Friday, January 31, 2003

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Read Leeches Are Good for You an article written by Hunter S. Thompson.

Here's a bit: "Gambling can turn into a dangerous two-way street when you least expect it. Weird things happen suddenly, and your life can go all to pieces..."

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

I am currently listening to Shibuya by Galactic... off of their live CD.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Re: Superbowl Prediction

OK, I was wrong. Way wrong. But that's why I didn't win the football pool this year. That was some job the Bucs did on the Raiders. I haven't seen anyone slapped around and humilated on TV like that since Stephen bitched slapped Irene on the Real World Seattle. The JETS would have put up a noble fight!
Keren's Las Vegas Adventure... here's an excerpt of Keren's first trip to Vegas last month!

"Vegas was great. I still can't believed how much I liked it. It's definitely one of the strangest places I've been to. We had a blast - and bear in mind that my sister doesn't gamble and we didn't see any shows. I never really imagined that there'd be such a great atmosphere in the casinos. We met some really funny people, lots of streotypes, lots of nuts, and it all added up to a couple of really fun nights (my sister wouldn't let me gamble in the morning). We only made it half way up the strip and into the hotels. It's all a lot bigger than it looks and at some point we just couldn't be bothered to walk anymore so there's plenty I still have to see and I think I'll just have to go again...

The Paris was my favourite casino because it was so much less depressing than the others - even the Bellagio. What's with the dark flowery carpets everywhere?

Saw the Volcano and the dancing lights. Loved the buffet concept! We did lots of sampling, almost felt bad for wasting so much but not quite. The biggest surprise of all, however, is that I didn't come back any richer. Maybe next time..."

Re: Where have you been the last few days?

Here's another exceprt from an e-mail from Sigge:

"I forgot myself. Sorry. How are you, really I mean? If you're half as
intelligent as I suspect you to be, you'd know that feeling sorry for
yourself... allthough it feels good, won't get you anywhere (but down).
I'm not telling you to get your act together (and I couldn't, since I don't
know the elements of this situation), but I'm telling you to realize that
that is exactly what you have to do... :)

I understand your life is under some major construction, so I can only wish
you the best! If you're going east, why not drop into Norway for a couple of

Now there's an idea... I'll consider Northern Norway as a stop on my Summer Tour!
Re: Where have you been the last few days?

Thanks for everyone's concern! The Tao of Pauly had been down the last few days due to temporary insanity from the author and webmaster.

I found inspiration from Sigge from Norway.

Here's what Sigge wrote in a recent blog on his website: "Inspired by my good friend in NY, Paul from the TAO of Pauly, mine fingers typed like possessed on the keyboard of my Remtor 1050 typewriter..."

Sigge also wrote me this e-mail today:

"I've begun on a new script, where I, forgive me for not asking in advance,
use your character as a mainfigure.
He is however, as unlike you it is
possible to be. If it's possible(?) :) He lives in NYC and is continually
confronted with memories from another life, or is he really just a schizo?
Not even I can tell, but the story evolves with passion. The script about
Finn, the little boy sent out in the world to find righteousness, is almost
complete, but I'm facing the fact that I may be forced to write it all over
again in order to make it authentic...

You might think I'm an idiot. And you're right. You might think I'm a
wannabe. And you're right. You might think I'm never going to get anything
released during my short life. And you're probably right. But, like Nietszche,
we've always got the post-mortem concept. Even though it's not a concept,
it's a fact. Or not."

Needless to say, the recent news of my inspiration overseas has since pulled me out the the deeper doldrums of my depressive funk. I wonder if my dark humor and sarcastic wit will translate well into Norwegian!!

Takk skal du ha, Sigge, for inspirerende meg! Ha det godt!

Señor Update!

I got a couple of e-mails from Señor in the last week... he's currently in India, visited war weary Kashmir, and is off to Bhutan this week. His next stop after that? Vietnam...

Date: 1/24/2003 8:32:44 AM EST
From: Señor
To: McGrupp
Subj: Cheese in Japan

Just got back from Kashmir! The city (Srinagur) Is a war torn grey dreary depressing fucking place. The weather was like 20 below and the military presence was intence...but I took a three hour car ride into the heart of the Himalayas and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life!!!!!! By the way, how about Pitino back in the top ten again, unreal!!!! How are you nan???? SEEYA!!!


Date: 1/27/2003 8:38:07 AM EST
From: Señor
To: McGrupp
Subj: Re: Asian travels

Dude, I am in this cool as shit little town in India called Pushkar... real mellow, lots of stoners and situated on a beautiful lake!!!!!! Anyway... I'd love to see Nepal with you!!!!!!! On thursday I am off to Bhutan and it's 30 fucking degrees there, I'm gonna fucking freeze!!!!!! Oh well, missed the Superbowl was it fun to watch???? In Thailand I have nothing now, no apartment and soon I think I'll blow off the girlfriend.... anyway, I miss you a lot man, chilin' with you in Asia would really be unbelievable!!!!! No bullshit talk, lets make it happen!!!!!

Love you man!!!!! Señor :)

Friday, January 24, 2003

This is one fucked up story... Parents Shocked After Scout Camp Features Nazis Chasing Jews.

Super Bowl Prediction...

Oakland Raiders 20, Tampa Bay Bucs 13
Someone do me a favor and shoot me. If you see me on a subway platform, shove me onto the tracks before the next train comes along. In fact, I will give three Pauly paintings to anyone who finally puts me out of my misery.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon
"McGrupp, your life is what other people's dreams are made of." - Betty

Another Review: Jack Tripper Stole My Dog

Stephen A, a Seattle photographer writes:

"Dear Writer!!!

I have just read Jack Tripper Stole My Dog... I think this novel has it all: laughter, sick and twisted humor, the sadness of a father trying to make it right with his children and himself after many years, and yes, some of the viewpoints could be seen as offensive to the ladies, but, hey, look at your main character! It's not like he is all sunshine and rainbows... the development of your (main character) tells me that humans are complex, conflicted, and really just trying to make the best of life. And I felt that your main character told really well why people come to this country and New York City in the first place, for opportunity, a job that can be rewarding or not, and a life that is not ordinary. This novel, when I had finished it, gave me a sense of who your main character is, what he wants out of life, and that death and violence await people if they fuck things up too much. But seriously, I really got to know your main character, and it left me with a feeling of interest, laughter and an idea why people come to this country and to the city of New York. Thank you, McG for allowing me to read Jack Tripper Stole My Dog! I will be reading it again...

Peaches and Salukis,

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Re: My latest e-mail to Señor...

Edgar from Canada comments: "This was funny shit!! Why isn't Hugh Hefner your President? Why aren't you running for President?"

<< Joe Leiberman is running for President. His chances of winning in 2004, are slightly better than me walking into a party at Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion and going home with Miss June 2002. It'll be a nice effort on both our parts, but we'll both go home as losers. (Do you like my comparison to the most powerful job in the world, the office of the President to a surgically enhanced, anorexic blonde named Crystal, who likes horseback riding and Adam Sandler movies, and whose turn offs are mean people and rats?) >>

Editor's Comment: I do not meet the age requirements to run for President. I am however, considering a run for NY Senator in 2006. I can't let Hillary "It's cool that my husband porks chubby girls" Clinton run un-opposed!

