In My Daydream

In my daydream
I walked among the animals
I was a fire fightin’ monkey kingin’
Count of cash
The devil defied me
Then took a look
and shriveled at the challenge
Ain’t Nobody taking my life today
I roamed my decaying kingdom
Streets of asphalt and addiction
I peddled pride to the pusher
And evil to the elegant
I was looking for evidence of a plan
I found it in brownstone
I found it in all the little pieces of garbage
Laid out thoughtful and careless
Thrown in the street
Someone else’s memories
I was a schemer
A fucked-up master dreamer
With plans to rule the world
And turn it into all the things
That spin in my mind
They do it all the time
With reckless disregard
With relentless conviction
As for my fellow men
The white warlock
The black butcher
The asian animal
The Hispanic heretic
The native nihilist
Gather them up
Put them in a jar
Shake it with violence
And pour it out
What you will find
Is evidence of my plan
I walk between this world and that
I spin the world and make it real

Why?

Sometimes I feel
Like I’m not built to last
I’m caught by my past
The die has been cast

& Sometimes I feel
Like I’m not built for speed
There’s nothing I want
But so much I need

& Sometimes I feel
I’m just going through the motions
I’ve got this crazy notion
That it might be time to die

But really, why?

Krabi

In rural Thailand, the rain falls in thick silver sheets and mixes with the ruddy dirt into torrents of curry-colored water.Flowing fast through the ultra green foliage, I am reminded of places I have not yet been.

Still, in the pouring rain, brave Thais soldier on upon tired scooters, braving both the rain and the slick road.Others rest under roofs of corrugated steel, immune to only one element.How clear the air must be and how safe the jungle.Or how hearty must be the Thais.

We amble in the considerable safety of the climate-controlled van through the lean-tos and salesmen of random hubcaps, through places advertising scooter repair and the tastes of home (Coke!Pepsi!).I long to rest lazily under a roof of corrugated steel, but pass instead to the gated comfort of my resort hotel.

How hearty must I be.

Special "How To" Feature: How to Select a Political Party or Candidate

1) Pick a 24 hour cable news channel, down large quantity of trucker’s speed or equivalent, & consume programming nonstop for 3 to 4 days. Voila! Your opinions, conspiratorial suspicions, and virulent hatred of “those people” on “the other side” should now be fully absorbed!2) Flip coin (sorry Greens, Libertarians, & Independents, there are only two sides on the current coin format).3) Fully analyze the platforms of the respective parties, and research thoroughly the voting records of individual politicians for whom you think you might vote. Naw, scratch that one…too much work!4) Ask the biggest douche bag you know about his/her political preferences and simply adopt the exact opposite.

5) Take a few minutes and jot down your thoughts on the following: how many people, on an average day, do you want to bomb the living shit out of? Which candidate would you most like to enjoy a frosty mug of ice cold beer with? Who do you think is best fit to run the world—business, government, or government officials in bed with big business? Screw guns and butter, what about nukes or decent K-12 education? Continue reading

Winning The Lottery Just Ain’t That Easy

My girlfriend lives 9,525 miles away, a mere 9,025 miles beyond what I used to consider a reasonable dating radius. She’s a real good lady, and I’d like to think I’m an okay sort of guy. The two of us are both well educated, caring, and for the most part law-abiding citizens, and we really get along great. In fact, we’re inseparable. Except for that whole being 9,525 miles apart thing.

The problem is money. She owes the government of Singapore a bunch (a government you try not to piss off) and I feel my earnings power is best here in the States. For the time being, we’re stuck.

Now a good friend of mine once recounted a proverb of sorts that his old man had bestowed upon him. It was roughly paraphrased that “Money problems are good problems to have, because they always work themselves out.” Beyond destroying my faith in proverbs, I suspect this oversimplified generalization to be just plain untrue. In this case, at least, the $90,000 we each owe for an Ivy League graduate education is a real and lasting problem, one that to date has failed to “work itself out.” Another assumedly “good problem to have” is that Ivy League degree. You see the two of us are trained as city planners—a skilled and dare I utter, even noble (?) profession—but one that doesn’t pay on the scale of say medicine, law…or…other professions. We thought we had a solution though: one of us would win the lottery.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, winning the lottery just ain’t that easy. Continue reading

Top Ten Philly Pros & Cons


Pro: City of Brotherly Love (now the City that Loves You Back)
Con: high murder rate

Pro: Proximity to New York City
Con: It’s NOT New York City

Pro: Indefatigable faith that things will get better
Con: Illegal wiretap in Mayor’s office and Molotov cocktail in opponent’s office

Pro: Penn
Con: Temple (what a SHOT!)

Pro: Classic architecture
Con: 60,000 abandoned homes

Pro: Seven major sports stadiums in massive south side sports complex
Con: Only four major sports teams

Pro: William Penn’s original grid, and upscale Center City
Con: North, West, and most of South Philly

Pro: Once called “the Workshop of the World”
Con: The shop is closed

Pro: Low rents and housing prices
Con: Who wants to live in Philly?

Pro: Two major rivers flow through Philadelphia
Con: They’re brown

Pro: Close to Washington, Baltimore, and NYC
Con: CLOSER to Camden, Wilmington, and Newark

Pro: Hoagies and Cheesesteaks
Con: Hoagies and Cheesesteaks (fattest city in the nation)

Yo! Philly’s the s@#t!

Insomnia Has Been Keeping Me Up At Night

Insomnia has been keeping me up at night. In younger days I slept like the proverbial baby–normally, restfully even, because I was sleeping. Now I think of restlessness while I toss, then turn, then toss then turn. My shrink prescribed Ambien, then suggested I don’t take it. I tried melatonin, yogic stretching, and multiple masturbation. I tried valerian root, then Xanax, then booze. Then Xanax and booze.

A typical work night might go something like this:

Pop a melatonin (I have no idea if this stuff works or if it is pure ritual) and a Benadryl (who knew my allergies would be a boon to my sleep maintenance!) and slip into bed confident that tonight will in fact be “the night.” Morpheus, my god of sleep and rest, I am yours. Time: 12:00 a.m.

12:25 a.m.: Have run through minute details of day’s work events twice, becoming more anxious with each passing moment.

12:43 a.m.: Run through minute details of next day’s probable work events, utilizing my last remaining optimistic brain cell, becoming more anxious with each passing moment.

1:17 a.m.: Calculate time left in sleep night if I fall asleep RIGHT NOW!

1:18 a.m.: Conclude I am deeply dissatisfied with time remaining for sleep.

1:50 a.m.: Ponder whether popping Ambien is right move. Continue reading