Monday, December 13, 2004

A phone call from mom

"Thrill Me."
"Hi, what are you doing home?' Mom asked.
"What? It's 11 AM on a Saturday. Where should I be?"
"I dunno, just figured you'd be out already."
"Then why did you call me now?"
"I just figured I'd get the machine and you'd call me back."
"Well, we are going out soon - you just caught me."
"Oh, you're not taking Stewie to the vet again, are you? (Stewie's my dog - he's been ill)
"No, he's much better."
"Well, that's good to hear. I was worried that you got a lemon."
(Annoyed) "He's fiiiiine. We're all going out for a walk."
"Oh, that should be nice. Don't keep him out too long. Don't forget, he was just sick."
"Thanks for reminding me. I had forgotten."
"Look, don't be sarcastic with me. So did you do anything last night?"
"Nope....wasn't in the mood to deal with the rain and wind. Stayed in."
"Bronwen too?"
"Yup...we just ordered in and played with Stewie."
"How's Bronwen?"
"Good...good. So what are you doing today?"
"Well, funny you should ask. I'm at the bank."
"Right now?"
"Yes, I'm sitting with Delores, one of the reps."
"So wait, why are you calling me?"
"I just wanted to invest my 2004 IRA contribution and I was hoping you could go over it with Delores since I dont understand this stuff."
"Is she helping another customer now?"
"No, she's sitting right here."
"So she's sitting there while you ask me about my dog and my evening."
"She doesn't mind."
"I'm sure she's thrilled working on a Saturday to begin with, and listening to us is just adding to her joy."
(Muffled) "My son is worried that I'm wasting your time."
"Mom! Mom!"
"No, Harris - she doesn't mind at all."
"Put her on the phone mom."
"And we've had a long relationship. She would tell me."
"Just put her on the phone."
"Okay, I love you."
"Okay mom...I love you too."
"I'm sorry?"
"Oh, I thought my mom was still on. Hi!"

Rock On,


Monday, November 15, 2004

I think I may've set my own record...

Our new Head of IT (Information Technology) started today...exactly one week after the previous one was fired for incompetence.
The CEO walked her around, introducing her to the employees, when they got to my cubicle.
"Harris, this is Jill Sanders*, our new head of IT."
"Hi, nice to meet you, I said, and added, "Good luck."
"I don't need luck," Jill replied dismissively, as they walked away.
Yup, it took two seconds.

Rock On,


* Not her real name. Her real name is a Russian name that I can't prounce, much less spell

Friday, October 29, 2004

Sweep the Leg

Walking home on Wednesday, I came upon a homeless dude on 59th and Columbus Circle holding a cardboard sign that read ...


Rock On,


Thursday, October 28, 2004

i suck

So I got a call from my friend Ed the day of Game 7 between the Yanks and Bosox. "Q" is our friend who resides in Boston.

Ed - Can you believe this series?
Me - I know, it's unreal.
Ed - Q's coming in tonight for the game.
Me - Really? He got tickets?! How?
Ed - He just hammered the phone lines the day they went on sale.
Me - Cool, though to be honest, I think I'd rather watch it at home. What's it gonna be, like 40 degrees?
Ed - I hear ya.
Me - What kind of seats did he get?
Ed - Not very good - somewhere in the upper deck.
Me - Ouch. Especially sittin' up there. Probably about 10 degrees colder. I'd definitely rather see it at home.
Ed - I totally hear ya.
Me - And with the wind chill up's gonna feel like 25.
Ed - Probably will.
Me - Wait, who's he going with?
Ed - Me

Friday, October 15, 2004

God Help Me - The Case of the Chewy Chicken

Quick mom story from her birthday lunch a few weeks ago - the players were me, Bronwen, my bro, his wife, their kid and mom - we go to a Cuban restaurant in Forest Hills - the baby wasn't feeling well so he was cranky and cried the whole time - makes for a special lunch

Anyway, at one point my mom asks Bronwen how she likes her dish (they ordered the same thing) - Bronwen says, "To be honest, the chicken's a little chewy."

My mom, who hadn't complained about it at all, says, "Yes, it is a little chewy isn't it?"

The rest of the meal, every ten minutes or so, she says, "This chicken is so chewy. I can barely eat it."

Towards the end, she catches the waitresses eye - the waitress whom by the way, barely spoke English - and called her over.

"I just want to tell you the chicken is chewy."

The waitress either didn't understand her or just didn't know what to say cause she just stood there.

Finally she said, "Chicken? Chewy?"

My mom continued, "Yes, the chicken is chewy. Just so you know, I come here a lot...and this is the first time the chicken's been chewy." She'd been there twice.

The waitress inquired," Do you want speak manager about chewy chicken?"

My mom continued, "Yes, please." The waitress walked away. My mom turned to me.

"Management should know that their chicken is chewy."

"I said. "Oh definitely, it's your civic duty." I felt the diameter of the hole in the lining of my stomach enlarging.

The manager walked over.

"Hi, I understand your chicken is chewy?"

"My mom replied, "Yes, hi, I just want to tell you that I come here a lot and my son's girlfriend and I both got this chicken dish...and we both think its very chewy. You may want to tell the chef."

"Okay, thank you, I certainly will, and sorry about the chewiness." The manager walked away.

"See how appreciative she was?" My mom said to me. "They want to hear things like this."

They ended up taking one of the chewy chicken dishes off the check, thereby further encouraging her for next time. Little did they know what they'd done. God help me.

Rock On,


Friday, September 24, 2004

Why I am a Loser - Part 3,851

On August 24th, I submitted "I Was Middle-Aged Zombie" to several publications. Later that day, Jennifer Wood of Moviemaker Magazine wrote me. She asked for any pictures I had before she she to make a "final determination." I immediately sent her the pics.

Later that day - nothing.

The next day - nothing.

Two days later - nothing.

Needless to say, I was starting to wonder. Everytime my Lotus Notes lit up, I quickly looked to see if it was her. It never was. Every day I had to fight back the urge to write her. I mean, she wrote me RIGHT back after I initially queried her! What the heck was taking so long....either she likes it or not! After one week, I decided I could wait no longer. So, on September 2nd, I wrote her. Almost immediately, I got this reply -

"I will be out of the office from August 25th through September 10th...."


