I got tagged by my Polish Pal to do the 10/10 list. 10 things I love. 10 things I hate. It goes without saying that I love my family and health. So I won’t say it.

I love little baby ducks, old pickup trucks, slow movin’ trains and rain.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I love that. I find it strangely comforting.

I love when I reveal my age and someone says, “Oh, you don’t look that old” and they mean it.

I love the nightlife. I got to boogie on the disco ‘round.

Good God in heaven, sweet Mother of Jesus, I love New York City. I was walking down 54th Street on a sunny day, in a good mood, looked down and saw this Haiku written in chalk on a sidewalk:


I love coffee. It’s the affordable addiction. The one that won’t cost you your family or job.

Love is all around no need to waste it. You can have the town, why don’t you take it?

We disciplined the 8-Year Old and she went to bed upset. I love that the next morning My Bride found this under her pillow from her older sister. It makes me feel like I’m finally doing something right.


I love paper and ink. I like how they smell when married together. I like how it blackens my fingertips.

I love this Bukowski poem. From top to bottom it is, for me, the truest and most perfect poem I’ve ever read. I own a letterpressed broadside of it and go back to it all the time. It fortifies me.

a consistent sort

at the track
the other day
during the
stretch run
the announcer screamed:

I had a bet on
Pain and
he finished
one half-length

he didn’t win
that time
but he will
win soon
and you can
bet on that
again and
again and

get down

I hate myself for loving you. Can’t break free from the things that you do. I wanna walk but I run back to you. That’s why I hate myself for loving you. (Ow! Uh!)

I hate when that happens.

I hate Jeff Bezos and his Amazon shitsite. He single-handedly slaughtered bookstores. He took something away that was important and vital and meaningful in my life.

I hate that something’s bothering you right now. I wish I could help you solve that problem. Is there anything I can do?

I hate mobile phones. I hate what they’ve turned us into. I wish I could put the genie back in the bottle. I’d do it. I’D TOTALLY DO IT.

I hate my vanity. Who fucking cares how old I look? What difference does THAT make?

I hate that I’m not over it yet. My God. How many years ago was that? Enough already. That’s enough.

I hate rap. It’s ugly, corrosive and anti-life. It’s the new slavery.

I hate the CEO’s of giant investment banks. If I was sitting at a bar and Jamie Dimon was on one side of me and Lloyd Blankfein was sitting on the other side and I got up to put money in the jukebox, those two clowns would have a fistfight over who was going to steal my change off the top of the bar as soon as my back was turned. They’re nothing a bunch of cheap pickpockets and thieves.

I hate 9/11. Who fucked up my town? And my wedding anniversary, to boot?

84 thoughts on “Love/Hate

  1. Awwwww!!!! Look at that letter!!! I wish I’d had an older sibling like that… mine was more the type to snigger and look sanctimonious whenever I got into trouble.
    I also hate rap.


  2. Love the note from your oldest daughter. Warm interactions between our kids warms a parent’s heart like nothing else.

    And you even managed to throw in a little Joan Jett. And Alicia Bridges. Gold star for you!

  3. It’s freaky that I instantly recognized the Tom T. Hall lyrics even though it’s been years and years since I’ve heard it. Song like that imprints itself on your brain, I guess. (Though I had to search to remember it was Tom T. Hall. All I could think of was Jim Reeves or Red Sovine.)
    My one visit to New York, I wrote down the words I saw/heard. This was one of my favourites, etched on a Central Park bench plaque: “David, really… Maureen.”
    Good list; part serious, part flippant, like the author.

    • I’m pretty sure that you and I are the only ones who know that that’s Tom T. Hall. I’ll bet everyone else just thinks I’m being clever.

      I love that graffiti you saw on the bench. How perfect.

      I’m supposed to tag 10 people but I’m never comfortable doing that. Feel free to throw up your own list. Ha! I said throw up!

  4. I love reading the lists, especially when put together by complicated folks.

    Mostly, though, I loved that letter. At a relatively young age, your elder daughter summed up sisters. They make things better.

