Friday, May 30, 2003

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
2. The Fifth Angel by David Wiltse
3. The Beach House by James Patterson
4. Field of Thirteen by Dick Francis
5. Three Fates by Nora Roberts

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Jonathon Schanzer will be on CNBC tonight at 6:30 PM EST to talk about the prospects of a Hamas-Fatah ceasefire - and the (limited) potential of the roadmap. Check it out if you can.
Re: Happy Birthday, Tao of Pauly

Here's what Skippy blogged:

"My former college roommate launched his weblog one year ago today, and since then he's been entertaining and inspiring people around the world -- including me -- with his stories and observations. Congratulations on the milestone, Pauly! I'm very proud of you and the Tao, and I'm happy I played a small role in nudging you onto the Internet."

Thanks, Skippy!

Question of the Month: Crayons

The Question: What Crayola Crayon best describes your personality?

Here's the results!

The most popular answer was Grateful Red, which was selected twice as many times as any other crayon! Which is funny because I made it up! It doesn't exist. I added it to the list after Skippy felt that Indian Red was not very PC. And I think that the TAO of Pauly readers are major stoners and potheads. Why? Because of the popularity of Grateful Red and other colors with the word BURNT in it!!

Most Popular:
1. Grateful Red
2. Burnt Orange
3. Bittersweet

And now some notable quotes:

"Burnt Orange. . . because that's how I feel right now this morning!" - Derek

"Bittersweet... a simple summation of my paradoxes." - Boogie

"Goldenrod.... my last name is Weiner .... seems suitable." - Modeski!

"Bittersweet and Magenta... Its a toss up! If I had to choose one: Magenta, but Bittersweet just sounded so "soulfully deep" for a crayon." - Charna

"There's no doubt I'm a tan of some sort. Maybe the "tan" sort. It's just like life. In another perspective, "tan" may not describe my personality. Colour- psychology indicates dangerous motives behind almost all of the 64, i.e both Red and Green are symbolizing murder. In that sense, I'm a crossfade between red and green. Throw in some apricot, copper and turquoise blue and I think you'd have a match. Or not." - Sigge

"Salmon. It was the monikker of my group in rehab, it is the fish of the northwest and the first people (Native American tribes of the northwest coast: WA, ALASKA, & BC,) and, is a large part of northwest claim to fame, if we have one... the salmon plays a very special roll in my life and in the lives of the northwest native populations from Spokane to Alaska." - Stephen Adkins
Hmmmm.... Bellagio reprise? check out the Festa al Lago Tournamnet!
Everest Half-Century Celebrated! Rallies are being held to mark the anniversary and celebrations are taking place across Nepal to mark the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and the late Tenzing Norgay.

Here's what Stephen A. wrote:  

"Yes 50 years ago Thursday, May 29th, Ed Hillary spoke those timeless words "Well, we knocked the bastard off." The climbing fraternity are flocking to Kathmandu, Nepal like a fat kid on a ho-ho. Celebrations have been taking place for the past couple of weeks now, and will end in a fever pitch on the 29th. Records have been broken... first black summiter, most assents by one person, a sherpa who's name escapes me with 13 and the youngest assent at 19 by young Roskelly from my hometown, Spokane, Washington. (Go Tribe!) Wish I were in Nepal to see the festivities and meet some of the legendary names to summit Chomolungma in Tibetan, Sagarmantha in Nepali, and Everest in English to me though she will always be, CHOMOLUNGMA, GODDESS MOTHER OF THE WORLD."

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Intensify the Hunt is an article written by Jonathan Schanzer and appears in today's Baltimore Sun.

Here's a bit:  

"THE BOMB attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca, the warnings in East Africa and Europe and the heightened threat level at home are sober indications that al-Qaida still has global reach despite the U.S.-led campaign in Afghanistan and the war on terrorism.

This should not come as a shock. Al-Qaida continues to be a threat because it has always had a fluid and decentralized operational structure. In other words, al-Qaida may be on the run, but it never stopped running."

Trey Anastasio Band!

