Sunday, June 29, 2008


My living spaces have gotten kind of cluttered lately and so I'm going through all my stuff and weeding out everything I don't love. Some of it's going to Goodwill, some of it in the trash and some of it is going up on eBay. I've been selling on eBay for a while now (574 transactions, 100 per cent positive feedback) and I feel like I know what's going to sell there, but I am constantly surprised -- pleasantly and unpleasantly.
I had some 1960's postcards from Africa that I inherited from my grandmother that I thought would do well at auction -- No matter what the economy does, boobies are always popular, and the "vintage" is a big draw too, but I got less than a dollar apiece for them:

Then there were a couple back issues of a magazine that I almost dropped off at Goodwill, but I'm glad I didn't.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Carlin Learned

It seems like everybody is posting "The Seven Words You Can't Say on Television" to honor George Carlin, but I don't think that's one of his best and besides now there's nothing you can't say on television. I'd rather draw your attention to this article from Esquire Magazine 2001 wherein George Carlin discusses what he's learned from his 64 years on earth:

I was in my mother's belly as she sat in the waiting room of the abortionist's office. Dr. Sunshine was his code name. I was fifty feet from the drainpipe, and she saw a painting on the wall that reminded her of her mother, who had recently died. She took that as a sign to have the baby. That's what I call luck.

My father drank and was a bully. For the first five years of my brother's life, my father beat him with a leather-heeled slipper. Had I been subjected to that kind of treatment, all bets are off. His absence saved my life.

My mother had great executive-secretarial jobs in the advertising business and raised two boys during the Second World War. She used to say, "I make a man's salary." That's heroism.
I'm sure Hitler was great with his family.

I used to collect the most colorful curses I heard and write them down. I actually carried in my wallet things like "kraut cunt" and "burly loudmouth cocksucker" and "longhair fucking music prick," which was a thing Mikey Flynn yelled at a Juilliard student that he was kicking in the head.

I don't like authority and regulation, and I do my best to disrespect it, but I do that for myself. It's self-expression only.

Sex without love has its place, and it's pretty cool, but when you have it hand in hand with deep commitment and respect and caring, it's nine thousand times better.

If it's morally wrong to kill anyone, then it's morally wrong to kill anyone. Period.

It's amazing to me that literacy isn't considered a right.

I was arrested for possession and cultivation of marijuana in the early '70s, and it was thrown out. The judge asked me how I felt about it, and I said, "I understand the law, and I want you to know I'll pay the fine, but I cannot guarantee I will not break this law again." He really chewed me out for that.

Censorship that comes from the outside assumes about people an inability to make reasoned choices.

The first thing they teach kids is that there's a God -- an invisible man in the sky who is watching what they do and who is displeased with some of it. There's no mystery why they start that with kids, because if you can get someone to believe that, you can add on anything you want.

I would die for the safety of the people I love.

I wish that we could measure how much the potential of the mind to expand has been stunted by television.

Because of my abuse of drugs, I neglected my business affairs and had large arrears with the IRS, and that took me eighteen to twenty years to dig out of. I did it honorably, and I don't begrudge them. I don't hate paying taxes, and I'm not angry at anyone, because I was complicit in it. But I'll tell you what it did for me: It made me a way better comedian. Because I had to stay out on the road and I couldn't pursue that movie career, which would have gone nowhere, and I became a really good comic and a really good writer.

I stopped voting when I stopped taking drugs. I believe both of those acts are closely related to delusional behavior.

There's no morality in business. It doesn't have a conscience. It has only the cash register. They'll sell you crappy things that you don't need, that don't work, that they won't stand behind. It's a glorified legal form of criminal behavior.

If everybody knew the truth about everybody else's thoughts, there would be way more murders.

There's nothing wrong with high taxes on high income.

Lenny Bruce opened all the doors, and people like Richard Pryor and I were able to walk through them.

Given the right reasons and the right two people, marriage is a wonderful way of experiencing your life.

I think that the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King showed that all of the wishing and hoping and holding hands and humming and signing petitions and licking envelopes is a bit futile.

Blacks are deliberately kept down. Poor communities are deliberately underfunded.

