Saturday, December 26, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Rap mogul and businessman Sean 'Diddy' Combs wants to be adopted by U.S. President Barack Obama.
The hitmaker feels partly responsible for getting Obama elected because he thinks hip-hop played a big role in his political success - and he'd love to be part of America's first family.
He tells Playboy magazine, "I think we are probably responsible for (Barack) Obama being in office, yes. If nobody else is gonna say it, then I'm gonna say it. The confidence, the swagger we instilled in our communities made that possible.
"I met him (Obama) twice... If God said I could pick one person to be my father, I'd want to be Sean Combs Obama. That's how dope he is. I hope he reads this interview and adopts me.
"I wouldn't even need to be in the will. I got my own money."
Thursday, December 10, 2009
We left the bar and were walking back to the train when all of the sudden I saw a tall, skinny, very familiar looking gentleman standing outside a bar smoking a cigarette.
WOULD I LIKE TO GO SEE A GENIUS PLAY FOR FREE?
You know the answer. I proceeded to march right inside and called Sanchez who introduced me to JTE in the first place. Then, I was treated to an amazing show of Justin and his guitar for about 40 minutes and he blew my mind. There were only about 40 people in the entire place and it was, well, incredible.
Didn’t make it to bed until about 1:00am and my eyes are beyond bleary today, but it was so, so, so worth it.
I have seen famous people, I have talked to famous people, I’m famous (in my own mind and I’m really big in Japan) and I don’t get weird. But this time, I must admit that I got a little weird. My brain kept going, “Oh my. Oh my. Oooooooh myyyyyyyyyyy waaaaahahahaaa.” The only other time this has happened to me was when I saw the brilliant author, Anne Lamott, walking across the street in San Francisco and I almost ran her over because I was driving, she was walking, and I couldn’t stop staring at her.
Oh, and he’s my neighbor and I invited him to my band’s show on Monday.
I am a grade-A loser.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
And, they come in different sizes and fun colors.
And, they're from Australia!
Crikey, I likey!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
As the television season enters a holiday lull, there's no telling how well a show like "Steven Seagal: Lawman" will do, but the bet here is pretty well, if for nothing else the curiosity factor.
How Seagal kept his second career "under the radar" is pretty impressive.
"Simon Cowell: Auto Executive." Sure, the testy and judgmental "American Idol" host doesn't need the money, but think about how he could help reshape a moribund industry. "It's a crossover? Well you've crossed over the line on taste, I'm afraid. It would be ugly as a truck, but it's hideous as a family car. Is your idea to ridicule the American public? Drive it away from me before I vomit, and come back with something we can sell. And if I see a plastic dash masquerading as walnut, you'll be fired."
"Gordon Ramsay: Governor." Any state would work, but California might be the best place for him (once he gains citizenship, naturally). Where Arnold Schwarzenegger is all puffed-up bluster and promised a nonpolitical style of leadership, Ramsay would simply yell at the top of his lungs every day and drop f-bombs all over the place. Every night he'd be the lead item on the news, berating lawmakers and lobbyists and telling journalists (and voters) to bleep and bleep-bleep-bleep and if they didn't like that they could bleep themselves or bleep-bleep, bleep-bleep until someone cared.
"Oprah: Queen." Why not? It's a ceremonial title and if no one told her that, she could probably do a lot of good while making people hug and cry. And read.
"George Clooney: Bartender." Certainly not as action-packed as "Steven Seagal: Lawman," but come on - he'd be the world's best bartender. Everybody would want to talk to him. He's got that warm, understanding smile. And everyone would want to be his friend. Plus, the stories from the barstool would make the show careen through comedy and tragedy.
Who knows? Maybe there are other celebrities out there keeping their hobbies and second careers "under the radar." In the meantime, if you're in Louisiana and somebody familiar pulls you over, do not make any quick moves. And don't ask him for his autograph, either.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
She is such a trooper. Be careful, guys.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Today consisted of delicious eats all day long, ridiculously wonderful people, celebs, mani-pedis, birth stories, catholic greeting cards, a donkey, and an animated video involving gymnastics.
I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!?!?
Will write more tomorrow with the full blown re-cap, but all I can say is a giant
to every single person who made my birthday so special. I am the luck-luck-luckiest person on the planet, I feel so damn loved, and I love each and every one of you back. I don't know what I did to deserve such stellar friends and family.
HAPPY DAY TO YOU ALL.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Oh, How Romantic (Until the Pirate Attack)
I DID not always see myself becoming a Central Park gondolier. But like many Americans, I also did not anticipate being cast into a purgatorial state of quasi-employment.