5.27.03 Hammerstien Ballroom, NYC

Set 1: Mozambique, Money Love & Change, Sweet and Dandy (Toots & Maytals tune), ? Undermind ?, Sweet Dreams Melinda, The Way I Feel, Sultan's of Swing
Set 2: Night Speaks to a Woman (30 Mins!), Gotta Jibboo, Plasma, Ether Sunday, Sand **
Encore: Cincinnati

** w/ Warren Haynes

Mike Gordon appeared with Trey on Monday night for the Zepplin cover of Black Dog. I'm getting pumped for Phish summer tour!!
Man Named MONEYMAKER Wins 2003 World Series of Poker... and $2.5 Million First Prize!! Early Saturday morning, Moneymaker won the WSoP with a full house, 5s over 4s.

Here's a bit: It was only fitting that an accountant named Moneymaker would put down $40 and ultimately walk away with $2.5 million and the title of champion Saturday in the 34th annual World Series of Poker. Known to his friends as "Money," Chris Moneymaker, 27, also became the first person to win the prestigious tournament by qualifying on the Internet.

"I got lucky along the way," Moneymaker said. "I bluffed a lot during this tournament, but somehow I got away with it." Players and experts said Moneymaker's win will revolutionize poker, solidifying the merger of the Internet and big-name casinos and boosting the game's popularity. "This is the sonic boom of poker," said Nolan Dalla, media director for the World Series of Poker. "This means anyone in their home can become a poker player."

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Happy Birthday, Tao of Pauly!!

It's true, the Tao of Pauly started one year ago today, when I wrote...
"Finally, a long awaited site has arrived on the web where you can take a sincere peek into my sublime madness, a cosmic glimpse into the vile insanity, or a hesitant taste of my reluctant cyber rants and ramblings..."

Friday, May 23, 2003

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Widow's Walk by Robert B. Parker
2. Watermelon by Marian Keyes
3. The Murder Book by Jonathon Kellerman
4. High Maintenance by Jennifer Belle
5. What I Saw at the Fair by Ann Birstein

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

"None of us are angels. That's what makes us so damn interesting!" - Armando Huerta to me in a recent e-mail.
At Poker's World Series, 838 Jokers, One King is an article written by Jodi Wilgoren and appeared in yesterday's NY Times.

Here's a bit: "LAS VEGAS, May 20 — And so it goes in the World Series of Poker, where gambling legends who autograph books and photographs during the breaks can be taken down by unknowns, like Robert Varkonyi of Brooklyn, who walked away with last year's $2 million first prize. That 2002 upset, combined with the enormous growth of online gaming and the prime-time television broadcast of high-stakes tournaments, brought a record 839 players to Binion's Horseshoe Hotel and Casino this week for the 34th annual event known as the Big One.

That is a 33 percent jump from last year's record 631 players, making the total purse $7,802,700: $2.5 million for the winner, $1.3 million for the runner-up and $15,000 each for those who place 55th through 63rd."

Thanks to Boogie for pointing out the article! Thanks for looking out... and that's why Boogie is like the coolest chick on the planet, and I love her so!

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Bronx Man Gets Ticket for Sitting on a Milk Crate!

It's funny because it's true. The cops are ticket happy these days, needing to make up fast revenue and quick cash for a financially scrapped city.

Here's a bit: "A lot of New Yorkers have outrageous stories about how the city is milking them dry with ridiculous fines - but Jesse Taveras has them all beat. The 19-year-old Bronx man got a summons Sunday - for simply sitting on a milk crate on the Grand Concourse.

"I don't believe this," Taveras said he told the cop who handed him the ticket, citing him for "unauthorized use of a milk crate."

...a 1988 law calls for fines of up to $100 for stealing milk crates - but doesn't address the legality of sitting on them. The summons from hell came days after the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association charged that beat cops are under pressure to write tickets and meet illegal quotas to help pump money into city coffers. City officials strongly deny those charges."
World Series of Poker

Day 1 Results... The 34th WSoP tournament started yesterday and the finals are on Friday. A record 839 players forked over the $10,000 buy-in entry fee, to bring the total prize money to (another new record): $7,802,700. Yes. Almost $8 Million!!! Yikes! The winner will walk away with almost $2.6 Million!! 388 players remain.

