november 30th, 2044 ~ tuesday
scenes from a sushi bar
     selected quotes from our group dinner at Sushi Hana, tonight:

     "do you guys wanna do sake carbombs?"
     -- Margalit, inspired by a past, abortive attempt at the Irish version of the drink

     "he's from the old country. Queens."
     -- Margalit

     "yeah, the American dollar is the Euro's bitch right now."
     -- me, addressing our currency's current global status

     "wait a minute, did you just bleat?"
     -- Jesse, to Margalit, overhearing her ovine conclusion to an anecdote

     "yeah, he had bigger breasts than me."
     -- Margalit, on a competitively sized, but lower quality than hers, male rack

     "Leet Bleats"
     -- Jesse's term for Margalit's aforementioned barnyard vocalizations

     with me laughing my head off for most of dinner, I'm surely leaving out some other great lines. please enlighten me, fellow dinner partiers, if your memory serves better than mine.

     the previous version of this entry:

     so I just got off the 9 train, and I'm sitting on a bench on the uptown side of the W. 86th Street station. exciting, I know. I'm a little early for some pre-show dinner with Mike, Margalit, Jess, Marty, Jesse and Dana. dinner with everybody's at 7:15, at Sushi Hana; after that me and the latter 2 folks'll cruise on down to Irving Plaza for our Blues Explosion show. but right now I gots me a quarter hour to kill, and pretend to write something. I don't know my chances of having time to type something at home, post-show, so I thought I'd be take advantage of this little lull, and strike when the iron is lukewarm.

     for 2 hours this morning it was just me and 9 students (one was absent). keeping in mind it's usually 3 of us teachers in there, with therapists and others floating in from time to time. so it's highly unusual for me to be alone with the whole class...

     woops, I gotta be a bad journal-writer (which is not to insuate that I was a good or passable one before) and continue this derailed train of thought later, as now would be a good time to head on over and get this party started. so more, later.
november 29th, 2044 ~ monday
     let it be known that the price you pay for sending me a really nice, funny and sweet email, is me posting it on this website. thus, here's what Margalit wrote me, earlier today... quote:

After reading your posting on friendster, and seeing that you have a blog, I decided to put my Stalkalit powers into action and find this website (which you neglected to link in your posting).

I particularly enjoyed your conversation with Dave, which by the sounds of it can only be the one and only Yoken. By the way, are you sure you're not Jewish? Anyway, I enjoy being part of your daily exploits, even if I'm not really there.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I thought it was awesome--am also kind of proud of myself for stalking you.

Laughing and Forgetting,

     Margalit, your Formal date is smiling, as if he was just petted by you. thanks.
november 27th, 2044 ~ saturday
Tuesday, (John Spencer) Blues Explosion - I'm going
     I'm back in my home bittersweet home of Brooklyn. oh how I missed you, un-couch-like bed (there were actual matressy accomodations upstairs at my cousins' house, but for whatever reason I abstained). slept ok, though. well enough to coherently type a little something about the next show I'm seeing.

     so here it is, fresh from its last incarnation as a Friendster bulletin:

     hi those who are reading this. and to those who've risen out of their tryptophan-induced semi-comas, congratulations.

     on Turkey Day, Jesse (or J-Grit, as he's known on the mean streets of New Haven, Connecticut) Friendster-messaged me to say that he's coming to town to catch the Blues Explosion, when they roll into Irving Plaza. they've become more aerodynamic since dropping the name (not the person) "John Spencer" from their collective title, and they remain a must-see-live band, which is the impression I got from Jesse. which is why he invited me to join him for the show, and why I bought tickets post-haste. I'm so there.

     the show's this upcoming Tuesday, November 30th. 8:00 pm, at Irving Plaza ( tickets can be procured online, via the aforementioned link.

     if you like your Blues exploded, or just plain righteous live music, come along.


