25 septiembre 2003

Señor Wences and a Poorly Organized Event

The good Señor knows when to cut his losses. And he did so last night, when instead of waiting on an extremely long line (I have heard that some people waited as long as two hours) with lots of angry, tired New Yorkers, I unloaded my free tickets to the musical Jesus's concert and had dinner with some friends. It was the smart move, I think. I have seen the man play music far too many times and in far more intimate and comfortable venues. Though Douglas informed me that the show was good and advised me of the playlist, I have no doubt that the cheese enchiladas that filled my belly and the good television show that I watched were far more satisfying.

There had to be abetter way to organize this event. I know that there were 100,000 people converging on one place, essentially all at once, but there had to be another way. Maybe they could have numbered all the tickets (at random) and had people arrive at different times or enter through different places. I have to say the best moment of my entire night was giving some of the tickets that my group had to three girls who were dying to see the band. I'm sure that they had a much better time than I would have.

If you're a New Yorker and you went to the concert last nght and you are reading this, drop me a comment and let me know how it all went for you last night.

Also, look to the right. I have a new story up on Eyeshot.


16 septiembre 2003

Señor Wences and the Things Going On

1) The musical Jesus descends on Central Park, NYC next Wednesday September 24th at exactly 6:30 PM. If you are unfamiliar with the man's work, you either live in a cave or have been in a coma for the last 9 years. If you have been in a coma for the last 9 years and are reading my website, I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news: Kurt Cobain is dead. The good news: Tom Arnold has been relegated to basic cable. You'll fill in the rest in the coming months.

I'll be taking the afternoon off, weather permitting, and arriving at the park to get some good seats, chat with some friends and enjoy my afternoon on what promises to be an exciting and fun autumn day. Gates open at 3 PM sharp. If you want to meet me, I'll spot you 20 by the 79th Street entrance but I can't give you anymore than that, for as I stated the man descends at 6:30 PM and I need to spot him a few also.

For it's as Dave himself says, "Celebrate we will. Cause life is short but sweet for certain." And who can argue with that?

Consult the website for information regarding last ditch efforts to get tickets.

2) Can I just give a big fuck you to the music industry, most notably the criminal media conglomerates who are gobbling up all the radio stations?

a) The Senate is fighting tooth and nail now to keep radio ownership levels where they are now (the FCC recently revised their rules to allow media companies to own stations totaling 45% audience reach in a given market, up from 35%), despite huge opposition from our favorite man in the White House. The FCC is letting these enormous corporations gobble up small radio stations and turn them into cookie cutter stations which, among other things, removes the local flavor of the broadcast. I can speak for the New York market, whose radio landscape has been decimated by this over the last decade, ruining several stations. Memo to Infinity and ClearChannel: I don't know anyone in this city who has listened to the radio in years. They'd rather bring a CD into the car. Maybe it's time to change your strategy.

b) It's no wonder Internet radio is taking off. But the music companies, who've had it their way for decades in this country, are now whining about all the money that Internet streaming is taking away from them. They're asking for a 10 cents a song and payments dating back to 1997, a settlement which, if passed, will ruin 99% of the Internet broadcasters out there that provide a free alternative to the detritus that's broadcast on our nation's airwaves nearly every day.

3) Am I missing something with Colin Quinn? I mean, he seems like a nice enough guy. But if there's a single successful stand-up comedian/talk show host with worse delivery than he has, I haven't found him yet. As Josh said earlier today, "I do find his inability to deliver a joke much funnier than the material itself." Well said, Josh. Well said.

4) Anyone want to read a good book? Here.

S'OK? S'awright.