Last year's champion Robert Varkoyni from Brooklyn lost in the first day. He's already out of the tournament. He won $2 Million last year.

For the poker newbies out there, I'm listing a couple of helpful links:

1. Poker Glossary
2. Rankings of Hands
3. Rules to Texas Hold 'em
4. World Series of Poker info
5. The blog about... My Last Trip to Vegas!

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
2. The Cottage by Danielle Steel
3. Shutter Island: A Novel by Dennis Lehane
4. Hiding from the Light by Barbara Erskine
5. Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market by Eric Schlosser

Monday, May 19, 2003

Dave Simanoff sent me this link: Times Bomb

Here's a bit from the Newsweek article: "This is the story of two men’s rise. Howell Raines, the swaggering, smooth-talking Southerner, had transformed the culture of the staid New York Times since stepping into the paper’s top editorial position in September 2001—elevating the chosen few, pushing his staff with an unrelenting ferocity and, in his first three months on the job, leading the paper to an unprecedented seven Pulitzer Prizes, six of them for the paper’s coverage of the September 11 attacks.

Jayson Blair, an awkward, overbearing, chain-smoking cub reporter, seemed to intuitively understand this, and was gaming his way to the upper echelon of Times reporters—his personal life unraveling even as he was handed ever more prominent and pressure-packed assignments by supervisors who warned him sternly about his problems while continuing to cheer him on. "
Re: Ducks Picture that I took

Armando wrote me this: "They have ducks in the park next to the Parliament close to my house. Cute birds that I've always liked looking at but for some reason the ones at this pond are CONSTANTLY engaging in threesomes. It's uncanny. Every time we walk by there are a 2 or 3 groups going crazy on the edge of the pond. Must be a Greek thing."

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Sigge recently posted a cool picture that I took in Prospect Park on Thursday. Check it out.

Oh, and I missed National Day of Norway! Happy Norway Day, Sigge.

Here's what Sigge blogged: "As none of you know:) the 17th of May is the National Day of Norway, like the 4th of July in America. People run around shouting "Horay", wave our flag like the nazis did in the 40s, and wear national costumes named bunad. Since I don't know when, it's been a tradition for Norwegian youths to get as blasted as possible the night before..."

One more thing... Sigge also posted a funny picture of himself!! Check it out.
Smoking Nazis? The Smoking Police?

I went to see a concert last night at Irving Plaza... the band playing was Soulive, a local NYC groovy, funky, shakin-your-ass band that I have been seeing since late 1999. Anyway, there were a series a incidents last night, where security was being too overbearing trying to prevent people from smoking ciggies and other things. Two of Haley's friends got thrown out for smoking! Well, aside from the smoking drama, the show was great.

I like the layout and sound system at Irving Plaza, and I've seen nearly 50 shows there (a guesstimate, probbaly more like 60 or 70 shows). It used to be one of my favorite places to see a concert. But even before the smoking ban, and during pre 9.11 NYC, I had several run ins with Irving Plaza security. I know it's not the easiest job in the world, but for the most part the guys that work there are assholes, which makes seeing shows there a lot less fun these days! Why spend the money to go see a band when I know I'll be harassed? That's why I'm not so thrilled to be seeing 2 Dark Star Orchestra shows there in early June. But the music is what pulls me there, so I'll suck it up and deal with the Nazis.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Truckin' May 2003 (Vol 2., Issue 5)

Welcome to my monthly blog-zine and the "Vegas Reprise" edition of Truckin'! This month's issue includes six stories from me and three of them, Betty's New Shoes, Crispy Lineta, and The World Series of Poker, were inspired from my second trip to Sin City in less than a month. You can read about my attempt to get into the World Series of Poker. This month marks the debut of Haley Slovin and her first story: Ingrid. I also wrote some new fiction. Baby's Steak Knife and Winky's Salad brings back characters from a story I wrote last month. In addition to the subway story: May Flowers, I also reviewed five more flicks for this month's Indie Film Review. Sit back, relax, and enjoy! Be Sweet, McG

