Tuesday, February 28, 2006


So, I think we're going to change the format around here a little bit, at least until the book is finished. Inspired, somewhat, by this, I've decided to address some of the emails I've been getting lately regarding the quality of the blog.

Yes, I've been devoting the majority of my time at the keyboard to the book, and yes, the blog has suffered as a result. All those silly dialogue posts? Those are actual conversations with people that make it onto the blog about a half hour after they're over. Why? Because dialogue is easy, and it only takes a little while to reproduce a conversation and post it, so up it goes. I'm still semi-dedicated to getting something on the blog regularly, and dialogues, sucky or no, allow me to do this rather quickly.

What you have to understand about Clublife, and the blogs of Melissa Lafsky, Jason Mulgrew, and the rest, is that we're all first time authors. Regardless of what anyone has to say about our relative skill with the written word, we're all trying like gangbusters not to fuck up the opportunity we've been given, which means that our blogs, despite being the springboard to our respective book deals, have become something of an afterthought. Your blog can be a great one when you have the time to devote to it, but that's a luxury no longer available to me, or any of the others.

So, yes, I know. The blog sucks now.

Now, if I really had my way, I'd simply say, "I hope you enjoyed the blog, but I'm sick of writing it, so I'll see you all -- hopefully -- in December when the book comes out."

I like maintaining a blog, though. I really do. As I've said before, I'd still be doing this even if nobody was reading, because I enjoy writing for writing's sake, so I'm going to propose something a little different than what you might be used to on these pages.

At the risk of turning this blog into something that's "just like everyone else's," I'm going to be writing things in more of a diary form than I have in the past. There'll still be stories about the club, because I still work there, and shit still happens, but they're not going to be quite as, well, ambitious as they've been in the past. That stuff has to go into the book, as I'm certain everyone can understand. I'm also going to be updating a bit more frequently, because blogging serves as a nice little warmup to the marathon all-nighters I've been putting in on the book.

So, whatever. We'll see what happens with that.

Made in the Shade

"Yo, what up, dog?"

"How ya doin..."

"Yo, where you been, man? I thought'chu quit or sump'in!"

"Ummm...no," I reply. "I took last Saturday off."

"Word? Well, we missed you, dog..."

"How sweet."

You missed me did you, Guido? On the real, yo? I doubt it. Let's put an end to this little charade of ours, shall we? I make you as nauseous as you make me, which is quite some hell of a lot. And I know I make you sick, because every time I toss one of you little cock-bags out, you'll make certain to tell me, and all of my coworkers, how little we're worth in your grand Guido perception of the universe.

"Yo, look at'cho shoes, n---a! My shoes cost mo than yo car! Yo, I gots a G, yo! I'll buy you, muthafucka!"

But, every week, twice, sometimes thrice per week, we'll play this game. This social, social game. The handshake, the half-hug-to-a-forearm shiver, the pointless banter about the weather, and the bitches, and the "vibe in the room." And when I miss a night, all hell breaks loose, because our relationship, tenuous as it is, frays at its poorly defined edges. The routine, broken, needs to be set back on its rails. Your serve, fraught with topspin, begs return. You're a creature of habit, Big Shot, and when the record skips, it's all I can do to straighten out the needle for us both.

"Yo, we was worried, yo!"

"About what?" I ask.

"Yo, I tol' you. I din't see you las' week, dog!"

Worried about what? What happened, you didn't get comped? Word, dog, I let you step right on in for a reason, and it's not a good one, but you've mistaken it for friendship. Which it just may be, but when you consider that I let you in free because you have rotten fucking Guido breath, and I don't want you standing out front jabbering my ear off, you might want to rethink the situation.

Best to stay on my good side, though. Wise business decision on your part. You know, it takes a while to figure things out in nightclubs, but once you do, it's not at all hard to understand why you see the same faces night after night. And why they're so friendly to the bouncers. Me, especially, because I very rarely ask for a cut. I'm outside, see, and that shit's not going on in front of me. But don't think I don't know. And don't think I haven't turned around on your type, because I have, and I don't worry about it, because it's a small price for you to pay, no?

What are you gonna do, shoot me? Sure, you could, but you won't. There's guys working the back that've shaken your ass down for months, and they're still breathing, so sure, when I turn on you like a nineteen-year-old blonde who's sick of Irish cock, I'll get away with it. And you'll still greet me at the door with a hug and a handshake, because it's all a sham, just like the rest of this business.

"Well," says Johnny. "What were you doin' back there?"

"Takin' a leak, asshole," I say.

"In a stall? In an empty bathroom?"

"I always use the stall. Stage fright."

"And now you're blowin' your nose?" he asks.

"I been standin' outside all night! Go fuck yourself, y'old fuckin' crow!"


"You really wanna know," I say, "I been standin' outside in twenny degree cold all night, an' the fuckin' thing shrinks an' it takes me a coupla minutes to get things movin', so I use the stall so as not to get distracted by old fuckin' homos like you. Happy now?"

And how'd you make out tonight, you old fuck? How many payrolls are you on back there?

Here a side deal, there a side deal, everywhere a shady bouncer winking at a shady Guido selling to a twitchy Guido huffing powders off a toi-let seat.

See, what you realize, is that everyone's shady. Sketchy motherfuckers all over the map around here, because it's the only way anyone gets by in New York. Every regular with a smile and a caring word has "the agenda." Gladhanding you, so you don't backhand him. And when you're naive, as not many here are, you don't know. But if you listen, you find out real quick, and then it's time to get on the bus with all the other guys wearing the suits.

Go out with your friends? Have some drinks? Break your shit out on the dance floor? Think it. Keep thinking it. But it ain't like that here in Guidoville. Not by a longshot.