Monday, January 20, 2003

"I learn by going where I have to go." - Theodore Roethke

Letters ro Senor

My latest e-mail to Señor...

I want to share with you some excerpts of a long ass letter I sent via e-mail to Señor, who is in India. Since you only get to read what he writes, now you'll get a glimpse of what I write him. Enjoy.

Dear Señor Pee,

I'll begin with answers for your last few questions.

The Phish CD has been out for a month, and at first I didn't like it too much. But I played it one day non-stop while I wrote and I let it fully sink in. There are some great songs in there. Some are kinda slow, but a few have the potential to be as big in a decade as some of their older classic stuff is today. Waves, Walls of the Cave and 46 Days are my favorites, and they're also tunes that they can jam out for 30 minutes on. I saw Waves & Walls of the Cave on NYE and they were superb. If you also include Round Room and Anything But Me, and you got some good shit going on there. I'll bring you a copy.

I have not seen KBB. But I will and I'll let you know what they are like. I hear they play some Dead tunes.

And as far as me and the TAO being your connection to the world... I'm flattered.

So I guess I should sum up what's been going down.

The Raiders are playing Tampa Bay in the superbowl this week. The fucking JETS blew it! Oh well. I dunno who I'll bet on. I'll be taking a breather from sports until MARCH MADNESS arrives...

World War Three will be starting soon, as you already know. I have a morbid curiosity to see what's going to happen. Of course, I'll be watching it on TV, just like the rest of us. Our foreign policy has become a lethal game of global chess... using warplanes and thermonuclear devices as chess pieces. Will Saddam be just another chess piece we gobble up? Placing us in a more strategic position to handle the coming onslaught of Billions of people that would like us to die tragic deaths? Or are we walking into a classic trap? I wonder if ancient Roman or Athenian generals had to deal with the complexity of war on the global scale like our leaders have to do today. But then again, they never had to make press appearances on CNN.

Personally I think we should take out Saddam. I laugh at all these celebrities and hippies protesting Bush (like's its his decision). They have a right to protest, but then they get into their nice cars, SUVs, etc, and go home afterwards, snugly safe under the blanket of security that our military can and will provide. Let's go get Saddam now. Not for oil, or for getting rid of those phantom Weapons of Mass Destruction... it's more for the primal and basic survival of America. As much as we'd like to admit, we have entered an enlightened era of democracy and peace, but the majority of the world is uncivilized and do not rationalize or comprehend to Jeffersonian thinking of freedom, democracy, and the equality of all persons. And in order to deal with people that value death more than life, and who want you killed, you need to be strong and use violence. Does violence beget violence? Sometimes. But if we just stand around doing nothing, it's giving anyone a greenlight to threaten our way of thinking. This is like going to prison for the first time. You need to walk up to the biggest baddest motherfucker and kick his ass, or your time in prison will be a living hell. Well, if the remainder of my life wants to be "living hell" free, then I say go in there, kick some ass, and let everyone else watching (North Korea, China, Osama, Egypt, Saudi Arabia et al.) know how we'll be doing business in the future. Everyone hates us anyway, so we might as well knock off some of the hate mongers before NYC looks like Jerusalem.

In local politics, your senator, Joe Leiberman is running for President. His chances of winning in 2004, are slightly better than me walking into a party at Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion and going home with Miss June 2002. It'll be a nice effort on both our parts, but we'll both go home as losers. (Do you like my comparison to the most powerful job in the world, the office of the President to a surgically enhanced, anorexic blonde named Crystal, who likes horseback riding and Adam Sandler movies, and whose turn offs are mean people and rats?)

The Golden Globes were last night, and of course I didn't win one for Best Screenplay. I'm going to write another one this year (maybe two). So maybe in 2004 or 2005 I'll at least get nominated. As you know I don't care about awards. If I'm playing the game (or trying to get into the game), it's because of the money, not the fame or power. Hollyweird is like Las Vegas, Wall Street and all your Dreams & Aspirations rolled into one shit sandwich. We know their flicks are awful and tastes bad, but it looks so fucking good, you want another sequel and another and another...

I saw a documentary film on Widespread Panic. It was really good. I almost cried when Mikey and JB were sitting on a porch in Athens, playing an acoustic version of Driving Song. I felt sad, not because I missed Mikey... I felt sad for JB because he won't be able to play music anymore with his best friend. I am glad we got to see as many shows as we did (and I know they weren't as many as we should have seen), and of course the Beacon Theater run last year was some of the best music I had ever been a part of. Our roadtrips to shows in Atlantic City and Asbury Park were classic moments, and we always seem to meet the most random southerners at our shows! I think you'd agree one of the biggest regrets in our lives was not seeing Widespread Panic at Red Rocks.

I am in the middle of reading a couple of books. A friend of mine from Norway suggested Hunger by Knut Hamsun. It's all about the struggle. Struggle to live, to create, to exist. He wrote it over 100 years ago, and his words are crisp and clear to me. It's about a man who sacrifices everything so he can write. After reading some of it, I have that urge to throw myself out there again, and make another run at it. We all struggle in life, it's those momentary gasps of fresh air that we strive for, and what we do with that time is what we are. I see an air bubble and I just want to jump...

Which leads me to the writing aspect of me. I came to the realization that I am wasting my time working like a fool on Wall Street. I secretly like the work, and the high... the gambler's high that I get, and you know what I'm talking about... when you roll the dice and wait to see what comes out... or you wait to see what cards you get dealt... or you anxiously await that field goal attempt... it's a rush, a mini-cocaine high, and some days I'm so jacked up at work, I can't sit down. I guess when I plug in, it's hard to shut down. But it's not the right time for me, because I have more confidence in my work than I have ever had. I'm a writer, not a worker. I'm finally begin to believe again that anything is possible and I'm willing to take risks again to better myself as a writer, and if that means switching my day job, then so be it.

Rib suggested I get into war reporting, and this, as you know, I have been actively exploring. There are over one hundred armed conflicts all over the world, and not all of them are being covered. This is the struggle, I was talking about. It's not fabricated pieces of Hollyweird shit spliced together... or a small news blurb on Reuters. These are places in the world where people wake up and think, "Today I'll die today?" That's some serious shit going on, and I feel hypocritical even writing about it, while I am stuck in the middle of meaningless wealth and an over abundance of everything, and I am horrible person to even acknowledge that I threw away more food last year than most people in villages in West Africa and in India had a chance to eat in the last five years. Whereas my struggle is inherently selfish and self serving (finding my place as an artist), the majority of struggle in this world is exactly the opposite: "Will I be able to breath today?" If I were to tell everyone I'm getting rid of all my material possessions and give away all my clothes and food to the poor, I'm looked upon as a freak here in NYC. In India, you're called a Saint, or Mother Theresa.

