April 1995: San Francisco. After a breakup, I set off to travel alone for the first time in my life. Sad and scared, yet excited to be exploring and finding myself, I walked, hiked, and biked around the city for days, sometimes never speaking to another person all day. This song, on a mixed tape with Radiohead’s Creep and Counting Crows’ Sullivan Street, kept me company. All three songs are forever etched onto my memory and senses, next to the rolling hills, the cable cars, the Castro, and the Golden Gate. The trip and Mary’s song changed my life.
Family Guy: Season 15, episode 10—Passenger Fatty-Seven
1988: back seat of my parents’ car headed to visit my younger brother, a freshman at Boston University, fresh AA batteries in the Sony Walkman, 45s prerecorded onto a blank Maxell, headphones on, and a mixed tape playing and rewinding to this song over and over again.
I was an angry young man
And I’d pretend
That I was a billboard
By the side of the road
I fell in love
With a beautiful highway
This used to be real estate
Now it’s only fields and trees
Where, where is the town
Now, it’s nothing but flowers
The highways and cars
Were sacrificed for agriculture
I thought that we’d start over
But I guess I was wrong
For the last forty years, I’ve been asked why and how I’m a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, especially being from New Jersey. I usually say the first football game I went to as a kid was a Giants/Buccaneers game. But I think I was already a fan by the time I went to that game. Truth is, the Bucs caught my eye the minute they entered the NFL in 1976, an expansion team along with the Seattle Seahawks–another team I root for.
I was eight years old when the Buccaneers completed their inaugural season with zero wins and fourteen losses. It’s when I must have developed a thing for losers and underdogs—I’m also a Mets fan. In 1977, the Bucs kept me engaged by losing the first twelve games of their second season. With twenty-six losses in a row, my devotion to them was cemented.
Hello sunshine, goodbye sunshine!
December sunset at Herring Cove, Provincetown, MA.
It’s clear Trump is the shiny object you can’t help gawking at. In fact, you wet yourselves over his every tick and tweet. Grow up. Trump is the distraction. Ignore him. The real show, and the laws and policies that will affect our lives more, will take place behind the scenes. Shine the spotlight there. On Bannon. On Miller. On Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and anyone else using Trump as a blinding shield. Resist Trump’s temptations to lure you back in. Ignore him. He hates you anyway. He has called you disgusting and corrupt. The enemy of the people. And the more attention you give him, the more you prove him correct. Covering him for ratings is disgusting. Covering him to make a buck is corrupt. So stop. Ignore him. This will drive him crazy. You must focus your attention on the players in Congress. Please, please, please, just ignore Trump. He deserves nothing more than your total disregard and neglect.
I wrote this monologue in reaction to the economic crash in late 2008/early 2009. It seems appropriate to post again now.
I am at a dead end. Stumbling through chapter 10, heading like a missile into chapter 11. I am creatively bankrupt. I am intellectually bankrupt. I have not had an original thought, idea, or action in years. I’m not sure such a thing exists today. Originality is dead. Imagine a world where all the ground has already been broken and you are here. We, are here together. It’s all been done before. Everything is a cover. And since I do not understand what it means to “make it your own” I will never have a refreshing cover or remake.