Monthly Archives: January 2011

Lame Adventure 149: Stop Searching and Find

I was walking down Reade Street in Tribeca when I saw this sad sight, a lost Cat in the Hat puppet lying atop a Village Voice newspaper box.

I need a hug.

I hope this kid-less cat did not wait long to be recovered by his owner.  As I write this post, it is snowing heavily, and it is possible that this much loved play pal has since been reduced to soggy rag status and will soon nest in a landfill.

When I was visiting my family over Christmas, my sister, Dovima, lamented to me that my niece, Sweet Pea, who was bereft when she first lost Ricky Rabbit and then, Petey Penguin, during her toddler years, had now lost her key chain.  Apparently, this was not just any key chain; like the brass key fob I bought for a dollar at a head shop when I was seventeen and still carry today.

The key chain Sweet Pea will inherit.

Even as a stoned youth, I had one half shut eye always on the lookout for enduring quality.  From what I gather, my heir’s bowling ball-sized key chain was one-of-a-kind and it held a mind-boggling number of keys.  I imagined when dropped, the clunk alone would have been enough to wake the dead, but not necessarily a preoccupied sixteen-year-old.

Generally, when something goes missing in my life, it’s entered the void forever.  Yet, its absence nags at me for the long haul such as the pair of leather gloves I left in a taxi in 1984.  Even worse, during my long gone randy youth, I left behind a rare Charlie Parker record in a guy’s apartment when I attended a sleepover with his vixen while he was out of town.  I’ve often wondered what he thought when he found that record.  It’s not the norm when one’s mate cheats and then the cheated is awarded a collector’s item by the paramour.  The customary gift would more likely have been herpes.  I recall that the infidel was so consumed with guilt the morning after our tryst she decided to paint his bedroom.  As I watched her beaverishly roll paint over the walls, I reminded her:

Me:  We did it on the couch, too.  Are you going to reupholster that?

My most recent loss was a bit of my mind when my boss Elsbeth’s wood and iron  paper cutter, a sturdy cousin to the guillotine, disappeared.   It not only precisely sliced the page, but possibly your fingertip, if you misjudged what you were doing during operation.  This is definitely one piece of office equipment best avoided while on meds.  I was also impressed with the hoarse cough this apparatus emitted when a sheet would fall victim to its industrial revolution power, even though the actual machine was probably manufactured within the last fifteen years.

One day in summer 2009, I needed to use Elsbeth’s paper cutter, but it was not in its usual place on a shelf in our office.  I asked my superior if she had it, but she did not.  I asked my colleagues if they knew where it was, but they looked blank, not a very hard expression for them to muster since I posited the question just after lunch as food coma was taking hold.  A few hours later, The Quiet Man roused:

The Quiet Man:  I remember someone came up here while you were out, and asked if they could borrow it.

Me:  Who was it?

The Quiet Man:  I don’t remember.

Me:  Was it a man or a woman?

The Quiet Man:  I don’t remember.  I wasn’t paying attention to detail.

Me (thinking):  Would you have remembered had it been Sasquatch?

Since I am the guardian of all things Elsbethian, I made several phone calls and fired off numerous emails in the hope that someone had seen it, but no one knew where it was.  Our shipping manager scoured the building for it, but he came up empty.  Eventually, Elsbeth bought another one — a piece of flimsy modern crap I hate.

Eighteen months later, I’m visiting the Accounting department.  I turn to leave and what do I see sitting on a fellow office drone’s desk, but a wood and iron paper cutter that is the mirror image of Elsbeth’s.  Had anyone in that office noticed my elation, they would have assumed I saw Jesus.  Breathless, I return to my department and trumpet my discovery:

Me:  Boss, I’ve found our paper cutter!

Elsbeth:  Where is it?

Me:  It’s being held hostage in the Accounting department.

Elsbeth:  What do they need it for?

Me:  I suppose you could ask Gisela why she has it.

My leader falls silent.  She returns her attention to a complicated fireplace drawing.  Although the Accounting department staff is comprised of reasonable beings, fire-breathing Gisela the Angry rules it.  Were I to point out that the paper cutter is actually Elsbeth’s I am confident that G the A would beat me to within an inch of my life with it.

Gisela suffering a bad hair day.

