28 November 2007

busy busy busy

so this new job is insane, and i barely have time to think about writing, much less take the time to actually put it up. so i'm taking a break from the adventures to try and stay focused at work. the job is going great and the switch of life schedule is tough but manageable. it's much easier to get up in the morning when i have a good reason to do so.

19 November 2007

excuse: big change

sorry, the adventures have fallen silent for the past week. but i promise you, i have a very good excuse. last week i was training at my new job! it's all happened so fast that i haven't even had time to write about it. and now i have so much to do that i barely have time today.

so here's the story: i am the new administrator for a non-profit that (mainly) organizes volunteer musicians to play in hospitals around new york (and philly and nashville too). we also deliver CDs and discmen to hospitals all over the country and record musicians who themselves are in hospitals.

i'm going to be doing a little of everything, from office management to online marketing to event planning to graphic design. i think it's going to be a challenge! and i'm looking forward to it.

i love bartending. and i'm going to miss it! it's hard work and the hours are long, but when it's fun, it's the most fun i've ever had at a job. my bosses have treated me well and i'm sorry to have to leave.

but since i moved to new york to deepen my involvement at the intersection of music and health, how could i not take this job?

and look, the view from my desk is across madison square park to the old met life building.

and check this out -- an office full of smiles and CDs to the ceiling.

i just have one question: who could ask for anything more?

13 November 2007


i am in a band called luff. they are on the myspace. we are headlining at union hall tomorrow night. yay!

so today is all day band practice. i will be a bad blogger today. but i will be a better musician for it.

come see my band tomorrow.

12 November 2007

the headlines

there are plenty of places to read about the chaos in pakistan or the oil spills everywhere. but only adventures in brooklyn provides you with news that really matters. today, two stories out of germany.

check out this man. now that's how to prove your innocence. or not.
BERLIN - A German flasher stunned lawyers during his appeal hearing on a flashing conviction by stripping off in court, authorities said Thursday.

"The court withdrew for deliberations and during the adjournment the man removed his clothes again," said a spokesman for the court in the western city of Duisburg. "It appears he sees it as art, and views himself as a living work of art."

The 60-year-old was in court to appeal against his conviction for running onto the pitch naked during a girl's soccer match and striking a range of "body builder poses," the spokesman said.

State prosecutors filed fresh charges of indecent behavior against the man after the court incident.
berlin is just the happening place to be! flashers naked in court, and now this excitement at a local gas station.
BERLIN - A German man forgot his car after filling it up at a petrol station, police said Friday.

"He just forgot about it and walked off home," said a spokesman for police in the western city of Wuppertal.

After the car had sat blocking the pump for about an hour, a woman working at the petrol station became suspicious and alerted authorities.

Officers contacted the 63-year-old from Remscheid, who came straight back to fetch the vehicle. He had paid to fill up the car before walking off.
seriously, i can understand forgetting your sister at a gas station, but your car?

sorry jessie.

09 November 2007

more truth from toothpaste

i'm excited about the new apple leopard os. but there is one major problem.

from toothpastefordinner.

worst sex columnist ever!

i have my beef with dan savage from time to time. but this disheartening bathroom reading from my housemates really puts it in perspective. what terrible advice!

Talking Dirty

No one knows O.P.P. like Alexyss K. Tylor. the Atlanta sex therapist and TV host advises some of our disturbed readers.
From KING Magazine’s October ‘07 issue

Dear Ms. Tylor,
I’ve been married for seven years, and our sex life is pretty healthy (role playing, bondage and porn). But since my wife made some new work friends, she’s been trying to persuade me to let her play with my butthole. I’m really not feeling that. I feel like you need to draw the line somewhere, and I draw that line at my anus. The last time we made love, she attempted to probe me with her finger, and I instinctively smacked her, but she still insists on penetrating me. How do I talk her out of this?
Colin D. Rigeur Teaneck, New Jersey

You needs to find out where this is comin’ from, because she’s suddenly changed friends, and they’re telling her that for added sexual pleasure—or to dominate you—she needs to poke you in the ass. It’s just the fingers now, but the problem is the whole dick is gonna come in a minute. You gon’ need to open ya ass up and get relaxed and greased up for that. Sounds like she just wanna damn dominate and hump you into submission! She’s trying to secure a deeper, more authoritative alpha-male role. If I was you, I wouldn’t let her do it.