12 septiembre 2003

Señor Wences, the Country Singer and the Sitcom Star

The good Señor came into the office this morning with a spring in his step on a beautiful fall morning. Despite the pall of rain which will set in on the city this afternoon, the day was looking up. After all, if one has a Lemon Iced Tea Snapple in one's hands, all cannot be bad. The good Señor switched on his computer, sorted through his email and then went to check out the headlines of the morning. There, he placed the Snapple back on the desk, unable to fathom the enormity of two headlines:

Sitcom Star John Ritter Collapses on Set, Dies

Music Legend Johnny Cash Dies at 71

Two legends in their industries. Both named John. Both are dead on the same day. If that's not an incredibly morbid coincidence, then I don't know what is. The Man in Black and Jack Tripper are both dead. The man in black was somewhat old. He was 71, which isn't really too young to die. He'd been producing music for nearly 50 years. He's the reason that I want to name my son "Sue." And to be honest, if Merle fucking Haggard had recorded that song, I wouldn't dream of naming son after the song. But Johnny Cash was cool. He was the man. And he didn't give a shit about anything. And he covered a Nine Inch Nails song.

John Ritter was a bumbling, girl-hungry moron on a sitcom that was so trite only a 6-year old kid like I was could enjoy it. And now that I'm older, bumbling and girl-obsessed doesn't seem so outrageous. He wasn't an idol to look up to, like Michael Knight of Knight Rider was; Jack Tripper was just a guy. And of all the things that I've read about him, that was his greatest quality as John Ritter too. The fact that he was just a guy. Always willing to help, generous and kind, just a great guy. And a funny man. And only 54. Too young to die.

Goodbye, guys.


11 septiembre 2003

Señor Wences and Today

It came and went without incident today. And though consciously I knew that it would, there was still that small piece of me that jumped every time I heard a loud noise. And that same small piece breathed a sigh of relief when it turned out that the loud noise at the corner of 56th St. and 5th Ave. was just a metal plate that was being used to cover up a hole in the pavement hitting the ground. Nothing more than the normal routine of Con Ed, the Water Department or whoever was fixing the problem beneath the streets.


There's a whole lot written about how that day disrupted our routine, our innocence that such things could happen anywhere else but here. There are things written by people considerably more insightful, intelligent and well-read than myself. There are things written about how we, as a nation, will struggle with these events because it's impossible for us to assimiliate them into our consciousness, so infuriating and outrageous, so horribly sad and devastating. There are many things written about the bravery of some men and women who lost their lives in an attempt to save others. And it's difficult for me to say it any better than some have already written it.

There was nothing to do but routine. It was the only way to stay sane, while we contacted friends and relatives, to let them know that we were safe and to find out if they had suffered any loss, to let them know that we were thinking about them and that we wished that they were safe. Also, that we loved them, even though we fought or cursed them, even though we went days, weeks, months, sometimes years without speaking. We loved them. Personally, I repaired relations with a sister who I feared that I would never speak to again.

Two years later, the feelings were all still there, though the tone of the coverage and the memorials were significantly more muted this year. It's probably better that way. People are beginning to learn how to deal with the grief that they've suffered. This is a good thing. It doesn't mean that the thoughts and wishes have gone away. It doesn't mean that our resolve has diminished. It certainly doesn't mean that we will ever forget. It simply means that time has a way of helping to heal wounds, even those that run particularly deep, so deep that we know we'll never be left exactly the same.

We aren't the same. I find it heartbreaking that there are people who have to go down to lower Manhattan once a year with pictures and poetry to remember their husbands and wives, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers because it's all that they can do. I find it heartbreaking that there are children that will not be able to experience their youth with the same innocence that I did. They will have to worry about things that I never even would have known existed. They're going to have to do it in a time where modes of communication and news coverage are virtually instant and omnipresent, shielding nothing from them.

For me, it was routine today. Wake up, go to work, come home, meet friends for dinner and meet up with another friend afterwards. That's what I did because that's what I probably would have done on any other night, given the opportunity to do so. I'm about to go to sleep now because it's a "school night" and I need to get up for work tomorrow.

And tomorrow, I'll do it all over again.

[Editor's Note: Inspiration for this came from here. Imagine my little brother showing me the way, poor spelling notwithstanding of course]


04 septiembre 2003

Señor Wences and the New New Year

Labor Day -- the official end of the summer.

