Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Relationship Advice For Women

If you and your significant other have pet names for each other, and the two of you have a disagreement in front of his friends, don't repeatedly refer to him by your pet name for him. If you do, two things will happen:

1. His friends will now refer to him by this name.

2. You will look ridiculous and nobody listening will take you seriously.

Thank you.

Good Night

I rode the subway to work all hazed over this morning. This is because I turned Irene weekend into a couch-to-couch bender that didn’t get me much quality sleep. I suppose the high note of the weekend was the fact that I only urinated in public once – in a backyard in the rain on Saturday night because I didn’t feel like going back inside – but when you live like that for a few days, you eventually have to pay a price for it, and I did that today. I’m doing it right now.

I’m very tired, is what I’m trying to say. I need some sleep. Some good, solid, high-quality sleep that has me waking up on my own, as opposed to being jarred awake by my fucking alarm clock. That’s one of my goals in life – to earn my living doing something that doesn’t entail being forced awake by the screeching piece of shit that’s been sitting on my nightstand since college. I’d like to simply sleep until I wake up, then go make a lot of money doing something I can do while I’m well-rested. I should also buy a new alarm clock, but this one’s woken me up for some important shit over the years, and I don’t want to hurt its feelings.

Of course, this isn’t how anything works. I’m figuring once I get to the point where I’m financially and professionally able to do something like that, I’ll have some other shit going on – like kids, maybe – that keeps me from sleeping no matter what I do. Or maybe I’ll continue a lifelong theme and have some asshole neighbor somewhere who likes using woodchippers and chainsaws at 6:30 in the morning. Or I’ll live underneath a trio of trust fund club sluts who walk around in heels all night screaming about nonsense – a phenomenon that seems to be a citywide epidemic, and one from which I’m hardly immune.

They’re hot, to be sure, but people who go to clubs have diseases. I worked there, so I know. The next time you see one, think about toilet seats first, then see if you’re still interested. Toilet seats seemed to be a theme among hot girls who hung out at clubs when I was in that business. This made no sense to me because public toilet seats are disgusting. That’s how I knew these people were very different from me. It was a stunning realization.

Tonight, however – it’s the night before you’re reading this, obviously – none of it’s going to matter, because I’ll be out like a damned light as soon as I’m done writing this. I won’t be fucking around online, making any calls, texting anyone, or watching the two Breaking Bad episodes I’ve DVR’d over the past week and a half. I won’t be doing any of that. The idea right now is to brush my teeth, wash my face, get in bed and turn off the fucking light so I can take advantage of every minute I have between now and tomorrow morning. Sleep will solve everything. No longer will I have these bloodshot eyes, this dried out skin or this feeling of looking at life through a pair of toilet paper rolls with screens taped over the holes.

Everything else can wait right now.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Was too busy tonight to write anything. Back on my grind tomorrow (today), if you will, so I'll write about my commute to work, or something. For a change.

We'll call tonight an uptick. That's a good thing.

Monday, August 29, 2011


We don’t get natural disasters here in New York, only manmade ones. Our first “earthquake” in my lifetime was something most of us didn’t even feel. I learned about it on Facebook. We just don’t get hit by stuff here, so we go through life in New York watching this shit happen to other people. We turn on CNN, we watch the coverage for a little while, and then we move on. It never happens to us. It’s been like that for my entire life.

Which, of course, explains why nobody, myself included, took Irene seriously. Instead of packing our survival kits, stocking up on supplies, developing evacuation plans and “hunkering down,” most of the people I know did the exact opposite: we stocked up on booze, got shitfaced and pretended it wasn’t happening.

We started drinking on Saturday afternoon at around 4. I went to the beer distributor, bought a twelve-pack each of Yuengling, Blue Moon and Bud Lite Lime, went to my friend’s brother’s house on Long Island – which is where I chose to spend Irene in case I was needed – and began the anesthetization process very early in the game.

So, Irene happens, and I’m busy sleeping it off on the couch, oblivious to anything going on outside. Then I woke up and watched the Weather Channel for an hour while I drank coffee. There’s a guy on the Weather Channel named Jim Cantore who reported live the entire time from Battery Park, which is 400 yards from my office. Jim Cantore is in good physical shape, so he does his reporting in tight tee shirts with his hands on his hips, wearing a baseball cap. He is also very intense. When he talked about the weather, I listened very closely because a guy who takes the weather so seriously that he trains in the gym to report on it wouldn’t steer us wrong at all. If I’d needed to evacuate, I would have taken Jim Cantore’s advice.

When I was done with my coffee, I went out for a drive. After a while, I got nervous, because branches were still coming down everywhere. It was still windy. I eventually decided that driving was a bad idea, so I went to my mother’s house to see how much damage there was. There wasn’t any, but her power was out. It still is. That sucks for her, so I went back out and bought some food for her to eat, which was a bad idea because she already had plenty. I was unnecessary in that regard, so I went out on the driveway, pulled some fallen branches into the street and chatted up her neighbors about hurricanes and trees and shit like that.

It was all very exciting. Tonight, I will be back at the gym. More tomorrow.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Strawman Equation

(Misreading Something I Wrote) + (Misquoting Me) = Broader Point I Wasn't Trying to Make

Is this a reading comprehension issue?

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I like to get on subway cars toward the end of the train, either in front or in back. This is because the majority of turnstile entry points in subway stations are situated toward the center of the platform, and since people are generally too lazy to walk a hundred feet to avoid one another, the ends of trains are usually less crowded than the middle cars. I take a different train to work now, but this practice seems to be universally effective if your goal, like mine, is to avoid being crowded by people who smell bad and dress like circus clowns.

Today, however, I was crowded by a woman dressed like a circus clown. She was 4’10" and at least 225 naked, wearing a tube top and what people on Jamaica Avenue used to call “poom-poom shorts” back in the early 1990’s. It’s been a while since I’ve spent any time on Jamaica Avenue, so I don’t know if people still call them “poom-poom shorts,” but since my urban vocabulary was current until roughly about the time that Big Daddy Kane, De La Soul and Public Enemy were relevant, that’s how I’ll refer to them here in order to convince you I’m still “street.”

Her hair, cut short like a boy’s, was dyed orange, and she had Chinese characters and the name “LaTrice” tattooed in script into her rippling back fat. I say her back fat rippled because this particular subway line rides a little on the rough side, generating turbulence that passed from the floor to her feet, through her legs, and into the loose flesh spilling over the edges of the piece of pink neon elastic that barely concealed the rest of her. It rolled across her back in waves and made her arms jiggle from back to front. I thought this would be soothing, but it wasn’t, so I stopped staring at it.

I’m getting used to this new subway line now. The last two stops before you get to mine take precisely 200 pulses of my hand on whatever pole I’m holding. If you see me on the subway, and the muscles in my forearm are tensing every second or so and I’m staring at the ceiling, I’m tired of being on the subway and counting beats until I’m supposed to get off. When things get repetitive, like riding the same train to work every morning, I find ways to kill the time. Then I divide these by four to create the quarters of a football game. This way, when my count is below 50, I’m in the first quarter. If it’s above 150, I’m in the fourth quarter, and it’s time to get serious. Sometimes I even squeeze the pole with four of my five fingers to let myself know I’m in the homestretch and it’s time to make every play count. Or something like that. I do this maybe once a week. It’s fucking stupid, but so is the subway.

