Archive for November, 2000

I’ve got a new blog

I’ve got a new blog focused on vegetarianism. Don’t worry — I don’t speak down to meat eaters. :)

Just in case you didn’t

Just in case you didn’t read my long trip report, allow me to remind you, kind visitor, that tomorrow (Dec. 1st) I will make my world television speaking appearance on The People’s Court. I’m one of the outside observers that comments on a case… I’ll be wearing a light colored sweatshirt and perhaps a green jacket (I forget what I wore that day). When I come on, I expect you to scream, “Hey! That’s Laze!” so that the world yells my name in unison.

I dig Honest Tea… and

I dig Honest Tea… and I found it, of all places, at Giant. It surprised me, because mainstream supermarkets generally just have super-sweetened, super-processed foods, but check the ingredients of the tea I bought (Jakarta Ginger). Impressive — organic with few sweeteners. The only problem was that by the time I got to the bottom, a lot of the ginger had settled, so I couldn’t drink the last few sips…

And this weekend, I’m off

And this weekend, I’m off to see a kung-fu double feature and my friend from high school in his first professional wrestling match!

I realize that my New

I realize that my New York summary is way overdue… so here it is, if you care. :)

Thursday (Nov. 9), I drove home and stayed with the fam. That afternoon I went and picked Ryder up at his apartment (which I finally got to see) and we drove up to Tarrytown. It took a little time and we got sidetracked, but it was a fun ride nonetheless, since I enjoy hanging out with my future Best Man.
We eventually found our hotel in Elmsford, a Ramada Inn that was supposedly a 2-star hotel. However, we got a smoking room with a single King size bed. I could have sworn that it was supposed to be non-smoking with two twin beds. Anyway. Friday night we went to the convention (Cult-Con 2000) and checked out the exhibition. There were a good number of vendors there, though I was a good boy and only bought one video and three posters by the time we left on Sunday. We watched New York Ripper and were slightly disappointed that it was a video projection and not a film screening (though I had missed the fine print on the program, so I guess it’s my own fault). Decent enough movie, though, and Antonella Fulci (the Maestro Lucio Fulci’s daughter) did a brief introduction. We also got some good eats at the Red Fox Diner. We also went to another diner that night, but they dissed the Red Fox and their pumpkin pie with almonds wasn’t really all that good. We had hoped to see Suspiria that night, but the schedule was changed and they were showing the awful Night of the Zombies (aka Hell of the Living Dead) instead. I love bad movies as much as the next guy, but I’ve seen this piece of garbage three or four times already, so we decided against seeing it again.

Saturday was the main convention day. Unfortunately, a number of things had changed and we ended up missing movies we hoped to see. However, the Q&A’s with Goblin (Daemonia, really), Antonella Fulci, Sergio Stiveletti, Ruggero Deodato, and David Hess all were quite interesting and worthwhile. I got signatures from and great pictures with Antonella, Ruggero, and David. That night, Daemonia performed, but there was all sorts of delay and fuckery happening with the opening band (who 1. were absolutely terrible, 2. dissed Daemonia in front of the audience, and 3. had a “we’ll take our sound system and go home” attitude). The second band, Bateau Lavoir was from Belgium was outstanding — some incredible improvised ambient noise complete with ill visuals. I’d love to get a video of their performance. Daemonia (Claudio Simonetti’s new band) were quite good, too. Afterwards, Daemonia did an autograph session. This was where the weekend took its most serious downswing — I left my digital camera on the table that Daemonia was sitting at (or, at least, that’s what I think I did).

I didn’t realize this until the next morning. Needless to say, I was upset and pissed… I left my name with my hotel, the hotel the convention was at, and with the convention organizer. I even e-mailed Claudio Simonetti in case someone from his band picked it up. No luck. $300 down the drain, plus I had six or seven really good pictures on there (the one with Antonella Fulci was outstanding, and it kills me to not have it).

