2008 my team won the title behind Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett with help from center Kendrick Perkins and the playmaking sensation Rajon Rondo. The Celtics met the LA Lakers in 2010 to repeat their success. Kobe subbed Perkins with a knee and Boston lost its inside threat. Perkins was traded to OK City in 2011 for Jeff Green and Nate Robinson. This season Rondo fucked up his leg. The Celts were old and slow as if the old age truck had opened its doors for Paul Pierce and KG. The other night at Mullanes I was lambasting # 4 for the Celtics. I knew everyone at the bar and for some reason I said, "I wish the KKK were still around to lynch Jason Terry." The entire bar heard my statement. I have a big mouth. No one said anything, but I knew in their hearts I had become a cracker motherfucker. Saying sorry was not enough. Listening to Sly Stone didn't matter. Somehow I had dove into my soul to come up with a racist statement. I apologized and readied myself for a well-deserved beating. No one did nothing. Mullanes was a white bar. NO one does bad there. Except for me. Mea Culpa.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
In 1988 I exerienced a series of dreams about nuclear annihilation. The first one was situated in New York. The sirens sounded the alarm and thousands of East Villagers headed to the subway for shelter. There wasn't room for all of us. Someone pointed to the sky and I spotted a black missile falling earthward.
The next dream was situated in Moscow. The populace filed into trains with calm order and got off at the next station to allow other passengers to repeat our hopeless exodus to safety.
The third dream occurred at a Siberian airfield. I was making love with a Red Air Force female pilot. The sirens sounded once more. The Comrade Pilot excused herself from my embrace and ran to the bomber parked outside the dacha. I watched her take off moments before mushrooms clouds rose over the tundra.
I liked the last dream best, but I always thought that you weren't supposed to die in your dreams.
Guess I was wrong.
But I woke up to survive on all three occasions, because luck asleep or awake runs in my family.
New York newspapers frequently report about naive visitors paying excessive taxifares into Manhattan. The record was set by a Japanese tourist. The cab driver extorted $2500 from the hapless visitor and ropped him Harlem when he wouldn't cough up another $500.
Things have improved at JFK, however the age-old practice of soaking the uninformed voyager has a global reach.
Back in 2009 I deplaned in Moscow's Terminal 2. My connecting flight to St. Petersburg was in Terminal 1. No signs suggested how to reach that destination, although a taxi tout was willing to drive me the 5 kilometers for $60.
"Sorry. I don't have to be there that bad."
"Special deal. $40." He showed a price card. $60 for Terminal 1
"Why so cheap?" I figured that rate was from Moscow.
"Because I liked George Bush."
"Fuck George Bush."
He wasn't my president and I walked away from the taxi tout.
An old bababuska cleaning lady was heading home. I followed her outside and we boarded the free transit bus. Free, which got me to the other terminal in plenty of time. I even was able to drink a beer.
$5 for a large stein of Stella.
It was a good place to drink beer.
The flight time to Moscow totaled about 24 hours. None of them were comfortable in the flimsy chairs of the Soviet era jetliner.
Disembarking at Moscow, I discovered that my connecting flight to Charles De Gaulle was delayed until the next morning.
The Norwegian couple whom I had met in Dubai Duty Free were in a similar predicament.
"It's 10PM. What are we going to do all night?"
"It was a stupid question.
"Drink wine." The husband pulled out two bottles of wine.
"I have two."
"And my wife has two."
We opened the bottles and sat on the floor surrounded by stateless travelers trapped in the aeroport. There were hundreds of these visa-less prisoners sleeping in cardboard villages. Some looked as if they had been in limbo for weeks. After finishing the wine a refugee from Afghanistan sold us a bottle of vodka.
"I here one month. Can no go back Kabul. No go to Paris. My brother live there. Now this my home." HIs name was Jameer.
The vodka was homemade. The liter lasted longer than the wine. Several other Afghans fleeing the civil war joined Jameer with other bottles of vodka. It burned a hole in my stomach. They spoke in dialects. After two bottles I was speaking their tongue, but was losing consciousness from the overdose of hard spirits and lack of sleep at dawn.
"Your flight is now." The Norwegian pulled me to my feet.
"I don't care." I wanted to live there. "Life simple here."
"You have to go." His wife strapped my bag over my shoulder and they escorted me to the plane.
"Bon Voyage." I saluted them at the door of the Airbus. I was back in civilization, but hardly in a civil state, as I stumbled down the aisle to my seat. The faces of the other passengers gauged my state of drunkenness. No one wanted me to sit next to them. I fell into an empty row and buckled up for take-off.
Several hours later a stewardess woke me.
"We are in Paris."
"Already?" I was the last passenger on the plane.
"We've been on the ground for 15 minutes."
"Great." I got to my feet and trudged out into the terminal. The time was 8:30. My friends were waiting for me in the city. It was Bastille Day.
It was good to be out of Moscow.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
In May of 2009 Johnnie Z asked if I wanted to go to Russia.
It wasn't for a tour of l'Hermitage Palace.