     -- Rog

     PS. ...wait a sec -- I haven't obsessively, redundantly plugged the hell out of [this newish] site on Friendster yet. well, gots me another bulletin to write, [eventually]...
november 26th, 2044 ~ friday
give thanks (to your local mall)
     still here with the fam in Long Island. it's Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that kicks off the year-end holiday shopping season. accordingly it's also the day of the year's biggest sales. my cousin had his heart set on getting the latest album by the Diplomats, which is, of course, Cam apostrophe Ron and his crew. I later learned that he already had the album in mp3-form, on his iPod (he presumably got it for free, from a friend), so why he wanted to spend money for what he already owned, left me scratching my head.

     so with visions of identical Diplomats dancing in my cousin's head, we drove down to the local BestBuy. where the album was, alas, sold out. it wasn't a total loss, I got what I was looking for, there. earlier in the day I had seen that the store was having a super "5 DVDs for $25" sale -- I didn't wanna pass that up. of course, most of their selections were crap, but interspersed amongst the crap were a few flicks I'd actually buy. so I waded through the 2 sales bins, found and bought the following nicely-priced movies:

About Schmidt,
Chris Rock - Bigger And Blacker,
Bladerunner - Director's Cut,
Training Day,
and another movie that I don't wanna give away, just yet.

     so unknown-to-you movie and all, not a bad list, I think. again, for 25 bucks, how could I go wrong? and my cousin got his Diplomatic Immunity 2 (that's the name of the album, I think) at a local Target, so the outing was eventually fruitful for him too (again, as fruitful as buying an album you already own can be).
november 25th, 2044 ~ thursday
consume mass quantities
     here I am, hanging out in Westbury, Strong Island, with the cousins and various assorted family members. after holding hands for a communal grace, we gently descended upon the Thanksgiving meal, which was served in numerous bowls and plates. I was sated by not one but 2 kinds of stuffing, amongst other delicious dishes. it was such a nice dinner that we had, earlier in the evening.

     I passed on dessert, and instead did what I've been waiting a week to do: listen to Dave Chappelle's HBO special, Killin' Them Softly, with my teenaged cousin. he's had the first season of the Chappelle show on DVD for a while now, so it was truly up his alley. he wasn't on the verge of tears as I had been, last Friday, but my cousin was definitely laughing out loud, as was I, again. I know he enjoyed it cuz he wanted me to give him the file (we listened to the show on mp3).

     earlier in the day, way pre-meal, my began my unofficial Thanksgiving project, with my cousin's permission. that is, he let me pimp his computer. his pc's only a few months old, and there was no way I was coming over without tricking it out with as much eye-candy and useful programs. hey, my cousin deserves the best. I intimated him with a few new glossy visual styles and themes (goodbye, "Luna"), I installed an app or two to add a touch of Longhorn to his machine... I tweaked his interface, and did some reorganizing, simple things to ease his computing.

     my cousin suggested we watch Kill Bill, Volume 1, late tonight. yep, nothing like some bloody, vengeful limb-hacking and ultra-violence to accompany our digestion, and remind us what Thanksgiving is all about.
november 24th, 2044 ~ wednesday
Thanksgiving Eve
     ah, the half-day of work -- it is a beautiful thing. so it was Monday and Tuesday, so it remains today.

     well, better throw together some personal effects and clothing, as we're doing the family Thanksgiving thing in Long Island, tomorrow. I don't even know when we're coming back (the weekend?) so looks like I might have to do my usual overpacking. at least there'll be some extra cushioning in my bag to help protect these CDs and DVDs that I'm bringing. gotta remember to put Memoirs Of A Geisha in there too. the rest'll be stuff to help keep me and the relatives amused before and after tomorrow's big meal, and during the requisite sitting/laying down thereafter.
november 23rd, 2044 ~ tuesday
just what I needed
     I just had something of a small epiphany. early this Tuesday morning, before work I sent an email to Todd in which I half-complained about most of November going by without me seeing any live music here in the city. which, of course, has become my monthly habit, as of the latter half of his year. mid-October I caught 4 bands in a single night (yes, I'm still very much rocking the VHS or Beta), but my average has slipped to nil, this month. my musical desperation would last only for a few more hours, it turned out. because around 10 AM or so today, the father of one of my students dropped in, not for one of the parent meetings that have been going on recently, but instead to perform for our class. it was as much a surprise for me, as it was them, to discover that one of our parents plays the guitar and sings vocals in a band. my students were simultaneously amazed and delighted to have real music being played before them. to some of them it must've seemed magical, judging from their enraptured expressions. his daughter, and student of mine, duetted with him on a song, and afterwards he passed out maracas so that the other students could join in on a coupla songs too. one of which was La Bamba, which the kids just loved. their infectious smiles, and maybe mine too, were captured on tape by our supervisor. a good time was had by all, and now I realize that I got the live music that I had been waiting for, this November. it couldn't have been nicer.
november 22rd, 2044 ~ monday
D.W.K. (Driving While Kosker)
     a brief conversation with Dave, in email form (the original Subject was "your next S.I.V. (Sports Invasion Vehicle"):

me: check out this link for a steal of a deal:

the price is nice, and it'll make even those urban Hummers whimper in shame.

