Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Fireside Chat


My Fellow Americans,

As the year comes to a close at midnight tonight, we look ahead to the future. Learning from the lessons of the past and hopefully deriving some enlightenment as we make choices for the new year.

I spent last week enjoying the holidays at my New England retreat surrounded by loved ones. It was a truly blessed time: egg nog, songs around the piano and wholesome dinner conversation. During this time of relaxation and reflection, I concentrated on the threats faced by America.

As we turn on the news each day we can't help but be influenced by the dangers we encounter. Terrorism, foreign wars, and a rise in domestic crime, were just a few of the headlines that captured our nation's attention in 2006.

While these issues are grand in scope, there was another topic that has long concerned me. A threat more immediate, vile and troublingly troublesome. A malignant cancer that plagues us most deeply because it resides in our midst. -and yet, this threat is not discussed at the dinner table and never featured on the 11 o'clock news. The threat?

CLOWNS


For far too long these agents of evil have plagued our society with oversized shoes, unfunny physical comedy, and serial homicidal attacks [see above]. Which forces me to ask the simple question. How can we protect our interests abroad while domestically these evil-doers operate virtually unabated?

I think if you look closely, you'll find that here in the continental United States we have our own Axis of Evil:

Big Apple Circus' GRANDMA THE CLOWN
If you are looking to find the root of the cultural demise of American values, you need look no further than the Big Apple Circus. Every year this "entertainment" makes its return to the Big Apple and every year I boycott. Each year it grows progressively more difficult. You see, nothing warms my heart quite like Cavalier King Charles Spaniels balancing themselves on impossibly small balls. And yet, I stay away. The reason? GRANDMA THE CLOWN. Never was an assault on the natural order so flagrant. Grandma the clown is not a grandma at all. She has no children. She has no home reeking of old people. And you can bet that she'll never pay you a shiny nickel to rub her bunions. The reason she doesn't have any of these characteristics is because she isn't a she at all! YES! Grandma the clown is actually a man. Oh, I know what you're thinking, "Patrick, its just a fun show for the kiddies." To which I reply, "don't shove your liberal agenda down my throat." One day the kids are enjoying a "fun show for the kiddies." The next thing you know little Timmy is in a tranny sex show in Amsterdam. It's a slippery slope. And I, for one, encourage some responsible parenting during this period of cultural turmoil.

EMMETT KELLY
I hate this clown on many levels. First off, I hold him solely responsible for the epidemic of poverty. Here's a "clown" that spends its day eating beans out of a can, painting a hopeless frown on his face and traipsing around on railcars. Most people would write this off as simply hobo antics and yet I fail to find the hilarity. He makes no real attempt to seek further education. He puts forth little to no commitment to the many occupations he attempts. What kind of message does this send to our youth?

Secondly, as an Irish-American I am personally offended by the Kelly stereotype that Irish people are bums: depending on the kindness of strangers, unreliable, sleeping in their own feces. We Irish-Americans have a rich, proud history and I will not have this clown piss on that heritage. Literally or metaphorically.

Lastly, I do not know what he carrys in that kerchief / stick luggage, but I can guarantee it isn't good.

THAT CREEPY FUCKING CLOWN FROM 'IT'
Since 1998, this clown has haunted my nightmares. The mental anguish I have suffered at the hands of this clown is insufferable. Under the Second Amendment, we as Americans, have the right to bear arms. Now, normally I would never advocate the use of violence. However, in the event that you ever encounter this clown, it is your duty as an American, to blow the fucker away so that we might end his reign of terror. [Patrick steps away from the computer, enters the fetal position, and weeps chanting, "clowns in the sewer...." -Helen]

This is a real challenge. I encourage all Americans to be vigilant in these times of change. Sometimes the most threatening threat is the one among us. If you or someone you know is considering being a clown, please call 1.800.CLWN.WATCH. Think globally. Act locally. It is the only way we can bring this true terror to its knees.

Good Night & God Bless America*

*but don't bless the clowns that happen to live in America

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Till Next Week...

Hello All!

I hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing holiday respite. As the year comes to a close, I want to thank everyone who has read this blog, shared it with friends and so on. I really appreciate it.

