Inner Torment

The Inner Torment of Vice President Mike Pence

Look what I stumbled across:

Thus says the LORD:
Share your bread with the hungry,
shelter the oppressed and the homeless;
clothe the naked when you see them,
and do not turn your back on your own.
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday.

Isaiah 58:7-10

How about that, Pence? You good Christian soldier? You devotee of scriptures? You sinner but only say the word and your soul shall be healed?

Is that guy able to sleep at night? Or does he stare at the ceiling wondering how he got himself into such a mess?

My Inner Torment

One of my favorite Sunday afternoon traditions is reading the obituaries and wedding announcements in the New York Times. They offer a litany of extraordinary lives lived and the joining of couples with unsurpassed professional credentials. These achievements always make me feel subhuman which is, apparently, my comfort zone.

Although…the Vows folks usually have long pedigrees. Most of them were born on third base and only breed amongst themselves. So there’s that to consider. But I try not to let that spoil my self-pity festivál.


New this month on your newsstand:


This is a serious lack of originality. These are major publications. Don’t they collaborate? Couldn’t one claim the thumb/phallic motif one month and the others follow suit the following months? Fail.


I took these with my iPhone 7 using the depth effect.


It gently blurs the background, which makes the foregrounds pop.


I took these at Kinokuniya Books on 6th Avenue @ 41st Street, across from Battery Park. It’s a brick-n-mortar bookstore (one of few left in NYC) that specializes in Japanese anime and cultural touchstones. These statuettes are in a glass case. They’re true works of art and not inexpensive. Many of them are based on characters from anime books and movies. The girls are highly sexualized bordering on pornographic. Lots of schoolgirl stuff. Japanese porn is odd. But not as odd as German porn.


Mr. Sensitivity strikes again. I read these journal entries and can’t believe what a clown I was.

May 8, 1992

I called Kathie in Phoenix to wish her a happy Mother’s Day. She was upset because Brad got into an auto accident. I guess he’s not seriously hurt—there are no broken bones or damaged organs—but his face got pretty cut up. Kathie said there are “hundreds” of stitches and they’re thinking of plastic surgery. Gross.

Brad has incredibly low self-esteem, despite being a successful attorney. That guy works for one of the most powerful law firms in Phoenix but he’s crushed by a massive inferiority complex. How can you have it both ways? Now that his face is all bashed to shit, he’s REALLY going to have some problems. He’s never said or done anything bad to me. I wish him a speedy recovery.

Cars are pure evil. Half the reason I stay in this cruddy city is because I don’t have to own one. This was the week I was supposed to fly out there for a visit. I had to cancel because Ethan is going to Israel and Rome for a week, so I have to stay in the office. Imagine if I’d gone out there. Kathie never would’ve slept with me with Brad laying in the hospital all fucked-up. What a waste of money that would’ve been. Another close call.


Robert Gober
Beeswax, cotton, leather, aluminum pull tabs and human hair
Est: $1,000,000-1,500,000
Sold for: $847,500


You can’t see it in the pic but human hair is embedded. It’s a little girl’s leg. Dreary.

White guilt

Here’s the Oscar nominations announcement from the New York Times.


I bristled when I read this. It’s clumsy and inelegant. Nevermind all those other nominations. How about those BLACK ACTORS? We’ve officially solved Hollywood’s diversity problem. So easy! Or is “Black Actors” the title of a movie that received six nominations?

It makes them look like bargaining chips in a score that needed to be settled instead of accomplished actors, which is what they are. These issues should be treated in two separate stories; one a congratulatory list of nominations, the other a deeper conversation about diversity in Hollywood. They’re mashed together in a distasteful and unintentionally comic way. Congratulations, black actors. Oh…and you other guys, too.


Currently at the Sperone Westwater gallery on the Bowery are these three astonishing pieces by Emil Lukas. Entering the softly-lit gallery space you are greeted by these gentle gradients.


It’s not until you’re up close that you realize they’re not acrylics or oils or watercolor. They’re made of THREAD.


Thousands of strategically-laced threads stretched over a wooden frame. I wish I could buy this one.



I can’t imagine what a painstaking, laborious, time consuming process this must be.





June 8, 1992

I went for a bike ride over the Brooklyn Bridge and stopped at the World Trade Center to look at the towers. Architectural snobs say bad things about the towers but I love them. They have a grandness and nice, clean lines.

Went to Battery Park, sat on the lawn under a tree, took my shoes and socks off and rubbed the bottoms of my feet in the grass. I started A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I watched the tourists board the ferries for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Someone off in the distance was playing an accordion. I could smell the salt water. Sometimes I read and sometimes I just looked at the sun through the trees. I am grateful for these empty days.

I went out with Lucy on Saturday night and had a nice time. I had comps to see Dreamtime at The Ed Sullivan Theater. I had a sneaking suspicion we weren’t going to like it and, boy howdy, was I right. It was dreadful. After the show we went to the Applejack Diner on Broadway and 55th and split a big plate of fries. I walked her home from there. We stopped at Tower Records.

