Friday, December 23, 2005

Three Truisms for Today

Truism #1: Latin Music Preferences

Marvin and I were at a diner last night when "Feliz Navidad" came on the radio. Marvin immediately started singing and dancing at the table.

Tom: What the hell was that?
Marvin: Don't you know? All Latin People love "Feliz Navidad"

Marvin then got up to go pay the bill. No sooner does he leave the table then these two Latin queens at the table behind us literally start preforming the song in their booth.

Truism #2: Chelsea Eating Preferences

Last night was our friend Dominick's birthday (Happy Birthday!) and to celebrate a bunch of Dom's friends from Chelsea met up at Splash. At midnight our friend Billy brought out a cake for Dom. Everyone commented how Amazing the cake looked -- BUT NO ONE WOULD ACTUALLY EAT IT. A single slice of cake was literally passed around the room twice without anyone taking a bite.

Trusim #3: Mariah Carey screams - a lot

I always knew she liked to screetch in songs but I didn't realize how much until I watched this clip of Mariah's finest screetching moments - it's truly a must see

Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's OVER!

Thankfully the transit strike has ended - although I'm sure there will be lots of contract negotiation drama in the news for days to come.

This has been one of those events that we'll be talking about for a long time - although I definitely won't have as interesting of a story to tell as this woman who most likely had the most dramatic strike related experience of anyone.

Here's some snapshots I took on the way to/from work this morning -- nothing wakes you up like an early morning 3 mile walk!

A shot of the Village library early in the morning

Trees waiting to be purchased

If you look closely you'll see hundreds of commuters streaming into Manhattan on foot from Brooklyn

The Red Cross truck outside of City Hall -- they were very kindly giving out coffee, hot chocolate and repairing broken bicycles

I've never felt so patronized by a street sign before...

I saw this protest made up of "real commuters" outside the Brooklyn Bridge as I was leaving work - who the fuck are these people?

A holiday favorite returns

Nothing is cuter at Christmastime then a letter to Santa asking for new genitalia.

Witness the 2001 classic "A Vagina For Christmas"

Confessions in a Wine Cellar

Walking home from work today I had a lot of time to contemplate my wishes and hopes for the future --- and I decided that more then anything I really wanted to be able to have some Cabernet Sauvignon - preferably bottled by Madonna.

Now, thanks to all I need is $40 and to live in a state that allows wine sales via the Internet.

Unfortunately as a NYer I am only eligible to purchase the Madonna "UnWine" for the low price of $25

I can't wait for the Madonna home chemistry set and the Madonna "Confessions on a Douche Floor" feminine hygiene line which will probably be out any day now.

Link: Madonna Wine

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Is there a tranist strike? I hardly noticed

Going from sitting on a beach in 85 degree weather to a one hour walk in single digit windchill temperatures within two days is a very jarring experience to say the least -- but the first day of walking to work was almost (dare I say it) fun.

Today was not so fun - and by tomorrow I'm sure I'll be over it.

The options for getting to work aren't that appealing - I could:
A) Walk - It's a pain in the ass and makes my feet hurt (I refuse to wear sneakers to work - I'd feel too much like Melanie Griffith in "Working Girl")
B) Take The PATH Train - It takes an annoying detour to NJ in between Christopher Street and the World Trade Center, It takes as long as walking AND for the past two days I've ended up with someones armpit in my face the entire ride.
C) Take a Cab - Only $10, but there is so much traffic in the morning and evening rush that it may take longer then options A or B

I really should look into getting a pony.

I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones - I only have any hour commute. My friend Brian reported that it took him almost 4 hours to get to work --- It takes less time to get to Miami!

If I needed to take a cab I could afford the fare, and there always would be the option of working from home if I really needed too. Many of the blue collar workers in NYC aren't as lucky.

On the bright side (for me anyway) I was able to go to the DMV and renew my licence in under 5 minutes - and last minute Christmas shopping is easy when the stores are COMPLETELY EMPTY.

Hopefully the Transit Workers Union will realize that times have changed in the business world and that union members have to deal with the same fiscal realities as the rest of us.

Scenes From Miami

The area behind our hotel in downtown Miami

Our hotel downtown

Can you spot the Phallic Christmas decorations in this photo of Little Havana?