Sometimes I also count attractive women. I don’t leer at them or anything creepy like that. I just count them. If I see an attractive one reading, she counts as one-and-a-half, because women who read are better than women who don’t. In the morning, if there are four within visual range on my subway car, that’s a good score. If I see three, it’s somewhat less good, but still okay. Two can still be pleasant, but it’s certainly not as good as three or four, because you can’t swivel your head from girl to girl to girl to girl very easily, and sometimes you get caught. Of course, it’s okay to get caught, but since I wouldn’t want someone staring at me at 7 in the morning in a place as foul and unsanitary as the subway, I try to mind my internal play clock and move on. This system usually works.

It worked today, but I was still stuck two stories underground on a moving metal tube with the circus clown lady grinding her buttocks into my loins and leaning her exposed – and still rippling – back fat on my newly ordered, sale priced, yellow and blue striped Ralph Lauren shirt. I’ve bought some new clothes recently, but this was no consolation today, even though I’ve been very proud of myself for buying new clothes. It made me feel worse because I don’t like when I buy new things and have strangers – especially circus clowns of dubious cleanliness with excess back fat and orange hair – touch them. I can’t lie and say I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone, because there are plenty of people I’d wish this experience on, but I’m not one of them.

Tomorrow – which will be today for you, since I write these posts the night before – I’m going out drinking with someone different. I will order Stella Artois because it’s strong beer, and I will do a lot of talking. Then I’ll go home.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


In what certainly sounds like a sex metaphor, I was in the middle of it, but I didn’t feel a thing. I was on the upper level of the George Washington Bridge when it hit – that’s where my calculations put me, at least – and had no idea.

Then I get this text message:

My boy at OEM says no elevators til 7 and if the lights flicker get the fuck out of the building.

But I wasn’t in a building, and there’s no radio in my car – only my iPod hookup – so I had nothing to listen to and no idea what this guy was talking about. I assumed there was some kind of terrorist alert, so while I sat on the bridge, not moving, I started Googling shit on my phone and figured it out. Then I put my phone away and turned the music back on. I suppose being trapped in a car on the George Washington Bridge while under the impression that a terrorist attack is an imminent possibility isn’t exactly ideal, but I wasn’t really given much choice in the matter.

Several hours and several trains later, after dropping off my car, I went home, got online, and went where I get all my news these days: Facebook.

On Facebook, all the people from New York were yelling about how they’d just experienced an earthquake, and all the people from California were yelling about how all the people yelling about the earthquake were pussies. I thought this was ridiculous, so I put up my own post on Facebook about it, then started texting people. Then I had something to eat.

I was working in New Jersey today. Most people don’t like New Jersey. I do. I know dozens of people from New Jersey, and they are all very nice. Nothing of note happened to me while I was there. I was neither enraged at anyone nor did I find anything particularly funny, so the only thing I can really do within the scope of this paragraph is point out the fact that I was in New Jersey. Perhaps that will clarify what I was doing on the George Washington Bridge. Or perhaps not, if you know nothing about this area.

The best news I can offer today, at least with regard to my life, is that I feel like I’ve gotten a lot of shit out of my system over the past month or so. As I wrote a few weeks ago, someone very close to me has cancer, and that hit me pretty hard. I was in a fucking awful frame of mind for a while. I wasn’t functioning well at work, I was eating like shit, and I was walking around the city like someone shot my dog.

The one good thing that happens when someone close to you gets sick, however, is that you get centered in a hurry. When someone has cancer, you only have one shot at it, so you put everything else to the side and you just go. Do that for enough days in a row, and you’re back to reality without even consciously trying – and reality, in my case, is a far cry from the career-killing woe-is-me bullshit I’ve been spewing for so long.

And all I can say about being supportive of someone with cancer is that I forgot how fucked up I look with my eyebrows shaved off. Can’t let her have all the fun, right?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


With the ten year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks coming up, I'm periodically -- meaning, when the mood strikes -- going to post some relevant "material" regarding that day. In all the time I've been writing on this site, I've kind of skirted the issue, but 9/11 was a day that changed my life in a very, very personal way, and this particular anniversary seems to be getting me to talk with people about it a lot more, as opposed to pretending it didn't happen, which is essentially how I've dealt with it in years past.

I didn't see this until today, but it's a topic that's been timely every day for the past decade for thousands of people in the New York area. It's also something that strikes a nerve with me in a pretty major way.

I realize that readership on this blog is starting to grow again, and that I have a lot of readers from places far away from New York -- which I've always thought was cool given the fact that this site has always been so focused on New York. What I'd really like to get across to people who don't live here -- and people who've moved here since then, or are too young to really remember -- is that there's still a massive segment of the population in this area that's still dealing with 9/11's aftereffects every single day. It's not something people generally talk about, so it's been swept under the rug to an extent as something someone else has to deal with, but for a lot of us, it surely doesn't feel like ten years have gone by. More like ten minutes.

9/11 is somewhat paradoxical with regard to the feelings of people who were involved. It was such a massively unpleasant experience for so many -- an understatement, for sure -- that I know several people who simply don't mention it at all, opting instead to act as though it never happened. When that happens, however, people who weren't involved forget -- and you can tell they've forgotten, or never really understood how bad it really was, by the things they say and they way they act.

This year, I'm choosing to confront it head on and remember it the way it actually happened. With everything that's gone on since, I think the memories we have of that day, at least here in New York, have been distorted, and something's been lost. My focus is squarely on the friends, family and acquaintances I lost that day, and that's where it's going to stay from now on. All the conspiracy theories in the world aren't going to bring them back, so the least I can do is keep their memory alive in my little corner of New York.

When everyone stands at the podium and offers up their little platitudes in three weeks -- and we all know it's coming -- I'd suggest everyone take some time to remember the locals.

Monday, August 22, 2011


I went to the Met game on Saturday with my younger brother. The Mets were playing the Milwaukee Brewers. Frankie “K-Rod” Rodriguez is a relief pitcher for the Brewers. He used to be a relief pitcher for the Mets until he was traded for two unknown players and a bag of cash. He also beat up his father-in-law in the clubhouse at Citi Field last year.

“I got a problem with how they treated this guy,” I say as K-Rod trotted out of the bullpen for the Brewers in the eighth. Everyone was booing. I’ve never booed.

“Yeah,” says my brother, who’s one of those guys who has more going on behind the scenes than you see. He says “yeah,” but that doesn’t mean he agrees with you. He knows you’re going to continue, so he lets you.

“I’ve said this a million times, but the only guy who gets in trouble is the guy who wins the fight, you know?”