Long story short, she wrote me back upon returning and told me she was busy with vacation and moving, but she will be in touch.

That was a week ago - my e-mail finger is getting twitchy again.

Rock On,


Monday, August 30, 2004

A WONDERFUL Day on the Set

So when the director (Rick) of the zombie flick I was in (Stiffs by Sid) asked if I could come up to his place in Orange County this past Saturday to shoot a couple of additional scenes for his zombie flick I said, "Sure." As it turned out, it was just me him and the "star" of Stiffs by Sid, a dude by the name of Theo. As a sidenote, he didn't ask the other zombie because he wasn't very good. Thankfully my job had well prepared me to play a member of The Living Dead.

Rick told me that the make-up chick was on vaca so we'd just do our best with my makeup. I immediately pictured him accidentally spilling latex in my eye, me jumping out of the chair and into walls before going into convulsions and collapsing on the ground all the while screaming, "OH MY GOD!!! IT BURNS!! IT BURNS!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!

The closest metro-north train to Central Valley, where Rick lives, is in Tarrytown so I took the 3:00 Metro-North train in. Theo, coming from the Upper East Side, was also sposed to be on that train. I met Rick at the station. No Theo. Rick checks his cell and sees a message from Theo telling him that he missed the train, he'll be on the next one. We go to a local diner. We eat. We go back to the train to get Theo. The next train comes...and goes. Everyone is gone but Theo. Rick calls Theo, who swears he is there but cant find us. We're right in the middle by the parking lot. Long story short, they actually called each other about five times.. I swear, I thought Theo was lying for some reason and was home laughing at us. As it turned out, he wasn't a lier...just a moron, and a big one at that.

Theo is about 5' 7" tall and weighs approx 260-280 pounds. And he doesn't carry it well...his gut protrudes WELL over his belt, ending somewhere around his knees. His first comment when we got in the car? "I'm famished. Do we have something to eat?" I tell him that we just ate and he asks if we have leftovers. Yeah, I couldn't finish my hamburger...idiot. Before we leave the parking lot he mentions food about five times, finally Rick tells him he has some chips and soda in the trunk. Naturally Theo's all over that, so Rick pulls over and gets his food. We start the 45 minute drive to Rick's and before we're ten minutes in, Theo says, "This is wonderful, but I'm gonna need something else. Can we stop somewhere? The only thing I ate all day were some Cheerios with blueberries."

I had flashbacks of my bud Joel, who is blessed with a similar build and always claimed he ate well. I would go to his place and Joel would tell me he had a salad for lunch. Then I'd open his fridge and find leftover pizza boxes...then open his freezer and find frozen pizzas stacked like gold at Fort Knox.

Also, you may also be struck by Theo's odd use of the word "wonderful." Don't be. He uses it in every sentence. Everything to him is wonderful. Here are some examples -

Upon passing an above ground pool - "Above ground pools are wonderful. I love the way it's the same depth all over. You don't have to worry about the bottom falling out under you."

Upon seeing the kitchen sink in Rick's house - "Oh my, this is wonderful. It's so deep, very splash resistant."

Upon seeing the size of the garbage under the sink - "This is just wonderful. You can really accumulate a lot of garbage before you have to replace it."

Upon seeing the kitchen "island" - "Will you look at that...wonderful, just wonderful...I'll bet three can work there at once."

Upon eating the fried mozzarella sticks and chicken tenders Rick made for him - "Perfect...really hit the spot...wonderful."

I can picture Theo on a double decker tour bus in Aushwitz, eating a bag of cheetos, looking around saying, "My, my...wonderful, just wonderful."

Later, while still driving, Theo asked Rick where we were going. Rick said to his place. Theo asked, "Oh, is that where the food is?"

We finally make it to Rick's - feed Theo - and change into our clothes for a cemetery scene. Since I was only needed to wander in the far distance, there was no need for any make-up. I wore a black polyester jacket, white polyester shirt and black wool pants. Did I mention it was about 87 with the humidity somewhere around 350%?

We drove to the cemetery, which of course according to Theo was "wonderful," and parked in a far corner. Thankfully no one was visiting so we had the run of the place. Which turned out to be good...very good. The scene had Theo talking to the camera while I wandered about in the distance. It's a good thing I wasn't wearing makeup because I would have sweated it all off. In addition, the mosquitos found me quickly. We did about twenty takes. Since I wasn't facing the camera during filming, and I was in the far distance, I couldn't see or hear when the scene ended. Rick had to yell a few time for me to stop walking. So I spent half my Saturday afternoon sweating in wool pants and a polyester jacket, holding my glasses, doing my zombie shuffle in a deserted cemetery while mosquitos bit the crap out of me. And I was doing this for fun.

The other scene filmed there was Theo driving off in a car with a Stiffs by Sid decal on the back. We ended up filming that scene several times. The first time Theo decided to try to turn around on the on the pathway where no one is meant to turn around. Yes, he backed into a tombstone. After that, he went all the way around each time which was fine by us.

The last scene of the day was filmed in Rick's backyard. He made a makeshift grave with tombstone. Deciding against attempting to apply latex to me, Rick gave me a rubber monster mask and rubber monster gloves. No, I'm not joking. I was then covered with fresh soil that Rick bought for the occasion, and a plank of wood. So there I laid (lied?), in a grave wearing my wool pants and polyester jacket covered with dirt, sweat and a plank of wood, trying to breathe thru the small hole in a rubber mask. If only my mom could see me then.

After finishing the scene, Rick insisted i take a shower while they filmed some voice over scenes without me. I didn't argue. We went in and I met Rick's wife, whom I dont think appreciates Rick's vision. When he put his camera on the "wonderful" island, his wife said, "Get that crap off there" - which Rick quickly did.

After finishing up, Rick told us his wife cooked enough dinner for us all in case we wanted to stay for dinner. I said, "Nah, thanks but I'm tired...wanna head back, appreciate it though." Theo had a different thought - "Harris, it would be rude if Mrs. Lavon made dinner for us to say no. The least we could do is eat it." Fine.

Naturally, everything she made was "wonderful," or so Theo said. In reality, the chicken was underdone and the potatoes were lumpy. After eating, Theo hugged her (I shook her hand) and we left with Rick, who drove us back to the train station.