In order to even take a photograph of it, I concoct a ruse to throw suspicious Gisela off the scent:

Me:  I’m writing about sentimental objects from my youth.  I’ve also photographed the flypaper.

Not much of a Kodak moment.

So close and yet so far.

Maybe if I can get Elsbeth to gift Gisela with a cake or better yet, anger management classes, she’ll let us borrow it back on occasion.


Lame Adventure 148: Outrage

As with many people, if I had been asked on Friday, the day before the senseless shooting outside that Safeway store in Tucson, Arizona:

Asker:  Who’s Gabrielle Giffords?

Me:  Frank Gifford’s daughter?

Asker:  “Giffords” not Gifford, and Giffords is Jewish.

Me:  Frank Gifford’s Jewish? I didn’t know that, but then again, isn’t Kathie Lee?

Asker:  Gabrielle Giffords is a congresswoman from Arizona.

Me:  Oh.  Is she Republican?

Asker:  No, a moderate Democrat.  Sarah Palin put Giffords’ district on her crosshair’s map because Giffords voted for the health care bill.

Me:  She sounds like someone I like.

Now that I am fully aware of whom Gabrielle Giffords is, she is definitely someone I like, as well as the six people that were killed and the thirteen others that sustained injuries.  I feel immense sorrow for all, and this rampage strikes me as another stain on this country that looks so trigger-happy due to another crackpot with a gun making global headlines.

As anyone with access to Facebook can see, Palin’s menacing crosshairs map is still on view, but she has yet to lower the tally from 20 to 19.  When I last checked, over 19,500 people said they liked her map.  Considering that Facebook has over 500 million active users, that number is miniscule, but it’s still disturbing.  Why is it necessary to put those districts in crosshairs?  The election is over, why must that map remain on view?  Possibly, had she taken it down six people would still be alive, thirteen others unharmed and Congresswoman Giffords would not have a Fearless Fosdick-type hole in her head today.  If she can make a full recovery from a bullet through the brain, those surgeons at University Medical Center are miracle workers.

I felt perverse pride when I heard that it was a middle-aged woman that was the first to retaliate against Jared Lee Loughner as he was trying to reload his weapon before others wrestled him to the ground.  One of the witnesses who helped subdue the suspect was Joe Zamudio.  He was in a nearby Walgreen’s when he heard the shots.  Mr. Zamudio heroically ran out of the store toward the scene of the shooting and helped apprehend Loughner.

Joe Zamudio and his fifteen minutes.

On NBC’s Today Show, Mr. Zamudio volunteered to reporter Lester Holt that he was also carrying a gun.  Holt remained focused on the topic, how Loughner was captured, but I wondered:

Me:  Why would anyone need to pack heat to shop at Walgreen’s?  Are you anticipating the revolution will start while you’re buying toothpaste?

Although Mr. Zamudio helped make order out of chaos, why does anyone outside of law enforcement need to carry a gun in day-to-day life?  Wild boar are not going to roam the aisles in Walgreen’s.  Mr. Zamudio might be compelled to tell me that Congresswoman Giffords owns a Glock 9, just like the one her assailant used, but  she did not have it on her person on Saturday.

I live in New York City, very possibly the asshole capital of the country.  Assholes are everywhere I go — the subway is full of jerks, the movies and theaters constantly have someone talking aloud or surfing the web on their cell phone; my market, Fairway, is unpleasantly crowded, nasty and aggressive; my workplace is home to bipolar Accounting and Production department managers that are forever plotting and detonating; my petty tyrant landlady is currently petitioning to raise my rent $1.77 for a heating valve she never installed in my apartment.

Yet, as much as I loathe the many idiots I encounter in daily life, it never occurs to me that I need to bear arms to get through a day.  I have issues with the government, particularly the Republican congress and the Tea Party, but I’m not going to go on a shooting spree because my side lost last November’s election.   Furthermore, if my landlady, my company’s managerial morons, the distracting dolts perusing the Internet on their cell phones during a film or a play, and the guy on the subway breathing heavily on me while reeking of stale cigarettes and payday Friday beer, all happened to fall into an open pit in unison, I wouldn’t weep, but I would never be compelled to be their judge, jury and executioner, either.  Instead of giving them a shove, I would probably say:

Me:  Watch out for that pit.

