Sunday, September 28, 2014

The other day, after a nice 1.5 mile jog in gorgeous early Autumn weather, I looked ahead and saw a group of young guys jogging towards me. I was walking briskly at this point, feeling good. The endorphins flooding my brain, my heart still racing from the run. I veered off the sidewalk, giving this group of ten or so runners an unobstructed path. As they approached, one of them broke away from the group, now heading right towards me in the street. He looked up, we made eye contact, he smiled like he recognized me. He then extended his right hand as he was about to pass me, and said "What's up man?!"

"What's goin on," I replied.

I went to shake his hand real quick, but just at the last second, he faked it, and instead lightly smacked my ass as he ran by.

I was kinda shocked, as I realized what happened. I turned and watched him rejoin the group, jogging away as if nothing happened. And I gotta say, I wasn't even angry. In fact, I smiled and laughed to myself. I wasn't threatened at all, even though I'm straighter than a flagpole. And the more I thought about it, I actually felt flattered, for who better than a gay man to identify and appreciate true male handsomeness.

Now, if this dude WASN'T gay, well, that shit was just super gay.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Chester, PA

I agree that ISIS has got to go. These fuckers, they literally deserve to die. I woke up on September 23rd, my 30th birthday, and CNN told me we began air strikes on them. And hey, if even one of these murderous, decapitating, uber religious scumbags gets offed, well I'll take that present.

What a good distraction it is, these ISIS guys, from the deplorable conditions we have, currently, in our own country.

Without (respectfully) counting the thousands of American soldiers' lives lost in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2002 and 2011, how much of a real national security threat does this atrocious army pose though, truly, against the American Homeland? I believe, so far, they've killed 1, or 2, Americans. Americans, who were only over there out of sheer bravery, being journalists in a war zone.

Sure, on an emotional level, primal as it is, we want to decimate this army of, like, 10,000 and change. And we sure as hell can. Anywhere that American lives are threatened, and anyone who threatens American lives, consider yourself an Enemy of The State.

We hear this repeatedly.

Yet we are in this constant state of denial.

If, as John Kerry says, as Barack Obama says, as Dick Cheney and Bush at one time said, American lives are truly the threshold for going to war over, then admit just for once the real threat to American lives:


Go to the intersection of Ninth and Keystone, in a city I'm sure you not only forgot about, but never even visited, Chester, PA, and just FUCK off about Syria, and Iraq, and ISIS for a second, and take in the fact that there is a systematic massacre, a bloodbath, already here.

I mean, you can take a lesson from those countries, about what happens when destabilization occurs.

And it is occurring, right under your damn nose, domestically, in our own cities, where the likes of even ISIS would dare never go.

Because they'd probably get robbed and shot.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"You know how, in the Bible, there are Parables....stories, metaphors, of how to live your life constructively and in goodness, in a time of systematic oppression that made one question their loyalty to any institution, because well, the loyal part of the compromise rests solely on the shoulders of the individual? Well, there exists something similar in 2014. But it is called The Wire, and its parables are called Scenes."


The New West

Since moving to CT, I've seen and indeed I label, some towns as "The Land that Time Forgot." Drive through Ansonia or Norwich, stop in their McDonald's or ShopRite, and you'll know exactly what I mean. I say this, jokingly, with much sincerity actually, about entire towns. But last night, I entered a place, an establishment, that could take this crown. And it is called The New West Cafe.

This place is no cafe. It is a bar, of the dive variety, located directly across from the still smoldering pile of rubble that is, that was, Delaney's. It is the most honest dive bar, minus the charm, that I've ever set foot in. I decided to give it a chance, for I've passed it many times in my nearly four years here.

There were about 20 patrons, and 56 teeth, if you count mine. Everyone had their best haircut from the 80s. It was pretty awful. And that's all I have to say.

But credit where credit's due, hey, they have Rebel IPA on tap!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Anniversary

(A throwback poem, well, I guess it's a poem, from 2011)


Third period Theology, and my head was on the desk, as usual. I heard some announcement over the PA about some rumor of a plane crash in New York.

