Tough guys

I am officially an old grumpy fart now. Today I became "that angry old guy".

Walking to Rite Aid for shampoo I passed three kids, late teens, one of whom decided to drop his soda bottle on the ground, laughing.

I don't really know why, but I mentally snapped.

"Pick that shit up. NOW!" said I.

The kid's friends had looks of terror as the offendor turned around and did exactly as he was told.

"What the fuck is wrong with you? Why would you do that?"

Kid: "mumblemumblemumble"

Me: "Was that English?"

Kid: "Don't boss me around, man"

Me: "Go toss that bottle in the trash or I will beat the fuck out of you in front of your friends"

Of course, he picked up the bottle, walked to the corner, gave me the finger as he tossed the bottle in the air, and ran.

Now if the kid was the hardass he thought he was, he wouldn't have waited til he got to the corner to show off. And I probably would've smacked him senseless.

I'm beginning to see the appeal of Charles Bronson stalking the streets with a handgun now.

I'm 36. If I make it to 50 I'm apparently going have an arsenal in my basement and a hit list etched on the wall in the blood of my enemies.



So since the world didn't end yesterday, and Harold Camping is in hiding and refusing to answer my calls demanding answers, I now have to deal with a knee that's gone all creaky and is probably hanging by a thread.

I tore my ACL skiing in '02, and went with the middle third of the patella tendon as the replacement option. For the last few weeks I've gotten back to running 2-3 miles 4-5 times a week, and suddenly my left knee is alternating between stiffness and random popping when I walk. It's either arthritis, an adverse reaction to the rain, or else the rapture just happened in my knee.

All this and I still have to finish the Vote Johnson script. Damn it all....


Happiness is....

....40 degree weather in April, with 50 MPH winds in NYC, a canceled Pup Crawl across the Brooklyn Bridge, two sleeping pugs on the couch, a Beverly Hills cop marathon on Cinemax, and a midnight deadline to finish a re-write on a script.


The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.

He wasn't my best friend. We only talked a few times a year, and predominantly thanks to the magic of social media like Facebook and Ning (before they went money hungry).

We hung out infrequently, mostly at big high school reunion events that seem to have become a yearly occurrence, a rarity when most people choose to forget their high school years.

On the face of it, we really didn't have much in common, except for a few important things. Our love of art, our great taste in women, and, most importantly, our four years at Art & Design.

It'd be a stretch to compare it to marines who bond after facing down death (though passing Ms. Glusman's English class came close, as did Ms. Geist's Global Studies. Funny sidebar about Ms. Geist: she was the basis for the teacher in Amy Heckerling's Clueless. Why? Because Amy Heckerling is an A&D grad herself, class of '71 I believe).

There were many classes that came before the A&D class of 1992, and there have been eighteen to graduate since then, but none have the inexplicable bond we do. None of those classes have 3/4 of the graduating class still in constant contact, or texting freakishly bizarre fetish pictures to each other (looking at you, Moses).

When we get together, it may as well be 4th period in the cafeteria again, with Mister Rogers calling out names over the loudspeaker, and CJay getting his head inside the tiny window of the snack line to examine the cookies, or the metalheads unleashing trays of food on Steve Reach, or Alex trying to steal the pizza I ordered for lunch when I picked it up from the delivery guy through the window.....

All of these are memories I cherish, and high school was truly a brilliant four year period of my life. We were part of a grand experiment, kids from all walks of life, all kinds of backgrounds, thrown into a concrete building painted blue and yellow on Second Avenue, with plenty of upper east siders looking at us in disgust that our young, brash selves would dare to enter their neighborhood.

We ran amok in the city. We haunted the ice rinks in Central Park, we visited museums, we hung out in the Village, and we cut out to escape to Pig Park. We grew up at that school. We bonded for life.

And because of that bond, we are all of us hurting today. We have lost one of our own. To some he was like a brother, to some a casual acquaintance, and others just another friendly face to see once a year. Some may have stronger memories of him than others, but it doesn't matter now. He was ours, and I hate writing that in the past tense.

No matter how well we knew him, Robert Johnson was our friend. And we will miss him.

Farewell, my friend.



At some point I think we've all felt like a five star general has stuck a pot on our heads