Obviously I am willing to subject myself to these horrors of famine, war, and uncertainty. I think it's a self imposed penance, to punish me for all my mistakes and sins, by willingly wanting to experience these tragedies, up close, to see the unhealed scars, to smell the wafting odor of death, to invite whatever energy is being dispersed into my senses, and have them haunt me, my dreams, and my writings for the remainder of my life. But I am also the budding capitalist, looking to exploit these people and their situation to better myself as an artist, and improve my career, and possibility for a nice financial gain all rewarded on reporting other people's misery. I guess this indicates how sick, vile and twisted a human being I am. Or am I trying to gain truth and perspective on the world I live in? I know most of the mainstream media is propaganda, entertainment, and a money generating machine... so most of what I read and hear is bullshit. I will only know what exists if I go see it for myself. Will I be doing a greater justice telling everyone what's really going on (all be it, MY VERSION)? Or am I risking death, dismemberment just for a writer's high?

These are questions I am bogged down trying to uncover answers, or at least, workable justifications so I can continue down the path of my journey in life. I didn't mean to get too heavy in this e-mail, but these are the random thoughts flowing through my head, as I write you, so I figured I'd just let it all out.

I will see you soon. You have written and told me stories about this paradise, I think it's time for me to go see for myself.

Be safe. Be Sweet,

"Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what people fear most." - Dostoevesky

Señor Update!

I just got another e-mail from Señor! He's in India, won money in a casino in Sri Lanka, and wanted to meet me in Nepal.

Subj: Re: Jack Tripper Stole My Dog: a review...
Date: Saturday, January 18, 2003 1:39:02 AM
From: Señor
To: McGrupp

Right on Bro... keep sending the good news!!! We all know that you have the talent, with a little bit of luck you'll be on your way... and I'll be riding your coattails!!!! LOL, don't forget about the little people!!!!!

By the way, I went to a casino in Colombo, Sri Lanka, (and) won $40!!!!! LOL, thats a lot of money over there!!!!!!!! Thanks for the war info on Nepal, I guess I'll be staying away from there unless you can get a job as a war reporter!!!!! Good luck!! Hope to see you soon!!!!!! By the way I'm back in India, tomorrow I hit the famous hippie beach resort state called Goa.... SEEYA!!!!!

Love you man!!!!!
Señor :)

PS Is the new Phish cd out?? Is it any good??? How about this band that Modeski is promoting... what's the skinny on them???? You are my connection to the world, lol... thanks....!

(I had got a few other e-mails in the last week, but due to the personal content, I decided not to share them with you.)

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Congrats to Stephen A. who, as of yesterday, successfully quit smoking for one year!
Angela just informed me that the String Cheese Incident will be playing 4 shows throughout Japan in April... one at the Big Cat in Osaka. Zobo already told me that he'll be going to those shows...

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Re: Bad Review of Jack Tripper Stole My Dog

Molly wrote me this in a recent e-mail: "I finished JTSMD the other night! I thoroughly enjoyed it! And I didn't find any of it offensive... I didn't even know your Mom knew about the Tao (of Pauly)... let alone read it. I hate what she said, and I also hate to say that she isn't a bad writer. It's still pissed me off though."

Molly was referring to this specific passage:

<< His half-baked collection of followers, the Tao of Pauly readers, are the blind following a one eyed man in his kingdom of gloom and doom, that happily lap up his dribblings like little children that go ga-ga over an extra scoop of ice cream. >>
Re: Phishy Rumor

"What do u think about the Phish in Japan rumors??"... is what I wrote to Zobo in an e-mail last week.

His response: "I think I will be hanging out with you and Señor in Japan in September."
Wilkins sent me this joke:

2 girls from West Virginia are out working in the garden together. One digs up 2 huge potatoes and says to the other, "Gawsh, these remind me of my diddy's balls." The other one calmly says, "Why are they that big?"

The first girl quickly replies,"No, but they're that dirty!"

Sigge sent me this link: Last Messiah.

Sigge translated the first chapter of Last Messiah by Zapfe. He writes: "Copied and translated without permission, but true passion..."

Here's a bit: "En nat i længst forsvundne tider vaaknet mennesket og saa sig selv. Han saa at han var naken under kosmos, hjemløs i sit eget legeme. Alting opløste sig for hans prøvende tanke, under over under, rædsel over rædsel sprang ut i hans sind."

"One night in long forgotten times, man awakened and saw himself. He saw that he was naked under the cosmos, homeless in his own body. Everything desolved by his forced mind, under over under, fear upon fear erupted in his mind."

Thanks, Sigge!

Wednesday Underwear Update...

Here are the results of my Wednesday Underwear Check...

  1. Boxers 6
  2. Panties 5
  3. Thongs 3
  4. Boxer Briefs 3
  5. Tightey Whiteies 2
  6. Nothing 1
    Huggies 1
    Edible Spiderman Chocolate Flavored Underoos 1

(22 Responses)
Spider sent me this link: Reflections on a World Gone Gonzo, From an Expert... Hunter S. Thompson's new book is a haphazard journalistic yard sale of riffs, screeds and digressions.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

"Most of us imagine that we are travelling in a straight line, whereas the truth is that we are moving in circles. We change direction almost without thinking. Headed for Mexico, we land in China. (And like as not, without the slightest loss of face.) The ambitious ones set out to storm the world, only to end up like so many dead leaves scattered by the wind." - Henry Miller

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

"All that is not given is lost." - Hasari Pal
Bad Review...

Someone sent me this review of Jack Tripper Stole My Dog:

"Tenzin McGrupp has low opinions of women is his first novel... as (he) sputters forth nothing more than descriptive poetic beat garbage, filled with orange peels, coffee rinds, second rate smut, and rambling paranoid delusions about secret shady governments. His half-baked collection of followers, the Tao of Pauly readers, are the blind following a one eyed man in his kingdom of gloom and doom, that happily lap up his dribblings like little children that go ga-ga over an extra scoop of ice cream. A second printing of his filth would be a waste of trees and ink. Only gutless theives in Hollywood would give this man a paycheck and a credit card."

Two words: Thanks Mom!

The Queen of England recently had knee surgery and I asked Keren, the Tao's London correspondent, for an update. Here's what she wrote: "Queenie seems to be fine. Thanks for your concern. She's taking a few weeks off to fully recover so you should see her out and about again sometime in Feb."

Ah... God bless the Queen!
Hunter S. Thompson wrote another article: Oakland uber alles

Here's a bit: "This Raiders team is the real thing. I have been saying that ever since they won in Denver on that Monday night in November to end their demoralizing streak of losses. ... Gannon will slice up the slower Tennessee secondary this week, and Oakland will go into the Super Bowl against the Eagles, and after that, it is out of my hands. Who knows? That is what gambling is all about. Ho ho ho. So let us rumble, young man, rumble. Good luck. "
It's another freezing day here in the city... and I am exhausted, and the time is ticking for this issue of Truckin'. The Knicks seem to finally have won, and I just read about a so-called plot to blow up JFK airport. Same old shit, eh?