This weekend I have escaped the big, dangerous city (that recently brought down our esteemed Miss USA), for a chance to recharge in peaceful, festive New Hampshire. There's something about New Hampshire that makes me feel a little less obnoxious. As a result, I'm taking a little vacay this week. BUT NEVER FEAR! I'll be back next week with a very special message from me to you and yours. So, till next week...

PS- Does the Kay Jewelers commercial where the woman says at the end, "I'll never forget how I feel tonight." make anyone else cringe or is it just me?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

the life of the party

Well, the holidays are in full swing and as you might imagine, my social calendar is off da hook. My inbox flooded with evites and my cell phone set to silent so the calls don't disturb my day to day. You laugh, but it can be a taxing time of year (especially if you don't have a capable secretary / assistant / stylist like my darling, Helen). In a never ending effort to help my public, I am going to share with you Patrick's secrets of party-going success. These are little tactics that I have picked up through my encounters that will help you master not only the holiday season but social gatherings as a whole.

**hit it off with your host(ess)

Going to parties where you may only know a few people if any can be very intimidating. The key to crackin' the nut, that is this party, is your host(ess). How do you crack that big nut? Compliments. "Oh well, I would do that anyway," you might think. To which I would reply, "you and your hypothetical, over-active inner monologue can shut your fuckin' pie hole." The key isn't just a compliment, but a memorable compliment. Below, please find samples that best illustrate this point.

FOR FEMALE HOST:
Female Host: "Patrick, we're so glad you could make it."

Patrick: "Are you kidding? With a rack like yours, I'd never miss it."

[raucous laughter ensues - host won over.]

FOR MALE HOST:
Male Host: "Welcome. You look dapper tonight."

Patrick: "Why thank you! ...and if I may say, you look more clostedly homosexual than normal."

You see its all about winning them over in those first important minutes. Moving on.

**establishing yourself as the alpha

In my social encounters I meet a plethora of intelligent people. I have made it my personal charter to knock this intelligentsia down a few pegs and establish myself as the alpha dog. ARF! ARF! ARF! Why would I do this? Well, for starters, I'm an asshole. But that aside, it's all about confidence. The way that I go about this is by asking what people do for a living, then I crush them. For instance, a lot of my sister's friends are lawyers, so when I meet them I inquire as to their focus. Then, no matter what their reply, I start screaming and poking them in the chest, "Whatever, you bleeding heart commie! Keep up the good work hating America." When I do this, I make sure that it is loud enough so that everyone hears it. This creates what I call a "shared experience." From this "shared experience" you can start new conversations with lead ins like,"did you get a load of that commie?" Shoe in. Trust me.

**share your gifts

My mom always said to me, "You have unique gifts. It is your duty to share these gifts with the world. If you don't that is a sin." These were wise words that I really took to heart. It has taken me these 27 years to discover my gifts and when I discover a new one, I usually issue a press release. What is unique about me? What gifts do I have to share? Well for starters, I am lactose intolerant. -Extremely lactose intolerant. At a recent party, I shared this gift. I reacquainted myself with my good friend, Mr. Baked Brie. Let me tell you within ten minutes, everyone at the party was talking about lil' 'ol me. There was just something in the air that night, and I was on the tip of everyone's tongue. Yes, I created quite a buzz, and I'm told from the hostess that my gift was the lasting memory that most party-goers took away from the experience. All because I chose to give.

**hunt "the cougar"

So it is 12:30am and you have put all these tactics into play and you have yielded bupkus with the ladies. Don't despair, the evening isn't over. The hunt has just begun. Your prey: the cougar. (or for you ladies out there, the silver fox --for the purposes of this diatribe, I'm going to lay this out under the context of the cougar, however, I understand there are many similarities). First off, "how do I spot the cougar?" Well that's a good rhetorical question. The cougar is not at all as elusive as you might think. You can usually spot the cougar by its unique markings. 40+, plastic surgery, lots of bling, risque clothing, and "the eyes" (as pictured) are all common traits. The cougar is a 7 martini gal. It is when the cougar begins its mating dance that you pounce. You see, the cougar LOVES to dance. The cougar is an AWFUL dancer. Using this information you step up, begin your tango de l'amour, and the next thing you know, you have bagged the big cat. Teddy Roosevelt would be proud.

