Thursday, December 31, 2009

Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

Tonight we say goodbye to 2009. We kiss off pandemics, we say adios to terror attacks, pointless wars, economies in turmoil, shitty job markets, crappy environmental destruction, horrific baseball seasons, terrible basketball seasons and so on.

Tomorrow we welcome in new pandemics, new terror threats, new economic turmoil, new, shittier job markets, continued environmental destruction, another bad year of baseball for the Mets, more pathetic play from the Knicks, and so on.

I'm looking forward to saying goodbye to smoking again. I'm looking forward to the false hope the Mets provide each year. I'm looking forward to the Knicks going after King James and still disappointing and I'm looking forward to a complete change in the world.

In other words, meet the old boss, same as the new boss.

The king is dead, long live the king.

My year was a strange one. My business flourished. My second business is flourishing. My kids continue to astound and amaze me. My home life has been a roller coaster of good and bad and, yet, I look forward to more of the same.

I've met some amazing, incredible people this year. Some will continue as a part of my life, for better or for worse and, sadly, some will be a wonderful memory of short lived time together. Others will haunt me, my mind never fully allowing me to erase you from the recesses of my memory.

You all know who you are.

So, tonight, I'll ring in the new year. I'll kiss my wife, kiss my kids, mentally kiss those who's lips should touch mine but cannot and I'll even reserve a thought for those who's lips can kiss my pucker.

I'm hoping to have more things to blog about. Hoping that I'll provide laughs, deep thoughts and pointless reading for the folks who actually come here.

I'm guessing the smokeless days and nights will help provide some fodder.

I'm looking forward to a book by an author, she knows who she is. I'm anticipating sitting down at night, cracking that spine, feeling the pages under my fingers, becoming part of her story, part of her life again, if only for a moment.

I'm looking forward to a lice free home. A new season of baseball, without all the losses. I'm looking forward to electric nights at the Garden again. I'm looking forward to moving forward, seeing new things, experiencing all that I can.

I'm assuming I'll get the same shit, with a different digit at the end.

Have a happy, and a healthy new year. Be safe tonight, and every night.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Vaseline Head

So we went to the doctor for a follow up lice check. We did this for peace of mind. Instead, we got added insanity. The doctor looks in my son's hair and sees nothing. She looks in my daughter's hair and says she has nits. She looks in my hair, says I have nits. She looks in my wife's hair and, yes, Virginia, there are nits.

The doctor writes a scrip for some toxic shampoo and tells us to comb out each head prior to doing the shampoo treatment. We ask what works best for combing out and the doctor says olive oil is very good but vaseline is the best because it basically suffocates the lice and they cannot free themselves from the gooey mess.

So, off we went. We hit the drug store, picked up the treatment, picked up a few extra combs and snagged some vaseline.

We got home and started prepping ourselves for the comb out. I used handfuls of vaseline in my hair. Matted it down, massaged it into my scalp, added more, added more, added more.

My daughter opted for a mix of vaseline and oil. She did this because the vaseline massage was hurting her scalp whereas the oil was not.

We left the goo on our heads for an hour. We all wore shower caps, me in a nice, hot pink.

During this time we cleaned. We vacuumed, we packed things up for the laundry, we sealed up bags of hats and scarves and we stripped beds, pillows blankets etc.

Then we began the comb out. I went first. I lost a ton of hair in the process. It was horrific. Then, while I showered, my daughter was combed out.

Vaseline does not wash out of your hair. Water beads up on it. Shampoo is useless. I needed something stronger. I had my wife grab the dish washing detergent as it works well in getting the grease out of the pan, or so they claim.

It didn't work.

After a half bottle of lemon scented dish washing liquid I gave up. I got dressed and ready for dinner. My wife and I were taking my parents to Minetta Tavern for their anniversary. This was a huge reservation. The place is booked for months but, thanks to some issues they had with a midweek reservation we had, they rebooked us twice, resulting in their offering up a prime, 8 PM table on a prime, Saturday, night. We couldn't cancel so I had to go out with this head of goop.