I don't think people should get credit for being honest and brave. I think there's a lot of genetic shit going on there.

Someday they'll find a gene for putting on your overcoat.

There's a pulse in New York, even on the quietest street, on the quietest day. It's full of potential.

If there's ever a golden age of mankind, it will not include men over two hundred pounds beating children who are less than one hundred pounds, and it will not include the deliberate killing of people in a formal setting.

I did something in a previous life that must have been spectacularly good, because I'm getting paid in this life just magnificently, more than one would dare imagine or hope for.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Carlin as canary

Not a good morning at the gym. I was working on a new weight-lifting routine and I had some trouble with the Eastern European aspects -- specifically the Bulgarian split-squat (which looked really easily in the picture but proved damn near impossible in real-life) and the Romanian dead lift. I ran out of time before I could complete the workout and of course when I got out of the shower the only other dude in the locker room was completely blocking my locker.
But the worst thing was seeing on one of the televisions that George Carlin had died. I try to stay optimistic about the future of the USA but it's tough when this once-great nation has become a rogue state ruled by a nutjob who believes he was chosen by God when the truth is he serves another more crimson master. I always admired George Carlin for pointing out how screwed up things are and doing it in a way that made you laugh. But things are so screwed up now that when I saw the Carlin obit the first thing I thought was "We're all in big trouble. The canary in our cultural coal mine just died."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Gym shorts


It's not because I love working out. In fact I mostly hate working out. But I love the way I feel after I work out. I love leaving the gym fresh, clean and invigorated. I love the feeling of knowing that, although the sun has just risen, the hardest part of my day is over. I love listening to Marianne Williamson on the radio on the way to the gym and to Dr. Oz or the XM Baseball channel when I leave the gym. And of course I love the results. I weighed in today at 179, which means I lost three pounds this past week and forty-four and a half pounds since January. And because I'm building muscle I know that the lost pounds are fat pounds.


The gym is not a place I want to hang around. I want to get in, get my work done and get out. Not everybody feels the same way I do, of course. There's one guy at my gym who obviously comes just to hit on women. You can watch him when he comes out of the locker room. He has no workout plans other than to get beside the best looking unattached woman there and start a conversation. There are other guys who seem to enjoy standing around talking -- in the gym and also butt naked in the locker room. I've got the woman of my dreams and I have no interest in socializing with nude dudes. I always try to pick a locker away from everyone else so that I can have just enough room to attend to my gym bag business. Accordingly I pick out a locker that is surrounded by unlocked, unclaimed lockers. And inevitably when I get out of the shower there will be somebody right beside my locker with all his shit spread out so I've got nowhere to put my stuff even if I could get to my locker which I usually can't because the guy is always some OCD guy who is carefully folding his dirty gym clothes and hanging (I am not kidding) his towel up on a hanger.


Well, I never actually considered joining, but they are right down the street from where I work, and they offered me a free 21-day trial membership, so I thought I'd take advantage of that -- even though I had some misgivings over how many times they used the word "upscale" in their brochure. So I went in for a tour. The first thing they showed me was their bright and cheery smoothie bar with wi-fi and big screen TVs. Again, I don't go to the gym to hang out, so money and space spent on this stuff instead of exercise equipment was strike one in my book -- strike two, actually, since the biggest TV was tuned to the devil's network Fox News; I quit a gym because all the cardio equipment faced that damn propaganda pit. The place didn't smell right either; I mean it didn't smell at all. A gym should smell like Lysol fighting for its life against the funk. Strike three. I asked about yoga classes and my guide said they were starting one, and not to worry it wasn't about religion and not-eating meat and other woo-woo out there stuff. In other words they're dumbing it down, ripping it out of its foundations, trivializing it. A big strike four, which is one more strike than anyone's allowed but I was still planning to use them for 21 days right up until the time I started reading the gym rules. Most of it was pretty standard stuff -- no jeans, you must have your ID, etc. But they did have a rule I've never seen before -- No Loud Grunting. I walked out. I had no choice. Grunting is an integral part of my workout. So is sweating and although I didn't finish reading their rules I'm sure they don't allow perspiration either.