Thursday, June 25, 2009

June 25, 2009

Today was a fairly eventful day even before I returned home and turned on WCBS-DT's news. My last delivery of the day had a name of "Doorman" and a 64th Street address on the work radio. And it wasn't until I made the pickup when I found out who it was going to. Ruth Madoff. The wife of Bernie, as the mailroom guy at the pickup spot verified. I figured it would probably be signed for by the doorman since Ruth Madoff wouldn't risk the stalkerazzi to pick up a simple envelope from a certain media outlet. And I was right, although the doorman looked at that envelope like it was a payoff or something (it wasn't).

I turned on the news after I got home to find out Farrah Fawcett had died and that Michael Jackson was taken to a hospital in Los Angeles after undergoing "major cardiac arrest". I don't remember much of "Charlie's Angels", but I do know nearly every guy who came of age in the 1970s had a pinup of Farrah on his wall. In real life, she was involved with (although not formally married to, in a violation of her Catholic faith) another actor named Ryan O'Neal. The most telling footage of her death came when Ryan O'Neal approached the stalkerazzi and informed them that "she's gone" and drove off. For the sake of their family, I hope the stalkerazzi doesn't camp out in front of their house or her pending funeral Mass.

By 6:20PM EDT, WCBS was reporting that Michael Jackson was pronounced dead. It took about a half hour for other news outlets on the internet to confirm the story. Despite his sickening personal life, Michael Jackson was a very major force in American popular music, right up there with Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. His 1982 album Thriller (which I still have in my CD collection) is the biggest selling album of all time. He combined music, dance, and the then-new music video in a way no one had done before or since. There are very few people in the civilized world of my generation that don't know what a Moonwalk is or who could name at least 10 of his number one singles.

But let's not forget that Michael Jackson did have a very sick personal life. He was a probable pedophile. I didn't take many liberties when I wrote a parody of his 1980 hit "She's Out of My Life" called "They're Out of My Life"- they referring to the boys of what he called sleepovers. It was another Thomas surnamed Sneddon who never forgot what Michael Jackson did to those boys. And Jackson repaid Sneddon with a snuff song off his 1995 HIStory album called "D.S.".

I would not be surprised if after this Gay Pride Week, Michael Jackson is outed as bisexual. His kids were not conceived the old fashioned way. About the only wife who will admit to sleeping with him was Lisa Marie Presley, although that brief marriage was more of a failed business merger than anything resembling traditional marriage.

But Michael Jackson is gone now. To paraphrase my Godmother (who actually used this saying about her dead father, my grandfather)- It is going to be very weird without him around. And for a week or so at least, the craziest media circus in America won't be in the Senate Chambers of Albany, NY.

Monday, June 08, 2009

June 8, 2009

I returned to work today after spending the weekend recovering from Friday's ER visit. I got my medicine after work. I also injured my left arm (which had the IV in it Friday) while carrying some heavy garment bags.

But I've spent most of the evening updating my blogs after watching Channel 2's 5PM news.

WCBS-TV, WABC-TV, and WNYW-TV (all 3 from New York City) are reporting that New York State Senate Democrats Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate are joining the GOP coalition, which means that the Republicans have just retaken the state senate (with a 32-30 majority) after losing their narrow majority to the Democrats last November. This new caucus has voted Dean Skelos back to his pre-November 2008 position as Senate Majority Leader. Pedro Espada has been voted in as Senate President, which thanks to Spitzergate means Espada could be the acting governor if something happens to the current governor, David Paterson.

The New York Post and Daily News are reporting that noted NY conservative Tom Golisano was deeply involved in convincing Espada and Monserrate to dump their support for Democratic Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith. Among other things, this means the legalization of gay marriage in New York is unlikely, as the state senate has not voted on the issue yet. The state assembly passed the measure earlier this year.

Of course the Democrats are fuming. According to the Post and WCBS, the lights of the senate chamber were turned off during the vote to replace Malcolm Smith with Dean Skelos as Majority Leader. And (no surprise), Democrats are threatening to go to court to reverse this afternoon's power swap.

Now if only the same thing could happen in the state assembly, where uber-leftist (and paid shill for Weitz and Luxenberg) Sheldon Silver is the Assembly Speaker and (to use an old Tammany term) boss. Ironically, one of the few things deposed Senate leader Malcolm Smith and the Republicans agreed on was that legislative leaders (specifically, Silver) should not hold paying jobs in addition to their legislative pay. Silver has not disclosed what he currently does for Weitz and Luxenberg, but it is reported he makes more per day as a "consultant" than I make in a week. Of course, no one seems to care that having an assembly speaker who also works for a law firm with major state contracts and who is also an avowed opponent of tort reform is to put it mildly- sleazy and unethical.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

June 6, 2009

Today is June 6, 2009, the 65th anniversary of D-Day. None of my ancestors served in the European theater of World War 2 (my grandfather Richard Faith Sr. worked in an airplane factory at the time while my other grandfather George F. Clarke was an MP at a POW camp in Sheffield, PA). But my father Donald Clarke served at an Air Force Base in Evreux-Fauville, Normandy from 1960-64. Ironically, in the early 1960s, he stumbled onto the Normandy coast during one of his leaves and witnessed the filming of The Longest Day. Ironically, while I knew the story of his witnessing the creation of that film, I didn't know which film it was until I found out the info from a recent delivery order from Alan's Alley video store in Chelsea, which carries the DVD (and who had better not be begging for any more free promos on this blog).

