Saturday, February 15, 2003 at 19:21:37 (EST)

Just a quick note before I got out to Lundy's with J and his parents (and M as well). The rally was one big disorganized beautiful mess. The cops thought they knew what they were in for, but they were so wrong. I've never seen so many people in one place. Well, several nearby places. I will give a more detailed report later, but despite the annoyances, I am very glad I showed up. Why didn't you?

Posted By Jimmy Legs
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Friday, February 14, 2003 at 11:59:23 (EST)

Fuck Bush on Valentine's Day!
So today is Valentine's Day, and tomorrow is the big peace rally thing. B and I will be going to both, so to speak. Tonight it's all fun stuff, but tomorrow it will be grim, grim, grim. Because B is a union member of CUNY, so we may meet up with their group, as they have an actual marching permit. I believe many of the smaller groups that are planning to coalesce at 49th Street are marching over there. The denial of a marching permit for the main rally is, more than anything else, one bad PR move for the city. Regardless of their concerns about public safety, their dismissive attitude speaks volumes about what they think about the average citizen's opinion. It also seems pretty clear that the Bush administration has already been to town to make sure Bloomberg plays ball by continuing to suppress the voice of dissension.

What's good about this country anymore? When your government basically tells the populace, "You're on your own, buy some plastic sheets," what good are they? When the government tells its people, "We're gunning for evil people who want to take away your rights and your life," and then systematically takes away these rights themselves, how do we distinguish from leadership and oppression? When the government says "We will do what we have to do to protect you, even if it means dragging you off to a secret tribunal," don't they begin to sound like American parodies of Soviet-era secret police tactics? And when we ask the government why they are allowed to break the rules, dictate morality, and in many instances do exactly the sort of thing that they claim of the 'Evildoers', they respond, "We're the government. We make the rules, and we've made them so they don't apply to our actions. Only yours."

Why are we supposed to be this great bastion of liberty and self-determination? Everybody's just so sure we're superior, but whatever it was that previously existed to create that impression has been dismantled and recycled as the new Patriotism, in which Americans declare loyalty to their country, and the country doesn't have to give anything in return, except further threats. They say, "You think your rights are being eviscerated now? Just wait 'til we really get going!"

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Thursday, February 13, 2003 at 20:03:39 (EST)

If he publishes it enough times, he just might believe it
Ugh. That old roommate of mine I'm always bitching about is milking his lame 'true love' story, this time at the New York Press. He has pretty much plastered this story all over every website he has access to, and since he used to work at the Press, I guess he figured he'd spin out just one more version. Nobody else minds, though, and it smacks of super sour grapes that I keep harping on the guy. But what a load of shit! He's so charmed by his Meet Cute that he won't stop talking about it. Everybody who falls in love thinks their story is miraculous. Well, they're not. I mean, even my love story totally floors his, but you don't see me posting about it (well, maybe if I'm short of stuff that pisses me off I'll write it, but that doesn't seem likely anytime soon). I'm sure the Press only published it because they love to goose New Yorkers with tales about how much New York sucks.

I also find it amusing that his newest article discusses how much he loathes the City, how gloomy and disappointing it turned out to be. Earlier last year, he had written a piece for the Press about his new apartment in Queens, how much he loved it. The last line is "I'm never leaving Woodside." Again, I probably shouldn't take him to task for his many final declarations, but he's just so smug about it all. I can't wait to read his next article, probably within the year: "Divorce, Texas Style."

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Thursday, February 13, 2003 at 11:24:21 (EST)

Showdown at the C-Town
I meant to bring this up earlier, but ... does anybody know anything about the shooting that happened at the Clinton Hill C-Town over the weekend? One employee shot another and killed him dead. I was over there the other day buying cat food and I didn't even think of it. But now I'm trying to figure out who was involved. If you've ever been to that particular store, you know it has its share of characters, the most colorful of which are the guys who bag groceries. I don't know if these guys even really work for C-Town in an official capacity. They just hang around and pack stuff when they feel like it. The customer is encouraged to tip. I usually just give the guy whatever change I get from the transaction, which means sometimes the guy who gets me when I'm buying $4.12 worth of 'Friskies' cat food gets a bigger reward than when I'm buying $34.85 in heavy cans and Cheez-Its.