And don't forget to bring cash.

Monday, February 27, 2006

More Pointless Dialogue: Watching Sports

"Turn this shit off," I say.


"I can't stand to listen to these assholes. They don' know what the fuck they're talkin' about."

"Dude," he says, "there's nothing else on."

"Anything's better than this shit. I just can't stand the little smartass commentary after every fuckin' play."

"It's ESPN. They're supposed to do that."

"I don't give a crap," I say. "These fuckin' guys piss me off with that shit."


"'Cause they're fuckin' idiots, that's why."

"So turn the sound down, asshole."

"You think either one of these two little pricks knows what it feels like to get hit like that?" I ask. "I mean, what the fuck? Where do they get off makin' little fuckin' comments like that?"

"That's what they get paid for."

"Listen. My thing about sports is that guys like that have no fucking idea what it feels like to get hit by one of those guys, so it pisses me off when they start mouthin' off about it."

"What the fuck do you care?" he asks.

"I don't, but it goes back to what I'm always sayin' about people not havin' a clue about what it takes to be a professional athlete."

"Like you do?"

"Yeah, I do. You know damned fuckin' well I spent a lotta years gettin' my ass kicked by guys who eventually did."


"So," I say, "sports are brutal. You know what it's like, even in non-contact sports like basketball? Go on a court with some NBA guys and see what that's like. It's like the court ain't even big enough."

"What does that have to do with ESPN?"

"It means you don't know your ass from your elbow until you've been there at least once. Tried to hit a major league fastball. Tried to tackle an NFL running back. Squared off with a real fighter. You don't know. Do you have any fuckin' idea how much force these guys produce?"

"I can imagine," he says.

"Yeah. You can imagine. But you don't know. You've got no fuckin' clue how fast these guys can move from a stopped position into moving full speed, and how much that fuckin' hurts when you're the guy gets nailed by it."

"So? It's entertainment."

"No, it's bullshit. Think about what Byron Leftwich did in college, playin' that fuckin' game on a broken leg. You know how hard that shit is to do on two good legs? And yeah, sure, it's a heartwarming story to see a guy lead the team down the field on a broken leg, but a broken leg fuckin' hurts, dude. You wouldn'ta wanted to be him, trust me."

"Yeah," he says, "but now he's makin' ten million a year, so he should be able to take it if some little wiseass on ESPN cracks a few jokes about him."

"Okay, well, now you're gettin' off into how much money they make, which definitely gives people the right to give these guys some crap."


"See, what?" I ask. "I didn't say I agreed with it. You see a guy get in a boxing ring and get knocked the fuck out, and it still bothers me to see some little pencilneck fuck with glasses on bein' all snide about it. I know it's a fuckin' cliche, but you know what? Get your pussy ass in the ring yourself and see what that feels like, y'know?"

"I agree with that."

"How can you not? I mean, you remember how it was when I was playin', right? I was a big, bad motherfucker, and yet I still went out and got my ass kicked more often than I didn't, right?"

"Sometimes," he replies.

"Seriously, though. You guys looked at me, back then, and said, 'This guy's freakin' huge, and he does nothing but train, and I can't imagine anyone being any better,' but there were still tons of guys out there who ran me over like a fuckin' freight train."

"I never really said that, but okay. Have your moment."

"And you know why that surprised everyone? When I didn't go out and just maul people?"

"'Cause you sucked?"

"No," I reply. "It's 'cause none of you ever played at that level, so I was your only point of reference, and you had no idea what else was out there. So when some guy came out and put me on rollerskates, it was a shock, because people who never played just don't know. You can't."

"This why you drink so much?" he asks.


"You're a bitter, bitter man."

"At least," I reply, "I ain't a smartass pussy. I'd rather fuckin' be broke."

Friday, February 24, 2006

Numbered Days

Hey, have you ever been in the middle of a brawl between two warring factions of greasy douchebags with waxed eyebrows, several of them bleeding all over the fucking place, and suddenly say to yourself, "Self? What the fuck are you doing here? You've got a book deal. You're getting paid even when you're not doing this, so why are you doing this?"


Right. Of course not. I suppose I was probably the only bouncer in the club having that thought, at that exact moment. If fact, I'd wager I was the only one in New York -- in America, for fuck's sake -- to whom such a notion had occurred at that point in time. My perspective, here, is unique. Shouldn't that be telling me something?

Eight hours of my life I'm not getting back. Eight hours closer to the deadline for the manuscript. Eight hours closer to the rest of my life, and how'd I kill it? Arguing with jerkoffs in an alleyway somewhere in Manhattan, dreaming of books, my after-work bagel and my goddamned bed, into which I'm about to sink.

Why do I even bother?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dear Angry People

The garbage trucks of America are lined with guys who thought they could play in the NFL.

Sounds about right. Hey, did I ever mention that I was considered a better player in high school than two guys who've ended up having long, productive careers in professional football? That's right. Put a few drinks in me these days, and I'll tell you all about it. What'd it get me, though? Aside from occasionally having some long-in-the-tooth townie see me in a bar and tell me I "look good," what, really, was the point?

They stuck with it. Worked harder. Listened better. Had the fifteen extra chromosomes necessary to play pro ball. Sure, I worked, but you have to eventually face reality, and it smarts. Three inches too short, two steps too slow, and blessed with a ceramic body, I wasn't equipped for the long haul to compete with guys like that. I was nice in high school, but I flamed out. I knew it, my father knew it, my coaches knew it, and the whole fucking town knew it. Wasn't ever gonna happen.

