Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Reading Over the Summer

One good thing about being a teacher is that you have the summer off. I like to catch up on my reading. I always want to do some writing but well, I am lazy. So I read. I managed to read all of the Repairman Jack novels by F. Paul Wilson, and a bunch of Harlan Coben novels. When I start a series, I need to get all of the books in that series, up to the most current one, before I can begin. Like after I read the stand alone novels Tell No One, and Gone For Good, I decided to read Coben's series with a character called Myron Bolitar. So I had to get all seven books. Six werent a problem, the second one in the series, the elusive seventh one was difficult, but I procured it today, so now I am halfway through it and felt the need to tell you all, not that you care.

I have been managing to read quicker too over the summer, unlike past years, I guess I have been lucky in my selections, oh how I loathe the thought of reading essays come September, oh well, I digress.

Any good book recommendations, not you greengirl, I know the types of books you have been reading.


Saturday, July 23, 2005

Mr. Mandible the Motivational Speaker

I live in a van down by the river.... No one could forget the motivational speaker created by Chris Farley, but this blog is about a guy who, unfortunately, actually gets paid for speaking. His name wasn't Mandible, but that's what I always referred to him as because well he was a character. He was brought to my school one year on one of those wondrous Staff Development days. We were treated to his deranged looks and wild gesticulations for well over an hour. He looked just like one of the long lost Mario Brothers, yes from the video games sans painter cap. He bounced around and spoke at a hundred miles a clip, or hundred words a second, and would pause at times asking some one--Hey You, what's your name?

Uh George

George, hey Can I call you George, I feel that I can call you George, and then proceed to use George in a wild scenario.

He pointed at a woman and yelled, I don't see a woman, I don't see a man, I see a person!!!

Or pause at a black teacher and wag a finger at her and said, I don't see you as a black person, I don't see you as a white person, I see you as you, what's your name Hon?

He went on to belch out pearls of wisdom from his life, like when his son spoke with fouls language, he made him lay down in the gutter, and smiled proudly and said, I told him if you want to have a gutter mouth now you are going to lay in the gutter. He hasn't cursed since!!!

He also said words I live by,
Blue Monday
Terrible Tuesday
Wednesday Humpday
Thursday sucks
Thank god it's Friday...And if any of you feel that way, you have no right doing the job you are doing, get out and do something different.

His goal, I thing was to motivate us to feel good about our jobs, I know he lifted a lot of our spirits but only because of what a colossal load he was. It is a good thing I cannot recall his real name, I would have used it here. And then perish the thought might I be fired for blogging????


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Brooke Lynn's Beat Prologue


He had slipped into her bedroom window shortly before seven.
It had been easy enough since the window was open an inch already. He had counted on that. Ever since he could remember, even on the coldest of nights, she would open the window a little to let some fresh air in. She would always say something like, "fresh air is healthy." Healthy?, what a joke, he thought, I always had a God damned cold. Those times, however, have long since passed. He felt that it was time to renew their relationship, or more importantly, finish where he left off.

Once inside, he stood in the shadows for several seconds waiting for his eyes to get accustomed to the darkness. Alone in the darkness, he could feel his heart beating fast in his chest. He was the hunter, getting ready for the kill. In those brief moments, while waiting for his eyes to adjust he felt omnipotent, feral, and indestructible.

When his eyes became acclimated to his nocturnal surroundings, he surveyed the room. The room was papered in a floral print, and the Queen sized bed had linen with a floral print. The room itself had a vague scent of lilacs. He wanted to wretch. He always hated her damn obsession with flowers.

He made his way over to the big triple dresser, which was littered with cosmetics and perfumes. On the far side of the dresser stood a jewelry box that looked familiar to him. He picked it up and examined it carefully. He didn't worry about fingerprints because he had coated each finger with a layer of Elmer's glue. The glue would fill in the indentations around the whorls and loops of the fingers.

The jewelry box was slightly smaller than a shoe box. It was hand carved in a floral pattern. Though the box was chipped and scratched, and the varnish was worn a little more, it was the same one he had given her. He opened it up, and in the center a small plastic ballerina did her endless pirouette as The Fugue played on. It had been his grandmother's and it was the first thing he gave her, back when he had loved her. That was a lifetime ago. The only feelings he had for her now were feelings of hatred.

He closed it and put the box back down. He picked up a bottle of perfume and brought the bottle up to his face and smelled the faint aroma.

