Tuesday, September 30, 2003

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

1. She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
2. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
3. King Lear by William Shakespeare
4. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur S. Golden
5. You Belong in a Zoo by Peter Brazaitis
Book Review: Chinese Takeout a novel by Arthur Nersesian

"I was sick of being an artist, but like a head cold I'd get over it... I tired giving up painting. I resolved to... make a salary. Build a life with a working wife and obligatory children with whom, as though forever trapped in an elevator, I'd grow old... I wasn't after a job or family. I was searching for a different kind of pain, one with less fiery creativity and more monotonous security... I was claustrophobically bored of the whole poverty shtick... relentless hours of exhausting work that were almost never compensated. But then I remembered that there was really nothing else out there." - Arthur Nersesian, Chinese Takeout

This is on the back of his book: "From the author of the cult classic The Fuck-Up comes a vicious new tale of art, drugs, love, and death on the Lower East Side."

I finished reading Nersesian's latest novel Chinese Takeout. And without a doubt, it's his best work since his first novel The Fuck-Up. Nersesian is a writer from NYC and the author of Manhattan Loverboy, Dogrun, and Suicide Casanova. I skimmed parts of Suicide Casanova on my lunch breaks last Winter. Aside from that half-assed effort, I read all of his other novels at least twice. Why? For a while I was considering adapting one or more of his novels into screenplay format. Last Spring I began the tedious process of adapting Dogrun. I quickly gave up after I wrote 1/3 of the screenplay. I decided to start up my blog-zine Truckin' and focus on my own writing instead, and the screenplay project has been collecting dust ever since.

Arthur Nersesian is my favorite NYC writer and one contemporary author that I admire. His novels are exclusively set in NYC as the old adage goes: Write what you know. His characters are densely layered individuals... each unique, but with some sort of universal characteristic that you can easily indentify with.

The main character in Chinese Takeout is Orloff Trenchant (his nickname is Or, which adds to his consistent indecision through the novel). Or is a painter but makes his living selling used books near NYU in the Village. Scrapped for cash he agrees on a job that nobody wants: he has three weeks to carve a headstone for a local deceased restaurant owner... in the shape of a Chinese takeout box. While he begins his monster assignment he struggles with the rest of his own miserable life. June, his girlfriend and fellow artist leaves him for another man. His friends are an odd collection of somewhat famous artists, a bevy of "has-beens", a politically charged activist, and a couple of shady art dealers. And of course, Or falls in love with the wrong girl, Rita, an addicted poet whose life is more fucked up than his. Or is man who struggles for his art and atempts to discover which is a better road: commercial success or true passion?

The Fuck-Up is Nersesian's best work. However, I felt that I identified with the characters on a more sincere level in Chinese Takeout. Where as The Fuck-Up took place in the 1980s... Chinese Takeout was set in NYC before 9.11... just around the time of the 2000 election. (I assume he wrote the manuscript around that time). It was a warm memory of what life was like in NYC pre-9.11.

Here are some excerpts that I enjoyed:

"I needed to do. I had to leave my mark before twenty-seven. That seemed a make-or-break age; all bona-fide geniuses proved themselves by twenty-seven. I worked my ass off... I sold some work and got three decent reviews. It was then that I first realized that I was not as great as I thought I'd be. But that was all right; I could still be a good journeyman painter..."

"It wasn't enough having done the works. Who had seen them? Who had sought them out? Where was the fame and fortune? Just as goals had been modestly attained, new and more complex aims had replaced them. Although I didn't write myself off as a complete failure, all the illusion and romance was gone... I had already disappointed my own expectations and was genuinely worried about dying on the streets."

"'My young friend, there comes a point in life when you just got to 'fess up to what you are and what you aren't...'"

"I pitched pennies at a large rat scurrying along the tracks, until the train finally arrived - it was the last pleasure a cent could afford."

"He regarded nine-to-five living as a resignation of all real dreams."

"To last as an artist one had to feast on neglect and guzzle down rejection, because those were the only two things you were guaranteed."

"When a painter looks at his art... he sees a reference to a time in his life."

"There is nothing wrong with people having money. What bothered me were those who believe that capricious upsurges of the market made them more valuable as human beings. This was the core of my disdain for dealers, collectors, and the rich in general."

If you have the chance, read Chinese Takeout and spread the word about Arthur Nersesian.
The Sweet Smells of October in the Bronx...

This is my favorite time of year. The weather is chilly, the leaves are turning different colors every moment, and of course... the Yankees are in the baseball playoffs! First game starts today and I'm super excited. You see my other favorite sports teams suck. And I'm not being critical. They do. The NY Jets are 0-4. Yikes. The NY Knicks are pathetic. They traded away Latrell Sprewell, one of the most exciting and controversial players in NY sports history. They will be lucky if they finish the season .500. The NY Rangers are caught up in the same rut as the Knicks. They overpay for guys who are past their prime. So that leaves me with only one team to root for... the Yankees. I hope they will avenge their first round exit from the 2002 playoffs. This year they posted the best record in baseball, but they are no where near as dominant as they once were. Injuries and old age had a lot to do with that this year... but in the postseason, none of that matters. It's a fresh start, and usually the hottest teams win. The Minnesota Twins are the best team in baseball int he last half of the season. Will they be able to edge out the Yanks in a short series? No way!

Here's what I think will happen in the first round of the playoffs...

Yanks to beat the Minnesota Twins in 4 games.
Oakland A's to trounce the Boston Red Sox in a sweep!
Chicago Cubs beating the Atlanta Braves in 5.
The Florida Marlins shocking the S.F. Giants in 4.

I like a Cubs and Yankees World Series. And I don't have to tell you who I think will win that.

Here are some good baseball blogs:
1. The Cub Reporter
2. Replacement Level Yankees
3. Bronx Banter

Monday, September 29, 2003

Five Year Old Girl Makes Bong in Class

Here's a bit: "A five-year-old Territory girl shocked teachers when she showed her class how to make a bong out of a Coke bottle during a 'show and tell' session... The revelation comes amid mounting concerns over drug use among Territory primary school students."

Sunday, September 28, 2003

NFL Best Bets Week 4

Pick of the Week
Chicago Bob (2-1): Washington -3 vs. New England
Rib Boy (2-1): Kansas City -3 vs. the Ravens
Tao of Pauly (2-1): Kansas City -3 vs. the Ravens

Last Week: Perfect Week 3! Indy covered! So did Minnesota and Pitt, marking the first time all three experts were right. For the season we all pulled to 2-1.

Week 4: Bob likes Washington over the Pats, as well as Minnesota (Pick'em) and Buffalo -3. Rib Boy is sticking with KC and Indy -2. Of course I'm with KC, Indy, Green Bay -4 and San Fran (Pick'em) on my Parlay of the Week. Pitt -3 and Denver -12 1/2 should both cover as well.