All in all, I had a great time. I dont know if it came across in "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie" but I genuinely liked Rick and was actually sorry that it was over. He did mention a possible screening for the flick whether it makes the festival or not so I'm already looking forward to that. Just before leaving, Rick slipped me (and Theo) an envelope which I later discovered contained $60 -so I've now made more playing a zombie than writing.

Rock On,


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Quaker/Irish Wedding

Man, I thought this was gonna make for an awesome entry - my girlfriend's brother (Irish) marrying a Quaker chick...but nothing exciting happened - just a good time - played out pretty much like a regular wedding...BUT....

I can see why my girlfriend told me she wouldn't have fit in when i asked her why she wasn't in wedding party - when i walked in and saw the bridesmaids together, i immediately thought of the Delta Mu's from Revenge of the Nerd's..what she meant was that she wouldn't fit...not fit in.

Funniest thing never actually happened - Upon entering the bride's house, there was what I thought (and my girlfriend thought the same thing was a protective "runway" so one doesn't walk on their carpet that extended thru their living room...thankfully I didn't use it as it turns out, it was the wedding THAT woulda been funny...i could see her dress getting all wrinkled with sparkly things broken or hanging off (just imagine sparkly things) and her pointing at me throughout the night whenever talking to yet another one of her relatives or friends.

As per their Church's tradition, there is a moment of silent prayer during the service during which time anyone can get up and say something to the bride and groom - i implored my girlfriend to get up...she impored me not to - after a few uncomfortably silent minutes, someone got up and babbled something like "Best of Wishes to both of you...Welcome to the family"...after a couple more hours (or so it seemed) the brides kilt-wearing brother (he played the bagpipes while people entered the one even thought they were Scottish...i think he just likes wearing a dress) got up and blubbered how much he loves his sister...thankfully he was too choked up to say much else - he's in his late 20's and i heard him remarking later in the evening how this was one of his "most fun night's ever"...When I asked him his other "most fun night's ever", he told me that one was when he won a bingo pot at the weekly church social, another was when his parents let him feed the family goose by himself (they do have geese), and the other was when he ate a jawbreaker

i was seated at table with groom and bride's parents - I was opposite Quaker Dad - he looked a little like King Tut from Batman TV show - Since he was opposite me, he kept staring at me...of course it made me look more...and we ended up getting into staring contests (he won as his "look" frightened me)

Quaker Dad did drink Champagne during toast - i think his anti-alcohol harangue prior to wedding was just cause he didn't wanna pay for alcohol...and i guess it worked as it was a cash bar - good thing i'm a lightweight (though Merlot at $3.25 a glass, I was tempted to take a few glasses home)

They had a DJ who played all the normal wedding crap (though thankfully the macarena didn't make an appearance)...the dancing was whiter than white...My girlfriend was the only person there with much rythym...i just wound her up and sent her on the floor pretty much...actually, i felt like Donna Pescow to her John Travolta....we'd be dancing and then eventually, I'd feel out of my league and just stop and head for the sideline and watch her dance - it took her a half hour to realize i was no longer there.

Instead of clinking glasses to make them kiss, each table was supposed to come up with a song that featured the word 'love' in it, at which time, they were sposed to table ended up singing The Love Boat Theme after they rejected my idea..."I Used to Love Her" by Guns and Roses, which starts "I used to love her, but i had to kill her...I had to put her...six feet under...but I can still still hear her complain" - no, i didn't see if Quaker Dad was singing, but I'd pay good money to see him sing my song solo

Anyway, that was it...good great stories...i am hopeful for my next trip as I may be taking a day off in the next couple of weeks to go to prison

Rock On,


Friday, July 9, 2004

In My Own World

A few months ago, Bronwen and I went to a bar/club called Chetty Red to check out a band that was performing a WonkOpera - doing rock versions of the songs from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. After they finished their set we were walking out when I saw Dave Attell sitting at the bar. Attell is the host of Comedy Central's Insomniac, and one of my fave comedians. Bronwen said I should talk to him.


"Because you like him."

"So? What am I gonna say...'Uhhh, Dave, I just wanna say that I like you?'"

"Yes," Bronwen replied way too seriously, "That would be a fine icebreaker. Then offer to buy him a beer..."

"Offer to buy him - I don't have enough conversation for a beer with friends, much less someone I don't know. What the heck are we gonna talk about?"

"I about where he's long he's been in the business before he made'll think of something. C'mon, maybe you'll make a connection."

"Not happening ...can we just go?"

"Not until you go over."

"Look," I said while pointing in Dave's direction, "He's talking to someone...let's just go."

"I can't believe what a chicken you are."

"We've been going out for a should know by now that I'm a chicken...besides, ...I just don't see the point."

"The point is you'll meet someone you think is funny and maybe, you'll make a connection."

"Can we go?"

"Not until you go over."

"I'm not going over."


"I already told you, I know I'm a chicken, but that's not even why I don't wanna go over."

"Well, I'm not leaving till you go over...even if just to say 'Hi'."


"Umm, hi, Dave? Sorry to bother you...but I just wanted to tell you that I really like you...I mean your show. I really like your show," I stammered as Dave turned towards me.

"Thanks...I appreciate it," he replied between drags on his cigarette.

"I also saw you at Caroline's a couple weeks ago...great stuff."

"Thanks wanna join us? This is Fred...he's a comic too."

"Hi, Harris," I said.

"Hi, " Fred replied. I extending my hand and then motioned to the bartender for a beer. "Either of you need another?" They both shook their bottles and then their heads.

"I can really use some sorbet."

Upon handing me the beer from the bartender Dave said, "Fred and I were just discussing a sitcom idea that we wanna work on together and pitch to Comedy Central."

"Really?" I squealed, much louder and tinnier than I'd have liked. Lowering my voice I continued, "Well, if there are stunts involved and you need a double, I'm here for ya."

"That's do look kinda like me...a used book store owner version."

"You picked me out of the audience and said the exact same thing at Caroline's."

Dave looked at Fred and said, "At least now I'm stealing material from myself."

"You want some sorbet?"

"So what's the sitcom about?" I inquired.

"It's basically about my real life...a widowed dad trying to raise his teenage daughter the best he knows how." I looked at him suspiciously.

"Okay, it's actually gonna be about a comedian who tries to juggle his family and career on the road."

"Put in a domineering mother in and you've got Romano's show," I threw in.