Our hotel in South Beach

View from South Beach hotel window

Marvin having a "Pink Flamingos" moment

Celebrating Hanukkah on the beach

Monday, December 12, 2005

Photo of the day

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I am a bad blogger

It's been weeks since I've last updated this blog, so I thought a slight update to the above graphic would be appropriate.

December has brought its usual "year end rush" at work - where all of us struggle to complete all the tasks we promised to finish in 2005. Crunch time has consumed my life for the last few weeks, leaving little time to blog about all the slightly interesting (to me at least) things going on in my life.

First - I saw an absolutely fantastic concert. Sometime in the spring of this year Marvin became a huge Goldfrapp fan -- and I feel like I've been brainwashed with their recent CD (scheduled for release in the US sometime in the Spring). Marvin hasn't stopped playing the import since the moment he got it - and it's really a terrific album.

As is the case with most of the other great music released in the last 15 years or so, Goldfrapp has been largely ignored in the US. Their last album got a bit of club play - the song "Twist" was mixed by Jacques Lu Cont and "Strict Machine" had an amazing set of mixes by Peter Rauhofer - but I can't say I've ever heard any of their music on the radio or seen a video of theirs in rotation on MTV in the United States. When I was last in South America I saw the video for "Twist" literally once an hour, and the band has seen much chart success in the UK. It was a pleasant surprise to see them do a US Tour Date -- one night only at the Nokia theater in NYC.

The band is very eclectic -- the lead singer Allison Goldfrapp gives off a vibe that is exactly 1/2 sex goddess, 1/2 total weirdo - and it totally works. She was accompanied at points by two half naked dancers who were always slightly disturbing. When the dancers first appeared they were in bikinis with wolf heads -- they would later appear in giant Mirror Ball covered Horse Heads (while the band performed a song called "Ride a White Horse") and simulate masturbation with their tails.

Her voice was crystal clear and is one of the few artists who sounds as good (or better) in person as they do on their CD. The show itself was only about 1:15 long - but apparently the band will be coming back to the US (most likely with a longer show) in the spring. I highly suggest you check them out.

In the meantime, they've just released the first US single from the album called "Number 1" with a remix by Superchumbo - it's going to be huge in the clubs.

For more on the concert (and to see where I stole the above pic from) click here

I also made time recently to see the "Rent" movie -- which (if nothing else) made me feel really, really OLD.

The above pic was taken in 1996 (ALMOST 10 YEARS AGO) when my friend Heather and I decided that we were going to sleep out in front of the Nederlander Theater in hopes of getting front row tickets to the show shortly after it opened.

Above: Chas, Anthony Rapp (Mark from the original cast of RENT, as well as the movie) and myself after the show - circa 1997

At the time RENT didn't seem like a show - more of an experience. RENT's message of being who you are regardless of what people think is espically important in today's America - where it seems that you're only acceptable if you live within the parameters of the "Religious Right".

The movie did a great job of converting the show from the stage to the screen, And still managed to evoke emoiton after all these years. My one complaint about the movie was that they converted many of the previously sung lines of dialog to spoken word -- which would have been fine - had they changed the rhyme scheme. It sounded in parts like they were almost rapping in slow motion.

Other then that minor criticism, I really enjoyed the film.

Finally - in not so great popular music news - Madonna has given a previously unreleased track from "Confessions on a Dancefloor" to fan club members called "Superpop". While I really enjoyed "Confessions" (it does feature many great tracks) it is clear that some songs from these sessions are better off remaining unreleased. A sample of the lyrics includes:

If you want to reach the top
(Reach the top)
If you do, you’ll never stop

f I was a star, I would be who I am today.
If I was a fighter, I’d be Cassius Clay.
If I was emotion, I would be intense.
If I was a man, I would be president.

I’ll be different,
If I’m the president.
I’ll be different,
If I’m the president.

If I was an animal, I’d be a dog.
If I was a dog, I would be a man.
If I was a man, I’d be the president.
If I was the president, I’d be different.

Also, the song features a sound effect of a barking dog.

Sometimes this woman could use a little bit of help from a lyricist -- although it's not quite as bad as her "I Love New York" track:

I don't like cities, but I like New York
Other places make me feel like a dork

If you don't like my attitude, then you can F-off
Just go to Texas, isn't that where they golf?
New York is not for little pussies who scream
If you can't stand the heat, then get off my street

I guess they all can't be winners...