Monday, November 28, 2005

he said "maybe"

Waking up to little, itchy bumps can be really really frightening. I realize this statement leaves plenty of room for gross misinterpretation, but please, don't misinterpret me, not even a little bit.

I've tried Allegra. I've tried Claritin, I've tried Clarinex... currently I'm working on a year's perscription of Zyrtec, my little allergy savior in a bottle. I think that, these days, even the Zyrtec isn't working so well. The little, itchy bumps persist and so does my violent scratching which leaves absolutely horrible looking red marks all over making me look like I've been pelted with Jujubes.

I have been pelted with Jujubes.

Brain food these days is dry Life cereal (not the cinnamon kind) and toaster waffles with lingonberries. I've also enjoyed the occasional affair with mac & cheese. Also, vegetable juice. I can't get enough of that stuff. And it's a shame that I keep feeding my brain such damn good stuff because I don't think I'm really using it right now. These days I awake to nightmares of cable knit sweater displays gone terribly wrong and backlashing, irate customers whose size I could not find "in the back". Retail has been pleasant though.
Let me tell you, this season the Gap has but one redeeming quality; one savior to call its own, and that is this sweater right here, and it comes in eight (8!) colors!! And this is about as dry as my Life (cereal).

You know what, I have to tell you... I am absolutely fabulous. Not me, as a person, but me in general; I feel fabulous, dig? For the most part, this is true. I'll have to look around here for it, but it seems to me that someone once said: "Happiness is a choice that requires effort." I think it's true for fabulousness also. Fabulousness is a choice that requires effort. Some days I'm just really lazy. I keep busy creating atmosphere for my life... I build the set but I'm too tired at the end of the day to actually utilize it. Let me tell you though, the atmosphere is phenomenal. Shadows cast this way and that creating perfect balances of darkness and light and color and all-around coolness. The air is positively filled with the stench of thinking and pointing and listening and maybe even some crying. There's also a faint whiff of coconut and vanilla lying around from somewhere or other. Music options abound and shift from the extraordinary to the mundane. There are rainy day tunes and empowering tunes and tunes to make you laugh. I'm running a regular starbucks here, folks... and not turning a damn dime of profit.

I knew I should have been an artist.

All this music available and I've got the GAP playlist stuck in my head.
But, my life could be far worse. I could have been born without a pancreas. That would really really suck. I could be someone who loves to write and although is never lacking inspiration is regularly lacking motivation and ends up settling for mediocrity and writing about absolutely nothing important whatsoever. Oh, man...

Someday this week I will tell a story, and it will be a good one. Right now, however, I'll just have to settle on my hives, and Life cereal, and the GAP playlist, and really really cheesy quotes about happiness and fulfillment... I keep all the good stuff written in another place anyhow.

Currently listening :
By Jeff Buckley
Release date: By 23 August, 1994

Friday, November 18, 2005


Currently listening :
By Beck
Release date: By 29 March, 2005

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

this is where my mom is from

Midlands Most Wanted

Each Monday, The State will run information on a suspect wanted by authorities. Since the feature began in February 2004, 29 suspects have been taken into police custody.


DATE OF BIRTH: July 29, 1965

DESCRIPTION: 6 feet 1 inch, 165 pounds, brown hair and hazel eyes

WANTED BY: Lexington County Sheriff’s Department

CHARGES: Third-offense criminal domestic violence

LAST KNOWN ADDRESS: 232 Stagecoach Road, Gaston

ALLEGED CRIME: Police said Higginbotham argued with his wife because she had not cooked anything. When she began cooking, he started making spaghetti while eating crackers and squeeze cheese. They argued, and he squeezed cheese on the kitchen floor. She squeezed the cheese on his truck, and he squeezed the cheese in her hair before fleeing in his truck. His wife said she washed her hair before the officer arrived to take her complaint.

IF YOU SEE HIM: Call the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 559-TIPS.

simply basic

Editor’s note: If you find yourself making commentary on recent unemployment more than once over the course of 12 months, please consider a change in career paths.

