Friday, November 27, 2009

Living in New York City--It's Black Friday--a Yahoo Holy Day

Foto by tgw, New York City, 2006.
A Bird Was Sacrificed For Us and Was Devoured--but not until after a prayer
Yeah, it was funny. A little dude from El Salvador gave the blessing. El Santo padre bendice esta comida, amén. "Let's eat," and we did. We dug in. Roasted turkey, a good Mexicany stuffing--I had 'em bring me a bowl of jalapenos for mine--canned cranberry sauce (my favorite kind; reminds me of my mom), mashed spuds (for the Irish), and sweet potatoes for us traditionalists--"And all the Heinekens you need to drink, Wolfie, me lad," and I was moderate. I drank only two Heinekens (Forgive me, Brendan Behan). The whole feast was topped off with a liberal slice of pumpkin pie (made by an Irish bakery in Queens) done Americano style with a huge dollop of vanilla ice cream riding high on its surface. I was bloated afterwards. In need of a siesta. Lazy as hell.

My favorite Irish waitress suggested an Irish whiskey--a tumbler of Jameson's Gold, one of the finest whiskeys ever concocted by very wise fermenting-minded human beings, in this case the Irish, and who know whiskeys better than the Irish? My Scottish grandmother said the reason I drank so much was due to what little wee bit of Irish I had in me. "Grandma," I used to argue with her, "the Irish and the Scottish, you're the same people, you're Celts--the old name for Ireland was Scotia--the old name for Scotland was Nova Scotia." "Hush your mouth, child!" she would eye-me-down back. "The Irish are no good and that's all there is to it. May God forgive me for the only prejudice bone I have in my body. That it be a bone of contention against the Irish won't hurt me one bit into getting into Heaven; in fact, according to my beliefs, it'll get me a place at the head of the line going into Heaven on the day I find myself standing 'fore the Pearly Gates."

My favorite Irish waitress brought me a tumbler of Jameson's Gold. It is gold now, by the way. A tumbler of Jameson's Gold at my fav Irish pub is now $12. Twelve dollars for a shot o'gold!

Let's pause and celebrate something good besides good whiskey out of Ireland:


by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

      HE cat went here and there
      And the moon spun round like a top,
      And the nearest kin of the moon,
      The creeping cat, looked up.
      Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
      For, wander and wail as he would,
      The pure cold light in the sky
      Troubled his animal blood.
      Minnaloushe runs in the grass
      Lifting his delicate feet.
      Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
      When two close kindred meet,
      What better than call a dance?
      Maybe the moon may learn,
      Tired of that courtly fashion,
      A new dance turn.
      Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
      From moonlit place to place,
      The sacred moon overhead
      Has taken a new phase.
      Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
      Will pass from change to change,
      And that from round to crescent,
      From crescent to round they range?
      Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
      Alone, important and wise,
      And lifts to the changing moon
      His changing eyes.
"The Cat and the Moon" is reprinted from The Wild Swans at Coole. W.B. Yeats. New York: Macmillan, 1919.

Come on now, what a great little poem!

Contrary to the stereotyped Irish male characteristics, Yeats was not a drinking man.

In cruising the Google fast lanes while researching Yeats, I came across this splendid blog post:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


#139, Baggot Street, Dublin

My senior year of college, I dressed up like William Butler Yeats. Not every day, sadly, though I have to confess I cut a surprisingly sharp figure in a cape, flouncy poet's tie, and pince-nez. I made a pretty good six-foot-two Irishman for a five-foot-two American girl, and sometimes I think they must've switched souls at the Illinois hospital where I was born with a word-struck mystic outcast lad from Sligo. We've been trying to find each other ever since.

The method to the cross-cultural cross-dressing madness was a one-person show for my Non-fiction Studies class in the Performance Studies department. We were to research the life of a historical figure, put together a script using only primary sources (diaries, letters, first person accounts), and then perform a 30-40 minute long show where we became this historical figure. There were my classmates, parading about as Janis Joplin, Anais Nin, Frank Zappa, Bette Davis, and me, W.B. Yeats. The life of the party.

I mention this today, for 139's pub mural, because Yeats was not a drinking man. This asocial quirk did not make him popular among his fellow countrymen. As a child, children would jeer as he approached, lanky and gloomy, "O, here is King Death again!" As a grown-up, he was known as "Willie the Spooks." George Moore said of W.B. that he looked "like an umbrella left behind at a picnic." And as you can see, here he's been ousted from the hard man's drinking party with James Joyce and Sean O'Casey who are clearly living it up, bad eyesight and all, on the wall of Toner's. Only look at those drugged expressions. What do you suppose they're drinking, absinthe?

