play paddy cake.

Word came down from Head Office that Dave G and Rebekulous will be flying into Chicago the weekend of March 10 for a closed-session briefing on how to remedy the Metropolitan Beer Surplus. I'll give a full report, complete with pie charts and test tubes, after we conclude our summit/make bail. Scholars will marvel. It will be marvelous. I'll have my poetic license revoked.

I might need to have my hip replaced before it's all over. Because I'm a hipster.

Monday, February 27, 2006


(Depressing link that ruined my day courtesy of Dave G.)

Friday, February 24, 2006

I saw a tall woman on a short bike, her sharp knees cocked outward as her sneakers spun a blurry circle. She wore a brown fur coat and oversized sunglasses. She rode south on State Street, her lips puckered in mid-whistle.

The madness spreads.

Today is the first day of the rest of the week. I need a new book to read and a clean pair of socks. My book choices are: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, Don't Get Too Comfortable (Etc.) by David Rakoff (not to be confused with Douglas Rushkoff), Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace, and The Best of Selected Adventures in Profiles by Rabbi Nachum Neuberger. Tough decisions must be made by me and the passive voice must be used. (There is a tiny pebble inside the fabric of my left sock, beneath the foot ball, where it causes premium distress.)

Last night I had my hair cut by a professional. Her name is ... I forget her name. She molded my follicles into the shape of a tropical fruit to be named later. I've been bitten by no fewer than three spider monkeys in the last several hours. My ears are missing. But who am I to complain? I have the haircut of the stars and all the A-list primates are taking note.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow is Saturday. Today is Friday, the first day of the rest of the week. It's 9:12 a.m., according to my computer. Excuse me if my timing is off. Tonight we shall dine on Bricks pizza, because it is made of crack and my hands are shaking. We shall sit, the eight or nine of us, and eat slices of that good shit until we're properly fucked out and dangerous. Then we will listen to blues guitar at the blues bar. Our fixes will be heavy on our shoulders, and we'll stumble forth, a pack of wild primates, our armpits bitter with our fine efforts, our course black body hair picked over for the juicy grubs that reside therein.

Another round of drinks? Of course. Nobody talks to a horse.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

For the second time, Gapers Block has selected one of my snappy shots as its Rearview photo of the day. This makes me happy.

In case any of you hadn't noticed, I've been spending a lot more time taking pictures than bumbling about in the Halls of Wordery. I've reached the crisis point, however, whereby I believe with all of my fibers that I am about to dive headlong into all of it — the writing and the photography. And I will try to bring it all together; but if they stay apart they stay apart. But they'll both be happening, the writing with greater frequency than in the month or so past, the photography maintaining its current clip.

To hell with sleep. I haven't had it in days and I don't need it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

What do you say if the man behind the man behind the evil wants to switch sides? I can't help but wonder. I also can't help but wonder about the guys who eagerly open the e-mail spam with "Sloppy Gum Jobs" in the subject line. We live in troubles times.

Friday night we ate garlic and goat cheese pizza from Bricks, drank drinks at Carol's, and then The Copa, and then Estelle's (that only after riding with the finest cabby in the lower 48; we all thought we were going to die. it was exquisite), and then we were shocked to find Marie's closed (closed!) at 3:30 a.m., just when our stride was in need of hitting.

I have slept nearly not at all these past two nights, due to songs in my head and ideas that won't stop. Yawning terror. I need a nap sack full of delta waves and three servings of Get Through the Day®.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I could barely sleep last night. And then, this morning, for the second time in two months, I stepped barefoot into a warm puddle of cat puke shortly after getting out of the shower. It resembled Thanksgiving stuffing, but tasted nothing like it. And that was uncalled for. Chill.

There was crying on the bus this morning, and I felt bad because it all started off with such promise — mother of four boards the bus and the kids take their seats. She reads a book to the youngest girl, the one a whirl of puffy purple.

One boy, probably the second to the youngest, sits across from all the other kids, a couple seats to my right. He starts singing "I hate this bus! I hate this bus!" I'm smiling at this point. The mother is trying to shut him up without having to put the book down. The woman sitting across from me is proper and prim in her pink coat and pumps, and she is visibly annoyed by all the racket — she slaps her book down on her lap, pages down. This makes everything funnier to me, and I am pretending to yawn, cough, cover my face somehow because it takes a Special Kind of Bitch to roll her eyes dramatically and pretend to be put out while there's a mother of four sitting there doing the best she can.

The bus song continues. It is not a good song, from a melodic perspective, but I can appreciate the lyrics. The bus is full, maybe a bit musty. Hate might have been a strong word, but artists, especially the young ones, tend to fall back on exaggeration. 'I hate this bus! I haaaaate this bus!' There is now percussion, as his shoe backs bump alternately on the little wall under the seat front.

Mother has had enough. She puts her book down, crosses the aisle. I can't see what happens, but the singer starts screaming in that scream that kids do when they want their parents to pay for whatever they did with public humiliation. It's not working. We're dealing with a strong mother. The kind who says "I'll give you something to scream about." I have a feeling the kid knows this, because he loses steam within a minute.

It was an uncomfortable minute, and it began with me sitting there smiling, suppressing laughter at the ridiculous brilliance of it all. A deconstruction of uniquely human proportions. And the girl in the pink coat. And the singer and screamer and his sisters and brothers. The mother. The books. The periodic ding.

The apparition of those faces in the back.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I push forward on some good news, swift stepping past a gunmetal blur of fence arrows, stomping my dress shoes on shoveled walks and plowing ahead until the sidewalk ends and there's only snow again. My feet are still warm, wrapped in winter socks, my legs passing each other — pendulums in pressed pant — because, and they do it swiftly because [the Rev. Lowery. But others close to the president say] I left the apartment three minutes late and I don't want to miss the bus, the bus at 7:45 at the intersection two blocks ahead. I pray the driver is slowed by poor road conditions, a double parked car, maybe, a crippled passenger who needs to use the hydraulic lift.

Devil ice patch beneath the snow pack, my left heel finds it and slides to the outside, my knee finds out first, buckling as my brain gets wind and sends word to my lower back, which snaps opposite and upright, shifting my weight to the right foot, which finds purchase and allows me to [continued throughout Europe yesterday as Muslims] continue. I make the corner in plenty of time. Even beat the tall guy. I check the headlines.

There must be a better way.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

No movie will make you want to live like Ikiru will.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Perk up your ears, but not too much. Pay attention to the light waves emanating from your television set. If you're lucky you'll see a commercial about children who wet the bed. They will speak candidly about the problem — the shame, the smell, the overwhelming sense of helplessness and despair. Each child will be shown in turn, sitting at the table in the breakfast nook, hands wrapped around a glass of orange juice, or at the park, upside down with a tube of jungle gym behind their knees, or in the bedroom, at the particle board desk, elbows pinning down each side of a thick textbook. Wetting the bed is a serious problem. As serious as social studies homework. As serious as chicken pox.

But now there's a solution: diapers. Sure, you'll still technically be wetting yourself, but now an absorbent, multi-layered gauntlet of space-age polymers will whisk away the shame. You will be the toast of the playground. Your newfound confidence will take you places. Perhaps to Toys 'R' Us or Baskin Robbins.

This commercial exists. I've seen it with my eyeballs.