Friday, March 26, 2010

One-Year Blogiversary!

Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Laundromat.

Well Dear Reader (is someone other than Mom here?!), I absentmindedly scrolled back to my first post and noticed that TODAY, in fact, is my one-year blogiversary...

It's also my five-week laundriversary...... Blaiser opines that everyone in the Free, Newly-Insured World ought to do laundry every five weeks, whether they need it or not. And for heaven's sake, be Liberal. At this typing, I have no fewer than 7 dryers spinning 3 washer loads'-worth of some 50 pounds of things-that-touched-my-body. Let me tell you, despite all that calculus, it's a powerful feeling.

It's hell on the writing, though. At 8 minutes a quarter, and staggered starts, checking and re-ponying quarters has emerged as this week's chief aerobic exercise.

At the laundromat, we have each other's backs. I help another 30's-40's guy by holding the in-swinging door, when his arms are full; the wise old laundry ladies patiently remind me to check my washers for last-minute socks plastered against the drum.

Two-and-a-half hours later, I'm down to three holdout towels in one dryer, the last resistance to my war against dampness. I've enjoyed my morning here. As laundromats go, it't really not a bad place to celebrate one's blogiversary. Spring's here. The clothes are clean.  All.of.them.  Thy father's station wagon is thy trusty transport.

And.... the last quarter has run out. Thus, I embark on The Next Year of trying to work out Zany Optimism CTM. Harsh remarks, constructive criticism and bubbly encouragement gratefully accepted below.

Thanks for reading. And for the love of Mike, please don't forget that no matter how long it is until Baseball's Opening Day, Senator Lowell will always reach across the aisle of the Nation.

Cool laundromat photo courtesy of Shaun Roberts...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A New York Story ---- Thursday March 4, 2010

I had every intention of posting this yesterday, but a little lovely thing known as a 20-year Dance Retrospective has been in my life this past week, and so, please suspend your disbelief and pretend, as you read the following, that it's actually March 11. Thanks.

Last Thursday, luck brought me part of a free afternoon, and so I strolled in the direction of a haircut, after work.  Not really caring how I got to Astor Place, I noodled downtown, wending this way and that, and crisscrossing Manhattan's grid. Just past St. Vincent's Hospital (now on life support, itself, and one of the few hospitals in town where one can birth a baby with sole midwife support--and not uncoincidentally, where the progeny was born.), I came across a wonderful 9/11 Memorial I had completely forgotten about. It's homemade, and mounted on the chainlink fence of a small, small parking area in Mulry Square.



I took some time to soak it in. After all, I was in no hurry, and it's good to stop and think and remember from time to time. There are many missing tiles, their telltale empty bailing wire still bent and twisted on the fence. The thought of ghostly shadows on the sidewalks of two Japanese cities in August, 1945 cross my mind. Then I looked down at my feet.

A child's painting of the moon over highrises, with love coming from the smokestacks.
I had time, and this tile needed help. So I looked for a nearby tiewrap or bit of bailing wire in the street. The empty, twisted bailing wires on the fence, small monuments on a monument, ought to stay in place, after all.


So I headed down a diagonal avenue. This plastic newspaper strap almost cut it. I know life is temporary, but I needed a little more staying power than this shredded thing.


Further down the block, I passed the shop of a lovely leather producer. I bought myself one of his bags about ten years ago. He embossed my initials in a leather keychain--which I still use--and proudly handed it to me, smiling, and said, "Now, you are a customer!" If you have any questions about the Old School, go see Joseph Hanna.

Gorgeous bags notwithstanding, what I really wanted was a few twist-ties--enormously strong, and probably available for free at a corner bodega, like this one. But I didn't want to just ask for the twist-tie, altruism aside. So I hit their ATM machine--I had no cash.

And then back to the tile monument...

After, I scanned the perimeter. There was another one.

I'll be bringing some glue into town, soon. It's good to take care of our own, in ways both big and small.

But not this Web site...

March 11. In 6 months, it'll be another September 11 anniversary.

Thanks for reading, and remember, squeeze your loved ones tonight.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Maple Leaf Rag

or, Americans Allow Canadians to Sneak One By...

So, in thrilling fashion, our good brothers to the North won one for Le Gipper last night, at the desciptively named Canada Hockey Place, where they drink beers, wave flags and occasionally even do some ice skating.

Like most civilized peoples, I hate hockey, because I've seen how their fans behave. But I do love the Olympics, and j'adore a good rivarly. And it's not really a rivalry with our little brothers and sisters to the north (at last count, after Chantal Abromowitz gave birth to little Marcel, in Saskatoon this morning, there are only 34,018,641 within Canada's borders, or roughly the number of Indian customer service agents working for Sprint. (Three top executives in Mumbai seen here)

But anyway, the Americans lost last night, which is a funny way of saying they won the Silver Medal. I was a bit embarrassed, I have to say, when during the medal ceremony, our boys looked as though they had just returned from their fathers' funerals.
The only guy with a glint of a smile was, uncoincidentally, nearly the only guy over 30 on skates.

Old guys like Tim Thomas know how to savor the moment, because they remember when digital watches were pretty cool.

Alors, it was with his spirit in mind that I soothed my wounds this morning, like most angry, disgruntled American males, by listening to Alanis Morissette.

We at BlaiserBlog are proud to honor both one-half of our ancestry * and the Canadians winning their national sport with professional players, with the following: a re-working of "Thank U" by Alanis: (for maximum effect, play the video in the background while you scroll down and  read the new lyrics. Go ahead.... I'll wait.

how bout getting off these anabolic steroids?

how bout stopping being so damn polite?

how bout them transparent camouflage Mounties?

how bout that ever elusive moose?

thank you NHL

thank you totem poles

thank you Bare-Na-Ked Ladies

thank you Freddie P.

thank you Ghostbusters

thank you, thank you, Home Ice... **

how bout Vous not blaming U.S. for everything?

how bout me enjoying a donut for once?

how bout how good it felt to finally kick your ass?

how bout winning one medal at a time?

thank you NHL

thank you beer fridge

thank you really messed-up torch thing

thank you royalty

thank you Martin Short

thank you, thank you, Home Ice...

The moment I heard Leonard Cohen

was the moment I got that you weren't so bad.

was the moment Vous became cool.

how bout no longer being a doorstop?
how bout remembering she's not divinity?
how bout unabashedly smoking your stogies?

how bout not equating death with sharing?

thank you NHL

thank you Captain Kirk

thank you Cirque de Soleil.... ***

thank you Quebecois
thank you Jeopardy

thank you, thank you, Home Ice...!

* My grand-père was born in Bic, Quebec. Photo of Parc du Bic by Sheldon Brown
** Home Ice Advantage courtesy of Doug Laird
*** Creepy Cirque image courtesy of Cyn Passanante 

Thanks for playing along at home. And just remember, even though we have Mississippi and they have Mississauga, it don't mean that Clayton Moore couldn't kick the feathers out of Jay Silverheels any jour de la semaine...