1. Subway Story: May Flowers by Tenzin McGrupp
She closed her eyes after she bent her head and smelled each one, taking the time to individually check out every flower. I was enamored by her technique. Somehow she got intoxicated by the sweet aroma of each sniff, enthusiastically drifting off into her dreamland, like a Lower East Side junkie getting his morning fix plunging a spike into his weathered vein... More

2. Baby's Steak Knife and Winky's Salad by Tenzin McGrupp
There was a couple of seconds after she stabbed me and before the blood started squirting out where Baby and I calmly stared at each other. Our glances lovingly locked onto one another and we had a tranquil moment. Our symbiotic original connection only lasted for a second maybe two, but it was one of those eternal seconds that seem to last forever and you never want to end... More

3. Crispy Lineta by Tenzin McGrupp
The first time I saw Crispy Lineta was in Spring of 1993. It was 2 AM and he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and Bermuda shorts. Crispy was being dragged out of the Casino Magic in Biloxi, Mississippi by three oversized security guards with uneven buzz cuts that wore mirrored sunglasses... More

4. Betty's New Shoes by Tenzin McGrupp
She rambled on for a page about a weird dream she had where she lost a pet tarantula in her Aunt Margaret’s bedroom. She was desperately looking for the hairy arachnid, which surprised her since she didn’t have a pet spider and hated creepy things like bugs, tape worms, cockroaches and fashionably challenged guys that wore white pants after Labor Day... More

5. Ingrid by Haley Slovin
Ingrid was always ten minutes early. She was scheduled to meet him exactly at Noon. She waited in front of the diner until 12:15 before she took a deep breath and went inside... More

6. The World Series of Poker by Tenzin McGrupp
The World Series of Poker is not for amateurs. I found out the hard way. But if you’re a dreamer and a disciplined gambler, you shouldn’t miss out. The game is No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em. All you need is $10,000 and a pair of balls... More

7. Indie Film Review by Tenzin McGrupp
I wrote up reviews of the films: 13 Conversations About One Thing (2001), Todo Sobre Mi Madre (1999), Timecode (2000), Roger Dodger (2002), and Seceretay (2002)... More

Happy 40th Page!!

Page McConnell, the keyboard & piano player from Phish turns 40 today! Send him b-day greeting: Here!

Top 5 Page Moments!
1. Boogie's Glowstick! Crashes on Page's piano during Harry Hood at the Nassau show in October 1999.
2. Meeting Page and his wife backstage at a show in Tuscon, Arizona with Heather in September 1999.
3. Seeing Page cross the street by himself in downtown Osaka a couple of hours before the last Phish show in Japan 2000.
4. Walking into an after-show party at a bar in Osaka and turning around to find Page standing right behind me.
5. Page's New Shirt: the scene in the Phish movie Bittersweet Motel where Trey sings a song called "Page's New Shirt" in the dressing room before one of their European gigs.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Wanna smoke pot and drive? Move to Canada, eh!

Lighter Penalties for Minors in Pot Bill is an article from The Globe and Mail.

Here's a token bit: "Smoking pot while driving would not be a crime and penalties for minors would be lower than for adults, according to draft legislation decriminalizing the possession of marijuana.

As currently envisioned, the act would make possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana (the equivalent of about 20 joints) a non-criminal offence punishable by a fine of $150 for adults. Minors, however, would be charged only $100, although police would notify their parents of the offence."
"The cool thing about being famous is traveling. I have always wanted to travel across seas, like to Canada and stuff." - Britney Spears

Thursday, May 15, 2003

I went to Brooklyn today and met up with Gil. We took a hike through Prospect Park and let Mr. Dickhead tag along while we took pictures. I saw ducks, birds, and more ducks. I think I saw a swan? Or maybe not. There was a film crew shooting a movie somewhere in the park. I could not see the set, but we saw the craft services truck and some other equipment vans.
"We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people." - Arthur Schopenhauer

