Thursday, January 29, 2009
I see many a young man shuffling around my neighbourhood wearing one of the worst examples of urban culture fashions - The Scarface Jacket. Stores are filled with them. The store of course is usualy a misspelled title like "Stylz".
I really wanted to know what thought process the idiot makes before deciding to wear such tack. Here is my guess:
Scarface is a great movie.
Al Pachino is a great actor.
That jacket has Scarface written on it and Al Pachinos picture on the back.
That means it is a great jacket!
I will look great wearing that Scarface jacket!!
Here's another example....
You feed a monkey bananas. The monkey thinks Bananas are great. You want the monkey to wear a jacket. The monkey refuses. You put pictures of bananas on the jacket. The monkey wears the jacket.
Here is the monkey's thought process:
I love bananas.
I am indifferent regarding that jacket.
That jacket has bananas on it!
I love this jacket!!
The monkey wears the jacket with delight.
Modern Man = Monkey
Monday, January 26, 2009
Me and Comedienne Sue Funke
We talked about the inauguration of Barack Obama, the end of Guatanomo Bay, and I defended my love of "Two and a Half Men".
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Note: The noise at the very beginning and end are me placing and retrieving the recording device.
Monday, January 12, 2009
In a totaly unrelated topic. Below is a lovely portrait I took with my digital camera of my girlfriend Marisa.
Life is a prison. A frustration. A hand over my mouth when gasping for air. A collection of wonderful highs, but most importantly, a glorious enlightenment from inside at the prospect of being alive. After all I have done, the places I have been and so called achievements. Nothing moves me more than staring at the ocean. The darker, colder, emptier the better. The crashing grey waves, shaved by the wind. The pounding of the surf. The ageing of my face with salted spray. The sea smell. Being alive is a wonderful thing. Being happy is even better. Being by the sea is always both.
I was on release from the daily grind and I was going to remain at my mother’s house in Dublin and be creative. My typical day began by waking up late in the morning, wandering downstairs and consuming what is now my favorite meal. Tea and buttered toast. That’s it.
It's what you get in Irish hospitals after you have a baby or recover from an operation. I remember wakening from surgery when I was 26 to a tray of hot tea, Barry's tea, never drink anything other than Barry’s, and of course buttered toast. Words can’t explain how good it tasted. For a brief moment I forgot the 22 stitches, darting pains and giant needle in my arm. I was happy. That still makes me happy, tea and toast.
I sit and watch the TV. Irish TV being exponentially more interesting and intelligent than its American counterpart. American TV often seems like a government exercise in reducing its intelligent citizens to brain dead “Consumerons”. Sludging across highly polished shopping mall floors, trampling all in their path, credit cards at the ready. “We are afraid, we shall consume” they voice in unison.
Irish TV somehow made me feel like I was learning. I was. I watched documentaries on Israel, Asteroids, Dinosaurs, Scottish Fishermen; I watched European news read out by Italian speaking ex-strippers and even the occasional stand up comedy. The great thing about American TV being so frighteningly dumb and uninteresting is that not many Americans I know actively watch it compared to their Irish cousins across the water. Many times I entered a group conversation only to realize that I was listening to a soap plot and not a story about their uncle who left his wife and fled to Spain with the kids! Oh, I thought we were actually talking about something. Referencing TV shows and characters like I was meant to know. It was the one annoying thing about being home. TV having no natural predator except for nature itself remains dominant. A nice sunny day may take people away from their TV sets but this is Ireland. We haven’t had a summer since 2005. "Global warming my arse" grumbles my brother as he bangs the wonky heater on his BMW, "fucking freezing all year". A sip of brandy would be nice.
I watch TV in America to stop thinking. I sit down and after an hour I am ready to take on the world with a fresh brain. Or just go to bed with a blank mind. At home I found it hard to leave the sitting room. It was just me, my tea and toast and a cartoon about John the Baptist. See below:
The next day I did the same and the day after wasn’t much different. I spent time with my family, mostly my brother driving around Dublin in his car catching up, listening to bad dance music and stopping at spots to get out and view the lights of Dublin. A place I no longer live and that he is planning on leaving. It was strange how much we both love Dublin. It was cold, colder than any other Christmas that I can remember. On top of Howth head, my favorite place in the world for reasons I don’t really know, there were times I didn’t think I would make it back to the car. I had visions of people finding me keeled over like some long lost Everest expedition. Yeah, it was that cold.
My Two closest friends had babies. The first for Stephen and the third for Karl. Quite frankly they are the only babies I don’t mind hearing stories about. In fact I enjoy listening to them immensely. That’s a bloody sentence I never thought I would write. Baby stories from anyone else and I feel like I am getting the silent Darth Vader choke hold. 7lbs 6 ounces, urgh, that’s very interesting, urgh, ye haven’t slept since Thursday, urgh!! I can’t breath!!
I managed to get a spot at a comedy show (The Ha'Penny Inn) at home and all my friends came out including my brother to support. I was more nervous than I ever have been because I really didn’t want to bomb in front of everyone I respected. It went well and I even threw in some new stuff. Note to self though - when in Ireland don’t try a joke about an uninteresting waspy weekend away in Connecticut. I cant believe I left out two great dick jokes for that one. Ah well - the night went well and we all got drunk afterwards. It was the highlight of my trip home.
Writing, damn it! I’ll do it tomorrow! When I did write it was two sketches and a half page of a short story. The guitar was picked up and put back down again. The interest or energy just wasn’t there. My mother reminded me that Christmas is indeed, in Ireland if not elsewhere a holiday. And so began my guilt free excursion into nothingness and you know what. I highly recommend it. I walked on the beach. I walked in the park. I walked along the coast. I walked around my town. I walked around other people’s town. I walked around Dublin city and I walked through a golf course. That was an accident, I got lost. I walked for hours at a time. The longest being almost four hours. The great thing was I forgot how long dusk was in this northern part of the hemisphere. Unlike New York where it turns from day to night like a candle being snuffed. Between the bad weather, the low floating overcast clouds hanging like bed sheets out to dry, the time between night and day seemed to go for hours. It was creepy and beautiful. Walking along the beach and watching the sea turn from green to grey to dark navy over an extended period was very, well creepy and beautiful.
The main result was that I realized how much I am overpowered by my senses in New York. Every writer and stand up comedian worth their salt moves to New York in the bid for success and inspiration, yet, in Dublin my mind was free and bubbling with fresh ideas. I felt like I had been placed in a floatation chamber. I was free, my mind began racing and I began writing notes in my trusted notebook. A swanky moleskin that’s over priced but totally undervalued. After a few days of this isolation I began to see very clearly, ideas I had been struggling with over the past few months. I was being bombarded with thoughts and ideas but most importantly I was doing it without wine, beer or sitting in an over price coffee shop in the west village.
I don’t drink and write any more because my mind takes flight and its easier to sit back and have another and enjoy the ride as opposed to writing it down. Make no mistake, writing is work. Over the Christmas I was free. Life is a prison if you let it be. I have since returned to New York and have been writing constantly or at least trying to find the time. But the one thing I learned is doing nothing is totally under rated. The next time you get blocked, feel trapped or get run down in the belief that you will never write anything good ever again. Try doing nothing, absolutely nothing. It worked for me.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
During a trip home to Dublin for Christmas I was passing the Bathrom and heard my brother inside going through his usual ritual of preparing for a night out on the town. My brother Stephen, is pictured below. The mind boggles at what he was doing inside.
Brother in Bathroom.wav
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