If you implement even half of these initiatives, I can guarantee that you will be the most talked about party guest -ever. Consider it my holiday gift to you. Now, if you'll excuse me I'm due to refresh my Sapphire and tonic. HELEN, BOOZE! NOW!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

And Leave the Driving to Us

...And leave the driving to us? Who the hell else is going to do it?

Tonight I returned from a whirlwind trip to Boston where I utilized the form of transportation known as "the bus." Now as you can imagine I normally don't lower myself to such paltry forms of transportation. However, Saturday morning, there was some sort of malfunction at the South Street helipad and my armored SUV was in the shop (evidently the fluxcapacator was broken --I don't really know. I'm not automotively savvy and it all sounded terribly complicated). Luxury transportation just wasn't in the cards for me.

As I result I was forced to schlep on down to Port Authority and ride what I have come to understand is called "a bus." Now my only experience with buses to the best of recollections, is youthful glimpses of a large yellow tank and flashing memories of severe beatings / wedgies. My therapist has informed me that my lack of clarity is what is known as traumatic stress repression. ..but I digress.

Upon my arrival at Port Authority I was really impressed by what can only be described as "local color." Growing up in the heartland, I always valued the importance of folksy charm; the 'street cred' garnered by blending in and assimilating to the local culture and mores. As I approached the door I encountered a man named Big Bill, who I would later learn was on heroin, moving in slow motion. With the best of intentions, I tried to communicate with him on his level in the only way I knew how: I began doing 'the robot.' When this met only with grunts and more shakily fluid moments from my friend, I decided I needed a change of tactics. So I began my polished Marcel Marceau routine beginning with the one where I'm trapped in an invisible box. It was at this time that I was shanked.

When the shiv was removed and the bleeding stopped I proceeded to the gate. Luckily, my secretary, Helen, had printed up what is called an e-ticket. Evidently, you can make a variety of purchases from oversized Michael Kors belts to bus tickets on what Helen referred to as the World Wide Web. "I must check into that when I get back from Boston." I resolved.

Upon boarding the bus, I knew that this would be an unacceptable. For starters? The decor. The threadbare gray acrylic upholstering was simply unacceptable. As many of you are probably aware, I don't allow any material to touch my skin that wasn't attained from the slaughter of a small, cute, cuddly and well-pelted animal. Simply unacceptable. In an effort to rectify the situation I pressed the stewardess call button. However, when I did this, all I got was a severe facefull of dank, recycled air. "How embarrassing," I thought to myself and pressed the other button. This turned on what I would assume was the call light. After 15 minutes standing in the center of the aisle an obese woman coarsely bellowed, "Honey, get your fucking candy ass out of the aisle." I thought it best to comply.

When I sat down in my seat, I was pleased to find a somewhat attractive girl wearing an oversized North Face jacket, Uggs and Gucci sunglasses. "Finally, someone normal." I produced my ice gel mask from my bag and geared up for what I was sure would be a relaxing trek with Real America. Despite these high hopes, as soon as the bus rolled out my seatmate began talking on her phone. No-not talking, shouting on her cell phone. Well, I threw down my ice mask down I my lap in obvious disapproval and simply glared at her. My disapproval did not register. I then began clicking my tongue and sighing deeply. Still no reply. It only seemed to encourage her. So then I did what any good traveler would do, I opened my hand and sharply rapped her on the forehead with the tips of my pointer, middle, ring and pinky fingers. "What the he-" I slapped her on the forehead again. "I'm going to-" Slap. "Who the fu-" Slap.

This went on for about 10 minutes, but you know, ultimately I think I conditioned her not to talk so loud. Also, by the time we got to Worcester we had a good laugh about it. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I had heard that edited versions of movies usually appear on these "bus trips." Despite these rumors, I saw no visible TVs. "They probably flip down like they do in my Suburban," I reasoned. About (2) hours into the trip I decided I needed to inquire with the driver as to the status of the movie. Not just for me, but for the bus at large.

"When will the movie start?" I asked

"Do you see any fucking TV's?" He replied

"Well no, but I thought they might flip down, you know?"

"Are you retarded?" He retorted.