Wrinkling his nose in disgust he tossed it aside and opened the bureau drawers. He found a pair of her pantyhose and stuffed them into his pocket. For later, he thought.

Then, he sifted through her panty drawer. His fingers moving obscenely over her private things. Black ones, white ones, lacy ones and frilly ones. The red satin had always been his favorite. He picked up a bunch of her panties and brought them to his face and smelled them slowly almost lovingly; and then threw them around the floor and dresser top. Then, with his arm, he swept all of the bottles off of the top of the bureau, on to the carpeted floor. He thought of what he had to do next. Everything had to look exactly right. There could be no margin of error.
Walking over to the closet he pulled out a very sharp, very deadly hunting knife from a leather sheath on his belt. He opened the closet and carefully, methodically, sliced up all of her clothing. Looking down at his handiwork he noticed a name tag on a piece of tattered clothing. He stooped down to pick it up.


R.N., he thought, how the hell did that dumb bitch become a registered nurse?
He put it into his pocket and went into the kitchen and looked around. He opened the refrigerator and found a small box with leftover pizza. Putting the box on the counter, he opened the cabinet over the sink and took down a glass and filled it with ice from the freezer. In the living room he found the liquor cabinet and poured himself a nice glass of Stolenshya. He sat down and on an overstuffed sofa with a tacky floral print. He took a bite of the cold pizza and sipped the vodka and waited for her to come home.
He couldn't believe that he had actually seen her this morning on the television. With a little effort on his part, and a few returned favors, he knew everything there was to know about her an hour later. He was astounded at his good fortune.
It's Karma, he thought, everything evens it self out in the end. I'll bet she'll be happy to see me, after all it has been years. Seven years, nine months and seventeen days. That bitch will pay.
He slowly drifted off into sleep and dreamed of the impending reunion and a sinister smile crept over his lips.

The ride on the B train seemed to take a lot longer tonight. Monica Sands sat near the conductor's booth with her hand in her pocket curled around her small mace canister.
The door opened and Monica felt her heart jump into her throat. It was an old and dirty homeless man walking stinking from filth he was forced to live in.
"Spare some change?" he asked.
She reached into her other pocket and gave him some. He smiled a toothless smile and said, "God bless you lady," and then shuffled away.
The next stop was hers. She thought of asking the man to walk with her but didn't. She really had a bad feeling tonight.
The train pulled into her station. The platform was deserted. She thought of that as a mixed blessing. On one hand there was no one there to be wary of, but on the other hand, there was no one there to come to her aid if someone jumped out from behind one of the pillars.
As she quickly ran to the stairs no one jumped out to accost her. She breathed a sigh of relief and began to descend the stairs.

Climbing down the stairs to the street she had hoped to see a cab, or some car from a car service drive by, she did not feel safe to walk the three long blocks home. However, she had no luck. The streets were deserted and she began to feel cold from the icy November chill.
She began to walk. The blocks seemed endless. The streetlights were casting peculiar shadows on the sidewalk. She increased her pace. She tried to stifle her breathing for fear that the clouds of air might giver her away.

In her mind, a single sentence repeated itself over and over again; I'm too young to die.
She really thought that she would die that night. She had come close to death before, but instead of the experience making her stronger, it just helped to increase her fear.
Turning the corner she saw her house and her sanctuary. She increased her pace even more, almost breaking into a run.

Once she was in front of her house she frantically searched her bag for her keys; in the process dropping a tube of lipstick, several tissues and a half eaten pack of lifesavers.

She fumbled with the keys trying to find the right one. They fell to the floor as well. As she stooped to pick them up she thought she felt eyes upon her.
Pushing her glasses up on her nose with an index finger she turned around.
Surveying the block she noticed that it was deserted, but there were too many places that someone could hide. Every tree, every fence, even the twin mailboxes on the corner became a hiding place for something deadly and malevolent.

She bent down to pick the keys and thrust the key into the lock and turned it. The lock opened immediately and she jumped inside; slamming the door behind her.

Once inside she dropped her bag to the floor, leaned against the door and let out a hugh sigh of relief. When she regained her composure she picked up her bag and switched on the lights. Looking through the peephole she saw nothing out of the ordinary. There were no odd shadows, no sinister movement, no maniacs in waiting.

It was silly to think that a killer was stalking me, she thought, almost laughing. She was right. It was silly to think that a killer was stalking her. He was already inside.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Florida Photos

I used to be into photography. When I went on my senior trip in High School I had taken my rangefinder (couldn't afford an SLR at the time) and t en rolls of 36. I basically remember a camera in front of my face.