So what the hell you gonna do? Cry about it? So what? I did my best, and that's all I'll ever need to know about myself. I couldn't have gone any further than I did with football. Life held other things. Not, perhaps, the sort of things I had expected coming out of high school, but life has gotten better recently. Not exactly my plan, but the realization that I'm not at the wheel here, at least in terms of where I've found myself applying my talents, has made it easier. Going with it, instead of sitting around, flipping beer cans at the dog, griping about how I wuz robbed. Who cares, dude? Does anyone really think dreams die harder for athletes than for anyone else?

The streets of Manhattan are lined with people who think their blogs should make them rich.

That sounds about right, too. Trouble is, those same streets are lined with people who think they need to send me links to their blogs because they think I can help. So, what I'm thinking, since people seem not to be aware of certain realities, is that I'll give a pretentious little look back in Clublife history, so some of you newcomers -- those of you who keep writing me -- can get a little taste of how I went about getting to this point, wherever the fuck any of you thinks that is.

Upon investigation, I was suddenly transformed into Homer Simpson in Donut Heaven.

Yes, dear reader, that very sentence appeared on this blog on June 13, 2004. I kid you not. I italicized the entire thing here, in order to make a point, but I had initially italicized the words "Donut Heaven," to accentuate the idea that I was being exceedingly witty. Good one, Rob, circa 2004. You're on your way, kiddo.

None of you actually read that at the time, because I had, well, no readers. None. So I got away with it. I could find more shit like this, too. Plenty more. But that's enough for now. This blog, in June of '04, was crap. There was no 'voice' involved, because every post read like I was turning in a two page paper for English Comp 101.

So I wrote. And I wrote. And I kept writing, until the sentences got too long and involved, and I picked up that nasty adverb virus that rendered me incapable of writing a paragraph without at least half the words ending in -ly. With the help of others, after picking up a modest readership through the quality of the stories -- if not, as yet, the writing -- I made it through that stage, and found something. A voice. And you know what? It's still not that good, because I know I'm better at it now than I was a few months ago, and I'll be better, still, a few months from now.

But it takes time. And patience. And the willingness to sit down and write, just for yourself, night after night after night, until you start getting the point. Took me over a year before anyone noticed, and another six months after that to get a book deal, and I'm still not happy with where I'm at in terms of pure writing skill.

You know why I'm not happy with my abilities, though? Because I've been doing this long enough to know what's good and what's not. Am I good? Yeah, I'm okay. Can I string together a sentence like William Gibson? Phillip Roth? My man Neal Stephenson? Hell, no. I can pull one out of my ass every once in a while, but I'm not there yet, and I know it. The difference, however, is that I'm well aware of where I am in comparison. I'm also quite confident in my ability to get where I need to be, eventually.

Writing is perhaps the most delusional of the arts. That post containing the sentence above? Damn, did I think that was a monster of a piece. Three paragraphs about eating a snack after work. Brilliant stuff, I figured. Memorable. The fucking thing probably took me two hours to write, and now, to me, it's virtually unreadable. I cringed looking at some of the shit I was seeing when looking for some truly shitbag sentences to post here. The 'donut metaphor' may have been the least embarrassing of those I considered.

My point? This takes time. If you're not a writer, you can't just start a blog, write a paragraph or two a day for a few months, send it to me claiming you're brilliant, then excoriate me for not immediately writing you back with a promise to "hook you up" with my agent.

Sure, I'm lucky. Catching this break is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I'm determined not to fuck it up as badly as I've fucked up most everything else I've ever tried. But, and this is a pretty big but as far as I'm concerned, I haven't fallen ass backward into anything here. There are dues to be paid in any worthwhile endeavor, and while writing isn't exactly akin to digging ditches, I've put in more than my share of time doing this in obscurity.

So, think you're trying, do you? Working your "ass off," while I'm lucking into things like some kind of savant who hasn't actively tried -- harder than you, incidentally -- to learn how to do this better? Wrong. My advice? Lock yourself in a room for a few hours, every day. Read. Write. Read. Write. Read. Write. Read. Write. Compare. Go back to the drawing board. Write more. Read more. Write more. Repeat. Do that for another year, then email me back and see if we're onto something.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

More Random Dialogue

"I don't know," I say. "I think it's because I have a low threshold for disappointment."

"Of what sort?"

"Y'know. Social convention. That kind of thing."

"Why?" she asks. "It's not like you're doing the cotillion circuit, drinking tea with white gloves on."

"Fuck no," I reply, "but it still bothers me. I tune people out."

"You're not telling me anything."

"But I am. I'm trying to put my finger on what it is, exactly, that turns me off."

"Turns you off?" she asks. "I didn't think you were ever turned off, quite frankly."

"I'm not talking about sex here. I'm talking about the kind of shit that shuts down conversations. Why I don't socialize properly with people I don't know."

"People are mostly full of shit. Pompous."

"Sure," I say, "but that's not it, completely. I'll sit and listen to a blowhard if he's got something to say. I just..."


"I can't stand when people butcher the language."


"Listen," I say. "You remember that skit on In Living Color where they had that jailbird dude who used all the big words that had nothing to do with what he was talking about?"

"No. I was like nine when that show came out."

"Whatever. They also had one where they had Mike Tyson saying all this stupid shit." Cue falsetto. "'It's ludicrous! It's so ludicrous I'm ecstatic!' Or when the real Mike Tyson got knocked out and said he was gonna 'fade into Bolivia.' See, that shit was good, but when regular people do it, it annoys the crap out of me."

"So," she says, "somebody misuses a word and you don't want to listen to them anymore?"

"It's not exactly like that. I'm big on slights."


"Yeah," I reply. "Y'know, like getting slighted. People forget some social convention, like they don't say 'thank you' for something, and it's over. I'm done."