No movies, eh? I felt it was my responsibility to entertain the bus. I mean I did have a BFA in musical theatre didn't I? "Lot 665," I began. "A papier mache musical box in the shape of a barrel organ, attached the figure of a monkey in Persian clothes play the cymbals. This item discovered in the vaults of the theatre still in working order. Shown here."

"What the hell are you talking about?" One of the passengers pointedly inquired.

"Well, you see there isn't a movie on this bus, so I figured I would act out The Phantom of the Opera for you. What don't you like book scenes?"

I decided that I should skip to the the meat of the show and began singing a stirring rendition of Music of the Night. It was at this time that I was shanked again.

Luckily, it was just in the leg and the bleeding stopped pretty quickly. While my assailant said, "if you sing one more note, I'll cut your throat," I think it was all in good fun. Another passenger even commented that this was the best bus entertainment she's ever seen. And if nothing else I can definitely take that away from this otherwise unfortunate encounter.

Into the third hour of the trip, my coffee caught up with me and I needed to take advantage of the on-board facilities. Upon entering the bathroom my nostrils were filled with the pungent scents. Instantly my mind was overwhelmed with sense memory. Where did I know this smell? "It must be that sour cheese factory we toured in Northern France." After finishing my business, I went for the paper towels only to find that there was none to be had. This would never happen on my Jetstream. To remedy this unfortunate situation, I used the hair of women seated in the rows proceeding my own. Boy, were they pissed, but my hands were both dried and exfoliated. Who can argue with that?

We were into the final half hour of the trip when a "gentleman" seated next to me began began hacking coughing. Now, if there is one thing I hate, it is hacking coughing. If there's another thing I hate it is hacking coughing anywhere in my airspace. I tried to just let it slide. The trip was almost over, but the hacking just grew more intense. I couldn't let this go on any further. Again, not just for myself, but for the bus as a whole. We couldn't escape his wet coughing. Something needed to be done.

"He's using biological weapons to kill us all!" I began screaming.

Well, everyone freaked and started a stampede.

When the FBI arrived, I made best efforts to explain how much I hated hacking coughing, but this was a tough crowd. So now I'm facing federal criminal charges or something. I don't really know, again, it all sounds terribly complex.

After the massive consumption vicadin and lithium for my assorted beatings, I just rolled out of my pill-induced coma to share these important lesson that you, my public, can take away from this experience:

1.) Never confuse a heroin addict with a mime.
2.) The World Wide Web is the wave of the future "log on and get surfing"
3.) Never underestimate the power of a good forehead slap.
4.) Shanking is no joke
5.) Above all never, never, never ride "the bus"

I trust this is helpful. Happy travels.

-PG

Sunday, December 03, 2006

SPECIAL REPORT: A Holiday Tourist Pictorial

A lot of you are probably wondering, "Patrick, why are you posed next to those trash cans outside your apartment?" Well, to put it quite simply, those are the lengths I am willing to go to in order to bring you hard-hitting news.

Long inspired by the exploits of Anderson Cooper, I realized that I had become a mere passenger in a crappy carpool on the information superhighway. Didn't I have something to contribute? Yes, yes I did, but what could that thing be? What unique perspective could I bring to my blog readers and the world-at-large?

"I had always wanted to create a 12-month calendar featuring pictures of tourists taking pictures," I thought to myself. And from this reflection, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, gave way to a new era of photo journalism. " What if I were to take pictures of tourists taking pictures set against a manic, Manhattan holiday backdrop?" --and eureka an idea was born!

Leaping out of bed at 2:30pm on a Sunday morning, I reheated some coffee, picked my jeans up off the floor, put on my CNN t-shirt (for inspiration), and grabbed my digital camera. This was a story that needed to be told. I knocked on the door of my roomate / Girl Friday, Joey, and asked him if he wanted to join me in my expedition into the thick of the concrete jungle.

"What do I need to bring?" he inquired.

"Just a good eye." I responded and we took to the streets.

****

The following photos outline our exploits. In an effort to capture the tourist in its natural habitat, I worked to secure these images clandestinely. The challenge of this assignment was to take pictures factoring in (2) requirements:

1.) The pictures must include tourists.

2.) There must be a camera in every picture.

For the purposes of clarity, I have titled these photos. Where appropriate, I have also included brief analysis. For some of them I have not. They don't require it. As you view these photos you'll see them, as I did, in real time --first in Times Square and then on to Rockefeller Center.

