concrete trenches
sometimes more feet than shoes.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003  

5,000 Songs. In Your Seat-Pocket.5,000 Songs. In Your Seat-Pocket.

Christmas Day was spent in transit from NYC to the Evil West. Thirteen hours of travel time, including a stop over in Dallas. I left my issue of the New Yorker on the plane, right in front of my iPod.

What are the chances that my iPod is discovered and returned? What with the Heightened Security Alert (tm) you'd think a rectangular electronic device would be found pronto. You'd also think when the highly trained security sweepers/janitors discover it is merely someone's beloved MP3 player, they'd bring it to the lost and found.

Since it hasn't shown up in the lost and found, one must come to one of several conclusions: the highly trained janitors felt it might be an explosive device and destroyed it; the highly trained but poorly paid janitor who found it decided Santa left them something special in their seat-pocket stocking; it is still sitting there, next to a box cutter left by a college student.

I'd like to believe I'll get it back, but I won't, even though it was left behind with the New Yorker that has my name and address on the front.

| posted by christopher | 10:04 AM

Thursday, December 25, 2003  

Merry ChristmasMerry Christmas

| posted by christopher | 8:28 AM

Wednesday, December 24, 2003  

Christmas in New York

This is my first Christmas Season in New York, not including the awful week some years ago when X and some friends spent between Christmas and New Year in Times Square with X and she said if I really wanted to move here we might have to get a D-I-V-O-R-C-E.

So, this is my first Christmas as a New Yorker. Some of it is great, some of it is not.

Great: The Salvation Army guy across the street from Radio City with Vegas style music and a microphone holding his own curbside telethon. "We're gonna have a countdown here folks in about three minutes!"

Not: The extraordinarily loud music of "New York's #1 Barry White Impersonator" a block down from the telethon.

Great: The kid in Union Square playing Hanukkah music on his Roland keyboard. He was about fourteen, dressed in the black coat and hat, part of a giant menorah lighting, absolutely rocking out Yid School.

Not: The drunk guy with the saxophone wheezing out barely recognizable carols.

Great: Lights lights everywhere. So many lights and decorations and pretty shiny things!

Not: Tourists tourists everywhere, necks up like turkeys in a rainstorm, staring at the lights and decorations and pretty shiny things.

Great: Holiday tips.

Not: Holiday hours.

Great: The red and green lights on the Empire State, making the biggest Christmas tree I've ever seen.

Maybe I'll brave the rain tonight anyway.

| posted by christopher | 11:33 AM

Tuesday, December 23, 2003  

Soon PartedSoon parted

The Best Girl has flown away, to her native people sin the Evil West. I will join her with a fun-filled Christmas Day flight (I hope there are presents on the way, it's Christmas fucking Day for cryeye). I was way too concerned about her safety on the plane, thanks to the "9/11 style attacks are imminent" warnings Homeland Security handed out yesterday. Which is funny, considering there is a large part of my overly cynical brain that believes these color coded farces are designed more for political gain than for actual safety. but that's just me.

At the bar tonight, I got to give my first "There's a gentleman at the bar who'd like to buy this table [of cute young things] a round" speech. The table had already asked for the check, but Mr. Suave noticed that they were still sitting at the table for a full ten minutes after paying their tab. The table was populated by four girls who were not over 30. Mr. Suave was sitting comfortably in his early 40s. Mr. Suave was chatting a guy friend at the bar about a) how he doesn't admire Christina Aguleria's music but he'd "do the slut;" b) how there are young girls in his line of work (human resources, apparently) who flirt with him, and how much he'd like to "give them the fuck they want," but knows that this is professional suicide; c) how when he marries it's because he's in love and is really turned on by his wife and doesn't need to fuck some prostitute or stripper (apparently that's the same job) and just wants to have sex with his girl; and d) how he's going to make a play for the table of girls and could the friend make scarce soon if he doesn't want some action.

So he buys the drinks. Only one girl at the table has the sense to order top shelf liquor. He never makes his presence known; he never goes and talks to them. He waits about five minutes after his friend exits, and then pays and goes. The girls, a lovely bunch of people, by the way, come up to me as they leave and ask me what happened. My best guess was, and is, that the guy was blowing hot air for his friend, bought the round, and slunk out before he actually had to talk to any of them.

| posted by christopher | 1:45 AM

Saturday, December 20, 2003  

Make the yuletide gayMake the yuletide gay

I got one of those annoying "go here and petition this" messages from a friend. It is a campaign to go to a conservative web site and participate in their poll on gay marriage. Since I'm all for subverting the religious right, here's the address: (I'm not linking it in the the hopes that they don't find out there are people trying to turn the tide of their mission).

