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Miscellaneous Ancient Content

Who knows where to even put this stuff?
I wrote a lot of this while I was living in New York, and some even before that. I should probably do more short-form writing like this, only way less sucky and more frequent.

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Jack is fired.

Miscellaneous Ancient Content

That time your killer instinct was way off the mark, Jack.

I understand your complaints, Jack, so I want to lay it all out to you clearly. What we’ve got here is unlike anything anyone else has ever seen, Jack. It’s so far ahead of its time that it makes everything else look like BASIC, Jack, and don’t doubt it. Jack, this stuff is light years ahead of what every guy down the pike is doing – light years ahead. It’s the next big thing, Jack, ant the time has come to fish or cut bait.

I mean it, Jack. If you can’t see the importance of what we’re trying to do here, if you can’t see the strength in our planning, then I don’t think there’s a place for you in this company, Jack. I understand that you still have all that stock, Jack, but if you can’t come onboard this ship, Jack, if you can’t find it in you to change your mind completely, then I suggest selling that stock before we make this thing public.

Of course I’ll buy it back from you. I am going to be a very rich man in a very short time, Jack, and the man with the kind of stock you’re carrying will be, too. No, Jack, the stock doesn’t entitle you to a piece in this decision. It’s already been made. Look at yourself, Jack! You’re whining! Isn’t that a sign of defeat already? I know that this project killed your project – it killed three of mine as well. What that means, Jack, is anyone’s guess. They might be able to align with this new order we’re building; in which case, they’ll also make us piles of money. If not, Jack, maybe I’ll sell those plans to someone unfortunate enough not to be in this project at the ground floor. In fact, if you’re serious about selling that stock, I bet we could work out a deal to take those projects in trade.

Of course I think I’m getting the better end of that deal, Jack. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t offer it to you. But you must have some pretty good reasons for your hesitation or else you would have seen the feasibility of this plan by now, Jack, so you might well want to take some of the other projects in trade for this stock you see doomed to failure. Right. Yes, that way only one of us falls. Right, Jack, friendship preserved, I guess, on the stubbornness that founded it. Of course, Jack. I’ll have my lawyers draft the papers. The projects? Umm, I’m talking about the Blue plans, the 82nd Street stuff, the Managerial material – yes all of it, and all of the source – and the modeling. That does sound like a lot, Jack. And to think, we were all planning on making some hefty profits with those ideas. Well, Jack, you still may. Of course, you’ll have to license the new stuff through us. Never! Not at full price! Don’t be silly, Jack. Then again, you are leaving us right before our launch. Now I’ve got another meeting, Jack, so I’ve got to run. The company will get the tab on this one. Next time it’s on you, I guess. It was good working with you. Yeah, twenty years is a long time.

Vaya Con Dios, Jack

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An Open Letter to Future Fathers

Miscellaneous Ancient Content

June 16th, 2002

Written on the eve of Fathers’ Day 2002 and sent to some close friends and family
I send this message to you because you are my closest, the people in whom I place my greatest trust. You are family, if not by blood (though most are), then by extension and by respect. You are also all potential fathers. As potential fathers, and on the eve of fathers’ day, I wonder for all of us whether this day holds significance beyond the noble (and much-deserved) tradition of honoring those men goodly enough to help bring US into the world. I wonder if it’s not a good time to reflect on what makes a good father, and, by extension, what makes us all good men. How can I take this opportunity that comes once a year and use it to my advantage, and to the advantage of any children that I may someday be lucky enough to have? Can I learn, through simple reflection, how best to earn, not demand, the love of my offspring? Is love enough to make a good father? Maybe it is. How about the ability to demonstrate, and thereby instill? Temperance, decency, honor, morality, love, fair-mindedness, openness, warmth, respect, competence–these are things that I have come to value, both through what I saw growing up and through what I’ve come to believe makes a person great in the eyes of those he loves. At some point, all that will be left of us will be in the memories of others. When that time is at hand, and even as those memories fade, we will have had a lasting effect on future generations, just as our fathers, grandfathers, and all the men up our lines have had an effect on us. I guess this e-mail is an invitation to reflect on how best to make the indellible marks we will leave positive ones–something that our children, not just ourselves, can be proud of, and better for. Thank each of your fathers for me, because in no small measure it is through them that you were forged, and through you that I have grown.
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Marianne Doesn’t Like Midtown

Miscellaneous Ancient Content

a modern fairy tale

Pulling up the collar of her coat against the breeze that warned of the coming cold, Marianne stepped into the street. How she hated midtown! Midtown with its airborne grit! Midtown with its people and their smug, world-weary grimaces. Midtown with its throngs of buildings taller than the sky, each filled with people with identical faces and identical jobs. Midtown, where the aristocracy is forced to mingle with the plebeians in the name of business. Although she dressed the part, Marianne was anything but comfortable here. She longed with every step to be in the small-town atmosphere of her Brooklyn town. There, the emotions that run rampant wherever people are forced to co-habitate in such close quarters are not masked by the ironic falsehood of good breeding or proper manners.

As the first drops of rain began to fall on her from the masonry-punctured sky, Marianne turned her steps southward. Soon she would be among the students of Greenwich village or the geeks in Sillicon Alley – she didn’t care which. There, she would stick out for her mode of dress but not for her lack of holier-than-thou attitude. There was a little pizza place down that way, and a boy worked there. Marianne would pop in on that rainy afternoon and have a slice while he finagled his way out of the rest of his shift. Then the two of them would disappear into the city, swallow it like an invisibility pill. He will be happy to see her. The breeze has turned to a wind that is pushing Marianne downtown. The rain will soon be a storm.