This is one of my favorite shots. I took this shot in Florida, at Disney World.

The shot below, I have been acused of not actually taking this one because it looks like a "post card" but I don't care I think its a great shot.

You may sense a theme. I don't like to put myself in my pictures. I like to compose, and take shots of the natural beauty of what attracted my eye in the first place.

This shot was the hardest to get, the amount of tourists that walked down this tunnel was amazing, it got to the point where I composed my shot, stood there and when it was almost clear, I shouted for the others to wait a second, that was all it took, 200 speed film, one shot, indoors with typical flash for fill in purposes.

I haven't taken as many pictures on subsequent trips, now I let my wife take the pictures, I rather enjoy the experience though, when it is over, I wished that I had taken as many shots as I did when I had gone to Florida for my first time.



Monday, July 18, 2005

Lack Of Writing

I find it odd that since I have been off from work--I am off the entire summer actually--I have posted less and less here on my blog. Not that it is going noticed mind you, after all some of you on Blog explosion actually do read my missives, and of this I am thankful, but I know others just wait the obligatory 30 seconds and go onto the next page. That is all right too. I am ashamed of myself for not writing daily. For myself, and for those loyal readers, but mostly myself.

I have had blocks, I have been working on memoirs, not that they would be published, but I am also trying to find an agent for my first novel. While that shouldn't stop me from working on a new one, it has. I am lazy and have been catching up on my reading. Research and querying of agents has been minimal at best. Hey does anyone know why the www.WGAE.ORG has suspended the printing of their agents listings?

(Big sigh) oh well, the least I can do is write daily. I have gone on a rant, and listed several items today, though I posted different dates, so it looks like I have been keeping up appearances. Don't let me deceive you.

I shall return, with best intentions, daily.


Sunday, July 17, 2005

Suspended Entries

I have put on hiatus the serial adventures of Ratboy and my misadventures with Anna. (Story entitled: "Stranded in Beautiful Downtown West Nyack With A Spinner") since they really didn't seem to generate much interest.

I may resurrect the Ratboy Reports by summer's end.

Until then,
Stay Cool

Friday, July 15, 2005

DVD Double Dipping

The studios are money grubbing bastards. We all know that. However they are sinking to new depths with what is called double dipping. I remember when I got T2 the ultimate edition. One would think that Ultimate was final, the pinnacle, the epitome, the insurmountable platitude that one could not ever dream of surpassing. Then low and behold out comes the extreme edition. Now I understand double dipping for films like Goodfellas, that was released on dvd at the beginning of the craze on a flipper, which meant half the film was on one side, and half the other. When they re-released it they did a great job, and it was worth the effort, and the new purchase. Though the dozen or so editions of Army of Darkness, and other movies that are rereleased everytime you turn around is ridiculous as is the new extras they think will entice someone to buy a film that they may already have two copies of. I mean who really cares about what the Best Boy thought about the Pathos in Ashton Kutcher's performance in Dude Where's My Car (which incidently already contains an excellent commentary.)

Do it right the first time. If you cant wait and need to release the bare bones to the video stores, then do it, but if anything is planned for a special edition, let the consumers know ahead of time. Believe it or not, I dont think we are all babies, some of us can wait to get what we actually want.



Thursday, July 14, 2005

more proof that my blog title is true

Anyone that knows me knows that I am lazy. My idea of exercise is getting up and walking to the fridge. So the idea of walking, in the hot and humid wilds of PA is out of the question. My wife uses the car while I am home from work. (the only perk of teaching as of late) The local library called on Thursday and said a book I ordered was in. The library closes at five on Thursday and Friday. My wife gets home after six and she doesn't come home for lunch. I could have waited until Saturday, but I am impatient and need it, gotta have it, whatever it is, right now. So I walked. The library is .72 miles from my house. That is nearly 3/4 of a mile. I bit the bullet and walked. I get there at noon only to find that the library doesn't open until one. So I cross the street and walk a bit more to the 7-11 and buy a Super Big Gulp diet coke and a newspaper.

I go back to the library and sit on the bench and read and drink my soda. Once the library opens I go inside get some books, sit down and bask in the delightful AC before I begin my excursion back home. The walk back is longer now because the bag of books is heavy and the sun is stronger.