A few hours after the email, I read this on the Time web site. Seems I'm in the minority opinion. My favorite quote is Mr. Richard Waters, a 71 year old retired elementary school teacher from New York state: "I think any kind of amendment that says `You shall not' will help. I just don't think it's right for two men to go parading around in public or for two women to be doing the things they do. It's against God's law. That's right in the Bible that it's wrong."

Apparently he didn't teach Civics to those school kids.

| posted by christopher | 1:52 PM  

Way too vividWay too vivid

Last night I dreamed that I was being chased, and my only escape was jumping off the elevated train tracks to the pavement fifty feet below. I survived the fall, but was a very broken man.

Highlights of the dream include:

* trying to avoid the raccoons that were jumping at me while I ran across the tracks
* trying to figure out why raccoons were coming at me
* trying to walk with two broken knees
* being surprised that my hospital room was not even semi-private
* realizing that I would never be the same again

| posted by christopher | 10:29 AM

Thursday, December 18, 2003  

Extra ProteinExtra Protein

Long about 1pm I brewed a fresh pot of coffee. I figured someone out on the floor would order a cup, I was feeling the need for some joe, even if it's the vile swill that passes for coffee in the restaurant. I poured a cup and took a swig. Suddenly, there was a foreign object in my mouth that felt like a food particle, perhaps some remnant of lunch stuck in the recesses of my mouth coming out with the fresh wash of java. When I spit it into my hand (what else was I going to do) it had legs, curled up under it's hard outer shell.

It is a testament to my intestinal fortitude that I didn't vomit into the sink.

| posted by christopher | 12:57 AM

Monday, December 15, 2003  

And the second runner-up in the U.S. sponsored Osama Bin Laden look alike contest is . . .

He was a bad man, and he surely deserves to pay for the crimes he committed. I find it hard to believe he was the mastermind of the Iraqi resistance from a hole in the ground. The shame of the matter is, the press and the military and the government are hailing this as a major victory, but the two suicide bombs that went off in Bagdad today illustrate the fact that many more people are going to be killed before this is over.

| posted by christopher | 8:19 PM

Saturday, December 13, 2003  

Worth the hangoverWorth the hangover

When the Self-Described Producer from the Evil West came to the city, he said we should meet the theatre on whose board of directors he serves. Sure, sure. Take our headshots, talk us up. We assumed nothing would come of it.

Several weeks later, the Artistic Director of the theatre calls us to set up meetings; we go. He seems nice enough. The theatre's main function, we discover, is to support playwrights and develop new plays. We set up another get together where we read a play around a table. The play was written by one of the staff members, a young NYU grad. It was not good, but the AD said some good things about it. Right about what I expected. The next night, we went to a workshop.

The collective number of Tony awards sitting in the room is too high for me to count. Four plays were read, all of them at least good. One was great. One was astounding. The two Very Famous Playwrights leading the group were insightful, witty, and usually right on. Afterward, we drank too many margaritas at the local bar with one of the VFPs, the AD, and a good number of the actors and playwrights who participated.

They like us, we like them. It's so much better than we anticipated. S-DP is definitely getting a Christmas card from us. If I could, I'd buy him a blowjob.

| posted by christopher | 9:32 AM

Friday, December 12, 2003  

The armored cockroachThe armored cockroach
scurrying across the floor
looking for a meal

Sometimes I see them near the dumbwaiter. Sometimes they're scurrying across the floor of the dining room. Sometimes they're just hanging out in the middle of the floor. I'll be writing down an order and see one crawling towards a customer's foot. I was anticipating the scream as the ancient arthropod tickled the stockinged legs of of my customer.Once I was pulling a pint and one popped out with the stout. He died happy.

They're huge. I have a few visitations from roaches in my apartment, and they are lilliputian in comparison to the food service variety. They're disgusting with the implication of filth and decay. They're everywhere. If anyone else notices them, they're not speaking up. Then again, neither am I. That's a New Yorker.

When I see an armored tank I saw heading for the safe haven underneath the banquette, I neither mention it nor do I move my foot the six inches to destroy it. Hey folks, watch out for the giant bug! Excuse me while I clean away this sqooshed little guy. Neither would result in a very good tip.

| posted by christopher | 10:05 AM

Wednesday, December 10, 2003  

Stay away from the third railStay away from the third rail

A bit of backstage chat on the Q train last night, while waiting for the train ahead to clear out of the station:

Conductor: 'Partner, you there?"


C: "Yo! Partner!"