Rib Boy's Beatin' of the Week: Denver over Detroit

Tao of Pauly Upset of the Week: Arizona +10 1/2 over the Rams. Last week the Jets got screwed on some bad plays and they did not cover.
George Plimpton... Literary Giant, a Sporting Underdog, Died at 76

"I thought about the applause afterward. Some of it was, perhaps, in appreciation of the lunacy of my participation and for the fortitude it took to do it, but most of it, even if subconscious, I decided was in relief that I had done as badly as I had." - George Plimpton, writing in Paper Lion

Some of you might have heard that George Plimpton died this past week. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Plimpton after he gave a brief lecture at Regis, my high school, many many years ago, somewhere in the late 1980s, when I was a strange shy teenager, and never in my mind did I ever expect to emerge as a struggling writer in my 20s, on the verge of a serious breakthrough in my early 30s. At the time, the notion of being a "writer" did not seem possible. During his serious, sometimes comical lecture, I admired Plimpton's honesty and candor, something that always shined through in his writings. In a world were artistic competition is fierce, he was always gregarious towards other writers... supporting his fellow scribes. He always gave them strong words of encouragement and often forked over money to his struggling friends, in addition to sharing his desire to unearth what makes each and everyone one of them masters of thier craft. Plimpton edited The Paris Review which I loosley modeled my blog-zine Truckin' after. Jack Kerouac was first published in the Paris Review, a story called The Mexican Girl.

Here's some excerpts about George Plimpton from ESPN.com:

"George Plimpton, the self-deprecating author of "Paper Lion" and other sporting adventures and a patron to Philip Roth, Jack Kerouac and countless other writers, has died. He was 76.

"Paper Lion" documented Plimpton's time training with the Detroit Lions in 1963.

Said author John Updike, a longtime friend: "My goodness, he was so vital, full of fun."

Praised as a "central figure in American letters" when inducted in 2002 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Plimpton also enjoyed a lifetime of making literature out of nonliterary pursuits.

He boxed with Archie Moore, pitched to Willie Mays and performed as a trapeze artist for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus. He acted in numerous films, including "Reds" and "Good Will Hunting." He even appeared in an episode of "The Simpsons," playing a professor who runs a spelling bee.

But writers appreciated Plimpton for The Paris Review, the quarterly he helped found in 1953 and ran for decades with eager passion. The magazine's high reputation rested on two traditions: publishing the work of emerging authors, including Roth and Kerouac, and an unparalleled series of interviews in which Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and others discussed their craft.

The Paris Review remained more respected than read. The subscription base was rarely higher than a few thousand and the bank account seemed to descend at will. At one point in 2001, Plimpton reported, funds dropped to $1.16. Donations from various wealthy friends kept it going.

In 1971, Plimpton worked out at quarterback with the Baltimore Colts as preparation for a TV special. He still wasn't cut out for the NFL.

A native of New York, Plimpton held the parallel identities of insider and outsider. He was born into society -- a diplomat's son -- and spoke in an upper-class accent worthy of a Harvard man.

But the public knew him better as an amiable underdog, stumbling amid the feet of the giants of sports and other professions. Much of his career served as a send-up of Hemingway's famous credo: "Grace Under Pressure."

Starting in the 1950s, when he began his vocation as a "participatory" journalist, he practiced the singular art of narrating panic. In a culture where millions fantasized about being movie stars or sports heroes, the lanky, wavy-haired Plimpton dared to enter the arena himself, with results both comic and instructive.

In "Paper Lion," he documented his time training with the Detroit Lions in 1963. Allowed briefly to play quarterback, he remembered the crowd cheering as he left the field after a series of mishaps.

His other books included Bogey Man, Out of My League, and Shadow Box. Plimpton could also take credit for at least one memorable fictional character: Sidd Finch, a baseball pitcher of unprecedented gifts (168 mph fastball) and unlikely background (reared in the mountains of Tibet) portrayed so vividly by Plimpton in a 1985 Sports Illustrated article that many believed he existed.

He seemed to know everyone: athletes, actors, musicians, statesmen. He had deep connections to the political world, dating back to childhood, when Adlai Stevenson -- the two-time presidential nominee -- was a family friend and Jacqueline Kennedy a debutante he would see at dances. Robert Kennedy was a classmate at Harvard.

He sailed with John Kennedy, played tennis with former President Bush and rode on Air Force One with President Clinton. He witnessed a baffling encounter between Richard Nixon and Casey Stengel, when the president wanted to talk baseball and the former baseball manager wanted to discuss banking."

Here's a Note from the Editor of the Paris Review where the staff mourns the loss of their longtime editor, mentor, and friend, who presided over the magazine for fifty years with grace and wisdom.

"Editor and writer George Plimpton passed away during the night on September 25, 2003. Mr. Plimpton was the co-founder of The Paris Review, the legendary literary journal that helped launch the career of diverse writers, including Philip Roth, Adrienne Rich, Jeffrey Eugenides, and many others. Mr. Plimpton remained at the helm of the Review to the last, putting the special 50th anniversary issue to bed the night before he passed away. Mr. Plimpton was also a well-known writer in his own right, and the author of more than thirty books, including A League of My Own, about his experience pitching for the All-Star game of the American National League, as well as numerous others documenting his experiences in participatory journalism, a medium that he largely helped create.

Mr. Plimpton was known to be looking forward to the Paris Review’s 50th anniversary celebrations, centered around a gala fundraising event at Cipriani’s in New York on October 14th, and featuring, among other things, indoor fireworks (Mr. Plimpton was the Fireworks Commissioner of New York), readings by famous writers, and a line of can-can dancers. The event will proceed as planned, and in Mr. Plimpton’s honor.

The Paris Review was Mr. Plimpton's greatest legacy, and so in lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to The Paris Review Foundation to help keep The Paris Review going for another fifty years."
"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer." - Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Angelic Desolation

Do her cats know that she
Will not be feeding them today?
Or tomorrow?
Or the day after?
Are they aware?

I trudge through the daily reminders,
Like a poor assembly line lifer,
Stuck in a Alaskan fishery,
Slicing and dicing,
Knee deep in rotting fish guts.

The hungover taste of recent misery
Lingered in my shadowy room,
When I awoke from a mediocre sleep.
The desperate sounds of garbage trucks and
Seagulls shitting on tree trunks greeted me.

On cloudy Saturday mornings when I awoke from
My restless slumber,
I made instant decisions on serious topics;
God, Family, Country… and Fear.
When will I be able to whisper all four at once?

The blonde with the sunflowers
Smiled when she
Bought me used books with
Tantalizing aromas
Of decade old must.

The classics were wedged
Among the clutter of
Tennis rackets, over-sized parkas,
And outdated travel magazines in the
Back of an untidy closet.

The hallow emptiness of the surgeon’s den
Lured the neophyte into devious antics.
He toiled eighty hours a week, knee deep in blood and
Guts, Before his junkie daughter
Eagerly sold his old Philosophy text books.

$1.25 she was awarded on the Lower East Side,
The small payout warmed her exposed belly, now
Hoping to score some rock from Julio,
She pawned whatever else she could
Like Mommy’s exalted pearls, to settle the score.

