Monday, February 28, 2011

To Watch or Not To Watch. That Is the question.

I found this oldie but goodie from the archives in my notes from a few years back. Here goes:

I'm walking down the stairs on the Uptown #6 train at Union Square and see a man sitting on the stairs in front of me watching a movie on a portable DVD player with his headphones in the device. I think to myself that he's being very considerate of the other passengers. As I look closer to the image on his screen, I see he's watching a hardcore porn movie. No folks, he's not watching one of those tame Skinimax flicks. He's watching some hardcore orgy action. I laugh to myself as I walk pass him. The train comes into the station a few minutes later and we both get in the same car.

A few cars go by and the train starts to fill up with people heading to work. At one point a man sits next to him and noticed what he's watching and looks visibly disturbed. Instead of moving and taking a different seat, the man decides to be nosy and ask the man a question. Here's how the brief discussion went:

Nosy Man taps Movie Man on the shoulder. Annoyed, Movie Man takes his headphones off and looks at Nosy Man.

Nosy Man: Excuse me sir. Why are you watching that movie on the train.

Without missing a beat, Movie man shrugs his shoulders and says "Cause I can" puts his headphones back on his head and goes back to watching his movie.

Well I guess he told him. ;)


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Claudius and Hamlet Take the L to Brooklyn

As I'm riding the "L" train this past Tuesday night to meet Justin and Myron at the Brooklyn Public House on DeKalb Avenue, I seemed to have walked into an impromptu performance. Why do I say that? Where it started with one man giving a monologue (or just talking out loud to himself) and looking rather intense and somewhat nuts while dropping to his knees supplicating to an unseen figure. Then a second man joins him and my suspicions of a performance were confirmed. At quick listen I thought it may have been one of William Shakespeare's works they were enacting, in particular it sounded like Hamlet. After they were done, they explained to the riders that it was in fact Hamlet Act 3 Scene 3. I give the Brooklyn trains credit, all we get in the Bronx are the dancers, the beggars and people talking to themselves. The Bronx train thespians, artists and savants needs to step up it's game.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Oh Sweet Astoria My Have You Changed

I went to Astoria on Wednesday to have the kids see grandma and decided to take a walk around the old neighborhood. I walked up Broadway to Steinway Street, down to 30th Avenue then back down. I have to say that I'm a little sad to see how much the neighborhood has changed. Gone are many of the stores that I visited as a teen and young adult on Steinway Street. Also gone are many of the small houses along 31st Avenue from my mom's block up to Crescent Street. In their place stands multiple dwelling buildings, while nice in appearance, seem to make the blocks seem much more cluttered. I'm not sad that there is progress. Progress is good but the sadness comes from the fact that I must have seemed like a tourist walking around looking at all the new buildings when I lived 26 years in Astoria. I guess Eric is right when he says things work in cycles. The scary thing for me is wondering what the next cycle will look like.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Can't Make This One Up

Folks, I can't make this up. In comes in this woman who seems a little winded or distressed. I let her in the bar. Who knows if someone is following her or something to that degree. She says she walked about 30 blocks and needs to compose herself. She orders a water from Mike and then the "fun" begins.

She puts her bag and coat down on the first round table closer to the door and proceeds to take her pink sweater off. She walks towards the darts and stretches. As she walks back she stops in front of the mirror and fixes her hair and takes off her glasses. She walks to her stuff and moves them to the third round table where other patrons have their jackets. She places her glasses down and wraps her silver colored scarf around her neck and stops at the mirror to fix her hair again. She wraps the pink sweater around her waist then over her shoulders and stops at the mirror to re-adjust her last adjustment. She then puts her leather coat on and she stops at a jacket that's draped over one of the chairs. She starts looking at the label.

Mind you folks, she's doing this in a matter of 5-10 minutes. This chick was super suspicious. Then she nonchalantly puts the jacket over her shoulder and starts to walk out. I stop her since I'm not sure if its hers or not. Now we really start to have fun. This is something of how the conversation went:

"Put the coat down."