The express to China

I hope something good comes out of this tragedy, but I’m doubtful that it will.  Soon, it will be a return to hate-speeches and during the 2012 election season more negative campaigning.  Yet, I think the proliferation of available guns landing in the wrong hands is at the heart of what happened in Tucson, and it appears that this wingnut, Loughner, was influenced by the steady stream of vitriol spewed by the more incendiary fringe members of our society.  They inspire the weakest links to take deranged action, and the rest of us to feel outrage.

Lame Adventure 147: Roger Federer’s Family Jewels

While continuing to advance at the Qatar Open this week, tennis maestro, Roger Federer, hit another between the legs shot winner.  The crowd went wild.  See below:

One day someone will likely assemble a highlight reel of the many variations of this extraordinary shot by this extraordinary athlete.  If this highlight reel exists today, I could not find it on YouTube.

As much as I enjoy seeing this shot, it scares me a bit, too, possibly because I know that I am a closet klutz.  Recently, while walking down the subway station’s steps, en route to work, I narrowly missed tripping over a woman’s gargantuan handbag that she was carrying so low, it could have doubled as a weapon of major destruction.  Had I caught my foot in her elephantine-sized satchel, I would have taken a flying leap down the rest of the concrete stairs, broken my nose and probably several select slow healing bones, as well as shattering my glasses, before tumbling onto the tracks into the third rail, and proceeding to fry to death while suffering extreme embarrassment.  I listened to my inner mother’s warning to resist doing anything idiotic, and ignored the urge to pass this blockade on feet but by practicing restraint, I did miss my train.

Back to daredevil Roger, I know well that he is an elite athlete, and although I am not a male of the species, my ovaries always jump into my throat a little whenever I consider the tragic consequences if Fed did the unthinkable, misjudged the speeding ball and hit it high.


That horrifying mis-hit, and the viral video that would surely follow, would truly redefine the meaning of “the shot heard round the world.”

Fortunately, this living legend has already fathered twins.

The tennis world's Fred Astaire, Fed, and Gene Kelly, Rafa, pressing the flesh; will they finally meet in the US Open this year?

Lame Adventure 146: Back to the Daily Grind

Tuesday was my first day back at work following my seventeen-day hiatus.  Due to the mountains of garbage bags piled high on the sidewalk because trash collection has been hindered since December 26th’s epic snowstorm, there was a very narrow lane to walk enroute to the 72nd Street subway station.  I could have done what a guy in a trench coat did – walk in the middle of West 73rd Street, but this is New York, where oncoming traffic speeds up even if you’re in the sidewalk with the walk signal on your side.  I had zero desire to wind up road kill on my first day back at the grind in the New Year.  Therefore, I was stuck walking up the narrow swath of sidewalk behind a drip of woman with a little less sensuality than Olive Oyl – no thought provoking fantasies playing in my head there, unless trampling her counts.  She walked so slowly, she could have been a Yugo stuck in park.  I felt myself feeling a tad anxious:

Me (what I wanted to scream):  Move your boney ass, girlfriend!  I’d like to get to work before the weekend!

Me (thinking):  Calm down.  Don’t set off your gastritis.  So you might be a little late.  It’s not the end of the world.

I entered the subway station – just as the packed express train heading downtown was pulling out and a local with empty seats had entered.  I hopped on the local.  This I only do when I’m not running late, but today I thought, “Screw it.  I want to read my New Yorker.”  I worked my way over to two guys hogging four seats – the death defying dude in the trench coat and a chub built like Buddha.  I could feel Buddha reading over my shoulder, but when I opened my magazine to the massively wordy The Talk of the Town section, he re-focused his gaze on material more suited to his interests, a discarded Kit Kat wrapper lying on the floor.

With the theme from Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon playing on my internal iPod, an orchestration I would appreciate played at my funeral (click the link; it’s well worth a listen), I exited the train at my Tribeca stop and low-tailed to my place of employ a full ten minutes late.

When I enter, who do I see standing at the front desk, leafing through her pile of mail?  Elsbeth, my boss.  Since I have been the middle finger of her right hand going on seven years, and this is the first time she has seen my scowling face in eighteen days, if she’s aware that I’m late, she doesn’t mention it.  I approach her.

Me:  Happy New Year, Boss.

Elsbeth:  Looks like someone went through the mail while I was away.

I normally retrieve her mail when I enter.  My Lord and Master hands a stack of junk to her husband to discard.

