Planting a Seed

Stop your messing around
Better think of your future
Time you straighten right out
Creating problems in town

Stop your fooling around
Time you straighten right out
Better think of your future
Else you’ll wind up in jail

There ya go. If you know that song—a bouncy, cheerful melody wrapped around an ominous message to Rudy—it will now play over and over inside your head for the rest of the day. No need to thank me. Best trombone solo ever.

McMuzak Review

Before my meditation class last night I had dinner at McDonald’s because, as you know, I can’t do anything nice for my mind/body without first trying to sabotage my good intentions. I was hoping that during the opening mediation, the essence of my Big Mac would emanate from the pours in my skin and fill the air, making all of those closet meat eaters hungry.

While enjoying my fries, the McD’s muzak station played Love Is Like Oxygen by 70s British glam band Sweet. That song rocks! I love it! Who doesn’t? It’s one of the very first bar chord riffs I taught myself.

Love is like oxygen
You get too much it gets you high
Not enough and you’re going to die

I bit into my hamburger and suddenly realized that Big Macs are like oxygen as well. You get too much, they get you high (or sleepy or fat or constipated), not enough and you might as well die. After Sweet, they played More Than This by Roxy Music off of their seminal album Avalon, which is also a great song, but not in a jokey manner like Love Is Like Oxygen. It’s a great song in a serious manner. There’s nothing jokey about Roxy Music. I wish I were Bryan Ferry. I wouldn’t be sitting here typing in this idiot blog, I can tell you that much.


I went to sleep at 10:00 last night, woke up at midnight and have been up ever since. It doesn’t occur often enough to be considered an ongoing problem but it does happen on occasion. I’m scheduled for a workout at 5:00 and a meditation class from 7:00-9:00 p.m. There’s a fine line between being filled with meditative light and being passed out cold and I think I’m going to cross that line tonight.

* * *

During a portion of my train ride into the city we pass over a bridge that stretches across the entrance to Raritan River. It’s a pretty view, particularly at the hour I travel because I get to watch the sun come up on the Atlantic Ocean. The river is dotted with dozens of anchored sailboats, all of the occupants presumably still asleep. Everybody has problems, right? Nobody escapes the difficulties that are inherent in the human condition. But I wonder what the people inside those sailboats, gently bobbing in the morning tide, consider to be “problems?” How hard can life possibly be for them?

The Unbearable Meal

The numbers of evenings during the year that Mrs. Wife can come into the city and join me for dinner are few and far between. It requires military-like planning. There are train schedules to pour over and children to abandon. Shoes and outfits must be selected and quickly rejected. A restaurant must be chosen. It’s a lot of work and these opportunities are not to be wasted. Fortunately, my food standards are so low that it’s almost impossible for me to have a bad meal. It’s the secret of life! Keep your sense of value low to the ground and almost everything becomes an unexpected treat.

So when she makes the effort to come into the city and we meet a few friends in an Italian restaurant and the food isn’t fit for dogs, it can be a bit of a disappointment. Italian! How do you fuck up Italian food? Aside from Chinese, Italian food in Manhattan is almost always a sure bet. Do yourself a favor and avoid Otto on 5th Avenue in the West Village at all costs. Undercooked pasta (should pasta be crunchy?), s-l-o-w (albeit pleasant) service and it’s not so cheap. Dinner for 4 was $120. That’s a lot of beans for causal Italian dining, don’t you think? Plus we had to sit through a story about a stolen car that went on twice as long as it should have. Mrs. Wife almost passed out into her glass of wine from the tedium.

The evening wasn’t a total bust. Mrs. Wife got into the city early, visited an old friend and had a pedicure at one of those little Korean joints. As I type this, I’m still picking undercooked bits of pasta out of the crevices in my teeth with my tongue. Vaffanculo!

Miley Cyrus Disrupted My Morning Routine

Morning is the best part of the day for me. I board my train at 6:00 a.m., meditate for a bit, read the New York Times and listen to Howard Stern. Once I get into the city I’ll either visit the gym, go to my diner and yuck it up with Miss Latino Spitfire or, if the weather is nice, I stroll over to beautiful Bryant Park, buy a cup of coffee from the java kiosk and bang out a blog entry or two on my laptop. It’s the only part of my day whereby I don’t have someone in my face asking for something. Perfect. After that, it’s all downhill.

It was another bright New York City morning, so I selected the Bryant Park option. Instead of the usual coffee-sippers, newspaper readers and early morning group Tai Chi Chuan session, I was greeted by this:

Miley Cyrus performed a free mini-concert in Bryant Park for Good Morning America. It was utter pandemonium. Psychotic parents camped out overnight on the surrounding sidewalks with their little girls! They wouldn’t have done that in “old” New York. In “old” New York, the denizens of Bryant Park would have torn the stage apart and sold it for scrap metal. How am I going to protect my daughters from this sort of pap? More importantly, I couldn’t get near my java kiosk, so Miley Cyrus owes me a cup of coffee.