There's one guy there in particular who has a way of letting his presence be known. He's a bit older than most of the other guys, and he never, ever stops talking. You may have seen him delivering groceries to people's homes, taking a shopping cart down the street, completely oblivious to motor vehicles and their honking horns.

"Awright, awright, right here, right here, on 4, that's right, over here, honey, no waiting, awright awright," goes his chant as he tries to lure people over to his register. Once a line has formed, he continues to blab about whatever slips across his mental transom. If anybody remotely female is within his radius, he attempts a poor version of Barry White's seduction techniques, which although mildly offensive, seems pretty harmless. Most women just ignore him or tell him to shut up. He often tells me how much he likes the Beatles, usually topped off with his own rendition of "I Want to Hold your Hand," when he's feeling up to it.

But that's only when he's in a good mood. Most of the time, he's pissed off about something, or someone. If he's mad at another guy in the store, he shouts at him from wherever he is. Sometimes he appears to be yelling at the entirety of C-Town, but mostly it's directed towards somebody who made some affront. This is how he's been the last few times I was in there.

So since the shooting happened, I haven't seen the guy. It will be really bizarre if he turns out to be the guy who shot the other guy (the shooter is said to be in his 40's, the victim was in his 20's). But most of the guys who work there are pretty young. I can only think of a couple of guys there who might be in their 40's. I don't think I've ever known anybody who killed anybody.

Well, back in Ohio my band played a number of shows with a band with the lovely name of "Granny's Hole." The bass player of the band was known for the tattoo that read "Insane" on the back of his neck, and his Prince Albert penis-piercing, which he always put on public display during performances. One night at an after hours party, he kicked some guy to death, because he was annoying him. He went on the lam for a while, but finally turned himself in. I think that's it for my personal brushes with killers. I don't know about manslaughterers, I might know a few of them.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

I still can't figure out what the 'C' is for
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Wednesday, February 12, 2003 at 11:38:53 (EST)

Hey New Yorkers! Safen Up!
On my rare trips to the office downtown, I have occasionally passed a store on Ann Street that never fails to make me look twice. I think it's called "Safer America" or someting like that. I used to think it was a sporting goods store, as there is a rubber raft tacked up on the wall. But it's also full of mannequins wearing full-body hazmat suits and gas masks. This store sells New Yorkers all the items we need to survive a chemical terrorist attack, the suits, the masks, that little hatchet thing we need to fight off the big crazy dogs they will no doubt send for us. These little overpriced kits will be the fallout shelters of the 21st Century.

Meanwhile, they've apparently told us to cover our windows with plastic to stave off gas attacks. M pointed out that the terrorists are probably not saying "Plastic? Damn! We never thought they'd think to put plastic on their windows! Curses, foiled again." I smell some governtmental panacea goin' on.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

I'll be damned, here's their website
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Tuesday, February 11, 2003 at 20:44:58 (EST)

NASA: "They blowed up real good"
I was just reading Hendrik Hertzberg's piece in the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" section, concerning the latest space shuttle disaster. He makes some awfully valid points. Like why do we even have a space shuttle? How is it 2003 and we are still exploring space with the same tools we were using in 1984 (to the tune of a half-billion dollars per launch)? I know it's not that simple and whatnot, but something's weird about the whole thing. Why do we even have a space program? And the real question is, how could we have had a space shuttle program around for so many years but still not have the bugs worked out of the system?

In eulogizing the dead astronauts, everybody is quick to point out that they were brave folks, people who knew the terrible risks of space travel. Yeah, I'm sure they were aware of the dangers, but I don't think they were thinking about blowing up while trying to land. They were thinking of losing their helmet while outside the spacecraft, dealing with instrument malfunctions, maybe even dealing with on-baord computers that grow paranoid and try to kill everybody. Regardless, their focus was on what might happen in space. Not stuff that was going on within the earth's atmosphere. I don't think I ever heard an astronaut say "Sure, I know flying the space shuttle could be risky. Why, despite the oddity of working in a weightless environment, I'm more scared that the whole thing might just blow up on routine reentry."

