Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Axl and Jim

Having just finished Stephen Davis' bio of Jim Morrison, it's pretty hard not to see the resemblance between Jim and this blog's occasional topic, one W. Axl Rose, who, like the late Doors singer, seems genetically incapable of staying out of trouble. If you have no idea what I'm referring to, click here. The traits these two wild childs (ok, it should be children) share - calm, thoughtful, reflective natures mixed with cruelty, violence, anger and a shocking level of self-centeredness, all topped off with a liberal dose of substance abuse/self-medication - are truly remarkable. And it also answers a question that has bothered me my whole artistic life - how come I have never achieved greatness?
The answer? Four simple words: just...not...crazy...enough.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The, Cat Days of Summer

Summer is here and NYC is hot and muggy. Besides teaching at Stonestreet, going on auditions, working out at the gym and keeping my wife happy, here is what I have been doing:

  • visiting my sister in Westchester (with my wife, of course)
  • getting soused on vodka lemonades by the man-made lake
  • listening to every Iron Maiden record in perfect chronological order because I'm really strange
  • reading Kevin Phillip's American Theocracy and feeling very nervous about the future
  • playing with the kitties (see above) to soothe my nerves (ok, so they're my sisters kitties)
  • going back to the lake to suck down a few more vodka lemonades
  • watching World Cup soccer and screaming at the Italian players as they flopped on the ground anytime any U.S. player made the slightest contact
  • playing with the kitties to soothe my nerves
  • giving the kitties industrial strength catnip in large quantities to soothe their nerves and give their lives greater meaning
  • trying to think of cool blog entries with no success
  • watching Hell's Kitchen on Fox and praying my wife won't leave me for Gordon Ramsey, who I suspect she views as the ultimate man
  • eating Thai food at least twice a week from the insanely good new place around the corner
  • eating catnip with the kitties (ok, not really)
  • finding it hard to believe how much I care about the U.S. - Ghana game on Thursday
  • seriously considering nominating Willis Haviland Carrier, the inventor of air conditioning, for the Nobel Peace Prize
  • running out of things to say
I will try to post more, and more often. I promise. Feel free to post what you have been doing in the comments...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Captain Charisma

It is extremely rare to be in the presence of a former U.S. president, especially considering that only five of them still remain. But that is exactly what happened with my wife and I on June the 8th at the Marriot Marquis in Times Square. The event in question was a gala honoring Susan Patricof, the mother of our friend Jamie Patricof, for her thirty-two years of work at the Northside Center in Harlem, a charity which benefits disadvantaged kids. President Clinton was there to present her with an award (see photo) celebrating her service, along with Bill Cosby, Rosie O'Donnell, jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, John Legend, and other assorted heavy hitters.

Whether you love him or loathe him, hate his politics or think him one of the better Presidents, after sitting in the same room with him for an hour and a half (my wife and I were less than five feet from him), one thing is simply undeniable: people are drawn to him in droves. Not just women either; men are determined to shake his hand and bask in his reflected power. At every single break in the program, people would clamor for photos, handshakes, some form of acknowledgement.You see it with every President, especially at the State of the Union addresses, when eager politicians and well-wishers practically hang over the aisles to gladhand our Great Leader and get thisclose to the source of power. With Clinton it was off the charts; he positively reeked of confidence and charisma, but without the Jamie Foxx-esque aura of self- love that is hard to stomach. I have heard similar things about George W., that he has a powerful presence and a certain kind of magnetic pull, but I have never experienced it, so I can't comment.

As for the rest of the event, John Legend was very good (and well received), Rosie O'Donnell was significantly more attractive in person (no joke), and Bill Cosby was acting extremely odd. Seated opposite President Clinton in a rather dark ballroom, he sat rigidly, arms perpetually folded, staring up at the ceiling wearing a jet black pair of sunglasses for the entire night, clapping sporadically while his more animated wife Camille (I kept repeating "Ca-Meeel!" in my mind in my best Cosby voice) thoroughly enjoyed herself.

Oh yeah- and how's this for the power of advertising? Every time I looked at Cosby, every time- I wanted a Jello pudding pop. Swear to God.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Everyday, I get bombarded with spam. Just last week, in some kind of coordinated attack, I received well over 50 spam e-mails in a 12 minute period. My carrier, T-mobile, is clearly unable to come up with any spam filter that is even remotely effective, and so the spam wave continues, alas, unabated. Since my mind is ridiculously overactive, I have subconsciously been studying the types and varieties of spam and have come up with several conclusions:

  • People, incredibly, click on the links provided in these bizarre, anonymous missives - it is the only logical explanation for their rapid (and seemingly unstoppable) proliferation
  • The spam is clearly created by people(or computers) who do not speak English
  • There is a shocking amount of erectile dysfunction, also known as "limp dick"

How else do you explain the following e-mail I received moments ago as I was typing this post:

"From:Rufina Reyna

Hi, A M B \ E NC \ A L i S S O M &V A L \ U M L E V \ T R AP R O Z & CV \ A G R A X & N A XM E R \ D i A "

This is followed by a link to something called, which is probably the internet equivalent of the Ninth Circle of Hell, a website of pestilential virii and unfathomable evil.Then, like some kind of surreal, Dadaist coda, appended to the end of the message was the following gibberish:

"to bear. With my friends behind them and winter upon them, they will perhaps be in softer mood to parley with. That night Bilbo made up his mind. The sky was black and moonless. As soon as it was full dark, he went to a corner of an inner chamber just within the gate and drew from his bundle a rope, and also the Arkenstone wrapped in a rag. Then he climbed to the top of the wall. Only Bombur"

Yep, it's a snippet from The Hobbit. Why is it attached to an ad for pharmaceuticals? Dunno... why do I get e-mails from people named Garza Stephens, Olena Carruthers, Minnie Felix and Juan Call? Why do I receive endless offers for Rolexes, tips on penny stocks, or discounts on some fat- fighting drug featured on Oprah called Hoodia?

Because, as P.T.Barnum once opined, "There's a sucker born every minute."And so they spam on, ads against the current, borne back ceaselessly into my trash.