“Think about it,” I say. “How many times has someone antagonized you so bad that you wanted to take care of it like that, but you knew you couldn’t because you didn’t want to get arrested or sued?”

“Every day. Right now.”

“Right. Every day there's someone who chaps your ass to the point where you want to do something fucked up, or it could be just one guy who’s doing the same shit over and over, but either way, you can’t do shit, and you’re the bad guy when you do what this guy did and snap, right?”

“Sure,” he says, sipping his beer, watching K-Rod warm up.

“But what about the guy who keeps doing the fucked up shit? Why doesn’t society come down on him? Why is it that you have to sit and take shit from people, day after day, and nothing happens to them, but you react and throw a punch, and suddenly you’re the asshole?”

“This doesn’t sound like it’s about K-Rod, exactly.”

I put my feet on the back of the seat in front of me and checked the time. He was drinking. I wasn’t. “It is and it isn’t,” I say, “but there’s two sides to everything, and the only one we got here is the one about this guy popping his father-in-law. What I want to know is what the motherfucker really did to get the guy to pop him. That’s what I always want to know. What causes shit.”

“You want the rest of this?” he asks, showing me the bag of peanuts he’d been working on for the better part of an hour.

“Yeah,” I reply, taking the bag. There were four peanuts left, and shells all over the floor. “You got anything to say?”

“I think you should take care of your business and let society sort out whether or not you did it the right way.”

“Meaning what?”

“Meaning,” he says, “you think about the best way to handle your problems, and if popping someone looks like a solution, you go do it. And if you’re wrong, they’ll lock your ass up. If you’re right, problem solved.”

“It’s a world full of little ratfuck shits, is what you’re saying.”

“Can be if you let it.”

Friday, August 19, 2011

It was a lot easier...

...than I thought it would be.

More on this next week.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I had trepidation. I didn’t want to do it. I went through the motions for a few days, said everything I was supposed to say, but I didn’t really want to do anything. It was just kind of an idea I was playing with. Something for somewhere down the road, you know?

Sometimes, though, you talk and talk and talk, and then time passes and you're pigeonholed, and the day comes where you’re obligated to do something, even if you had no real intention of acting on anything. Even if it was just something you’d toyed with doing sometime in the future. Something you figured you’d do eventually, but there were still plenty of days on the calendar to put it off. Plenty of days to stay in your box and not come out.

But you can’t, because if you do, it’s just something else that’s never going to happen. I’ve had enough of those for one lifetime.

So there I was, obligated now, not knowing whether I wanted to come up with some reason I couldn’t, not knowing whether anything I was doing was a good idea, not knowing whether I was doing something totally ridiculous, and you know what happened?

It turned out to be the right thing to do. Fuck, man. Life is weird.

But it’s good, too, you know?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The guy in the office next to mine likes to drink protein shakes, because he works out and thinks it’s something you have to do. I drink them too, but I’m not as fixated on them as he is. He drinks one every three hours or so. I don’t know what effect this is going to have on his future, but it can’t be good. He gets laid a lot, though, and he makes it look easy, so maybe there’s something to his routine. I don’t know.

Protein shakes go rotten quickly. This is because protein undergoes a process called denaturing when you leave it at room temperature too long. When protein shakes denature, they smell like a pile of rotting corpses left in the trunk of a car would smell in Mississippi at low tide in July. You don’t even bother washing out the bottle, because the stink seeps into the plastic and it doesn’t come out. This happens to me all the time because I hate protein shakes and don’t drink enough of them to remember to clean out my shaker bottles right away. I’m proud of this.

This guy’s office started to stink yesterday, and he figured out this was because there was a denaturing protein shake sitting behind all the shit piled up on his desk. Instead of taking the bottle outside to a Dumpster, he brought it into my office to show me, and stood there explaining the situation longer than he should have. It took a little while, but my office eventually smelled like a pile of rotting corpses left in the trunk of a car in Mississippi at low tide in July, just like his.

This made me angry, so when he came back from getting rid of the bottle, I marched into his office and demanded satisfaction. “My office fucking stinks now,” I said. “You have anything I can spray?”

“Use this shit,” he said, and handed me a squat green bottle of cologne with a familiar alligator on its front.


“No, it’s Lacoste.”

Today, his girlfriend, who works for another division of our company, came into my office and sat in one of my “client chairs.” I have these because I’m now an important guy who has meetings in my office, if you can believe that. Since she’s dating him, she always comes in and hangs out with me after she’s spoken to him. I used to hate it when people walked into my office and sat down. Now, not so much. I talk to people all day long about football and my social life. I even have theme songs for certain people. Most of these are performed by Santana. When a Peruvian coworker comes in, I play Oye Como Va or Low Rider. I once played Babalou and expected an HR complaint, but he thought this was funny. When a hot girl comes in, I play Black Magic Woman. They seem to like that.

“I heard he had a little problem with a protein shake yesterday,” his girlfriend says to me.

“Yeah. The fuckin’ thing stunk, and then he sprayed cologne all over the place, and it stunk even worse.”

“What cologne?”

“That Izod shit,” I reply. “I can still fuckin’ smell it in here.”

“It’s Lacoste, and I gave it to him.”


So, later on, I tell the guy the story of how I insulted the gift his girlfriend had given him.

“I felt kind of bad,” I said.

“Don’t worry about it. I don’t even wear cologne. You want it?”

“Nah. I’ve got matches.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Touch of Grey

I look good today. I’m dressed in a powder blue button-down shirt with white stripes, a pair of light khaki pants, and loafers with no socks. Actually, I’m wearing socks, but they’re those ankle socks that make it look like I’m not wearing any. I look like a guy who just came from the beach. Or maybe like I’m Australian. What I don’t look like, for once, is a bull-in-a-china-shop ex-thug who doesn’t belong doing a job one does with one’s mind.

That’s always the battle for me – fitting in. Or maybe not fitting in, exactly, but not looking like a guy who’s so unfamiliar with my surroundings that I’m going through my days in a state of perpetual discomfort. I know I fit in with regard to my ability to do my work. In fact, I actually may not fit in there, because I’m very, very good at what I do, and I stand out for it. My discomfort is more related to shitty self-esteem, a distorted notion of what I look like relative to everyone else, and just general dissatisfaction with the person I’d turned myself into over a span of about ten years.

But today, I look good. For once in a blue goddamned moon, I’m radiating some confidence. I’m finally noticing that people sometimes look at me on the subway, on the sidewalk and when I’m getting coffee – and they’re not looking at me like I’m some freakish sideshow with sixteen tons of baggage. They’re looking at me because I’m not that guy anymore – and maybe because I’m worth looking at to some people – and for the first time in a long time, I’m looking back at them without pulling my eyes away and pretending I wasn’t.

I know nobody wants to read this kind of introspective bullshit from me. Shit, man, I don’t want to write, read or think about it, either. I’m just making lots of jumps into God-knows-what lately without having any idea of what’s on the other side. It’s the first time I’ve gone after anything with this kind of abandon in a long, long time, and it feels fucking great, if you’ll pardon the irritating cliché, to land on enemy shores and burn the boats for once.