Dear Alexyss,
After watching the Kim Kardashian sex tape with my lady, I’m feeling inadequate. I feel like I’m an average size, but this dude, Ray J… My girl won’t stop talking about his meat, and now I have performance anxiety. What should I do?
John Paynesworth Tallahassee, Florida

She done made it very clear she like big penises. She watchin’ that man on that tape and it done turned her on; now, in her mind, she’s fantasizing about a piece of that dick. You can’t never erase that fantasy out that girl’s mind. You’ve gotta decide whether you respect yourself enough to let her go, or are you gonna share her? ’Cause it seems to me like a level of respect for yourself is gone—she done thought to discuss another man’s dick with you?!

08 November 2007


whew! what a week. i've got to get my final new orleans stories out of the way so i can get back to work pointing out stories about toys contaminated with GHB and the dangerous challenges of living in central washington.

i spent my last two volunteer days working on a house in the 7th ward. as noted in my mobile entry, the house was almost completely destroyed by katrina. rod and camile, the couple that lives in the house with their two daughters, said that the water came through as high as the top of a stop sign. the city had actually planned to demolish what was left -- mildewed plywood and crumbling, termite-infested studs -- but there is such an unimaginably gigantic backlog that they never got to it. so, we rebuilt it. my sister and mom had both worked on the house during previous visits, first to gut the house and then to put up walls. now here i was, working on the finishing touches before the family moves in at the end of this month.

the first day i mostly followed instructions. they had put the only four male volunteers on the project and we worked together well. no, that's an understatement. we worked fluidly and efficiently. we made some serious progress, i spent hours finding studs, or what was left of them, so that when we cut the baseboard we could lay it down quickly. with a nail gun. man, that thing is such a rush. i was a nail master. and i'm not talking manicures!

nothing like spending time with men looking for studs.

after our day of construction, we took rod and camile's family out to dinner to celebrate the near completion. we let them choose and ended up at a fast food-ish burger and seafood joint. you cannot imagine the waitress' face when we walked in and asked for a table for 22! ouch. bonus: $7 pitchers of abita amber, the delicious local brew.

my god, that put new york bar prices into perspective. can you imagine $7 pitchers? a bottle of bud is $7 some places in manhattan.

by the second day of construction, i was more or less working on my own -- measuring walls and angles, cutting baseboard and installing trim. now i know how to use a compound mitre saw!

throughout my experience down south, it felt like a privilege to be able to step away from my life and give some time and energy towards making even a little difference.

but the real privilege? getting to wear these amazing work goggles. damn sexy!

an intense end to the day came when the volunteers from the tureaud school arrived. this was the school where, just two days previous, we had helped host their halloween party and i had walked through the neighborhood, trying to capture boarded-up houses and burned-out churches. our volunteers were spending the day working on letter recognition when from outside the school there was a hail of gunfire and a man was killed. the school went into lockdown. remember, these are elementary school kids who have already had to survive the storm. post-traumatic stress disorder is a way of life for some of these kids. and now there was a corpse in the street in front of their school. i don't envy our volunteers who were there that day.

after finishing up at rod and camile's, we headed out towards the north shore of lake pontchartrain. driving across the long causeway at sunset, i marveled at the long views out all windows and wondered how such a pretty lake could have such a devastating effect on its neighboring city. the rise in pontchartrain was responsible for the worst of the flooding in new orleans, but in the glow of dusk, it was at peace.

the north shore unitarian universalist fellowship has hosted us and helped in our efforts since the first trip down, eight weeks after katrina. two of their members, tim and carla, live in an other-worldly magical house out in the woods. the house survived the storm remarkably unscathed, even as they lost half the trees on their property. we arrived to a giant homecooked meal and sat around the bonfire for hours singing, telling stories and jokes and making general merriment. a welcome break from being constantly surrounded by destruction and reminders of death, racism and the complete ineptitude of our government!