Joe Millionare: Fractured Fairy Tale

Personally, I do not watch Joe Millionaire show (although I know some of your who do...) as you all know my feelings about Hollywood and reality shows and the conspiracy behind the scenes to stick it to writers after the writer's strike a few years ago, by flooding the airwaves with writer-free programming. Hence the reality show, game show, and variety show bonanza. But, nothing brings me pleasure than catching 20 gold diggers, and exploiting them on national TV. Hey guys, if you see any of these women.... hold onto your wallets!!
I am writing a short story and listening to a Grateful Dead bootleg... 11.6.77 Set 2.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

The mission of man on earth is to remember...
To remember, to forget, to decide which it shall be.
We have no choice, we remember everything.
But to forget in order to better remember, ah!
The mission of man on earth is to remember.
To remember to remember.
To taste everything in eternity as once in time.
All happens only once, but that is forever.
A toujours.

- Henry Miller
Señor emailed me from from Sri Lanka. He's leaving that country and headed back to India for a while... I just edited two of his Truckin' stories... one from the Phillipines and the other from India. Funny stuff. I'll be posting them end of this week! Thoughts of hoping on a plane to go see him have been on my mind for some time now...
Girtz sent me this link: Phish & the Talking Heads on NPR. Check it out.
Brrrr.... it's freezing this morning. Temps are in the teens, and the winds are bitter!

Monday, January 13, 2003

Re: McDonald's Boycott

Keren writes: "If you want to get people to stop eating McDonald's have them read Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosse. It did the trick for me."

Sunday, January 12, 2003

I am currently listening to a Phish bootleg from Lemonwheel on 8.16.98.... Punch You in the Eye is a smoking version.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

I am listening to a Grateful Dead bootleg... Red Rocks... 7.8.78!
Read Hunter S. Thompson's ESPN column: Public Shame and Private Victory as he delves into the depths of gambling and the NFL playoffs.

Here's a bit:"The 49ers seemed beaten, and bored. I gritted my teeth and began chain-smoking cigars, good cigars, just to keep my nerves calm and my temper deeply concealed.

The Niners are no longer "a puff-ball team with no soul".The game was interrupted now and then by White House-inspired commercials showing half-naked children smoking dope and killing each other with guns, or murdering a judge in Turkey, because stupid little Henry over here got weak and smoked a joint…. that Fool! He was just another useless victim of the War on Terrorism.

But so what? Wild things were happening on the TV screen. Suddenly the crowd was screaming and whipping on each other as the hapless 49er offense suddenly came alive like rock lizards. The lifeless worm of yesteryear was turning into an invincible golden snake with countless arms and legs. They were terrifying."

War for Oil?

Must Read: A War for Oil? by Thomas Friedman.

Here's a bit...
"I say this possible Iraq war is partly about oil because it is impossible to explain the Bush team's behavior otherwise. Why are they going after Saddam Hussein with the 82nd Airborne and North Korea with diplomatic kid gloves — when North Korea already has nuclear weapons, the missiles to deliver them, a record of selling dangerous weapons to anyone with cash, 100,000 U.S. troops in its missile range and a leader who is even more cruel to his own people than Saddam?"
Gil sent me this link: The QB Who Got Away

Here's a bit: "Former Oakland Coach Jon Gruden passed on Jeff Garcia. Garcia and the 49ers now face Gruden's new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in the N.F.C. divisional playoffs."
Bruce Cohen comments on the DVD: Grateful Dead: A View from the Vault

"The digital quality on that DVD is awesome.... not
a bad show, either... some really good parts and
some mediocrity... seems like all the STADIUM
shows were like that. They seemed to do something
decent each night... but, they didn't blow anybody
away either....

That Kentucky stadium looks FUNKY as all.... like the
old Kentucky Derby setup... old wood posts holding
the place up. Can't imagine TRIPPING there... cuz, it
would probably be a bit unsettling.... like the walls
might fall down...."

Blonde Joke

Q. How can you tell if a blonde does your landscaping? 

A.The bushes are darker than the rest of the yard.
Phish to return to Japan?

Ryugi a Japhan from Osaka sent me this Phishy rumor in an e-mail:

"Since there is rumor to which SCI will visit Japan in April this year
and there is rumor that Phish will visit Japan in September, from now
on, I am looking forward to it very !!!"
Jessica sent me this link: The Detroit Project. Take a peek.

And when you are there take a look at this article: TV Ads Link SUVs to Terrorists.

A-men! I am sick of seeing these anti-marijuana ads on TV that tell me that potheads are supporting terrorists. Come on! It's refreshing to see someone turn the tables back on these yuppies shitheads driving gas-guzzling SUVs! If we did not overconsume gas, then we as Americans would have more leverage in Middle East politics... because with the dire need to rely upon Saudi Arabia and friends for oil (the black gooey "crack"), they are able to wield some power over us. If we didn't need their oil, we could do whatever we wanted to Iraq, we could give Israel more money to combat their enemies and further promote democracy in that region of the world, and more importantly, we can finally go into Saudi Arbia and Egypt, kick down some doors, and drag out and kill some of these fundamentalist Islamic yahoos who are preaching anti-American sentiment to all their followers. But alas, we are unable to do whatever we want because materialistic retards living in the burbs feel the need to drive everywhere and purchase gas guzzling monsters!

Pauly's Shitlist:

1. Citibank Mastercard
2. Cablevision & the Dolans

I am having major headaches dealing with Citibank. They processed over $300 in payments from me since the first of January, yet, they placed a "spending block" on my credit card. I was unable to use it to buy a Metrocard the other day, and my last 2 internet transactiosn have been declined. What the fuck?

Cablevision sucks because they still have yet to give me IFC and the YES Network. And of course Cablevision owns the Knicks & Rangers... two stellar franchises that are being run into the crowd by Charles Dolan and the rest of those asshole suits.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Driving Song

The leaves seen through my window pane
Remind me that it's time to move my life again
November sun is felt by none
A chilly breeze has blown my thoughts to what's to come
A cup of warm coffee, some vitamin C
A bowl for the cat, a bowl for the dog, a bowl for me
Choose my bluest tape and unlock my car
An honest tune with a lingering lead has taken me this far

On the edge of the porch in the warm evening night
Throwing the bone for the dog I see two passing lights
Well, I wonder where that driver's bound
Is there someone, somewhere, someway out there that I've not found
A touch of smoke ain't what it seems
Dust and sunshine can also make my eyes look mean
But there's a brown cat sleeping through this day's show
Toppin' off the woodpile, breathing slow

Lyrics by Widespread Panic

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Jon Schanzer suggested this book to me: If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino. He said, "It's a fun ride, short and fun, perfect for someone who digs writing."