"What does one have to do with the other?"

"Nothing. I'm just trying, and obviously failing, to explain why I suddenly shut down in the middle of conversations."

"Because you're fucked up?"

"No," I say. "You know what it is?"


"Cues. Verbal cues. I'm so hot and cold based on how the person's responding to what I'm saying."

"I noticed," she says.


"It's pretty obvious. Sometimes I wonder how you've managed to have so many friends."

"Oh, come on," I say. "I'm not talking about my friends. I'm talking about random, chance conversations with people I don't know. I set up so many barriers to effective conversation that I'm sensitive to every little thing the other person does."

"Which is why people generally think you're an asshole."

"They do?"

"I'm just going by what you've said."

"Well," I say, "I don't think it's entirely my fault."

"Oh no?"

"The world can help me out a little, you know? Be a little less tedious?"

"I know, dear. It's always them."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Watch This

Okay, the person or persons who made this video must contact me immediately.

If anyone out there has any idea where this came from, please let me know. It's quite possibly the funniest thing I've ever seen.

Warning: This is not porn, but there are a lot of F-bombs dropped in this, so be careful if you're at work.

Good thing we're not dating

"Where's that happy medium," she asks, "where there are no airs but you're both showing that you're putting forth an effort?"

"I think," I reply, "it's when you really, really like the other person, and for that to happen there has to be something else that inspires a mutual respect."

"Good luck with that."

And how. The problem, however, is that a comfort level begins to develop once you've been dating for a while, and it inevitably seems as if one or both participants in a relationship have simply stopped trying. Lord knows I've done it. Don't fool yourselves. If we start dating, rest assured I'll show up drunk at least once within the first week or two. And consider yourself lucky if I'm not coming out in sweats by the third date.

"When a guy gets too comfortable, it's like an affront," she says. "You're like, 'Why isn't he putting in an effort?'"

"You stop trying."

"Yes, and that's when it all goes downhill."

"But how the fuck do you keep the excitement in a relationship?" I ask.

"There has to be something at stake. Take women on the North Shore, for instance. They have the husband's mistress to contend with."

"Your instincts are constantly fighting each other. Instinctively, you want to take care of someone, so you pay for shit..."

"Like a hunter-gatherer type of thing," she says.

"Yeah. But on the other hand, if you don't have that certain thing that keeps you from getting comfortable..."

"You're both fucked."


But what is that? What keeps people from getting comfortable? What could there possibly be to keep me getting up in the morning, checking out the person sleeping next to me and saying, every single day of the year, "I have to impress her today." Eventually, you're simply attached, and it's just not going to be necessary anymore, right? So what's left? Climbing rocks? Robbing banks together?

"Dating in New York is so fucking contrived," she says. "You spend five months pretending you're normal, and then the other shoe drops."

"Damn. Five months? You're a damned serial monogamist."

"No, really. You're dating a resume, not a person. I feel like I should like these guys, but they're all fucking boring."

"Cookie cutter," I say. I hate those motherfuckers. The kinds of pricks who walk around with umbrellas when they see a cloud.

"Yeah. They all went to the same schools, they all do the same thing for a living, and it's boring."

"By that definition, then, I should be getting laid a lot more often."

"And then," she says, "with dating, it's like it takes forever to develop any intimacy as friends, because everything's just so contrived."


"And then it's like, too much, too fast. Interesting how love and sex fucks everything up."

"At this point," I say, "I can't really remember."

"Seriously, though. Are we just overanalyzing this because we're from New York and jaded? Or is there something more biological at stake here?"

"Sounds like you're doing more analysis than I ever do."

"I'm a woman, dear. And a Jewish woman at that."

Monday, February 20, 2006

We're the worst

"Look at that motherfucker standing up there..."

"So smug...thinks he's so safe..."

"Somebody needs to take him out."

We met, and decided it had to be done.

You know, I get email comments all the time from readers who say they'd like to meet me, and it's quite flattering, really. Happens just about every day, and it feels good. Rewarding. Truth be told, it makes doing all this worthwhile to know it means that much to somebody.

After this weekend, though, I have no idea why anyone in their right mind would ever voluntarily choose to make my acquaintance in any situation involving the consumption of alcohol. See, you don't know. You don't know how we are. How we get. The things we do. Add "Clint" to the mix, and it's over, and your event ends in disaster because you've invited nothing but trouble.

I keep telling people, on this blog, that I'm not an asshole. There's a reason for that. I am an asshole. Deny, deny, deny, and maybe you'll get the wool pulled over everyone's eyes. That's been my plan from the start, but, to quote Neal Stephenson, get a few drinks in me and the "Imp of the Perverse" takes the reins and it's over for everyone's good time.

So, lots of blood and cuts and bruises later, you've got my weekend. I'd apologize, and so would "Clint," but we're not yet certain of what, exactly, we did. Or even if it was all that bad. But we're trash when we drink, and we know that. You can cultivate as many book deals and Ponzi schemes as nature will allow, but when it comes down to it, you can't get away from the trailer park once the Johnnie Black starts flowing.

And so, finally, you end up with two brainless fucknut idiots, slapping and choking and punching, wandering the streets to God-knows-where, because, you know, we're spoiling for a fight and can't stop drinking, and we don't even know where the fuck we went until finding the receipt the next morning. Tacit collusion. Of course the night couldn't end once we all got back to the hotel. No. It wasn't something one needed to say to the other, but was anyone surprised that nobody chose to join us?

Two peas in an asshole pod. As ever, as always.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Heavy Lifting

Thanks to Stuart, who brought this to my attention....

Read this post.