The Palm Beach millionaire financed cell phone towers in other countries. His off-shore partners were stiffing him.
"They owe me $500,000."
It was a lot of money. I had $10 in my pocket.
"Why me?" The previous summer I had taken care of his crazy Airedale. Pom Pom was a refugee from a Riviera Beach crack house. The local police force said she was a danger to the community. They weren't wrong, but that summer thunderstorms cured her madness.
"I send my people." His company was filled with young go-getters. "And they came up with nothing."
"Russia?" My voice was filled with hesitation.
"You worked with them at nightclubs."
"That was a long time ago."
"$5000 and expenses."
"Count me in." I rented easy.
My New York friends thought that I would get killed by the zeks.
"No one is killing me."
"How can you be sure?" AP, my good friend and landlord drove me to JFK.
"Because I have a plan." I had a family in Thailand, They needed the money.
I flew to Kiev. No one was there.
I left for Petersburg and was met by a friend.
Sev had played in AQUARIUM. They were huge in 80s. I loved THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR GLASS.
We showed up at the internet companies.
The bodyguards had Uzis. The owner asked, "Where your bodyguards?"
"Yes, him." I pointed to Sev. He had a long white beard.
I told him.
"Sev?" His bodyguards repeated the question. I shrugged, because a nod would have given them too much information.
Sev wasn't the leader of the band.
But he was part of its soul.
"Vodka." The owner called out to his staff.
He led Sev into the garden. He was purer than me. I drank a lot. The owner wired Johnnie Z his money.
"How you do it?"
"Friends know friends." I didn't bother to explain. >p> Sev and I went back to his place in then old city. He played cello for me. One song from MUSIC OF PUBLIC TOILETS.
It was worth the entire trip.
I didn't tell Johnnie Z that.
Like all rich people he was only after money.
Enough, I was bleeding,
I asked the Marocaine toiletgirl to call her sister.
She had stitched me up before.
It wasn’t a problem, I’m a fast healer.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
In 1990 I traveled around the world.
The Singapore to Bangkok segment of the trip was overland and I detrained in Suranthani to catch a midnight ferry to Koh Samui. I stayed at Coral Cove for $5 and after two weeks boated over to Koh Phanghan then finally took a little boat to Koh Tao where I slept on an idyllic island with 3 beaches. It had once been a penal island. A fisherman cooked fresh grouper under a billion stars and we drank beer until dawn.
23 years later the world is much different and so is this little island.
The coral is dead. The fish are gone. Only the beer is cold.
I do miss the old world.
No stranger to controvesy Dewi fought the daughter of a former Filipino president at a party in Aspen over the rumor that Dewi had risen to power from the redlight district. This gossip earned the PI heiress a wine glass in the face.
"So you wanna play rough?"
Dewi also scandalously posed nude to display a tattoo at the age of 53.
You can't find one on the internet, but she remained a beautiful woman for her age and if she goes to Palm Beach this April she can meet me at the Breakers.
I'm game, Dragon Lady.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
The 1960s Space Race between the USSR and USA exterminated young boys' worship of westerns. Cowboy hats, vests, guns, and holsters were retired to the closet next to toy boats and teddy bears. I pleaded with my parents for an astronaut costume for Halloween and my father answered my dream with a gleaming space suit complete with a visored helmet. My older brother dressed up as a Martian with green skin. Frunk had fabricated a ray gun from a broken egg-beater. After dinner we were eager to trick or treat, but before leaving the house I purloined sunglasses from my father's dresser without asking for his permission. He was leading my younger siblings around the neighborhood.
"You sure that's a good idea?" My brother was better at following rules than me.
"Sure I'm sure. They're extra protection from your death ray." I had seen INVASION FROM MARS ten times. The Martians' main weapon vaporized soldiers into carbon.
"It's your funeral."
"What can happen?" We lived in the suburbs, a land of two-car garages, good schools, and beautiful babysitters. "I guess nothing."
"Other than getting a lot of candy."
"We left our split-level ranch house. My best friend, Chuckie Manzi, joined us on the lawn. He was a young Frankenstein.
"First things first." He pointed across the street. Mr. Martini's house drove truck for Arnold's Bakery. His wife put out cake instead of candy.
The night was dark without any moon. We climbed the brick stairs. There was no metal railing. My brother rang the doorbell.
Mrs. Martini acted scared and offered a selection of cakes. I chose orange spice. Chuckie and my older brother were grateful for chocolate cake. We thanked her with filled mouths. I slipped on my glasses and shut the visor.
I couldn't see a thing and walked off the stairs, smashing my head into the wall and mutilating my little finger.
There was blood all over my astronaut suit, but I was more concerned with my father's sunglasses. They had fallen off, but luck was with me. They were intact.
My brother led me back to our house, careful not to let any blood drip on his costume.
My mother admonished my dangerous behavior. She had six kids. We were always in jeopardy. A band-aid stemmed the blood and my mother refused to let me leave the house with the sunglasses.
"Once is enough."
And she was right, for since that Halloween I have only worn sunglasses at night when I can't find my regular glasses. I still bear a jagged scar on my little finger from that fall.