I just can't figure out how and why I am able to touch, inspire and communicate with so many different people from all over the world, yet I cant even speak to my family. This is one of life's cruel jokes, called: irony.
Do you ever get that feeling that you want to disappear into thin air? No, not kill yourself, but just activate the powers of invisibility and just walk off, walk out, walk away from whatever nonsense has been getting you down, whatever infected wounds that flared up has gotten you ill, whatever demons that you seemed to have swept underneath the carpet that have since then rallied and gotten stronger while you were not looking, and decided to invade and divide and conquer whatever little magical world you created for yourself. The little daggers of forgotten and repressed painful days that had gone away are now incessantly jabbing away at my tense arms and heavy legs, and in my empty gut I feel several rusty and large meat cleavers that are chopping off sections of my intestines. Although I repelled the verbal attack and assault on my person today, I failed to recognize that the words will get deflected and re-butted, but the hidden messages and meaning sneak past the gate keepers, and the insanity of the biting words and hurtful phrases seep deep into my body and settle just below the skin, right where it could irritate me the most. Sure I am wrought with enough faults that could fill several large garbage trucks, but at least I had the decency to properly tie up my shortcomings and put them in the proper trash bins. Days like today are meant to be forgotten.
Legalize it....

Boycott McDs

Since I'm on an anti-McDonald's kick... here are a few sites you should visit:
Factsheet: What's Wrong With McDonald's?
McKids: Don't Be Tricked By the Clown
McLibel Trial

Personally I avoid mostly all fast food chains. I'd prefer to foolishly hand over my cash to nameless, faceless, greedy, environment destroying, worker exploiting, children addicting, politician buying, corporate mongers like McDs, Starbucks, etc...
More Phishy News

From How Phish Phooled with a Phake Hanks

From Phish Return To The Stage After Two-Year Break... read this... Lawn Boy gets some ink!

Doug Loeb, a longtime fan who wore the superhero-style "Lawn Boy" costume he created in 1994 for the Phish song of that name, was walking around the Garden still hoping for friends to come through with a ticket for the last night of Hampton.

"I wasn't expecting it to be like an old show, but I was pleasantly surprised," Loeb, 37, of Gainesville, Florida, said at his 10th New Year's Eve concert and 124th Phish show overall. "Someone said they expected the band to be sloppy, but I didn't find that to be the case at all. It was very tight."
"How much for the grenade?" - Trey

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

I am Grover on Ecstacy!

My quiz results: Grover on Ecstasy

You're funny, you're loveable, you're entertaining, you like to call yourself "Super Grover!"--You're obviously on ecstasy. But that's why we love you. Be careful, ok?

Which Sesame Street Muppet's Dark Secret Are You? Take the Quiz!

Related link: Other Possible Muppet Lists:

All possible results for "Which Sesame Street Muppet's Dark Secret Are You?"

The Count's Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Grover on Ecstasy
Elmo's Past as a Transvestite Crackwhore
Cookie Monster's Bulimia Nervosa
Bert & Ernie's Gay Love Affair
Snuffy's Suicide Attempts

Señor Update!

I just got another e-mail from Señor! He left India and is in Maldives, and headed for Sri Lanka.

To: McGrupp
From: Señor
Date: 07 Jan 03 09:42 AM EST
Subject: Re: Be careful....

Crazy playoff games!!!! CONGRATS on the J-E-T-S... I'm glad I wasn't
in the states to see it.

I am now in Male, the capital city of the Maldives (this place JAMS!)
but internet is expensive.... gonna spend some chill time on a beautiful
beach and then it's off to Sri Lanka....I know I am a crazy fucker, but hey
I like to live dangerously!!!!!

In all seriousness you should move to Thailand. You could teach
English a few hours a week, make enough to live, and write the rest
of the time. In Thailand you are totally connected through the internet
and you will have your pick of hot chicks to boot.... seriously, its a
writers paradise here... think about it!!!!!!

with love,
Señor :)
Girtz sent me this e-mail:

From: Girtz
To: Pauly
Re: Thanks


You got me pretty riled up (in a good way) with all the Phish talk lately. Sounds like you enjoyed the shows a little. I want to thank you for the link on the website to that Phishcast site which plays nonstop Phish. I have no idea where any of my Cd's are since I moved and now, I dont need them anymore.

"Do not be awe struck by other people and try to copy them. Nobody can be you as efficiently as you can." - Norman Vincent Peale
Take a peek: TECHSPLOITATION: Psychedelic S.F. wirtten by Annalee Newitz

Monday, January 06, 2003

Jessica wondered if this was me.... Re: COUNTDOWN UNTIL PHISH CRAP ENDS (You Suck)

Date: Tue Dec 31 11:01:53 2002

To all the anti-Phish hate-mongers out there...

1. First of all, what is a ticket posting board for anyway, if not for posting adds for tickets? Quit complaining about Phish postings on criagslist and go outside or read a book or take your dick out of your ass instead.

2. Phish and the Dead are 100% mutually exclusive of each other. Different abilities, different styles, different influences, different era. After 17 years of non-stop touring, Phish took a hiatus... You think they did that because of what the Dead did? (Verdict: You're WRONG and have a small penis.)

3. What's so wrong with people like a band a lot anyway? You probably like something a lot too, and whatever it is, it's fine with me. Until now. You suck and have a smallllll penis.

4. Generalizing is ignorant. Phish fans have lives other than Phish. I work for one of the largest investment banks in the world, I co-manage billions in assets globally, and don't have a trust fund, etc. *Also, I can kick your ass, just so that is clear. You, my friend, have a small, small penis.

5. I'm going to enjoy this Phish show tonight and you're going to have a miserable, self-incurred night of nausea and catatonic dispair you sorry, pathetic, mental shit-ling. You have nothing better to do than knock something that is so powerful and big that you just will never understand...obviously this isn't about a bunch of smelly hippies hanging out - ever wonder why so many people are so passionate about this band? Ever wonder why they've sold out more consecutive shows than any other band in the industry with little to no commerical advertising? Ever wonder? Probably not, I wouldn't expect someone of your "caliber" to wonder about anything that you don't personally endorse. Clearly my friend, you have a small penis.

Grow up.

Get the pump.

I did not write that...

1. I would never brag about working for one of the largest investment banks in the world... I am ashamed to be grouped together with those hooligans and crooks.

2. I don't use the word penis. I prefer: dick, cock, member, stiffy, power tool, "Julio", and most recently... Gumby.

Phishy Hampton Afterthoughts... I got this e-mail from Zobo, who was at all three shows.

From: Zobo
To: McGrupp

Hey dude,

Still a little brain dead over here, but I had an excellent time in Hampton.
All three shows were great, but I think the first night was my overall
favorite. They seemed like they were able to maintain the energy the best
that night. Third night was amazing, but they played too many slow songs
and I thought theywere a little tired. Also, somebody needs to send a
message to Trey that there should never be any slow song encores.

Garage a Trois was pretty good, but very very mellow. Tough to see those
guys after seeing Phish. I was also in outer space during that show as that
was the first night I partied hardy for the run.

Great hanging with you in New York. We'll have to get together again very
very soon!

Boogie sent me this article: Phish Shtick.
DVD Review... Grateful Dead: View from the Vault

“Just like so many times before…”

What could be better than a Grateful Dead concert? How about a Dead DVD? Recorded live from Three Rivers Stadium (which no longer exists) on July 8, 1990 in Pittsburgh, PA, this video was produced using the master tapes from the original stadium screen feed and the two-track stereo soundboard audio mix. The graphics and images that appear during the video are the same ones the audience saw on the screens. Today, the graphics and visuals are dated, but in 1990 they were state of the art. But then again, no one ever went to a Dead show for the graphics. The show was just about three hours long. This video also included a bonus cut of less than an hour of a show from Louisville, KY two days before. The entire video was over 215 minutes… more than three and a half plus hours of the Dead.

