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30 October 2006

all i wanted was a strawberry shake.

he is furious. absolutely fuming. it's been at least five minutes without so much as apologetic eye contact from the brown-toothed girl behind the counter and she seems shockingly unconcerned with his growing urgency. to consume his hamburger sometime this month. he turns to look behind him, grasping for any human contact to validate his rage. i avoid eye contact.

i can stare at anyone, see every little thing they do, catch every facial expression, and never make eye contact. i learned it on the subway.

"do you know how to work this thing?" he asks her. he is going to ask for a refund. to make a statement. he certainly hasn't stopped wanting that hamburger. she only smiles and cocks her head. i begin to wonder if i can tackle him if he tries to leap the counter and strangle her. also i wonder if she is retarded.

finally his food comes and he stomps out of the burger king. i bet he'll be back.

my turn. "i'll have a whopper with cheese, a small fr..." i trail off. because she has walked away. to stare at the hamburgers behind her. a minute goes by. maybe a little more, maybe a little less.

"one second," she says, half over her shoulder. the man behind us in line with his two fat kids ("i'm going to get a quad-stacker," the little one keeps repeating) starts to look like he's losing his nerve. "are you guys sure you don't want to go to mcdonalds?" he asks them. mcdonalds is, of course, less than a block away. boy are these kids fat. i bet they're nice though. as long as you aren't between them and their quad-stackers.

she's back. i wonder if i should start over or just keep going. " small strawberry shake and one small chocolate shake..."

"no chocolate. no strawberry. only vanilla."

the only reason i even came in here (besides to pee in the toilet that didn't flush automatically like it's supposed to and didn't even have a handle for manual override) was for a strawberry shake. "ok. two small vanilla shakes. and a small chicken nuggets."

a man with a thick mustache fading into a few days of growth everywhere else stumbles into the restaurant. he is about six feet, about two hundred pounds, wearing a flannel shirt and a vest and dirty work pants and the kind of trucker's hat that only real truckers wear. he is bawling his eyes out. "i'm sorry..." he blubbers to his companion (who can be described in exactly the same way, only with lighter hair and no mustache). they don't get in line. they just set up opposite each other in a booth and they hold hands over the table and they weep. i put my hands in my pockets and wait for her to ask me for my money. it takes a while.

"you were always there for me..." i hear from the increasingly tear-dampened booth behind me. i can't shake the urge to guess their story. one is drunk. he is crying more than the other and he can barely walk.

i take our tray to the ketchup station. i can act normal no matter what is going on around me. i learned how on the subway.

this isn't a vanilla shake. this is vanilla soft serve in a cup. it is really fucking hard to suck soft serve ice cream through a straw when there are grown men sobbing like children behind you and ketchup and mayonnaise all over your hands from the sloppiest whopper ever made.

the first crying man stumbles towards the men's room, and after fumbling with the handle, he disappears behind the door. i remember how slippery the floor was in there and i remember why and i hope he doesn't fall down because that would make his night even worse. this whopper has a lot of onions on it. i need a napkin.

we manage to talk about it without looking. we can hear them but they can't hear us. we know how to do this from riding the subway.

and then he comes out and they leave. and then we do. and my hands continue to smell like ketchup for hours.

21 October 2006

yes, please.

i am a godawful photographer. seriously. but today was taste of chinatown and i sit here in my room satisfied, victorious, and not much poorer than i was when i woke up. 

the basic idea is you give these people on the street one or two dollars and they give you a bit of whatever they serve in their restaurant and you keep moving. it's a zoo. a delicious, albeit slightly suspicious, zoo.

we found a little store down there that sold all kinds of weapons and ninja suits (yes, really) and it's really a certifiable miracle that i kept my wallet in my pants and didn't leave that place with a set of swords to display in my living room or something. that would've been soooo sweet.

18 October 2006

today would be a good day to write a manifesto

i stayed home from work today because when i woke up i felt like total bullcrap. but then i went back to bed after making the phone call and slept until 2:30pm and now i feel much better. thing about my job is, even though it's only an 8 hour work day just like everybody else, once you've factored in the commute my whole day is basically gone. right now i would just be getting out of work had i gone, but i still wouldn't be home to get anything done for probably an hour and a half to two hours. i can't really believe i wasted that many words explaining the plight of the modern working man like i'm the only one in the world with a crappy commute.

the point is that with this extra time in my day today like a little gift from the fates, i should do something productive. like write a manifesto.

but then after staring at a blinking cursor* for about forty-five minutes i realized that very few of my opinions, intentions, objectives, or motives are complex enough to warrant much more than a collection of bullet points, which isn't so much a "manifesto." more like a "mission statement," which just doesn't sit right with me as a term. too corporate sounding. side note: when i hear the words "action items" i get a little pain in my abdomen.

so, no manifesto then. instead a long rambling post about nothing. which is what this blog used to be all about before i started being too busy to write sweet longwinded nothings in it every day. i hope you're not too disappointed.