She longed the orgasmic numbing sensation of
Freshly cooked junk, the complete opposite head trip of
Anxiety, before she got busted and
Thrown up against an aging wall and frisked
By trigger-happy NYPD officers.

I read the book, a sad collection of poems, that
The girl with the sunflowers
Bought me from the crowded bookstore,
After the jittery owners bought the tattered book from a
Suburban casualty, lifted from her King’s castle.

I casually flipped through the marked pages and
Only odd and solemn thoughts of her confused gray cats
Greeted me when I slowly turned each page,
While I took a dump and read aloud a poem called

Do her cats know that she
Will not be feeding them today?
Or tomorrow?
Or the day after?
Are they aware?

Friday, September 26, 2003

"The moon has nothing to be sad about..." - Sylvia Plath, Edge

Friday Poem: Drunk Flies

The drunk flies zipped around
My sunken forehead,
Darting back and forth,
Jolly, yet still annoying.
I admired the unusual patterns that the
Inscets seem to effortlessly travel.
When the police are not looking,
I secretly spit on old
Pictures of deceased family members.
Separate insane thoughts of vivid
Inncoent images
Splatter themslevs onto the fronts
Of my seemless eyelids.

A melodious sharp squeal halted me in
My tracks.
I got agitated, just like when forty
Coked up circus midgets tossed
Firecrackers and gregariously played
Hopsotch through the narrow
Hallways winding through my dense head,
Last Memorial Day,
When I visited
Atlantic City and the blonde girl with the
Sunflowers giggled when I stole her a
Snickers bar.

Coastal flooding makes me laugh.
Too many stomach aches makes me cry.
And if you spell the word,
C-A-N-K-E-R S-O-R-E,
I would shit gleefully in my faded jeans.

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

1. Blue Gold: A Novel from the Numa Files by Clive Cussle
2. The Queen of Harlem by Brian Keith Jackson
3. Light in August by William Faulkner
4. Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
5. More to Life Than Mr. Right: Stories for Young Feminists by Rosemary Stones

Thursday, September 25, 2003

"The brutal reality of politics alone would probbaly be intolerable without drugs..." - Hunter S. Thompson
Who Won the Debate? An Inside Look...

I numblessly flipped the channels last night, wavering in between baseball coverage on ESPN and the debate carried live on all the major news stations. I was curious to see how this interesting forum of candidates would turn out. The format was different, the California Broadcasters Association picked the top five candidates for a debate, based on their poll rankings and only a handful of the numerous potential recall candidates were invited: Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante (D), Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), State Sen. Tom McClintock (R), Arianna Huffington (I), and Peter Camejo (Green Party).

The public and the candidates both got a copy of the questions before hand. And I knew that Arnold would be studying his answers like a new Hollywood slasher script.

Who won? Depends on who you ask... and who saw what.

I'd say that 2 % of the general population watched the entire thing. They would tell you that McClintock looked solid. He was solid on specifics and came out of the slugfest in one piece.

Huffington viciously attacked Arnold. I thought that was a good ploy on her part. She intended to expose his weaknesses... which there are many. To stand up to the Terminator and not be bullied by the world's most well known action adventure actor... was the key to keeping her hopes alive. Huffington's many appearances on talk shows like Bill Maher prepared her for the back and forth banter between a multitude of issues with less informed guests.

Unfortunately, Arnold was supplied with a handful of "sound bites" probably prepared for him by his speechwriters and high priced consulting team. They knew that if Arnold said something catchy... then that's all they really needed. He could have failed miserably (which he almost did) in the debate, but as long as he got a few one liners in... the media would play and overplay his sound bites during the next upcoming weeks. Most Americans like their news in small tasty teaspoons. Again, like I said, most of you probably saw Arnold making suggestions that Huffington could have a part in the next Terminator movie. What does that have to do with the future of California? Nothing at all... and that's what is being replayed again and again.

Arnold was a bully out there last night. And he had no other choice. He is not a skilled debater, nor a politician. He needed to be flashy and make well-calculated sound bites. That's why mostly everyone out there will say that Arnold won the debate.

I liked Peter Camejo, who chilled out most of the time. When he spoke he flooded the viewers with numbers and facts. Obviously this guy did his homework. And of course, bullies hate nerds. So Arnold and the others eventually tried to talk over the Green Party candidate. He had several ideas like investing more money into Education reform. But in the end, he wants to take down big business... and they won't stand for that. Camejo is just an afterthought. Too bad, because aside from Gary Coleman, Camejo would get my vote.

Now let's chat for a moment about Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante. I don't like him one bit. I would never sit down at a poker table with that guy. He's a shark in sheep's clothing. He's against the "Recall" but he's "running". What the fuck is that all about? We know he's caught in an awkward situation... kinda like when your wife finds out about your girlfriend. But she's cheating on you too, so you're both look like lying assholes. He's the ringer in this election folks. He's the seasoned politician. And beware of those suits... they are some of the biggest thieves and liars that America has to offer. He tried to be non-engaging most of the night and caught shit for his kickback from an Indian casino. I told you that I would never play cards with that guy! Unfortunately, his days are numbered just like Gray Davis.

Overall, McClintock won the debate... in the Tao of Pauly's eyes, but he's an afterthought. Serious people will look his way. But the rest of the hooligans in California will vote for Arnold, who will look good after all the networks fluff up and beat his sound bites to a dead bloody horse. Huffington will be portrayed as an annoying bitch, but stood her ground and held her own. Camejo is the nerd who got bullied and Bustamante will be busted.

All I want to know is where was Gary Coleman?

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Wednesday's Politico Roundup: Vote for a Diff'rent Arnold

The California Recall Election is back on and it looks like Gov. Arnold S. (I can't spell Schwarzenegger) will stomp out the rest of the field like a malcontent seven year old on ritalin pulling up daisies from the neighbor's yard. Which makes me wonder, how crazy is American politics? Insane. Only in America could we elect an actor for it's leader. We did it twice in the 1980s and Ronnie Reagan was a lowly B-actor. Arnold S. is one of the biggest stars we have ever seen. His films have grossed more than a Billion dollars worldwide. If he was an American citizen then he'd already be President. We (the collective nitwits in America who actually vote... all 51% of you) foolishly elect popular people outside of mainstream politics all the time.

Since when did we ever give the "right man for the job" a proper vote? Never. If that was the case, then Al Gore would be our meek President (avoiding two costly wars) and instead my tax dollars would be paying "protection money" to both Al Qaeda and Osama's thugs, Saddam, North Korea, and those meathead football players who beat up Al Gore everyday in high school. They still knock on his door like clockwork every Monday morning demanding his lunch money. And sad Al sheepishly forks over his cash like an upside down geek getting tormented by a gang of bullies, with his head in the shitter and his underwear wedged over his head. American Elections are just like petty High School antics. The most popular person wins.