I looked like a reject from the Jersey Shore tryouts. Every time I passed a smoker, I panicked, fearing a stray spark would land in my hair, igniting my greasy coif.

My parents asked me why my hair was so wet. I explained the situation. They laughed.

Dinner was amazing. Best burger I've ever had. Then we went home.

I woke up at 8 the next morning and hit Home Depot. I explained to the sales help that I needed something that would remove grease or oil and, yet, still be gentle enough that it won't make my hair fall out. They asked why. I told them my son put vaseline in my hair. (can't run around telling people I've got lice).

They suggested Dawn. The bottle says ultra concentrated and there's a picture of a baby seal on the bottle. Why a baby seal? Well, apparently, Dawn is the soap of choice when animals get stuck in an oil spill.

If it's good enough for a baby seal, it's good enough for me.

I raced home, ran into the shower and started pouring this shit on my head.

I scrubbed. I lathered. I let it sit. I rinsed.

My hair clumped up, water beaded up on the helmet of goop and nothing came out.

I spent an hour and a half shampooing my hair. I finally managed to get it clean enough that I can touch it without coming away with vaseline fingers.

We get dressed and head to Brooklyn where the lice expert will check us and comb us out properly.

We arrive and she looks at my daughter's greasy hair and says she can't look for anything, she can only comb her out as the vaseline is still too think in her hair.

She looks in my hair. Nothing.

She looks in my wife's hair. Nothing.

She looks in my son's hair. Nothing.

Nothing came out of my daughter's hair.


She then tells us that most doctors see protein buildup on the hair shaft and think it is a nit.

She pulls a hair from my wife's head. Shows her the protein deposit and explains the difference.

We slink out of there, feeling like morons for going completely batshit about the lice the night before.

This was last weekend. Sunday to be exact.

Last night, I'm sitting on the couch, watching tv with my wife, and I stand up to get something from the kitchen and my wife asks me if I still have vaseline issues. I tell her that I think I might but it definitely feels like I got most of it out. She suggests I take a peek in the mirror.

I do.

My hair is dark and greasy again. The back of my hair is matted and clumped and sticking straight out.

There's nothing I can do. I'm vaseline head.

New Year's Day I am going to stop smoking (again) and I am going to shave my head. It's all I can do.

A fresh start to a new year, via a chrome dome.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Random Question

Why is it so fucking awkward walking up and down an unmoving escalator?

7 Angry Men (and Women)

I finally got tagged for jury duty. I've been sent notices before and avoided them, even avoided those pesky warrants claiming I could be arrested for not serving but this time I went. New York County Criminal Court no less. I was told to arrive no later than 8:45 yesterday. I dropped my daughter off at school at 8:45 and then proceeded to the courthouse, arriving, roughly, 20 minutes late. I figured I'd explain to the court that I have two kids, two parents and we split the morning delivery duty up so that both kids can be in school on time and, if the court doesn't like it, the court can kiss my McNoogin.

I arrived late and nobody said a word.

Then I figured I'd give them the sob story of how I'm self employed and I have no employees and sitting in the jury pool for days will cost me thousands of dollars in lost revenue and that I find everyone there to be guilty of something and there's no way I can be fair and impartial when I'm pissed off at the system for making me lose money and I'm positive that the individual on trial must have done something wrong because cops don't arrest a totally innocent individual who has led an exemplary life. Let's face it, if your life is pure and honest and the cops can't find one person who will tell them you did something wrong, how can they arrest you for something that isn't a total slam dunk with evidence? They can't. Richard Kimball would have never would have been arrested. There was evidence but his history was such that sainthood was inevitable.

Anyway, I tried to plead my case and the jury guy told me he was going to push the self employed folks thru as quickly as possible.

They call the first pool and my name is the third one called.