Now read this one.

Dude, come on. Are you kidding me? If you're going to plagarize, here's how you have to do it:

1. At least plagarize a good post. That post, relatively speaking, was not good. I wrote it in about fifteen minutes, and barely even looked it over before publishing.

2. Don't make the writing worse! Again, that post sucked, but you made it suckier!

3. And you know me, I'm not going to say a whole bunch of stupid shit about how I'm contacting lawyers and all the crap, because I'm obviously not, but why would you want to take the chance? See, I have no idea what the laws are regarding this sort of thing, and I don't think that dopey Creative Commons icon means anything, but do you really think it's wise, in a legal risk-taking sense, to blatantly republish something written by a HarperCollins house author? I mean, really. Those guys are like one of the "Five Families" or something.

Your blog is your blog. The purpose of having a blog is to write down your thoughts. You liked that post? Think it's a fun thing to put on your blog? Go ahead! By all means! But where's the enjoyment in copying sentences verbatim? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of having a blog in the first place?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Late Night Encounter With a Reader

XXXXX: hello?

: not even a response Rob?

TheBounncer: WHO SENT YOU

XXXXX: Noone sent me - Im a reader of your blog

XXXXX: an avid reader at that


XXXXX: Rob - or whatever your real name is - IM XXXX FROM XXXXX. I have sent you a few emails - never mind man - your obviously nothing of what your blog represented - Later

XXXXX: whatever - fuck - to think I have actually been reading your blog! - whatever, good luck.


XXXXX: whatever loser


XXXXX: bring it on dick - whata fucking loser

TheBounncer: Wow. Get a sense of humor, douchebag.

XXXXX: Thats the retort I would expect lol - That actually you?

TheBounncer: Depends on who I think I am at the moment.

XXXXX: Damn straight thats you lol

XXXXX: You get my emails?

TheBounncer: You called me a loser. Now we must fight to the death. Get your fucking kung fu ready.

XXXXX: Right on - ready to go :-)

TheBounncer: yeah, okay

XXXXX: I thought someone was fucking around and was about to email you lol

XXXXX: you get my emails or not bro?

XXXXX: ohhhh?

TheBounncer: WHY

TheBounncer: WHY DO YOU ASK?

XXXXX: Why? Because Im curious

XXXXX: Whats with the attitude? geeeesh



XXXXX: Obvioulsy your not a fraction of what ur blog portrays - good luck with it all

TheBounncer: Dude, please. What do you want me to do? It's 4 in the fucking morning, and you're a random dude IMing me.

XXXXX: Some damn manners and respect to start - fuck

TheBounncer: How about I fly 20 hours around the world and KICK YOUR ASS?

XXXXX: I have emailed you a few times so I wouldn't expect to fall into the 'random' cat - but it all good

XXXXX: lol @ ur last - thats more like it lol

TheBounncer: I'd do it, too. I don't like you.

XXXXX: yeah? cheers - good luck with it all

TheBounncer: What's the matter?

XXXXX: You dont like me? Well to be honest - I dont think I fucking like you either - been reading ur blog for some time and actually fucking related to you - What the matter u ask? What a fucking disappointment - good luck dude

TheBounncer: come to NY....I'll beat you up

XXXXX: yeah whatever

TheBounncer: Why not?

XXXXX: Im going to spend thousands of dollars to fly to NY and 'possibly' (lol) get my ass kicked? That would make me a loser as well

XXXXX: Later

TheBounncer: Don't go!

XXXXX: Dude, whatever

TheBounncer: This is terrible.

TheBounncer: I am alienating the readership!

XXXXX: whats terrible? the fact that your a fucking idiot and nothing of what ur blog portrayed ?

XXXXX: later

TheBounncer: What can I do to make it up to you?

XXXXX: fuk u

TheBounncer: You seem to be a very angry person.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I'm allowed to say this. You're not.

I went to Long Island today. Had to. I don't like Long Island much, but I find myself having to deal with Long Island a hell of a lot. I've always had a theory on Long Island, and I think it's a good one: You're not a loser just because you live on Long Island. There's nothing wrong with you if you live on Long Island. Many, many good people of my acquaintance live on Long Island. You are a loser, however, if your sphere is limited to Long Island. If you aspire to live, and to continue living, in perpetuity, on Long Island. If you're the "Boy in the Long Island Bubble," and you believe the place to be a self-sufficient paradise, then we've nothing to talk about. You are a loser. A Long Island loser.

I went to Roosevelt Field today. "The Mall." Lots of nice stores at "The Mall." Ambiance. Nordstrom. Banana Republic. Themed stores filled with anything you'd ever need, but nothing you'd want. A food court with sushi. That industrial smell they spray at the mall to let you know you're in a really big place with lots of nice, new stuff all around you. Sit at the food court and focus. On the people. Focus on the people and don't be fooled. They don't match the place. Block out the background, and you're in Kansas. Block out the background, and you're in South Dakota. Block out the background, and you're seeing girls who wear green eye shadow, with hoop earrings, in bathing suits at the beach. And if it cuts through my consciousness, it's got to be wrong.

I drove up the street on Long Island today. The street where my parents lived. Tidy houses. People who mow the lawn every week. Nice people. Nice people with cobblestone and Belgian Block. Circular driveways on a postage stamp, in front of a two bedroom Cape Cod, done up in Belgian Block because, well, the guy next door has one, too. And so it spreads. The whole thing -- the double doors, the Belgian Block, the white Escalade, the shrubs with the price tags left on -- because that's what they do up on the North Shore. Hurry up and dormer every room in the house before the rates go back up!