We foolishly put celebrities in office all the time. We voted for actors, sports figures, professional wrestlers, wealthy white men, astronauts, war heroes... the list goes on and on. We willingly picked chumps on more than one occasion to make crucial life an death decisions for our lazy, pathetic, over consuming, web surfing asses. Now Fraiser, Kelsey Grammer wants to run for Senate in California, or was that a sound bite for a new episode of Fraiser. I cannot tell what's real news or what is reality TV anymore. What's next? Will Puck be our next Congressman from California? Madonna running for Mayor of Miami? Michael Jackson running for a seat on the Board of Education? Mike Tyson running for Attorney General of Indiana? Hillary Clinton running for President? Opps... did I let that one slip out?

It's hard to tell these days what shows on the boob tube are reality shows and what is a sitcom and what is the real world, and most importantly what is really newsworthy. I just saw back to back news stories on Fox News... one was Bush giving a speech to the UN, and the very next clip was of a baby bear caught in a tree. Then Fox went to a commercial. Now I'm not going to call out Fox News for their shady "fair and balanced coverage"... that's like kicking a dead horse with my golf spikes, but you have to be kidding me if that was all they wanted to report... a fucking baby bear and Bush bullshitting to a bunch of retarded "anti-American" world leaders. Didn't anything else in the world happen yesterday? Oh, yeah... I almsot forgot, the recall election is back on and looks like it's going to be Gov. Arnold to the rescue. He'll save California from... evil machines the future stalking our children and/or Democratic gridlock.

And don't get me started on the 2004 Presidential Election... I'll save my rant for next Wednesday. Until then, get out and vote for the only true man who is perfect for the job. Vote for Arnold... not that Arnold, but for Gary Coleman. Yes, the Tao of Pauly officially endorses Mr. Coleman for the next Governor of California.

Be sure to check out this stunning article: 'Diff'rent Strokes' for Diff'rent Folks: Vote Coleman written by Steve Fishbach from the Yale Herald.

Here's a bit: "Coleman would take to the political scene like freshmen to a keg of cheap beer. He knows division, coming from the racially-charged Drummond household. And he would have the same tough, no-nonsense approach to politics that he used in dealing with his big brother Willis. Imagine Bush trying to hedge about how he would save social security. Then imagine Coleman exploding with the powerful ejaculation, "Whatchou talkin' about, George W. Bush?" And George W., shamefaced, would have to concede the point. Or, should some peppy, overachieving journalist question him on some scandal, some affair she made up in her deluded imagination, his disdaining response—"Whatchou talkin' about, Willis?"—would destroy her self-esteem and career. The next question she would ask would be "Do you want fries with that?" even if her name wasn't really Willis."
Yankees Clinch Sixth Straight Division Title...

The playoffs begin next week, and this is one of my favorite times of the year in NYC. The weather is cool and the Yankees are playing for a World Championship.

Here's an excerpt from a basbeall blog called Bronx Banter: "I still pinch myself regularly to remind myself of how fortunate I am that a team I root for has been this succesful for so long (I root for the Jets and Knicks, after all). I don't expect it to last. Why should we be so fortunate? I figure that one year, fate, or injuries or Boss George or the Red Sox will put an end to the current run. Maybe it will happen next year or the year after. But for now, the Yankees have made us proud once again. - Alex"

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

"What does it matter how one comes by the truth so long as one pounces upon it and lives by it?" - Henry Miller

Truckin' September 2003 (Vol 2., Issue 9)

It's that time of the month again! Welcome to my monthly blog-zine and the September edition of Truckin'! This month's issue includes four stories. I am happy to introduce Tom Love to the Truckin' staff with his first story Geppetto. I penned three stroies for this issue... Halibut is back with another adventure! The Subway Story series is back in full swing along with a rather dark story about a poodle. Sit back, enjoy, and please spread the good word about this site. Be sweet, McG.

1. Subway Story: The Kids with the Carrots by Tenzin McGrupp
Three small skinny children sat across from me on the downtown No. 1 subway. They looked immaculate... More

2. Burnt Rubber, Rotten Bananas, and Dead Poodles by Tenzin McGrupp
The musty mid morning air smelled like burning rubber, rotten bananas, and the bathroom at an old folks home... More

3. Geppetto and Me by Tom Love
Sometimes I see an old man in my mind's eye. It's Geppetto from the Pinocchio story. He's the puppet master... More

4. Dogshit Mountain by Tenzin McGrupp
A small crowd gathered around tiny Halibut, as he slowly made the decision to eat the canine feces... More

Monday, September 22, 2003

City of Glass

I recently completed City of Glass, which is the first part of the New York Trilogy written by Brooklyn writer Paul Auster. He is also the author of Timbuktu. He wrote the screenplay for Smoke and Blue in the Face. And last Christmas, I blogged his most read work, “Auggie Wren’s Christmas Story”.

This description appears on the book jacket of City of Glass: "As a result of a strange phone call in the middle of the night, Quinn, a writer of detective stories, becomes enmeshed in a case more puzzling than any he could have written."

Auster is a great storyteller. He maintains a constant pace throughout, never slowing up, but never speeding along to fast. He is able to describe specific aspects of the essence of New York City in remarkable detail.

Here’s one of my favorite paragraphs:

"New York was an inexhaustible space, a labyrinth of endless steps, and no matter how far he walked, no matter how well he came to know its neighborhoods and streets, it always left him with the feeling of being lost. Lost, not only in the city, but within himself as well. Each time he took a walk he felt as though he was leaving himself behind and by giving himself up to the movements of the streets, by reducing himself to a seeing eye, he was able to escape the obligation to think, and this, more than anything else, brought him a measure of peace, a salutary emptiness within. The world was outside him, around him, before him, and the speed with which it kept changing made it impossible for him to follow the drift of his own body. By wandering aimlessly, all places became equal, and it no longer mattered where he was. On his best walks, he was able to feel that he was nowhere. New York was nowhere he had built around himself, and he realized that he had no intention of ever leaving it again."

The notion of identity underlines City of Glass. Quinn plays a writer, who writes detective stories under a pen name William Wilson. But he assumes the name Paul Auster, private detective, when someone mistakenly gets the wrong number and reaches Quinn instead. OK, I know it’s strange. Paul Auster (the author) uses the name Paul Auster as multiple characters in the book. It’s not as confusing as you think. Good read. Auster is one of my favorite NYC writers and I'm almost done with his second installment Ghosts.
Rambling Thought of the Day...

She bounced up and down on my dick like a bloated washed-up porn star, five years past her prime. Her poorly surgically enhanced lopsided breasts reminded me of the cancerous tumors on the head of a half-wit inbred six year old from Three Mile Island.
New Title for the New Novel?

I have been tossing around the idea of a new title for Baby & Winky. Here are some ideas...

1. Dry Rain
2. Birdsong: the Story of Baby and Winky
3. The Blind Kangaroo
4. Sweet Nothing
5. Baby, Winky, and the One-Eyed Kangaroo

But if I change the title, I'll have to start another new blog-site!