Ed perked up. "We're hoping to promote Dave as the anti-Romano. You know, coarse, unkempt, very sarcastic - "

"It's gonna be quite a stretch for me acting-wise," Dave interjected, and then took another drag on his cigarette.

"Why don't you also give your character a drinking problem? That way all your booze will be on the network's tab."

Dave's eyes lit up. "Hey, that's not a bad idea." He turned to Fred. "Then I can also make them pay for my visits to Betty Ford." He looked back towards me. "...And sue them for making me into a drunk. You got any other ideas?"

"Well, I would put in a sex-obsessed grandmother who isn't Bea Arthur and a precocious child who's vocabulary is well beyond their years." We chuckled.

"Yeah, maybe I should have a gay black best friend as well. If I'm gonna sell out, I may as well go all the way."

"Besides, It would suck if you sold out and the show got cancelled after three episodes," I added.

"Hello? Do you want sorbet?"

"Like he would care," Ed interjected, "He'd get a gig on one of his friends' shows...I'm the one who should worry -I'd be back to eating all my meals at Bob's Big Boy's and opening for Carrot Top at The Funny Factory in Topeka."

"I got a sure fire way to have a hit - get Paris Hilton to star as your daughter...and maybe Ashton Kutscher to play your son."

Ed piped in, "Too bad you can't use extortion to get her compliance since everyone already has naked pictures of her."

"Maybe I can ply her with alcohol and seduce her, " Dave added, "Then you can take pictures of THOSE would be pictures she wouldn't want to get out."

"Anyway, I should be gettin' back to my girlfriend. It was nice meeting you guys."

"Before I started walking away, Dave spoke up. "Ya know, we're gonna need some help writing the scripts." Ed nodded. Dave continued, "Would you have any interest in meeting with us to throw ideas around?"

"Are you serious?" I screeched, my voice almost cracking. Playing it cool just wasn't in my repertoire.

"Sure, you seem like a bright funny dude...can't be surrounded by enough of them...right Ed?"

"I agree. Do you have any experience writing sitcoms?"


"Good.. He'll work cheap," Ed said while looking at Dave. We all chuckled.

"Harris! DOOOO YOOOOOU WAAAAANT SORBET?!!" I immediately stopped walking turned towards Bronwen, who had stopped walking about five seconds ago and was standing by the entrance of the corner deli.


Fast forward to last week - Rob and I went to The Moth, where people get up to tell a story around a theme chosen in advance. Yesterday's theme was "Liars" - whatever. People who want to get up put their name in a hat - 10 people get selected and they have 5 minutes to tell their story, after which their story is judged by volunteers from the audience and the top scores win. Whatever. They do get some famous people to get up along with the hoi polloi (people like Margaret Cho, Spalding Gray, Ethan Hawke, Rosie O'Donnell, Jim Bouton, etc) the idea?

Anyway, the host was McSweeney's fave and author of Loser Goes First (a quick, funny read if anyone cares), Dan Kennedy. He's also the editor of, the site I just got that little Subway Story posted. I had never met Dan but thought maybe I should.

"You think I should?"

"Of already have something to talk about. This is a perfect have fifteen minutes for can certainly talk for fifteen minutes!"

"Yeah, that doesn't seem too bad."

"And you have something to talk about!"

"I do, don't I."

"If you don't go up, I will."

"Huh? What are you gonna say?"

"I'll point you out and tell him that he just posted one of your stories on his site."

"No, you won't," I said threateningly. We stared at each other in silence for a few seconds then he made a motion to get up.

I immediately sprang to my feet and exclaimed, "Okay, okay...I'll go say 'Hi'."

"Do you want me to come with you?"

"No, thank you." He plopped back down. I walked uneasily to the bar area, where Dan was hanging out. I started to sweat.

When I got to Dan, he was at the bar talking to one of the "storytellers", Mark Katz, who worked in the oval office during the Clinton admin and worked for Gore as well (I knew from his story).

"Hi, Dan? Hi, I'm Harris Bloom. I wrote -- "

"Oh yeah...Subway Story guy! Nice to meet you"

"Yeah! That's me." I was pleasantly surprised he remembered my name. Maybe this won't be so bad after all.

"Nice to put the face with the writing." He turned to Mark. "Mark, this is Harris...Harris, Mark."

"Nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you." Mark drank his beer, Dan, drank what appeared to be soda, and looked into the audience. I hadn't brought my drink over, so I just crossed my arms.

Eventually, Dan turned to Mark and said, "Anyway, I got the meeting with Sony next week."

Mark replied, "Good luck with that...I may have a meeting with Kerry's people." I stood there with my arms folded, nodding my head every so often to make it appear to anyone watching me from behind that I was talking.

Dan - "I think you'll have your work cut out for you there. Making him appear funny may prove harder than Gore" I looked at Mark.

Mark - "Yeah, we'll see...did you see Jimmy last night?" I looked at Dan.

Dan - "Nah...missed him. We were long gone by the time he got there. Why, what'd he say happened?" I looked at Mark.

Mark - "You know Jimmy...he got totally trashed and ended up getting kicked out." Dan shook his head and smiled a knowing smile. I smiled an unknowing and nervous smile.

They took a another sip. I continued to stand there with arms crossed.

Dan looked at his bottle and asked Mark," Want another? I looked at Mark.

"No, I'm cool."

Dan looked at me. "Can I buy you one?"

"No, I got one at my table, thanks." Dan turned to the bar and waited for the bartender to notice him. Mark and I stood in silence, him drinking his beer, and me with my arms folded trying to think of something to say. I felt sweat dripping down my back.

After a minute I said, "Your story was funny."

"Thanks." More silence. We looked into the crowd. They mocked us with seemingly free-flowing conversations and intermittent laughter.

Dan, new soda in hand, rejoined us, looked at me and asked, "Do you think it would be rude if I got back onstage and read a newspaper." I had no idea how to reply.

Feeling pressure to say something I replied, "Slightly." After that, silence reigned again. They drank...I stuck with my Mr. Clean impersonation.

"So how was your LA trip?" Mark asked. I looked at Dan.

"It was fun...did a reading....met up with some friends. Weren't you out there recently?" I looked at Mark.

"No, not since December..or maybe January."

Feeling more than slightly stupid, I spoke up, "Well, it was nice meeting you both...maybe I'll submit something else soon."