Took me a while to get my fingers moving again after I got back up, but my hands formed fists today. This sums it up quite nicely:

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Working Man

The worst job I ever had entailed working as an overnight manager at a CVS pharmacy. This was almost immediately after my last semester of college, and right before making a definitive decision about the “next thing.” It wasn’t a pleasant time in my life. I’d just finished playing ball, my father had died the previous year, and I had no motivation to do much of anything to better myself. By choice, that whole summer has disappeared from my memory. I can do aimless pretty well, but that doesn’t mean I like to, and that period was about as aimless as it fucking gets.

When I came home from school, I didn’t do what most of you people did. I didn’t write up a resume and attend job fairs or anything like that. I didn’t network or look into furthering my educational prospects. Instead, I started bouncing in a bar – the local one I referenced in my book. This wasn’t the most productive use of my time, but I knew everyone who worked there and it was fun most nights. Plus, I got to work with our old friend “Clint,” something I still kind of miss doing.

Greg was another bouncer at that bar – a paralegal who’d quit his job to go to law school at St. John’s, where he was in his second year. Not much happened in this place, so we had a ton of time to sit around and talk to each other about life. That’s one of the things you miss when you “graduate” from that kind of life – the sitting around and the talking. You learn a lot. That’s why cops and firemen and soldiers and athletes have reunions. Bouncers probably should, but the job doesn’t mean that much and it's really stupid and pointless, so you won't see that.

I told Greg I didn’t have much of anything going on, and he told me about his summer job at CVS. It sounded easy. You went in at 10 at night, you left at 8:30 in the morning, and you didn’t have to do jack shit. He said he’d go into that little second floor office with the mirrored windows and read legal textbooks all night. I figured I’d try it out for a while until I made some decisions about what the fuck I was actually going to do with my life. It seemed like as good a place to think about this as any.

I interviewed, got the job, and went in for their mediocre little training program, which had me following a rather ambiguous night manager around in a store other than the one I’d be managing. I laughed out loud whenever he referred to the "fem" aisle. After two weeks, they gave me my assignment and I reported for work.

I’ve had some shit jobs in my life – I wrote about one here for several years, obviously – but managing a CVS at night was my least favorite. There was nothing particularly difficult about stocking shelves all night – which, in diametric opposition to what Greg told me, is what it actually entailed – except for the fact that the clock did not fucking move. I mean, it stayed painfully fucking still. You’d open one of those stupid fucking red bins, get everything on the shelves or end-caps and put all your price labels in place, and you’d have killed approximately five minutes, which felt more like an hour. It wasn’t even like you could get into some kind of “flow” state by giving yourself over to the minutiae of the job and drifting off. It wasn’t possible. At least when you're shoveling shit for a living, you can lose yourself in the rhythms of shit-shoveling and make the clock move. At CVS, time simply refused to pass. I’d have been better off just staring at my watch for ten hours.

We were also expected to prevent “shrink” by chasing down shoplifters and holding them until the police arrived. They had to be fucking kidding with this one. I even told them so. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re so cranked up that you’re wandering around a CVS in the middle of West Bumblefuck, Long Island at three in the morning looking for a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, you’ve fucking earned it. Take something to wash it down, too. The fuck did I care?

Payday was the last straw for me – the day I decided, after about three weeks, to bail out. Back then, not knowing any better, I was one of those kids who loved to cash my checks and walk around with $600 in my wallet – money I’d end up spending on clothes or at the bar. That’s how I knew the mindset of all these fucking Guido kids back when I bounced, because I used to do the same shit. I loved nothing more than to hand a hundred dollar bill to a bartender to pay for one drink. In retrospect, I think we both knew it was more than 20% of my bank account, but we all played the game anyway.

At CVS, we were permitted to cash our checks with the cashiers up front, so that’s what I’d do at the end of my shift on paydays. You had to wait for the customers to go first, though. So if you stood in line, waited for five people and were next, you’d have to defer and go to the back of the line if a customer fell in behind you. Company policy.

My last day, I didn’t want to follow this rule. I’d been circumvented by customers three or four times, and I just wanted to go home after working all night. I’d wait it out and be ready to go, and the cashier would tell me someone was behind me. Over. And over. And over again. Finally, I’d had enough. Fuck that Catch-22 shit.

“Just cash my check.”

“I can’t,” she said. “There’s a customer behind you.”

“I don’t care anymore. Just cash my check.”

“You have to wait for the customers.”

“No,” I said. “I don’t. I quit. Just let me get my fucking money and you’ll never have to see me in this shithole ever again.”

They called my house a few times after that to ask for my nametag, but I never gave it back.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Went to happy hour tonight after work. Met several very interesting people.

It's nice to have a fucking personality again. Others seem to think so, too.

Good to be back. Thank you very much.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Blade

This is going to sound more dramatic than it really is. In actuality, it’s pretty matter-of-fact. Surprisingly so.

For the past 30+ years, I’ve pretty much had the same haircut: a number-zero on the clippers. I’ve sported my share of fades and crew-cuts over the years, but every haircut I’ve had since I was a little kid has been a variation on the same theme.

Three months ago, I decided to grow my hair out. I wanted something different, and it’s a move a lot of people have suggested I make over the years. I’ve gotten two professional haircuts over this period, and both were just to trim the back and sides. The rest of it continued to grow.

A lot has changed in my life over the past month. I set up almost the entire infrastructure of my life for the month of August expecting a certain event to happen. Things are very new right now. Different than they were a month ago. I am full of surprises. My life is full of surprises, mostly good ones. One of those surprises was going to be, for people who haven’t seen me in a while, the length of my hair.

And so meanwhile – and if you’ve read the first posts of my little blog comeback here – life was kicking my ass a little bit for a while. Still was, but then it kind of went like this (it won’t let me link to or embed the exact time, so start this around 3:38 and stop it at exactly 4:32, and do me the courtesy of trying to time this right so I can give you the proper effect):


That’s pretty much how it is. Which is good. I’m not getting killed anymore.

And I shaved my fucking head today. And that’s the end of the fucking story.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


This is not a continuation.

My face is dry. This is due to a combination of a low-carbohydrate diet, not drinking enough water during the day, and not applying face lotion at night before I go to sleep. I have several bottles of face lotion in my medicine cabinet that I don’t use. Sometimes I use them in the morning, but I’m not consistent. I tried to fix all of this today by drinking more water. The cafeteria in the basement of my company’s building sells one-liter bottles of Poland Spring water, so I bought one, drank it, and planned to refill it periodically throughout the day.

To refill my water bottle, I use the water cooler in one of the kitchens on my company’s floor of the building. The kitchens are located in the far southeast and southwest corners of the floor. The building occupies nearly an entire city block, so to get there from my office – which sits in the exact middle of the north side of the floor – I need to navigate a maze of cubicles filled with people who spend more time posting inanities on their friends’ Facebook pages than they do working. I know this because in a cubicle, you can’t hide what’s on your computer screen from people walking past. I would resent that.

