Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tiny babies on the subway are just too adorable.

I dreamt last night that I was in the market for a new car, but for some reason, I had to buy it through an advocate. The advocate turned out to be a glowing yellowish angelic figure that was so bright, I couldn't even look at him. He kept telling me he picked out the perfect car, and that he knew I would love it, so he bought it without even consulting me. It was huge and angular, like my parents' 70s Caprice that I was still driving in high school. It was under a leather cover that snapped all around: you were meant to have it on while driving. I mentioned that it would make the car much heavier and less aerodynamic, but the angel kept repeating, "But I chose it for you!" I lifted the leather cover and the car underneath was a dark purple with chrome gears sticking out of the side. It was made by a manufacturer I never heard of. I asked if it at least had some kind of luxury interior, and the angel replied "Oh yes, there's an AM radio!"

The Galaxy S3 keeps getting pushed back, for AT&T stores anyway. Just take my money already!

I've downloaded the new extended ending to Mass Effect 3. The general consensus is that it still sucks, though I haven't gotten to it yet. I'm replaying all three with the same renegade character. So far I've murdered two of my friends, committed genocide, sterilized an entire race, and my (character's) girlfriend won't talk to me anymore. But at least I have cool scars and glowing red eyes!

I keep thinking of a line from Star Trek VI, when Spock says to Kim Cattrall "You must have faith... That the universe will unfold as it should." Yeah, I get the Zen intent of it, but I keep wondering... Is the universe unfolding? If so, we're part of it, so we wouldn't recognize it. Are we just part of an origami bird - but then the universe would be folding, not unfolding - unless we're a petal in a flower? And the sun we're unfolding to is...?

(Or maybe it's just a line from a Star Trek film.)


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It kept me interested, which I suppose is a novel's primary purpose, but it should have ended about 3/4 of the way through when the primary mystery was solved. Also, did Steve Jobs pay for the perpetual iProduct-placement? I've started Star Wars: Darth Plagueis, which is basically the nerd equivalent of 50 Shades of Gray.

It's 6:50 in the morning. From the 48th floor of 30 Rock I can see layers of clouds covering the northwest. The morning sun is painting them dark blue.

I've been fighting a chest cold for a week. It might be time to actually see a doctor. My slipped discs act up now and then, that and my never ending fight against my waist line... Sometimes I think it's time to throw myself away and get a new one.

I've come to love unsweetened almond milk, to the point where dairy milk tastes weird. I even put some in a Thermos and bring it to work every day, so I can add black hazelnut coffee to it. I wonder if the women in the Rock Center Dunkin Doughnuts are all related.

I need to find some artists / writers to hang out with to light a fire under my ass and make me push myself. I mean, I live in NYC, I should walk around the Village in a turtleneck go to poetry readings, and click my fingers. Please to lay some Java on me?


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Illustration Friday: Secrets.


Jack be nimble, Jack be quick...

There's no time like two in the morning for realizing that time inexorably marches forward. You'd better try to get back to sleep now, or you'll regret it in the morning. When I was a kid and couldn't sleep, my father would tell me to just lay in bed and rest. A fat lot of good that does when thoughts are bouncing around your brain like flaming ping-pong balls through cotton candy. At least I have friends who are up all night to bs with online. Ugh, to top it off, my chest cold has worked it's way up to my sinuses. I'll be right back, going to take some over the counter meds.

The problem is I think too much. When you wake up at 2am you shouldn't think about things, or you'll never get back to sleep.

Now in waiting for the bus and I feel like crap, in a sort of OTC limbo. It's going to be hot and humid the next few days. (Groaning like Tina from Bob's Burgers: "Nuuuuughghghgghhhhhh...")

Conundrum of the day: What do you do if your psychiatrist expects you to suffer from confirmation bias?


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"No, no - with the magic lamp!"

So here I am on the subway again. The past few days I've been watching Zappa's 200 Motels on my Android during my commute. It's so funny hearing Ringo swear. I think I caught a chest cold from my five hour bus ride back from DC. The air conditioning was cranked up to Antarctic. I was up coughing all last night.

Did I mention I went to DC last weekend? I did, and I have the facebook pictures to prove it! "Here's me and my little sister (look, I'm a sports fan, like any normal red blooded American male!) Here's me, my sister, and my cute, little, sainted Sicilian mother at the Yankees / Nationals game ( look, I have a life!) Here's me with an old friend at dinner (look, good people are happy to see me!)" I'm being silly, of course, because I obviously do enjoy social media. But if I sound obnoxious about it, then I seem hip, edgy, and too cool for the room. (To quote the radio / novel version of Zaphod Beeblebrox, "I'm so cool you could keep a side of beef in me for a month!" It's a shame they made the movie version such a spaz, but I digress.)

Impressions seem to matter so much. What will the _____ think? Yesterday a security guard at Rock Center stopped me coming out of a store that was two levels and told me construction workers weren't supposed to use the lobby, we were supposed to use the freight cars (I still had my security sticker on my t-shirt.) I said OK, but it's after work hours, and now I'm using the concourse shops like any other schmo coming off of the subway, and as I am now a customer, I should be treated with the same respect he'd give any other. He didn't seem to understand the concept at first, but I got through eventually. I can be obnoxious when needed. 

