Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I hope the Russians love their children, too...

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Monday, February 24, 2014

Harold Ramis Has a Posse

Harold Allen Ramis
November 21, 1944 – February 24, 2014

Harold Ramis has a posse.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Importance of This Week [SPOILERS]

[Breaking Bad Season 4 Finale Spoiler:]

Somewhere on reddit, I stumbled upon this "ultimate Breaking Bad soundtrack":


Which I started listening to off and on through the weekend, which just served to remind me how much I loved that fucking show to death.

Anyway, it also made me recall this incredible Season 4 finale and led me to discover this terrific album called "Rome", which was a collaboration between Danger Mouse, Italian composer Daniele Luppi, Norah Jones and Jack White. Really evocative shit. Sunday -- today -- was one of the nicest days in a long while. Low-50s. One of those great, sweet, emerging-from-a-long-cold-winter days. Not too hot but warmer and utterly pleasant. I ended up walking all over Manhattan, listening to "Rome".

Important conference call sometime this week. Every conference call is important now. Every minute counts.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Nostalgia for Dark Times

I'm not sure why I'm thinking about this right now. Not to suggest that I've left the dark times behind by any means. If anything, I'm in the midst of a new period of darkness with unique qualities.

But the period I'm thinking about tonight was around 2004/2005. (According to the tattoos on my arm.)

My wife at the time had walked out and I was trapped in this apartment that we'd shared. This suddenly cavernous loft space in downtown Brooklyn.

A friend had given me this old projector that he'd poached from the company he'd been working at, that had gone under. I'd hooked the projector up to a DVD player and suddenly had this massive screening room. Projecting movies on this alabaster wall of this loft space. This was before HDTVs were ubiquitous. The first movie I watched on the projector -- alone -- was a special edition DVD of THX 1138. It was brilliant.

I would hold screenings at the apartment, inviting friends and showing movies that I loved. Silly shit like "Annie" and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and "The Shining" and "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas". The screenings gave me an excuse to cook. And since it was my place, I'd smoke during the screenings... and the smoke would catch the light of the projector, and it would feel like I was in another era.

It was an absolutely horrific time, emotionally. I was earning a decent living working at Bear Stearns (which was still a thing) but this was a few years before my career breakthrough. I was lost. I was vainly trying to resuscitate a dead marriage. But all of that hateful darkness allowed me to rediscover my love of movies.

It was this super-dark period before I moved to the Upper West Side and everything got much better for an extended spell. The UWS was fucking Camelot, and I miss that period even more. But there was something about that bleak time in downtown Brooklyn, where that projector helped me remember what I loved about movies. That stays with me. And I've got to remind myself of that time...

... because I need to remember what I am fighting for.

I need to remember why I am sacrificing everything for this career.

Because before I loved anyone, I loved movies.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Reality Show

Mitchell Webb Situation

Friday, February 14, 2014


New beginnings...

Doomed from the Start

Thursday, February 13, 2014

the stick to beat yourself with

it's past 4am. you're still up. you should try to get at least a little sleep. but you can't stop thinking about this thing. you can't stop looking for ways to punish yourself with criticism. you can't help but comb through that scant hour, every move, every line, as if that fairly innocuous conversation was a fucking crime scene. it wasn't. it isn't. the conversation went exactly the way it needed to go. stop obsessing.

let go.

let go of it.

you don't have to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. you don't have to walk away from this one a bloody, beaten mess.

one thing at a time. focus on one thing at a time.

keep your focus steady on this fox thing. other things can fall into place after you get that.

now please, try to forget all of this for an hour or two and get just a little bit of sleep before work.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

( . )

Note to self --

Watch this later:


Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Metrocard Swipe Malfunction

At the current day job gig, my gym is just half a block away from a subway entrance that takes me to jail-- er, I mean, work. It's a small, three-turnstile side-entrance to a busy Times Square subway hub. I've got an unlimited monthly Metrocard and, as per the new normal, I simply renew the same card each month instead of getting a brand new one and being forced to pay an extra buck for a "replacement fee".

Does a card get a little scuffed after so many months of swiping through machines that are not that well-maintained...?


Fact of the matter is, I've been having a harder and harder time getting through that little side-entrance because of card swipe malfunctions.

Most of you have experienced this.

You swipe your card.

A message asks you to swipe again.

You swipe again.

A message informs you to "SWIPE AGAIN AT THIS TURNSTILE".

Sometimes you get through.

Sometimes you just get a message that says "JUST USED", which is MTA-speak for "FUCK YOU".

(I knew a profoundly untalented hack who used to work for the MTA, as an aside.)

An excerpt from a WSJ article that's a few years old:
... the machines are virtually designed to ruin your day.

For starters, your MetroCard must hit four sensors before you gain admission to the twilight world of the New York City subway system. The first sensor verifies that you're indeed swiping a MetroCard rather than, say, your D'Agostino's Rewards card. The second ascertains that the card is flush enough to afford the fare; the third deducts the fare; and the fourth opens the gate.

"If the card doesn't go completely through the sensor," Mr. Foley explained, "it's not going to work. It's got to be level."

The speed of the swipe is also crucial—it can't be too fast or too slow. The optimum is described rather disturbingly by Paul Fleuranges, NYC Transit's vice president for corporate communications: "a steady swipe—like a punch to the gut."

The problem, of course, is that if the machine balks and the barrier fails to yield, you may feel like you've been punched in the gut, or elsewhere, depending on your height and on how important you believe it is to make the train. "I've seen people double over, briefcase flying," Mr. Foley stated cheerfully.

Perfecting your swiping technique is no guarantee of success. The machines must also be lovingly maintained. According to Mr. Foley, the union man, they've suffered as the MTA has cut back the number of maintenance workers. He says the cut is to 228 from 242 workers, while Deirdre Parker, the MTA's deputy director for public affairs, contends that "the correct count was 228 in 2009 and 224 in 2010."
This is not just a problem with my Metrocard. Tuesday morning, after I failed to get through my regular entrance I watched a number of other people getting the same slap in the face as they tried the same turnstiles. It's a fucking epidemic. And the pain of it is, there's no station agent at that entrance, so you've got to exit and cross the street to the main entrance to find an agent who'll let you through.

So... you've done a search and you've stumbled upon this blog entry. What's the solution to this problem, New York City...?


Blood in the streets. Anarchy. Fucking warfare.

Are you just going to accept this inconvenience, New Yorkers...?

I think not.

Paint the turnstiles red, New York. Send a message to the MTA, wrapped in napalm.

Don't do this for me. Do this for YOURSELF. Do this for the future. Suffer NOT under the tyranny of the Transit Industrial Complex... become the tyranny.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman Has a Posse

Philip Seymour Hoffman
July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman has a posse.

Found dead in his 4th floor NYC apartment. Drug overdose.