    • Each daughter gets very upset when I’m yelling at the other one. The rally to each other’s defense, right or wrong. It’s enough to fill me with hope and pride. Hope it lasts through the rough patches.

      • There will be times when it won’t be all you want it to be. But it’s there, and will serve them all their adulthood.

        I had two sisters, and at different times in my life I was close to each of them. But the bond was always there — and I always knew I could count on them for, at a minimum, a soft shoulder.

  5. The bastards name is Dimon, like Mike Dimon the greasy ticket scalper from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, see the connection? just replace ticket scalper with CEO… and kids are pretty cool aren’t they? so stop making things worse than they are Dad, haha…

    • It is misspelt isn’t it!? Here’s the funny part…I used to work there so you’d think I’d know better. Maybe that’s a little subliminal passive/aggressive. I’ve corrected the spelling. I want this to show up in Google searches.

      Making things worse than they are seems to be my superpower. My ninja skill. Can’t give that up.

  6. Your list is why I love you so much! (Don’t take that out of context – you know what I mean, lol) I love that your daughter offered herself up for complaining – that’s priceless. Thanks for sharing that with us 🙂

    • Yes, I know exactly what you mean. But if I want to take it out of context that’s my prerogative, innit? ;).

      Isn’t that all any of us want? Someone to complain too? Is that how most relationships start?

      • You’re probably right – everyone needs that comforting reassurance that someone else can relate to their problems. But you’re getting too deep now, so snap out of it

  7. You worded the list very poetically, so it felt like verse rather than a list. I loved the one where you suddenly turned the attention on us and problems we might have, that was a strange sensation to suddenly have something directed outwards when everything else was about you. Nice. Very nice. Oh. I just remembered. You don’t like. Very short punctuated. Sentences. Sorry.

    • The Poetticism was born from laziness. I didn’t feel like writing out long paragraphs for each thought. But thanks! I love the idea that I can project a strange sensation all the way to Britain. I’ll have to think of a way to monetize that.

  8. I think your change would be safe if left between Dimon and Blankfein. Those people will take anything they can legally or semi-legally get away with, and it’s much less risky with billions than with dollar bills.

    • Thanks, tons. I started this list with the usual “I love my family/I hate mean people” but decided to try something different. Glad that you think it works. I love praise. I should add that to the list.

    • I’m starting to feel pangs of guilt for all these kind words. Four of those are song lyrics that and one is a poem by Bukowski. A lot of this isn’t my material. I consider myself a kind-of director. I strategically mixed these among my own stuff so that it all has a nice, logical flow. Thank you.

  9. Your eldest is such a fine girl. She’s not a bit jealous of her younger sister being your angel and loves her as much she’ll love her own daughter. She must be your angel too, of course

    • As a parent, what you want more than anything else is to see this sort of thing happen behind your back. That’s how you get the true measure of who they are. We weren’t supposed to see that note and it fills me with hope. It’ll take a lot to knock that kind of humanity out of her. The other one is coming along nicely, too. So far, so good. Now, if I can only keep them away from scummy boys I’ll be all set.

  10. Your daughters are going to make a lot of days better for you and your bride, Mark. That’s the best thing you’ve done out of a whole bunch of good things.

    Thanks for accepting my tag even though you’re not whole-heartedly into this kind of WP thing. I was correct when I thought it would bring interesting insights out of you. Then again, opening your eyes to greet the day does that. Have another good day in our New York City, Polish bro.

    • My daughters (and Bride) are the source of most of the joy in my life. I’m lucky. I’m glad they don’t give me a lot of trouble. I’ll bet there are some fun days ahead when they’re troubled teens, so I’ll take and appreciate these quiet days while I have them.

      Thanks, again for the invite. An amusing exercise. Much obliged for the link, too.

      • When the teen angst rollercoaster starts, you have this base that they’ll return to, pal. You should keep it in mind, too.

        Thank you for the link as well, and you’re welcome.

      • I’ll have this base + Xanax. I hear it’s for anxiety.

        Just looked up the side effects for Xanax. Might cause blistering, peeling skin. Confusion, problems with coordination. Seizure. Trouble breathing. Yikes! Fuck that! I’ll stick with the vintage blog posts.