Fourth period Spanish, as I walked in, the tv was already loud. Before I had the chance to see this most devastating broadcast, Mr. Babcock summed it up.

"Gentlemen, you're about to see history." And I quote like a court stenographer.

I got to my desk, first row fifth, and turned.


This is something that I can't and won't be able to shake off. In the front right corner of the classroom, that for bad reasons will stick out in my memory forever, I stared up at the 30-inch tv.


Who knows, but wait, the World Trade Towers??! And both!!!?

There was and is something horrific and confusing about the phrase...


At 17, I had no official worldview. But I immediately knew the significance of this.

Two monstrosities, two of the most important symbols of American excellence, whose roof upon which I recently stood, they both crumbled into powder.

Thousands of lives brutally murdered in minutes, the psyche of an entire country permanently damaged.

Yet at the time, what caused the most horrific twist of my facial expression as I gazed, transfixed, at the most insane of television images known yet to man, was my parents.

My parents worked in the second largest sky scraper in Center City Philadelphia, and I'm pretty sure I heard some pundit talk of rumors of more planes, more attacks.

I tried calling them, but 2001 technology, we'd all later figure out, couldn't handle the volume of the millions of calls, of the distressed and fearful.

We were let out early that day.

And when I got home, the front door was open. Their car, in the driveway.

They were safe.

I shut the door of the car and quickly walked up the walkway in the front yard, twirling my set of keys out of pure anxiety.

I looked up at the cloudless blue sky.

It was perfect.

After two weeks of miserable late Summer rain, we get this, on Today of all Days.

We watched, as the US Army invaded two countries, live on tv.

From the most desolate landscape in the world, a complex Arabic militia hellbent on nothing but blind ideology and provoking the second Muslim Caliphate rose and went head to head with the greatest military the Earth has ever known on barren battlefields.

Looking back, from 10 years later, it was such a simple time.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Reflection

I'm sitting here on the back deck on the third floor of my favorite place, so far, in the world. A beer in hand, obviously.

This place is a house in the City of Sea Isle, in the region of South Jersey, on a barrier island that literally only exists because nature wants to protect the main land from hurricanes, and in effect, nature.

And oh man, there is something mystical about this place. Something wild, and yes I know this duplex condo was probably erected within the past 30 years.

But its pebble filled backyard is enclosed by a fence, a fence that barely beats back the dense forest from encroaching upon everything we hold civilized.

And this place is quite special to me, for my family has been leasing it for a week at a time since the summer of 2000.

Tonight, it is very blustery.

Usually, I'm here in the Final Quarter of summer, that two week period which only perhaps a person with knowledge and expertise of the Mid Atlantic August, would understand. Yet this is indeed my first experience here in September.

And sitting here, overlooking maybe the last true wilderness that exists in the Northeast, the very southern edge of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, witnessing in real time a vast inlet, a dark and shallow tidal bay, across which are the headlights of lonely vehicles traversing an equally lonely stretch of the Garden State Parkway, well, I do have some time to reflect.

I reflect on a great summer, this Summer of 2014, one in which I could have never imagined being even somewhat decent.

For I worked a lot, without even a weekend off, yet, I made it work, for me.

It started with a week-long trip to Boston, its middle consisted of many a great conversation and pickups, its end, for me, was the destruction of my favorite bar, Delaney's, on August 25th.

It was, no doubt, glorious.

But when I sit, even for a few seconds, on this deck, here in Sea Isle, and I truly realize who I am and where I come from, well, I guess you could say that memories aren't all they're cracked up to be.

No, they make you immortal.

And now, I choose, to stop being so selfish, and put away this very tablet that I type upon, this literal light pollution that clouds out the natural beauty of the bay side of the Jersey Shore, Sea Isle City, at 2:40am, and all the sounds of crickets and winds blowing around the branches of large trees...

...and just dream.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Shadow On The Earth

"The Church says the earth is flat. But I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in the shadow than the Church."