Without any further adieu, I present SPECIAL REPORT: A Holiday Tourist Pictorial.

BLURRY CONFUSED DRIFTER
ANALYSIS: Not Neccessary



THE MEN WHO TAKE UP THE MANTLE THAT 'SEXY NEVER LEFT'
ANALYSIS: In late 2006, Justin Timberlake issued the boastful statement that he was "bringing sexy back." Public outrage and cultural schisms formed across the United States as tens of thousands of people proclaimed that they had brought sexy back several years prior. Meanwhile, another sect argued that sexy had, "never left." The men depicted here represent the latter. As pictured here, they offer a formidable counterclaim to Mr. Timberlake's assertions.



NEW YORK IS NOISY
ANALYSIS: Initially this effort reflected my earliest foray into 'Gotcha' journalism. The woman depicted in this photo was wearing white pants after Labor Day, in clear violation of established New York City ordinances. However, upon secondary analysis, the child at her side offered up the most poignant argument, "New York is noisy." "Huh," I thought to myself. "Out of the mouths of babes."



YES, VIRGINIA, SOMETIMES BAD DYE JOBS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE
ANALYSIS: Not Neccessary



MY TUMMY IS OWIE: DIGESTION & CHRISTMAS
ANALYSIS: The holidays can definitely be difficult times for people. Whether dealing with loss, reflecting on past relationships, or suffering indigestion --this time of year can take a physical toll. These physical implications, as shown here, can be reflected in the inablility to smile, poor grooming and overall lack of photogeneticity.



DORA - COMMERCIAL TEMPTRESS
ANALYSIS: Some questions to consider while viewing this photo--
1.) Why is no one posing with Dora?
2.) Why is there a 2" hole at Dora's mouth?
3.) Why isn't Dora wearing a shirt?
4.) What is in that guy's blue bag?



BOMBSHELLS WITH SECURITY GUARD or ART HAPPENS EVERYWHERE
ANALYSIS: As a photo journalist, this photo warms the cockles of my heart. The guard pictured here took time out of his busy day to photograph these smokin' hot Southern mommies who were trying to get him to come back with them to their hotel. Everyone in New York is out to screw you? Ha! I think this guard renders that argument impotent.

****

To all of you out there in blogland, I hope this piece encouraged you to look inside yourselves and take a long hard look at Christmas, tourism, children's programming, excessive hair product consumption, the importance of attractive people in photos, Pepto Bismol, homeland security issues, the joy of string cheese, elaborate holiday lighting displays, Broadway musicals, hitchhikers, and true love. I know I did.

To those of you who appeared in this pictorial. Please don't sue me.

Reporting from New York, this is Patrick Garrigan. Good night.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Yes, I really did take these pictures. ..and yes, I am an idiot.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Give Thanks

During the season of Thanksgiving, we are encouraged to celebrate the many gifts that life has afforded us. For the past few months, you have each been blessed with the opportunity to read my blog, and in doing so you have learned a little something about yourselves- or at the very least, me. So, I just want to take this moment to say, "You're Welcome."

Till Next Week, do something nice for someone else...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Undergraduate Curriculum


As I enter the obligatory quarter-life crisis, I take steps to weigh the possibility of pursuing a graduate education. Even as undergraduate student loan creditors fire off strongly worded letters, I start to consider the pros and cons of grad school, and its potential impact on the future of my life. While I delve into this investigation, I can't help but remember being back in this position as a senior in high school.

At this point in my life almost ten years ago the choice was simple. "My name is Patrick, and I want to dance, Dance! DANCE!" As a result, I found myself at Syracuse University pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I hold a BFA in Musical Theatre. Now, the importance, validity and usefulness of a degree of this nature is certainly debatable. However, in all fairness the same could be said for a degree in anthropology. That isn't really the point. The point is, "Who the hell knows what they want to do with their life when they are 18 years old?"

Most people, upon graduation from high school, are not mature enough to enter the world. College works to create a sort of half way house to bridge the gap between high school and the real world. It isn't necessarily the lessons learned in the classroom as much as it is the lessons in social growth that shape these students. With that in mind, I feel it is my responsibility as a concerned cultural contributor to create my own undergraduate curriculum to mold well-adjusted, savvy, people who don't suck: our leaders of tomorrow.



