The one where I curse out The New York Times

According to today’s New York Times:

American officials formally requested the extradition of Roman Polanski…over his flight in 1978 from sentencing for having sex with a 13-year old girl.

Listen, you bastards, Polanski did not “have sex” with that girl. He raped her. Actually, it’s worse than that. He drugged, and then sodomized her. A 13-year old child. “Having sex” implies consent and sanitizes what occurred. The Times refuses to call it what it is. If Polanski were an investment banker, they’d be screaming for justice from the lofty perch of the Editorial page.

And Woody Allan, of all people, should keep is fucking mouth shut. Another child molester. Takes one to know one, I suppose.

Weep not for me. Unless you really want to.

I’ve been having some black days, my friends. I don’t write about them because, honestly, my travails are so boring. I prefer to keep it light. Plus, feeling sorry for myself after reading some of Jimmy Bastard’s posts makes me feel like I’m missing a testicle. Or two. But suffering is relative and mine is very real to me.

Tonight, I took my sorry, troubled ass to Carnegie Hall for a piano recital. That probably sounds like a big bore fest to most of you, but it helps me. A lot. Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat and a piece by Brahms that was stolen from Handle. [Oh, excuse me, I mean Variations on a Theme. Yeah, right.] I’m a new man. It won’t last. It never does. But it’s a bridge to get me through to the next crisis. You do what you have to. It used to be weed, drunk driving and some unprotected sex. Now it’s piano recitals at Carnegie Hall. It sounds boring, but it isn’t.

If you live in New York City and don’t visit Carnegie Hall once or twice a year, you’re not taking advantage of something that’s unique about this old town. You can sit way up high for very little money (as I do). The acoustics are such that you can close your eyes and it sounds like your in the second row. And saying it’s a beautiful building is like saying water is wet.

I’ve never repeated a post before but this is one of my favorite New York stories and it all ties in. So this is for any readers I’ve picked up who might have missed it the first time.

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In 1986, a renovation project was completed on Carnegie Hall. The acoustics of Carnegie Hall were something that musicologists and the city always took great pride in but, post-renovation, music purists insisted that the sound had somehow been compromised, particularly in the lower registers. There was a growing theory that a thin layer of concrete that hadn’t been there previously was installed under the stage floor. Officials involved with the renovation adamantly denied the existence of the concrete. They said the story was pure fiction and they dismissed the critics as conspiracy theorist crackpots.

Well, as usual, the crackpots were right. In 1996, Hall administrators announced that there WAS INDEED a heretofore unknown layer of concrete below the stage and it was removed. The reviews were unanimous. The Hall’s warm acoustics were returned to their original form.

Can you imagine!? I was amazed by that. At the end of a concert, someone turned to their date and said, “I enjoyed the adagio, but it sounds like they’ve mistakenly installed a thin layer of concrete under the stage.” I’ll never be that perceptive about anything.


NYC wildlife

Early one morning, I was walking past the Verizon store on 6th Avenue and 41st Street when a small brown dot in the bottom left corner of the window moved and caught my eye.


Upon closer examination, I could see that the tiny brown dot had fur and a tail.


It was a trapped little mouse! He somehow fell into a space whose walls were so high that he couldn’t extract himself. There was a Verizon service truck parked at the corner and the driver said he was going to free him as soon as the store opened. We can be benevolent towards mice but if it had been a trapped rat, the driver would have been waiting for the store to open so he could mash its head in with a tire iron.


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Did you know that the sparrows in New York City are so tame that they’ll take food right out of your hand? Try doing this with a sparrow in your backyard and see how close you get.


Another black eye for The Garden State

A short walk from my house is the not-so-mighty Navesink River. It’s a shallow, quiet river that empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Along its banks, you can rent boats and kayaks and go out rowing or crabbing, neither of which I’ve done because I’m not a big outdoorsman. I like rowing on Central Park Lake but that’s about the extent of it. Is there any part of this blog that might lead you to believe I’m an outdoors kind of guy? Quite the opposite. Drinking a cup of coffee that’s gone cold is about as close as I ever get to roughing it. I understand its appeal but it ain’t for me. I work like a dog. I don’t sleep in tents on my time off.

While Sister #2 was visiting, we took a little stroll down to the dock to watch jellyfish float by. There’s a gracefulness as they flow by on the tide. But they also look like great gobs of mucus. Near the boat rental dock is this advertisement:


I’ve been living down there for seven years and never saw the typo! My sister asked, “kray-bing? What the hell is kray-bing” Ha. Upon closer examination, you can see that they tried to fix their error. Let’s hear it for the New Jersey Public School System!


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Wichita Lineman! Glen Campbell! Earworm! Gaaaaaaaa! Help me! How in God’s name did THIS get into my head? And why am I admitting it in a public forum? Do I really have nothing to lose at this point? Take a look at that searing guitar solo. If you can make it that far.

If Messieurs Wolverine and Bond were Chicago inner-city beat cops

A-Steady-RainI was lucky enough to score a ticket to A Steady Rain, the two-hander starring Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman on Broadway. It’s an impossible ticket to get (unless you want to pony up $376.50 for a “premium” seat. Rotten greedy bastards.)Cynical old me was ready for an evening of eye rolling and tut-tutting. The reviews were okay, but not glowing. I thought it was going to be an evening of movie star crap-ola. Well, guess what? It was great. Fuck the critics (as usual). I had a fine time. The attempted Chicago accents were a bit grating at first but I was pulled in on the strength of the story and flashes of raw emotion.

Jackman had the better, more showy role but Craig was fine, as well. They both have legitimate stage credentials so it was far from being a vanity project. I remember Kelsey Grammer playing, believe it or not, Macbeth on Broadway several years ago. Now, THAT was a vanity project. It closed after just 10 days.

When I mentioned that I was going to see A Steady Rain, several people told me to make sure to turn my cell phone off. They were referring to an incident whereby Hugh Jackman stopped the show to chastise someone in the audience whose cell phone went off. The clip is below. Hugh Jackman is a polite Aussie. Click on the second clip and listen to New York native Patty Lupone school Hugh on how it’s done.