Elsbeth:  Happy New Year.  Did you have a nice vacation?

Me:  Yes.  Did you?

Elsbeth:  Yes.

It is evident that my leader is feeling as morose as me about being back.  Comforting.

Elsbeth and I are given an elevator ride up to our fifth floor office, so I’m spared having to climb five flights of stairs; the highlight of my day.  We enter the office where we greet the staff.  Everyone looks dour.  I mingle with my two closest buddies, Ling and Greg, and although I’m truly happy to see them, we’re all in agreement that it sucks to be back.

By early afternoon, the bane of my existence, the printer, has begun jamming incessantly.

Did you miss me?

By day’s end, I’m ready for another seventeen days off.

Lame Adventure 145: Summarizing the First Year of Lame

Over the weekend I was busy multitasking; celebrating the New Year while mourning the impending death of my 17-day vacation when WordPress, this blog’s Content Management System, sent me an email called “Your 2010 year in blogging.”  This immediately added to my overall feelings of malaise, but after downing a glass of liquid courage that tasted a bit like Pinot Noir flavored Palmolive, I belched a soap bubble, and then read their missive.

Between late January, when I launched this site through December, WordPress calculated that I have had enough page views to fill thirty 747’s, but since I prefer to fly JetBlue, I recrunched their numbers and calculated that my audience can actually fill 83.706666 Airbus A320’s out of JetBlue’s fleet of 115 Airbus aircraft.  They rated my blog’s health a “wow” and said, “We think you did great!”

Really?  I did great.  Hm.  Last week’s blizzard that engulfed New York canceled more than 4000 flights.  That’s a very humbling statistic as I consider my blog only accounts for 83 of those planes.  Therefore, I suspected that they massaged every blogger’s fragile ego with airplane spin.  I asked Milton if he received a similar email:

Me:  Did you hear from WordPress about your 2010 stats?

Milton:  Why would WordPress contact me?

Me:  To praise you about how well your blog did.

Milton:  I wrote four posts.

As usual, Milton was exaggerating; I am quite sure he published closer to fourteen posts, rating at least a helicopter’s or hang glider’s level of back pat in my opinion.  He has yet to receive his email, and I felt a bit sheepish mentioning mine to him, so we quickly changed the topic when he started giggling:

Me:  What’s so funny?

Milton:  They thought I was in here jerking off.

“They” is a reference to his colleagues.  Milton was in his conference room at work in lower Manhattan talking to me on his cell phone.

Me:  Why would they think that?

Milton:  Didn’t I tell you about him?

Me:  There’s a guy in your office that spanks the monkey in the conference room, and you can hear the slapping sounds?

Milton:  Yes, and leave it to you to add an audio cue to that description.

The top five most popular search terms that visitors used to find my site are in descending order:

5.  brunhilde:  This smells like my buddy, Martini Max, in a tribute I wrote to him on his birthday recounting his ex-wife, Bruni, a lass that despised us all.

4. courtney love:  For all you Courtney fans, you may or may not be disappointed when you see Lame Adventures Courtney, a scantily dressed drag queen that does bear a distinct resemblance to the rocker, especially after she kicked … cheese.  Click #3’s link below and scroll through the pictures for a glimpse of the she-male version of the notorious chanteuse.

3.  sexy boys:  This, Milton and I both knew would be one of my more viewed posts when we went out of our minds photographing 2010’s Gay Pride parade.  To my gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender audience, thanks.  To all you horny young straight dudes that drool over that post, what the hell, thank you, too.

2. plate of spaghetti: This is a complete head-scratcher to me.  Last February, I snagged a picture of a plate of spaghetti off the web, and every day someone out there accesses my site via that image.  I wonder what might overtake it in 2011, images of foot fungus, glitter (that will surely come via another Milton contribution), Mr. Bill, Thurber, etc?

Thurber sinking his teeth into Mr. Bill, "Oh noooooooooo!"

For plate of spaghetti fans, click on the link below for a fix:

1. marvin:  Yes, marvin is my #1 search term thanks to Milton referring to my tennis hero, Rafael Nadal, as Marvin the Martian, due to his oversized US Open sneakers:

Next post, I will recount what life is like as I enter my seventh year of checking my dreams at the door of the tile and bath fixture showroom where I oversee labeling and early onset misery amongst my dedicated peers Lame Adventures 2011-style.