GARRIGAN COLLEGE'S
Bachelor of Sciences (BS) in Interpersonal Relationships and How Not to Totally Mess Up Your Life

PROGRAM OVERVIEW:
The goal of this interdisciplinary program is to create well-adjusted, savvy people who don't suck. The curriculum is composed of (6) requirements, each worth (3) credits. In this program students are versed in general trivia, interpersonal relationships, alcohol awareness, C.Y.A., creditor avoidance tactics, and general grooming. All the necessary skills to 'not totally mess up your life!' Sound good? Let's take a closer look at these classes and our esteemed faculty!


BS 205 "Merda taurorum animas conturbit"
Assistant Professor Bob Ringwald
3 credits

"Bullshit Baffles Brains" is the school of thought behind this thrilling class! Prof. Ringwald, a pioneer in his field, will teach you a little bit about everything, so that you can carry on bullshit conversations with people you meet in your everyday life. Don't worry about long hours studying, the core value of this class is that you only really need to know a little bit about a lot of things to hold long, seemingly intelligent conversations. "Riffing," repeating back to people what they have just said in different words and thoughtful nodding are all skills our alumni have been able to take into the workforce.


BS 220 Romance Dynamics
Professor Cookie Ramone
3 credits

This course enlightens students as to the ups and downs of romantic relationships. Students learn vital lessons such as: when is the right time to say 'I love you,' how to break up with someone without them stalking you, and many more valuable tools to help our students grow in the the lessons de l'amour. Cookie Ramone, THE original Latin lover and reason d'etre for the term 'coyote ugly,' guides students through this tumultuous time with her unique hands-on approach.


BS 299 Alcohol and You
Adjunct Professor Chas "Chunks" O'Reilly
3 credits

For many students, college is a time of independence. A chance to party and live it up. We at the Garrigan College feel that it is our duty to educate our students not only on the dangers of alcohol, but also how to attain and maintain a proper buzz in order to get the most out of your party-going experience. World renowned expert, "Chunks" O'Reilly draws from his extensive experience and brings his passion to share these experiences into the classroom. Class topics include: What to Do When You Get the Spins, Gatorade and Popeyes Chicken: How I Cured My Hangover, and Gettin' Rid of that Puke Smell, to name a few.


BS 002 Covering Your Ass*
Assistant Professor Carl Bucksworth
3 credits

"Eh, it's not my fault!" From day one, Professor Bucksworth instills this, his mantra, in his students. "Hey, a lot of messed up shit happens out there in the business world, don't get caught with your pants down," Bucksworth confides. "If I can help one poor dumb bastard not get fired for being stupid, then I'm going to sleep more soundly after I drive my Maserati home, make love to my smokin' hot wife, and curl up under my comforter made of baby seal pelts," he continues. As a former WorldCom / Tyco / Adelphia / Westar executive Professor Bucksworth brings real world experience to covering your ass.

*Additional Class Fee: $1,500 (payable to Raul Manuel c/o Grand Cayman Investments)

NO PHOTO AVAILABLE
BS 357 Tactical Creditor Avoidance Certificate
Professor James Doe
3 credits

In the spirit of providing our students with the latest in applicable educational tools, the Garrigan College is proud to offer its Tactical Creditor Avoidance Certification for the Fall 2007 semester. This certification program gives students the tools they need to avoid student loan creditors and assorted collection agencies. In an ever changing economy, it is important to instill in our students evasive, passive-aggressive techniques to avoid these ruthless hunters. Techniques such as using an answering service as your primary telephone or paying your mailman to throw away collection mail, start our students off on the right foot and free up valuable time and money that can be applied towards going out or buying a nice pair of shoes.


BS 280 Looking Fly: A Historical Textile Retrospective and its Socio-Economic-Political Implications on American Fashion in the 21st Century
Dr. Clipz Jeffrey
3 credits

Hailed by the New York Times as "one of the truly great fashionistas of this or any generation," Dr. Jeffrey combats clothing apathy, as displayed nationwide with pajama-bottom-sporting college students, by outlining the great strides America has made in overcoming European fashion dominance in what he refers to as "The Coldest War." Students are challenged to face the age old question, "Do the clothes REALLY make the man? -and if so, should that man be wearing a cotton / poly blend?"