* don't you think "the blinking cursors" would be a sweet band name? or maybe "the blinking cursers." i've got about 20 more great ideas for band names that i'll never use. damn.

15 October 2006

a day of extremes

yesterday, on a tip from one of the few friends i have who is actually doing something with his life that his parents are probably really proud of (he's an architect), i went to see the zaha hadid (she's an architect) exhibit at the guggenheim museum. if you've never been there, you progress through exhibits at that museum by slowly ascending a gigantic spiral rotunda. i've only been there twice and my knees have hurt me when i've left each time. which is not the point. the point is that the exhibit begins with all these crazy drawings that you smugly think to yourself could never be real buildings and then you see in the caption on the wall that the project was never built and you pat yourself on the back for being so practical and wise. but when you get up to the top you see all the shit that has been built or is in the process of being built and it's much crazier. cool exhibit.

then, lest i close the book on a day with too much good culture karma, i watched jackass: number two. which has a scene (i'm sure if you've seen it you know which one i'm talking about) that made me run to the rest room and dry heave. awesome.

lastly: if you haven't listened to the new record from the hold steady yet, please do. it's really good. even pitchfork says so. you can stream the whole record free here.

12 October 2006

set s#$t on fire

i'm posting mostly because i'm sick of the top post being a shrine to my dorkdom and because i just got my ass thoroughly kicked by some nasty shit-talking little kids who have way more time than i do. and i'm basically beside myself with frustration and i've no right to be bragging about my video game skills(z) after a performance like that. son of a bitch. f.

also i'm posting because i put a bunch of music up at and i certainly don't expect you to "buy" it there since i give it away for free here but if you've got some time to kill it's a pretty neat site and you might find some other stuff you like. be in on the ground floor and all that. and while you're at it you might say something nice about my songs so that more strangers might check them out. you know, if you want. no pressure and no hard feelings either way.

to get your creative juices flowing here are some things other people have said:

"Great gunge/emo/viking track that makes you want to cry and set s#$t on fire at the same time"

"An interesting attempt to satirize the Frat scene. Guitar is strong. Voice is too much of a whisper. Needs more conviction to emphasize the satire. This is a very white song and will only have limited play as a Weird Al type of niche..."

really? seriously?

oh, and have you heard the new copeland record? it's not really out yet so i won't be shocked if you say you haven't but there's a song on there called "control freak" that i think is pretty darn good and i keep listening to it over and over.

09 October 2006


this guy was awesome.
  • the first time i ever played soul caliber in the arcade i beat it on one credit. i have never repeated this, but it was pretty awesome. my friend kevin was there i think.
  • it takes me a while, but i can trudge through super street fighter 2 on the hardest setting. if you have never tried this, it's really really hard.
  • i didn't kiss a girl until i was like a senior in high school. wait. how did that get in there?
  • i can beat contra without the 30 lives code. most of the time without continuing. this is trivial and you should also be able to.
  • i may or may not still hold some high scores on q*bert at barcade.
  • i never beat double dragon 3. not even with game genie. that game is fucking impossible.
  • one time at this laser tag place with my family i got first place against a bunch of little kids three times in a row.

04 October 2006

things i think about in the car

part of my daily commute is on the belt parkway in brooklyn. for the most part it sucks because there's always traffic and it's kinda bumpy and people drive like maniacs but there's this one part on the way home where you come over this little crest and the verrazano-narrows bridge (not just part of it, the whole thing) comes into view all at once and it's a little bit majestic. i don't think i'll ever get sick of it.

i think one of the most important skills a guy can learn is how to compliment a woman on her appearance without coming off like the grossest slimeball on the planet.

idlewild might be the best band in the known universe but they are only the third best band in scotland. wrap your head around that.

i wrote a song last night.

01 October 2006

imagine all the people

please take some time out of your busy schedule and go see the u.s. vs john lennon at a theater near you sometime soon. it's a documentary about the nixon's administration's failed attempt to silence one of their most vocal critics. 

the most interesting part, for me, was the way john and yoko used the tabloid's obsession with them as a weapon. i would say that none of the tabloid darlings of today have the balls to pull something like that off but i think sadly it's that the tabloids lose interest pretty quickly if you start giving a shit. that doesn't sell magazines like scientology and bad parenting does. try finding george clooney in the rags these days. not as easy as it used to be, is it?

i originally included the trailer in this post but internet explorer is stupid (get firefox) and won't allow me to resize so if you want to see the trailer (which you should) click here.