"But its mine, why are you so strict."

"You've been acting suspicious since you got here"

"You're strict like a drill sergeant. I'm leaving."

"You're not going anywhere until I verify who this belongs to."

"You're so strict. You remind me of my dad" and she proceeds to sit down and fuss with her hair and glasses.

I verify that the jacket did not belong to the people who were sitting at the third round table and let her go. She storms out and drops her pink sweater. I pick it up and hand it to her wishing her a good night. She sarcastically says "Thanks" giving me dagger eyes as she stomped down the block.

Any clues as to her behavior?


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Here's a Sneak Peek Into What I See at Work

I hate to stand on the soapbox and comment on things that I really can't control but life is really scary out there. Take the drunk woman last night at the bar as an example. She was drunk, making out and dancing with various guys making herself to be quite the easy target. I hate to take a sexist POV on this but I probably don't think twice about it if it was a dude acting the same way.

Sure the guy (in the same situation) is in jeopardy of being mugged, beat up and even worse in his state of inebriation but my mind always goes back to the situation at The Falls a few years back.

That issue was that a drunk woman was left alone at the bar by her friends and left the premises with a bouncer who raped and killed her, disposing of her body like one would do a bag of garbage. I'm not saying that's what was happening last night. Luckily for her, we at the bar take ourselves, our jobs and our place of employment seriously. Since she was alone, we tried to put her in a cab so she could get home safely.

As with drunk people, things are never easy and this was no different. We had difficulties putting her in a cab since she refused to (or couldn't) tell us where she was going. Finally, after putting her in a cab, she gave the cab driver a hard time even smacking him in the face when he tried to get her out of his car. He said he was willing to take her where she needed to go, but she wasn't cooperating with him. She also refused to give him her address. Eventually they pulled away, hopefully taking her home or to the nearest precinct.

She left her coat and phone behind in the bar. I contacted her through Facebook letting her know about her coat and phone being in the office and that she should come get it. She has yet to contact me or the bar about her things so I'm a little worried to say the least.

Being the father of a 7-year old daughter I can't help seeing my child in these kind of situations and it's downright scary. Bad enough I'm conflicted about working in a bar. My conflict stems from feelings of being partly to blame for how some of our patrons are destroying themselves with alcohol. Granted, they are adults and drinking voluntarily, but at times I still feel awkward earning my keep by working in a bar even after 15 years. It really is scary.

Hopefully the young lady got home safely and comes by the bar and gets her things.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Free Ride is Officially Over!!!!

Today marks the day in my life when I realize that there is truly nothing free in this world of ours. I went into the TD Bank on 85th and 3rd to use the Penny Arcade machine to cash in my son's share of the loose change that I put away towards the kids' fund. To my surprise as I approach the machine I notice a little sign that says "A 6% transaction fee will be applied to non TD Bank Customers". So bad enough the poor little banks have eliminated free checking accounts, now they are charging a transaction fee on change that they will end up using to make a profit on.

Bad enough I closed my accounts at Commerce Bank/TD Bank years ago because of their NYC customer fee that they were applying to my accounts. Yes folks, we paid a fee for the privilege of having out accounts in NYC. If the fee was applied to all customers then I wouldn't be too upset, though I probably would have still closed the accounts. Now my change has a fee attached to it as well. We won't be seeing that commercial with Regis and Kathy Lee's replacement with the mason jar full of coins on the boob-tube any more. I guess they need to find a way to pay for all the lollipops and dog biscuits they give out for "free".

I guess unless I have to go into a TD Bank for work purposes, I'll never go into one again.


Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14th and the Pitifulness of the Day

For anyone of you who seriously knows me, knows my stance on the day popularly known as Valentine's Day. I think it's a bullshit holiday created by the Chocolate, Jewelry, Flowers and Greeting card industries to get the gullible public to spend their hard earned money so soon after Christmas. And I'm not some bitter man, who is still feeling the sting of an ex-lover and has turned his back on love and romance. Far from it. But I personally don't feel that I need a day on the calendar to show how I feel towards my wife and loved ones. To me that's just further proof of the Lemming behavior that seems to have permeated our modern society. But that's not the troubling point.

What bothers me the most is what I've heard from people, mainly ladies the last few days. Not to call people out (because there has been a large number of women to tell me this during this past weekend) but if you tell me that your man needs a day like Valentine's day to show you how important you are in his life as opposed to him doing it on the most randomnest of days then ladies you know what: YOU NEED A NEW MAN!!!!! It's as simple as that. If your man (and men the point applies to your ladies as well) needs to see a red heart on his calendar to show you your importance in his life then he's just not worth your time. To me, it seems purely asinine that we need to be prodded by commercials, pretty displays and peer pressure to show our lover, wife, partner, mistress (if you have one or a few, LOL) that they are important to us.

Be spontaneous on any day of the week and it doesn't have to be showy and over the top. If your lady likes a particular food, surprise her. If she likes flowers (why someone would buy an item that will die in a few days is beyond me. it doesn't reflect well on how you view the person you are giving them to) then get her some on the random day. Variety is the spice of life and don't be the moron that neglects your lady on every day but Valentine's Day. I guarantee you, there's another dude who sees things the way I do and will swoop in and take her away from your dumb ass with the simplest of gestures. And ladies, stop being so gullible. Find yourself a man who is worth your time. But as I know, most of you out there will maintain your lemming mentality as it is believed that ignorance is bliss. For in reality, what do I truly know, I'm just a bouncer. LOL.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sinus Headaches and the Law

I've had this recurring Sinus headache the last two days that feels as if someone has been punching me from the back of my nose and eyes. Let's say it is not a pleasant feeling. To combat the force of sinus evil, I decide to go to Duane Reade to pick something up.

As I arrive at the aisle where the cold medicine is located, I see empty shelves with slips of papers that have images of the products that I am looking for. It say to go to the pharmacist to get the items I need. So I do as the paper says and ask for the item. The pharmacist asks me if I have ID, which I produce and she asks me to fill out the log book. Wow, is it that serious with the Crystal Meth? I know it is pretty bad in the Midwest and on the West Coast but I didn't think it was bad here.

I did a little research and here is what I found out. The active ingredient in many chosen medicines (Pseudoephedrine HCL) can be used to manufacture methamphetamine. According to the website

In 1893, Methamphetamine or crystal meth was first developed from ephedrine. A chemist by the name of Nagayoshi Nagai was responsible for this creation. It wasn’t until 1919, that methamphetamine was turned into its crystallized form by Akira Ogata. Ogata was able to do this by reduction of ephedrine using iodine and red phosphorous. Amphetamine, which is a related drug, first came into existence in 1887 by a Lazar Edeleanu in Germany. Methamphetamine manufacturing initially began in the United States in Hawaii in the 1960s.

The article on their website called the History of Crystal Meth goes into more details about the history of drug and it's usage, so feel free to check it out. 

According to the above mentioned article:

In terms of crystal meth legislation, There have been five federal laws and many state laws written since 1989 in order to try to curb production of methamphetamine. Pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, sales have been restricted in order to reduce the amount of the main ingredient of methamphetamine available to the general public. The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 was written especially to combat the sales of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine that an individual may purchase in a specified time period. In addition, there are other requirements regarding storage of these products in order to prevent theft.

For more information on the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 and any amendments made to the law check out the US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Division Office of Diversion Control website.

So that makes sense why I would have to show ID an sign a log to buy the meds. I just didn't think we'd get to that point. Like Mr. Mackey says on South Park: Drugs are Bad, mmmkay

For Further Reading:
- Click Here to access the US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Division Office of Diversion Control website .
- Click Here to access the informative Addictionsearch website.