New York City
I was still in bed when the Joker called me on Thursday. I glanced at my cellphone, which said it was 10:31am. I was up until 6am editing a video and had woken up a few minutes earlier and in the process of rolling out of bed when my cell rang.
It's not a good thing when people in time zones earlier are calling me before I get out of bed. It's not unusual for my friends on the East Coast to get a phone call from me very early in the morning... usually because it's probably 6am or 7am on the West Coast and I haven't gone to bed yet. That's normal. But people calling from earlier time zones while I'm still in bed is very rare.
"Dude, do you think the RIAA will go after us?" wondered the Joker.
He published a post on our music blog which linked up sites that offered free downloads of various albums that were on different the Best of 2007 list. Most of them neither of us would ever buy, but we're open to all kinds of music and we'll give anything a listen once, with the sole exceptions of The Shins new album. And I was surprisingly disappointed with the latest album from everyone's favorite Brooklyn hipsters and indie rockers Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah. They impressed me when I saw their set at Bonnaroo in 2006, but they failed to meet my expectations.
After the brief phone conversation with the Joker, I motivated and walked to the Greek diner. It was 45 degrees outside pushing towards the upper 40s. Those nits in Hollyweird would go apeshit at those temps, but for me, it was like a warm spring day. Perspective. The weather is all about perspective.
There are two diners that I frequent... the Greek diner and the Riverdale Diner. The Greek diner is small, closes early, and has about six or seven booths with six counter seats. The Riverdale Diner is almost open 24 hours, and functions as a massive full blown restaurant. I prefer the Greek diner better because it's much smaller and the guys have been working there for as long as I can remember. They treat you better there. Random pictures of Greece are taped to the walls behind the cash register. They are also die hard Yankees fans and have up small posters of team photos from different championship years.
The diner reeked of old lady perfume when I walked inside. Someone must have fallen into a vat of it because the pungent aroma overwhelmed the usual diner smells of bacon grease, fresh coffee, and pickle juice. It was closer to lunch time, but I got the usual breakfast sandwich... bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll. A group of old Jewish guys sat in the back booth and debated the Knicks debacle and the Clemens steroid scandal.
On the way back from the diner, I bumped into an older Irish woman who lived in my mother's building.
"Which one are you?" she asked. "Derek or Paul?"
She always confused me and my brother. I'm used to it. My own mother does it all the time. I told her I was Derek and told her, "Fuck off, old woman!"
Just kidding. I told her that I was the oldest son and I wished her a Merry Christmas.
BTroetch sent me his Best of 2007 mix and I gave it a listen while I ate my morning breakfast. It was an eclectic mix and included Radiohead, Ween, Beastie Boys, Arcade Fire, Wilco, Architecture in Helsinki, and the god-like Jens Lenkman. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing, bro.
I bought my brother an early Christmas present... The Simpsons Movie on DVD. We watched it the other night and I have yet to dig through the deleted scenes and alternative ending. I also rented Bourne Ultimatum. I caught it in Hollyweird at a Midnight showing in a packed theatre before I went to Australia in October.
I finally finished the SNL book Live from New York and I started up an book of essays from Bertrand Russell. I'm anticipating a big reading binge over the next few weeks including Chabon and Kerouac, not to mention whatever books people bought me for Christmas.
On Wednesday, I had to meet a friend in the Flat Iron District. I was early and wandered around looking for presents for family members. I walked into Barnes and Nobles and it was a zoo. I noticed that the book section is getting smaller and smaller. At that store, there's a cafe, a magazine section, a children's sections with toys, a greeting card and stationary section, a calendar section, and a massive DVD and music section. Pretty soon, Barnes and Nobles will barely be selling books. Just coffee and sex toys. The world needs more orgasms. Believe me. With all the uptight assholes I meet on a daily basis, they need to get laid more.
One more week in NYC, before I fly out to Hollyweird for a few days, including NYE. Then it's off to OZ on the first of the year.
I just heard a rare Christmas song from Miles Davis circa 1962 via Fordham U. radio. Columbia had been pressuring him to record any sort of Christmas themed song. Davis finally agreed and cut Blue Christmas: To Whom It May Concern.
On Sunday, I finally completed my Las Vegas trip reports. There are three of them.
Act I: Cowboys, Brits, and BloggersAnd check out my Las Vegas Flickr gallery which includes food pics.
Act II: The Procedure and the Final Table Bubble
Act III: After Midnight
And before you go, head over and read my brother's blog for Derek's infamous Las Vegas trip report.