I was born to direct. I was born to sit in that special chair, and do a lot of pointing. I was born to make other people make things happen. I was born to think, and to create in my mind’s eye but then count on someone else to bring that creation to fruition…

I sit at my computer and make lists using Microsoft Word. My fingers can type so incredibly fast. I can’t write on paper anymore because my hand cannot keep up with my brain. I type for 30 seconds and then stare off to my right. I look at the bookcase and glance over the stack of laundry on my bed. And then I type again. I’m creating, see? This is what creative, unemployed people do: nothing.

While today was only (mostly) a series of good ideas, a day made up of 99% inspiration and only 1% perspiration, I did manage to create the most intriguing little corner in my bedroom. This amber-colored mosaic lamp that I’ve installed is positively intoxicating. My eyes feel the size of saucers as I sit, chin resting on knee, examining every last little square tile and the other-worldly glow that they cast over my bedroom… and I dare to say that this single minor adjustment might just increase my creative, do-nothing juices a good 30% over the next week or so.

I hope so.

Driving forces come all at once these days in a fluster of lust and love and passion and desire… well, these all sound so drastically sexual, but that’s not how I mean them at all. It’s like a draining whirlpool in my spirit: two tons of flourishing emotions being forced through one small pinpoint of a hole, draining out to God knows where.
If that sounds helpless, then I’m really not making myself very clear.
This doesn’t feel helpless, but feels excited, and anxious, and scared, and hopeful. Sometimes there are moments of helplessness…

Not two days ago I begged for a rebirth. I begged to be erased and re-generated, to start over. I would make better choices, do things right. I would trust and obey. This is the creation of inactivity. This is an overwhelmed spirit who does not know where to begin, because it is no longer at the beginning.

But then, there are always places to begin.

I begin by stitching up the rips in the seams of my throw pillows even though I don’t really know how to stitch anything, or, I say I don’t.
I begin by washing and re-washing laundry.
I begin by showering, even though it’s already 5 o’clock in the evening.
I begin by hanging prints on the wall that have been waiting to be hung for over a year.
I begin by folding laundry that’s been waiting to be folded for two weeks.
I begin by plugging in lamps and casting other-worldly glows over my bedroom walls.
I begin by dreaming up more things to begin.

There are many things I don’t even know how to do, from the monstrous to the mundane. I’m not sure how to paint my ceiling now that I’ve already painted my walls, and I have no idea how I’m going to start a new business.
I know how to create, but I don’t know how to build. Or I know how to…
Damn it. I know how to care, but I don’t know how to love. Egads, would you look at that?

And then I wonder if I can just create until there’s nothing left to create. If there’s some point I can reach at which time my entire mind will be clear, blank, erased…
Purity – damn, that’s really beautiful.

And, for the record, I wasn’t even close to being born to direct. I’m lousy at telling anyone what to do. I tell myself everyday, but, well, we all see where that gets me: right back to square one, back to the beginning.

Currently listening :
By Catherine Wheel
Release date: By 09 June, 1992

Monday, November 07, 2005

Days 8 & 9: The price for governor

The price for Governor: Faith, Experience, Loyalty and Trust
By: Habibullah Saleem

The price for Governor is loyaly and trust
The price for Governor is the absence of lust
Thoroughly qualified, Doug Forrester for sure
Bringing to the voters the requirements for cure

A state of emergency for a state that's ill
Doug Forrester with vision, with maximum skill
The price for Governor is substance in accord
Artificial opponents we cannot afford.

The voters today are in need of truth
Not someone unable to produce
The price for Governor means being for real
When voting for Forrester, the victory is sealed

A man unwilling to decline or pretend
No wonder Doug Forrester deserves to win
STraight to the point with honesty to share
Doug Forrester as Governor with leadership to spare

Down to Earth, whether black or white
Doug Forrester as Governor, an amazing delight
With nothing to hide, devoted and clean
Vote for Doug Forrester and not some scheme

Understanding New Jersey is to be alert
For health and economics he's willing to work
Putting in place collective education
Inclusive strategies with appropriate inspiration

A family man with righteous support
Unauthorized characters we must abort
Doug Forrester is accountable, dependable and precise
Willing to listen and accept advice