I think there’s some psychological rationale, by the way, to why I’ve made no move, after all these months, to personalize my office in any way. I have no art on the wall, no framed family photos on my desk, and no photos of young, earnest me in my football days wearing eye black and looking determinedly out at the field. This isn’t a conscious act. It only occurred to me just now that if you walk into my space, it could be anyone’s. There’s no me there. I’m assuming this says something about my intentions.

The cubicles I pass on my way to the kitchen are stylish, with oak veneer on the desktops and drawers, and strategically placed windows that afford a view of your neighbor’s head, while hiding what’s happening at his desk and on his computer screen. If I worked in one of these cubicles, I would find something to block this window. I would crack a joke to my neighbor about how I wanted to beat off in peace, and he would think I was trying to be funny – and I would be just kidding about the beating off, because I only do that in private for fear of being arrested – but I would still be very serious about blocking his view of me. I don’t think I could work very well with someone staring at me through a glass window.

Every time I go to the kitchen – or to the bathroom, which is just beyond the kitchen – I take a different route. Sometimes I walk through the heart of my “department” and glad-hand my coworkers en route, pretending they’re happy to see me after not seeing me for an hour or two. Other times, I avoid them altogether and glide on the outskirts, taking the long way around to give myself the illusion that I’m trying to get back to my work as quickly as I can.

When I made it to the kitchen this morning, I set my Poland Spring bottle an inch below the waterspout – so as not to infect anyone – and pushed down on the lever. This time, as opposed to other times, I’d aligned the top of the bottle perfectly with the water stream, and nothing dripped down the side of the bottle or onto the floor. I can’t leave water on the floor. It’s not something I feel comfortable doing. I’ll always find a paper towel and blot whatever I’ve left. Not everyone does this.

There were two women in the kitchen with me. One wore glasses, and the other wore a one-piece tangerine dress consisting of fabric that looked at least an inch thick, like a hotel curtain with holes cut for her arms and legs. Still, dresses like that catch the eye because they’re sleeveless and cut above the knee, so you look anyway, just in case. All men do this. You don’t want to miss anything.

I looked down at the stream going into my Poland Spring water bottle, then back up at the woman with the glasses. She was trying to get my attention in the way people do when they stare at you with their mouths partly open. They’re waiting to lock eyes so they can say what they want to say. When men do this to each other, you know a one-liner is coming. Sometimes these are funny, especially when you walk away directly afterward without saying anything else or even waiting to see whether you’ve gotten your laugh. Sometimes, you know you’ve nailed one.

We locked eyes. I waited. She looked away, knowing I was on the hook, and then she looked back.

“It smell like a dead mice in here.”

I cocked my head back a fraction of an inch and lowered my eyebrows. That’s my “What the fuck?” expression. I do this when I’m not sure I’ve heard exactly what it is I think I’ve heard. She understood the cue.

“It smell like a dead mice in here.”

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


Continued from previous post.

Most abrasive of all was late autumn, playoff time, when the ground hardened to granite and touching the football, whether with foot or hand, was something to avoid at all costs for fear of snapping something. Winters were snowbound and schizophrenic, the oscillations in temperature cracking and scarring our pavement playing field with new hazards each week. Come spring, the cracks, for me, were extra defenders when our games began again; a mercenary seventh in a six-man game, adroit at the shoestring tackle and deadly in pass coverage. The scarring of the street was the leveling of the field, the natural evolution of the ground on which we played. When I finally ran on flat, flawless expanses of grass, I could never quite bring myself to trust what was underneath.

To fly-by Long Islanders, Middle-ish Queens appears too crowded and chaotic for anything beyond slapdash games of playground basketball. The streets, flying past in a blur of decay, don’t hint at the existence of sports requiring open fields. From your car, on Jamaica Avenue, Springfield Boulevard or the Van Wipe-it, Queens looks like someone plotted each neighborhood in a grid, abandoned the proposition, numbered the streets anyway, then added named streets and “drives” to further confound the odd outsider blundering in on his way to an airport or a baseball game.

The area’s massive population is its athletic weakness. Because so many people live in Queens and Long Island, football is just another activity in which a young man can participate, hence you’re playing in utter obscurity until word gets out that you’re good. Since the aforementioned association typically only hitches its fortunes to kids and teams they believe to be sure things, you’ll get nothing for playing a sport in this area – no guidance, no encouragement and little coaching – until you’ve already shown some glimmer of ability, at which point, if you haven’t already scrapped the game for some other pursuit, you’re wary of praise received long after the point where it was necessary. So all the best football players from New York City and Long Island who don’t come from the area’s wealthier environs take it with a considerable grain of salt when you tell them they can play. They don’t believe you, and neither did I.

From a football standpoint, I had a fortuitous grouping of innate abilities that helped overcome my rather unusual body type. The first was that, although I wasn’t particularly courageous for a teenager, I was never afraid of anything on a football field. This cuts two ways, as caution can be a virtue in a contact sport and fear can help your mental acuity between the lines, but my utter lack of any kind of trepidation once I had my pads and uniform on meant I could eventually move from shitty-armed, run-at-all-costs quarterback to positions on the field requiring more abandon in terms of bodily sacrifice: running back and middle linebacker. I wasn’t built for hitting, and often looked awkward in my attempts, but the repetition made possible by my deadened-eyed, unthinking mindset allowed me to learn to both do it well and crave it.

Football is a game of triangles, and I was at home within the sharp-cornered confines of an Isosceles. The middle linebacker is the triangle’s tip; the offensive player with the ball stands at either of the two opposite ends. When you conspire to chase down the ball carrier, you do so from the “inside-out,” meaning you want to make sure you’re always attacking from inside your triangle. Broaden your vertex angle, and a shifty ball carrier will cut back inside, causing you to overrun the play and miss your tackle. I was comfortable within this system, and developed a feel for how to keep the man with the ball just on the outside edge of my vector. I still do this in public sometimes, drawing a bead on unsuspecting ball carriers on the sidewalk and envisioning putting my nose across their briefcases and knocking loose a stack of important files upon which the homeless can pounce, then turtle.

I understood this triangularity better than the other kids on most of my teams. This is probably as a result of knowing from my parents, especially my mother, that there was more to the world than our festering little hothouse corner of the city. My mother had introduced me to reading as a toddler; she’d taken me back and forth to rather tense areas of Ireland several times to visit her siblings. So I’d known, from a very young age, that there existed something from which to retreat and seek relief within the confines of our neighborhood. Its streets and back-alleys were protected relief valves from anything happening out on Jamaica Avenue or the world-at-large. To me, each little subdivision off the major avenues of Queens, especially my own, had that wedge-like triangular feel that the other kids, having seen nothing else, neither understood nor treasured the way I did.

To be continued tomorrow.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Fill in the Blanks

The following is a writing exercise. The sentences and story are mine. The structure, however, is not. I'm trying to learn something.