To read more, here ya go:
I love finding interesting blogs out of the slog of blogs that slime their ways into the threads of the blatantly democratic Internet (oh how the Capitalist pigs want to OWN the Internet--though guess who owns the Internet? Why We the People do; just like we own the airwaves, the radio and television frequencies, all the frequencies--We the People own them though we don't control them. The Power Elite controls them--they control them so broadly they actually think they OWN them). The Ampersand Seven blog is the blog of a woman, Therese Cox. I find women bloggers more interesting than the men. But then I'm a ladies man; I love women; most of the time I hate men. My ex-wife says I love women and hate men because women aren't a threat to me and men are. Oh how bitter that woman became over me. God. I mean, when we first met, Jesus, you'd a thought I was an Adonis--I fell from the mythological glory of being an Adonis in her eyes to being a foolish Icarus-type character--burning myself alive in an attempt to establish myself above the glowing of the Sun, our true Big Main God.

My problem for my ex-wife? I was too intuitive. I'm totally improvisational and most women can't tolerate such a side-to-side ride through life. Improvisation either works or it skids off into the ditch of total failure--ruin. Only the most finest tuned improviser can "blow choruses all night long" and survive. With the improviser, the next chorus has to blow away the last chorus or hell, what's the use of improvising? Why not collect your individualist pride and join a symphony orchestra and sightread note-for-note the written-down reproduced reprinted notes of music written by somebody besides you most of the time long before you were even thought of being born. My analogies and metaphors and semiphors and shit are running wild.

Thanksgiving. It's kind of a farce of a holiday. What, for instance, do We the People have to be thankful for collectively this year? The escalating invasion and occupation of Afghanistan? Maybe the fact that our "brave" troops are beginning to be killed more and more over there daily now? How about being thankful that perhaps, it looks as though, our President, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is about to try and invade and occupy Pakistan? I'm suspicious as to why he's spending millions of bucks courting the president of India a couple a days ago in the meantime, contending with the Pakistan government by continuing drone airstrikes into Pakistan sovereign territory--killing innocent Pakistan men, women, children, and justifying it...and there's the problem. How the hell is President Obama justifying these illegal invasive attacks into Pakistan territory? I suppose he will gloss this up in his upcoming grand speech before true fools of human beings at the West Point Military Academy. Obama like G.W. Bush has this obcessive desire to be loved and trusted by our foolish volunteer troops (and I call them foolish because they are dumb foolish kids for the most part).

Did anyone pick up on the fact that Obama feated the President of India almost one year to the day after the Pakistan terrorists attack Mumbai and killed 170 people--the only living terrorist who was captured alive going on trail in India as the President of the USA was charming and feasting the President of India to a multimillion dollar extravaganza dinner--the President of India gladly accepting the deal of trading him our nuclear secrets for his mangoes! Should we be thankful for that multimillion buck dinner we gave the Indian president? How many outsourcing deals did this bastard make with American corporations while he was here? Since We the People through our government never pick the right sides to align ourselves with, I'm sure this alignment with India will bring us grief in the near future as President Obama seems pretty intent on carrying on what is now his righteous war, carrying it on into Pakistan that is. Like I said yesterday, I think the Prez and his G.W. Bush (Neo-Con) military advisers are concerned about Pakistan's nuclear arsenal (which we gave them in the first place) falling into Taliban or al Queda or Pakistan left winger hands. There is a strong Communist movement in Pakistan. There's one in India, too. Also, the Kashmir mess isn't cleared up by any means yet in that part of the world. It's all about religions and gods and ways and paths and nirvanas and utopias and holy writs and shit. Marx, who was right about so many things, sorry all you Commie haters, but Marx was a smart man, said religion was the opiate that had us all in a fabulous lull--rocked asleep in the cradle of our fears and mysteries by the comforting winds of believing we are divine and thereby never going to die.

Should we be thankful that the recession is over? Well, at least it's over as far as the Power Elite's concerned. Hell, the Power Elite never even noticed we were in a recession. Recession, hell, we were and still are in a depression. A depression that could implode any day now and send us rocketing into a black hole of a truly "evil" depression! The Greater Depression. Let's have, in fact, the greatest Depression ever!

I'm getting cynical again. Why? Because of my fellow humans. Why are we intent on doing exactly what Freud said we were doing back in the early stages of his discovery period? I'm talking about the built-in death wish we all possess! To a person like me who accepts death as inevitable and life as a grand and glorious experience, I'd rather find pleasure in life than pain--Evolution as the true creator--accident as the way we do naturally change--an accident, and we change patterns--we have to change or perish in some accidental cases, like when an asteroid accidentally hits the earth again. By the way, you can check on asteroids headed our way over in our blog
So, alas, another Thanksgiving has come and gone.

