Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Captain's Pay



Okay, here goes. Had two parties the last two nights. Last night I was the sole bartender, indeed sole catering staff, at some alumni meeting where a bunch of privileged 18-year-olds were heading off to the old folks home at the college. That's a Dylan reference that probably only my brother will get. I stood behind the bar for about two and a half hours while listening to these kids' parents and former teachers tell these kids how special they were. Maybe they are, who knows? Anyway, I more or less got captain's pay for setting up a bar, pouring water & soda, and then breaking down said party. Relative piece of cake, but it's very boring when you're the only person on the business end of a catering event. No complaints here though. Who would listen? That's a Goodfellas reference that only my friend Paul Scarsella down in Florida is likely to get. I did get to go home with about a dozen spinach pies and slightly more chocolate chip cookies. It's the little things, people, the little things.

Night before was a cocktail par-tay for around 200 lost souls, aren't we all, celebrating a teacher or two retiring. I've seen enuf of the private school culture to know what bullshit underlies the whole mythos, and remember I went to a private high school, albeit a West Side school and therefore not one as snobbish as your typical East Side school, fresh from 9 years of public school -- talk about your culture shock. So let's say some righteous bitterness remains just below the surface. Anyway, we had 12 people on staff for that party -- me, Theo, Isiah, Wendy, Mike, Dean, some crazy Israeli guy whose name I can never remember. The time goes quicker when you can commiserate and bust each other's chops.

I sit here a-bloggin' from the Internet cafe, where as you know time is money. I tried the friggin' library but of course the computers are down. But I felt a strong urge to blog, so here I am.

You know what I hate: people who say so-and-so really gets me, as if they're so fucking deep and mysterious. You hear this kind of crap on dating shows, as well as in real life. The truth is they're usually totally mainstream and bereft of originality, and like most people are clone-like in their behavior, speech, attitudes and sensibilities.

You know which quote is helpful to remember when you're in any kind of service business: Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. Noel Coward said that. That's really all I know about Noel Coward. But that's enuf for now.

You know what never made sense to me: When you hear a news report about armed gunmen. I mean, aren't all gunmen armed? Do you have to add armed? Are there a bunch of unarmed gunmen walking around? Are you always a gunman even if you leave your weapon at home that day? Are there business cards made up that say Jeff Conroy, Gunman? Just thought I'd ask.

Did anyone see the cover of the recent New York magazine about how New York real estate is gonna look in 10 years? Now, I only read the thing when I'm in a doctor's waiting room, but I'm convinced New York's whole raison d'etre is to make people feel inferior, because everything between its covers is a celebration of the rich, famous & young, no matter how they got that way or how shallow they are. But I think a new low was set with this issue. Is this the kind of city we want, nothing but endless glass skyscrapers and high rises, like something out of a science fiction novel? I was disgusted. There, I said it.

I thought a great metonym for the age we live in is that Ashlee Simpson, convicted lip syncher and general mediocrity, has an album called I AM ME -- and the fucking album is totally written by someone else!! Imagine the insight these songs must contain! Yes, the singer-songwriter confessional genre has come a long way since James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. I guess every generation gets the entertainment it deserves.

I saw where Charlie Rose was really sick, near death even. I say this only to note that the guest hosts were dreadful while he was away, as were the choice of guests. I tuned in once to see the show hosted by some sychophant from Entertainment Weekly, a truly awful abomination of a periodical that gives a critical free pass to most of the crap that passes for pop culture these days. Another night I think it was hosted by Peter Travers, a dweebish sort who writes for Rolling Stone. Does anyone even read Rolling Stone anymore, and if so, why? It's like People magazine now. Look at the advertisement for the latest multiplex overhyped formula movie and you're sure to see his name next to a breathless recommendation of it.

Remember, a sunshower is just God having a happy cry. I'll leave you with that because my Internet meter is at 33:34 and I only wanted to spend a dollar. Fuck. I hope you all appreciate what I'm doing for you here.

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