As always, I seek to become part of the solution as opposed to participating in the problem. I only hope that this curriculum can be implemented to cure the undergraduate education crisis in our country. With this in mind, I'm starting a foundation to fund this plan for higher education. If you are interested in financially pitching in, please e-mail me at omcgarrigan@hotmail.com and make your checks payable to our treasurer, C. Ash. Class dismissed.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Great Potential

"Potential is a promise yet to be delivered."
-R.S. Hudson

This has been such an incredible week: the Democrats take the House, Nancy Pelosi positioned to become the first female Speaker of the House, Rumsfield resigns his post, the Democrats take the Senate with Jim Webb's Virginia victory, and most importantly Brittany files for divorce from K-Fed. Yes, quite a week, indeed.

After this week the overwhelming urge to gloat is more than I can suppress. In 2000, when Bush first won his initial victory, my response was a passive, "that sucks." In 2004, when Bush was reelected my response was more along the lines of, "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!!" ...or something to that effect. In all seriousness, I have never felt more disenfranchised from this country than this period from 2004 to, well, Wednesday. What a difference a day makes.

To all of you hypocrites, hawks, crooks, moral crusaders, bigots, and traitors I say, good riddance. To the people of America I say from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for not being distracted. Thank you for paying attention. Thank you for not letting social differences keep you from the task at hand. Thank you for listening, reading, researching, and most of all, voting. I am so proud of you all.

Under Republican rule the poor American people have had to suffer through scandals [see Mark Foley, Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, Gov. Bob Taft, etc.] and mishandlings [see Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan]. For the longest time I thought to myself how much worse do things have to get before people wise up?

Well, to my great pleasure the the answer to that question was November 7, 2006. Democrats finally stepped up and took a page out of the Republican playbook. The strategy is quite simple. Carefully groom your candidates, keep them funded, supported and on message. The last is probably the most important strategy in this whole election. The Democrats did an EXCELLENT job of making this election a referendum on Iraq. Not letting Republicans hide from the egregious mistakes of this war, and making brilliantly clear the costs in REAL human lives and taxpayer dollars. Keeping this issue in play and not letting Republicans fall back on wedge issues such as gay rights, abortion, stem cell research and so on; worked to provoke an electorate that would no longer settle for "stay the course."

Now in light of my Monday morning quarterbacking, there is a bigger issue at hand. The issue of Democratic Potential.

One of my professors in college once said to my conservatory acting class, "You're all talented. You wouldn't be here if you weren't. You all have great potential. However, potential is a promise yet to be delivered. It is your job to deliver on that promise." -The moment was burned in my memory. I remember what I was wearing, what room I was in, what my shirt smelled like. Why? The deep emotion attached to that statement. A promise yet to be delivered. What incredible responsibility that statement held for me. It is this responsibility, that I wish to impart to our next phase of political history.

The Democrats have great potential. My hope is that they will deliver on that promise: The following are my personal suggestion as to where to direct that potential.

1.) To seek out a new path for our involvement in Iraq

2.) To re-evaluate the damage our actions have had on our National Security, and take immediate actions to rectify it.

3.) Work across party lines to create a real, actionable, fair and prudent immigration reform

4.) Raise the minimum wage

5.) Take up the recommendations made by John McCain regarding our interrogation tactics (there should be no gray area with regards to torture)

6.) Permanently protect social security from privatization

7.) Federally fund and regulate reponsible stem cell research. There is no reason that people should suffer for when a cure could be on the horizon.

8.) Supply the funds to rebuild New Orleans infrastructure. The destruction and insufficient response are a national embarrassment.

9.) Encourage and cultivate working in a bipartisan way. There are far more things that bring us together than separate us.

10.) Lobbying reform. Create a zero-tolerance structure and clear cut rules for appropriate relationships.

These are my hopes for this new era. A wishlist of sorts. I think the Democrats have the a great deal to offer and incredible things that they can achieve. It is my sincere prayer to all of our elected body that they will take on these promises, whatever they can latch on to, and deliver to us. We deserve so much better than what we have now.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

AXIOMS

As I have shared in past postings, I have opinions about just about everything. Throughout my opining I have come up with a few constants. A few axioms, if you will:



Axiom 1 - THE HOT GIRL COMPLEX
The axiom of the hot girl complex contends that any [hot] girl who is aware of her own hotness becomes, through this self-awareness, "not hot" or "repellent."