I only had a 4 day workweek this past week because of a regularly scheduled doctor's appointment on Friday, June 5. I put in nearly the maximum hours allowed for a 5 day workweek this week. Between that, exhaustion from carrying a way-oversized item for over 2 hours in Manhattan, severe sinus pressure, and a major eye infection, I spent most of Friday not in the 4th Floor of Coney Island Hospital, but in the Emergency Room. I have had at least 74 visits to either the Group 4, Dermatology, or eye clinics at Coney Island Hospital since 1998. And as of yesterday, I have now had 4 visits to their emergency room- 3 of which have involved painful IV treatments. Yesterday, I got the IV put only to find out 3 hours later that I never needed it in the first place. And because I was not discharged from the emergency room until well after the hospital's pharmacy had closed, I can't even get the medicine they prescribed me until Monday at the earliest.

So naturally, I have spent most of today at home in Brooklyn recovering from sore nose, sore eyes, sore throat, sore left side of my face, and a sore left arm from where the IV was. Facebook being what it is, I posted that I was in the ER yesterday. I got an instant message from one of my sister's friends, Dana Twaddle, whom I haven't seen in person since my father's funeral in 1995. I got the usual concerned call from my sister. I even got into an extended chat with Steve Peak, whom I haven't seen in person since his wrong turn on the 2 train in 1999. The lack of responses from other, more local friends is disheartening. I moved back to New York to be the most alone guy at the holding area of the Coney Island ER? Steve says I should find a wife, but I doubt any sane woman would want someone with all the baggage I have. Right now, I don't even have an emergency contact for work or hospital. While waiting for the test results that drained all that blood out of me, I wondered what would happen if I didn't make it out of there alive. The answer, not much. So much for the last surname descendant of Stillman Clarke.

And to close this totally non-linear blog post, here are the concluding lyrics of the last song recorded by the KLF/Justified Ancients of Mu Mu on this, the 65th anniversary of D-Day and the last year of the very fucked up (and getting worse) first decade of the 21st Century:

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on that perilous sea!
The grace of Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen.

Fuck the Millenium!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May 27, 2009

I am sort of settling in my new place in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. It is nice to be walking distance from a church, a major (B and Q lines) subway station, my bank, and at least 2 major supermarkets.

For now, I have home internet access. I finally checked the site where I e-filed my NY and Federal taxes 2 months ago, and found out that- surprise- my state return never got filed. I got billed April 2 for filing a nonexistent return. I am in the process of closing out my storage site. This means I don't have to travel to Long Island City to access my CDs, my photo albums, and diaries dating back to 1987. And since I don't have anywhere near the short-term memory I had in 1987, I need those diaries to reference things such as when I filed my taxes, when I last dated, old immunization records, old school attendance dates, and certain old debts (see the next paragraph).

I still don't have such niceties as a camera phone,a microwave oven, a DVD player, an antenna that allows my DTV converter to pick up such stations as WNET, WLIW, and WPXN, and I still don't understand that Twitter thing that Lane Gold and several others are so adamant about. Speaking of Lane, he finally joined Blogger with a horse blog. I'm sure that a lot of people are wondering what the hell is going on with the Triple Crown race circuit. Between a longshot Derby winner called Mine that Bird, the Preakness and Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra, their usual jockey Calvin Borel, and allegations of collusion to prevent certain fillies from entering the Preakness, the whole mess is resembling an equine version of the Jerry Springer show. And to think, if that scumbag Spitzer hadn't tampered with NYRA's business 3 years ago, I might still be working certain promotions at the tracks. But the amount that Lane still owes me from a certain tow job in Queens back in July 1991 might just barely cover a decent seat at the Belmont Stakes next month.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

April 5, 2009

As of later this afternoon, the home office for this blog (and this blogger) will be in Sheephead Bay, Brooklyn. Considering most of the novel I'm writing takes place in that part of Brooklyn, maybe I can get more inspiration in my bigger residence and finish the damn thing.

But now, I'm going to be closer to 2 major supermarkets (and my former parish of St. Mark's) than I will be to a non-street cleaning block. But the car finally got inspected yesterday, so now I can spend the rest of this day moving and running up the fuel bill and EZ-Pass.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

March 14, 2009

I haven't been posting many novel excerpts (or done much writing on my novel) lately because I've had a lot of other stuff to worry about- like next month's move (which will probably be to Brooklyn or Queens), and my car repair.