Dave: Rog, could I perform a bris in it while driving along 5th Avenue? Is the ride that smooth?

me: Dave, it doesn't leave the factory until it's been blessed by a rabbi, and test-driven by a moyl.


Dave: Rog, I just want it tested by Dan Ackroyd and driven by Garrett Morris.
Is that too much to ask?


     no, Dave, not at all.
november 21st, 2044 ~ sunday
life is like a case of Pinot
     apparently this weekend has been mostly about watching movies with friends. the "crowd" of Dana and Mike and others boiled down to the three of us (I gave Jess a ring, and discovered that she was getting her Indianapolis on, as a recent work conference brought her there, she told me). Dana suggested that we 3 go see Sideways, over in Union Square. I was keen on catching that flick cuz a) the press surrounding it led me to believe it didn't suck, b) a few days back I heard an insightful interview with the director/writer Alexander Payne on NPR that re-piqued my interest, c) I've liked Paul Giamatti since seeing him in an off-Broadway play during high school, and d) and it would be good to see Thomas Hayden Church return to his riotous ways (catching glimpses of him on Wings, and more substantially on the cancelled-before-its-time Ned And Stacy was how I spent many pre-class college semester mornings).

     Sideways turned out to be a welcome treat of a movie. so damn good, a lotta thought went into its making, and its depiction of 2 guys' week in California's wine region before one of them get married. their trip essentially self-destructs, but there is a silver lining by the end for our suffering but likable protagonist, Miles. he was an entertaing mix of neurosis and intelligence, of failure and success. the movie also interweaved his/its poignancy with many straight up hilarious moments. I guess you could call it a dramedy, from the number of smartly-written jokes. every once inna while there was something said or did that made me nearly lose it from laughter. Sideways is a must-see, a satisfying way to part with 10 dollars.

     after the movie let out, which I guess was after 1 am or sometime after, Mike and Dana and I slid on over the Cosi across the street. Dana lost an no-wager bet with Mike over the pronunciation of the place's name ("koh-see," not "koh-sai"). there we had coffee (well they had coffee, and I drank tea), debated/celebrated our herpes-free lives (apparently 75% of New Yorkers our age are afflicted with that STD, as New York Magazine would have us know. Dana challenged the claim), and weighed in on Dana's recent exploits in the world of dating. good times.
november 20th, 2044 ~ saturday
Sesame Street junkies, sprinkled crack, and hey, it's that guy
     ok, I'm doing this out of order: I watched three things with Mike last night, at his place, but I wanna talk about the second one first. so I will.

     after watching a movie (which is what I originally came to see, and I'll get to it in a bit) Mike queued up something he had saved to his DVR but not watched yet, and I'm so glad he did. it was Dave Chappelle's HBO special from 4 years ago, Killin' Them Softly. and I didn't so much watch it as go into hysterical fits of laughter every coupla minutes during his performance. tears, actual saline tears were forming in my eyes from the things Dave was saying -- I was literally laughing so hard that I was crying. I've known for a while that Dave Chappelle's one of the funniest comics out there. he is the next Chris Rock. but up until last night I've really only known him peripherally. I've seen just one episode of his Comedy Central show, and that was when it debuted so I can't even remember it (sad but true). I've been a bad fan of another intensely funny guy, I feared. last night I was vindicated, by jokes and lines that simply killed me. I wish I could relive the experience, and laugh as hard as I did the first time. at one point, in the middle of my hysterics, Mike laughingly asked if I was alright, and I smiled and rubbed my eyes through my response: "no."

     amongst the varied parts of his routine, Dave especially cracked me up with his frustrations and complaints about Sesame Street: "f-cking six foot pigeons walking around, an elephant that's a junkie"... it's not a Dave Chappelle performance unless he mentions crack or crackheads somehow, and thankfully he did plenty of that. man, that show was good for the soul, and it was one for my own record books. I gotta get me a copy of it, and I'm definitely making my cousin watch or listen to it over Thanksgiving.