DWI case. 2 days tops. Ok, I can sit thru an hour of questioning and figure out how to get thrown out.

I tried. I did. I said I know former US Attorneys, DEA agents, District Attorneys, an elected official, a judge and several courthouse employees (all true). Will it cloud my judgement? No. I'm sure that my beliefs would not be swayed as I feel fairly strongly about the people who get arrested. I tell them I believe drunk drivers should be penalized harshly for their crime.

Still I get picked.

Ok, fine. How much arguing can a lawyer do when there is a breathalyzer result that is damning (.18 almost 4 hours after the arrest), a video of the defendant being unable to complete the physical tasks etc.

The defense lawyer was retarded. He argued some seriously stupid shit. It was so bad that a group of law students or interns sitting in the back row of the room cringed and gasped whenever her went with one of his inane side roads of stupidity.

The case was pretty simple. Dumb, drunk woman, who was kinda hot, drove the wrong way on a major bridge. To make it to the ramp she entered, she would have had to do some seriously fucked up driving. Add to that she was on a small island between Manhattan and Queens and she was heading towards Queens when she got stopped. She was trying to get to Hoboken. That's in the exact opposite direction, downtown and west of where she was. She was so fucking wrong in all areas that the idea of her fighting any of this was comical.

Still, we endured the testimony of two cops.

Still, we had to watch a video of this woman attempt to walk a straight line.

Still, we had to hear how, when asked to recite the alphabet from C to M, her response was "C M."

Why this woman wasted everyone's time is beyond me.

This morning, the DA's third witness was an hour late and the judge told the DA to continue without the witness. A plea bargain was then reached.

Then the bailiff told us we were done for 6 years and he was shocked to see them plea out the case as the deal wasn't so good and he asked us where we stood with a verdict if the testimony we heard was all we were going to hear.
Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty,guilty, innocent.



Some dude said he thought she was innocent. He said that he had a parking ticket filled out wrong once and the paperwork was kind of messed up on this one and, therefore, perhaps she wasn't guilty.

What about the 0.18 blood alcohol? The numbers alone are procedural. She was guilty based on that alone.

Oh, well, those machines might not be accurate.

Fortunately, we didn't have to sit thru a session of arguing with this moron who admitted he had no job, nothing to do now that his duty ended early and he was kind of enjoying the legal process.

I told the guy I'd have hung him out the window by his ears until he changed his vote.
Another guy said he'd have helped.

Then we got into a somewhat heated but friendly argument over how stupid this guy was, even though he had the right to argue against us.

Finally, after about 10 minutes of this I stood up and said I would love to continue the debate when we next meet, hopefully by coincidence in Disneyland. I stood and left, confident that the legal system is totally fucked up and one hundred percent positive that I will never, ever, sit thru that bullshit again.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Elevator Auschwitz

I'm running back to the office. My stomach is churning. I feel like I might explode. I race to the back of the lobby, jam the call button and shift around uncomfortably, waiting for the damn doors to open. The bell rings, the doors open. In I go. Alone. Thank god.

Floors 1-12 are not available as this car only stops on 13-27. The stomach turns. I have no choice but to let one small fart out. How bad can it be? I unclench. A little whistler comes out and then, sensing the release valve's been opened, my intestines unload. The whistler builds. The comes out louder, no longer a high pitch squeal, more of a baritone. The wind tunnel grows, my ass cheek are actually vibrating from the gas flying out between them.

The fart turns, it now has a more melodic lilt to it. It's breezier, an almost airy quality to it, like it can life me up and float me away. I start rocking my hips, creating a rhythmic quality to this symphonic squelch.

The fart tightens up, the sound is sharper, harsher, higher in pitch again.

The sound coming from my ass twists and twirls as the last gasp of air escapes my bloated innards.

My stomach feels normal again. I didn't shit my pants. Big plus there.

I feel great.

And then the smell hits me.

