This whole holiday season has been two steps back for every step forward— bits of happy loveliness liberally padded with amazing moments of aggravation and discomfort. Right now, all I really need (and what I desperately need) is to just chill out, catch up on my sleep, nurse my cold, and huddle in a tight ball for a while. Of course, I should have expected that my neighbors would want to stay in and blast their stereo, which is what they always do to get ready to hit the town. So the thumping walls are not very conducive to that rest I need so badly until my icepick of a sinus headache settles down.
Tip of the iceberg, this year. that’s all it is.
Oh, the irony is too delicious. The neighbors are currently make my walls and my head pound by blaring Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir," just hours after I was telling the story of how that song was playing during my favorite moment of my favorite New Year's Eve here in New York. Ah, now they've switched back to the shitty disco that’s even making my teeth rattle.
As a practitioner and an admirer of figurative art — and also as an enthusiastic cock jockey — I’ve been very happy to see comic art become a tad bit more realistic over the years, acknowledging certain fundamental truths about what people running around in tights might actually look like. I was always a little creeped out by the dead zone that existed for generations in the spot that ought to be showing, let's say, Hal Jordan's power rod. You don't have to be hung like a horse to show bulge in a pair of tights, after all.
I was a little shocked, though, to see this panel by Alex Ross in the latest issue of Justice. Doesn't it look like Aquaman is enjoying those restraints a little too much? Oh, Brainiac, how did you know the King of the Seven Seas was just looking for the Kink of the Seven Seas all this time?
And we have another appearance of the 'Twas photo with this review from the Voice. Again, there's a disappointing lack of credit, but I’m more convinced than ever that the photography has really been helping this show get as much mileage in the press as it has. Now, I should also mention that the show was completely delightful, but it definitely helps when you can provide the press with some good visuals to promote your show.
I think I have a solution to my current financial crisis! Apparently, there's a growing number of irresponsible morons have started taking Viread, one of my meds, as a party drug, thinking it will prevent HIV infection instead of treating it. So if I can just get over my aversion to total moral bankrupcy I could make a small fortune selling off my three-month supply to these wingnuts. (Well, except for the fact that I need it. Which one would think would be reason enough to remind people they shouldn't be so goddamn ignorant about the spread of serious illnesses.)
Hmmm, so I guess my conscience and my healthcare regimen make that a pretty bad get-rich-quick(ly) scheme after all. And I think I got rid of the extra Vicodin I had after the Great Appendectomy of Aught-Five. Clearly, I have no future as a dealer of illicit prescription drugs.
Oh, you mean transit strike! That makes more sense. That explains why it took me three hours to get into Manhattan this morning, by way of the LIRR station in Jamaica, Queens. Yes, my personal odyssey of endless aggravation this morning started when I walked to the LIRR station across the street from my house and discovered that I had 7 dollars (1 dollar too little to get all the way into Manhattan by way of Jamaica), an overdrawn bank account (Merry Christmas!), and a 9:00 press check to haul ass to. Yay!
The situation in Jamaica, where I had to change to a train that went into Manhattan, was infinitely worse than I expected. I was hoping a lot of people would have just said "Fuck it" and avoided the cold and the hassle today, and maybe there were ten thousand people or so that did that, but everyone else seemed to be at Jamaica. With an angry look at the locked gates of the subway station, I got on the end of a 5 block line for tickets and resigned myself to the wait. Of course, this was like one of those Disnetyland lines where they manage to keep you from ever seeing how long the line truly is. I thought I was over the hump until it became obvious that the line stretched back away from the station for a couple of blocks, then doubled back to the door. And then as I approached the door (by this time my toes and fingertips were distant memories), I saw that that’s where the line become a zigzag that stretched on some more — one block long, 5 rows deep.
The crowd was amazingly civil. I only saw a couple of people try to cut the line, and no one else was frazzled enough to make a scene about it. The big secret when all was said and done, though, was that they weren't even selling tickets at all, nor were they coming around on the trains to collect fares. Basically, they were using the fare thing as a bogeyman to keep the crowd under control. I was thrilled, of course, because my seven dollars definitely wouldn't have gotten me all the way in unless I resorted to panhandling, but I was also impressed at how well the LIRR perpetuated the ticket fiction.
Of course, another aspect of the ticket fiction was that it dissuaded people from riding the trains at all. At my stop in Brooklyn, I passed many ranting women who stormed out of the station, letting anyone within earshot know that they were not going to pay 16 bucks just to get from Bed-Stuy to Manhattan and back. And then in Jamaica there were additional crowds who just wilted when they saw the lines and left to either return home or find another way to get somewhere. So this was not the best day for the poor or the impatient.
Of course, I’m poor and impatient today, but I needed too badly to shake down a client for an overdue check so I can actually afford to get from my house to the airport tomorrow. I'll be doubly happy when I have to get from my house to Newark Airport for a 7:30 a.m. flight to Iowa tomorrow morning. I think I’m going to have to get out there late tonight and look for someplace to nap until I board. Yay! Christmas comfort!
I’m pro-union as a matter of principle, but it's a good think the transit workers aren't putting their new contract to a public vote. I don't think they have a lot of friends today. It's really hard to happily stand by an organization as they fuck up your day so they can get an even better deal than you than they already have.
I was pleased to get a credit a different 'Twas... photo in this week's Village Voice, but they spelled my name wrong. With a name like mine I’m usually happy if they get it 90% correct, but I’m a little fussier when it comes to official recognition, ya know?
'Tis the season when I start crabbing about how much I hate Christmas. It's True! I really hate Christmas. Actually, I tend to have a perfectly lovely time on the day itslef, being a big sap who appreciates the company of friends and loved ones, but the whole season leading up to it makes me wanna hurl. I hate the pressure, I hate the schmaltz, I hate the errands, I usually hate the weather. Miserable, all of it. And yes, I would like it more if I weren't generally very poor and very busy this time of year. Since I’m exceptionally busy and exceptionally poor right now, I’m hatin' Christmas like never before. My observance of the holiday will probably be limited to extravagances on the scale of a traditional Little House celebration, so I hope no one blinks if they get shiny new pennies or tin-foil stars this year. I’d much rather have a very special Arbor Day instead.
Here in the big city, everyone's a little bit Jewish (which it one of those things that makes New York extra-awesome, in my opinion), so just say "No!" to Santa's minions this year, and choose the Chosen People at P.S. 122 next Tuesday!
Over the course of the last few months I finally got aorund to reading — and then swiftly becoming obsessed with — Y: The Last Man. I think it may be the best comic-book series I’ve ever read. Ever. I’ve finally gotten through all the trades and have been able to start buying it monthly, and after 39 issues it hasn't let me down yet. In fact, it just keeps on delivering the goods.
And speaking of the goods, I can't wait for this scene when (if?) the the movie comes out next year:
This would be especially delightful if my dream casting were to actually happen. Apparently Brian K. Vaughn, the series' writer, sees Topher Grace in the role, who certainly has his own dorky charms and could probably handle the character well, but doesn't seem like he'd be nearly as perfect (or as smokin' hottielicious) as our boy Ryan. Am I right, ladies?