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

1. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
2. I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson
3. The Colossus and Other Poems by Sylvia Plath
4. The Bitch in the House by Cathi Hanauer
5. The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom by Dr. Phil McGraw

Sunday, September 21, 2003

One-Eyed Kangaroo, Who Think It's a Dog, Saves Man's Life... I can't make this stuff up. Pet 'roo saves unconcious man. Only down under!

Here is my favorite line that I have read in a long time: "Authorities have allowed the family to care for the kangaroo since it was little, because it is blind in one eye and thinks it is a dog..."
NFL Best Bets Week 2

Pick of the Week
Chicago Bob (1-1): Indy -7 1/2 vs. Jacksonville
Rib Boy (1-1): Minnesota -3 1/2 at Detroit
Tao of Pauly (1-1): Pitt - 4 1/2 at Cincy

Last Week: Not a good Sunday for Bob and Rib Boy. They both missed their picks... the Jets and the Titans lost. The Tao of Pauly got a win with Minnesota beating up on the lowly Bears. But I missed my parlay with the Falcons losing.

Week 3: Bob likes Indy for sure. Along with Seattle - 3 1/2 and his Home Dog of the Week... Detroit at + 3 1/2. Rib Boy speaks highly of the Bucs - 4and the Vikes, along with the Chiefs - 7 1/2. I like the Jets + 6 1/2 to upset the Pats after a huge day from Vinny! Of course I'm with Pitt, San Fran, KC, the Seachickens on my Parlay of the Week.

Rib Boy's Beatin' of the Week: A new twist to this week's picks. Direct from the Bronx, Rib Boy announces his Beating of the Week... "It's gonna be Kansas City - 7 1/2. They'll put a whooping on the lowly Texans."

Tao of Pauly Upset of the Week: Jets + 61/2 over Pats

Saturday, September 20, 2003

"Yesterday's just a memory, tomorrow is never what it's supposed to be." - Bob Dylan
A Birthday Message from Senor!

I read all your words and I know that you are a success already. You are the brave one who chose the path of being true to yourself... the most difficult path anyone can chose. And despite what you might think of yourself, you do it better then anyone I have ever met. You are also the most kind, loving and generous person I know. And believe me, countless of others see the light that emits from you as I do. I know in times of need you will always be there for me and I know you know the same is true for me to you... I hope one day you will understand how special you truly are. Those that are not afraid and driven by society can see that so easily about you. Happy Birthday, I hope its a great one!

Wishing you inner peace and love,
Senor :)

Friday, September 19, 2003

Mike Gordon: Artist, Inventor, Dreamer is an interview with Andy Gadiel that appears on Jambase.com

Here's a quote from Mike: "I had such magical experiences with dreams; sometimes I say my goal in music is to bridge the gap between waking and dreaming..."

Of course Phish recently announced their 2 x 4 tour with 4 dates in the Northeast after Turkey Day and 4 dates at the end of the year (including New Year's Eve) in Miami. Getting pumped!

Thursday, September 18, 2003

NYC Bloggers

I just checked and one week after NYC Bloggers first posted the links to my sites Truckin' and the Tao of Pauly... both are still linked on their frontpage! I've been getting a heavy amount of traffic in the last week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Roadtrip to Foxwoods

I am back from my lengthy road trip to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut where I played in three different poker tournaments: I came in 5th place twice (out of 10 people) and 49th place (out of 200 plus). I also gambled until 6 AM this morning. I rented a car Tuesday morning and drove up by myself. The trip is about 150 miles from the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I took a mini-short cut (to avoid I-95 congestion) on the Merrit Parkway through Connecticut on a lovely day with high blue skies. The first inklings of autumn speckled the trees along the way. Some of the leaves are turning yellow.

I got to Foxwoods just before 1 PM. I was starving and visited the food court. Foxwoods sent me a $5 food coupon for my birthday, valid for the entire month of September. I got a free chicken sandwich and a Dr. Brown's Black Cherry soda.

When I got to the Poker Room I found out that they moved the Act One and Act Two Tournaments (satelites for the World Poker Finals) to tables near the entrance to the "Smoke Free" gaming tables. Six tables were roped off in the middle of the casino, which meant random people wandered over to watch the action. When I got there, I was seated at an Act Two table right away. I did not have any time to warm up and play some low limit $2-4 Texas Hold'em. Instead I got thrown right into the firefight, with nine hungry, blood sucking players wanting to take my chips. I bought in for $115. If I won the 10 man (single table) Act Two tourney, I would win a $1,000 coupon for an Act Three (scheduled on Sept 18th).

I wasn't in my best of wits. I did not sleep very well the night before and I woke up with a slight head cold. And here's what really set the tone for my trip... I ran over a skunk on Route 2 on my way to the casino! That fucking smell of dead roadkill festered with me all day and night.

Right away I held a Q-3 of Diamonds. The flop came out Q-2-3... and my heart started pounding. I got very nervous. I had a great hand and I wasn't fully into playing mode. I Took a deep breath and bet. I won my first pot and started off well. I had pocket Aces in the early position and slow-played them (I didn't raise) which was a good call because I would have lost on the flop to a Flush. I won a few pots during the first hour and knocked out two guys at once when I ran into my second pair of pocket Aces. Then I got screwed. With five people remaining, I caught two Kings... pocket Kings. I went all in with about $3,200 in chips and one guy called me. He had pocket Aces. I was fucked and didn't win. He knocked me out and I finished in 5th place. I made a solid move and I ran into the one hand that would beat me. It wasn't a bad beat, just a tough hand.

Around 3 pm, ten minutes later... I bought into my second Act Two tourney of the day. This time I felt the players were much better. I struggled the first two hours, and I never had many chips. I made it to the last five and bluffed on a hand I should not have played. I lost on pocket 10s to a guy with a pair of Kings (he held K-7 suited and caught the K on the flop). I got knocked out of my second tournament. In four hours I was down $230 in my quest to get into an Act Three.

I headed to the Poker Room and sat down at a $2-4 Hold'em table for a couple of hours until the daily cash tournament started at 7 pm. Every Tuesday, Foxwoods holds a No Limit tourney (separate from the satellites for the World Poker Finals in November). The buy in is $80 and last weeks winner walked away with $13,000. Again this is a cash tourney... for real money, not coupons for other tournaments.

First place was rumored to win $14,000 (with 200 plus entries). I played very well the first hour (I flopped a nut Flush and won a big pot on a Straight) and not so good the second hour and barley survived the third hour. When my table broke up and I got reseated, I got screwed. My new table had guys with almost $20,000 in chips. When I sat down at the new table I had $1,000. I was overmatched. I went "all-in" with Ace-9 off suit and doubled up on my chips. With over $2,000 I was ready for a run. On the very next hand I caught pocket Aces! I went "all-in" and one guy with a pair of Tens called me. On the flop (A-7-J), I caught a set of Aces!! I figured the pot was mine. Then the turn card made me scared after a Queen came out. The guy caught a King on the river, and he made his straight, beating my three Aces. I was shocked and this was a tougher beat than the last time. I got knocked out and I made it to the last five tables and came in 49th place (out of 200 plus). That was my best finish to date (in Foxwoods weekly No Limit Tournaments). I dunno if I will play in it again, I might stick to playing the Act Twos... and try playing in the Monday night Limit Hold'em weekly tournament.