Still it's a Holy Day here in New York City. It's 9 am and so still it's eerie. I'm still anticipating the construction site to start hammering at any second. I've just been bitten by a mosquito. This has been a bad year for them. I remember when Rudy Guliani was Mayor how he gassed our asses--trucks running up and down Manhattan spraying god knows what into our already contaminated air--his decision to kill all the mosquitos in New York City even if he killed all the humans in New York City to do it was just one of the idiocies of this pompous asshole's mean years as our mayor--who still is disgracing the true greatness of New York City by trotting around making appearances and threatening to run for, but now he's maybe running for senator--he's pondering his chances--"Do I win easier against the moulinyan or the female?--I know I can charm the female out of her panties...but I don't know about the Moolie; slandering a blind man, let alone a blind Moolie...oh, I'm sorry, did I say moulinyan--I swear I said,, I mean, blaaaa...." And poor old Rudy. He's looking haggard. He's looking a little osteo--humped, you know. He's looking tired, too. In the meantime, his old asshole buddy, Bernie Keric, is tucked away in a Federal prison--don't worry, he's doin' just fine--he's in with his own kind--he'll probably soon be buttering up to some of the younger dudes. Rudy's free while Bernie does a little time for doing the same things Rudy did. Can't separate the two with a crowbar, as we used to say about asshole buddies.

I date myself. Hell, I don't care. My traveling self. My self that moves along in the NOW. I'm always thinking "Now's the Time." Because now's the only time we have. It's the only real time. Think of it. You're reading this and it's already in the ethereal. Floating around on the cyber seas--to perhaps float there forever. Wow. You think there's a lot of manmade junk in outer space--what about Internet space! Watch out! Wow, that piece of shit almost hit us.

What amazes me about all this is that I'm soon considering it as word garbage. Isn't it garbage to a writer after he or she has written something and finished it? I remember Hemingway and Faulkner talking about not reading their books after they'd finished writing them and they were published. Yes, they all had their leather-bound very first editions on their bookshelves. Or, I remember hearing a lot of jazz musicians talking about how they never listened to their own recordings. Again, like the writers, they all had stacks of their albums all around their apartment walls--but they were remains--bodies. In the now the writer or musician has to be creating anew, with no time for looking back. This is kind a'what Obama's philosophy is in his saying he doesn't want anything to do with the past, only the future. That's jazz thinking. Yes, it's Black thinking, too. There's only "badness," "blues," and "bondage" in the past...there is a CHANCE for breaking free in the future. In other words, the future can erase the past with the right editor wielding the eraser...and then be rewritten by the right writer. Does Obama write his own speeches? I know he was the EDITOR in chief of the Harvard Law Review when he was one of the future best & brightest in his class at Harvard Law.

And you know how I love editors! From editors did I come and with editors will I go. I once heard a publisher at a publishing seminar at NYU say that editors had to decide at some point in their lives whether they were satisfied being editors or whether they were becoming editors only to advance themselves toward getting published as writers. The best editors, he said, were writers who couldn't finish novels or books of poems; writers who were Strunk & White strict with themselves with their prose but not creative enough to turn that correct prose into great tales! Are editors incapable of writing bad whatever their language! Are they so strict with their prose correction they are incapable of breaking the laws of language like writers can so easily do, like writers can so naturally do?

I came to New York City as a writer. I became an editor out of financial desperation. It was the only job I could get with writer credits.

I had always had intentions of being a writer since I was 11 years old and one afternoon after school my maternal grandmother taught me how to type--or started teaching me how to type--it was either her teach me how to type or her enduring me destroying her pride-and-joy typewriter on which she wrote her books of poetry and her novels. By teaching me how to type because of my fascination I had with the typewriter, she also made a writer out of me. I always said my fascination with the typewriter came from my same (earlier, too) fascination I had with the piano--and I've always said both typewriters and pianos are keyboards--typewriter keys are used to write out your songs--piano keys are used to sing out your songs. Oh how romantic I can be. Is that the Irish in me?

So after a slug of Jameson's Gold and after I'd hugged and kissed all the pretty lassies and gone the round of los abrazos with los senores, I came home, back to the stillness of my apartment and conked out. Belly full. Hunger oversatisfied. Gut glorying with gusto. With great respect, I passed out reading a Charles Bukowski novel, Ham on Rye, thedailygrowlerhousepianist gave me to read a'couple a'weeks back. I didn't wake up until I had missed "The Mentalist," a Thursday night CBS teevee show that several times I've found rather amusing--one episode in particular done wonderfully surprising--well written and well acted--when they got a confession out of a murderer by showing him a guy he thought he had murdered being interviewed and being told the guy was confessing everything, blaming him for trying to kill him, blah, blah, blah. Turned out the confessing guy was really dead. They were propping him up like they did Bernie in the Weekend with Bernie movies--but the guy was stiff as a board dead. That one got my ass. Caught me flat by surprise. I missed it last night though.