Dan responded, "Good to meet you too...and sure, anytime."

I walked back to Rob.

"Look at you!" he cried out. "You da man!!!"

Dripping with flopsweat, I reached for the beer in front of me. It was empty, naturally.

Yeah, I'm da man.

Rock On,


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

My Night with Stephanie Seymour

So my girlfriend's company, the ultra-hip Bumble & Bumble, had a party to officially open their new space in the Meatpacking District (you've come a long way, baby - I remember The Meatpacking district when you couldn't take a step without tripping over a crack vial or a tranny hooker...gosh, I miss those days - now, you can't take a step without tripping over a model or Tara Reid tripping over you)...Why did I go? Free B-B-Q walking distance from apartment...need I say more?

It was theoretically a "country western theme bar-b-que" event so girlfriend wore boots with her short skirt (?) and tied a shirt over her t-shirt (I don't know)...I wore ripped jeans and a regular shirt - the ripped jeans were my idea of "country western themed" since if I was livin' in the ol' west, I woulda certainly fallen off my horse several times a day, ripping my jeans in the process..

So we walk in, she air-kisses a bunch of peeps and twice kisses (one on each cheek) a bunch of other peeps and seeing that few people are dressed country or western, goes to her desk to change into the heels she brought in the event of such noncompliance. I followed her around like a puppy, her grabbing my paw once in a while when I assume I looked extra frightened.

We walk around, her saying "Hi" to assorted co-workers, as I checked out the crowd...and quite the crowd it was....

There were girls dressed like guys
Guys dressed like girls
Girls that were guys
Guys with more make-up than girls
Girls (models) paid to have their hair done higher than wedding cakes, and then walk around
Guy-servants who walked around with appetizers as if they were The Stepford Model-Servants walking a catwalk - all pretty expressionless - actually pretty and expressionless
Stephanie Seymour
A guy who looked like a male Annie Lennox (or a male Boy George) who seemed to bring his own photographer, who followed him around and took pictures
A woman, working for hip designer Heatherette, who wore a wig (presumably) that I can only describe as looking like a snake that ate four rats, five seconds btwn feedings - the hair alternated btwn narrow and thick for about 4 feet - she had her own contingent, I assume to tell her how fabu she looked (as I told my girlfriend, "Some people need security guards...others security blankets")

I don't know if the assorted characters used traditional spray-on hairspray, but if they did, there's a scientist this morning scratching his eyes and recalibrating his instruments becasue he refuses to believe the ozone layer got cut in half overnight.

At one point, my girlfriend was called away, leaving me to talk to her muscle-bound tank-top wearing client alone. The conversation went a little something like this....
"So you just opened a new studio in NY, huh?"
"Yeah, we opened one in know where Meets (sp?) is?"
"Well, it's right over that. I live in NoLita, so I spend all my time downtown...I love it. Much better vibe than uptown. Where do you live?"
"Me? Well, I, spend most of my time at (my girlfriend's), on 24th and 9th...I live, quote unquote, on, ummm, 78th and 1st...but I spend more time I, ummm said."
"Yeah, I'm off to Cannes this week to work on some projects over a few deals brewing."
"Really? What kind of...."
"Then I'm flying to L.A. an office there...have to deal with the network execs."
"I'm going to New Jersey this weekend...nephew's one year birthday party."
"Yeah, these deals should open up whole new avenues."
"I could use a new avenue."
"After that...I'm off to Rio for a little R & R I can use it...after working 15-20 hour days for two months."
"I can't recall the last time I worked 15 hours in a week." He spotted someone he knew.
"Seeya." And he was off. I stood there with my now empty glass and tried to look cool. After 10 seconds, I started panicking and ran off to find my girlfriend.

Too humid to stay for too long on the deck, we walked to the floor where stylists were well, styling models' hair while rock music blared (Welcome to the Jungle seemed especially appropriate for several reasons) - quite frankly, I don't know how they worked with such a racket...

We made our way back to another floor when my girlfriend looked into a corner of the room ans said, "There's Stephanie Seymour."
"What? What?!? WHAAAAAT?!? Where!" I said, not so much as a question but as a demand.
"Over there...she's with XXX XXXX (I forgot his name), that's her stylist...he's associated with Bumble."
And sure enough, there she was....former SI Swimsuit model, Victoria's Secret Model, former paramour of Axel Rose, ankle-tattooed music-video vixen Stephanie Seymour. My girlfriend started rappin' with a few friends while I surreptitiously glanced over at Steph every 1.3 seconds. About the 739th time i did so, she happened to glance my way...our eyes met...not literally, that's kinda gross, but in a figurative, and I'd like to think, spiritual sense. In the .2 seconds, we came to an unspoken unspoken understanding that said, "Sure, we are obviously perfect for each other, but alas, we are both taken...cruel fate has kept us apart until it is too late for us to act upon our feelings. Like a freshly made pot of porridge that was left to cool for too long and developed a thin layer of gross film to develop, so too...nah, bad metaphor....more like getting to work late on the one friekin' day someone brought in donuts and seeing chocolate icing remains on the bottom, so too have we come late to the party....not this party, I was quite early actually...where was I? Oh Nevermind."

The funny part to me is that everyone at or associated with Bumble I believe was allowed to bring one guest (hence my presence) - this dude brought Stephanie Seymour - he wins

The people all seemed pretty cool though I didn't have much to say to them - my usual line was something like, "Fun party...much different than my industry parties. We don't have models walking around or people with much hair for that matter"
"What industry are you in?"
"Oh," said like they were sorry.

The only person who didn't laugh at that was Michael, the owner whom I met when we were leaving. He looked like a cross btwn Mayor Bloomberg and Dudley Moore (before he died) - Continually adjusting the collar of his shirt, he was more than a little uncomfortable with the whole hosting thing. My guess is he probably started in Accounting.

Rock On,


Sunday, June 13, 2004

Rochester: The City That Never Diets

Rich (my bro), Vic (friend), and I take Jet Blue up there Friday morning - in a Sign of Things to Come, we had chocolate cookies and soda on the plane (also saw an
episode of The White Shadow...that Salami sure was a hothead)....for
breakfast (though Vic I think had a juice box) - While waiting for Matt at
the airport, we begin to notice something is frighteningly amiss
(another Sign of Things to Come) - unless there is a Richard Simmons
convention there this weekend, the place was full (and I mean FULL) of Big
Beautiful Women (as they would probably call themselves).

