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Monthly Archives: August 2013

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What is Success?


Not so long ago a friend asked me if I thought I was a success. I didn’t know what to say and when I did manage an answer it was “No.” I was thinking in terms of not just professional success but financial success. Where I want to be not how far I’ve come. I didn’t think about success as a person, about emotional or creative success, about success in my marriage or in my relationships with people. My initial reaction was to think of success in narrow terms. And because of the way I replied I became aware of how limited my idea of success often is.P

I thought about this when I read “The Third Man,” Lauren Collin’s profile of Novak Djokovic in the New Yorker. Djokovic told Collins this story:P

It’s important to be humble, and important to be very open-minded toward all the people in the world. It doesn’t matter who it is, really, or how much amount of success that person has made, because you don’t measure the person through the success the person has made, but through his behavior. There is one actually great quote from Pavle, our Orthodox priest—we are not Catholic, so we don’t have apapa. He’s our spiritual leader, in a way. He passed away in 2009, and he’s actually one of the greatest people that, really, Serbia ever had. Because he was a very modest man—his sister was very ill, so he would go every day with the public transport to visit her. He never used cars; he always talked to the people. So, one great quote—he says to one kid that was saying to him that he has the best grades and so much success in the school. So Patriarch Pavle said, “That’s all great, I congratulate you, but it’s not the grades that make you a man, but your behavior.” So that’s what I try to implement in my life.P

Behavior, how you treat people, showing up when things are difficult, over achievement. That’s cool, man and rings true to me.

Here’s an example of success:

[Photo Via: Clutter and Chaos]

Afternoon Art


Picture by Alex Roulette via This Isn’t Happiness.

This Is a Neighborhood, This Ain’t No Residential District


What do you get when you mix King Tee with Richard Pryor? Fun, dummy, fun is what you get. King Tee’s “Act a Fool” already had Pryor cut-up on the record, we just added more because too much vintage Pryor is still not enough.


New York Minute


Lookit what our man Michae found–that there looks like the GWB.

What’s the Happs?


J.A. Happ hit Robinson Cano in the hand with a pitch in the first inning which gave the Yankees a good scare. Cano’s hand isn’t broken but still, Happ is the same guy who broke Curtis Granderson’s hand earlier this year and while he wasn’t throwing at Cano intentionally, Ken Singleton suggested that perhaps he should not be throwing inside to lefties if he can’t do it without hitting them.

Cano’s injury weighed on the minds of the Yankees and their fans  all evening. In the meantime, the boys proceeded to kick the crap out of Happ. In fact, Alfonso Soriano, who followed Cano in the lineup, hit a 3-run home run, his first of 2 homers against Happ. Alex Rodriguez added a long home run later, and Mark Reynolds also hit a solo shot. It was more than enough for Andy Pettitte who pitched 7 scoreless innings. The double play ball helped as the Yanks turned 4 of them and evened the series with a 7-1 win.

[Photo Via: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]

Dog Dazed


Which way are we going, here, huh?

It’s old man Andy tonight.

Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Curtis Granderson RF
Vernon Wells DH
Mark Reynolds 1B
Chris Stewart C

Never mind nuthin’:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: MRJ77]

Beat of the Day


[Photo Credit: Gordon Parks]

Love Is

Harvey, Buck

This: No words, just love.

Morning Art


“Richland” by Gustavo Jononovich.

Million Dollar Movie

Cinephilia and Beyond has this good post on Scorsese editing Life Lessons. The editing room–room 306 of the Brill Building–stuff was shot when I was a senior in high school and working in the building. Ah, memories.

New York Stories – Life Lessons (1989) from Aitor Garcia on Vimeo.


Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One–


We’ve seen it before so no need to get into it. And Hughes wasn’t terrible exactly. The offense didn’t do much either.

The Jays were going to have to beat the Yanks at some point.

Final: Jays 5, Yanks 2.

Let’s just hope that was their one win for the series.

Stay Positive, Dammit


I’m slippin’, I admit it. The Yanks have handled the Jays this year. So why does something tell me that stops this week, especially with Phil Hughes pitching tonight?

Stupid Heebie Jeebies.

Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Curtis Granderson DH
Lyle Overbay 1B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Austin Romine C

Jeter’s back.

Never mind the Birds:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Meanwhile, Bad News Out in Queens


And it concerns Matt Harvey.

Most Valuable Pitcher=MVP?


Clayton Kershaw’s making a case for himself writers Jay Jaffe.

[Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images]

Beat of the Day


The Queen is hyped-up.

[Photo Credit: Lee Friedlander]

Borough to Borough

Around this time 13 years ago I got together with my friend Alan to make a mix cd of the rap records that has been released that year. A rash of good hip hop records came out in 2000, from major label and underground artists alike. There were joints from name brands like Jay Z, Snoop, Dre, Eminem, Ghostface, MOP, Common, Xzibit, Wu, Outkast, and De La Soul. The veterans were still heard–Biz, Phife and Sadat X. But some of the records I liked most were from so-called underground artists like J-Live, Quasimoto, Dialated Peoples, Kid Koala, Slum Village, Cali Agents, Rah Digga, Encore, and The Nextmen.

Alan and I had known each other for a few years and always talked about doing something together. Alan was a record nut and an engineer. He’d programmed drums for Tori Amos, Madonna, and C&C Music Factory. Worked with Francois Kevorkian and Steinski.