Knows how to proved and care for our elders
Forrester's character is that of a welder
Not drunk on status or monetary gain
Doug Forrester as Governor: productive and plain

Derailing confusion, tricks and lies
Integrity and dignity he constantly applies
A builder of unity, connecting the links
From the soul to the mind is the way he thinks

Winning you over with his honorable deeds
It's clear and obvious that he's the Governor we need
Born a winner with guts to challenge
Doug Forrester as Governor with exceptional balance

New Jersey as a garden in a state of decline
Defined by experience, a leader genuine
Not one to brag or foolishly boast
As Governor of New Jersey, oh! what a host!

Exposing the magicians with all of their tricks
As Governor of New Jersey Doug Forrester we pick
So let us as voters do more than just pray
Let's vote for Doug Forrester and without delay


Folks... I just can't make this stuff up.
There's tons more to write, with just one full day left to go. The highlights remain stellar (visits to black congregations and a country club that does not allow jewish members are just a few), and spirits are actually high.

My neck hurts.

To be continued...

Currently listening :
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
By Wilco
Release date: By 23 April, 2002

Friday, November 04, 2005

Days Four - Seven: sometimes I actually feel like I have a real job

Something told me at the beginning of this bus tour that I would have time
to be writing blogs daily as a useless and not read-worthy reference guide
to the Forrester for Governor campaign here in New Jersey... I was
absolutely correct in my original perception of how much of my time this
tour would be eating up. I'm busy, but I've certainly been busier. I've just
been lazy with this blog bit and admittedly, realizing how un-informative
and lack lustre it actually is.

Regardless, it's been an interesting past couple of days. of course, it
doesn't take much (just a small snippet or occurance here and there) for me
to turn into an entire blog entry. Berkeley's choice of necktie, an
overheard comment, an eight year-old with a better understanding of the new
jersey political process than either one of the candidates... you know,
little things. So, I might tell a few stories here from the campaign trail,
just to give you a little insight into how things work. I'll keep all the
secrets to myself though, seeing as how these types of things (written on
the internet) seem to come back and bite me in the ass all the time.

Doug received a letter from an eight year-old boy a few weeks ago. It was a
school project that had obligated him and his classmates to write and send a
letter to a hero of theirs. This boy, Gavin, chose Doug Forrester as his
hero and wrote Doug a letter highlighting his status as a "staunch"
republican and letting Doug know that he was "fed up with corruption in New
Jersey" and "very concerned about the transportation trust fund".
Admittedly, we thought that his parents had written the letter. Doug gave
young Gavin a call to chat with him and thank him for the kind letter only
to realize that it was VERY probable that young Gavin had indeed written
this letter copmletely on his own volition and using his own words.
This child became gold.
We decided to meet up with Gavin at the Toms River Halloween parade. His
parents drove him to meet the bus and were ecstatic that their son would get
the opportunity to sit at Doug Forrester's feet and suck up every ounce of
wisdom he could by way of osmosis.
His parents seemed relatively normal.
Gavin dismounted the family mini-van wearing navy trousers, a white oxford
shirt, and carrying a 2005 copy of the New Jersey legislative manual. He
was... interesting, but kind of cute for an eight year old political hack.
He exchanged words with Doug and Andrea for about an hour on the bus, sharing cokes and smiles. He shared that he is an only child and "very happy about it, because [he] gets all the attention". He also shared that he has no pets except a dead dog - but don't feel badly about the dog dying... he never really liked her anyway.
Gavin brought along his Halloween costume: a Garden State Parkway toll booth, featuring everything applicable including a basket to throw toll tokens, change, or in this case, candy into. I guess just keep Bret Schundler away from him.
I already briefed on the rest of the parade - no need for further delineation.
Tuesday I stayed off the bus the entire day, which was great because it afforded me the opportunity to do work for my old candidate, whom I still don't work for anymore, but manage to find work to do anyhow. My travels for Bret took me down to Trenton where I was dropping off the (hopefully, once again) final legal/financial report that I will ever have to drop off at the Election Law Enforcement Commission. I was waiting for my public financing representative to come down and chat with me when an old "friend" walked through the door.