Anyway, I ate some dinner which included a slice of cheesecake and went back into the poker room and player for seven straight hours (at $2-4 and $4-8) until my eyes started to hurt. I knew it was time to go and I made the drive back to the city, fighting rush hour traffic. I won a few dollars playing in the side games and lost almost $400 in tournament buy-in and entry fees. I'll get my money back next trip!

I'll blog more poker stuff on the Tao of Poker soon. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003


Today marks the 420th day since I quit eating donuts and began my infamous Donut Diet. Can you believe my will power? 420 days... that's over 14 months of donut-free days. I haven't weighed myself recently but I know I lost at least 10 pounds since I began the diet. Maybe I should celebrate by eating an entire baker's dozen of chocolate donuts in eight minutes?
City of Glass

I recently completed City of Glass a novel by Paul Auster. I will write up some more comments and a mini review later. Auster, a Brooklyn writer, is one of my favorite contemporary NYC writers.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Boxing Sucks...

Soured on the Sweet Science is an article written by Hunter S. Thompson. The Good Doctor sounds off on boxing, pro football, and politics of course.

Here's a bit: "The time has come, the suckfish said, to get rid of professional boxing in America. It has been a horrible, traveling hoax since Muhammad Ali's retirement, and now it has turned itself into a bag of Poison scum.

Those crooked bastards finally have gone too far. The U.S. Congress should immediately pass a special Criminal Fraud law to permanently Banish professional boxing spectacles like Saturday night's Shane Mosley-Oscar de la Hoya fight from all public airwaves in America. There is some crap we won't eat.

Jake the Snake got the job done on Sunday against San Diego. Ah, but never mind that. Let's get back to some pure sport, like professional football in the USA. It might be fixed, but at least it is Artfully fixed, compared to the out-front, in-your-face screw-you kind of cheap shuck that boxing is.

I can say that with a straight face, because I have a special knowledge of boxing that comes from growing up with Muhammad Ali as our champion -- which is sort of like living in a time when toys like Acid and Marijuana were legal. It was a very different time.

Hell, I am full of sports news and judgmental opinions today. Boxing sucks...

One of the most basic factors in sports is that Winning becomes a Habit, and Losing is the same way. When Failure starts to feel Normal in your life or your work or even your darkest vices, you won't have to go looking for trouble, because trouble will find You. Count on it.

Our dangerously goofy child President from Texas is a squalid example of trouble coming home to roost. He is like a half-bright football coach who goes into a big game without a Game Plan. BOOM! Shame and failure will follow you for all the days of your life. Selah.

The Bush family reeks of fraud and bad karma. But even worse than our wretched, gibbling president are the cowardly whores in Hollywood who are currently smearing film stars and music people like Johnny Depp by calling them unpatriotic Americans who righteously question the wisdom of invading a whole nation of Islam -- 1.8 billion worshipers -- which is a dangerously stupid idea. Disagreeing with Donald Rumsfeld about bombing anybody who gets in our way is not a crime in this country. It is a wise and honorable idea that George Washington and Benjamin Franklin risked their lives for. These thieves in the White House are so crazy with greed and power, and they are causing so much drastic damage to the world we live in, that they are the ones who should be put on trial for treason... Beware of War Mongers. They don't give a hoot in hell if you live or die. They are in this racket strictly for themselves. Mahalo."

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Sunday Poem: Sleeping Rain Dogs

I searched several weeks for the fountain,
The one "not made by the hands of man."
Alas, I was unable to discover
The secret location.
Maybe it was just a pipe dream?

I woke up to the pitter patter of a
Sober rain last Thursday
Before I wandered into the House of God.
I slumped in the last row and wept,
Where I shed dry tears because I
Could no longer hide the immense

I cried and pulled my hair.
My eyes swelled,
When a gaggle of transparent thoughts
About the tall girl with the sunflowers sideswiped me,
Like a NYC cab out of control.
I felt the fear throbbing in my hands
Knowing that I will never whisper her name again.

Sometimes rocks do float when you
Throw them into a pond.
Ask me later, after I dry myself off.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

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

1. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
2. Living Faith by Jimmy Carter
3. Kate Remembered by A. Scott Berg
4. Holy Bible
5. Blindside by Catherine Coulter
Smoke and Ashes

I came across a cool blog that you should visit called Smoke and Ashes, run by a blogger named Sarah, originally from Nantucket. I e-mailed her my thoughts and asked about her blog title. This is what she wrote back:

Re: the name - it's actually kind of silly. I have a lot of friends that are "serious" bloggers - i.e., they write about important things and have loyal followings... I knew my site was going to be somewhat useless prattling about my day-to-day existence. I sometimes pontificate on random subjects or offer up my oh-so-unqualified opinions, but I didn't want to give anyone the impression that I'm any sort of authority - hence, Smoke and Ashes. (It's also why I deliberately chose the word "desultory" in "the desultory observations of Sarah McAuley").

I dig the title and the site looks great, definitely one of the best blogs I've seen. Check it out.
Best Bets... NFL Week 2

Picks of the Week...
Chicago Bob (1-0): NY Jets +3
Rib Boy (1-0): Titans +2
Tao of Pauly (0-1): Minnesota -8 1/2

Last Week: Atlanta and Denver were victorious as Rib Boy & Chicago Bob started the season perfect. Brett Favre and his four INTs screwed me and I started 0-1.

Week 2: Bob loves Home Dogs... hence the Jets. He likes San Diego at home +3 and the Steelers +3. Rib Boy is going with Denver -3 and Tennesse. I got my eye on the Under (41) in the Baltimore-Cleveland game. Take Minny (cause the Bears suck...), Atlanta -3 and the Seachickens - 4 1/2.

Chronically Blunted Week 1 Update... We started the season 0-1 after we lost to Krazy Eyez Killaz. McNabb played poorly, but Charlie Garner played well.
Happy Birthday, Armando! Feliz aniversario!

Friday, September 12, 2003

Tao of Pauly & Truckin' linked on the front page of NYC Bloggers!

I just found out that both the Tao and Truckin' made it onto NYC Bloggers website. I am currently listed on the front page! Visit it quick, before they add new blogs and I get kicked off the 'Just added list'.

If I do get knocked off, visit the No. 1 Line. The site lists bloggers by their local subway stop!
A woman named Jenn Lilya from Contemporary Press found Truckin' on NYC Bloggers and wrote me saying that she liked the site. She invited me to a book release party on Saturday in Williamsburg and suggested I visit her blog: Needles on the Beach. Maybe CP might be interested in Baby & Winky and possibly Jack Tripper Stole My Dog since John Ritter just died?
Jon Schanzer will appear on Fox News Channel around 1 or 1:10 pm EST... he's be on Dayside with Linda Vester discussing Al-Qaeda and the War on Terror. I betcha one dollar that he'll be wearing a red tie!
A Tear for Jack Tripper...