I was on the North Shore today. On the LIE. The Long Island Expressway. Sitting there in the line, doing nothing. Heading home. Passing Roslyn. Great Neck. Manhasset. The towns that give Long Island its reputation. The monied. Stratification. And you know? I've never really been there. Never jumped off at those exits. Don't know those places. Go out to California, though, and they'll tell you how it is:

"Long Island? Lawn Guyland? Wow. You must have money."

And they don't know, but I do, because when I walk around Long Island, I don't see money. Not where I go. I see people hanging on. Trying. Playing the role. And the guy from California only meets the people with the money, because people from Lake Ronkonkoma don't travel in his circles. He's never been to Coram. Never wandered into a bar in Valley Stream and saw two guys put their guns away. Block out the background, and you'll know you're nowhere. Block it out, and you've got Long Island.

They stay because it's familiar. Good people stay. You go somewhere, and then you come back and normalize, because Long Island's what you know. You grow up on Long Island, you can still get "it," but you get "it" despite the place, not because of it. There are hurdles to be jumped first. But they always go back because it feels centered. Hell, it's normal to me, and I didn't even grow up there. But you have to look. Block out the background. Artifice. Where's the depth?

I once saw an episode of Star Trek, where some guy on another planet had a great big telescope, and he trained it on Earth, and soaked up as much of the visual as he could. He reproduced it all, right there on his planet. Lived in it. And the crew of the Enterprise somehow ended up on this planet, and they looked around, did Spock and Kirk and Bones, and it looked a hell of a lot like Earth. Uncanny. But then the guy had a feast, and he trotted out all the food he could conjure up, and it had no taste. No texture. No smell. Because all the guy could do was see it, and imitate it. He couldn't feel it, though. Couldn't sink his teeth in, and couldn't get it right.

And that's Long Island. That's what it is. A nightclub in a strip mall. A pizzeria in a gas station. Jillian's. Nathan's where they clean the grills. Crap.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


"Yo, we could get in now?" Asking for the twentieth time in the past five minutes.

"Not yet, man," I say. "It's gonna be a while."


"Because it's not up to me, is why. I'll start lettin' people in when they call me on the radio and tell me I can start lettin' 'em in."

"Yo, I look like I can't pay? I got a G in my pocket, dog!" Ah, yes. The ubiquitous "G." Relevant, of course, to absolutely nothing. Thing is, Guidos habitually tend to try and solve their problems by announcing how much money they're carrying in their pockets. Not that they're planning on giving you any, mind you. This is simply what they do. If it made any sense, this blog would have been rendered pointless eons ago.

"Oh, whatever, man," I say. "Just fucking wait. You know the deal."

"Yo, fo' real?"

"Yes," I reply. "For real. There's nothing I can do."

"Yo, she got a pass from las' Saturday. I could use that?"

"No. Dude's gotta pay."

"Yo, what?!?"

"Dude," I say, gesturing at the transsexual accompanying him, "has to pay. The passes are no good tonight."***

"What the fuck you mean by that?"

"Please. Shut up. You wanna get in or not?"

"Yo," he says. "Lookit dis coat, yo. Dis shit's chinchilla, dog. Dis a chinchilla coat. You know what chinchilla is? Shit cost more than your car, yo."

"Actually, it doesn't. I just bought a new one."

"What'd you buy?"

"I bought a none-of-your-fucking-business mobile," I reply.

"Yo, is there any way we could take care of dis shit? It's fuckin' cold out here, yo!"

"Fitty piece."


"You heard me," I reply.

"Yo, dog, dis ain't real chinchilla."

***New York clubs, including my own, are universally - at least to my knowledge - friendly to the transgendered. As a jaded doorman, everyone approaching me for admittance is treated in the exact same manner -- with complete and utter disdain. Longtime readers of this blog are well aware of the fact that I take pains to avoid making nasty comments with regard to anyone's race, religion or sexual orientation. Any and all proclivities of anyone acting like a horse's ass at the front door, however, are fair game.

Monday, February 13, 2006


In my line of work, they're everywhere -- a perpetual procession of potential paramours parading past my predatory perch. Quality horseflesh, all the way down the line, as far as the eye can see. Of course, given my allegedly misogynistic riffs about the female clientele at the club, I'd be a hypocrite to claim to have dipped my toe in that pool recently. I mean, you know, it looks good, but we need to hearken back to my whole "rotting from the inside out" theory, upon which I expounded many months ago. The same still applies.

There's a girl at my gym who has herpes. I know this for a fact.

Let's take this from the top, though. We talk, bouncers do. When the place is "deader than Hirschfeld's dick," we tend to make lists. Good lists. The kind of lists you people would like to hear about, but don't, because you're not bouncers. But that's good. Be happy about that. And you're okay, in any case, because I've been here for the past two years -- almost -- to tell you exactly what we're talking about when we're standing around together, pointing at you and laughing.

Usually, it's something that's just about as stupid as you're imagining it to be. Sometimes, however, it's a conversation that takes me back to the door thinking, distracts me for the balance of the night, and gets me scribbling notes on napkins so I can get my ass home and write about it. This is one of those lists. Whether you care to read it or not is hardly my concern. I'm blogging about it simply because I want to get the fucker down for posterity.

And it's my list, meaning it's not the list. It's not open for debate, at least for me. I mean, maybe I can be swayed by a solid, cogent argument for or against something here, but this is what I've come up with, and this is where we stand. So...

