Drooling on the Pillow

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Hope you don't mind. I have to put a picture of Grace in every week or so. Posted by Hello

Keep On Keeping On 

It looks like things are getting nailed down in Falluja tonight. Operation Whack-a-Mole will probably commence somewhere else tomorrow. You know, this thing might just work. As long as the boys and girls over there keep whacking in the Triangle, the rest of the country marches on the the 21st Century. There's a tipping point, we're approaching it, and God forbid we pull back now. I am absolutely in awe of the job being done by the good guys in Iraq. I hope they know how proud we are of them.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Greta? Put Down the Microphone. 

I am very happy that the Scott Peterson trial is over. Now maybe we can find out what's going on in Falluja. At least until Liza gets sued again.


Oh, crap.


He was history's perfect asshole. So many people, so much smarter than I, found so many ways not to see what was there in front of them. If your heart bleeds for the Palestinian people, it should bleed on Arafat and Nasser.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Not Misty, Not Watercolored 

One of the strangest events of my life occurred almost exactly twenty years ago. It was brought to mind by a police blotter item I read yesterday and I looked up an old journal to check the date.

I was single, very single, and subletting an apartment at Manhattan Plaza, a high rise subsidized for artistic types on West 42nd. I was coming home in the middle of the afternoon from a bad day. I had butchered three auditions in one day -- a record. These days, of course, three auditions in one day would be a great day, no matter how you did.

I was just turning into a shop to get a coffee when two small Hispanic men stepped in front of me. One of them had his hand wrapped with a towel. He partially unwrapped his hand showing me a revolver and the other one motioned me to walk in front of them. They took me to the middle of the block where there were no stores, then pushed me up against a railing and demanded everything I had.

Which was almost nothing. I think I had six or eight dollars. This pissed them off as I knew it would. After all, they were running quite a risk holding up a guy on 43rd Street in the middle of the afternoon. There were people sitting on stoops across the street. Since my back was to the building I could look across the street and see them settling down on their steps like they were watching Mannix. Still, there was traffic. And back then, the area was about as heavily policed a neighborhood as any in the world. To run that risk and come away with $8 was disappointing to them. I didn't even have an ATM card, if such a thing existed then.

The one with my wallet started waving it at me and the one with the gun began drawing it back as if he were about to smack me with it when a van pulled up and the driver leaned over, rolled down his window and called to me.

"You. Get in the van."

The robbers looked at each other and the one with the gun put it down by his leg.

"Get in the van. Now."

I've left out all the stuff about how scared I was and what was going through my mind. Let's just leave it that I was scared and I have no idea what was going through my mind. I know there were multiple scenarios running concurrently in my head about how the next few minutes were going to play out. What actually happened was the last thing I expected.

The one with the wallet gave it back to me. He put my $8 dollars back in the wallet and gave it back to me. The one with the gun brought it up from his leg and pointed it at me again. I looked at him and knew that he really didn't know what he was going to do. I said "thank you" and walked to the van and got in. As we pulled away I saw them watch us and then hunch their shoulders and begin shuffling off.

I said "thank you" several times to the driver. I had assumed he was an off duty cop, but he wasn't. He was an old guy, probably late sixties, who saw what was going on and just decided to do something. He owned an air conditioner repair shop on 46th. He just said "Ya gotta be careful around here" a couple of times, I thanked him a couple more times and he drove me around the corner to the entrance to Manhattan Plaza. I was shaken, but not freaked.

A couple hours later I turned on the news and they led with pictures of my two attempted hold-up men. They were brothers. They were escaped from Rikers. And they were murderers.

Now I was freaked. I went down to the precinct, told them what happened, looked at mug shots and gave a statement. I read the News and the Post line by line for a week and didn't see another word about them. Not a word from the police. Finally I called the cop who took my statement. "Oh, yeah", he said, "we got them."

I realized what an incredibly minor incident this was for Hell's Kitchen. After all, no one got hurt, nobody even lost their $8. But for me, well, its twenty years later and I'm writing about it.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

In Other Words, Dead 

You are Joey Ramone. You're a revolutionary person,
bound for greatness who always keeps a positive
attitude. People like and trust you, even if
they don't know why.

Which punk rock god are you?
brought to you by Quzilla

Thanks to America's Outback

Farewell to the Lov Gov 

Parkway Rest Stop makes the depressing prediction that Jim McGreevey will write a book and make the talk show rounds as "the governor who was hounded out of office for his sexual preference."

Anyone who's been paying any attention at all knows what a steaming pile that is. There's no question at all in my mind he could have survived a gay affair. It was the little matter of appointing his boyfriend to be his homeland security director four months after 9/11 that did him in. Not only was the guy an Israeli citizen and thus ineligible for security briefings, his only real experience was as a flack. You could throw a brick at Newport Mall and hit a more qualified person.

Holding onto the job until now enabled the Democrats to let the Majority Leader (an individual elected by the good people of Essex County) to be governor for the next two years. They obviously wanted to avoid an election, but this brings up a couple of questions.

This move pissed off a lot of people. Like the Torricelli/Lautenberg switch a couple years ago this is not a move that helps their brand loyalty.

New Jersey is the last bastion of the progressive wing of the Republican Party. Christie Whitman is about as right wing as they get. I don't count the downstate reps because they don't count. The Dems weren't really afraid Bret Schundler would get elected, were they?

Bret was my guy, as mayor of Jersey City and as gubernatorial candidate. I fear he has a long way to go to be a viable statewide presence, though. The Republican establishment hates him far more than the Democrats.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that there are 40-some federal probes current involving state officials. Nothing is going to change here until some other party is competitive statewide.

Monday, November 08, 2004

I Can See Clearly Now 

Half right. This is fantastic. Once they do my right eye on the 19th I will be restored. No joke. The world hasn't looked like this to me since I was fifteen. I can read a license plate from 150 feet. With the left eye.

The surgery was unremarkable except for the fact that it was quite a pleasant experience. The anesthesiologist was a very amusing man. The nurses all were pleasant and reeked of competence. And Dr. Polistina was a maestro. I was perfectly wide awake for the whole thing (they just happied me up a little) and could feel and see the knife do its work. Haven't felt more than the slightest discomfort and never even needed an aspirin. And I can see, lordy!
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com Listed on BlogShares