Dead Guru Bruce Cohen said, “That summer in 1990… that was a good year for them. Brent (on keys) sounded new and fresh with them.”

I decided not to look up the setlist before watching the DVD, to go into it fresh, to keep it as close to a Dead show as possible, so I’d be surprised to hear some songs I’d like to hear.

They opened with Touch of Grey, which was a little sloppy, but that was the first glimpse of Jerry singing in a long time, so I quickly overlooked it. The first set highlights included Phil Lesh singing Bob Dylan’s Tom Thumb Blues. It’s a rare treat to see and hear Phil sing. Row Jimmy is a recent favorite song of mine, so that made it a good set for me.

Set 2 began with a kick ass Samson > Eyes > Estimated >Terrapin. The Eyes of the World was the highlight of the show, with Jerry sounding very smooth and Phil dropping a little funky bass in the jam out of Eyes. Seeing that made me really miss the Dead. Jerry was having a lot of fun during Estimated and seemed to amused by Bob Weir. Terrapin was the second highlight of the set. The Throwing Stones > Lovelight jam was sweet. A rare Lovelight indeed for the Dead. Bob Weir was cheesin’ it out, but that’s Bobby. Still a good version.

The encore, another Bob Dylan song, Knockin on Heaven’s Door, gave me chills to hear Jerry’s bittersweet voice close the show with a truly emotional song.

“Just like so many times before…”

It was eerie to hear and see it knowing that Jerry would die almost five years after that show. Brent Myland himself passed away soon after.

The bonus footage was from Louisville, KY on July 6, 1990. They included a killer Jerry tune Standing on the Moon. And He’s Gone, again was bittersweet to hear.

Setlist 7.8.90 Pittsburgh, PA
SET 1: Touch Of Grey > Greatest Story Ever Told, Jack-A-Roe, New Minglewood Blues, Row Jimmy, Mama Tried > Mexicali Blues, Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, Let It Grow
SET 2 : Samson And Delilah > Eyes Of The World > Estimated Prophet > Terrapin Station > Jam > Drums > Space > I Need A Miracle > Wang Dang Doodle > Black Peter > Throwing Stones > Turn On Your Lovelight
ENCORE: Knockin' On Heaven's Door

Filler: 7.6.90 Louisville, KY Set 1
Standing on the Moon > He's Gone > KY Jam

This is worthy of a rental, and I'd consider purchasing this.

Who wants to buy me lunch?

While I slept a fine, sheer blanket of fresh snow fell upon the city, as the shadows of winter lurked in the background. Today is the Feast of the Three Kings... who hooked up Jesus' parents with some fatty gifts approx. 2002 years ago. The gold sounds cool, but I'd be pissed if I just got incense and no doobage. As Saddam accuses UN inspectors of spying, a guy named Chad is the toast of NYC, and his "Awww shucks" attitude has solidified a hot JETS football team. The Hollyweird vultures are buzzing, as the award programs are starting to heat up. And me... ah, the same old shit, I'm thumbing my nose and secretly wanting to be a part of the plastic LA culture... well, not so much the culture, just the cash. I can whore out a few words and ideas for several greenbacks and a trip to Thailand. I'm considering a move to LA-LA land to take as many "lunches" as possible... because we all know (thanks to Spalding Gray) that everyone in LA is working on a script and looking for the next big idea. I got fourteen. Who wants to buy me lunch?
Listen to... the silent trees.
Sigge writes:

As you americans say: the truth and nothing but the truth... :)

Damn, Norwegians haven't got no sense of sympathy.. This 7 year old kid was
killed last year by a bunch of (about 20) dogs, and this week the owner of the
dog sued the parents of the child because they got ALL of her dogs "put to
sleep", when probably not all of them was part in this hideous drama, but come
on!!! The nerve on that woman! Gzz!

Phishy Correction... the NY Times reprinted a correction about Tom Hanks at the NYE show.

Sunday, January 05, 2003

"We cling to memory in order to preserve an identify which, if we but realized it, can never be lost. When we discover this truth, which is an act of remembrance, we forget everything else." - Henry Miller
Thank you Mr. Minor...

Billy Bob's Wifebeaters Beats Get Your Own Monkey to Win Pool!

My team Billy Bob's Wifebeaters won Nick Pappagiorgio's Crib... which is my brother's football pool (with SPREADS). It was a close race and I held off my brother's team Get Your Own Monkey to win it all!! Hey, I finally won a pool! I just wish it was one of mine!!
Elevator Dreams...

Over the last sevral months I have been having alot of different dreams, but with a common theme: elevators. I'm consistantly in an elevator in my slumber state... by myself, with friends and family, with famous people... in my office building, in airports, in hotels, in exotic countries... and sometimes, I don't have a clue where I am, and what I'm doing, and if I'm going up or down. I checked a few different Dream interpetation websites and here's the consensus:


• An elevator dream is a rather complex dream and you should interpret it in light of all the other symbols in your dream, for one thing, if the elevator is going up your fortunes will increase, down is the opposite. If the elevator continues to go up and down with out letting you off means you have let your emotions, or your situation, get out of control and must do something to stop it.

• Ascension. Increased understanding. Increase in wealth and advancement in position.

• The status and location of your mental and spiritual awareness related to the mind. Slow elevator: impatience to get there. Wrong floor: you haven't found what you are seeking.
Huge JETS win!
Phish 1.4.03 Hampton, VA

Set 1: Llama, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Roggae, Maze, Anything But Me, Ya Mar, Saw it Again, Bouncin, Split Open and Melt
Set 2: Rock and Roll, Mike's Song > Mist, Weekapaug Groove > What's the Use > Down with Disease > Fast Enough for You, 2001
Encore: Friday

Wow... best night for the Hamptonr un? Boogie On, I Saw It Again, Rock & Roll, Mike's Song! FEFY, 2001??!?!? Looks like some good shit. Thanks to Cali Kat for the setlist!

Saturday, January 04, 2003

"Somehow, the Democrats believe that they can beat the opposing Republican Party by never criticizing its leader - George W. Bush - America's burgeoning Big Brother whose snooping, liberty-violating and anti-worker ways are getting a free ride on the backs of our crumbling democracy, while giant corporations are laughing all the way to the bank on the backs of the small taxpayers who are forced to subsidize them." - Ralph Nader
"I experience once again the splendor of those miserable days when I first arrived in Paris, a bewildered, poverty-stricken individual who haunted the streets like a ghost at a banquet." - Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
You must read: Top 10 Conspiracy Theories of 2002 written by Mike Ward.

1. Great Game in the Caspian Sea.
2. The Afghanistan/Enron Connection.
3. The Magic Passport Theory.
4. Hijacker Oddities I.
5. Hijacker Oddities II.
6. Insider Trades.
7. The New World Order Will Not Be Televised.
8. Iran/Contra Redux.
9. The Reichstag Fire and Operation Northwoods.
10. Things to Come.