When I ran, screaming to myself if not exactly aloud, from the insular little strip of warehouse Queens where I lived until I was seventeen to college in New England – where I identified more, it seemed, with the locals than with my peers – the first thing I noticed was that the first seventeen years of my life were very different from the first seventeen years of the people I was watching unload their stereos, projection televisions and “wardrobe boxes” into their new homes. With my black-and-white Motorola, my Army duffel and my throw rug – my one luxury – I was easily pegged, by anyone caring to notice, as someone not quite up-to-snuff in terms of parental success. And I wasn’t, but I wasn’t as acutely aware of it until this exact point.

I learned to play football in the street in front of my house, where chuckholes and raised manhole covers were far greater threats to young ligaments and tendons than headhunting opponents who cruised each game looking for nothing more satisfying than to drill you into the street. This was in East-Central Queens, a ramshackle conglomeration of shitty, ugly homes owned by alcoholic civil servants who couldn’t do any better. Men who spent their days off at the OTB drinking blackberry brandy out of paper bags, placing uneducated bets and accusing Cordero and Pincay of fixing races or “riding lazy,” as though any of them had ever mounted a horse in anger.

At twelve, I was identified by the local football association – a collection of loud, portly older men who hung American flags on telephone poles and advised me to “kick, Bobby, kick” – as being something approaching good. I was an option quarterback on the local Pop Warner team, running an 11-man clusterfuck resembling the Wildcat offense because A) I could run for long distances without being tackled, B) I couldn’t throw, and C) Nobody on my team could catch the ball particularly well. Within two years, I was the target of an ostensible bidding war, with the local Catholic and public high school coaches explaining to my father how much better off I’d be were I to attend their school. This wasn’t a formal recruitment, but it was there, and it was the first time anyone I didn’t know wanted me for something. That year, I played in a summer basketball tournament, where Rob Moore, who was several years older than me and played wide receiver in the NFL for several years, spread his legs, jumped over me and dunked the ball when I tried to take a charge.

My football success was more a product of my ability to recognize patterns where they existed – and with being forced into playing, to an extent, by my father – than it had to do with any sort of specific ability. I couldn’t throw the ball very far or accurately. I wasn’t exceptionally fast, had long legs and a short upper torso conducive neither to hitting nor being hit, and was cursed with the unfortunate combination of huge feet and small hands. The one thing I could do was anticipate what was coming, then move my feet fast enough to get where I needed to be. In a hundred yard dash, you could beat me by ten steps, but in a ten yard radius, within the context of a football game swirling around us, I’d be at the head of a play before you’d even known to take your first step. I could recognize the flow of things and react to it before it made sense to anyone else.

Flow didn’t interest me in Queens, at least from a social perspective. People there were mean. They were stupid, provincial and racist. When three men were chased onto the Belt Parkway in Howard Beach by a gang of bat-wielding white kids back in the 1980s, I’d wondered why the same sort of thing hadn’t yet happened closer to where I lived. The sentiment certainly existed, promulgated by all the curtain-peering old Irish biddies raising the communal alarm whenever a black guy walked down the street.

What’s he doing? Shh...Watch him. Should we call the cops?

People taking the Long Island Railroad to or from points east peer out the window at these warehouse-y parts of Queens and see a dead section of New York City that’s long since been abandoned to the Halal markets, Roti shops, storefront tabernacles and hair-weaving salons that comprise the majority of the city’s outer boroughs – only ours, for some reason, look more decrepit than anything in Brooklyn or the Bronx. Brooklyn has both past and future. People in Williamsburg tell me the hipster influx has “calmed,” and its old-school Italian roots are evident again. To me, it looks like a nice place to live with some cool bars and restaurants. Plus, it’s Brooklyn. To the north, living in the Bronx, at least the world is aware you’re in America’s worst neighborhood. There’s a certain nobility to your suffering if you live there. Alas, there’s no such nobility in evidence in Queens, New York’s closest approximation to a fly-over zone. Nobody gets off at Jamaica to experience the nightlife on Sutphin Boulevard.

To be continued tomorrow.

Saturday, August 06, 2011


There seems to have been some confusion with this paragraph:

“This whole writing thing happened almost completely by accident. My life was pretty much a dead-end disaster when the whole job-blog-book movement came around, and I got lucky and caught a wave. The problem was that I thought I was entitled to something I didn’t deserve, and I acted accordingly – like a lazy piece of shit who (pardon the cliché) was born on third base and thought he hit a triple. Just ask my editor. That shit won’t happen again, believe me.”

By referring to the “writing thing,” I was talking about the process of starting a blog about bouncing, having it get discovered and then getting a book deal out of it. This all did, indeed, happen by accident. I took a bouncing job because I was having cash flow problems. I started a blog because a friend of mine enjoyed an email I wrote him about a guy beating off in the club. I got a book deal because Gawker discovered my blog and turned the right people onto it.

I didn’t want a bouncing job.

I didn’t know what a blog was, nor had I ever written anything other than a college term paper. I wrote for several years in obscurity because my friends seemed to enjoy it, and so did I.

I didn’t know what Gawker was.

To me, that’s accidental. And when I said “job-blog-book movement,” I wasn’t talking about my current job. I was talking about the trend, 5-6 years ago, of publishing houses giving book deals to job-bloggers and that fact that I managed to catch that wave, ride it, and have my 15 minutes of quasi-fame. Waiter Rant. New York Hack. Damien what’s-his-name, the investment banker. Melissa Lafsky. They all were part of the same group – people blogging anonymously about their jobs, then getting new jobs or lucrative book deals out of it.

So yeah, you convinced me to keep going and were largely responsible for me having my job today, but that’s not at all what the previous post was referring to. I started writing on my own in 2002, kept it up for several years while I was in my previous career, and lucked ass-backwardly into a book deal a full two years before you came into the picture. What came before it was all on me. I had the idea, I put in the work, and I was responsible. Nobody else, unless you want to count “Clint” for suggesting an idea he probably figured I’d drop after a week anyway.

Call me a “narcissist” all you want, but yeah, that whole thing was an “accident” where persistence – me continuing to maintain this site every day for three years even though nobody other than my friends was reading – met an amazing stroke of luck. I hadn’t even fucking met you yet, and you had nothing whatsoever to do with that.

I'll gladly give you credit where it's due (and have, with regard to my current job), but you're not getting credit for my book deal. I didn't even know you.

And I know exactly how this will go. Instead of reading this and understanding that you texted me a load of bullshit regarding something I wasn't even saying, you'll continue this theme as though this was yet another example of how I'm incapable of drawing even one correct breath in a fucking day.

You want to check in, huh? I'm fine. My sister's fine. We're all fine. Bye.

Friday, August 05, 2011

750 Words, One Letter At a Time

There has to be more to life than sitting on subway trains fuming. Actually, I know there is. I just haven’t seen it in a while.

