Corner of Pain St. and Attention Deficit Blvd.


I’m upgrading my phone and I don’t know if I should get an iPhone 6 or 6+. I’m frozen with indecision. You can’t take this stuff lightly. You use your mobile phone every day, all day and you’re stuck with it for two years. The iPhone 6 is only marginally bigger than my 5. What’s the point? The 6+ has better specs but it’s too damn big. It’s like talking into a floor tile. They should have invented something in between. Idiots. This wouldn’t have happened if Jobs was still alive. I asked Siri but she was no help.siri


I would un-invent email if I could. I came back from vacation to 200+ emails at work. I’m not even management! I’m just a lowly worker bee! Can you imagine what those guys go through? 80% of them were nonsense. I leave work every evening with an empty inbox and there’ll be anywhere from 10-20 new messages in the morning. Those ass-kissers and workaholics send stuff all hours of the night. Sometimes as late as 3:00 a.m. Go to bed, you fuckheads. Play with your kids. Walk the dog. Have a glass of wine with your spouse. Read a book. Or take a sleeping pill. But don’t email me.


7th Avenue and 40th St. The Fashion District. Tuesday, December 2nd, 6:30 a.m.

seventh-av1 seventh-av2 seventh-av3IV.

I work in an open-architecture environment. They broadcast CNBC on flat screens with the sound off. The financial analysts like to see the stock ticker and breaking news. Occasionally, CNBC will conduct an investment strategy straw poll. For instance, the NASDAQ is about to hit 5,000. Should you buy or sell? Here’s everything you need to know about Wall Street: cnbcProof positive that NONE of those guys know ANYTHING. It’s all a guessing game.


Q. You said that you feel like an outsider in Hollywood. Do you still feel like that?

A. One hundred percent. Feeling like an outsider is part of my nature, and it’s what makes me who I am, so I think I’ll find a way to make myself feel like an outsider no matter what situation I’m in.

Zooey Deschanel
Time Magazine print edition
November 24, 2014

Because nothing screams I’m a rebel like fielding fluff ball questions on a national stage in a dying medium. With Taylor Swift on the cover, no less. She’s like actors who complain about being famous. You’re not an outsider, cupcake. Image fail. And stop using “one hundred percent.” It’s a tired, worn out cliche.


A befuddled Jackie Mason strolls down 7th Avenue. I should run a fill-in-the-caption contest. masonThat’s one of the reasons why New York is so fun. You can go out for lunch and see ancient celebrities promenade down the avenues. [Does Jackie Mason qualify as a celeb? Do you know who he was/is?]


Jesus. What a dull, ornery, meandering post. I just broke my own cardinal rule: don’t hit publish just for the sake of pushing a post out. If you don’t have anything to write about, give it a rest. Quantity never beats quality. And it never will.

79 thoughts on “Corner of Pain St. and Attention Deficit Blvd.

  1. Well, I’ve learned a couple of things from this post.Stuff about iPhones, for instance. And I could have asked you who Jackie Mason is (other than a guy with really strange hair colour!) But I googled and picked up a few more trivial facts.
    So, you see, just because you think a post is of a lower standard, others might not agree. As long as you still bring us those gems, like your gritty NYC stories and the entertaining journal snippets.

  2. i have a 5 and i haven’t updated the software to 8.0, so you can guess i’m not about to buy a 6. i think i’ll just keep this damn phone until it breaks. re this post, i like that you used roman numerals, sweet pea! but even more than that, i like the rambling randomness of it! i’ve been working on a post about christmas cakes for almost a week now… jesus wept. xoxoxoxo

    • I used Roman numerals as a visual element to distract from the lack of content. Since you mentioned it I’m guessing that it worked. This is what goes on inside my brain day in and day out. Hopping from one subject to another, never making any headway.

  3. Well, I liked # III (aka 3) a LOT, for what it’s worth. Perhaps you can tell me why I can’t comment on your blog in my reader, if you need something to ponder.

    And really, the 50/50 buy sell is just perfect.

    Your meanderings are still pretty damn interesting.

    And by the way did you make your NYE plans yet?

    (did I make you feel better by my meandering comment?)

    • I love your meandering comment! It’s a theme. See that…I’m an inspiration. For New Year’s eve I believe I’m invited to a suburban soirée, the advantage being I can walk home or crawl on my hands and knees if necessary.