Also, on Saturday night, the fire alarm in our hotel went off at 4:30am. I woke up and tried turning off the alarm clock, not realizing it was a fire alarm. I said, in a groggy state, “Ryder… do you hear that? I don’t think that’s a good thing.” Ryder said he was ready to stay in bed and keep sleeping because he didn’t smell any smoke. :) But the entire floor emptied out and went into the lobby (walking through bittery cold weather). There was no fire… it was a false alarm.

Sunday was a bit of a drag because of the lost camera. I dropped Ryder off and spent the night at my family’s place.

Monday morning I took the bus up to New York City. I got into the city and it was overcast, but not all that chilly, so I walked to the hostel. It was a longer walk than I had expected, but it wasn’t that bad. The hostel was actually quite nice and in a great location (East 30th Street). They had some pretty large single rooms, but I ended up with a closet room and a bunk bed. Oh well — still not bad for $75/night in the city. Versus the other hostels I’ve stayed in in NY, this is how I’d sum everything up:

  • Big Apple Hostel — I stayed here with Huyen and perhaps even on my own once. Located right in the
    theatre district near Times Square. This place has good single rooms, but you can’t reserve them until the day
    you get in. Rooms had phones. Semi-private baths.
  • Jazz on the Park Hostel — Not a great location (103rd St), the rooms didn’t have phones, and the
    bathrooms were communal. Nice lobby and pretty active, though.
  • Murray Hill Inn — Great location, as mentioned above. Nice private rooms (only private rooms, I
    believe) with phones. Some have sinks. Semi-private baths, though I never even saw anyone else on my floor, so
    I had no problem getting into the bathroom when I needed to. This is where I’ll stay the next time I come.

So, the plan for Monday night was to head to WWF New York for RAW. Before that, though, I had lunch at Bachue, an outstanding vegetarian (actually, mostly vegan, from what I could tell) restaurant within walking distance of the hotel. I had an amazing scrambled tofu platter — the seasonings were great, the whipped tofu cream was a wonderful butter-replacement, and the fresh apple juice was perfect. This was the best vegetarian meal I’ve had since I turned.

Then I walked up into Times Square. I checked out WWF New York’s store and was told I should come back about 5pm for RAW. I also did some of the typical things like the Warner Brothers store, etc. The coolest thing, though, was when I walked by the Times Square visitor’s center and realized they were taping The People’s Court. I had come during the end of the first case and could be seen peeking over someone’s head during the taping of the people outside (who are polled for their opinion about the case). For the second case, though, I worked my way to the front and actually got to voice my opinion. That airs on December 1st.

After futzing around Times Sqaure for a bit, getting tea at Pax Wholesome Foods (a chain that seems to be everywhere in Manhattan), and then heading back to WWF New York, I realized that there was a $10 cover plus a $20 food/drink minimum for RAW! That’s more than I paid to see it live, so I said F that and decided to head back to the hostel and go with Plan B (or Plan C, as it turned out), I went to Small’s.

I first heard of Small’s from an Impulse! compilation titled Live at Small’s. It sounded like an incredible place to catch unknown jazz artists before they became large, and supposedly it’s not unusual for artists to jam until 4 in the morning. So I walked over to the Village (after dinner at a decent vegetarian restaurant named Cafe 18 — I had Vietnamese noodles with peanut sauce) for the 10pm show. Small’s is certainly easy to miss, and I almost did (even knowing the address!). But after waiting outside for a few minutes, myself and a couple others were let into the basement known as Small’s.

There’s a bar, but you get your own drinks. There are chairs, but they’re scattered about the tiny floor and you have to step over them to get the couch lining one of the walls. The couch is nice, but if you sit in the wrong spot (I did) you’ll find it’s totally soaked from a drip in the ceiling. There are two bathrooms, but one has a leak in the roof that you can’t avoid. The place is cool, though… a nice intimate atmosphere for jazz. I could see some of the old schoolers playing in a place like this when they first started. When the first band came on, there were only 13 people there.

I believe it was the Mike Mullins Trio that played… they were a decent trio (sax, drums, bass). It was a nice way to spend the evening. I left about 12:30, before the second band came on for their two sets. The first band played three sets, the third set partially with an added pianist.