Receptionist: "Are you here to drop off a Gubernatorial submission?"
Guest: "Yes, that's right"
Receptionist: "And which campaign are you from?"
Guest: "Bob Schroeder for Governor."
Receptionist: "And you are...?"
Guest: (ahem) "Bob Schroeder."
I felt really embarassed for him. Bob was one of the seven republican gubernatorial candidates this past spring in the new jersey primary election for governor. He was one of the less... popular candidates. A committeeman from Washington Twp. (Bergen), he had absolutely no name recognition state-wide and little to no leverage even locally (he wasn't even the mayor, just a councilman). A millionaire (seemingly a trend this year), he spent an absolute TON of money unnecessarily and only kind of made himself look a little silly. Regardless, I felt embarassed for him that absolutely no one knew who he was and I imagined that he was dropping off his own submission because he had absolutely no one else that would be taking care of things for him.
He stepped into the public filing room that I was waiting in and nodded his head toward me.
"Hi, I'm Bob Schroeder"
I nodded my head and smiled, "Yes, I know. I think we've met a couple of times, but you know... always amongst the masses."
He smiled back and glanced quickly at the files and papers I had set down on the table.
"Which campaign are you with?"
"Bret Schundler's campaign... last submission."
"Yeah... well, my accountant is in Ocean County and I was over there and figured, hey, while I'm down here, I'll just bring the submission over myself, you know?"
Yeah. I know, Bob.
Tuesday night was anything but anti-climactic as I found myself back in Newark at the Renaissance Church on 7th Avenue and Roseland St. We pulled up to the corner to find 250 African American Newark residents holding signs and screaming at the height of their ability. It was causing quite the ruckus and the media was eating it up. CBS, ABC, Fox, and a few others came out for the show. It was quite the spectacular show and I got to flex my "secret service" muscle as I navigated Andrea through the congestion, guarding her back with my outstretched arm, completely unconvinced that it would derail any sort of serious threat to her person.
The rally was just short of amazing. Doug was dead on target. It was great. The crowd was so incredibly electric... it generated this sort of high that wafted through crowd, touching most everyone and leaving us all in a buzz that would have been really hard to deflate.
For a moment, I felt like I might actually (finally) be working on a winning campaign.
Last night Andrea and I traveled into New York City for a fundraiser that some friendly neighbors (new yorkers) were hosting for the Forrester for Governor campaign. This was probably the highlight of the campaign as our driver (a former Port Authority police officer) arranged for us to have a police escort through the Lincoln Tunnel so that we wouldn't sit in traffic for two hours. Simple, right? I imagined that a police officer would clear the path in front of us, lights flashing, siren sounding, and we would wait patiently as people angrily moved aside. I never imagined what actually did happen. I never imagined that this would be a multi-officer operation, shutting down an entire lane of the Lincoln Tunnel and funneling all traffic to the right hand lane as we cruised past in the left lane, officer in front and in back. Andrea laughed uncontrollably in nervousness, as she ducked and hid her face from the view of the million and one commuters to our right, sitting in absolutely stillness as we drove on, effortlessly. It was pretty amazing and we were only happy that there were no campaign bumper stickers on the car. We ended the evening with dinner in mid-town and returned home in relatively high spirits.
I'm on the bus as I type and am heading to Vineland (Cumberland County) where we will attend a rally for the candidate. We just left Gloucester where Doug and Andrea walked the cows home from pasture with Farmer Smith and his wife. It was precious.
There has been some anxiety felt on the bus today and was felt strongest as we waited, parked in cow country, all of us tuned into the radio listening to new accusations. I can't imagine ever being a candidate's wife. I really feel sympathy for Andrea right now.
Tonight ends late and tomorrow is a long day. Only 4 days left to go...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Day Three: yeah, where is that guy?

Brevity, in the past, has not always been my strongest quality. Certainly I might be known in some circles for charm, wit, the occasional good deed, but brevity is really not a strong point of mine.