I get home and get weirded out because the mouse is on the other side. I use a left handed mouse and my wife always moves it to the right when she moves it, and then I noticed some other things, like the tv station was changed and so on. Today she decided to come home for lunch. I could have gotten a ride to and from the library. Damn, if it didn't suck....

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Hector The Mailman aka HTM

HTM, or Hector the Mailman was the new mailman on my old block in Brooklyn. He was about my age, early thirties, tall, and very thin. He had a thick mane of hair that he always mangaged to compress under a Yankee cap, or at times, a USPS cap. We would banter a little when he would come by, he actually had started talking with my mother because when she was alive, she would site by the window and open the door for him and talk to him. She had made him some bacon once, and I dont know if its considered a bribe or anything, but he took it.

On Saturdays or during the summer we would talk. He had long since had a laser disc player and asked about my usual shipments of DVD's (mostly from www.deepdiscountdvd.com I hope I get some free stuff now LOL). I showed him the picture quality and the sound quality and he went out that day and bought one. From then on we talked about movies, video games and other stuff. I guess you could say we became friends and we would hang out at the movies and stuff too sometimes. (annoying seindfeld addicts would tell me OH NEWMAN!!!)

He was always nice but a bit odd. He barely made it out of HS and lived with his folks, and would buy junk box cars, fix them up to look nice first, and then do the engine work. He went through about three cars since I knew him, and before I moved away.

An odd thing about him was I had invited him to my Bachelor Party and my Wedding. He said he didn't want to go to the Bachelor Party because he had never been to one before. I thought that was odd, but we (some other friends as well) were going to a strip club and that may not have been his scene. So I said all right. When I got a money order in the mail (mind you he was still on my route) and a card for my wedding, there was a note that said he didn't want to come to my wedding because he had never been to one before and did not know what they were like or what to do, so he didn't want to go.

I guess since he never had a dvd player he didn't want to...oh wait. Maybe it was just me. Oh well.


Friday, July 08, 2005


Evan Hunter wrote Blackboard Jungle, as well as other novels in his prolific writing career, many of you may know him better by his other name; Ed McBain. Born in New York in 1926 as Salvatore A. Lombino, he had his named changed in 1952 to Evan Hunter.

the following is from http://www.mysterynet.com/mcbain/:
He created a world of cops and crooks and characters that have stood the test of time.
The first, "Cop Hater" (1956), introduced the famous members of the 87th precinct, set in the fictional city of Isola. Steve Carella, Meyer Meyer, Andy Parker, and the other hard-working precinct cops are usually seen tackling several cases simultaneously and have remained ageless over the course of four decades. This was necessary, according to McBain, because, he says, "If I hadn't done that, I'd now have a precinct of doddering old men." (Great Detectives)

Shows like Hill Street and countless movies of the genre were influenced by his writing. There will be a void in the genre now that I feel cannot be filled in the near, or distant future. You will be missed.

Monday, July 04, 2005


Well it really was on the 2nd, at Neshaminy State Park. We had people from the Boro's come out as well as a few from LI and Delaware. It was a bbq but felt more like a family cookout. I, and about three of my friends were the only white folks in attendance. It wasn't odd for me or anything, it was just the way the cookout was organized and run. My wife is black, and she has a big family, so I am technically related to all of the guests, and I still need to be introduced to some of them, because my family, before marriage, consists of only myself. No need to feel sorry for me, it's fine, I know there are many of you in the same situation.

Back to the organization and preparation. The night before was some major cooking, after some major shopping and bargin hunting that is. That night pounds of potatoes and boxes of elbow macaroni occupied the stove while other ingredients were being prepared for the potatoe salad and macaroni salad. After that, some fried chicken was being prepared as well as ribs and barbequed chicken, being set down in the marinade, shrimp, and chicken breast chunks were sliced with peppers and onions, put on skewers.... damn I was hungry. So there we were, three generations of women in the dining room and kitchen, my wife, her sister, mother and grandmother, preparing food for the next day that would ultimately feed near fifty people.
(the obligatory burgers and hot dogs were also on hand, but that needed no pre arranging)

The day went along fine, everyone ate, and ate, and ate some more. Some went into the pool, some just sat around grandma and talked. My few guests had a good time as well, and everyone enjoyed the day.

I guess this post doesn't really have a point or some great epiphany, except for the joyous thing that is family, and the times, though they may seem few or far between, that we enjoy and revel in one another's company.

PS if you feel like checking this for grammatical errors, dont post anon, use your name, and dont be petty. Thank you, Hope you all enjoyed your holiday!!!


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