Driver: "Yeah, what?"

C: "Don't move the train. I think someone just got off."

D: "What you say?"

C: "I think I just saw someone get off the train. Don't go anywhere, I'm gonna go check it out."

Titters and groans on the bus. We sit.

C: "Hey, yeah, he crossed the tracks and climbed up on the platform. It's ok."

D: "Gotcha."

The train begins to move

The guy who jumped off probably got to where he was going a hell of a lot faster than the rest of the people on the train.

| posted by christopher | 5:33 PM

Tuesday, December 09, 2003  

In The Mr. PinkIn The Mr. Pink

Watching The Daily Show tonight, BG wonder's out loud, "Wouldn't it be great if an actress who looked like Stephen Buscemi could be that famous?"

| posted by christopher | 11:28 PM

Sunday, December 07, 2003  

Call me Mr. PeepsCall me Mr. Peeps

Last night I went to a reading of short fiction in which BG was a participant. She was great. I'd never read any of the stories she's written. She falls under the "serious writer" rubric; not as in "unfunny" but as in "has submitted to the New Yorker and is going to have work published in a monologue anthology." There were some other "serious writers" there, but most of them were seriously bad.

Afterward, we were in an awful restaurant near Times Square (is there any other kind?) and one of the people at the table asked me if I was a writer. I demurred and said no, because I'm not going to be published, and I've never submitted anything anywhere. But a tiny voice in my head protested and said "Yes! Yes you are! You've been published in a magazine a bunch of times, and you have two short musicals that have been performed, in front of people even. One of them commissioned. Stand up for yourself, man!"

BG came to my rescue, sort of, and said I was "an avid diarist."

| posted by christopher | 10:09 PM

Saturday, December 06, 2003  

The lights are turned way down lowThe lights are turned way down low

Last year I had just moved into my new apartment in the city when the giant snowstorm hit. It was far too new and far too surreal for the snow to register as anything but piles of white water.

Yesterday, BG and I put on our good boots and trudged through the wind and flurries to meet an artistic director, and I realized that snow feels like home.

I have seen exactly six real days of snow in the last ten years. There were certainly no snow days in the Decadent South, and the Evil West rarely gets snow. Two of these snow days were last year while in New York.

When I left the Repressed North for the Decadent South years ago it was because a) the temperature was below zero for a week and b) snow had fallen every day for the entire month of January. Up to the knees in some places. I thought that if I never, ever, saw snow again it would be too soon. Now, it seems, it's just another part of what makes this home.

| posted by christopher | 10:45 AM

Thursday, December 04, 2003  

Dream Academy Dream Academy

My dreams have been funky lately. Interesting, because I usually don't even remember my dreams. Lately, I've had dreams that have startled me into consciousness at unholy times of the morning.

Usually it's some form of stress dream, although the other night I had a dream that rats were running over my feet which woke both me and the Best Girl up. Perhaps it was the kicking.

Last night (this morning) I had a dream about X. She's come to visit me a few times, usually to remind me of her more harsh moods. Last night she came to me sobbing, pitiful, wondering how I could leave, how could I have done this to her, ruined her life.

Christ. What part of the guilt mechanism has to wake me up at five in the morning for this? I seriously don't need my dreams to give me a guilt trip, and I certainly don't need to be dragged out of a sound sleep for it.

I wonder what my little brain is trying to work out.

| posted by christopher | 11:47 PM

Wednesday, December 03, 2003  

ChokeThat'll show 'em!

Get up at six thirty, trudge through a 21 degree morning, sit on the floor for an hour, get an afternoon time slot, go to the other audition place, stand in a line, get a slot, sing, go to work, sling the fries, go back to the seat on the floor, get my two minutes... and SUCK.

One the one hand, I want to beat myself up for not being at my best. On the other hand, how can anyone possibly give their best work like this? At least at the first one I didn't suck, but the first one didn't matter to me.

Plus, I'm too tired to be witty, so all I have now is this high-school level diary entry I just wrote. Fuck.

2 good 2 B 4 gotten.

| posted by christopher | 11:11 PM

Monday, December 01, 2003  

Appropriately enough, it's called Opus

Read the entire article on, but here's a quote from Berkeley Breathed on why he will once again draw for the Sunday comics:

The world went and got silly again. I left in 1995 with things properly, safely dull, and couldn't imagine why anyone would feel it necessary again to start behaving ridiculously. It would have been at least courteous of the Republicans to warn a few of us inclined to retire our ink-swords that they had King George waiting in his zoom-zoom jetsuit aching to start the Crusades again

| posted by christopher | 7:48 PM
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