ANYWAY, We go to Matt's and immediately fire up the que - by 11 AM, we're eating Cheddarwursts (hot dogs with cheese in them) and cheesebugers (those are hamburgers with cheese on them) and drinkin' Ice (Smirnoff natch') - we also opened a box
of fudge stripe cookies (thankfully Matt had several boxes) as well as a
chocolate chip fudge cake (hey, when in Fatopia...).

We go to check Rich and Vic in at Chez Days Inn - they put them in The Last
Room on the Left - odd in that there didn't seem to be anyone occupying any
of the closer rooms judging by the dearth of cars in the lot. We assumed
it was so no one can hear the screams.

So we left Fatropolis and head out to Buffalo (no need to change name) for
the evening. Our first stop is a bar called SoHo's which Matt told us
usually has a lot of hot chicks - well, Matt lied - the only hot chicks
there were the waitresses - the patrons all looked like contestants in a
"Who Has the Biggest Love Handles" contest. On the bright side, they have
a free carving board buffet. Lemmee tell ya, if they had turkey and roast
beef like this at Shawshank, I'm pretty sure Andy woulda never tried to
escape - it was amazing, the kind they must serve at Dorsia. Left there to
go to a Buffalo Bison game (minor league baseball) - we were kinda full at
this point so we just had ice cream, beer, and hot dogs and fries. Rich
was absolutely mesmorized by the crazy capers of the mascots (I think he
may have found his life's calling). The seats at this park I believe were
designed for Japanese midgets. I don't know how three quarters the
population fits. After the game, we went to The Anchor Bar where they
serve The Original Buffalo Wings (something tells me it's like Rays in
Manhattan...every other block has a place claiming that title) - we did a
lousy job eating there though probably understandable given that we haven't
stopped since we got there (Since we were in Buffalo, at a wing place, Vic
got the sausage ravioli...natch')

Saturday morning I wake up to a couple more slices of chocolate chip fudge
cake - also had a pop tart or two - and had some oatmeal (my version of
people who get a supersized Big Mac combo meal...and a Diet Coke). We head
out to a water/amusement park. As I said last year, the chicks at this
place have more tattoos than teeth. The less said about the chicks the
better. Anyway, the company Matt works for has a part stationed off for
free food (two words that are great separately but are magical together).
After going on some of the rides in the morning (Vic and I go on the roller
coasters, the Screaming Eagles, the Wheel of Death, etc - Rich went on the
Tea Cup, the Wheel of Love, etc), we hit the B-B-Q -

What's better than dawgs, burgas, and ice cream sandwiches you ask? FREE dawgs, FREE burgas,and FREE ice cream sandwiches - I ate about four of each as did Rich and
Mat...Vic had a salad with a lovely low-fat raspberry vinagrette. Checked
out the water rides after lunch which were fun though I no longer have a
desire to take an Alaskan cruise to go whale watching (sense a theme
here?). "Ya put a bolt on some of their necks and you'd see villagers
chasing them with torches" (damn I love that line).

Adam joins us and after pitstopping at the house. We change into these
orange "federal prison" shirts (with inmate numbers on the back) that Vic
and Rich brought. I don't think it gets any funnier than that. We head out
to catch a Rochester Red Wings (minor league baseball) game. We ate steak
sandwiches, the Worst Fries Ever (thanks Adam), beer, cotton candy (well, I
did) and ice cream (well, I did). I think Vic ate carrot and celery
sticks. Once again, Rich was mesmorized by the wacky antics of the
mascots. Around the fifth inning, my birthday was announced and was stated
on the scorboard thusly, "HAPPY 50th HARRIS BLOOM" (thanks again Adam...for
those that dont know, it's not my birthday...and I'm nowhere near
50...though I will be leaving the coveted18-34 demographic that advertisers
crave soon). Did I mention how half this town coulda been the
understudy for Gilbert Grape's mom?

After the game we head to Jillian's, a sports bar/game room/bowling
alley/dance club. Good time there - watched some preseason football,
bowled (Matt won...I sucked) and played some air hockey. I chased away
some bachlorette party with my New Yawk charm. Couple of cute chicks there
but overall the pickins were slim (unlike the chicks).

Woke up Sunday and went to The Cracker Barrel for breakfast. I'm assuming
this meal is representative of the average meal eaten in Fattown, USA.
After squeezing our way through the salivating patrons to get to our table,
they started us off with biscuits and a gravy, which looked like lard - the
only think I know that was in it was bits of sausage. It tasted a heck of
a lot better than it looked. My $6 breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs,
hash browns, thick sliced bacon and three large pancakes. After, we went
to Matt's in-law's cottage by the lake where we rode thier boat and ogled
Matt's wife's 21 year old sister. We took some of the bef teriyaki (it
wasn't beef, it was bef) for a last que at Matt's - left Matt's, caught our flight, ate some cookies courtesy of Jet Blue (Vic had animal crackers) and arrived back in sweaty, disgusting...but thin New Yawk last night. Hit my gym this morning. I aint weighing myself for a least.

Rock On,


Monday, April 5, 2004


Rob was flabbergasted when I told him i'm sitting home after going to the gym and eating pasta whilst I watch wrestling. If you dont know, pasta is illegal to eat on passover - we decided we should invent Mazta - pasta, made out of matzoh - so Jews all over the world could delight in such dishes as Mazta with shrimp fra diablo and Mazta with White Clam Sauce...

the only problem would be keeping it from turning into a sticky, moist mountain of paper maiche-like gunk when we boil it in water and then drain it

Masta (and Mazta) - trademark pending

Rock On,


Friday, April 2, 2004

The Leper Table

Okay - wanna take a break from writing my screenplay (so far today I've written half a page...seriously, I've erased almost as much prior stuff as I've written...ack) so I'm gonna tell y'all about the wedding I went to a couple of Sundays ago (why? cause i may wanna use it if i write a story about family)....

Before i do though, I think a new movie that came out today has given me an idea of a baby name if and when the time comes...that's right...Hellboy.