Today. Oh I'm sailing on intuitive waters today. Let come what may. So far, everything of mine is going my way. It's a la-ti-dah day with me.

Black Friday! Oh how desperate our Walmart-like chain stores are this year. God, they want customers! All the big come-on ads are running on teevee. 50% off of everything including the kitchen sinks. Hell, here's an ad offering me if I get there early Timberland boots at 75% off. Of course nobody ever gets there early enough to get those fantastic deals. "Hey, how come this Vizio piece of shit is the one you've discounted--it's a discounted item anyway--and this Sony over here is $35 higher than what they're sellin' 'em for downtown at K-Mart? What's going on, you desperate bastards?"

If you don't understand how a store can make a profit out of selling discounted items, here ya go, it's simple. Say the average mark up on an item is 50% over cost--and you then discount that mark up 50%--that means you are still making a 25% profit. Discounts are usually bullshit. Discounted merchandise is usually merchandise manufactured to be discounted. Wal-Marts started as discount stores--stores that sold overstocks--you dig? Say Timberland made too many Alaskan Musk-lined boots and they didn't sell for shit. Old Sam Walton then took cash from his safe in Arkansas over to the Timberland headquarters and made a deal to buy all their remainders of Alaskan Musk-lined boots, which old Sam took back to Bentonville, Arkansas, and sold 'em as NEW Timberland boots but at way-low prices. The hillbillies in that part of the world didn't give a shit that these boots were a style of boots Timberland couldn't giveaway they were so unpopular; to them, they were high fashion clodhopper at Chinatown prices. Also, old Sam Walton had the bright idea to ask, while he was at Timberland headquarters, "What the hell do y'all do with yur seconds, you know, boots you jerk off the line as mistakes?" "Why, Sam, we destroy them and recycle as much of them as we can salvage." "Why, partner, that's plumb foolish, when I tell ya what I'll do, I'll buy yur seconds from you for let's say 10 cents on the dollar." For years people bought seconds at discount stores as new items, not realizing they were seconds till they got home and tried them on and found one sleeve longer than the other, or the collar a little crooked and unfitting, or perhaps, Jeez, what are these big holes under the arms? Sure you could take 'em back and get credit--which means you simply were given another second as a replacement.

For years, we had in New York City an infamous department store called Alexander's. It was right across the street from the famous ritzy overpriced Bloomingdale's (named for the old Bloomingdale meadow that once was that area) Department Store. I mean my first trip to Alexander's Mens Department, I found the coolest hottest cashmere shirt, with an Italian designer label, too, and for only $12.99--yes, at the time, steep for a pullover shirt but this one was cashmere--and Italian! I was hooked. I wore that shirt proudly to work the next day. I wore it out that night and partied all night in it, and then put it in the cleaners a day or so later. When it came back from the cleaners, I unwrapped it and put it on and went out on the town. I had noticed it was a little tight fitting on me but I paid that no mind. I was out on the town with this frequent mileage girlfriend when she suddenly said, "What's that, a moth hole in your shirt?" Whaaaa! I immediately ran to the men's room and checked it out. Jesus X, she was right. There was a big hole just under the shirt's pocket. I went back to my date, embarrassed as hell. "Where did you buy that shirt?" she asked me. "Alexander's," I innocently confessed. "Why, hellfire, no wonder your shirt has a hole in it. Everybody knows Alexander's sells seconds."

One other time, I gave Alexander's a shot. This time I bought my secretary at Time, Inc., who, I admit, I was hitting on she was so preciously young and Midwest naive and pretty to boot, a fiery sapphire gemstone set in a 22 karat gold mounting. It looked magnificent. She later shyly confessed to me that she'd had the ring cleaned and the jeweler told her the stone had a flaw in it. That was it. I learned my lesson and stayed away from Alexander's after that.

Alexander's was the child of a guy named Alexander. The store was a gem of a department store in terms of the old building. I believe Donald Trump bought Alexander's after the Alexander's heirs sold it.

Today, I've got no problems. The sun is showing itself. It was foggy all day yesterday. Now, wow, the sun is breaking loose--either that or it's Jesus on his big White Horse coming through that stargate in the clouds.... Ah, how easy it is to be dumb.

for The Thankful Daily Growler

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