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Dawson's Creek Finale

It's true. It's over. No more Dawson's Creek! Last night I had the pleasure of attending a Goodbye to the Creek party. It was the series final episode, a 2 hour flash foward, five years into the future. Dawson is living in L.A. and is the head of his own production company responsible for the hot TV show "The Creek" loosely based on his life growing up. The gang reunites for Dawson's mom's wedding. Pacey owns his own restaraunt in Capeside (the fictional town where Dawson and the gang live) and is sleeping with a married woman. Jen returns home as a single mom with a dark secret. And Joey (Katie Holmes) is an editor in New York City and is still caught in between her love for both her boyfriends, Pacey & Dawson... a typical love triangle... caught up in between her soulmate (Dawson, the boy nextdoor) and the brooding rebel (Pacey).
Fans of the Creek have been forewarned that "somebody will die on the final episode". Before the show began, I called the Vegas Hotline to find out the odds of who will be killed off... here's what Mirage had to say:

Which Dawson's Creek member will die on the final episode?
The odds:
Pacey 3 to 1
Dawson 5 to 1
Jen 8 to 1
Joey 12 to 1

The smart money was on Pacey. I figured since it's called Dawson's Creek that they wouldn't kill Dawson off. I felt that Joey and Dawson were meant for each other, so Katie Holmes' character wouldn't be axed. The logical choice was Pacey. Alas I was wrong.

Jen died of a weak heart! She just had a baby and before she died she asked Jack (the token gay friend) to raise the child. She also told Joey to finally decide on one of the boys (a dying request from Jen). All roads led to Dawson... but in the end, she picked Pacey! I was upset and disppointed. Dawson punked out. He could have had Joey so many times over the last few years and he blew it. I would have been wicked pissed if I was Dawson. I would have drowned Pacey's ass in the Creek if he stole Katie Holmes away from me. Well... Dawson took the sentimental high road and told Joey something to the equivalent like: they are eternal soulmates, and at some point they'll be together, but not necessarily at that time. What a fuckin' loser! I lost a lot of respect for the geek. It just goes to show you that nice guys always do finish in second place and that girls always fall for the guy that dumps all over them. A sad night indeed for Dawson and myself.

The run is over. And now I'll have to find something else to do on Wednesday nights at 8 PM (7 PM CST).
Skippy sent me this heady link: Dude, Is This the High Court?

Here's a bit: "An activist seeking the overturn of Canada's marijuana law smoked hashish and cannabis on Tuesday before arguing his own case in the Supreme Court, dressed completely in hemp products."
Sigge wrote this recently to me: "The war is never over. You can only choose between one kind of war, and another kind of war. Basic Hinduism. Genius."
Spider sent me this funny link: Problems Go Beyond Torborg.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Re: Jack Tripper Stole My Dog... a Jerry Review!

Jerry wrote me this in a recent e-mail. He just finished JTSMD and here's what he had to say: "Oh, I finally finished JTSMD - I ripped through the final 1/3 last night and it really came together. A surprisingly "happy-type" ending. Overall I thought it was a really good effort with a lot of promising style and creativity. My one suggestion is that I did not know where the story was going while I was reading all of the fascinating, intriging, disgusting, revolting and bizarre stories and characterization. Maybe if there was some more thread/main story theme to carry through the middle of the novel.

I really enjoyed the last third of the book - it seemed more fast-paced and easier to read, not as choppy. The only other thing, would be to let you readers use theri memory to remeber the characters past, background - there were times when you continually repeated (background information)... when we had already read that once or twice with detail. By continually repeating, it seems that you did not trust us to care enough to remember, which as a reader feels insulting.