after our magical night in the woods, we said our goodbyes and parted ways. it's always hard to leave a community of service. you've all worked together towards a common goal, striving to make the world a better place, bit by bit. but then eventually you have to return to your lives and routines. if anything in your life makes you unhappy, returning to it puts it in stark contrast.

as i lay down to sleep that night, in my own soft bed and not on a church floor, i listened to the roaring trucks, the growl of buses, the screams of the ambulances and police sirens, the gleeful conversations of drunken patrons from downstairs. i wondered how i had survived it so long.

07 November 2007

an anniversary

today is the anniversary of galloping gertie. check out the news footage from 1940. if only the news were still presented like this!

still busy

i should have time for a nola wrap-up tomorrow. in the meantime, i'll let toothpastefordinner do my work for me.

it's like he sees straight into my soul.

06 November 2007

dang it.

i have so much i want to put up here. but i am insanely busy right now. notice that i'm up before 11 am after bartending last night. yeah, i'm that productive.

i hope that you've taken a look at the pics from new orleans. i'm proud of them. i think the pictures of the kids on halloween are so unbelievably cute.

just before my camera died i was able to get some video of the chaos of halloween in the french quarter. not the best quality, unfortunately. but c'mon, you can't argue with thriller!

05 November 2007

02 November 2007


Six months ago, this wall was nothing but plywood and rotted studs. It was damn near washed away. You could see through to the house next door. My mom and sister worked on the drywall and i installed the baseboard and trim. The family moves in at the end of the month. How cool is that?

01 November 2007

halloween, in school and in the quarter

the tureaud elementary school was our destination yesterday. i was sorry not to head back to gregory. it's obvious that so much needs to be done in that prison camp of a school -- so much, unfortunately, that our presence is not necessarily helpful, which i hope to get to. the 7th ward school tureaud was in much better shape, and i felt a bit useless. we helped move some things around and did some inventory, but after that hour of hard work was over, we spent the afternoon helping to set up the school's fall festival and halloween party. and yes, it was easier for the people setting up the event with us there -- who would have carried the giant roasting pan full of boiling nacho cheese down three flights of stairs if i hadn't been there?

i guess i just had lofty goals for my time here. but hey, it was one heck of a party. i took endless pictures of children in costumes, kids playing on a playground looking out on boarded-up houses with the ubiquitous X. two years later, many houses still bear the marks of inspectors that identify the inspector, the hazards inside, pets if any and the number of bodies found. most of the x's have a body count of zero, but the ones that do make me shudder as we drive by.

still, we had one heck of a halloween party. i ran the ring toss and the pins were two liter bottles of soda, so the kids were anxious to win. they were like compulsive gamblers, going again and again and again in vain.

after our day, i expressed my doubts as to the effectiveness of our time at the school to our program leader and was transferred to construction duty this morning. a good morning for it, considering the real halloween party was last night in the french quarter.

some say the best halloween party in the country is in the castro. but it was cancelled after a shooting last year. those from madison wisconsin say their's is the best in the midwest. i haven't done the west village yet, maybe next year. honestly, i'm not sure that i will ever be satisfied with another halloween after last night. i can't wait to put my pictures and videos up. seriously, this is one helluva time. i couldn't believe the insanity. so many amazing costumes -- michael vick seemed to be a local favorite, with stuffed dogs dragging behind.

the highlight for me was in our last bar. we stopped to wait in line for the bathroom before we began the long search for a cab home. a couple girls were dressed in full kiss makeup and suits and started singing i wanna rock and roll all night. me, being dressed in my full freddie mercury costume, started we are the champions. kiss shouted me down and i challenged them to a rock-off. they went silent and it became obvious that rock and roll all night was the only kiss song they knew. so me and my sister started rattling off song after song from the queen library. eventually a guy dressed in a terrible florida costume (egg crate mattresses tied to his body with duct tape) joined us for bohemian rhapsody.

rock off final score? queen 7, kiss 1.

we truly are the champions.