But that's what it does, because they can't build something that works right. As Hertzberg rightly points out, can't they do all this stuff with robots now? Who among us even knew they still used astronauts, or still used space shuttles? The Space Race isn't exactly in the same place it was in the 60's. Nobody cares anymore. We apparently prefer "Joe Millionaire" to shuttle antics, and I'm not so sure we're wrong. They really ought to reconsider the whole shebang, redistribute the money to research that is actually beneficial to humans. I don't think it would dampen the country's spirit to retire this tired program; nobody's paying attention anyway. Well, they weren't paying attention until NASA started spending a half-billlion dollars to kill some people.

Wow, I just realized how sitting in a office with nothing to do is the true driving force behind Blogging.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Tuesday, February 11, 2003 at 20:08:27 (EST)

Help I'm a Prisoner in a Liberal Arts College
B talked me into coming to visit her at Brooklyn College, a place to which I'd sworn never to return. Last time, the trains conked out in the middle of the trip and we were forced to flee on foot, only to find already-overcrowded buses awaiting us. Also there's something demeaning about being in a a place full of students when you yourself have studied naught for many years but a well-picked booger.

So here I am, in B's office, which is one of several small offices within one larger office, which is itself one of many on this floor. We had dinner at the Sugar Bowl (or Sugar 'Bow', as it reads on the side of the building). Now I've been talked into sticking around while she teaches her class until 9:15. Then, finally, I will get some booze! How Pavlovian. We'll probably go to Moe's, as there is something post-academic about the place.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to get reservations for Locanda Vini & Olii for Valentine's Day, but as usual, they are all booked up. Grr. I always forget this restaurant is like one block from our house. It's a great Italian bistro, smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood. So I always assume nobody knows it's there, but alas, every Valentine's Day, the place becomes unavailable. Then I forget about it entirely until next Valentine's. The great cycle of life continues.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Monday, February 10, 2003 at 20:26:45 (EST)

They keep gettin' younger ...
I just finished a delightful chat conversation with a person who calls him/herself "bitch_in_heat" on a popular file sharing network. She was admiring my large, well-proportioned music collection and was making inane smalltalk. Then she asked, "How old are you?" It was then that I realized that not only was bitch_in_heat probably a highschooler (if that), but that I was far too aged to be bothering with the decidedly juvenile sport of real-time chat. Us oldsters know that good ol' asynchronous communication is still tops. So anyway, I told her "I'm an old old man. I'm 30." Her reply: "Really? Well, you still have a great music collection."

They say it's the first thing to go.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

In case you wanted to know
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Monday, February 10, 2003 at 11:20:42 (EST)

Annoying ghosts of a past life
For some reason, we've been receiving an inordinate amount of calls for our former roommate, the ass-butt who dumped us with his simpleton girlfriend and never spoke to us again. I just got another call, this time from Merril-Lynch. I recall he maintained some kind of stock portfolio through this company, but they still think he lives here? The place he hasn't lived in for almost a year? The guy doesn't even live in New York anymore (he was too lame to stay in the Tri-state area). Maybe I should try to give them his email address or something, but I don't wanna be that nice. I'm proud to say I don't have any other kind of contact info about him. I just don't get why all of a sudden these companies need to get ahold of him.

Say ... maybe it's tax-related. He was still here this time last year, so he would have spoken to the interested parties. But this year he's skeddadled and left no forwarding address. I hope he gets screwed on something. It's kind of refreshing to have an nemesis, somebody you can just think ill of no matter the season. Sean used to fulfill this function for me, but I now have a target that pretty much deserves my wrath. I'll give him such a frowning!

Posted By Jimmy Legs

See how clean and decisive military action in Iraq can be
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Week of February
9-15, 2003

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