      What the hell kind of reader doesn’t let you comment? Was it developed by Czechoslovakians? Is it just my blog or are there others?

  4. Well, someone’s a tad grumpy tonight, isn’t he? 😉

    This post made me laugh several times. I wonder why people feel the need to email at all hours of the day. Back in the days of paper memos, they didn’t type something up, photocopy it, and get it ready for morning distribution at three am. So why do they feel compelled to email then?

    As for which iPhone to get, I’m in the same decision-making process. I was leaning toward the 6+, but it is awfully big and I’m not sure it will fit in my tiny purse. There’s something wrong with that picture. Plus, I worry if I get that, I’ll never use my iPad. Talk about a first-world problem. I’m embarrassed even mentioning it.

  5. So, who puts a showroom window on the fifth floor? What’s with that?

    I don’t have an iphone but I’ve heard the same concerns as you have – the size of the 6+. Most I know are using the 6 not the 6+.for just that reason.

    Yep, I’ve heard of Jackie Mason but don’t recall any shows he was in.

    NASDAQ and sell signals – you know that I was reading an article , actually on oil futures but I imagine it applies to the NASDAQ to a certain extent as well – and it studied the amount of buy/sell that was based on emotional decisions vs intellectual decisions. More than half the decsions were emotionally based not factually based. They aren’t experts Mark, they are shams. Don’t get me wrong, there are many very good traders who really know their stuff, but they are not in the majority. And besides – real stock trading should be based on the company being traded and not on some unrealted number, real or imaginary. But often it is not. Don’t get me started on “technical” trading – basically it boils down to deciding the worth of a company without any knowldge of the company at all except for its past stock behaviour. It is crap and people make millions peddling this crap. And many of the bastards get paid for stock turns, meaning that the more they buy/sell the stock the more they make. I tell you, you get into this whole thing and it blows your mind how the snake oil thieves are peeling milliions off the top for themselves without adding any value at all to the system. Sorry, my soap box. James Gamble ,one of the founders of P&G, put it best when he said, back in the late 1800’s : “If you can’t offer a good product [or service] for a fair price, then do something else honest, even if it is breaking rocks for a living.” And many stock traders have gone that way with the help of the state – where they are euphemistically breaking rocks for a living until their time is served.

    Fun post Mark – sometimes, the good stuff only pops out when you do random bits and pieces until suddenly somehting clicks. After all how are you supposed to know what you are thinking until you say it?

    • That light in the window is a nice accent. Every other window in that building is pitch black. The photo captured the idea but not the beauty.

      I ordered a 6. God help me, I know what’s going to happen now. Now comes the second guessing. There’ll be lots and lots of tormenting over my choice.

      That article you read was absolutely correct. Trading volume is emotion-driven. People are either panicked or euphoric. I’m so cynical that I believe the super-successful hedge fund douche bags are any more talented than the regular traders. I believe those guys get wealthy from inside information and conniving means. I’m suspect of anyone who makes chasing money their career choice.

      You’re also correct about valuation. Uber was just given a cash infusion and its market value is about $4B. Imagine that! That company will never garnish profits that great.

      I still think the post lacked substance, but it sure was fun to write. What more should I want? Just read your guest post at Willow. Excellent, at always.

  6. Meander or not. I like what you wrote. The Jackie whats his name was most interesting. Yes, even in deep heart of Teas I’ve heard of the guy. Now If I can only remember what he’s known for…But red hair at his age- Lord have mercy!

    • Jackie Mason was a comedian. Most notorious for flipping Ed Sullivan off. Also, he was the Rodney Dangerfirld replacement in a Caddy Shack sequel that went nowhere. That guy never made me laugh.

      Thanks for the compliment. You Texans are world renowned for your generous nature.

  7. The picture of Jackie Mason was a good enough reason for a post. I’m glad he’s looking so well – he doesn’t seem to have aged since I last saw him on TV,
    You’re right about the Wall Street guys not knowing which way the market will go, but why should they? They make money from other people buying and selling. Warren Buffet is honest enough to say he has no idea where the market will be in six months time.

  8. No, no idea who Jackie Mason is. I need a new phone too, mine is a push button one, maybe I am the last person using one like that. I will have whatever the salemans gets for me 🙂

    • Don’t settle for what a salesman gives you! Fight the power. Do some homework. Remember, that thing is going to be a big part of your life for at least two years. Maybe longer.