There has been one emphatic and formal invitation for the autumn to arrive. I invite the autumn to come as well. I have nothing against the summer, nor this one in particular. Summer is just a different kind of experience. It's faster. There's more pressure to do something. The weather is nice and you don't have to get bundled up to go outside. We can indulge our most vain of instincts. Go to the beach and get a tan. Break out that t-shirt with the picture of Mr. T on it. It's all about the experience of action. Do something. Get something. Buy something. Be something. All of this is OK.

The autumn is about something very different. The autumn is about life as an observer. It's about the aesthetic beauty of our surroundings. It's about a slower pace. It's about reaping what we've spent the year sowing. It's about taking stock of the significance about that. It's the reason that I've always thought the New Year should begin in September, not January. My Jewish ancestors did get a few things right. The autumn is a time for reflection. If we're young, it's the time we go back to school and get ready for a brand new year where anything can happen. If we're older, it's when the work year begins to step up a little. It's when nature sheds the skin of the old year and begins its process of slumber for renewal. The good Señor appreciates the need for such a process. And he enjoys undergoing a similar process of self-reflection.

The autumn provides unparalleled natural beauty. It provides apple cider. It provides Halloween. It provides football, both of the professional and college variety. It provides potential. January's New Year comes on the heels of the holidays. We're so busy recovering from excess that our resolutions reflect that. This year I'm going to lose all the weight. This year, no more lying. I'm going to learn the guitar. They are overpromises because we feel guilty about indulging our basest instincts. In the fall, we have none of these hangups. We're generally in our best shape after the summer. We've spent time at the beach and wanted to fit into those bikinis. We've taken a cruise and roasted ourselves crispy brown. We're playing softball or basketball or frisbee. When the summer ends, we're in a good frame of mind. We're ready to approach our new year. We're ready to reflect upon ourselves, able to legitimately promise reasonable improvements in ourselves without the guilt.

Happy New Year everyone.

S'OK? S'awright.


02 septiembre 2003

Señor Wences and the Stupidest Man Alive

The good Señor had himself a good weekend. There was a lot of sitting. Also, there was lying down. Four long days of relaxation and happiness. Monday was devoted to the happiness of a rainy day spent inside watching hours and hours of DVD entertainment. For once, a piece of technology served its precise purpose and provided hours of brand new entertainment to a sleepy apartment. I wore pajamas all day and changed into another set of pajamas at night. Ladies and gentlemen, that is a good day for the good Señor.

The return to work was not pleasant this morning but when I remember after about an hour that I don't really do too much here, I was alright with it. Very, very bored, but alright with it. I spent the early afternoon persuing the news and entertainment news sites. Paraplegic Scaling Mount Fuji By Arm! Certainly a few minutes of my time can be devoted to the reading of this Onion-esque article. Giant Asteroid Seen Nearing Earth in 2014! Get the fuck out of here. I will indulge in this article. I will still be a young man (sort of) in that fine year. And then my eyes locked. I saw it and I looked once. Then I looked again. All of the anger within me welled to the surface as I took in the full import of the words that formed the sentence in front of me. My lips recited the words, not believing what my eyes told me.

Kutcher Becomes Latest Kabbalah Recruit.

Those of you who know the good Señor know that he's not fond of this simpleton. I'm alright with people being stupid. I certainly can't do anything about it. All of these people, however, are not propped up in front of the masses. They are not wearing trucker hats on Jay Leno. They are not dating gorgeous (albeit surgically-altered) 40-year old actresses. The popularity of this man continues to boggle my mind. He's a total moron. He makes no secret of it. He's a terrible actor. Yet, his popularity continues to soar to unprecedented heights. I'm convinced that he has trouble reading. And now he's going to tackle the mysticism of Kaballah? Forget that it's in another language for the moment. Kaballah is delibrately confusing, extremely spiritual and takes years and years of intense study to master. This man is as deep as the puddle that forms on the corner by my apartment when it rains.

I consider myself a fairly intelligent person. I try to avoid things like this. But I watch a lot of TV and I see a lot of movies and I just continue to be stunned that Ashton Kutcher hasn't been hit by a falling object or slow-moving traffic or something.

OK, enough. I think there's blood coming out of my ears.

S'OK? S'awright.


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