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In The Lobby – A Story

Miscellaneous Ancient Content

So the gorgeous girl that lives on the ground floor of my apartment building was checking her mail this morning and she looked so lovely that I just had to stop and talk to her. She was so carefully coifed and made up, each hair in place and each eyelash standing at attention, distinct and separate and dark that I just couldn’t pass her by. The way her tight, up-to-the-split-second-of-style, just-long-enough-to-hide-my-ankles-but-not-so-long-as-to-obscure-my-incredible-feet black pants hugged her figure and the way her blouse, a corporate-correct but still earth-shatteringly sexy garment hung over her torso made it impossible for me not to say something.

Now I have never been very good at this sort of thing. I’ve always been kind of the shy type, preferring to wait for just the right moment and just the right atmosphere before I tip my hand. That’s why my sudden, mindless determination surprised me. It’s good to know that you can still surprise yourself, even after such a long, monogamous relationship with just one personality. So I stopped on my way by her. I stopped and I mustered my voice. “Hi.” I said to her. “I’m Alex. You look lovely this morning. I know this great Japanese steakhouse in the city that I would love to take you to this evening, if you’re free.” She was surprised that I was talking to her, that much was clear in the seconds that she was taking to process my question and to formulate her answer. Her voice sounded like a choir of angels to me at that moment. I was reasonably sure that no woman this heavenly had ever before spoken to me. “I’m busy tonight,” she began. That was okay, I thought. There’s always tomorrow, Sunday, or even, perhaps, a weekday. And wow, she was talking to me. “And besides,” continued the bright shooting star of my existence, “do you know what they do to those poor cows before they end up a simmering, fleshy mass on your plate? It’s really inhumane. I could never eat something as innocent and undeserving as a cow.” With that, she quickly pulled on her mid-length, form-fitting, slightly-flared-to-allow-for-the-wiggle-of-her-perfect-hips leather overcoat and left me standing in the lobby.

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Closer Than Skin

Miscellaneous Ancient Content

like a mystery
a breeze
that blows soft
upon my face
you touch me
with the wind’s gentleness.

I can never be sure
I only know when you are there
and when you’re gone
but I cannot see you moving.

When my eyes open
and I cannot find you
my memory is uncertain
were you there?
when?
did we touch
or did you just touch me?

When you are here
we speak no words
when I can feel you
we are closer than skin.

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The Thanksgiving Movie Table

Miscellaneous Ancient Content
This post was a particular mess – I think the table formatting really fucked with it the couple times it’s been shunted over to a new format or system.  I probably should have been keeping the old sites running each on their own subdomain, but securing that old software would be a nightmare, even after disabling user login and new account creation…
I digress – on to the pictures!
(…MO 2016_0729)

The Abridged Story of making the Thanksgiving Table 2006

This is the table Emily and I built and collaged for our Thanksgiving feast this year. Technically, it”s merely a piece of plywood that sits atop a much-smaller table, but it works exactly the way we need it to, because we can lean the tabletop against the wall for easy storage when we”re not having a feast or throwing a party where beer pong will be part of the festivities.

The images below are of the process of collaging the table – a weeklong process that lasted almost around the clock. We worked in shifts, day and night, and consulted heavily with each other for each section and used the help and advice of plenty of people in the mix, notably Priscilla and Mario. When we were finished, we did a test collage and lacquered it, only to learn that it was a damn good thing that we did because the lacquer ruined the paper and would have destroyed the table. Turns out that there”s a place in the Valley that sells Plexi at 50% the going rate at Home Depot (which doesn’t even carry plexi out here for some reason).

While the project seems unfinished to me, I like it because it’s a moment in time and we finished it in time (barely) for eating, and now it’s done. It”s covered in years worth of clippings, posters and bits of movie-related stuff, and was an education (to say the least) in just how much crap you need to cover a table this size.

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Prague Pictures

Miscellaneous Ancient Content
It’s amazing how much formatting has changed over the years.  I’m trying to keep this one as similar to the original post method as possible, and that means tables.  Sorry.
(…MO 2016_0729)

Prague pictures
9 shots and some corresponding captions

Okay, so you know I went to Prague. I posted about it on my Log many moons ago (it seems), and now I have scanning technology at my disposal and nothing to scan (liar!), so I thought I”d scan some pics. They”ve all been optimized for the web, which means that they”re only slightly less huge than they”d be otherwise, so good luck viewing them. If you like, be sure to let me know on the board. Enjoy.

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Homage to Browns Terrace

Miscellaneous Ancient Content
These posts are a lesson in how even digital data gets lost, recycled, deleted and filled with digital noise over the years.  I know a lot of it is because some translation software somewhere just didn’t work quite right, but sometimes I try to go through and pick one or two posts to clean up and make slightly more legible.
(…MO 2016_0729)

Huge page – 7 collages

Some people in these pictures are woefully underrepresented and some, ridiculously over-represented, but, taken as a whole, the collages here are a good representative of the people that helped to make my particular tenure in Baltimore so amazing. I”m not naming the people here (and I”m not even sure that I could, anymore), because to name them would mandate explaining how they fit in, and that”s just impossible. So look. Enjoy.