Actor John Ritter Died of a Heart Problem, at the age of 54. Wow. I am in shock. I heard that Johnny Cash also died... but Cash had serious ailments. Jack Tripper's passing is a shocker indeed. I guess he will not be able to make a cameo in the film version of Jack Tripper Stole My Dog.

In homage to Mr. Ritter, I invite everyone to visit the website for my first novel Jack Tripper Stole My Dog, inspired by the comedic tumblings of John Ritter.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

9.11 Digital Archive... is a site you should check out. This is from the site: "The Spetember 11th Digital Archive uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of the September 11, 2001 attacks."

Two Years On appears in today's NY Times.

Here's a bit: "Even as the twin towers were falling, we wondered what kind of world we would find ourselves living in in the future. The trauma of that day led us to expect an abrupt demarcation in our lives and in the life of the nation. How abrupt, how tragic it has been for many people cannot be overemphasized. But coming into this second anniversary, our response is more measured; there is a recognition that we are now living among the uncertain ripples thrown out by that collision of worlds. The purity of our first reactions has been eroded by time and by some of the uses that have begun to be made of 9/11..."

Foreign Views of U.S. Darken Since Sept. 11 was written by Richard Bernstein and also appears in the NY Times.

Here's a sample: "In the two years since Sept. 11, 2001, the view of the United States as a victim of terrorism that deserved the world's sympathy and support has given way to a widespread vision of America as an imperial power that has defied world opinion through unjustified and unilateral use of military force."

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Death of an American Poet is an article written by Hunter S. Thompson about the death of his friend Warren Zevon who passed away on Sunday.

Also, check out Bush League another one of Thompson's articles. The Good Doctor sounds off on the President comparing war and football.

Here's a bit: "Why are we seeing George Bush on TV every two hours for nine or ten days at a time, like some kind of mutated Mr. Rogers clone? Something is dangerously wrong in any country where a monumentally-Failed backwoods politician can scare our national TV networks so totally that they will give him anything he wants..."

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Londoners Hurl Eggs & Taunts at Illusionist David Blane... gotta love the Brits teasing the whacko! They don't want Blaine to succeed in his bid to spend 44 days without food in a glass box suspended from a crane in London.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Baby & Winky: The Novel!

I am happy to announce that on August 31st, I completed my second novel called Baby and Winky. I wrote the first draft in eleven days! The new novel is roughly 52,000 words (the same length as Jack Tripper Stole My Dog).

You can visit a blog site that I recently created which will go into more detail about "the organic process" of Baby and Winky. If you are a hardcore Baby and Winky fan, I also blogged a couple of excerpts from the new novel. I also included links to the original Baby & Winky Truckin' stories where all this madness first began.

I'm in the middle of writing the second draft. Stay tuned for more updates! I'm in awe of the speed that I seem to complete major projects like JTSMD (10 Days) and Charlie's Goldfish (7 Days). In the last twelve months, I cranked out three major projects in less than a month (28 Days). This baffles me because sometimes I get stuck on a short story for weeks at a time!
Week 1 Woes...

OK, I got my ass handed to me yesterday. First of all, Miami lost to Houston in a huge upset, which knocked me out of Zobo's Suicide Pool!!! I originally picked Denver but switched at the last minute. That makes another Week 1 exit in my last two suicide pools. I will not be doing one next year. Secondly, my Pick of the Week got upended. Fucking Brett "Cheesehead" Favre threw four interceptions and was too far behind in the second half to mount one of his infamous comebacks. Then of course, the officials blew several calls in the Oakland-Tennesse game last night. All in all, it was one rough week, and it's only Week 1! The only thing that saved me was baseball... Bernie Williams HR against the Red Sox to prevent a sweep and keep the Yanks in first place. Oh... the 49ers covered after they whooped the Bears. That was the only highlight!

Tao of Pauly Shitlist

1. Miami Dolphins & Jay Fielder... now I know why I really hate fucking Miami!! They royally screwed me and ruined my season. Let's recap... Ricky Williams fumbled which led to a Houston score. The kicker missed an extra point. Then Jay Fielder threw a crucial fourth quarter interception! Ughhh... it was an ugly 21-20 upset. And I'm out of Zobo's Pool!

2. Steve Spurrier & the Redskins Offensive Line... first of all Trung Canidate (our RB on Chronically Blunted) rushed for 46 yards in 10 attempts (a nice 4.6 avg/per carry). Spurrier called more plays for the two other RBs! Then of course, the O-line gets flagged for three holding penalties during three big runs for Canidate, each over 8 yards! And all of them called back.

3. Brett Favre... the golden boy threw 4 interceptions at Lambeau Field which led to a huge Minnesota lead in the first half. He made me look stupid in Week 1 after I went out on a line and put my money where my mouth is! That's the last time I pick the Packers for my Pick of the Week! I'm sorry Alea, but your Packers suck.

4. Officials in the Oakland-Tenn game... these guys blew several calls, including a TD that should not have been ruled a TD. The Raiders are usually a heavily penalized team (over 300 Penalty Yards combined last night) but when most of those calls could have gone either way (shady holding and pass interferrence penalties), you have to fault the officials. Especially in Week 1. The zebras were whistle happy last night.

5. Miami Dolphins & Jay Fiedler... I'm still wicked pissed at the upset, so I listed them twice! If I ever meet Jay Fielder again, I'm going to run up to him and shout, "You doofus! You cost me $760!!!"

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Happy Birthday, Boo!
"Good fences make good neighbors, but only if your fence runs along a logical, fair, consensual boundary..."

The Wailing Wall? is written by Thomas Friedman and appears in today's NY Times.

Here's a bit: "If you want to understand why Israel is building a wall and fence around the West Bank to defend against suicide bombers, just hop on any bus in Jerusalem. You can't wait to get off. You scrutinize every passenger. You look at every backpack. You flinch when another bus pulls alongside. And you can't wait to get off. Yes, Israelis admit it. Suicide bombing of buses and cafes has made them crazy, and the wall-fence they are building is a concrete expression of all those primordial fears."

Here's another Friedman article from this past week: 52 to 48. Check it out.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

NFL Best Bets

Week 1 Pick of the Week...
Chicago Bob: Atlanta Falcons +2 over Dallas
Rib Boy: Denver Broncos -6 over Cincy
Tao of Pauly: Green Bay Packers -5 over Minny

I got off the phone with Bob from the Windy City. He's a big favorite of Home Dogs... home teams that are underdogs. This week there is only one: Cincy +6 against Denver. Bob likes Atlanta, Cincy +6, and Cleveland (Pick'em). Rib Boy's pick of the week is Denver, but he also likes Miami at -13 1/2. The Tao of Pauly is going with the Packers, Ceveland and San Francisco -7.