Tuesday morning I got up and just grabbed a bagel with jelly on my way to the Maury show. I was behind a woman, Miriam, who had an extra VIP ticket for the show because she goes every week. So, I got in with her and we got second row-center seats. Nice. The show was pretty cheesy and mostly fake (I’m pretty sure), but a cool experience nonetheless, and my face will certainly be on-screen (especially with Miriam’s penchant for yelling at the guests and the part of the wrap show that will air on Christmas where Maury stood right behind me).

I had a bit of a headache, so I came home (after the free pizza) and relaxed in the hostel for a bit before heading to dinner to Teresa’s, a Polish restaurant only a few blocks from the Black Star Bar. It wasn’t the really good place that Huyen and I had found by accident in ’98, but I still had my share of tasty starch (boiled cheese and potato pierogies and potato pancakes). Interesting event there: a woman had left a bag of stuff outside the restaurant by accident. A man brought it in and gave it to a waitress. The waitress, for some reason, took it back outside and put it on the sidewalk. A few minutes later, I saw a young Asian guy walk over and pick it up. A few minutes after that, the woman came storming in the restaurant, with the guy who turned the bag in, and was yelling at the waitress. Apparently the bag also had $60 worth of medication in it. I felt bad for the woman, especially knowing how much it sucks to lose something that costs lots of money. The food was good, though, and I told the waitress that I’d tell her “thank you” in Polish, but the only thing I remembered was “Ja chi kocham” (sp?) (which means “I love you”) and that that would be inappropriate. :)

I then walked to the Black Star Bar to find out when Eric and Mike of Easy Star would be getting in. I had some time, so I went to Jammyland for a bit and bought my only record of the NY trip (amazing!). The guys there were discussing various fallen reggae artists, including Tenor Saw, who supposedly was found chopped up somewhere Texas. I checked for the Anthony B single on the “Skylarking” riddim with no luck.

I hung out at the bar for about an hour and sat next to a dude that looked like a really old Little Richard. Funny thing was that I would have only pegged him as an old looking guy in his 60’s, but it turns out he was actually some important jazz musician who was 91 years old! Amazing.

I talked with Eric and Mike for a bit, and then Ossie Dellimore and I eventually decided to head out to a quieter place to do our interview. It took a little looking, but we went into a coffee shop owned by a couple of nice Muslim guys and did a full hour-long interview, that might have been even longer if the place wasn’t closing down! Keep an eye on the UA Journal if you’re interested in reading the interview.

We went back to the bar and I talked a bit more with Eric and Mike. I left at about 1:30 (apparently just missing Ansel from The Meditations). I took the subway home with no problems whatsoever.

I planned to eat Wednesday morning at the Royal Canadian Pancake House which is no longer there (a pizza place replaces it). I ended up eating a tasty breakfast at the Lyric Diner. I picked up a couple magazines and a pomegranete and headed home.

A good trip overall, though now, I wish I had booked a couple more days in NYC. Oh well — that just means I have to go back again in a few months. :)

You know, no matter how

You know, no matter how this whole election thing turns out after the court battles are faught, after public opinion is decided by the media, and after freestyle ciphers between both camps, one thing is for certain: whoever wins shouldn’t really feel proud.

Figure this — let’s assume (liberally) that there was a 60% voter turnout rate this year (have any stats on that been released yet?). Let’s assume about 48% voted for Bush and 47% voted for Gore. That means that each candidate has the support of under 1/3rd of the American people… 2/3rds of the country likely doesn’t want you be where you are.

The cloak of invisibility strikes

The cloak of invisibility strikes again — I just said good morning to someone and addressed the by name from three feet away and they didn’t hear me. Do I really mumble that badly?

My dad says I have

My dad says I have a “cloak of invisibility”… my voice blends in with the sound of silence and even if I’m standing right there, people don’t notice me. Proven again today twice in one minute: I said hello to someone in the hallway and they didn’t even look my direction and I waved to someone else who didn’t see me.

Hey… where’d my archives go?!

Hey… where’d my archives go?!

Philosophies and Opinions of Marcus

Philosophies and Opinions of Marcus Garvey. Good stuff.