Alan was a whiz at Pro Tools, a professional audio editing program. It was a chance for me to make a dream mix because of what Alan could do technically. I figured we’d make a little cd that I could give to friends for the holidays.

Alan lived in Midwood, Brooklyn, I lived in Carroll Gardens. I’d go over to his place with my records and video tapes. What started as a quick project turned into something more substantial. Four months and more than 120 studio hours later we produced an album-length mix cd we called “Borough to Borough.” (By the time we finished I’d moved to the Bronx.)

After each session, Alan burned a cd of what we’d done. I’d take it with me, listen to it for days, make notes, and the next time we saw each other, we’d make corrections before moving on to the next track. We shared similar sensibilities so there was an easy shorthand between us–remember that Bugs Bunny cartoon when?, what about that George Carlin line? Still, it was the first time I ever truly collaborated with someone. I learned that I couldn’t always have my way. Sometimes, I had to let Alan show off like when he reprogrammed the drum pattern on a Jurassic 5 record because there was no place on the instrumental where the drums were in the clear. And I was always happy to let him do his thing because it sounded great but also because I admire watching a craftsman at work.

If the project was a fantasy come true for me, it was liberating for Alan. He could play and do anything he wanted to do; he wasn’t just a hired hand. So we played and played, and honed the sombitch until we were satisfied. Then we packaged it and sold it and even got reviewed in a few British music magazines.

So here you have it. An audio collage, featuring rhymes, scratching, dope production and a host of spoken word and movie clips. You’ll recognize the voices of Fred Gwynne, Jack Nicholson, Elliott Gould, George Carlin, Marv Albert, Bill Murray, Frank Oz, Holly Hunter, Steve Martin, Elaine May, Walter Matthau, Al Pacino, Jack Palance, Joe Pesci, Goose Gossage, Richard Pryor, Mel Blanc, John Sterling, Mel Brooks, Bill Cosby, Earl Weaver, Nicholas Cage, Jackie Gleason, Chris Russo, Mark Rydell, Albert Brooks, Michelle Pfieffer, Gabe Kaplan, Mike Tyson, Robert De Niro, Orson Welles, John Turturro, Art Carney and Fat Clemenza.


Track Listing:

Intro. Beat by DJ Desue (Barber Shop Emcess…”Music, Money and Women”)

Yes. J-Live, produced by Emmai Allaqueva

Hotshit. Nextman

Tour Guide. People Under the Stairs

I Don’t Know. Slum Village

Crookie Monster. Produced by the Alchemist

Oooh. De La Soul

Dew It. Biz Markie. Produced by Ill Chemist/Al D

What’s Up Fatlip? Fatlip

Microphone Mathmatics. Madlib

Lyrical Fluctuation. Jigmastas, beat by DJ Spinna

Service. Dialated Peoples. Cuts by Babu

Take Over. Joey Chavez. Cuts by DJ Revolution

Any Champion. Pacewon. Cuts by DJ Revolution.

Worldwide. Defari. Beats by Joey Chavez

Love/Hate. Encore. Beat by Nextmen

Rhymes. Get Open featuring Sadat X

Nasty or Nice. Beat by Y@k Ballz

Lesson of Today. Rah Digga. Produced by DJ Premier

Rockaparty. J B Lee. Produced by Ill Chemist, Al D

Loop Diggin’. Madlib

Ass Finish First. Beat by DJ Nu-Mark

J-Liveness: Produced by Pete Rock

Players/Fall in Love. Slum Village

Barhopper. Kid Koala

Just One More Thing. People Under the Stairs

Them That’s Not. J-Live

Nighty Night. Beat by Madlib

Picture of me in Gravesend, Brooklyn with Sammy’s 62 Dominican Republic shirt from the ’98 season and Nathan’s cup of soda. Picture by Alan Friedman.

Taster’s Cherce


Alexandra does shells with red pepper and tomato sauce. This is happiness.

Million Dollar Movie


A new documentary on J.D. Salinger claims more Salinger books are coming:

But a forthcoming documentary and related book, both titled “Salinger,” include detailed assertions that Mr. Salinger instructed his estate to publish at least five additional books — some of them entirely new, some extending past work — in a sequence that he intended to begin as early as 2015.

The new books and stories were largely written before Mr. Salinger assigned his output to a trust in 2008, and would greatly expand the Salinger legacy.

One collection, to be called “The Family Glass,” would add five new stories to an assembly of previously published stories about the fictional Glass family, which figured in Mr. Salinger’s “Franny and Zooey” and elsewhere, according to the claims, which surfaced in interviews and previews of the documentary and book last week.

Another would include a retooled version of a publicly known but unpublished tale, “The Last and Best of the Peter Pans,” which is to be collected with new stories and existing work about the fictional Caulfields, including “Catcher in the Rye.” The new works are said to include a story-filled “manual” of the Vedanta religious philosophy, with which Mr. Salinger was deeply involved; a novel set during World War II and based on his first marriage; and a novella modeled on his own war experiences.

Here’s the trailer:

New York Minute

ez e

Just rollin’ lookin’ for the one they call E-Z…

A friend saw this on an electrical box on 2nd Ave in midtown.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver