Monday, January 31, 2011

There were two beggars standing nearby a convenience store, and one of them asked me for change as I headed inside. I said, "Maybe on the way out."
On the way out he asked again and added: "It's cold out. I can't feel my toes."
I chuckled. It's good for beggars to have a sense of humor, even when techincally they're telling the truth. He had on boots and was carrying a backpack.

"How'd you wind up in this place, man?" I asked. He had the face of someone who looks like he should know better than to wind up a street beggar.

"You mean in front of this store or in general?"

"In general. You don't look much older than me."

"Got kicked out when I was 16. Just been trying to survive day to day ever since."

There was another beggar further back on the sidewalk, and I couldn't give money to one man and simply ignore the other. I saw I only had 26 cents left, and kind of apologized for not having more to offer.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

So I made an introductory post in the forum of AboveTopSecret, and mentioned the altered 9/11 clue in a New York Times crossword for a puzzle published back in 1998. (Description here.) Someone mentioned he doubted the authenticity of this anecdote, since I was anonymous and didn't have a picture.

Nobody on the internet calls me a liar! So here, as proof, are the pictures:






Saturday, January 29, 2011

Walking down 3rd avenue, I saw a squad car. One officer was standing in the corner looking slightly annoyed and bored. The other officer, who had an Asian complexion, was talking to a homeless-looking man, and at one point he shouted: "You know what, Michael! The great thing about New York is there are literally a hundred Chinese restaurants that deliver!" He didn't have any accent at all--not even a New York one. He was just loud.

The homeless man started stammering "But they didn't serve...they didn't serve..."

I didn't want to gawk, so I kept walking along. But if I wrote a movie, that Asian officer would be one of my heroes.

Friday, January 28, 2011

This is my first attempt to make a blog post from my phone. If it is a success, there will be no further edits.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Further down the street from The Boiler Room, there was a glass-enclosed pet display with a black stuffed cat inside. Then I noticed that the cat was real; also there was a white cat on the upper "level." Only the black cat was awake at the moment. I pondered the whole display for a while, because it really was cold out, and for some reason the set-up of the display seemed to suggest it couldn't be well heated. Then again, I like to sleep with the window open, and it's not unusual behavior for a cat to wander outside at night.

If you type in "Do cats get cold" into Google, the first three auto-complete options are: "in winter," "outside," and "outside in winter." I'm not really interested in getting the answer from Google. I was just interested if other people had wondered this same thing.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I walked into a mostly empty deli and headed over to the sandwich counter. A girl walked over from the register and said, "Excuse me, I want to put this in the jar."
"Go right ahead," I said, and she put a dollar into the tip jar. This was a girl who appreciated her sandwich. I asked her if she knew where the sandwich guy was.

"He was here a moment ago," she said. "He should be right back."

This was a girl who knew the score, and who probably would even if it were halftime. Seriously, if you were driving someplace, and weren't sure about the directions, this is the type of girl you'd want riding in the shotgun.

I began lamenting to the sky: "Sandwich guy! Where are you?....Sandwich guy! Where are you?...." A few moments later sandwich guy showed up, and I realized I didn't yet know what type of sandwich I wanted.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm going to have to do some drastic training if I'm going to become the best blogger in the world.
As I was walking down the street last night, I told myself:

"You see those guys right there? You see those people sitting at that table in that restaurant? And at that table inside that restaurant? And at that table in that other restaurant? You see that group of people who aren't speaking English? You see those two beggars on that street corner? You see those two people walking out of that tattoo parlor?

"That's your competition. You have to be better than every single one of those people. Are you up to that task?"


(Well I'm probably better than most of them already, right?)


"Do you know that for sure? Do you have any 'proof' of that, whether a priori or a posteriori?"


(Whoa, getting fancy, aren't you?)


"Do you have a more effective way to phrase your thoughts on that matter?"


(No. I guess not. I guess that's one of the best ways to express that thought.)


"Good. Consider these past 45 seconds part of your overall training."

Monday, January 24, 2011

A man stepped out of this tavern called The Boiler Room, and my first thought was that he was homeless. But on second thought I decided maybe he was just drunk.

He stopped me and asked if I had a slice of pizza I could give him, or even a whole pie.

"That's poor form," I thought.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I dreamt a girl was showing me the shower facilities for a hotel I had just checked into. The showers were all outdoors, and had glass doors. Upon seeing this, I demanded a refund, but she told me the transaction had already been made, and my $38.00 could not be refunded. It was bitterly cold out, and a man of about 50 came outside to make use of the showers. This was clearly bullshit, and I went back to my room feeling frustrated.

The guy next door was playing some music with a loud bass, and I began pounding on the walls to get him to shut up. I tried the door which appeared to connect our two rooms. It opened up into an abandoned locker-room type area, and I went in and found some abandoned shower facilities. There were a few spiders here and there, but overall a small price to pay for my own indoor shower.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I was leaving the pizza place on St. Mark's and some young-looking guy with a friend asked if I had any change. I checked my jeans pockets and coat pockets, and said I didn't have any--which was the truth.