     now, onto what we actually watched first, which was Walking Tall, that movie with the Rock, our beloved former star of the squared circle, in it. Mike ordered it On Demand. he jokingly suggested ordering Soul Plane as an alternative, but as Snooperific as the flick might be, I wouldn't be responsible for refunding his 4 dollars, and 2 hours of his life, afterwards.

     so we settled in for an entertaining hour and change with the Rock, Johnny Knoxville, and an antagonist played by that cool guy with the blue eyes (I think) who's name I don't know, but he's in everything (what? clearly you have no idea who I'm talking about. but once you see him you'll recognize him, if you watch any TV. he's definitely a "hey, it's that guy" guy" and I'll IMDB him by the end of this entry). as the end credits were rolling I said something to effect of, "well, that was actually not crappy." I went on to be slightly more descriptive, and admit that Walking Tall was watchably fun, a finely-executed vehicle for the Rock's burgeoning stardom. Mike and I are anxiously awaiting the Rock's turn as a gay bouncer and would-be singer in Be Cool, the sequel to Get Shorty.

     before the night was through Mike and I notched one more action film under our belts, Cradle 2 The Grave, that cinematic opus teaming Jet Li and DMX. it was ok, predictable action-oriented fair. at least it was good to see my man Mark Decascos getting work in Hollywood (another "who?" -- he's sort of the poor man's version of Jet Li. he did a buddy cop movie with, uh, Kadeem Harrison, called Drive that was surprisingly good, for a 1 or 2 AM HBO wasteland hour presentation). Cradle 2 The Grave, though, is for serious Jet Li or DMX completionists ONLY. also it's the kind of movie you gotta watch with a certain person (Mike in my case) to fully enjoy.

     ok, sometime soon I should get ready to head on out again, for drinks + company with Dana, Mike and others. where we're going remains to be seen, at this point. still waiting for, "the call." already got the pre-call from Dana, so the more place/time specific one is impending.

     seek and I shall find: "that guy" who was also in Walking Tall is Neal McDonough. gotta remember that name.
november 19th, 2044 ~ friday
playlist for some student birthday celebrating at school today (spun off the iPod, of course)
Paul Simon - You Can Call Me Al
The Coasters - Yakety Yak
Saint Etienne - Woodcabin
Tevin Campbell - Tomorrow
Beck - Mixed Bizness
The Jackson Five - ABC
Blur - Girls And Boys
The Jackson Five - One More Chance

    it was Dance Party USA for a good quarter of an hour, for our students and the class next door who joined us for the birthday festivities. the kids really enjoyed the songs (and apparently a teacher too, as one behind me said "I love this song" when I played the second Jackson 5 track). and me, I appreciated the chance to make their joy possible, with some music that I love.
november 18th, 2044 ~ thursday
Apple Store antics (iPod Got Back)
     "how many jigabytes does it have?"

-- some woman in the upstairs iPod section, questioning a unit's storage specs

     I overheard the above yesterday as I hung out for a bit at the Soho Apple store (I had some time to kill before getting my drink and dart on with George and Mike). my iPod's battery was being extremely flaky that evening, and I was this close to plugging it into one of the numerous Docks in the store. but I feared the wrath of the knowledge, and possibly eagle-eyed Apple employees, and opted out of that option. but not before playing around with a newly released iPod photo. ya know, it's nice, it does its pictoral thing very nicely, but overall it didn't blow my mind or anything. if anything, I'm a bit nitpicky towards it, mainly cuz it's not as svelte or thin as my own 3G pod. too thick in the back, to accomodate the nuevo photographic/video out circuitry. now if someone were to gift me with one, I would not be mad at them. BUT I be hard pressed to spend my own money on the latest pic-friendly Pod incarnation. no, unless some act of God or Dog causes me to go all Sir Mixalot sometime soon, I'll leave the "iPod got back" version to a less critical crowd, and wait for the impending, thinner upgrade. or get the pre-hoto, clickwheel 4G, the newly obselete model. I wouldn't mind being a single generation behind (unlike the 2 I am now).
november 17th, 2044 ~ wednesday
back in the saddle
     at long last, this evening George, Mike and I returned to The Fat Black Pussycat for our beloved, once ongoing ritual of Wednesday night drinks and darts there. it had been more than a month (maybe 2?) since we last descended upon that favored downtown bar, so it was a welcome return. we did nothing more than chat, down a few and fling sharp objects at a fixed circle, and thus a good time was had. the only asterisk to the evening was that the big screen in the back was playing what apparently was a DVD of "classic" America's Funniest Videos. but it kept us peripherally amused to see the innumerable variations of 90's crotchshots and animals-dry-humping-animate-and-inanimate-objects clips that camcorder-obsessed Americans have a knack for, so no harm done. I also wandered into the adjacent room to briefly say hello to Michael Manese, amid his weekly Wednesday Happy Hour gig there. having not seen the other in a while, Michael joked that he looked forward to seeing me again sometime in the spring. in the meantime I'll still have his smile-inducing Angry Doug cartoons to read.
november 16th, 2044 ~ tuesday
America, in their own words
     on the day after the presidential election, the week before last, Mike was moved to write an email to friends and family. into this email he poured his unfiltered frustrations, reconsiderations, and conclusions about both a nation that now is, and one that maybe never was. it was an open letter that came from Mike's heart -- he wanted us to know that something he loved was paining him, and I felt that immediately upon reading his message. Mike's words provoked numerous, equally impassioned replies, such as Dana's, sent the day afterwards.