- Ferdinand Magellan


Just a few minutes ago, ISIS, that black flag-bearing despicable group of religious extremists, the definition of pure evil, executed journalist Steven Sotloff in their preferred manner: public beheading. Live on tv.

We all knew this was coming. This is what they do, they kidnap Westerners in Syria and Iraq, mostly journalists (the only individuals with the balls to voluntarily be over there right now) and they hold them for ransom. Then they go rob Iraqi banks, conquer entire towns, slaughter entire groups of people in the name of a pure form of Islam that hasn't existed since the 7th century knowing full well that the only people capable of stopping them is the US Army. They know this, so their only defense (besides America's own hesitation) is showing these kidnapped journalists on a youtube video, and threatening to cut off their heads if America intervenes. And this is nothing new. This depraved asshole who is thankfully long dead Zarqawi was doing the same thing this time 10 years ago, at the height of the US invasion.

And it didn't work then, and it won't work now. For even though one of the cowardly masked scumbags threatened the life of Sotloff weeks ago if America intervened in their conquest, well, America intervened. We bombed the shit out of a perimeter of ISIS men who had surrounded a town in northern Iraq, causing death and famine in their siege. And it worked. Thousands of lives were saved from hunger and inevitable massacre. It was thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens' lives, or the life of one American journalist.

And I can't even imagine what Sotloff's family is and was going through. I can't imagine, the prayers of his mother, in vain no doubt, that Obama would not authorize any military strikes, and her awful cringe, her personal horror when he did, when she heard that America decided to go ahead and reign hellfire from the sky onto these atrocious excuses for human beings. For she knew what was coming next, what just indeed took place.

And that is the problem with religion. I believe that religion by nature is pure selfishness. It is selfishness in the hearts and minds of ISIS, that leads their belief that God is on THEIR side. Sure they're willing to die, or be martyred, but make no mistake... they're doing it so freely and willingly because they truly believe that something better, paradise if you will, awaits them. That  and many virgins. Religion constantly sells the idea that it really is all about you. That this Creator of the Universe actually knows you, died for you, and gives a fuck about you.

It was love for a child, selfish love at that, that made Sotloff's mother appeal to the leader of ISIS, this walking Satan of a person named al-Baghdadi, for him to not slaughter her son. They say there is no negotiating, or reasoning, of any sort, with terrorists. I say there's no reasoning with religion, which is, no doubt, the root of this terrorism, which is by its very nature, unreasonable. And so the bombs dropped. An entire town, thousands of people at that, were saved. And for it, one man was decapitated.

If there is a Great Creator, well, he or she certainly isn't a Modifier. He or she definitely doesn't care. He or she, if this is fact, created something alright. Then allowed it to go to shit. The Universe is a chaotic, random, and bloody place. It is barren, and harsh, and unforgiving. It is, ironically, exactly like the very place that the most arguably religious extremists in the entire world are currently slaughtering, decapitating, displacing, and crucifying innocent human beings.

In the name of religion.

A Best Kept Secret

Situated at the corner of Edgewood and West Rock Ave in the heart of residential Westville-New Haven is perhaps Westville's best kept secret. Although I've never understood the phrase. Bunyons on your foot? That is a best kept secret. The number of your previous partners, that is sometimes best kept secret. At least from your significant other in the early stages of a relationship. Your personal political beliefs while sitting at the bar, well, that is also best keep kept secret. But Deja Brew needs to be exposed.

Though the name may be more suitable for a downtown night club, and this place is far from that, Deja Brew is an institution of this neighborhood. It is a gem, a quaint brunch and lunch coffee spot far from downtown. I stop in every morning on my jog day, when, after a nice long run in the summer heat I want nothing more than a cold iced coffee. And I very much enjoy supporting this small mom and pop business. That, and I am close to getting a free drink when all ten check marks are stamped on my Deja Brew card.

So please, I ask you, to drive past the Dunkin Donuts on Whalley next time you want a coffee in my neighborhood, and come here. You're in for a treat.