He replied, "That's cool, I'll take a dollar."

Unfortunately for him, I'd begun to turn and walk away at the exact instance between when he said 'That's cool' and 'I'll take a dollar,' and so I had no obligation to acknowledge that second part with my body language.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fission Mailure! I woke up at 2 A.M. this morning, and there were a bunch of people on the street below who--although they weren't arguing--for whatever reason decided to express their thoughts in shouting form. And I asked myself why I like to sleep with the window open anyway? I went back to sleep and woke up for good around 1 P.M.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I would rather sleep right now than make a blog update. But sometimes compromises must be made.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My cell phone is now set up to make texted blog updates, although I'm still typing this current post up on the computer.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I can't tell if ESPN NY has a radio broadcast and ESPN Boston just doesn't, or if the ESPN websites respond to your computer's location.
If the Patriots are losing, then the Boston broadcast is probably much more interesting.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I was about to go to sleep, when I remembered I hadn't posted anything yet. Situation remedied.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tracy Porter did not make a good try-stopper last Saturday. Of course, neither did anyone else, but he kind of had the spotlight.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It seems Conan O'Brien on his twitter account is also posting one message per day. My goal is to maintain a longer streak than he does.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Writing is one of the hardest things in the world to do. It's a wonder that anyone ever writes anything. And it's funny because I'm a good writer, too. Though don't just take my opinion on it.

The DNA of an author lies in the syntax of each one of his sentences. Therefore every sentence I'm writing right now is stamped thoroughly by my mind.

The shortest sentence in the English language is: "Go!" If I were to write that sentence, it would be evident. That is why, even if you were to copy Shakespeare word for word, it still wouldn't produce the same effect. The reader could tell.

-------------------------------

One day while interning at the Boston Phoenix, I was flipping through the Arts section and came upon three anonymously-written DVD reviews. The first review wasted half of its short space on an unfunny tangent which was completely unrelated to the movie. The other two reviews also stunk, although they didn't repeat the same gimmick as the first.

The next day I went over to Peter, the head critic, and asked, basically, what was up with these reviews? They felt out of place in the newspaper. He read them over and gave his take on each one. Unable to get Peter to admit how terrible the reviews were, I then insisted they had all been written by the same person, which surprised him. (Usually the custom was to divide reviews somewhat evenly among the staff and/or freelancers, and occasionally interns.)

He brought up an archive on his computer for every Phoenix movie review, and one-by-one matched all three DVD reviews to the same person. (I don't remember the guy's name, but I imagine it was the tall guy who felt that Dustin Pedroia should be on the Unsexiest Men list. Fuck him.)

Peter seemed impressed, in a way that made me wish I was doing something more impressive.

--------------------------------

Note: I just looked at the Phoenix's 2010 Unsexiest Men List, and within two seconds saw something which made me so angry I immediately wanted to take a sledgehammer to the author's face. But that explanation will have to wait at least a couple of days.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Over the past 33 days I've made 31 posts (including today). That's a 93.939393 completion percentage.

If I assign numerical grades to each day, I'll have 31 days with scores of 100, and 2 days with scores of 0. That works out to an average numerical grade of 93.939393.

When I grade my own posts, it's not the quantity of words that counts, but rather the quality.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Among my random scraps of paper is a crossword puzzle which I took out of a New York Times "Best of" compilation book. The clue for 35-Across is: "9/11 notable"--which, at first, I assumed meant September 11th. I later noticed the puzzle was dated "Friday, July 24th, 1998", so it couldn't be a reference to September 11th. However, in solving the puzzle, it turned out the answer was 'Giuliani.'

I don't currently have an online subscription to the New York Times crossword puzzle. But I used to. And I was curious what the original clue had been, thinking it was probably some lighthearted, not very serious jab at Giuliani which somebody nonetheless felt like changing.

So I went to the archive and found the original wording of the clue. I don't remember what it was, but it was something totally innocuous--'Big Apple mayor", or something similar to that.

Now the question is why someone (and who, for that matter?) would decide to change it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

There are only two possible grades for any particular day: Fission Mailure, and A+.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Now that I know I'll finish this post in time, I can give myself an A+ for the day.

Friday, January 7, 2011

By making this entry now, I'm giving myself nearly 48 hours until I need to make another entry. There's a very long stretch of time.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Since I'm doing this now, that gives me another 24+ hours to not have to do it again.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's a good thing I'm doing this now, so that I won't have to do it later.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hunter S. Thompson watched a lot of football. And then he shot himself in the head.

On a related note, several recent studies have warned of the link between football and brain damage.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

If I had cable, I could be watching football games from the comfort of my own bed.

Incidentally, the Giants are in the red zone right now.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

If things worked the way I briefly imagined they did, I would only have to make one post for the rest of the year. But things don't work in the way I briefly imagined they did.