Well, here we are, let the drudgery begin. Take care.

ttfn -

PS Happy birthday to my little Mandy-Pandy - thank you for all the joy you've given my life. I love you so much.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Quote of the Lifetime

"Want to know the most destructive force in the universe? Regret." - M.I.B. 3


I have a running gag where I'll ask my family, "What are you white people having for dinner tonight?" My son chastised me yesterday that that's "racist." I know I am olive skinned, but sheesh. Oh well, that's indoctrination for you.

I've been listening to the radio dramatizations of Douglas Adams's novels Life, the Universe and Everything, and So Long and Thanks for All the Fish. In one instance, they replaced the curse "Belgium" with "fuck" (though everyone knows that the former is the most vile curse in the universe.) However, the only time that the novels actually used the word "fuck" it's replaced by "feel the need to copulate." I don't get it. There are some unexpected cameos, like Christian Slater as Wonko the Sane and Jackie Mason as the East River Lifeform. (Oy!)

My life seems dominated by lines. I wait on line for the bus. When I get to Rock Center, I wait on line for one elevator. Once I'm in the sub-basement, I have to wait on another line to get through security. Then I have to wait on line for the service elevator to the 48th floor. Maybe I should just do coke?

I've been listening to Frank Zappa's "Billy the Mountain" every day on the subway for the past week. For some bizarre reason, It's become a compulsion.

Well folks, TGIF, I'm spending the weekend with some great friends in PA, going to drown my sorrows in some cheese-steak. Take care of yourselves.


Thursday, June 07, 2012

Uncle Einar has Flown

Sigh, Ray Bradbury, the man who made me want to be a writer, is dead.

The Bernards Township Library in Basking Ridge NJ had a huge black hard-cover compilation of his stories, and I spent most of my nights as a kid reading them under a blanket with a flashlight. 

As much as I love Star Trek et al., to me, science fiction wasn't a Vulcan/ Android/ Klingon/ hologram/ Borg/ whatever learning what it means to be human, or alien races that were thinly disguised metaphors for today's political climate.  Science fiction was majestic sand ships gliding across the red deserts of Mars, piloted by wispy figures in crystal masks.  Science fiction was a girl locked in a closet on Venus by her cruel classmates on the one day of the year the sun shone.  Science fiction was Spender going native on Mars and killing his crew. It was a mother who convinced her son that his entire world was their mansion, running ahead of him through secret passages and changing disguises.  It was a boy who saw through a stained glass window that his grandmother's new boarder was really a monster.  It was a "fireman" who was sick to his stomach of burning books. It was a baby that murdered his parents for the crime of bringing it into the world.  It was a Rocket Man who crashed into the sun.  It was Mister Dark tearing away the years of a mans life through the pages of a book.  It was spoiled kids who used their holodeck nursery to kill their parents.  I could go on and on and on.

There was a Red Dwarf episode where Holly (the computer) erased his memory of all the books he had ever read, so he could enjoy them for the first time again. Right now, I wish I could do that.  Rest in peace, and thank you.


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Here's a pencil test of a cell-drawn animation.  Based on an idea a friend had, it's a tree growing out of a handbag.  Only a few seconds, but it took me a month to make.  Someday the whole thing will be done, but in the meantime, enjoy!


Looking for Imaginary Work

I'm looking for a side job as an imaginary friend. There are rules, apparently: To be silent, to stay hidden, and eventually, to be forgotten. Any sexuality must be ignored, like Mr. Snuffleupagus. Come on, you can't tell me that no one at the CTW noticed that Mr. Snuffleupagus's trunk looks like a big hairy penis. It wasn't that the grownups couldn't see him, it's that they didn't want to admit his effect on their libidos. When he walked down Sesame Street, Susan and Gordon would run upstairs and get busy. Sometimes they'd let Olivia take pictures. Once they admitted he was real, things got boring fast. Gordon got fat and bald, Susan started spending all her time on the internet - it was just depressing.

But I digress.

Imaginary friends are forbidden to interact with the real world, it's against union rules. We can only hang out with other imaginary friends. I tried talking to Puff the Magic Dragon but that miserable pothead is just too depressing. There's always Harvey the Rabbit if you don't mind him constantly bragging about the time he met Jimmy Stewart. Jesus is ok , but he's a special case, just because he does that schtick where he carries people across hot beaches barefoot. It's a big crowd pleaser.

Any takers?


Monday, June 04, 2012

Philisophical Defenstration.

I've created a new philosophical theory I like to call "Window Superimposition." It goes something like this: The more you look out of windows, the more you subconsciously see your own reflection superimposed on the world. This subconscious absorption tends to color our lives. Men of power in high offices see their superimposed selves lording over the world; people who look out of subway windows see themselves as burrowing creatures: Worms, moles, or if you are science fictionally orientated, Morelocks. Driving makes us impatient and irritable as we see ourselves not only as part a world rushing by, but distorted by the shape of the windshield.

Another problem that has risen in recent years is that - first with television, and then later with computer screens, PDAs, smart-phones and tablets - we see ourselves more and more superimposed in fantasy and fiction, in the e-books we read, soundtracked by our mp3s, or more recently, lost in a universe where exploding birds catapult themselves at pigs.

The result is that sooner or later, introspection becomes impossible and fantasy becomes more important than reality. Our only choices are to go blind or do away with reflective surfaces all together. Such a ban would result in a peaceful, enlightened society. And less hygiene.