Lucy is so beautiful but she won’t have anything to do with me. We got to the corner of 70th and Broadway and I asked if I could walk her to her door. She said no. She was afraid I’d try to kiss her goodnight. It was pretty humiliating. The fact that we put up with each others’ company must mean that we are two terribly lonely individuals.

While waiting for Lucy outside the Ed Sullivan a homeless guy walked up to me and demanded money. I didn’t give him any so he became belligerent. He was yelling at me, “Where would you eat if you were homeless?! Where?!” People walking by pretended not to hear. He got right up to my face and repeated it over and over, expecting an answer, becoming angrier, more agitated and animated when I ignored him. He was waiving his arms around and got so close I could smell his breath. Lucy and I must’ve been hit up for change a dozen times while we walked up Broadway. It’s an epidemic.

I am not the enemy, ladies.


April 6, 1992

Should I feel guilty about having fun at the pro-choice rally in D.C.? I believe in the cause wholeheartedly. It’s a matter of life and death. But Suzanne asked me to go with her and her friends and I wanted to seduce her. It was mayhem, as expected. The crowd was estimated at a half million people. How can they know for sure? Regardless, I think we got our point across.

I thought it was going to be a gentle, rolling sea of delightful bachelorettes but it was actually a raging tsunami of pissed-off political militants. There were portions of the rally that were downright anti-man. I felt like the enemy. I am not the enemy! I’ll tell you what it was a sea of: lily white faces. 100% Caucasian. Where was the minority representation? It’s their cause, too.

Planned Parenthood sponsored a special non-stop train there and back. I stopped at the Middle Eastern bakery on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn the night before to load up on snacks for the trip. I bought dried apples, cashews, dried bananas, peanuts, dried apricots, yoghurt covered raisins, some breads and a big bottle of water, the total of which weighed about 70 pounds. I got the gold medal for snacks. A fun, healthy, politically progressive combo. By the end of the day my body ached for a thick, undercooked cheeseburger. They all brought boring stuff to eat and glommed off my stash.

We got to the Washington Monument late in the morning. Bella Abzug spoke as well as the editor of Ms. Magazine and a bunch of other women. No men. None of them said anything new or inspirational. I was disappointed. You’d think a crowd that size would light their words on fire but each speaker was as boring and predictable at the next. Peter Paul & Mary sang “If I Had a Hammer.” Seriously? It’s not 1968, you idiots. Do something relevant.

We moved to the stepping-off point for the march and waited, literally, an hour before we could walk. It was that crowded. We were packed pretty tight and Suzanne started to have a panic attack so I told her to close her eyes and rest her head on my chest. I got excited. They had a bunch of boring, stock protest chants so I wrote this one on the spot:

I wish Bush could ovulate.

We finally moved and marched past the White House, which I’d never seen in person. It’s tiny. It’s like a toy model of the real thing. El Presidente made damn sure he was in Camp David for the weekend.

The march ended at the other end of The Mall by the Capitol Building. More bad speeches. Cindi Lauper sang a pretty song. There were a bunch of neo-hippies banging bongos, congas and drums with broken skins. At one point, Suzanne and I were sitting on a curb resting. I was spinning my web when, suddenly, bunch of them formed a drum circle around us and started drumming and chanting. There was some freeform interpretive dance that made me laugh very hard (inside). They resembled dying poultry.

There were so many different agendas being addressed that I began to feel disengaged from the core reason for the march. There was a feminist speaking (screaming, actually), calling for a new political party composed of just women, gays and minorities and with that voting bloc, they would take the White House this fall. Let me know how that works out, dreamers. Oh, and by the way, thanks a lot. Part of her speech was an attack on Middle America. You know, where my family is from. She screamed, “They don’t want US, so WE DON’T WANT THEM!” That’s a marvelous approach to our problems. Build those bridges, cupcake.

We got back to Penn Station about 11:30 at night. Everyone was exhausted, dirty and quiet. On the way up the escalator I thought the girl in front of me looked an awful lot like Mary Stewart Masterson. In the Times this morning, it said she attended, so I suppose that was her. Pretty.

I spoke to many, many people throughout the day and at some point in a conversation, I was eventually asked, “So, where did you go to school?” I like the look of disbelief on people’s faces when I tell them I’ve never stepped foot on a college campus. It allows me a brief respite from my self-loathing, which usually returns in fairly short order.


There’s a great Stuart Davis exhibit at the Whitney. He’s one of my favs. He plays to my graphic design sensibilities.

On June 23, 1964, after watching a French film that ended with ‘fin,’ Davis added it to the painting on his easel before going to bed.


That night, he had a stroke and died in the ambulance on the way to New York’s Roosevelt Hospital. That’s how I’d like to go. Do the thing I love the most, go to bed and never wake up.