    • Thank you, sir. I was flattered to be thought of. Part of the exercise was to tag 10 people for the same thing. I’m never comfortable doing that because I’m afraid it’ll be an imposition, but if you’re of a mind to do a list, jump on in.

      • I know what you mean about challenge lists and the imposition feeling. Thanks for the invite, and I will put it on the “to be pondered” list.

        BTW … related to our dialogue on The Blogging Blues, I did cut back my posts – and feel good about it!

  11. I love the fact I just imagined I looked like Bukowski (who’s really not good looking in my opinion, not in a traditional sense) when I caught myself in the mirror (being vain) with a coffee, cold shower dripping off my beard, and lines in my face like a poorly treated map. I love having friends like you, and the fact your daughter put quotes around “learn.” I love the fact you put that Jeff Dick-Fuck Face in shit, where it belongs. I love the idea there are real people still. I love the buzz I am getting off this coffee and the illusion it makes me sharper than I am, and the magic that comes with crossing the IDL and that time kind of “bends.” I also love the smell and tactile nature of ink and paper. Good on you buddy. I think all the things I hate can stay in the bottle for now.

    • You’re right! Double-quoting “learn,” like it’s an abstract idea we’re imposing on them, is very funny! I didn’t realize. Thanks for pointing that out. I haven’t been buzzed off coffee in a long, long time. Thus is the hazard of developing a tolerance. I remember getting profoundly buzzed off Newport cigarettes. What a slippery slope THAT was.

  12. Pingback: Love/Hate | The Bumble Files

  13. I like that you took this prompt and made it more than a list. I also like that there are nice older sisters out there, because I surely wasn’t one. (Baby bro and I get along now though, so it’s all good.)

    • I made a list initially and scrapped it. I went for the fence and thought it might not work out but what the hell it’s just a post. Glad you likee. Everyone seemed to like it!

      I’m also glad you realized you were rough on your bro. Some people never achieve that kind of self-awareness.

      • I prefer to think it made us both better people, in the end, but that’s just what I tell myself so I can sleep at night. Ah well.

  14. Dude, what I would love is to sit down with you in your MAGICAL city and pound back some scotch just before a nice meal. And we’ll figure out what’s bothering us, and put a stop to it, and then we’ll figure out what’s bothering others and help out as we can. But I will peer at my smart phone. And I will reject rap. And I will buy a book and then I’ll write something in the cover, and god willing, I’ll stumble stupid down some street by the end of the night, and I will wonder how I could be the very corporate douchebag that I hate, when that happened, how much sauce it takes to make that go away (like that’s possible). And I will write it out. We will all write it out. That’s why we’re here, right.

    I love this place!

    • That scotch is a great idea. I have a bottle of tequila upstairs. I think I’ll throw some on some ice and join you. Rap is so powerful and so pervasive. I wish they’d turn to face themselves. Are you threatening to take up writing again? We can all only sit and hope.

      • I never stop writing! I don’t know why, but I have an odd sense of the stuff I write that I want to post, and the stuff I don’t. It makes no sense. It has no pattern. Purely subjective. But I feel like writing and pushing something out there, so I probably will. No guarantees on quality, of course, my mileage varies worse than my junker car.

        Hope the tequila went well… but hopefully no rap. I’m super into The War on Drugs these days, and St. Vincent. Toss that stuff on man, and let it hang.

  15. Pingback: Body Parts Have Love and Hate Things Too | Vanessa-Jane Chapman

    • Well aren’t you a sight for sore eyes! It’s nice to see you. Hope you’re well. Our anniversary really is 9/11, but my bride and I have reclaimed it. We didn’t celebrate for a few years after—we feel guilty—but we decided it belongs to us.

  16. I enjoyed the depth and passion in your thought provoking lists. I’m glad that you and your Bride breeded. Kids like yours give me hope.

    My friend, Milton, thought he hated rap until we saw “Hamilton” earlier this year at the Public. That show’s a game-changer. It’s the most brilliant new musical we’ve seen in this century.

    • Welcome back! Hope you enjoyed your break. I’m afraid to take time off. What if I enjoy it so much that I never come back? What’ll happen to me? Will I cease to exist?