The radio landscape in NYC changed this week. WXRK-FM dumped their K-Rock format (again) and is now a top 40 station competing against the city's most listened-to station, Z100. It has been a long time since Z100 has had competition (WPLJ dumped top 40 over 17 years ago, and WNEW 102.7 only spent a few months with the format in early 2003). I hear 92.3 is still looking for staff. If they are even remotely interested- I have a weird sense of humor, a lot of strong opinions on current music, and a few incriminating bulletin board posts from the 1990s that feature current Z100 morning show personality Jon Bell and my infamous Prodigy exchange with JoJo Morales (who argued 12-13 years ago that top 40 was dead in NYC). And to the K-Rock fanatics- their format is still on one of 92.3's subchannels, which means the format never went away if you have an HD radio.

I have been spending more time on Facebook. A lot of people I know have given up MySpace in favor of Facebook, but I will continue to have both. Right now, it's the only way I can communicate with my sister. I just hope MySpace fixes their playlist problems.

And tonight is the Big East championship. It's been a long time since I followed up on college basketball. I'd like to know how Louisville got out of Conference USA and into the Big East. Now their only obstacle to a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament is Syracuse, the alma mater of the infamous NBC staffer codenamed "Syracuse Peacock" who loved to criticize public college journalism programs back after I transferred to Brooklyn College in 1997. For those of youse not aware, I did attend the University of Louisville for a few semesters in 1990-93. And like Brooklyn College, U of L is a public college. Unlike Brooklyn College, they didn't have a journalism program back in the 1990s, and I don't think they have one now.

And now it's back to manipulating my novel's characters and getting my car fixed to where it can pass inspection..........

Saturday, February 07, 2009

February 7, 2009

This has been a busy week.

First of all, my mayor came to my borough on Monday for the annual Groundhog thing at the Staten Island Zoo. Here's what happened next...

Needless to say, Staten Island Chuck is probably more popular in this city (and in this borough) than Mayor Bloomberg is right now. And so far, the groundhog seems to be right about Spring coming early. But then, 40 degrees is warm compared to what this city saw most of last month.

And anyone who has read this blog in the last few months knows I don't particularly care for the reckless out of pool actions of one human Flipper. Last weekend's NY Post and Monday's Metro and AM-NY all had headlines about Michael Phelps's experience with marijuana. I predicted he would do something stupid with drugs last year. And considering he will now be suspended from official activities for the next 3 months, maybe he will be hawking those medals in the ghettos of Baltimore in the near future. I just hope Richland County, SC, throws the book at him.

And this morning, I finally joined the digital TV community, with my new fresh-from-E-Bay Zenith DTT-901 hooked up to my tv set. The picture quality is great, and I now get NOAA weather radio off my TV set, Fox and My Network on 4 different subchannels, and a whole lot more PBS stations. Now if only I can get it to work with my VCR..

Saturday, January 10, 2009

January 10, 2009

It's been a quick 10 days of the year so far. I put in a bit of time at work. I finally got the title to my car, but now I need a starter. There is supposed to be a snowstorm in NYC this afternoon. And I got the first serious genealogy inquiries into the Essex County Clarke families since 2006 this week.

It seems I am not the only Clarke who has had a newspaper column. I knew my great-great grandfather Edgar A. Clarke's cousin Almon Taylor Clarke wrote a "Meditations" column for the Palm Beach Post in the early part of the 20th Century. But it turns out that Almon's son (also named Almon Taylor Clarke, but better know to the upstate NY literary community by his pen name of Rufus) was a major columnist. He was well known for the "Old Timer's Column" that was syndicated in several upstate Newspapers, including the Tupper Lake Free Press. But despite what it says in several upstate New York obituaries, these Clarkes did not have an ancestor who signed the Declaration of Independence. Their ancestor (and mine) who lived around that time was Abraham Clarke (1736-1817), who spent his first 50+ years in Middlesex County, MA (and served in the Continental Army around 1782). After his wife's death, Abraham started what would be the first of 218 years of Clarke migration- to Sullivan County, NH, Springfield, VT, and to Essex County, NY. His grandson James Madison Clarke's bible is what definitively connected Almon Taylor Clarke to my ancestors, most of whom were not prominent, certainly not prominent enough to go to Philadelphia in 1776.

As far as I know, while I have sent submissions to the (recently deceased) New York Sun and to a few websites, the only newspaper which has printed any of my writings regularly was the Brooklyn College Excelsior, and I stopped sending stuff to them over 9 years ago.

Also, my friend from Japan-by-way-of-Owensboro, KY, Steve Peak, is in the United States right now. I doubt he will get to New York before his wife's and daughter's travel visas expire. But New York had to deal with Al Qaida in 2001, I don't think it is ready for Al-Boaida now.