But hey now, I thought the book was very good and had some of the best stories/antedotes I have ever read. That one about the guy doing all those chicks the night before his wedding. I could go on but I have to get back to work. I would love to read another novel by McGrupp. Peace, JE"

Wow... thanks Jerry for your kind review and some great suggestions!! The new novel has been shelved. I wrote up a first draft, but now I am putting it away until the end of the summer. Right now, I will be working on the re-write (3rd Draft) of JTSMD in order to clean it up to send out copies to literary agents and publishing companies that allow "unsolicited manuscripts" (works from writers without agents). Again thanks for your support!
"You know what luck is? Luck is believing you're hold front position in this rat-race you've got to believe you're lucky." - Stanley Kowalski, A Streetcar Named Desire

Friday, May 09, 2003

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
2. The Holy Bible
3. Midnight Runner by Jack Higgins
4. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
5. Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung
Speaking of Hunter...

Down in Athens, Georgia... from, Beano suggested this link to me: Love And Arson in the Shadow of the Rockies, Checking in on Hunter S. Thompson, America's Legendary Gonzo Journalist
Hunter Thompson and Dawson's Creek

Of course I'm watching the Creek as we speak, and Joey (Katie Holmes) made a Hunter reference. She is supposed to read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I find that hysterical. I'd like to dose Katie and take her to Vegas! Instead she watched the film version (with Johnny Depp as Hunter). She was quote as saying: "I thought this was supposed to be about the American Dream?" I think she missed the boat.
I drank again at the Cedar Tavern for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon, working on the new novel in between beverages. The new issue of Truckin' will be out today. I wrote six stories for this issue, for a total of 50 stories in the last year! Man oh man! Some of them are pieces of my best work to date.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Trey Anastasio Playboy Interview

Trey's in Playboy!

Actually it's just an interview. No naked Trey. Read up! He had some interesting things to say about Phish and other stuff.

Here's my favorite part: "Clearly, we've all done our share of drugs. I'm in a band, and there are plenty of drugs around. But the greatest answer is that one quote from Bob Marley: "All dem drugs just slow you down." They do. And at the same time, road life is what it is. I'm not going to say that stuff doesn't go on, because it does. With psychedelic drugs, they're just a gas -- it's a big joke. I never had any real problems with mushrooms, or acid, or smoking pot. But then when you get into...the other stuff, it can get a hold on people real quick, and it's a freaky thing to see. And God, no, I would never say that it fuels creativity. The only part that's separate about that is that life is life, and all experience fuels creativity. Scuba diving or falling in love or scraping your knee -- reading probably fuels creativity more than anything I've ever experienced. But if there's one fucking thing, and one thing only, that fuels creativity, its discipline. There's no substitution for sitting down and working your ass off." - Trey Anastasio

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

"A dollar won is twice as sweet as a dollar earned." - Paul Newman, The Color of Money
Re: 11 Q's Famous Phis Edition

Sigge wrote: "I think Nick seems like a really nice guy. In addition to your statement above, you could add that Nick comes from Nicolaus, hence a direct line to St. Nicholas (Santa). But letting someone puke in the back seat of your car is stupid. I think Nick has an issue when it comes to friends, he need better ones, instead of letting them take advantage of him. "Too kind" is a suiting description, I'd say."

Haley wrote: "Very cool! I like the Sure Thing obscure film reference!"

They are both talking about this...

3. If you had a child what would you name it? - Senor

Jerry or Lizzie. Just kidding. I know those are the names of a cheesy Tom Cruise movie and a kid’s TV show on the Disney channel. I always liked Ophelia or Sunshine for a girl’s name, and Garcia if it’s a boy. And I always liked Nick. Nick McGrupp is a cool guy. Nick's your buddy. Nick will let you get drunk and puke in the back seat of his car. Nick!
Good News Update!

Sigge recently sent me this e-mail: " I've written a short article pointing towards my latest article on, featuring a short introduction to the works and thoughts of Norwegian writer and philosopher Peter Wessel Zapffe."
Ashton Kutcher Parties with the Bush "Toker" Twins

Here's a bit: "He tells Rolling Stone: "So we're hanging out ... The Bushes were underage drinking at my house. When I checked outside, one of the Secret Service guys asked me if they'd be spending the night. I said no. And then I go upstairs to see another friend and I can smell the green wafting out under his door. I open the door, and there he is smoking out the Bush twins on his hookah."