ANYWAY, for those that don't know, I'm pretty much estranged from my whole family besides my mom and bro. Long story but my first cousin, whom I haven't seen in 10-12 years got maddied (married?...YES MADDIED!!) last weekend and in the interest of family harmony, my bro and I dragged our better half's along.
First of all, it was a Sunday Night in Long Island...Sunday night weddings should be illegal - I wont even argue this point - secondly, Bronwen and I had to drag our dressed-up carcasses to the wedding via subway, bus, and then car (it was like a John Hughes film). Nothing like taking a subway on a Sunday while there's your favorite team is playin in the NCAA tournament to go to a wedding that you don't wanna go to. Not good times...definately not good times.

Okay - let's skip to....We're at the wedding.

So, we're at the wedding - The five of us (mom too) are standing in our own little corner before the temple doors are opened. Looking over the crowd, it was apparently a theme wedding - Two Hundred Jews, A Trinidadian (my bro's wife) and an Irish Girl (my chick).
My uncle (mom's bro and father of the bride) sees us and comes over. Keep in mind I haven't seen the guy in ten years. Here's the conversation after the intro's...
Me: Congratulations!
Him: Thanks! So whatcha been up to?
Me: Same old...still workin' in Accounting...whats new with you..besides Rebecca's wedding?
Him: Nothin' really
Me: -----------------
Him: -------------------
Us: ----------------------
Him: So I guess I should mingle
Me: Oh, right...sure - see ya layta.

And mind you, I like my uncle - forget about having a rap with chicks..i don't even have a rap with my own family.

This older gent comes over with a woman - my mom greets him as my Aunt's bro - he tells me he hasn't seen me since I was this high (and he made the hand motion indicating little boy height) - he tell told me that I wont remember his wife since this is his second wife - my bro and i looked at each other and couldn't suppress a "Dude-we-dont-even-remember-YOU" laugh
He leaves and this older woman comes over - my mom asks if I remember Auntie Ann - my face flashes recognition as I said, "Sure I remember Aunt Ann." In my mind I was thinking about my grandmother's sister, who was Aunt Ann...but no, this wasn't who my mom was talking about. "This is your Aunt Ann." Huh, I thought while I said, "Oh, Hi!" She told me she hasn't seen me since I was this high (and she made the hand motion indicating little boy height)

The ceremony - it was okay - usual stuff - most of the male members of the wedding party were less than 30, all were Jewish, most were bald, and half were oddly enough, named "Jason."

ANYWAY, let's skip to the cocktail hour. I'm at the bar and The Imposter Aunt Ann is next to me ...I'm ordering a pink lady and a beer while the "Aunt Ann" is drinking scotch. Out of nowhere she says, "Yeah, so Fritz left me." After telling her "that sucks" she went on and on about him leaving her for a younger woman. Bronwen came over at this point - I was hoping she'd save me but she just took her beer - leaving me with my pink lady and "Aunt Ann" (the pink lady is a joke...just fer comedic effect..I was actually having an Appletini)
cocktail hour food was awesome by the way - caviar - mountains of chicken francais, veal, sushi, etc - jus' crazy

So we're goin' into the party room...reception room...dinner room...whatever - and we get out table numbers - my bro sees he's at Table 16..I look at my card and tell him, "So sorree, I'm at Table 1" - his face drops and asks, "You serious?" "Nah...16."

We both wondered where Table 16 was and who exactly we'd be sitting with - we assumed we'd be sitting in the dark recesses of the place, barely able to hear the band, and sitting with retards and people from work they felt they had to invite (not thinking they'd actually come). So we walked to Table 16.

They sat us in the dark recesses of the place, barely able to hear the band, and sitting with mentally challenged realtives and people from work they felt they had to invite (not thinking they'd actually come) - okay, I'm lying - they weren't mentally challenged - Bronwen thinks the twins sitting next to me had CP - the dude sitting right next to me kept asking me what was on his plate - it went something like this...
Him: What's this?
Me: Salad.
Him: What's this?
Me: Tuna
Him: What's this?
Me: A fork
Naturally being the UnsociaBlooms (copyright pending) - my bro and I didn't talk to anyone else at the table. Of course Bronwen had to introduce herself to CP dude next to me, necessitating my intro as well. I was just happy he didn't spit when talking.

Eventually, my Aunt, the mother of the groom came over and I went immediately into Wedding Voice...
Me: Congratulations!
Her: (I couldn't make out what she said)
Me: So I guess now ya just gotta wait for babies!
Her: (again, no idea)
Me: -------
Her: -----
Table: ---------
Her: See y'all later
Table: Bye!
Once again, I was having Blind Date interview flashbacks when I talking and I couldn't even believe what I was saying.

Thankfully, my bro has the perfect Get-Out-Of-Jail Early card (I guess that would be "parole") with his "Yeah, we gotta go and relieve the baby sitter" - we were out of there by ten, but not before we had to awkwardly cut into my niece's conversation since we had to say our good-bye's - and I got to tell Brian (the new hubby) that the last time I saw Rebecca, she was this high (and I made the hand motion indicating little girls height).

Rock On,


Monday, March 29, 2004

Cafe Mozart - A Review

So on Saturday night, Bronwen and I went with Florencia and her very German husband Andreas to an Argentinian restaurant, but that's not what this review is about. We then went see Sweeney Todd at the New York City Opera, but that's not what this review is about. We finished off the evening at my favorite dessert establishment, Cafe Mozart, where, after deliberating longer than the Martha Stewart jury, I decided on the Mud Cake. THAT will be the subject of this review.

Though I've been to Cafe Mozart dozens of times, I don't think I'd ever gotten the Chocolate Mud Cake. Perhaps due to its inclusion on rib joint and Pizzeria Uno's menus, I didn't think it was worthy of an atmosphere where a piano player plays hit tunes from the 17 and 1800's. I had always gone for The Peanut Butter Fudge Cake or The Death by Chocolate or The Black Forest Cake or The Triple Decker (see menu below)....oh, what I have been missing.

Denser than the Vietnamese jungle, this slice of heaven is truely something to behold. Combining Vienesse fudge, chocolate mousse, and bittersweet chocolate pieces may seem like chocolate and chocolate related overkill to some, but let my assure you my friends, it was just the right anount of kill. The texture was like eating Skippy Extra Crunch Peanut Butter...except all chocolate...and I ate this with a spoon rather than my finger (umm, sorry Bronwen).