Friday, January 03, 2003

Phish, Hampton, VA 1.3.03

Set 1: Tweezer > Theme, Foam, Pebbles & Marbles, You Enjoy Myself
Set 2: Birds of a Feather, Wolfman's Brother, Makisupa Policeman, Axilla, Twist > Free, All of These Dreams, Possum
Encore: Contact, Tweezer Reprise

Thanks to Cali Kat for the setlist!
I just drank a Snapple Iced Tea. I looked underneath the cap at the "Real Fact" #42:

Frogs can't swallow with thier eyes open.

"Neither do sorority girls," I instantly blurted out.
Wow... the Knicks just beat the Pacers! They have now won 3 in a row... that would be a winning streak.
My Phish tickets to Philly came in the mail today... I'm still awaiting mail order tickets for NJ and Nassau. I heard that Bill Walton was at the Phish NYE show... his first show! He had a deal in his contract when he played basketball back in the 1970s, that he would get tickets to every Grateful Dead show.
Stephen A. sent me this very kind e-mail:
Dear Paul, I liked your new years e-mail. Yes, as we look back at the trail of days and falling hair, expanding waistlines (mine) and our hopes dreams and aspirations of 2002, I come to reflect upon the people in my life; and how the support, love and meaningfulness these people bring to my life and, you Paul, are most assuredly one of them and I am deeply grateful for your support throughout the year. I hope if you have a pretty girl in your arms and a happy thought in your heart on this New Year's Eve. For the E-stories, the jokes and many emails, I thank you. I hope for the members of the McGrupp group, prolific writings, good fortune and peace. To us all I wish for peace love and more peace. Happy New Year Paul, and if I win the lottery, are you sure 50k will be enough?? Happy New Year, Peace.... Noonan
Modeski sent me this e-mail about the Kwait Brothers Band:

Happy New Year to everyone!

I have told a few of you about this band from Philly that I've been digging a lot recently. They're called Kwait Brothers Band and they're a folk, bluegrass, rock band with a Dead influence in their guitar player. I met the twin brothers (Kwait) at a independent musician conference I attended back in the late summer. We got to talking and I've been helping them out in getting their act together. We are currently in talks about me managing them ... basically trying to get some attention from record labels and build a "buzz".

With that said, I'm sending you this email because I think you'd dig them too and I want you to check them out. If at all possible, it would be great if you could make it to their first show in NYC on Saturday, February 1 @ The Lion's Den. At this point, I believe they have an early set (8pm). It'd be great if you could come out and support them as I would appreciate it ... and they would too. However, as much as I would appreciate it, I think you would more since you'll end up becoming a fan and I know you appreciate good music.

In the meantime, go to their website and listen to some of the music. After a few listens, I think you'll enjoy.

**Please feel free to pass this email along to anyone who you feel might want to hear good music!**


The JETS are a 8-1 favorite to win the Super Bowl, according to my sources in Las Vegas. And the Yankees are a 9-2 favorite to win the World Series in 2003.
I ordered Chinese food last night for dinner and this was my fortune:

"You will attract cultured and artistic people to your home."

I fell asleep leaving out all the Chinese food cartons in my kitchen. My fortune should have read:

"Throw away old food, or you will attract roaches and fire ants to your home."
Sorry folks, I had been super busy the last couple of days with work, writing and recovering from Phish. I am slowly reading all my vast fan mail from all over the world, and I'm slowly blogging all the stuff y'all sent me since X-mas. It's snowing again, sort of... a mixture of snow, and freezing rain. It's plain messy out there. I wonder what the weather will be for the JETS game on Saturday?
I asked Sigge what Norwegians do for New Years... his answer:

We drink, drink some more, watch the speach of our King, fireworks and go nachspieling till noon at January the 1st. May the New year promote your talents and make you happy! May it be exiting and fresh! (not meaning terrorbombing or anything!) See ya!

Take a peek of some of his NYE Pictures.

Texas Tuna... huh? Good luck... y'all.
I heard this rumor about writer Elmore Leonard:

"He secretly wrote his earliest novels while working at an advertising agency. He kept paper in a desk drawer and wrote with his arm stuck in the drawer. When somebody came by his desk, he closed the drawer. He took his writings home every night and rewrote them.

Elmore Leonard wrote Jackie Brown, Get Shorty and Out of Sight.
Here's tonight's setlist from I would have liked to have heard Gin, Round Room, Silent in the Morning, 46 Days, My Friend....

1.3.02 Hampton Coliseum - Hampton, Virginia

Set 1 (1:31): Chalkdust Torture*, Bathtub Gin, It's Ice**, Back on the Train, Round Room***, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Stash, Water in the Sky, Character Zero
Set 2 (1:12): 46 Days > Simple# > My Friend My Friend, Limb by Limb, Thunderhead, Run Like an Antelope##, Cavern
Encore (0:05): Mexican Cousin

Notes: Show began at 7:44pm. Second set began at 9:55pm. * - with digital delay loop jam about 12 minutes in; ** - prior to "It's Ice," Trey jokingly said: "Ladies and gentlemen, it's Tom Hanks!" (referring to the appearance of Page's brother Steve as "Tom Hanks" on New Year's Eve); *** - with many balloons in the audience; # - "Bebop/skyscrapers" verse flubbed; ## - "bid you to have any spliff".
Tom Hanks, Phish-head? Tam Hanks, Phishy Hoax? Check out the article... I couldn't tell if it was him or not. One friend suggested it was Tom Marshall the lyricist for Phish. Well they had everyone fooled... and it was actually Page's brother! Even I mistakenly reported the Tom Hanks NYE sighting.

Here's a bit: "Everyone from the New York Times to the Associated Press to MTV seems to have fallen for a little gag Phish played on its audience the other night during its big New Year's Eve concert at Madison Square Garden.

Early in the evening, to introduce the song "Wilson," the ever-popular jam band played a clip from "Cast Away," in which Hanks was shown enjoying a meaningful relationship with his pet volleyball, Wilson. Then a Hanks look-alike, clad in a dark jacket and a dark baseball cap, was summoned to the stage and waved to the audience, before being rushed backstage.

"A band known for its New Year's Eve showmanship didn't disappoint: Tom Hanks made a surprise stage appearance," gushed the AP.

MTV hailed the band for getting "actor Hanks himself to run onstage and blurt one of the key lyrics."

And even the Times, paper of record, reported that "Mr. Hanks himself made a brief, bizarre appearance onstage."

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Some setlist notes from

(WILSON)* - preceeded by footage from the movie "Castaway" on the jumbotron screens on the scoreboard; with Tom Hanks on vocals for the "Blat Boom..." part;

(Seven Below)** - During Seven Below a disco ball was lowered from within the scoreboard and it began snowing on stage; several dancers in white with blinking light "stick figure skeletons", dressed as snow creatures came out and began circling the band on stage before moving off into the crowd - while in the crowd several grew into large snow angels by adding stilts to their costumes; midway during the song snow began falling on the fans on the floor from a pair of snowmaking rigs on the right and left sides of the scoreboard above the floor; shortly before midnight, the snow angels began shining small spotlights around the crowd, appearing similar to search lights;

(Auld Lang Syne) *** - at midnight, pyrotechnics spiraled from the snowmaking rigs to the sides of the stage and white balloons with snow designs were dropped onto the floor...
Oh by the way, while I am nice and still jiggy... I came up with a few things that I will be doing in 2003....