      Hamilton is going to be a hard sell for me. I’m sick of hearing about it and it hasn’t even (re-)opened yet. Did you watch the Tonys? I thought the hosts did a great job. They made me laugh. I wish I had the money to see Alan Cumming at the Café Carlyle. He’s doing a cabaret act! Ha! Get it? I’m (finally) seeing Hand to God tonight. On Saturday I took my daughter (the older one who wrote the note) to Something Rotten. We laughed. Beforehand, we went to the new Whitney down in the meatpacking district. Have you been? It’s spectacular x 1,000 but, since it’s so new, it’s PACKED. What’s going on? What’ve you seen? Do you want to see something really, really weird? Preludes at LCT3. Same guy that did Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. It’s OUT THERE. Tix are only $30 bucks.

      That’s what my gay friend always called me. A breeder. Nice.

      • I have so much I’d like to share with you about all the theater that I’ve seen over the course of the last six or so weeks but that could easily be a response of well over a thousand words. Speaking of seeing something out there, this evening Milton and I are seeing Anne Washburn’s 10 out of 12 at Soho Rep. Are you familiar with her work? It seems to be polarizing as in those that love it opposite the those that hate it. Tonight I’ll find out what camp Milton is in. We saw Hand to God and recently I ushered his follow-up, Permission. I thought Permission’s second act was much better than the first, but Hand is a much better play. Recently, I ushered Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj at the Atlantic. I thought that was very thought provoking and very well done. Gloria at the Vineyard is quite a wild ride, too. I’ve yet to make it down to the new Whitney. Thanks for the heads up. I’m going to resume writing my site before the month’s end. For the time being, I’m just catching up with my friends’ sites. You cleared the fences with this post.

      • I saw ‘Guards at the Taj’ as well. What a bloodbath! Did you see his ‘Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo?’ I don’t remember it getting strong notices but I loved it. I saw ‘Heisenberg’ with my pretend girlfriend, Mary Louise Parker. Christ, I love her.

  17. I loved your daughter’s leter to her little sister. Very sound advice.
    I also had to mention that we got married two days before 9/11 and flew out of Sydney airport bound for Auckland while US airspace was closed and even though a plane was the last place you wanted to be at the time, heading away to NZ seemed like a very good idea at the time. We spent the first few nights of our honeymoon in restaurants watchinmg the TV coverage. That said, we were alive and still had each other.

    • I’m so proud of that kid. That note was never meant to be seen by anyone. That’s the beauty of it, really. Anonymous kindness.

      We’ve never complained about having 9/11 as our wedding anniversary. We wouldn’t dare.

      • You’ve have to come to Australia one year and enjoy is for what it is. Because our date system is different too, we naturally see 9/11 as the (th of November or at least we used to.

  18. What an amazing writer you are. I felt like I knew you there for a second. I can totally empathize with your Hate list. I hate Amazon too. (Although I sold out to it when I bought Kindle). I hate rap and I hate what the digital world has done to people. I’ve often prattled for hours about the pitfalls of social media. Anyway, I’ve never been to New York but the way you describe it I’d love to go there one day. Until then, enjoy your boogie rounds 🙂

    • Thanks for your kind words.


      It’s not too late. Turn back! You’re young!

      I’ve been a host to many a blogger over the years. Visit NYC and I’ll buy you a smart cocktail in a high place with a lovely view.

      • I’ll definitely write that down in my diary. If I ever plan on visiting NYC (Might take some time, because as you said, I’m still young to be traveling that far) but I’ll definitely drop by. And what do you have against Kindle? I know the digital age is slowly replacing every other system. But I like the idea of not having to carry a whole stack of books everywhere I go. Might you be acting a teeny bit harsh with Amazon? :/

      • What you don’t know—because you’re a new reader—is that I’m a low-level rare book dealer and a collector. I have a small, but important, collection of rare books. I love books. I like paper and glue and ink. These things are important to me and Amazon killed them. It’s not just books. Amazon destroyed many small, viable businesses because they made it convenient to shop without getting up out of your chair. It’s anti-social.

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