It's a stench for the ages. A real bomb and I'm stuck in this elevator with it. I'm half choking, half laughing as the floors start to light up. Thank god, salvation is coming.

I'm gonna make it
what the fuck? no, please god, no, please this is horrific, I'm so busted, please don't open up, damn you elevator, get stuck. no, wait, plummet down, killing me instantly. It would be better than having the door open and....

it had to be a good looking woman
so fucking typical
there go the doors.

Welcome to Auschwitz honey. Me and you and our own little gas chamber. her eyes are watering. I must be the wrongest color of pink ever.

And there we go. I'm now getting the giggles.

Great. She's going to think I'm having a seizure from the smell of my own ass cheese.

Either that or she'll panic and think we've been attacked by some crazy nerve gas that makes us laugh like loons.


She's holding back a gag.


she's got her hand over her mouth.


her eyes are burning holes thru me. she's pissed


the doors open, I stumble out, turning to say something and seeing her gasping at the fresh air. I shake my head, give her my best "I'm a sorry loser" look and crawl into my office.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Seriously now, you put that on facebook?

We had a family health scare over the holiday weekend. I wound up calling an ambulance on Sunday afternoon and saving the life of a relative. I won't go into details as it's not for public consumption, which is my point in the posting. Suffice it to say, I spent the week at Peconic Bay Medical Center (Riverhead, NY), sitting with the sick relative, worrying that the issue wouldn't be found, then wouldn't be resolved, then would be resolved but leave this person in a state of permanent issue.

My younger sister was there. My older sister came for a few hours on Tuesday. Not a whole lot of surprise there. My older sister came and started talking about what time she was leaving shortly after her arrival. This weekend I had dinner with her and there was an issue with the sick relative, who is home, recovering. My sister was quick to suggest we not leave this person home alone for the night, if the issue didn't resolve itself. I agreed and asked my sister if she could stay. She suggested we call my other sister. Nice of her. I said I was kidding, I didn't expect her to stay as I was there and I would stay.

Anyway, my younger sister was with me during the week of hospital visiting. She was her usual self promoting, positioning for power amongst the relatives, self. During a conversation with her, she confided in me that this issue was far worse for her because her relationship with the patient was different, they meant more to each other than my relationship with the patient. Right. That makes sense.

dumb ass

Day two, a procedure is ordered, the patient is on the mend. day three, not much better. Day 4 a slight turn for the worse followed by a total reversal and fully alert and happy. Day 5, home.

I was at the hospital each day by 9, home some time after 1 am each night. My sister was with me the entire time. We'd come home and crash. Wake up and go, after she did a morning speed walk, which is very important it seems.

When, exactly, she found the time to update her facebook page about the situation is beyond me.

That's right, she was posting about the health issues on facebook. For starters, this is something the sick person would probably not want to be discussed amongst my sisters 150 or so fake friends. Second, the sick person was just discussing the disgusting lack of privacy that facebook users seem to display in posting pictures of events and other folks without getting permission from them.

So, this person, who is sick, who was in the hospital, primarily because they did something stupid, is now being discussed and worried about by people she doesn't know, never heard of and hadn't heard about in over a decade.

All because my sister wanted sympathy from her cadre of imaginary friends.

I found out about the facebook thing 2 ways. First, my older sister called me, asking if I thought it was appropriate. Seems her kids saw it and were a bit put off by the declarations made by their aunt. Second, a client of mine, who is on my sister's friend list, called and asked for an address to send flowers.

Like the sick person needs that.

Now, I don't use facebook. I see no point in it. See my old post
for more details on the why of it.
I don't understand the need to tell people about this shit but I'm in the minority.

Now I'm waiting for the jokes to start flying about how my family had lice as I am sure that the louse situation made the facebook updates as well.

that's right, we had the fleas and now I'm contemplating a head shave to ensure that each little itch isn't those creepy crawly fuckers.

If I do shave my head, I'll tweet it as I remove my locks, posting pics on facebook and singing about it on myspace.