As soon as the first morsel touched my lips, I closed my eyes and was immediately transported back to grand ol' Austria circa 1784. I was sitting in an Austrian restaurant with three others eating a slice of chocolate mud cake and listening to a piano player. Then I opened my eyes sine I was already doing that...and my eyes crust over when I leave them closed for too long. Then I took my second bite. Then I ate some of Bronwen's raspberry sorbet. Then I put some of Bronwen's raspberry sorbet on my chocolate mud cake. Then I swished her raspberry sorbet into my chocolate mud cake. Then I just ate some fo my chocolate mud cake. Then I told Andreas to look at the pretty picture on the wall and ate his cake. Then I...

Anyway, it was yummy.

Rock On,


Le Bernardin - A Review

I decided it was high time that I investigated this haute cuisine temple to seafood french-style and so, on this past Friday eve, with my girlfriend's birthday approaching, I thought what better time to indulge my palate with Mr. Ripert's award winning offerings.

For purposes of my precious time and your meager attention spans, I shall do away with reviewing the incidiary aspects our of divine culinary experience, but will say that we were served by no less than eight people. To say we were treated like King Henry VIII - well, before he died of syphilis and ailments from gluttony - would be an understatement. Now...onto the "meat" of my review...or the fish as it were....

We both decided on the tasting menu...a must since they will not allow only one at a table to order it and since I was actually drooling out of my eyesockets (though it could have been an infection) when I saw the "warm chocolate tarte with melting whipped cream and dark chocolate sauce", it was pretty much a done deal (especially since I ordered for us when she was in the restroom...ignoring her previous order request...boy was she surprised!)

Before we technically began, they tickled our buds with an amuse bouche of tuna tartare - for those cretins out there, amuse bouche literally means "mouth amusement". It's a littel bite beore the actaul meal begins. I must admit I felt a bit silly when I joked with the waiter that it sounded like a sex toy...he wasn't amused at all. Anyhoo, the tartare was delicate yet moist, flavorful yet not overpowering, orange, yet not red.

From there we went onto a Bay Scallop/Sea Urchin Cerviche Style combo - though I assume they would object to my use of the abbreviation "combo" as it sounds too much like something one would order at Red Lobster. At any rate, the lime marination provided the perfect zestiness to truely bring this dish alive. I wouldn't have been shocked if the sea urchin got up on its hind legs and danced the Watusi...okay, I guess I would've been somewhat shocked.

Next, we enjoyed the flavorful yet utterly refined Hamachi Tandoori, which consisted of seared rare yellowtail marinated in tandoori spices - it was accompanied by a pickled cucumber and mango salad. As much as I liked this dish, it doesn't compare to how much I like to say "Hamachi!"

It was followed by the Bouillabaisse, which consisted of an Aioli crab cake melting in a rich saffron Lobster broth with poached shrimp and croutons. Judging by the mean looks and eventual verbal scolding, slurping and then lifting one's bowl of bouillabaisse to one's mouth is frowned upon...quite strenuously I might add. To say it was delicious wouldn't do this creation, it was very delicious.

One aside here, no one, and i mean NOONE in the restaurant took their jackets off. Though I started sweating around here, I started daydreaming that the minute I took off my jacket, they would use the loudspeaker to ask the "ill-mannered vulgarian" to please reapply his jacket. Silence would reign as everyone looked at me. I would slowly move to put it back on whereupon things would go back to normal. Anyway...

Our Tasting Train's next stop was at the Wild Striped Bass Station, which consisted of steamed wild bass and okra, in a pineapple-lime nage (whatever that is); coriander jasmine rice and eggplant chutney. This was one train you wouldn't want to miss. The fish was flakier than my mom, the nage was the nagiest this reviewer has ever consumed and the rice and chutney side had no right relegated to sideshow status, no, this was a star dish that deserves to headline...with its own grand introduction, under bright lights, maybe accompanied by a monkey.

The fifth course consisted of Grouper, which I agee, sounds more like a disease than a fish. It's accompaniments are on the website listed below - I really don't feel like typing it all in but it came with bits of bacon in the sauce...I mean, c'mon, I'd eat a turd if it were bacon infused.

Finally, dessert time. not only did I inhale the aforementioned tarte, but I also alerted one fo our 23 servers that it was in fact my girlfriend's birthday, and I thought that deserved a free piece of cake or pie - they brought out, with a candle, this unbelievably scrumptious piece of key lime pie-cake. I'm pretty sure my g-friend got to taste her birthday cake...I think. They also brought out eight little post meal dessert thingies - mostly chocolate related...I swallowed them all.

Final Analysis - Though the cost was right around the GNP per capita of Cambodia, I highly recommend Le Bernardin. If I lived in Cambodia, I wouldn't eat for a year just to have one meal there. Of course it would really have to be like five years, since they'd have to fly over since they don't deliver. Though maybe they could cut that down to like three years if they just gave up their precious cable tv and cellphones and broadband internet connections for a year. Where was I? Oh yeah, Le Bernardin rocked.

Rock On,


Sunday, February 22, 2004

This past Friday, I accompanied the chick I'm dating to Joisey to a dinner party being thrown for her sister's boyfriend who is re-enlisting in the army. I
wanted to go wish him my best and thank him for sacrificing for this great
country until talking to him and finding out he's being stationed in

We were seated at a table with his karate buddies (he's big into that). I'm not sure if they take their karate a little bit too seriously or if it's cause they were all hicks from Jersey (sorry to those Jerseyians on this list), but they didn't find my questions very funny. I asked them such things as "How many lessons does one have to go through before ya learn The Crane?" and "Is the first lesson really 'Look eye...ALWAYS look eye!'" as the sensai smacks you on the forehead?

Well, I thought it was funny.

Rock On,


Friday, January 23, 2004

Urine Trouble (get it?)

Go this e-mail at work...

It's very embarassing for me to send this e-mail....but it should be even more embarassing for the individual whose actions require me to send this e-mail.

I've been told that there is someone who routinely and purposely urinates all over the only toilet in the men's bathroom. This type of action usually takes place when no one is around, a fair guess would be that it's either in the early morning or late evening. Investigations are on the way and once the responsible individual is identified strict disciplinary actions will be fully enforced up to and including immediate dismissal.

Rock On,