      You’re too young to know who Jackie Mason is you’re not missing a thing.

  9. Meandering post or not, Mark, I’m totally stuck on those 200 emails. Really, back from vacation and you have two hundred emails? I hope you deleted all but the most recent 10. Seriously, would the world ( in this case, paid employment) come to an end if they went unread/unanswered?

    • I have colleagues who clear their emails while on vacation so they don’t have to come back to a huge backlog of messages. But what kind of vacation is that?! I don’t want to see an inbox when I’m away from the office. That’s probably been detrental to my career but so be it.

  10. And now I’m stuck on the phone thing – I need to upgrade soon but at 5 and a half inches for $NZ1149 I think I’ll be eeking a few more months out of my old one. Have you made a decision yet?

  11. Make sure to choose wisely because cell phones can make or break our existence.
    This was great post…the quandary on annoying Hollywood Celebrities was quite amusing. And your email rant is exactly how I feel at 8:34 am every morning as well.

    Here’s something else to ponder though…Is Jackie Mason really still a “Celebrity” since I am almost “one hundred percent” positive that my generation has little to no clue who he is? It reminds me of the saying “If a tree falls in the forest does it still make a sound?” …”Is a human being still considered famous even though most people don’t know his name?” Hmmmm 😀

    • Funniest comment so far. Thanks. If you’ll notice from the photo, Mr. Mason walked around unmolested. If it weren’t for my clandestine photo, nobody would have known he was there at all. You should see the crowds waiting outside the stage door of theater where Bradley Cooper is doing a Briadway show. Different story.

      Thanks for your kind words. I really did think I was wasting everybody’s time. I wasn’t kidding or fishing for compliments.

  12. Shut up about shuttin` up, Mark. It`s a fine post for Monday morning, bleary eyes and all. In fact, when I first read “fuckheads” I thought it said “knuckleheads,” which, even though you didn’t actually write that, gave me a smile. A Three Stooges kind of word, a word that, I dunno, Jackie Mason might use. So there’s that.
    Also, I insist on pronouncing the Deschanel girl “ZOO-ee.” That’ll show her.

    • I hesitated to use ‘fuckheads’. As you know, I’m not a vulgarian. I don’t work blue. But, sometimes, a vulgarity is exactly what’s called for. Apologies to the puritans.

      When I think of names that imply independence and a rebellious nature, Zooey doesn’t float to the top of the list.

      • Probably also refers to herself as a “chanteuse.”
        To be fair, I don’t mind the girl. Even her She & Him work is pleasant and harmless, which beats the alternative. I would never call her a fuckhead.

  13. Jackie Mason — when he was on The Ed Sullivan Show one Sunday, my cousin, who shares his last name, convinced me that he was her uncle. So I DO remember Jackie Mason AND how hard my Aunt and my mother laughed when I asked if it was true.

    The new iPhones are Both too big. Does anybody at Apple have a pocket that big?

  14. I was about to say “Who doesn’t know who Jackie Mason is?” Then I realized that makes me sound “old”.

    I am Team Android, way back to the Droid X where the iPhone lovers mocked its over-sized screen. Now I have a Galaxy S5 that I love (up from S3); kid has a Galaxy Nexus that if he can’t get a battery for he wants to trade for the new LG-whatever. No clue about that one.

    • Well, I recognized him on the street (and by the looks if it I was the only one). How do you think that makes me feel?! We should form a support group.

      The S5 is the way to go. Superior to the iPhone in so many ways. But I’m scared that adapting to a new OS will give me a brain aneurysm.

  15. Jackie Mason always came off like a day-old bagel. Eh. If he was really funny he wouldn’t have had to dye his hair like that.

    You made the right decision on the 6. Stop with the second-guessing already. It’s big enough. They’d don’t need one between the 6 and 6+. That wouldn’t fit in a pocket.

    When I’d get back from a vacation at the big daily I’d have 500 emails and I’d spend my first morning chugging through them, answering, explaining, noting, making sure I didn’t miss any events or leads. Got laid off anyway ……… Over it. You’re so right. Who send that stuff at 3 a.m. anyway?

    Keep up this meandering stuff. It brings out your sardonic best. And roman numerals.

    • Did you ever see Caddyshack II? Awful. Mason’s downfall.