I have seen it, though. I’ve seen more of the world than most people, at least in a geographical sense. In a past life, I had a “career” where I did quite a bit of...travelling. I haven’t written about this much, but a rather large swath of my life after college involved being places other than New York, so I know there’s other shit out there. I just haven’t bothered to go out and look for it in a while.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about some new shit, and aside from just hooking up a sick fucking trip for my vacation – I’m finally taking one after not doing so for a long, long time – I’m thinking about some options, work-wise, that’ll have me going away a lot more often. I’m excited to see where I’ll go in life now that I’m finally applying myself again.

I’ll get one thing straight right off the bat: I know how fortunate I am right now to even have a job. I’m also thankful I’m not overseas with people shooting at me. I have friends in both positions, so I shouldn’t complain, and I rarely do anymore. There’s bigger shit going on in the world than the girl who took too long to use the Metrocard machine at 72nd Street this morning. I know all of this, but that doesn’t mean I have to stop thinking about my own life and where the fuck I’m going.

I had an opportunity a few years back, and I blew it. The real story behind the book process is that the most important person in my life died exactly 2039 days ago, right in the middle of the whole fucking thing. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that before. As a result, I didn’t do what I was supposed to be doing, things didn’t turn out the way they could have had I applied myself a hell of a lot better, and now I’m way off the radar. That’s cool. I’ve spent the last few years learning how to do this shit professionally, and I think I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I’ve learned a few valuable lessons in the process.

I also don’t believe that you can’t do anything more in publishing if your first book isn’t a runaway best-seller. That’s what everyone says, but my first try was a rudderless, half-assed effort on multiple levels. The next time I do it, I’ll know exactly what I’m doing, and it’ll be a completely different story.

This whole writing thing happened almost completely by accident. My life was pretty much a dead-end disaster when the whole job-blog-book movement came around, and I got lucky and caught a wave. The problem was that I thought I was entitled to something I didn’t deserve, and I acted accordingly – like a lazy piece of shit who (pardon the cliché) was born on third base and thought he hit a triple. Just ask my editor. That shit won’t happen again, believe me.

Am I pissed off that there are people who can’t write their way out of a fucking paper bag making way more money doing this than I am? When we’re talking about ability – in a vacuum, I mean – the answer is yes. I read certain books and wonder what the fuck the publisher was thinking. Dwelling on it, however would be delusional. Some people simply know how to sit down and do this shit every single day, even though they have “real” jobs, spouses, kids, and myriad other distractions that make things hard. I didn’t know how to do that. I probably still don’t. But I’m trying. I’m trying to make this a habit, because it’s still something I want to do, and the only way to hit that mark is to just keep churning shit out and getting better.

As for everything else, the 2040th day will be just as hard as the 2039th day, which was just as hard as the first. I’m used to it by now. It’s reality when I wake up in the morning, and it’s reality when I go to sleep. That shit doesn’t go away. You just have to adapt to it and keep fucking moving. I didn’t, but now I am.

And that’s your steaming pile of horseshit for today. Have a nice weekend, everyone.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

A Night Out

I have a close friend who used to be a professional football player. He wasn’t any kind of superstar, but he was a solid player who spent seven or eight seasons in the NFL and played in a couple of Pro Bowls. He’s not a household name, so unless you’re a totally rabid football nerd – or a fan of the team he played for – you’ve probably never heard of him. And since football is played with helmets on and the faces there aren’t as familiar as they are in other sports, he’s rarely recognized in public anymore unless it’s by someone who already knows him personally.

I’m going to call him “Mike,” because that’s football terminology for middle linebacker, his position in college and the NFL. If he’d played strongside linebacker, I’d call him “Sam.” If he’s played weakside, I’d call him “Will.” You just learned something.

We went to the Yankee game together the other night. Mike drives an Escalade and lives in a very nice house, because although he never really broke the bank by NFL standards, he was careful with his money and probably doesn’t have to work again for the rest of his life. I find it very interesting that he went out and started a second career anyway. Some guys have to stay busy. Mike is one of those guys. He’s solid.

Mike just went through a divorce. This is the only negative thing that’s happened to him since I’ve known him, and I’ve known him since our senior year in high school. It’s a sad situation, but it seems amicable compared to some of the other couples I’ve known who’ve gone through it. Nobody cheated, walked out, or did anything wrong. They just didn’t get along anymore. It sucks, but it happens.

Like most guys I know who get divorced, Mike is out there getting after it. Hard. But in his case, since he’s a good looking guy, a former professional athlete who’s stayed in shape, and has a shit-ton of money, he happens to be getting after it with some seriously national-class trim like it’s his fucking job. It’s impressive.

He brought his latest attempt at overcompensation to the game with us. We had great seats, but she did nothing but piss and moan the whole way to Yankee Stadium. The air conditioning was too cold. When we opened the windows, it was too windy. When we closed the windows and tried to make the air conditioning a little more moderate for her, it was “stuffy.” It was too hot at the game. Baseball is boring. There were bugs. She was tired. People were too loud. Her beer had a fly in it. The bathrooms were “skanky.” Derek Jeter is ugly and old.

At one point, Mike went to take a leak and bring back some stuff from the concession stand, leaving me alone with her. We had nothing to say to each other. We sat in silence the entire time. I couldn’t think of a single subject to broach with this person, and although she didn’t even try, I could think of absolutely nothing she could possibly say that would interest me to even the slightest degree. I was so disinterested that it wasn’t even awkward.

Mike came back with beer and started talking to me about Tiki Barber’s comeback. He thinks someone will sign him after the third week of the season, when teams would have to spend less money on him. He says Tiki can probably still play. He said nothing to the girl. For at least an hour, he spoke only to me. I forgot she was even there. She contributed nothing, other than the occasional complaint.

After the game, we dropped her off in Astoria and drove back to Mike’s house, where I’d parked my car in the street. I wanted to go home.

“Well,” said Mike, “that kinda sucked.”

I hit the button on my keychain, opened my door, and wondered why he hadn’t taken her home after all that. “Whatever,” I said. “We went to the fucking Yankee game. Who cares?”

“She’s pretty fucking hot, right?”

Am I missing something here?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Act Locally


Navigating New York’s sidewalks, crosswalks and subway platforms can be frustrating for even the most patient souls among us. Early in the morning, our wonderful city can be so fraught with unwelcome and unpleasant stimuli that it’s easy to become enraged at the slapdicks responsible. Later in the afternoon, you’re tired, you’re frustrated, you just want to get home after a difficult day of work, and it’s simply unfair to have to summon the patience to circumnavigate the endless flocks of anuses who insist upon clogging Gotham’s vital chokepoints.

Whether we’re talking about the tops or bottoms of staircases or escalators, the spaces between pillars and railings on subway platforms or the entrances to New York’s thousands of buildings, areas requiring free pedestrian passage aren’t places New Yorkers should stand. They inexplicably do, however, and it’s a problem that won’t go away by itself.

Until now.

Welcome to, a dynamic new initiative launched by the people who brought you and

The mission of is simple and straightforward: to make every fucking moron in New York City understand that when an entire stream of people is walking around you while glaring at you and muttering obscenities, you’re probably in the way, and you should move immediately.