Regardless, I plan on being brief at this moment only because it's an early start tomorrow morning and my poor, aching neck is in need of a soft, cushy pillow...

Every Halloween I forget at least 18 times that it's actually Halloween. Today was certainly no exception.
The holiday's presence finally sunk in as we arrived this evening at the Toms River Halloween parade. This particular parade has been held annually for the past 60 years and is hosted by the local fire department. They have very strict rules about politicking.

NO bumper stickers.
NO lapel stickers.
NO campaign literature.
NO campaign paraphernalia of any sort.

In fact, I had to promise all sorts of favors (ahem) just to convince them that Doug and Andrea themselves were not political paraphernalia.
It was actually a terrific parade, highlighted by the fact that all of the kids in Toms River trick or treat on the 30th and we were continuously refused when offering several children some of the 86 lbs. of candy that we had brought along with us. Everyone was "candied-out", a definite contrast to Saturday's pre-halloween parade.
I ate 5 miniature Twix bars while trying (vigorously) to give away candy, as though it were to stand as a testament to those would-be candy takers around me as to how wonderful an idea the candy actually was.
I don't even like chocolate. The sacrifices I'm making on a regular basis here are truly outstanding.

Innocently we walked down the sidewalk following Doug and Andrea, all 7 of us. We were a friendly entourage, eating and offering candy.
It only took about 15 minutes before they completely swarmed us. Young kids, about 12 of them, surrounded us with Corzine signs, blocking Doug's face from the crowd. They were passing out lapel stickers and bumper stickers (please refer back to the rules) and one was dressed peculiarly, with blue spiked hair and a large butterfly pinned to her back. They took pictures of Doug being suffocated by "Corzine". Doug smiled on, greeting parade goers and ignoring the nay-sayers.
They stood silently, but strangely made more noise than anyone there. They surrounded us and walked with us for a good 14 blocks.
It's really a shame that Senator Corzine is so crowd-phobic, or else he could have been there to defend himself against the masses.

"Corzine sucks!!!!" (this one was really popular)
"Oh, look, Corzine... wait, is he out tonight?"
"I thought they weren't supposed to have signs here."
"Don't ruin our Halloween!"
"Are you what we get in the statehouse if Corzine wins?" (directed to blue-haired butterfly girl... who, actually, someone wasn't sure if she was a guy in a skirt or not).

They followed us nearly all the way back to the bus and I briefly considered inviting them in for hot chocolate.
I wonder how much those kids got paid tonight...

I actually wasn't even on the bus today. I met up with the bus in Toms River to join them for the parade, but otherwise I was running around Jersey City like mad (for top secret reasons... really), and spent two hours or so in Princeton with Andrea while she was filming her next commercial for Doug (tune in to see)!

Pretty uneventful day. Tomorrow is fairly light also: a press conference in Newark sometime around 3:30.

Jeff Whelan followed us around yesterday at the Giants game. Actually, wonder of wonders, Greg and I bumped into him in Jersey City this morning. Regardless, he wrote up a little blurb that showed up today. Just a little highlight:

”Forrester, who is touring the state by bus, kicked off his day in the parking lot at the Meadowlands prior to the Giants game with the Washington Redskins. At a tailgating party hosted by a supporter, the candidate fended off Jell-O shots and feasted on a roasted pig as Led Zeppelin blared in the background and the crowd chanted his name.

Forrester and his wife, Andrea, then ventured through the rest of the parking lot where they ran into a few New Yorkers, who told him they were sorry they couldn't vote for him.

"This is Jersey, we can work these things out," Forrester joked.

Some fans mistook Forrester for a member of the Mara family, owners of the Giants, and a few others complained that his campaign bus nearly drove them off the road on the way to the parking lot. Forrester apologized profusely, but that didn't satisfy everyone.

"This is B.S.," said one fan, Arthur Sockolof, complaining that politicians have no place at a football game. “

And, of course, I couldn't possibly forget to ad my absolute most favorite quote of the day! Overheard in Toms River at the Halloween Parade: "Hey, so did you see Vinny's new Mustang?!"

Folks… all in a day’s work.