     I asked, and these two friends have graciously let me post their emails, so that others could reflect on their perspectives, and to perhaps archive reactions to what very well may be a definitive turning point in our lives.

below is Mike's email, from November 3rd, 2004:

this morning i cried. this election wasn't about picking a simple man or a likeable guy, this election, at its heart, was about choosing a course for the future of america. i say america, and not our nation, because i no longer believe that i am a part of this people. we are not one people, and i predict we will not come together. the numbers don't lie. look at them. more than 3 and one half million more people, according to the new york times, voted for bush than kerry. the republicans have increased their holdings in both the house and the senate. if you are a progressive person, a liberal believer, you have no voice in this government, and jim jeffords is not coming to save you. 4 supreme court justices have had cancer. 4 of them are over 70 years old. how many of them do you think will last the next four years on the bench? will it even matter. our nation has changed course. we are moving to the right, have moved to the right. i refuse to subscribe to the politics that left is good and right is bad. there are good people, and good ideas, on both sides of the aisle. but the wind has changed directions, and the democrats have no sail. not even the rosiest of colored glassed can obscure the fact that this president has been elected with a popular mandate. and maybe that shouldn't be such a surprise. but those who believe that he will govern more towards the center out of some concern for his legacy, as no less than john mccain suggested last night, have not been paying attention. bush has been building his legacy these past four years, and this type of mandate will only spur him further, not deter him. environmental regulations are being stripped. freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of choice all are being threatened and curtailed. bush wants to appoint more justices like clarence thomas. thomas would like to return to the days of Lochner, days when the courts curtailed the government's power at every turn. make no mistake, iraq is not the only territory left to conquer. no, the bigger prize lies here at home, and no one is talking about it. the real goal of those now in power is the complete reversal of the new deal revolution of the 1930s and 40s. it has not been accomplished these past four years, and it may not be so in the next four either, but the groundwork has been laid. the dismantling will continue, only now at a faster pace. the effects of november 2 will be felt in our jurisprudence for generations to come. i think often of something a professor said to my class in college. he was coteaching along with anne richards, each taking one class a week. during one class, the discussion turned to why governor richards had lost her reelection bid to george w. bush, a man most felt she should have easily beaten. the professor told us that he had spoken with a friend of his who worked professionally in politics. what he told him was that this result was not really all that surprising. if you took the time to look at the shifting political landscape in texas, the question wasn't really how anne richards, a liberal democrat, had lost to george w. bush, a conservative republican. the real question was, how she had ever been elected in the first place, given the strong conservative shift in the texas electorate. so as we look out on our future today, perhaps the question shouldn't be how did john kerry lose, but rather, why did we ever think he might win in the first place. take a look at the electoral map. forget the numbers for a minute. how much red do you see? how much blue? the country is not out of touch with us, we are out of touch with the country. this morning i cried, but not for john kerry, or john edwards, or even for myself. i cried for a nation, a nation i carry in my heart, but one that never really existed. today is the end; tomorrow the beginning.



and here is Dana's reply, written November 4th, 2004:

