Friday, January 28, 2011

Thoughts while riding in an empty train


Here it comes. Listening to Sonic Youth on the train. Tonight we’re expecting more snow. I don’t want to talk about the weather. That would bore you. What happens on the train as we approach St. James? Nothing but silent heads getting tossed. It’s quiet in the train. This is the time when we contemplate the day we left. This time can be used for self introspection, intoxication and frustration. You can listen to music or watch a movie on the laptop. Read a book. Do some more work and rise like a star in your company. I type this and get distracted by my Blackberry. Let the water run in the river. We pull out of Smithtown and there’s nothing but snow faintly lit by dim street lights. Cars are tombs. We crash under our blankets and wish for dreams to erupt from the deep, let me sleep. About this time I’m hungry and wish for some dinner. I’d like to have something to eat now. It’s warm in the train. Next week I’m heading up to Toronto and presenting to the sales staff up there. Afterwards we are going out to dinner and then back to my hotel for a night of sleep in Canada. We’re pulling into St. James and I’m thinking of you. I’m thinking of the black shoes I see. The platforms are covered in snow and the commuters trudge through wet snow. Where is the cleanup crew? Keeping warm since we’re expecting more snow and shit. Still, listening to Sonic Youth. Met a girl from Northport who is studying massage therapy, former English student…gave her my Newsday essay. I think I have some more copies. Reading Walter Mosley, Fearless Jones. So far it’s a damn good book. Looks like a house still has their Christmas lights on. The commuters recognize one another and discuss the weather, how’s it going? Stony Brook station. You have to know what you want. It’s surprising. See you tomorrow, have a good day. It’s 6:25. We’re about to pull out of Stony Brook. At this time the train is virtually empty except for a man in the Emergency row and a woman who waddles down the aisle as we get thrown about on the steel tracks. I think tomorrow I’m working from home, just a hunch. I don’t want to get stuck on the train. It’s time to wrap up this puppy.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

bella's birthday, let us take a moment

Tomorrow is Isabella’s birthday, our youngest is turning 8. The youngest of 4, Bella as she prefers to be called is an independent spirit like no other. Bella at times rules the house with her demands and a deafening volume that blasts out from a mouth. I feel she will become to next Ethel Merman, I’m going to try to add a link to You Tube in this post. Today, we celebrated her birthday. Now to be honest, we know that two weeks ago we were celebrating Christmas. Bella like my dad who was born two weeks before Christmas is a short changed through life, since both don’t have the day like most of us have had or will continue to have. Your birthday is the day the earth stops around you. No chores for the birthday boy or girl, and they can have anything for breakfast. You want chocolate cake, you got it. But two weeks after Christmas, we’re trying to sharpen our minds, get back the normalcy of life, work and school. These days it feels the earth pauses for a moment, but there’s a sense of let’s move on. There’s work to do. For my Bella boo, as I call her, I will try to take a step back and remind myself, being 8 is limited to months. This is our birthday girl. Before you know it, like her older sisters, who are now teenagers, life steams past us. Take a moment and celebrate the day.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Henry Rollins - Broken Summers

This past week I read Broken Summers by Henry Rollins. I bought a used copy in Cambridge MA and I would glace at the copy now and then. My goal this week was completing The Clinton Tapes. Instead I settled on something easier. Rollins is an easy writer to sink your teeth into, but I found his redundant themes of running into babbling drunks near his bus or back stage at the shows or how often he’d snicker at the USA, spelling America with a K or two…and he’s always on the move. What’s he running from? Facing his demons? Accepting he is vulnerable? What are missing were any real emotions or a girlfriend. Come on Henry tell us more about your infatuation with Cheryl Crowe. Other than hate, there is little else of substance in this book. He mentioned his upbringing, but did not go into detail. His parents divorced when he was younger, and remembers getting hauled off by his mother. That was about it. Rollins even assumed his grandmother may have been alive when his tour brought him to Detroit, but he hadn’t spoken to her in years. What kind of machine is this? Then again he’s in his early forties when the book was written, and I got the sense there was an adolescent masquerading as a middle aged man. The inner squabbles between his old Black Flag band mate is bush league. Here’s the gist of the book, after his recent spoken word tour Henry has a brilliant idea; record a benefit album of Black Flag covers and tour to raise funds for the Memphis three. The three are three wrongfully imprisoned young men for the murders of three young boys, but I never learned why they were wrongly imprisoned, just they got the shaft from the judicial system. Rollins had the gall to compare flying in a jet for hours to these young men who are in solitary? What the fuck? In fact before writing this I learned more details in a few paragraphs from a blog. The book ends without sharing details like how much did the tour and album raise? The three needed money for a DNA test, and this was a few years ago. Instead there are two more essays that left me feeling as if Rollins needed some filler. I’m not going to abandon Rollins writing based on one book. I respect his endurance and fight for social justice – around the world. His macho crap is over the top and reminds me of a few friends I had years ago, they always looked for a fight but backed down the moment you looked them in the eye. One shot was all they needed to cower, like a barking dog, their bark is worse than their bite. I was interested in attending one of his shows at Joe’s Pub in NYC next month; all the shows are sold out, but after reading this, I’m going back to listening to his music and reading some…more…Henry.