Saturday Poem: Icebox

My cheddar cheese sandwich melted in the icebox and I sat in disgust and yelled at my
Who sat on the edge of the toilet and
Made fun of a
Drowning spider.
The girl with the sea shell eyes
Smiled then ordered in Chinese food,
while we drank several glasses of Merlot with
Stiffler's mother.

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

1. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
2. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right by Al Franken
3. Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
4. Holy Bible
5. Street Lawyer by John Grisham

Friday, September 05, 2003

Q & A with Al Franken appears on Alternet.org. Check it out! Here's a bit:

"Q: Are you afraid that the right-wing will hunt for mistakes in your book?
Franken: If there are any mistakes, I got them from British intelligence."

Franken (former SNL writer and Harvard alum) is the author of Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. I read excerpts of his book over the last few weeks. We're not on the same exact page with regard to politics and philosophy. But he is one funny guy and a great writer.

Friday Poem: Faded Ribbon

The typewriter ribbon is faded And the melodious sounds of Beatles cover songs
Waft my way, and I giggle at those
Black eyed wiggling girls with the Corona's tucked
Underneath their skirts and the limes wedged in between
Their clenched teeth while the
Young actress sadly rehearses lines from
A Shakespeare play that no one will ever see because
They are too consumed with eating Nacho chips and
Watching Jerry Springer.
We will now retun you to your
Regularly scheduled bowel movement.
The Jets... blew it on opening day. The highlight was ten minutes of Britney Spears shaking her booty while she lip sync'd a new song, then two old crowd pleasers.

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

1. The Holy Bible 2. The Nanny Diaries: A Novel by Emma McLaughlin
3. Against Love: A Polemic by Laura Kipnis
4. The Holy Bible
5. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Thursday Poem: Incessant Rain

The incessant rain duped me when I woke up
Next to the girl with the sea shell eyes.
She sneezed and I slipped out of a reckless dream cycle
With ancient memories and cloudy flashbacks of
Misty Seattle mornings and foggy Bellingham afternoons,
Where little kids play "touch the monkey" with
Dirty old men in dark trenchcoats.
Cocktails Before Noon... It's been a while since I drank early in the morning. I think it's time for me to knock back a few cold ones at the Cedar Tavern... today looks like the pefect time.

Britney, Vinny & the Jets... I just heard that Britney Spears will be performing at the Jets game (NFL Season opener) tonight. Cool. I was going to watch it anyway!

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Wednesday Poem: Unwanted Rain Stains

Unwanted rain stains the poorly mixed concrete
On my cluttered damp terrace
Where little puddles join forces to form small lakes.
Each droplet of acid rain majestically ripples through
Teasing my heavy eyelids suggesting
That I need more rest.
When was the last time I fell into a deep slumber?
And dreamed dreams of long walks along
Crystal blue beaches and white sandy waters?
With those cheesy umbrella rum drinks, glued to my
Itchy fingers, while the lanky girl
With the freshly cut sunflowers once told me a story
About myself and a cat without any ears,
Who ignored every word I said.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

It is official... Jack Tripper Stole My Dog has been registered with the Writer's Guild of America! Here's the Registration Confirmation e-mail I got:

"Registration Number : 948639XXXXXX

Thank you for your registration. Your material has been successfully registered with the WGA Intellectual Property Registry. Registrations are valid for a term of five years and can be renewed upon expiration. Please remember that changes cannot be made once material has been registered with the WGA West Intellectual Property Online Registration Service."

Registered Item Information:

Material Type : MANUSCRIPT
Item Title : Jack Tripper Stole My Dog
Summer's End...

Did everyone have a lovely holiday weekend? The wet summer is finally over. It's been raining nonstop the last day and a half. And nothing is going to change. I spent the weekend writing, relaxing, and thinking about my fantasy football draft.

Upcoming Projects? I have several new projects ready to consume me in the next few months. Some of my attention will be focused on old projects like Truckin' and an untitled screenplay that I will finally complete (for the next Project Greenlight contest). How about that untitled novel? Yep. I hope to finish that fucker soon. In addition, there are several poker tournaments in the next few weeks and months, including the US Poker Championships this week at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and the Borgata Poker Open in three weeks. And lets's not forget the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods , CT... where I expect to win an Act Two and Act Three satellite and secure a spot in the finals. And yeah, most likely I'll return to Vegas for a couple of days to gamble on NFL football and play poker at the Excalibur, the Mirgae, and the Bellagio.

New Blogsites? A couple of my new projects will keep me busy and out of trouble. You have seen a little bit of the new blogsites (like the Tao of Poker). I will be launching new sites very soon and re-working my old ones. Stay tuned!

Ready for some Football? I also have a heavy investment in the NFL this year! Despite the NY Jets losing their starting QB to a bad wrist injury, I'll have plenty of other teams to root for. I am in several different pools (my own Pauly's Pub and I also joined others!). My brother and I joined Zobo's Survivor Pool which is a suicide pool. I pick one team a week, if they win, I get to pick again the next week. If I lose, I'm out of the pool!! In 2001, I entered a suicide pool and lost in the first week. I'm still pissed at the Minnesota Vikings! First place in Zobo's pool is: $760!! I also joined Gitler's football league called: The Lamont Jordon Fantasy Football League and the winner gets $2500! I teamed up with Senor and our team name is: Chronically Blunted. I'm the acting GM and the official team physician. Tonight we have the draft at 7PM at the Beema Grill in Penn Plaza. Should be fun and just like the real thing! Yes, I'm pumped for football season to begin! Besides I'm already expecting the NY Knicks to suck ass this year after they traded away Spree.

Of course I have four other football pools on Pauly's Pub (Grid Iron Fantasy, College Pick'em, and 2 Pigskin Pick'ems - speads & non-spreads). The season starts this Thursday, so sign up quickly!

NaNoWriMo? Jessica asked me if I was going to write another novel in November. As you all recall I penned Jack Tripper Stole My Dog in ten days last year. Will I write a sequel? Or will I just crank out 50,000 words of jibberish? Stay tuned!

Gov. Arnold? Rest assured I'll put my two cents in as the election day winds down. Arnold looks like a lock. I'll take any bet. Who wants action? For now all I have to say is: how come there are like 174 people running for Gov. of California and we only get three guys running for President every four years?

Music? Will the Phish go on tour after they release their new CD? If they do, you know I'll see a few shows! Let's not forget about Widespread Panic at MSG for Halloween... it's their last shows before they go on hiatus! Dark Star Orchestra comes through town a couple of times as well. And I'll return to Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence to visit Senor and see Galactic.

I'm looking forward to enjoying the cool weather, watching football with my brother and spending a lot of time by myself; writing & blogging, playing cards, and wandering around local museums. Stay tuned to the TAO for plenty of old tricks (11 Q's and Reader Mail) and some new ones! Let my favorite time of the year begin...

Snoodles, McG

P.S. Ben and J. Lo. are getting married in less than three weeks and I still have not yet gotten my invitation. Is this what I get for letting Ben beat me in poker?

"There are only two types of people who wear sunglasses indoors... blind people and assholes!" - Larry David