Monday, November 04, 2013

Dear Young Man I Couldn't Help But Overhear On What I Assume Was A First Date

1) You're talking about your mother too much.

2) You're talking about your seizures too much.

3) When you and your date are getting up to leave, if she clears the table by picking up all the glasses the two of you have used, help her.

4) Good luck to both of you.

Best regards,
John Hanlon

This is the first and hopefully final installment of this series.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Sometimes It Is Like Being In A Woody Allen Movie

Last night after leaving the Park Ave Armory where I had seen the multimedia extravaganza Adam Curtis v. Massive Attack, I overheard a young man say to his lady friend "Malcolm, not him...Malcolm McLaren. That's his name. You know, the whole 'medium is the message' thing..." 

I fought the urge to say "it's Marshall McLuhan, you stupid fuck." More importantly, I wished I could pull Professor McLuhan out from behind a nearby tree to say "I heard what you were saying. You know nothing of my work...or even my name for that matter."

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Some Pictures I Took At The DIA In Beacon...

before I discovered you're not supposed to take pictures at the DIA in Beacon.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Below is the disclaimer that FedEx posted on their website on April 16th of this year, the day after the bombing at the Boston Marathon.

A less blunt, less incendiary message appeared on the website a day or so later, but I think the panicked tone of this warning was a better fit for the mood of those days. 

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Two Unsolicited Comments On My Appearance From Tonight:

From a pizza place on St. Mark's Place:
Girl 1: Are you in a movie?

Me: (looking around for a camera and film crew): Not right now. Not as far as I know.

Girl 1: You look like you're in a movie.

Girl 2: He looks like he made a movie. Did you make a movie?

At Grassroots, my favorite dive bar ever:
Me: Yeah, I never subscribed to Netflix. I always have enough on my dvr and I just borrow movies from the library.

Dave: Well, it's only $9 a month.
(looks at me wearing the nice shirt I wore to work this morning*)
You look like you can afford it.

Me (inside, within my soul): Ugh.

*It should be pointed out that the shirt I wore to work this morning makes me look like a British football ("soccer" in America) star. It was shiny and baby blue and the top button never buttons so neckties are impossible. It's the shirt soccer players always seem to wear when they're caught in a scandal. Ugh.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One Day of Lent

It should be obvious by now that I am not posting every day of Lent this year.  I just didn't feel like doing it.  I didn't have anything to say.

But that doesn't mean I don't still get fun things during the Lenten season, such as this photo from my friend Kris, taken at a Fuddruckers in Texas.  Kris emailed it to me with the taunting line that we probably don't have things like this in New York.  No we don't, but I wish we did.

Given the monkey in a tree to the right, I'd like to imagine that that machine dispenses the Theory of Evolution toys, but sadly I doubt it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

"When the tides of history start to turn and an empire begins losing its power, the tough get going and order the tide to turn back while the more philosophical lower their expectations and try to go with the flow..." writes Ellin Stein in her forthcoming history of the National Lampoon entitled That's Not Funny, That's Sick.  Ms. Stein is referring to America's loss of the Vietnam War, but it can be applied to many different historical situations.

How do I react to such things?  Well, let's put it this way: this week I start my second set of Buddhist classes this year.  The classes are called "Contentment in Everyday Life."  Well see if it takes.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Had dinner tonight at a bar downtown.  When I had finished my beer and food, the bartender was busy chatting with people at the center of the bar.  I waited, went to the bathroom, then waited some more.  Finally I called the bar on my cell phone, watching as the bartender tore himself away from the conversation to answer.

"Hi. I'm at the end of your bar. Can I have my check now please?"

He was not amused at all. He did not make any eye contact as he tossed the scroll-like receipt at me, took my credit card or returned the slip. No, I did not short change him on the tip.

For the record, he looked like this but with more facial hair.

Originally posted in a slightly modified form as my Facebook status.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This past Saturday I went skiing for the first time this season.  Because it was a holiday weekend, the slopes and the lifts were crowded, but conditions were good, the weather was perfect and the views fantastic.

I have never heard so many people talk about food so much. 

The topics of eating and drinking seemed to be tied with "skiing conditions" for the honor of Most Discussed On The Mountaintop.  We'll do one more run and then get Kevin a waffle, just something to tide him over until lunch.  When is lunch? Are we staying here or going to the pizza place?  I want hot chocolate.  Last night we had the best steak

A number of years ago, my friend Raissa told me about walking on the beach and overhearing people's conversations, most of which revolved around food: what they were going to eat, when they would start making dinner, wasn't dinner last night great?

For the record, I had a delicious Greek salad at the lodge before coming home, and discovered that French fries taste good dipped in butternut squash soup. 

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

What? I Read This Year! Addendum

I just remembered that I also read Craig Seligman's Sontag & Kael: Opposites Attract Me, his examination of the careers, ideas and impact of Susan Sontag and Pauline Kael.  Seligman has learned much from both writers: his book is intelligent, interesting, and compulsively readable.  It also made me want to read more by Sontag and revisit Kael's essays.

So that makes 22 books I read this year, or last year, to be more chronologically correct.