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. The Medieval Papacy by Geoffrey Barraclough
2. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
3. Tuesday's with Morrie by Mitch Albom
4. The Day After Tomorrow by Allan Folsom
5. Becoming Divine: Toward a Feminist Philosophy of Religion by Grace Jantzen
Cinco De Mayo...

Well yesterday was the 5th of May and I had a perfect excuse to drink early in the morning... only drawing a few looks of contempt and scorn from the unamused uppercrust that frown upon drinking during daylight hours. It wasn't just a national Mexican holiday, but for me, it was a celebration of life and joy and freedom. Who do I know can walk into any bar on a Monday morning and start pounding guilt free? During days like yesterday... I love being a writer!

I started early! I arrived at the Cedar Tavern before 10 AM and I already had half a bag on slurping Screwdrivers before Haley and her friends showed up before noon to drink Mimosa's. I didn't have to drink alone on Cinco de Mayo! After wandering around in a buzzed stupor in Union Sqaure, I rallied to meet up with some old chums at Regis, ex-teammates from our hockey days almost 15 years ago. Drank some more on the West Side before I stumbled home. I should have been working on Truckin' but I'll do that today. New issue is due out this Friday.
Derek sent me this link: Top 10 Party Animals.... the list includes: Babe Ruth, John Daly, and John McEnroe.

Hey while you are on why don't you check out my new favorite baseball player... Jung Bong! Who said that Potheads Can't Play Baseball?

Monday, May 05, 2003

Saturday Night with KBB...

Caught the Kwait Brothers Band the other night at Kenny's Castaways. There was a rare special appearance from Gitler! As well as Charna who showed up with two friends. And Senor was in rare form for sure, showing random people pictures of his new wife to be! The KBB went on an hour later than scheduled and they got half the time they were promised! It was a short, quick set, and I felt slightly bad because they drove all the way from Philly to get kinda screwed by Kenny's management. Just another logistical headache in the tough music industry relayed to me by manager Modeski!

But I told the KBB that it's all about quality, not quantity. The show was great! The boys opened up with my favorite KBB song... Deering Banjo! The other highlight was a break out of the Johnny Cash song Big River. I also got to chat with both brothers who were excited to see... me! I found out that Rich and Rob and the rest of the band loved my article that I posted to The Good News! I was pretty happy about that. Chatted with the keyboard player Jay and he offered to buy me drinks! Cool guys for sure. They play in NYC again on June 14th at the Elbow Room.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

Aron Ralston...

"An Aspen man is alive, but only after doing the unthinkable to save his own life -- amputating his arm with a pocketknife. Aron Ralston, 27, was trapped in a remote slot canyon in Utah for five days. He was solo canyoneering on Saturday afternoon in Blue John Canyon, adjacent to the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park in Utah, when a 800-pound boulder fell on him, pinning his right arm, according to the sheriff's offices in Emery and Wayne counties in Utah. Ralston, who had only planned for a one-day hike, was unable to move and was trapped. After three days, he ran out of water.

On the fifth day -- Thursday morning -- Ralston realized that his survival required drastic action and that no one was going save him but himself, so he amputated his arm below the elbow using his pocketknife. He than applied a tourniquet and administered first aid from a kit that he had in his backpack.Then, with one arm, he rigged anchors and fixed a rope to rappel about 75 feet to the floor of Blue John Canyon where he then continued hiking downstream into Horseshoe Canyon, rescuers said..."
- from the Denver Channel

I'm sure you've heard the news about the guy who amputated his arm after he got it stuck climbing in Colorado... well I had the good fortune to cross paths with Aron almost three years ago while following Phish in Japan. I'd see him at different shows from time to time. He's a great guy with a great smile... and I hope to see him back on Phish tour very soon. Latest word is that he's recovering, but still in critical condition. His story is slowly gaining momentum as it makes it's way across the globe.

Zobo sent me this e-mail: "I am not sure how many of you saw this article, but Aron was over in Japan with us three years ago. Interesting story of how he survived a hiking accident... Climber Aputates Arm, Hikes to Safety.

