Posts Tagged ‘reminiscence’

Tonight’s drunken ramble

My work tonight overlapped with my dinner, which means my two whiskey sours overlapped with a couple of glasses of Garnacha rosé. After making my minimum target word count this evening on the manuscript of Star Trek: Seekers #1, I scribbled this mess on Facebook. Now I re-post it here for your reading enjoyment.


Forgive me, folks, I’m a few drinks into my evening.

For some reason, I was just reflecting on the ignorant, sheltered youth I was 26 years ago when I first moved to New York City to attend NYU film school.

When I first came to NYC, I was the product of a blue-collar, western-Massachusetts upbringing. I was more conservative than one would expect of a “Tax-a-chusetts” native. Though I didn’t realize it back then, at the time I was a homophobe, and a misogynist, and a chauvinist, and a giant fucking asshole. (I can already hear a few of you: “Was?” Shaddup.)

Fortunately, I made friends of smart people with good souls. People like Glenn Hauman, and Carol Pinchefsky, and Jeff Willens, and many others, who, through their better examples, saved me from the worst parts of myself and showed me a better way to live. They showed me the man I could be, if I was willing to work at it.

In the years that followed, living in New York City became the best teacher of tolerance (and, later, acceptance) that one could hope for. I made friends with people of many different beliefs and ideologies, different ethnicities, sexualities, gender identities, and philosophies. I learned that no matter how different people might seem from myself at first, in the end, they weren’t that different.

We all want to lead lives of purpose. Do work we believe in. Love people and be loved, and not be judged for it. Share ideas and reconsider our own notions without being called flip-floppers or hypocrites. We all want to be treated fairly, and be able to trust our friends, and be trusted in return. We want to be remembered.

We are all human. We all deserve to be loved and respected. None of us should have to explain ourselves, as long as we live in ways that respect one another’s privacy, sovereignty, and dignity.

I’ve learned to love all manner of people as my brothers and sisters. The only thing I can’t learn to accept is hate. Blind hate, no matter the excuse, is a critical failure of the human potential.

In the end, I think we should weigh our lives not by our financial worth or worldly successes, but in the measure of love and respect we share with those whose lives exist beside ours, and whose lives will follow ours.

I still fail sometines. I know I need to do better. I will try. I hope you’ll all help me, and not give up on me when I fuck up.

I am a work in progress. Thanks for sticking around while I work out the bugs.

That’s all for tonight. I think I’ll go watch old TV shows on Netflix now.


You’re welcome. You may now talk amongst yourselves.


Honoring Our Creative Debts

Frequently during interviews, I am asked how I got my start as a professional writer. One of my most-recounted anecdotes is the story of how, at the age of fourteen, I asked TV producer Roger Price to let me submit spec-script pages to his sketch-comedy show You Can’t Do That on Television. That experience set in motion a series of events that helped lead me to the life and career I have today.

Until recently, I’d not had an opportunity to thank Mr. Price for his kind counsel and consideration. Thanks to fellow Star Trek author Una McCormack, that has been rectified.

Dishing Up a Tasty Memory

If you’re curious to know what I consider to be one of the finest meals I have ever eaten, head on over to the blog of author Lawrence M. Schoen, who invited me to be a guest blogger today for his weekly feature, Eating Authors.

I admit that it was difficult for me to pick one favorite meal, because my wife and I love good food and wine, but I feel confident that my choice was the right one.

Ben, Jerry, and Tom

My pal Glenn Hauman sent me this link to a recent article in the Washington Square News, NYU’s student-run newspaper: The Death of the Americone Dream

The gist of the article: the Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream scoop shop on Third Avenue between E.10th and E.11th streets has closed after 22 years of operation. Why do I find this noteworthy? Because I worked in that scoop shop for several months in late 1988 and early 1989, during my sophomore year at NYU film school.

I won’t lie and say I have great memories of the place. Working there helped me pack on twenty pounds in a very short time (I believed in frequent taste-testing of all the flavors as a form of “quality control,” to make sure no ice crystals had formed inside the containers).

There is, however, one indelible memory I carry with me from that scoop shop. One incident I will never forget.

One night when I was working the counter, Tom Cruise and a woman visited the shop, and I waited upon them. They ordered five quarts — not pints, quarts — of hand-packed ice-cream. Just my luck, they picked most of the hardest-to-scoop flavors, and they picked a lot of them (B&J allowed customers to mix flavors in the hand-packed containers — 2 or 3 in a pint, up to 5 in a quart). By the time I finished, my wrist was all but paralyzed, and the muscles in my forearm ached.

Then Tom stepped up to the register, paid for the ice cream … and then he and his gal pal left without leaving a tip, despite the fact that next to the register there stood a huge jar colorfully labeled TIPS. A modest tip was customary for hand-packed ice-cream at that time, and they’d ordered the mother lode and given me a carpal-tunnel injury.

No tip. The big-shot movie star, the thirty-year-old multimillionaire, couldn’t spare a few bucks to tip a young kid working his ass off to provide him with quality service. That is why, to this day, I consider Tom Cruise a total douchebag.

Cruise, if you’re reading this, you owe me a tip with 22 years’ worth of interest, you douche.

A Brief History of Politics in America

The dynamics of the preschool playground were terrifying in their simplicity.

We — that is to say, I and some other boy whose name I have long forgotten, so I’ll call him “Billy” — were standing together at one point in the playground.  Another anonymous figure in my past, whom we shall dub “Roy,” was standing over on the other side of the playground.

The die was cast.

Billy and I were allies because we were here.

Roy was the enemy because he stood there.

We ran over, pushed him down, and ran away.

The terror lay in the fact that this somehow made sense.

And that sooner or later I would be standing over there.