      I test drove the 6+ and I couldn’t text in landscape mode. It’s so big that my thumbs couldn’t reach the center keys. And I have big hands! That’s what my high school girlfriend used to call me. Big Hands.

      I will continue to second guess, even post-purchase. I did it with our new car, too. I’m not bragging. In fact, I hate it. But, apparently, it’s an important facet of my genetic stuff.

  16. Too funny. I just came back from visiting a friend, trapped in plane with a guy (67) who BOASTED of having seen Jackie Mason FIVE times in Las Vegas…and once he took his teenaged son. I couldn’t figure out why this was boasting material (and didn’t want to encourage him by asking him the question). Mason was a no-class guy at his best, and I can’t believe his keepers let him out with that orange (not red) hair.

  17. A phone as a piece of tile. That sounds about right! Well, who talks on their phone anymore. I don’t talk on mine as much as I look at the screen. Soon, they’ll have those screens you can just swipe in the air! I used to work in Investor Relations, once upon a time. I agree with your wholeheartedly that no one knows what’s going on in the stocks. It’s a guessing game, and based on fear. And, I don’t know who Jackie Mason is, but he looks familiar. Who is he?

    • Hi Amy. Nice to see you. The chap at the Verizon store told me that eventually, phones will be like a piece of thick glass. Imagine that! I use my phone to talk on quite a bit although I think it’s primarily a camera.

      IR is a rough business. Have you blogged about it? Any interesting stories to tell?

      Jackie Mason is an old-timey comedian but he never made me laugh. Not once.

      • When I worked in IR I had people call me to ask what was wrong with our stock. Every day! The same people. I want to put the whole thing out of my mind. Honestly, I have post ideas lined up, I just don’t have time to write them. IR is not on my radar at the moment.

      • Not on your radar = the healthy choice.

        Will address your comment on my art post later. Too tough with a phone. Very glad you got your computer back. As Sweeny Todd said when he got his straight razors back, “At last! My right arm is complete!”

  18. I finished work Tuesday for 3 days off and spent until 9PM clearing over 100 emails from my inbox.. don’t know why I bothered there’ll be another 100 when I get back (and I’m not management either, just lowly, like you). A colleague says the best way to stop getting them is to stop sending them, so maybe we should try that.

    Jackie Mason- a chat show host? A comedian? A martial arts bigscreen star? No- definitely a comedian (I think).

    First time I have commented here I think Mr Exlie although we have a mutual habitual comment box (Looby’s) and I always enjoy your comments on there (but don’t pass by here often enough..)

    • Hello, Jonathan. Nice to have you here. Looby is one of the best writers out there and I’m not kidding. He has a fascinating life, his posts are lean and robust (unlike my long-winded, ponderous writing) and he only posts when he’s got a story to tell. That guy deserves a huge audience but his blog (like this one) is lost in a sea of bits and bytes.

      The best way to stop all these unnecessary emails is to quit your job and retire. Unfortunately, this isn’t a possibility for most of us. Looby has figured it out. He hangs by a thread economically but I’ve got admiration and envy for how he conducts his affairs .He’s a free man. He doesn’t face over 100 emails in his inbox and there’s something to be said for that.

      Mason is a comedic hack. His material isn’t even worth a YouTube search. Don’t waste your time.

  19. Call me old-fashioned but I prefer 100% to a 110%. At least it exists.
    I think J.M may be a Jewish comedian who has been over here – with funny hennaed hair – although a Jewish friend once told me that the most common hair colour for Jewish people was red.

    • Red? Not ginger? I thought you were British. What happened to you? What have you done with my Pat. If you’ve hurt her you’ll have me to answer to.

      Mason had a long enough career but he was never my cup of tea. His shtick kept me quiet 100% of the time. [See what I did there?]

  20. You just keep hitting post for no reason, no matter what you think the quality of it… your writing and thoughts are better than 99% of the stuff out there, and certainly better than the next snarky self-loathing housewife post reflecting on that amazingly interesting and humorous anecdote with some subtle and then suddenly overt sexual connotation while waxing philosophical about the shit life that comes with privilege… sorry. It’s the scotch speaking. And I’m bored of the same old clever shit, you know what I mean? The clever shit people post. It’s so clever, so sterling, so evocative of nuanced lives and bottomless hearts, so unorchestrated and genuine… only not. Only so mechanical and put together… okay, so it’s the scotch speaking. So what.