Dan from San Fran wrote this:

Subject: RE: Colorado Climber is part of Japhamily

I myself am in shock. Aron is one of the kindest persons I have met in all my musical touring days. I tape traded with him regularly for several years before finally meeting face to face in Japan, where he credited me as responsible for at least half of his tape collection. Afterwards we kept in touch and always had a great time together when we met up at shows. One memorable occasion was String Cheese in Vegas at the Alladin. The show was on my birthday and Aron joined me and some other friends at our seats during setbreak for a celebration with a cake that we smuggled into the show.

I just heard from Erik that he is still in serious condition, but is expected to recover nicely. I wouldn't expect anything less from Aron. He was always the kind of guy to push the limits in everything he did. He graduated top of his class, excelled at work, and pushed himself in all aspects of his personal entertainment and spiritual quests. I am certain that he is pushing himself even now to recover and get back to exploring the world he loves and being with the people he loves.

My thoughts and prayers go out to you Aron. I love you, buddy!


If you would like to get in touch with Aron... here's some info sent to me from Chris:

St. Mary's Hosital
2635 N. 7th st.
Grand Junction, Colorado 81501

Don't send anything with dirt. Cut Flowers only. No phone calls.

Here's some other articles about his amazing story:

1. The Denver Channel
2. Aspen Daily News

Here's a bit: "It's official: Aron Ralston is a badass. With his eyes set on becoming the first person to climb all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks alone in the dead of winter, the gutsy 27-year-old was bound for mountaineering fame before he lopped off his own arm. But now the waiting is over. Ralston is a legend."
Hunter S. Thompson Got Married this week to his 30 year old assistant. Check out the article from the Aspen Daily News.

Meanwhile... The Royal Wedding is an article written by Hunter S. Thompson. The Good Doctor got hitched this week...

Here's a bit: "My own Marriage was the subject of extreme excitement and big news around here last week. It dwarfed everything else, including the NBA playoffs, the Kentucky Derby, Kevin Millwood's no-hitter, Naked Bowling, and the feverish search for Saddam Hussein in Iraq. A bold headline in the Aspen Daily News said "Congratulations to Woody Creek's Royal Couple," flanked by photos of me and Anita scowling and smiling out at the Reader. Surprise surprise, eh?

It was done with fine style and secrecy in order to avoid the craziness and drunken violence that local lawmen feared would inevitably have followed the ceremony. I know nothing about planning even the simplest wedding, nothing at all, and neither does sweet Anita, who is now my Wife. So we did it the Bhuddist way. We drove straight to the County Courthouse on a stormy Thursday morning and were happily married by noon. Sheriff Bob performed the ceremony, his wife took pictures, and a black priest from Sicily handled the video camera. It was fun..."

Friday, May 02, 2003

Congrats to Senor!!!

A little wrangler was born
I seen him squirming in the saddle
all wet and warm

The rumors are true. Senor is getting married to his girlfriend Ang and they are expecting a child in November! Can you say Uncle Pauly? Best of luck to Senor, Ang and their little wrangler.
The Iraq war is over and J. Lo and Ben are still engaged! Wow... I am shocked.

I just got home. I went to Yankee Stadium to see the Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 2-1. The crowd was filled with many Japanese baseball fans. The Mariners are in town and with their star player Ichiro Suzuki playing, the Japanese media has been hyping up these games between Japan's top two players: Ichiro and the Yankees rookie Hideki Matsui. It was my first Yankees game this season. Derek's boss gave him tickets at the last minute and I met him at the Stadium. We had decent seats on the left field line (for $35) and a free pass to the Pinstripe Pub to eat dinner and have drinks before the game. I pigged out. I ate chicken fingers, cheese fries and 2 hot dogs over the course of the game. Beers cost $6.75 (Budweiser) if you wait in line and $7.50 (Miller Lite) if the vendors come to you. Behind strong pitching from Mike Mussina and solo homeruns from Soriano and Posada, the Yankees prevailed.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

The Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on Airplanes...

1. The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
2. The Crisis of Islam by Bernard Lewis
3. Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
4. Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillian
5. Krakatoa by Simon Winchester