Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Correction

Hi All --

Hey something's been bothering me since my last post, and I thought I'd get it out in the open. Every now and then, I write something not so optimistic, or not so understanding, and, well, that's not my blog's purpose, nor its inspiration, nor how we, as a people, ought to be treating--or writing about--each other.

It was the reference to dwarfs--how the car in front of mine happened to be driven by a person of short stature--I said that I found it upsetting. It was a rather obscure reference, also, to a Stephen Sondheim lyric from "Into The Woods," during the two Princes' song "Agony" -- one of them sings an aside - "dwarves are very upsetting." I included it in the blog because 1) it happened, but 2) also as a bit of cheap humor. -- as in, ha-ha--there's a dwarf in a Mazda 3. But that's not funny, really. Just uncommon.

When we get uncomfortable around people who are different from us in some way -- race, sexual orientation, physical or mental handicaps, it is ostensibly because we are unsure of ourselves--out own capacities, our own bodies, our own strengths and weaknesses: We worry that we might be seeing the worst in ourselves if we are near something, or someone, that we do not perceive to be "right."  (Hey, there's something wrong with that guy!) and we edge away, or pretend we do not see someone. It's not nice. They deserve better, and we owe it to ourselves to fight against that urge.

I did a little research today. There appear to be well over 200 syndromes and conditions that contribute to or result in dwarfism. Some present no adverse affects as the afflicted child grows up. Others, however, can result in a lot of complications and hardships during childhood, including many surgeries and hospital time.

In other words, the woman who arrived on crutches on W. 56 street the other day to get into her (illegally parked) Mazda 3, may have had some pretty severe hardships to face, through no fault of her own. Everyone has a backstory, and hers is just as valid as someone's who's six feet tall (or five-eleven and three-quarters, who tells everyone he's 6 feet). Here's one I found you might want to read.

I also found out on the Little People of America site that some misguided legislative brother in Florida is trying to repeal a ban on dwarf tossing apparently--a head-scratcher of a priority, given the thousand or so pressing issues our congressional leaders ought to be turning their attentions to.

And I found out there's some reality show called Little People, Big World, on TLC (no cable since 1997, you see.)

So there you have it -- All people have the same right to park illegally in New York (just don't take a handicap spot if you're able-bodied. That's particularly not nice. I've always felt that way), and to enjoy a modicum of dignity as they go about their day.

 Thanks for reading, and please remember to expect the unexpected -- and in fact, be OK with it. You may not hit the lottery, but your life will be all the richer for it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Blaiser's Live-Blogging Event Of The Season!!

5:15 AND WE'RE LIVE!!!! 

Phew - things were getting desperate there for a sec -- thought I might have to mug someone for their wireless access (you can do that, right? body check a Hipster for his iProduct, and while he's groping on the sidewalk for the flip-flops you just knocked off of him--like a blind guy searching for a dropped blind-guy poking-stick-antenna-thingy--and "hack" some serious "bandwidth?" I mean what's the guy gonna do, chase you? Not in those flip-flops, assuming he even retrieves them…. I don't know what, in fact, he can do while wearing flip-flops on a surface other than sand, except perhaps look ineffectual....

Fortunately, no violence was resorted to,* and here I sit, reclined in my driver's seat, coffee secured in coffee-cup-holder thingy, bravely scamming Internet access from some router nearby that calls itself by the Unusually Intriguing Name of "Delores Netgear." Well, Ms. Netgear, you really ought to be more careful about your hardware - you never know when some douchebag is going to randomly drive by in a station wagon and muscle in all up in your digital business. Don't mess with me, I've laid claim to an illegal parking spot in New York. I'm a baaaaaad man (please read with Muhammad-Ali-like inflection)

And now, please pull up a "chair," and prepare to be enthralled as I live-blog the incredibly daring act of sitting in my station wagon on West 56th street for 45 minutes while I wait for my parking to become legal at 6 o'clock!!! It's GUARANTEED to be the meh-ta live-blog Event Of The Season: the ACTUAL experience of sitting in a station wagon in Midtown, ever vigilant for the appearance of the evilest arm of oppression known to man (outside of the Syrian government): The NYC Meter Maid….

5:20 -- Double Phew!™  

It took so long to write that opening post that I burned through 5 minutes. If I were a smart Meter Maid, I'd time a stealth assault on 56th street at, like, now. There are a whole bunch of cars sitting here, illegally, in broad daylight. The city'd clean up, and then the police wouldn't have had to confiscate the generators from Occupy Wall Street in order to power their flat-screens during long stake-outs.
5:25 -- 
Still recovering from the first update...

5:26 --  

I need to pee.

5:30 -- 

Finally taking a good look around. When I look in my side-view mirrors, I'll be able to see Meter Maids sneaking up from either side of the car. Hopefully, I'd catch her writing a ticket on the guy behind me:

a new, black Toyota, and I'd have time to A) engage the Stealth settings on my gunmetal grey Taurus, or execute the 9-point turn necessary to extract myself from this parking spot 

5:34  -- 

Wow, I think maybe 1/32 of an inch, although not touching, isn't exactly neighborly posturing to that Mazda 3. 

Although I will tell you I made it into this spot on the first try. I rule. Still, an adjustment may be necessary. One needs those options in life. A meh-ta-phorical Fordian rolling back of an inch, or so, speaks Volumes about who I am, what my Personal Code is, and why I don't wear flip-flops. Skye Masterson wouldn't be caught dead in them, and that's good enough for me.

5:34:30  -- 

Yeah, that's much better:

5:38 --

 I really need to pee...

5:38:43 -- 

I know what you're thinking: You're thinking, "Hey Blaiser… what if the Meter Maid catches up to you as you're making your 9-point escape? With rush-hour traffic, you'll be a dead duck, and while you're waiting for the light to turn on 8th Avenue, WHAMMO! You get nailed. She's not wearing flip-flops!" Well, calm down, Everyone -- I have a backup. If the light's red, I simply peel out and sprint through the adjacent underground parking lot--the entrance through which I can see the clear daylight of 57th Street. Here, let me "uplink' a digital facsimile of what I'm seeing so that you, the faithful Blaiserblogudilian can "see" what I mean. 

Only one possible downside -- when a grouse flushes near the house where I grew up, something similar happens, but occasionally with deadly results: the grouse peels out very much like an '03 Taurus, flies toward the house, looks through the front door window--through the kitchen--sees daylight (and subsequent woods through the kitchen window {just like I'm seeing the warm glow of 57th Street} and thinks he's home-free, just before smashing into the reinforced front-door window at about 40 knots, thereby breaking every bone in his body, and landing in a heap on the porch, like an appetizer dropped from the heavens.** Seriously, we ate a grouse who met that exact end on my dad's birthday once. Think there's no God? Think again.
5:43 --
OK, a dwarf (forgive the nomenclature -- is this acceptable? Small Person with Different Proportions?) just stumped up, on forearm crutches, and got into the Mazda 3. That was upsetting. The space was immediately taken up by a Porsche Boxster. Dude better not hit my '03 Taurus Wagon.

They just switched the lights on the perimeter of a striking high-rise built over the Deco building of a particular publishing company where I used to work. 

5:46 --

Porsche Guy can't parallel park to save his life. He's having trouble in a two-seater with a space roughly the size of Weehawken. I suspect flip-flops.


AND he's got a vanity plate. Awesome.

Vanity Plate intentionally blurred for Boxster Guy's Protection...

Maybe I should pee on the Boxster.

OK, if a dwarf gets out of the Boxster, I'm totally peeing on something, dammit.

Two white, puffy lapdogs have snuck up, on leashes, on my passenger side. I can hear them, but can't determine what they're doing because they're too close for the side-view now. There's a gaggle of kids with them, and they're laughing (the kids, not the dogs.) I have a sinking feeling the dogs are peeing on my Taurus. Or hitching me to a tiny tow-truck.

No Meter Maid sightings at all. How much money is the City losing by allowing all this lawless parking on West 56th Street? I may have to A) write a letter 2) stop driving in protest. That'll show 'em.
Am I the only douchebag sitting in his car in case of unlikely Meter Maid Materialization? I'd get out to look, but then I'd get NAILED for sure. Less than five minutes now….. I need to be strong. My bladder needs to be especially strong.

Well, there's the douchebag in the vanity-plated Boxster…

A hansom cab passes slowly, the horse patiently clip-clopping down the Left Lane. He could pee any time he wants--not even stopping if he didn't want to. Strangely, he doesn't.

Almost there……. almost theeeeeeerrrrre…… !

Huzzah! My hands are sweating, but I have not 1) been ticketed by a Meter Maid or B) peed in or near my Taurus. At the stroke of 6, an elderly gent in business clothes got out of the Boxster and wandered down the South Side of the Street. Rich Guy. Total douchebag. I gotta find a bathroom. I'm betting, also, the Meter Maids were on a pee break. 

* Please feel free to nominate this for the 2011 Pro-Am Bloggers' Association Worst-Opening-Phrase Award.

It's important to note that liberal use of the word "douchebag" does not, in fact, violate my blogistic raison-d'etre of so-called Zany Optimism. It merely means I live in Jersey.

** In this meh-ta-phor, I'm not sure what the parking-garage equivalent of the front-door window is. Hopefully not a nun pushing a baby carriage on her way to volunteer at the soup kitchen.

Thanks for reading, and please remember: one should always make unexplained allusions to "stealth" settings on their beat-up Fords. It not only helps to expose the patent absurdity of the whole flip-flop miasma, but also reinforces the coolness of Spock Ears, which I'm totally wearing right now. 'Cause chicks dig that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


So --- Like I said about 20 minutes ago, HUGE!

So, without further ado, Here We Go:

I'm about to set the blogosphere on fire with the live-blogging Event Of The Season, and you, dear faithful Blaiserblogarians, are about to get in on the ground floor:

The first fifteen commenters on this post will get VIP all-access preferred seating to my live-blogging Event Of The Season, which happens TOMORROW, at 5:15 p.m. (weather permitting*)

Hang on to your shoe size, 'cause Here It Is, and No One Has Thought Of It Before!!! 

For a brief, brief window of 45 minutes, I will live-blog the experience of sitting in my 2003 Ford Taurus station wagon, in an illegal New York City parking spot, while I wait for the ... WAIT FOR IT!..... 

parking space to become a legal parking space at 6 p.m!

Brilliant, right? I know, I know--- please hold your applause until the end of the blog post. 

That's it --- tomorrow, Friday the whateveritis of November, I, Blaiser, will live-blog the must-read event of the season. Be There. And tell Kim Kardashian to stop calling my cell phone.

Thanks for reading, and please remember that even though a bunch of people can get up in front of a bunch of other people and say things to each other, it doesn't mean you're watching a play......

* Weather-permitting = if I can find free Internet access from the parking spot. Hey -- if there's nothing at stake, no one's going to care, right?


It gives me great personal pride to announce that I will make an announcement later this evening, at 8:15 p.m. local time., some 20 minutes from Right Now.

This announcement will be at once profound and provocative, astonishing and alliterative, courageous and courageous. Also, it'll be pretty cool.

Bring your friends and your neighbors, and See You Then.

As always, thanks for reading, and please keep in mind that even though you heard it first in The New Yorker's recent cartoon issue, it's in fact statistically possible that Newt Gingrinch is indeed a flock of Shetland Ponies.