    I write 200 e-mails a day at peak. I don’t know how that happens. But it does. About 50 are useful. The rest are me just needing something to do with my fingers.

    I love Zooey, by the way. I totally buy into her. I think she’s a genuine oddball. Would love to meet her. Ever see (500) Days of Summer? Great movie.

    I remember Jackie Mason… from something… just not sure what. Befuddlement is occasionally catching.

    • You are in rare form, my friend. When your wheels get greased, the blogosphere had better watch out. I think the same things you do about the paucity of interesting blogs but am too timid to post about it. Maybe scotch is the missing element. It brings out the truth.

      How about if you only type 50 emails a day and occupy your fingers the rest of the time by writing more blog posts? Just a suggestion. I see in my reader that you’ve thrown a new one up there. It’s been a while, don’t you think?

      I don’t mind Zooey so very much. I have the She & Him Christmas album. It’s nice. But the spouting about being a young rebel is a bit hard to take.

      • Scotch brings out the wrangler. He wears a cowboy hat and ropes the wankers. Wait, that sounds bad…

        I wish I wish I wish. I think my fingers are ill-employed at the moment. I may sit back and take in some Zooey now… love those doe eyes.

  21. Not sure about tech stuff, since I still have an adequate cell phone, flip one at that from Verizon. I am able to take fairly nice photos, though..
    It’s cool that you saw an ancient legend on the sidewalk…
    I am a Zooey fan, loved the Christmas airport story for this holiday season, Tuesday Dec. 9th. I am not sure if she is being honest, but I do feel she may not always ‘fit in’ being from a geeky family. Her sister, who plays as the leading character in “Bones” also seems a little awkward. I am not sure if you have seen her sing, but Zooey is cute and I like her. Smiles!
    Maybe it is true, we all have ‘off’ days, you do seem a bit cranky…. just saying.

    • You are actually the cutting edge. Flip phones are making a comeback. I think Beyonce was seen using one recently. I’m not kidding. You’re the vanguard.

      I’m a fan of Zooey, especially the She & Him albums, but I can’t take the pretentious posturing. Of COURSE she’s not an outsider! She’s got a TV series on a major network and walks red carpets. You couldn’t be LESS outside than that, and to pretend that she’s cutting edge is disingenuous.

      I save all my crakyness for one post. I like to get it all out of my system at once. I’m much better now, thank you.

  22. You have crossed that magical barrier into ‘I can do no wrong’. Your description of dull, ornery, meandering post is still more fun and entertaining than most bloggers.
    Where on 7th Ave was that pic taken of Jackie Mason. I don’t recognize that area. I agree with you, he never made me laugh.

    • I’m going to run that ‘do no wrong’ scenario by my wife and see how she feels about it. I’ll have to get back to you.

      I think the photo was close to Times Square. I don’t remember exactly as it was taken a few months ago. If you notice, everyone is wearing warm weather clothes. That hasn’t happened in a while.

      • I fiqured it out on the pic. 5th Ave and 56th St. right in front of Armani’s (google earth). I wonder if he does that to see if anybody recognizes him.

  23. See now you’ve made it… a dull, ornery and meandering post and the blogosphere fawns all over you, i won’t blow sunshine, you were right with your own assessment and the hit publish button, the simple facts are that when you want to post something all you have to do is meander back through those notebooks and there you have it. I’m here to keep your ego from running off unabated… but i’m a hard case, cheers my friend.

  24. i am amused by the phone dilemma. you know i’m a luddite and couldn’t possibly care any less than i do about what sort of phone i have. i’d still have a ‘hello kitty’ flip phone if mine hadn’t snapped in half two or three years ago…

    so for the first ten years, we were driven to smaller. the wristwatch phone was a pipe dream. now that we’re using the damn things to watch TV and movies? BIGGER! MAKE ‘EM HUGE! THE SIZE OF A TV!

  25. For years, they couldn’t make cell phones small enough. HAD to be smaller, smallest, and smallest-er still! Now…here we are, vying for phones disguised as floor tile. Yup, perfect description. I am an Android fan…my Gallaxy S4 was my favorite until it decided to crawl out of my pocket and dive into the wild blue waves of a port-a-potty. Ugh. But, I replaced it with a Razor M and I love it. Could use a tad larger screen, but that’s because of fat fingers and lazy eyes. Enjoy the 6, but if you ever want to jump to the dark side….you’ll find Android an easy learn. 🙂

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