In Space no one ever falls.
There is no up or down in the heavens.
Four summers ago I was living in Palm Beach. The off-season population of that wealthy enclave shrank 10% of its winter height. Few of the fabulously rich resided in their mansions and they appeared once a day to shop at the Publix supermarket.
The only poor were the dutiful off-island workers tending to the vacant estates.
Actually I was the poorest person on the island. My income was $350/week. $300 of which went to my family in Thailand. Living on $50 a week was nearly impossible and my revenge on the idle rich was to abstain from bathing in sweet water.
My daily ablution was in the ocean. A sabbatical from shaving enhanced my scruffy appearance as well as my torn jeans and shredded shirts. The rich would wrinkled their noses in the supermarket aisles. I smiled politely, as I picked out my weekly jug of wine.
$5.99 for 2-liters.
Funny, but I didn't smell dirty to me and neither did a Japanese scientist orbiting in the International Space Station who wore the same experimental underwear for a month. His fellow astronauts were ignorant of this test and he said, "The station crew members never complained, so I think the experiment went fine."
The underwear were supposedly antistatic and flame retardant, which must have been helpful against dingleberries and wet farts. Still the racing stripe must have been impressive.
He had to have smelled worst than me.
But maybe in Space farts don't smell bad.
I doubt it, then again I never smell dirty in Palm Beach.
As a kid my friends and I would steal large sheets of plastic from the nearby suburban construction sites. We would then climb to a wind-blown hilltop and spread the plastic sheets to capture the wind like a parachute. The lightest of us achieved lift-off. Landing were always rough for youthful thrill seekers and even worse for sky-drawn adults as a Brazilian priest fatally discovered after setting off to heaven in a lawn chair attached to 1000 helium colorful party balloons in an attempt to raise money for religious truck drivers.
"Excuse me while I touch the sky."
His body was found in the Atlantic.
Several years ago this dream of flight was shared by another sky-worshipper in Wisconsin, who developed a jetpack for the upwardly-mobile.
"There is nothing that even comes close to the dream that the jet pack allows you to achieve." The 48 year-old designer from New Zealand planned to market his contraption at $100,000 each.
At that price the skies will remain relatively uncongested, however one has to remember that in 1904 there were only two cars in all of Iowa and they had a collision, so aspiring jetpack aviators will have to make way for birds on their 30-minute flights at 110 dB thanks to its twin rotors and its 200-horsepower.
The inventor's wife called the noisy 250-pound engine 'a beast' and the designer has yet to quit his day job, but the jetpack does have a parachute in case of emergency.
So far only 12 people have gone up and come down.
None have had to press the panic button.
The inventor had a vision for his device. One he can't explain, but according to him when Ben Franklin first saw a hot-air balloon, someone asked, "What good is it?"
Ben Franklin too a second and answered, "What good is a newborn baby?"
In other words he didn't know, but as a new father I can tell you the real answer is happiness.
This is a wild dream, since our planet is located on the fringe of the galaxy far from the flow of interstellar traffic, however the universe is changing shape all the time and we can only hope that one day a fleet of entertainment-hungry aliens notice the third rock from the Sun.
Last month this hope was crushed by the sighting of a UFO flaming through the stratosphere over Russia.
Government officials claimed the phenomena was caused by a meteorite.
I know better.
It was a friendly mission from the farthest reaches of the stars. They wanted to buy SUVs at the going rate. McMansions too. Instead their spacecraft struck low-orbit debris and we watched its fall from grace with awe.
Oh, poor ET come to our home.
Several years ago a NASA spacecraft passed the planet Mercury. A transmitted photo clearly revealed the effect of meteor strikes on the surface. Their impacts of Earth were not so apparent from the Space Shuttle, unless you know where to look like in the Yucatan or polar areas, but most astronomers are more concerned with incoming asteroids or comets as a threat to life on Earth greater than Man.
"Civilization killers" of 1 kilometer, or about 3,300 feet are veering closer and closer to Earth due to the planet's increased magnetic pull. Some have missed our planet by 29.8 million miles or a third the distance to the Sun. Smaller objects can crash into onEarth with various degrees of destruction from not being able to watch TV to the flattening of Kansas and something as small as a semi-trailer could achieve that effect.
NASA has reckoned such events occur once every 300 years, but the odds favor an ocean landing, since Earth is 2/3 water.
One way to defuse this problem would be for Americans to lose weight, since the Earth's gravity pull is directly effected by the mass of the planet. NASA has been warned about the dangers of obesity, now is the time to act before it's too late.
Not only is losing weight for the planet, it's good for you.
I'm cutting down on beer.
Every little bit helps.
Friday, April 19, 2013
'This nebula is a very well-known object and a popular target for observations, most of which show the Horsehead as a dark cloud silhouetted against a background of glowing gas. This new image shows the same region in infrared light, which has longer wavelengths than visible light and can pierce through the dusty material that usually obscures the nebula’s inner regions. The result is a rather ethereal and fragile-looking structure, made of delicate folds of gas — very different to the nebula’s appearance in visible light.'