Two from Christie’s contemporary art auction a few months ago:

Christopher Wool
And If You
Enamel on aluminum
Est: $12,000,000-18,000,000
Sold for $13,605,000

Jeff Koons
Mirror-polished stainless steel
Est: $6,000,000-8,000,000
Sold for $6,885,000


That Christopher Wool is such a fraud. But Jeff Koons! What an innovator! Only $6 million?

Kidding. What does either piece mean? Anything? The lobster was interesting in that it looked exactly like an inflatable pool toy. You didn’t know it was metal unless you rapped it a few times with your knuckle.


pot·pour·ri [poh-poo-ree, poh-poo-ree] Noun.
3. a collection of miscellaneous literary extracts.

I haven’t had much time to read or comment this week. That’s soooo unoriginal. It’s the same complaint that everyone has. I’m guest posting next week elsewhere in the ether. Here’s a smattering of tidbits to fill in the gap between now and then.


Do you guys know what these are? They’re new to me.


They’re called claw caps. They keep kitty from tearing the settee to shreds.


My sister claims the cat doesn’t mind one bit and there’s never a fight to put them on. They swap them out when they’re worn. My understanding is that the cat is currently sporting hot pink claw caps. They’re genius. If I had invented them, I’d be posting this from Fiji right now.


I saw this in The New York Times yesterday.

us advisors

Yeah, that’s a GREAT idea. Let’s send some “advisers” to Africa. In 1955, British author Graham Greene published his novel The Quiet American. It predicted America’s slide into the Vietnam conflict with alarming accuracy. He wrote it after meeting an American “adviser” there. When the book was published, it was roundly condemned as being anti-American. It’s a hell of a read.



Take a look at this spectacular sculpture by Lorenzo Quinn. It was briefly on display in the lobby of an office tower off of 6th Avenue over the Christmas holiday. I love it.


This is Force of Nature II. I’m not a huge fan of sculpture but I was really moved by this. Enough to come in off the street and take it in. The earth’s continents are etched into the globe.


I love the violent, wind-swept movement. It’s nice an big, too! It has a lot of interesting different angles.


Fun fact: Quinn is the son of actor Anthony Quinn. He’s a hell of a sculptor, that’s for sure. Here are some of his selected works.


Do not read this post. I’m warning you with peace and love. Click on another blog. Go no further. You’ll be sorry.

I need to vent. Some vents can be entertaining but this isn’t one of those. This one is going to be boring. I can’t imagine it being of interest to anyone, but I need to get this shit off my chest or I’m going to explode.

I’m one of those people you’ve read about who’s about to lose his healthcare insurance policy due to the Affordable Care Act. Currently, I have what’s referred to in the insurance industry as an “overload” policy. Normal people call it a “junk” policy. The deductibles are high and there’s no provision for catastrophic illness. It’s better than nothing, but just barely. I’m an extended hospital stay away from being wiped out financially. Because this policy does not meet the minimum requirements mandated by the ACA, it’s being cancelled.

My Bride works part-time. Consequently, we are not eligible for a subsidy or tax abatement. We fall just above the demarcation line. According to the ACA actuary tables, we’re rich and don’t need any help. The least expensive policy available to us under the Affordable Care Act is going to cost $1,025/month with a $4,700 deductible.


WE DON’T HAVE $1,025/month to spend on HEALTHCARE. Do you?

It is entirely possible that I could send $17,000 to AmeriHealth of New Jersey annually and here’s what my family and I will get in return for all that money:


To review: AmeriHealth of New Jersey could potentially get as much as $17,000 annually.

We get: DICKED. How did the medical and insurance industries become so powerful and corrupt?

Thanks a lot, El Presidente. Don’t do my family and I anymore favors, okay? And I voted for that guy! TWICE!

I don’t align myself with any one political party. I think to do so is lazy. When you do that, you surrender your objectivity. I prefer to think for myself, thank you very much. I’ve voted for Republicans in the past (although, it’s been a while) and would gladly do so again in the future if they present a viable candidate. I have liberal leanings, especially on social issues, but I’m not an ideologue. Far from it.

It actually causes me great physical pain to type this sentence, but those howling lunatics over at Fox News, none of whom I have a crumb of respect for, might actually have a valid point. The Affordable Care Act is being financed on the backs of the middle class. Maybe I should have voted for that wealthy robot. What was that dude’s name, again? I’ll bet he’s got pretty good healthcare.


Well, I tried to warn you. You made it this far so I’ll reward you with two amusing pics.

We have a corporate dining room on the 12th floor. They post a new menu every Monday morning. Each week, they create festive dishes and cuisines that celebrate the seasons and holidays. Here’s what’s coming up this week:

Black History Month poster

Now, how tone deaf is that? Someone is going to have to pay a visit to Human Resources and sit through one of those corporate sensitivity videos.


I rolled over in bed and before clicking out the light, I impulsively took a shot of my nightstand.

photo 1

Two half-finished books, one I haven’t started  and two that are read but haven’t migrated their way back to the bookshelves yet. One bottle of eye drops, because my eyes always hurt. The beast that roars at 5:00 a.m. every Monday through Friday. There. You’ve been to bed with me.

What does yours look like?