Last night, after having attended a Young Democrats event at a bar downtown where Howard Dean and Gloria Steinem both spoke to praise us for our efforts and our voices throughout this election, I drifted to sleep with a vague sense of optimism. But I woke this morning in a different country, in a different state of mind. You're right, the america we know and love, the democratic principles our country was based on, has been, for quite some time now, an apparition. It is appalling to me how a president who leads an army mired in anti-humanitarian prison abuses, is an ardent believer in the death penalty, refused this past October to join 85 nations in a UN sanctioned attempt to educate and liberate women in third world countries because of a tiny clause that would acknowledge reproductive rights, has won an elections based on "VALUES." The "folks" that inhabit the red states in the center of our country are so blinded by their religiosity and the propoganda machine that put gay rights at the center of the election to sway such voters, that they have elected a man, nay, an administration - a party, a theocracy, that acts in the total opposite of their interests and their beliefs. But, I fear that it goes beyond religion and values - these are a people that have no inquistive nature, just like their leader. Jon, you're right. We coast inhabiting liberals tend to give our neighbors in the red states a bad rap - toothless, inbred, white trash, red neck, etc. And we're wrong to do so - But the majority of the people that voted for Bush still think that Sadam was tied into 9/11! Even one of my closest friends, a Brandeis grad, no less, (who shall remain nameless - so don't ask) who is a registered republican didn't know that a major party platform was anti-abortion. Mike, as you said (and you know me - I am probably the most conservative of all your friends) there are good ideas on both sides of the aisle. But this isn't about Republicans and Democrats - this is about Bushies and anti-Bushies. Bushies don't read any writer that holds an opinion that differs from their own, in the same way that George Bush has a "fuck em" attitude toward the rest of the nations in the world. George Bush has no desire to learn and understand the beauty and complexities of cultures outside of the United States. The man has traveled to other nations far less than any other President. It's this close-mindedness that divides us. There is a reason why all the states on the coast, with the exception of Florida, are blue. We see imigrants, in fact, we probably come from imigrants. We see people of different races, religions, backgrounds and sexual orientations every single day.
This time around, George Bush won the popular vote. The American people spoke and they said that they'd rather have a guy who uses the word 'nucular,' is failing massively in Iraq, has lied incessantly about the state of the nation and the state of the war, to lead our country rather than a man whose state granted civil union to gay couples - a less than basic human right. George Bush wants to lead an America based on the values of "family and faith." But, that is not what America was ever based on.
But, with that being said - we can learn something from our counterparts in the "fly-over" states (a new term I've learned in this election) and that is the importance in having faith in something you can't see. I have faith that America will one day be a country that I can be proud of - but the only way for that to happen is if we stay involved. The democrats registered an estimated 1.7million new voters this election - most of them in the 18-29 demographic - we have to keep plugging and canvassing and working to recruit more young voters like us. We have to make sure that our democratic senators actually have the balls to stand up to George Bush at every worthwhile moment they can. They can't cower in fear, like they did this past four years, whenever GWB invokes new and radical policies in the name of 9/11 - we MUST use the press and the media to hold them accountable. We need to be as vicious and shrewd as the Republicans - who somehow managed to impeach a president over the words: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
So, yes, I agree we are out of touch with the nation, but that is because the nation is out of touch with reality. The Bushies are brilliant American politicos - but they're not such smart human beingse. I believe that, in the end, Kerry said the right thing in his concession speech. That his supporters proved to him that America is not only great, it is also good - and I have to believe that goodness will prevail.
november 15th, 2044 ~ monday
what you pawn, I will redeem
     I FINALLY took some time to put in my backlog of entries from the past week and a half. I was very tempted to go lay down and read, and probably fall asleep early, but I told my body, no, I gotta get to this. and to this I have gotten.

     but as much as I've added below, there's still a few things missing. like my fuller afterthoughts to recently seeing high school classmates for the first time in as many as 7 years. a sentence or two, an editor's note to follow up my Halloween costume indecision.

     and also I gotta post two emotional post-election pieces by Mike and Dana. I asked, and they gave me permission to reprint their thoughts on the state of our nation, and the way I'll vainfully try and do their ideas justice is by devoting tomorrow's journal to them. so that they can stand apart from the unrelated other thoughts of this particular entry, to let them stand alone as the singular pillars of thoughtful consideration that they are. so tomorrow, then.