I graduated from a fancy East Coast university (Brown) a year ago and lost an internship at a prestigious publication (The New Yorker) because of budget cuts. From last June to this June, I tried my hand at nine different jobs — including dog-sitting, coffee-shop-cleaning, script-reviewing, inventory-counting and actually writing. Some were temporary by nature, others by will. Eventually, I returned to one of the odder entries on my résumé: rowing a 37-foot-long Venetian boat while singing “O Sole Mio.”
I come from what may be the premier Irish-American gondolier family in the world. I am the youngest of four brothers, and three of us have rowed gondolas on Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland, Calif., on and off for about 10 years. The outfit there, led by a man named Angelino who insisted on drinking wine while training, is superauthentic and super-romantic. Yet little could have prepared me for the immensity and bizarreness of love, New York style.
The Central Park gondola operation, run through the Boathouse restaurant, has been the province for 15 years of a man named Andrés, who worked seven days a week from May to October. It was a coincidence that he was looking for help — his painting career had started to take off — when I was looking for work. I was honored to be the first person in Andrés’s tenure allowed to row New York’s 45-year-old gondola, affectionately called “The Dry Martini.”
In the three months since I took up the oar, I have done more than 400 cruises, and a low-ball estimate is that 40 have been marriage proposals. (Sorry, no, you were not the first.) Anniversaries, first dates, birthdays: no problem. But proposals are nerve-racking. What do I do if she says no? Make someone swim?
Thankfully, I have not yet witnessed such a crushing rejection. But I certainly do not count each “yes” as a success.
Some proposals go immaculately, like the one on a Tuesday night in July that coincided with the New York Philharmonic’s concert in the park. Beethoven was filtering through the Ramble, and shortly after the night’s young hero got down on one knee beneath the Bow Bridge, fireworks exploded over the lake. The timing was not planned, but as his new fiancée was bawling out, “This is too perfect!” I could not help but feel that this couple was meant to be.
On the other end of the spectrum was the Casanova who showed up 15 minutes late to his own proposal. Halfway through the 30-minute, $30 cruise, he asked, “Hey, how long is this thing, anyway?” Incredulous to learn that it was about time to head back, he blurted: “Ah, forget it! Uh, will you marry me?” Then, while his bride-to-be called her mother with the news, Mr. Romantic turned and asked, “Hey, boss, know any cheap restaurants around here?”
Then there are those that never quite get off the water. In the middle of a cruise with a lovely South African couple, a rowboat approached carrying members of the pop band Chester French. They circled us, declared their fame then jumped on the gondola, crying out, “This is a pirate takeover!” (only with an unprintable modifier starting with “f” between “pirate” and “takeover”). Apparently they were shooting a music video. The situation struck me as slightly uncomfortable, until a week later, when a YouTube search of “Central Park gondola” brought up a hit titled “Chester French Postpones My Marriage Proposal.”
Rowing — while standing — is only part of the job. The gondolier is a professional third wheel: part marriage counselor, part wingman. So when a pair of preteenagers sporting Coke-bottle glasses and pants up to their bellybuttons sidled up, I expected that they would need help. I started in tour-guide mode: “This gondola was built in ...” when, with confounding authority, the girl said: “Yeah, yeah, whatever. We don’t need to hear it.” She turned to her 12-year-old Romeo, and the two proceeded to make out for the entire ride, glasses bumping, ignoring slack-jawed stares from other boats. This might have been my favorite cruise.
Flirtatious bachelorette parties are always good for an ego stroke, and parents often try to pawn their daughters off on me, which is very kind — except for the time when the daughter was in the boat, devastated. Perhaps my oddest invitation came from a Hasidic woman riding with her child. I did not think much of it when she said, “Yup, just a family day out on the boat, the whole family, just the two of us.” But after she rounded out our chitchat with comments about my using a “big pole” and by asking me how much muscle I was smuggling under my shirt, I was eager to get back to shore.
I have had raccoon squatters in the hull, a male client with a different date every Tuesday, a female client with a different date every other Thursday, the self-proclaimed “most romantic Yugoslavians in the world,” couples who have asked me to “park the boat” so they could get even more romantic, drunks, people who threaten to jump in and swim, 12 skinny hipsters at the same time, solo cruisers and an opera singer in tears. I have been assigned gondola baby-sitting duties. I have battled rowboat flotillas. I had a near run-in with Steve Guttenberg in a rowboat.
After three months, I have come to think of the gondola as a private Manhattan — longer than it is wide and surrounded by water, ferrying cross-sections of the city in perfect 30-minute intervals.
Liam Daniel Pierce, who lives in Brooklyn, has been writing about his adventures at centralparkgondolier.blogspot
.com, where there is a video of him singing “O Sole Mio.”