Here is MY top ten list of what I think are the most beautiful women on the planet, at least facially -- I'm big on pretty faces -- accompanied by a short explanation for each. In a nod to Pat Stack, I'm numbering the list, but it's really in no particular order. How can it be? Actually, I should take that back. I have a definitive number one, but it'll be the last one on the list, so numbers ten through two are meaningless in terms of order. Anyway, fuck all that. Here's the list:

10. Irish: A nod to my own. I've always been somewhat partial to redheads, but there's a familiarity here that appeals to me, you know? Kind of an "I know what I'll be dealing with here" sort of thing. Still and all, a good concept on God's part. A very pleasant look, overall.

9. Korean: Love the high cheekbones, and features just a tad more delicate in appearance than those of other Asian women. Nicely done, God.

8. Albanian: Okay, the guys can be a pain in the ass, seeing as how they seem to instantaneously materialize in bat-wielding packs whenever one of their "boys" gets into a fender-bender, but Albanian women are hot. Period. At least the ones I've met.

7. Hungarian: Yeah, kind of an odd choice, but come on. Again, a facial structure I like, and a language I'll likely never learn, even if it were to help me get laid.

6. Chinese: Well, yeah.

5. Russian: That accent drives me up a fucking wall. A good wall. Someplace down Coney Island Avenue, perhaps? And Slavic cheekbones are, in my estimation, as high-concept as art can possibly be.

4. Japanese: No explanation necessary here.

3. Swedish/Danish/Finnish/Estonian, et al: That's a gimme.

2. Ecuadorian: My favorite representatives from south of our borders. Awesome. Indigenous-style nose a definite plus. I like that.

1. Ukrainian: My absolute, hands down, no-question-about-it first choice. If I could invent a face for women, and have every woman have that face, it would look the way Ukrainian women look. Seriously. It's a great face, that Ukrainian face.

Now, I know this is quite possibly the stupidest thing I've ever published in the history of this blog, and believe me, I've already thought of the million-and-one things that can, and should, be added to clarify what the fuck I'm talking about in this abortion of a post. Quite frankly, I don't care about all that, and neither should you. We're in appreciation mode here, folks, so let's just give them all -- all women -- a big round of applause and leave it at that.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen, He's Ripped

"I used to be really ripped. You shoulda seen me five years ago."

"Oh yeah?" I ask.

"Yeah. Like a bodybuilder, dude."

"So what happened?"

"Well, you know," he says. "Life and shit. I was workin' a lot. Didn't have time to get to the gym as much."

"Yeah, well, I knew you five years ago, and I don't remember you being in all that good a shape."

"What are you, kidding?" he asks. "I was fuckin' shredded, man. Ask the guys from the gym."

"What guys? From what gym? Who the fuck am I gonna ask?"

"Bro, you shoulda seen me on my trip to Cancun. Ask anyone who went."

"I have no idea who went," I say. "Why do you keep telling me to ask all these vague people I don't even know?"

"What, you think I'm bullshittin' you?"

"Dude, all I'm saying is that I've known you for more than five years, and never, within that time span, have I ever seen you look any different than you look right now."

"Fuck that," he says. "Ask AM3.14928. He'll tell you."

"Oh right. Yes. That."


"The cliff diving story," I reply.

"What cliff diving story?"

"In Cancun."

"What about it?" he asks. "I didn't do any cliff diving."

"That's not what I heard."

"Yeah? What'd you hear?"

"I heard," I say, "that you went cliff diving, but when you dove, your lat spread flared out so wide that you took flight, and glided out to sea, and they had to send a Mexican Coast Guard boat five miles offshore to pick you up."

"Fuck you, asshole."

"And you know, 'cause you were so shredded and all, and couldn't stay afloat, they almost didn't make it to you in time. Luckily, the salt water had a chemical reaction with the Synthrol, and your head swelled into a floatation device, thank God."


"Hey, while you were up in the air, did you manage to see whether your striations were aerodynamic or not?"

Ah, yes. Ripped in Cancun. Does it get any better than that?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Pee Wee's Big Adventure

"Oh my G-d! Oh my G-d!"

"Are you Jewish?" I ask.


"Because you won't say the "O" in God."

"Yes! Shut up!"

"That explains a lot," I say.

"They look exactly like the picture!"


"The Guid-s!" she exclaims.

"You can say the "O" this time, dear."

"The Guidos! The Guidos! My G-d, they look so...so...GAY!"

"What'd you think? I was lying this whole time?"

"No," she replies, "but..."

"How long have you been reading my blog?"

"Well, you know...umm...this summer...umm."

"Yeah, so, y'know, about two weeks?" I ask. "Since you've been using me for this little project of yours?"

"Shut up."

"You know, you're gonna call yourself a journalist, you're gonna have to learn how to lie a little better," I say.

"And you're gonna have to learn to avoid giving interviews when you're drunk."

"Screw off."

"'Uh, hi. I'm Mister Big Time Celebrity blog guy, and it's two in the morning, and I'm ready for my interview now, so meet me at my convenience, 'cause I'm piss drunk and ready to talk.' Good thinking, Mister Anonymity. Talk to the media while you're hammered out of your mind."

"Like now?"

"Yeah," she says. "Like now. I mean, really. Who the hell loses their virginity in a station wagon at the age of fourteen, then doesn't get laid again for another three years? Who does that?"

"I decided it was too early."

"More like all the girls in your school decided that for you," she says.

"How'd you know that?"

"You just told me that, asshole. And a lot of other stuff, too."

"Like what?" I ask.

"Like, the real reason you don't post anything anymore is because you're too busy looking at porn on the internet."

"That's not true."

"That's what you just said!"

"I retract that," I say. "That's off the record."

"You can't retract things, and if you want something off the record, you have to tell me before you tell me!"

"This is bullshit! I'm filing a complaint!"

"With who?!?"

"I dunno," I say. "I'll find somebody. Listen, you gonna eat the rest of those fries?"