     one last thing for tonight. the title of this particular entry is borrowed, much like other entries. this time it comes from, and is, the title of a short story I listened to yesterday on NPR's Selected Shorts program. I didn't catch who wrote Sherman Alexie's What You Pawn, I Will Redeem (I'm one Google away from knowing it thanks, but I do know that it was read beautifully by Keir Dullea, of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame. between hearing his warm rendition of a down-on-his-luck Native American's quest to buy back the pawned regalia of his grandmother, and reading Memoirs Of A Geisha for the past 2 weeks, I gotta say that I'm really feeling enraptured by the written word once more.

     and again, tomorrow I'll recollect even more satisfying and heartfelt written words of substance, this time from friends.
november 14th, 2044 ~ sunday
what? I can't believe it, no...
     sent this out via email to a few friends today...

Subject: terrible, just plain terrible news

I can't believe the news today. another shocking loss in the world of music.

maybe you know already, but yesterday, your man and mine, Ol' Dirty Bastard, born Russell Tyrone Jones but aka Osirus, Joe Bannanas, Dirt Dog, Unique Ason, Dirt McGirt, and, memorably, Big Baby Jesus, died. hearing this was kind of a shock to my system. ODB's always been the loose canon of the Wu, he's had more than his fair share of problems, but I thought he'd be around to amuse and confuse us for a long time. his problems aside, on the mic Dirty was always a wrecking ball of wonderfully askew lyricism and creativity. there was no one like him, and now he's gone. even if you didn't listen to him or know his work that well, he contributed to the rugged, raw and humorous vein of hip-hop that's influenced much of pop since the mid-90s. as a member of the Wu he helped redefine rap as we now know it. and rap aficionado or not, in the spider's web of modern music, ODB's certainly woven a tangible thread.

read more about his sudden passing here:

shaking my head,
november 13th, 2044 ~ saturday
tech support!
     ..."tech support" -- a great line from the misbegotten film Vanilla Sky (when David/Tom Cruises cries out for assistance with his frozen life), and services I occasionally provide at school and to family. today was the latter. 2 and a half, maybe even three: that's how many hours I spent on the phone helping a relative (an older cousin who's the mother of my second cousin, a second cousin who's more just like a regular cousin. the "second" in second cousin's always been moot to me). so anyway, yeah, a good chunk of my afternoon was devoted to guiding her, the older cousin, through her creation of a webpage, and all the little misteps that go along with it. in truth, I was only too happy to help, and the amount of time spent wasn't an issue at all. as I possibly shoulda noted earlier, going to the Canstruction art exhibit with Jess was my original Saturday afternoon plans, but Jess put it on hiatus. so I had plenty o'time to affect a bit of tech-savvy, and put my not-so-vast-but-quite-agreeable HTML knowledge to familial use. that I did, my cousin appreciated the help, as did I the chance to be helpful.
november 12th, 2044 ~ friday
Goya, oh boy-a
     hello weekend. tgi today and the relevent cliche.

     I believe I'll be joining Jess tomorrow afternoon for this Canstruction/can art exhibition she emailed about, yesterday. price of admission is, fitting, a can of food. guess I gotta raid the cupboards or dash into the local supermercado (ok, so it's not actually a latin-centric market. I just like the word "supermercado").
november 11th, 2044 ~ thursday
the calm after the pseudo-storm it's Veterans's Day. like almost everyone and their mother, got the day off to vegetate and recover from the near multi-day that was yesterday.

     Dave called me up wherever he was on the Eastern seaboard (well, I'm pretty sure it was somewhere near his home in Taxachussetts). we hashed out our political gripes and concerns following the election. on the topic of the media and politicians Dave used the phrase "holding their feet to the fire," which I mentally attributed to the Jon Stewart and his infamous Crossfire appearance. of course Stewart didn't coin the phrase, but his exemplary usage of it has further burned it into the collective psyche of many Stewartaholics. anyway, after getting all or some of the electiony stuff off our mutuals chests, Dave and I caught one another up on what's going on between us and our circle of friends. he himself, he told me, has grown a bit weary of the numerous campaigns he's been involved in (can't blame him), and he'll be hitting those books come early next year. Dave'll be pursing the business degree thing, much like Amanda, who said hi to me via Jess last night (hi Amanda, if you're reading this). apparently she's/you're plagued with work, but studentry's like that sometimes, and hey, it beats being unemployed.
november 10th, 2044 ~ wednesday
serving up dem Quality Services...
     ...or at least collaborating towards the 3 year plan for them and a improved Cooke Center. as I mentioned and prepared for yesterday, in the morning I met up again with fellow team members, old and new (in the month since our last meeting the committee has doubled in membership), to further discuss how our organization might go the aforementioned plan and improvement. the meeting went fine, concerns were addressed, knowledge disseminated. our comittee was broken up into smaller groups of 2 or 3, to further specialize and divide and conquer the areas we've decided to focus on (assessment, curricula, partner schools, etc).