1. I am going to write 3 novels.
2. (Secret... this is too personal to share! But I'll tell you if it happens, when it happens!)
3. Visit Señor in Thailand.
4. Tell those dickheads over at Morgan to go fuck themselves!

That's it... everything else is GRAVY!

Phish Reunion: NYE MSG 2002-03

After a hiatus since October 2000, Phish returned!

Here's a quick setlist:...
12.31.02 Madison Square Garden, NYC

Set 1: Piper, Gilyute > NICU, Horn, Wilson (With Tom Hanks intro... and Tom on some vocals!), Mound!, Squriming Coil, David Bowie

Set 2: Waves > Divided Sky, Lawn Boy, Carini, Rift, Harry Hood, Character Zero

Set 3: Sample in a Jar > Seven Below > Auld Lang Syne (Happy New Year 2003!!) > Runaway Jim, Time Loves A Hero, Strange Design, Walls of the Cave

Encore: Velvet Sea

First of all thanks to Jessica for getting me a Ticketbastard ticket for my birthday... and for Phil from Reading, PA who traded tix with me. This show would not have been possible with you!

Each set were all about 1 hour 10 minutes long. 70 minutes of Phishyness. Tom Hanks intro for Wison? Insane gimmick. A cllip of Tom Hanks from Castaway was showed on the Garden Vision Screen, and nekkid bearded Tom yelling, "Wilson! Wilson!" and then the boys ripped it out!

Tom Hanks (actually Page's bro) came out and sang a lyric after Trey stopped and introduced "Tom Hanks" and he ran out and said his line and exited stage left.

The NYE countdown had all these weird looking animals and strange beings in white costumes, and they walked on stage and danced around before walking into the crowd and a few of these dancer got up on ladders placed all around the venue and stood on top and danced while unfurling along dress which covered up the ladders... it looked like they were 30 foot tall freaks and carnie characters out there. A snow making machine sprinkled snow on phans on the floor. It was crazy then all the balloons dropped... hundreds of white balloons, some the size of small Phishy chicks, covered the floor while snow fell and Phish jammed out  of 2002 and into 2003, ushering in a new era of Phisdom.

David Bowie was the sickest version I saw in a while... and called Modeski to let him listen to the show. I did that to a few people... for Gil (Guyute), Angela (NICU, DIvided SKy) and Molly (Harry Hood). At some point in the future, you'll be able to listen to the shows at home.

The new songs sound great in concert and live. Lots of jamming, especially Waves... the new version Phish is bad ass with lots of dirty tones from Trey. MSG was bundles of energy. The crowd was frantic, excited, shit faced, and so happy to be back... ya know? Carini was one of the songs on my wish list and Trey ripped the shit out of it. Harry Hood floored me. Another quality version.

Runaway Jim is always a favorite of mine, and I was very happy at that point. They played a Little Feat cover song called Time Loves a Hero. Then I had a serious Señor vibe going for the entire time they played Strange Design one of his favorite tunes to make on mixes for Phishy chicks!! Walls of the Cave was an amazing closer, just another one of the new tunes they played.

The encore was week... Velvet Sea. Not thrilled. It has a high sentimental value for me and reminds me of one of my ex-girlfriends from Texas... but i figured they could have done a better job with a stronger finish with something more ass-kicking!

All in all, one of the best shows I saw in 2002. Definitely a TOP 10 show for me (not musically, but in terms of excitability) and ranks up there with some of the Japan shows from 2000 and the millennium at Big Cypress.

I am glad they Vermont boys took a break and returned recharged.

More to come...


Phish Afterthoughts...

"Listen to... the silent trees."

And I'm still a little jiggy, and definitely still "affected" by the show and can't sleep, so I figure I'd keep jotting down some thoughts.

I went solo... only one of my crew to score a ticket. I sat on Page side in the 200 level. The guys in front of me (Eagles fans from Philly, that thanked & hugged me when I told them I was a JETS fan) paid $500 for their tickets. When the show ended I asked, "Was it worth it?" and they said, "ABSOLUTELY!" The cool guys snuck in champagne for everyone and a baggie full of Molly. I rolled a bunch of spliffs and contributed to the party in our section.

At some point during Taste, some random dude ran over to me with a cigar and said, "Bro, it's my 50th show. Take a puff."

I did and told him it was my 114th. He said, "Wow. Take two puffs!"

I caught the first versions of Waves, Seven Below and Walls of the Cave. They will only get better with time. Waves to open up set 2 was... WOW. That's all I can say... it's going to be one wide-open vehicle to jam out.

I found Zobo in the bathroom at setbreak. His friend Emi from Japan was having a great time. She wanted to hear one song: Mound. And they played it! She flew all the way from Japan to hear that one song... and they played it. Some guy standing next to me was calling for it all first set, then they busted it out! I heard they forgot how to play it at the end of the 90s, so they just stopped and pulled it out of their rotation. I think 1996 was the last time it was performed?

When we met up at a bar before the show, Zobo didn't recognize me at first... with the short hair. Yeah, no longer had a pony tail and I was clean shaven. I got a haircut and a job during the hiatus and was no longer a tour rat with patchy pants. A couple of Angela's friends from Austin, JoJo & Leila, didn't recognize me either without long hair and a five foot something Phishy chick at my side blowing bubbles. I guess the clean cut look makes for an easier time with security!

Carini was the shit. Dirty. Nasty. Like having sex in a phone booth.

Crowd favorites: Carini, Wilson, Bowie, Divided Sky, Hood, Zero

The MVP of the show was TREY... he's back to standing in the middle again instead of off to the side which they at the end of 2000. I didn't really hear much from Gordo. Fishman was tight and Gordo was solid on MOUND & David Bowie... but for the most part, he was not much of a factor because I couldn't hear him that great in the mix. Page was Page, which meant he was on fire... and during NICU the Phishy chick in my row almost died when Trey yelled, "PLAY IT LEO!!!" I got goosebumps during his piano solo from Squirming COIL. Man, I missed hearing Page play piano so much that I forgot how much I missed it until I saw him do it again. Does that make sense?

I think Phish has played something like 1,123 shows to date (since 1983). With my Phishy foggy groggy math, I think I have seen close to 10% of their shows... so figure on me being at every 10th show they played? And since 1999, Phish played 117 shows, and I have been to about 65 shows... averaging something like close to 55%, or every other Phish show in 99-00.

The break/hiatus/vacation for 24-25 months was a positive move because now I enjoy songs that I had gotten sick of like Coil. The boys got sloppy and burnt out at the end of 2000 for sure and some nights they were uninspired. 

Okay that's it for now... time for sleep!