"G-d, you are a fat pig."

"Hang on. I gotta go take a leak."

"Another one?" she asks.

"You know what? Here's twenty bucks. Go pay the damned check, and I'll meet you outside. I got a train to catch."

"No wonder nobody wants to interview your sorry ass. It's so not worth the hassle."

Thursday, February 02, 2006

More Book Thoughts

Narrative arc is a subtle, fleeting thing. You start out with a framework - a list of chapters and their summaries - and you think you've got something. Then, you realize, parts of the story, though interesting, have holes, and don't quite flow with the direction you're taking the thing. So you change on the fly. Take it where it needs to go. Make the pieces fit by putting them in different places than you thought they belonged, then taking some new things that you didn't even think would go in.

I started a chapter tonight. Wrote nearly 1500 words. Everything clicked. It worked. Thing is, it wasn't a chapter I plotted out on my outline. Wasn't a character I thought I'd include. Wasn't a topic I'd planned to address. But it fits, and it fits with the grand scheme, and I'm beginning to understand how writing works. Kind of like my blog posts. You start out with a topic, and you have no damned idea where the thing's gonna go, so you follow it, follow it, follow it, and write for all you're worth, and then, once you're on the other side of it, you step back and look at the whole, and it just works. It works because you're in the moment, and that's where the moment brought you, and if you produce the thing properly, and polish it up the right way, the readership's bound to feel the same thing.

Six weeks ago, I thought I had a framework for this thing. Thought it served my purpose, and thought it was where the book needed to go. Dive in, though. Immerse yourself in this shit, and the view looks a whole hell of a lot different from within than it did from without, when you created some set of boundaries simply because you thought that's what writers do before they write books.

Sure, you need to know where you're going, and where all this is going to end up, but one paragraph doesn't define what's going to go into the keyboard for the 7,000 words - or whatever it takes - that's going to get you there, and that's where the fun is. When the stress of having a deadline simply floats away and you're here, at the keyboard, and writing is fun again because you're just doing it. Just letting it fly like you did on the blog, doing the shit that got everyone's attention in the first place. Letting your mind go back to the club itself, and standing there, on that motherfucking box, and telling everyone what you see.

I'm into this thing. Way into this thing, and anyone who knows me knows I've been putting a lot of thought into the entire process. But writing this damned thing's getting fun, and when I'm having fun, that's when you're gonna get the good shit. I guarantee it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Trooper

I've been a fighter. It started with my father, as did so many things, when he tossed us all in that bullshit ring he doctored up in the basement, taped some gloves on our hands, and taught us the rudiments. Jab. Cross. Hook. Combo. Keep your fuckin' hands up, Rip!

This was eventually taken through the doors of a gym in the Bronx, where I trained to compete, under the auspices of the Police Athletic League. I did fairly well. Won some, lost a few, never got knocked down, never got stopped, and never got knocked out. I'm proud of that. I made my way successfully, with a lot of other shit going on in my life, in what I consider the purest sport of all. What I remember most, though, is summoning up the balls to actually get in the ring, in front of all those people, and fight. That's the part that stays with you.

Which is why I want, finally, to acknowledge something I was fortunate enough to be a part of last year.

Many of you know my friend "Clint" as a character on this blog. He's a fucking character, by anyone's standards, but he's also one of the most solid human beings on this planet, and as good a friend as a schmuck like me could ever hope to have. Cue the violins -- I have to go beat off. Excuse me for a moment.

Clint is also a fighter, and a much better, much more experienced one than I am. He stuck with the game, long after I had given it up to pursue other less painful sports like college football. Stuck with it long past the point of utility. Stuck with it even though he knew he'd never turn pro. Kept training. Took his share of fights, won most of them, then stopped competing in order to get his career going.

He stayed in the gym, though, because fight training's the way he gets his exercise. Worked in obscurity for years, training for the hell of training, the way it should be. Gave lessons, and sacrificed his time and effort so younger guys could learn the proper way to do things and go make their bones the way he once did. Never asked for shit, either. Just kept going to the dungeon every night after work, broke a sweat, and showed the others how it was done.

Last winter, Clint decided it was time for a fight. A real one. Maybe the time he spent in Iraq made him loopy. Nobody knew. I understood, though. He needed it. One last shot at something before age prevented it from happening.

So, for the better part of ten weeks, the guy quit smoking. Didn't touch a drop of his beloved Glenlivet. Trained like an animal, like a fucking kid again, and got himself into a shape nobody'd seen him in since he was twenty. Got into a ring, in front of a couple thousand people in a monstrosity of a catering hall in Manhattan, after a nine year layoff, and squared off with a guy young enough to be his nephew.

And you know what? The motherfucker won, and won big.

Seeing that shady snake oil salesman with a beer in one hand, a Marlboro in the other, and a "W" in his pocket was one of the greatest things I've ever seen in sports. And it took me over a year to write about it, but I just wanted to say I respected the living hell out of that.

One last thing....

The recent nastiness between me and another person with a blog is over. I have said my piece on the bullshit written about me, and have no further comment. Other people who came to my defense, however, have been left to twist in the wind -- you know exactly who I'm talking about if you read both blogs -- and that's my fault, because I hadn't meant to involve others in what should have remained a private conflict. That it was taken public by the other party is no longer my concern.

What I would ask is that if you are inclined to email this particular person -- on behalf of me, or the person I had been in conflict with -- to refrain from doing so. You've been given one version of events, and you've been told to consider the source, and that admonition, if you are a rational person, should be enough to preclude you from sending hate mail to a third party who was only coming to my defense in a lighthearted manner, and never wanted to be involved in the first place.

Thank you.