     so that was the morning, one segment of a rather multi-segmented day. with the comittee meeting over it was back to school with me. I shared the train ride downtown from the Columbia/116th Street with a co-worker, and we mostly chatted about all things iPod, and related techno-trends of interest. from him I also learned that Sushi Samba, which I've walked by literally hundreds of time on my way to and from work, is not the best place to get your raw fish on, in the city (you're mostly paying for the atmosphere, I was informed). and good Thai, such as at the restaurant on Bleecker and 7th (Lemongrass something-or-other?) is not to be passed up, he also told me. Professor Hindley, of my Southeast Asian Politics class from senior year, would be proud (that joke goes out mainly to Mike, or anyway who can remember my page of Hindleyisms. those great quotes shall grace this new website in time).

     oh, and both the Executive Director of Cooke, and the President of Cooke's Board of Directors, the 2 of them, came to observe our classroom in the afternoon. guess who was chosen to instruct and command our students' attention during their? yup, little old me. but I don't know, for whatever reason my level of nervousness was low to maybe non-existent, despite being watched by my organization two main directors, the two people most in charge. aside from telling only a couple of my students that we'd be having some special guests, I didn't think about it all that much. not to chalk it up to overt confidence or ego or anything, but when you're in a job like mine, you get used to expecting the unexpected -- kids, special needs or not, throw you so many curveballs. but you learn to roll with, and progress towards dealing with any number of variables that might've tripped you up earlier. at least that's the attempt, and I think the attempt went ok this afternoon.
november 9th, 2044 ~ tuesday
once more, with feeling
     2nd Quality Services Delivery Task Force meeting, here I come [tomorrow morning]. well, that is, right after I finish "editing" my contribution "tonight."
november 8th, 2044 ~ monday
back to life, back to reality...
     meetings meetings meetings. one today in the afternoon, another on Wednesday, and a number of future ones in the works.
november 7th, 2044 ~ sunday
hey big spender
     spent $25 on some, uh, neckwear, $10.64 for 2 ways to keep my chassis classy (that is, lil over a sawbuck on 2 shirts), and 8 bucks to purdy-ify mah wrist. all spent on or just off Prince Street, in maybe a 3 block radius.
november 6th, 2044 ~ saturday
post-movie, train-ride home quote number 2, written on the train:
     "No. I didn't vote. I'm from Alabama. We rebels [down there]."

-- a gray-haired co-rider, during one of several conversations he struck up with other riders, conversations dotted with epithets for those who dared come to close to look at the subway map, and
november 5th, 2044 ~ friday
American Beauty
     8:00 pm. movie at Kim's place. specifically, American Beauty. cool.


post-movie, train-ride home quote number 1, written on the train:

     "don't make me blow this b*tch up"

-- tired, possibly kinda drunk guy, to the train conductor/MTA/no-one in particular, on a non-moving A train at 207th St.
november 4th, 2044 ~ thursday
interpret as you please

As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air -- however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.

     - William O. Douglas, US Supreme Court Justice (1939-75)
november 3rd, 2044 ~ wednesday
today's iTunes Music Store purchases
Sondre Lerche - On The Tower
Lou Reed - The Bed
Jay-Z - Excuse Me Miss
Kaki King - Playing With Pink Noise
Soul II Soul - Keep On Movin'
KoKo Taylor - I'ma Woman

    musical eclecticism at its finest.
november 2nd, 2044 ~ tuesday
     39,742. the number of copies my fellow co-workers and I have made on our copier, in the year or so since we got it. and 39,742 is not a number that'll have anything to do with the election, despite my better wishes.
november 1st, 2044 ~ monday
calm like a bomb
    or, the calm before the storm.

    began reading Memoirs of A Geisha today.