The good people at can’t do this alone. We need your help, and we need it now. New York is completely choked off, and it’s becoming virtually impossible to travel from place to place without encountering some dildo standing somewhere he shouldn’t. We obviously don’t want anyone getting shot or stabbed, but if you’re carrying a weapon yourself, we need you to raise citywide awareness by spreading the word directly to these douches – telling them, in no uncertain terms, to get the fuck out of the way.

Every time you move someone out of a chokepoint, it’s one step closer to victory – but remember this: Move a man out of the way, and you’ve got freedom for a day. Teach a man to move himself out of the way, and you’re free of his fucking stupidity for a lifetime.

That’s what we’re about here at


Your first step toward liberation is to simply move. Get the fuck out of the way. Lean against the fucking wall. Focus, every single day, on paying attention to social cues, especially during morning and evening rush hour periods, and you’ll eventually start to get the point.

In time, we’ll have volunteers roaming the sidewalks and subway stations of New York, handing out our literature and offering workshops on how not to be a human blockade. You’ll learn marketable skills like:

• Standing where you don’t block hundreds of people.
• Walking downstairs faster.
• Ascertaining whether you’re “hot” enough to wear high heels and walk downstairs at a fucking snail’s pace without pissing everyone off.
• Avoiding standing confusedly in front of Metrocard machines.
• Avoiding standing confusedly in front of subway turnstiles.
• Avoiding inexplicably stopping within the flow of pedestrian traffic.
• Walking in a straight line.


Let’s be honest, folks. Commuting to work in New York City is just a big, fat fucking joke. It doesn’t have to be that way, but what we need from you to get this initiative off the ground is the sense of urgency that’s obviously missing from the collective consciousness of the hordes of fuckwits who slow our city to a crawl every morning and evening rush.

Don’t let them win. Join us.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

City Life: Keeping Right Proves "Challenging" For Imbeciles

NEW YORK, N.Y. – It seems a simple enough proposition. If you want to stand still on one of Manhattan’s subway station mega-escalators, you keep to the right. If you’re in a hurry and need to treat the escalator like a staircase, you can do so on the left. Observe any subway escalator at rush hour, and this pattern seemingly develops of its own accord.

Until, that is, Miranda Giraud exits her train. Giraud, 38, an unemployed mother of three who now lives in Oniontown, N.Y., is on a rather unusual mission – one she claims will “teach” working New Yorkers to slow down and realize that she can “do whatever the fuck I want.”

“That’s what this is all about,” said Ms. Giraud. “I do what I want to do and none of these motherfuckers can say shit to me.”

If you’ve encountered Ms. Giraud or her growing legion of followers, chances are you’ve been unnecessarily delayed on your way up one of Manhattan’s myriad transit system escalators – and you’re certainly not alone in your annoyance.

“This is something we’re seeing more and more of every month,” says New York City Escalator Division spokesman Frank Sperte, “and it’s definitely more of a problem during summer months. People are hot, they’re sweating, they’re trying to get to work, and you basically have these fucking ne’er do wells violating every common sense law on and off the books. It’s fucking disgraceful.”

Problems arise, say some commuters, when few grown men have the “balls” to do anything about it. “I tell these dumb fucks to move out of the way every fucking morning, at least when I’m close enough for them to hear me,” says Vincent Sapienza, an union elevator mechanic who commutes daily from Long Island to his job in the Financial District. “It’s like a bad joke. How do you not fucking know where you’re supposed to stand?”


Once considered a promising student at Jamaica’s Mary Lewis Academy, Ms. Giraud’s first signs of trouble arose shortly before her sophomore year in high school.

“I don’t like categorizing people or offering dimestore psychological evaluations,” says Sister Patricia Teegarten, a veteran school administrator, “but to us, Miranda seemed to have descended into something resembling narcissistic personality disorder rather rapidly. Not that she was ever nice to anyone or anything, but still.”

Her former classmates concur. “She was just a fucking piece of shit to everyone,” says Vivian Gonzalez, who shared several classes with Ms. Giraud. “It doesn’t surprise me at all that she’s getting all this attention for being so stupid. I see her on the news and her tattoos look so bad and shit, you know?”

After high school, Ms. Giraud’s downward cycle continued with two failed marriages, a felony assault conviction and three children born out-of-wedlock. This systematic failure-at-life, she claims, is her motivation for making everyone around her as miserable as possible at all times. “Fuck everyone,” she said. “This is about me, and I can do whatever the fuck I want.”

“People like her fall into similar patterns of behavior when they use our transit system,” said Mr. Sperte. “It’s definitely not a good thing. When you see someone like this blocking the entire left side of an escalator, they’re likely making excessive noise as well, and when they get off the escalator, there’s a good chance they’ll inexplicably stop, inconveniencing New Yorkers behind them.”


Residents like Ms. Giraud, says Mr. Sapienza, are the rule, rather than the exception. “Short of grabbing these fucking idiots by the back of the collar and hauling them off the fucking escalator,” he said, “there’s nothing we can fucking do about it, and it’s a shame. They’re everywhere.”

The problem, according to Mr. Sperte, is the intimidation factor elicited by these subterranean malcontents. “Here’s the thing,” he said. “You have some stupid, lazy, fat fuck who won’t get out of your way, but the only real means they have to defend themselves against you is to yell at you and hope you get frightened and back down, but let’s be honest here. The average stupid, lazy, fat fuck on the subway does not have the physical wherewithal to engage in an altercation with anyone. They’re simply not in good enough shape. They drink, they smoke, and they eat fucking Taco Bell six times a day. How fucking long do you think they can last in a fight before their hearts explode?”

Mr. Sapienza agrees. “I work with my hands every day, all day long,” he said. “You don’t have a job? You don’t do nothing physical? Get in my way and I’ll slap you in the back of the fucking head. Boom, right in the back of your fucking head. Do something. You can’t.”

None of this, however, seems to register with Ms. Giraud, who pledges to continue doing her part to both delay the flow of progress and irritate every commuter within a hundred yard radius. “This isn’t about those people getting to work,” she said. “It’s about me letting the whole world know that I do whatever the fuck I want to. I already told you that.”

Monday, August 01, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Here is one of those copout "10 Random Things on a Sunday Night" posts. It's better than nothing, I'd say.

1. Breaking Bad is my favorite TV show at this point. Saul Goodman is my favorite character.

2. The most entertaining book I’ve read recently was The Swinger, by Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck.

3. Since I received my piece of bad news last Sunday, I’ve been listening to the song Ocio, by an artist called Melikka, on a repeating loop. I don’t know why.

4. If I could afford to live anywhere in New York City, I would live in Tribeca. I will, eventually.

5. I don’t own an iPad, nor do I understand their purpose.

6. July has been an absolute shit month. I’m very glad it’s over.

7. The second – or perhaps third – act of my life begins today. I’m happy to be writing it myself.

8. I like things manufactured by a company called Filson.

9. I now carry around a little black notebook and write shit down all day. It’s been helping a lot.

10. I need to stop saying “fuck” and “fucking” so much at work. It’s unprofessional and it’s holding me back.