This axiom was initially created during my first trip out to LA. Despite these seemingly superficial beginnings, the hot girl complex has gone on to become a metaphor for those expressing this over-confidence in intellect, talent or piousness.

Axiom 2 - THE LAW OF HUMOR and AGING
This law dictates that if you do everything with a certain degree of mirth, it will keep you young.

In my current marketing position, I come in contact with a lot of very serious people. Most of whom are only in their late twenties or early thirties. A majority of these twenty and thirty-somethings are so tense and boring that you would guess them to be ten years senior their actual age. Then there are others that I have met aged in their 50s and beyond, who are so vivacious and full of joie de vie, that you would guess them to be that same ten years shy of their birthday. Also, I think it is scientific, and stuff....


Axiom 3 - THE RULE OF THE BLUETOOTH
The axiom of the rule of the Bluetooth states that if you have a Bluetooth headset for your cell phone and you keep said headset on your ear in the off chance you MIGHT get a call, you are by default, a douchebag.

This rule has come to pass through extensive in-the-field testing. Please note that this is not a knock against persons with this technology. I know many people who are extremely responsible in their headset use, putting it on as needed.

Of the people who DO keep them on, there seem to be a few consistent traits:
1.) If / When they do finally get a call, they speak too loudly and without and consideration for those around them

2.) Constantly fiddle with their phones, earpiece, or crotches (in an obvious display of overcompensation)

3.) Usually wear poorly fitting suits

Axiom 4 - PEOPLE, STUPID PEOPLE
The root of this axiom reflects the ideal that, "People are generally stupid, but people are generally good."

This rule comes out of my own personal experiences, hard historical evidence, and a flair for paradox. When I look back on choices that I have made, it is fair to say that not only have a I made stupid choices, but I have made them on a semi-consistent basis. The flip side of this is that despite these consistently poor choices, in most cases they were made with the only the best intentions.


Now, of course their are more than (4) axioms, but I don't want to overwhelm you. I hope you have found the listed axioms helpful. Basically, I think the thing we can all take away from this is, Tony Robbins ain't got shit on me. Have an enlightened day.

POLITICAL UPDATE:
DON'T FORGET TO VOTE [DEMOCRATIC] ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2006!










HALLOWEEN COSTUME UPDATE:
Text Vote Tally:
WINNER - L. Ron Hubbard (7 Votes)
Star Jones Skin Suit (3 Votes)
Mexican / US Border Fence (2 Votes)

Thanks to all who participated!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Crunch Time


Anxiety builds in me as the week comes to a close. In 48 hours, Halloween is upon us. Now for as long as I can remember Halloween has been one of my favorite holidays. What can compare with taking one day to get dressed up like an idiot and run around town? Nothing. Ever since I donned my first Darth Vader helmet, I have been obsessed with Halloween.

Since moving to New York, it has been thrilling to be surrounded by people who are equally excited by this holiday season. However, as with everything else in my life, I have to turn this into a competition. I feel the need to elevate my costumes to a higher level of excellence. In light of this, it is important to take a few moments to brainstorm some kick ass costumes, weigh their pros & cons and come to a decision on an exceptional costume.

COSTUME
WINNER
L. Ron Hubbard


This costume would reflect the likeness of philosopher and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. I fancy myself to a modern day philosopher of sorts, so maybe this might be just the costume I've been seeking.

PROS: Costume may finally allow me access to Tom Cruise's House 'O Scientology: "We Know Psychiatry!" This costume would also grant me control of an army of NYC street teams dispatched to sell my books, give crappy stress tests, and distribute postcards / inspiration! Imagine the Power!!!

CONS: Constantly looking constipated might prove to be a greater challenge than I had initially anticipated. Some people are meant to wear an ascot, I fear I might not be one of them.


COSTUME
US / Mexican Border Security Fence


This topical costume has captured the imagination of people ranging from "The Minutemen" to our own very own President (and if he likes it, its gotta be good). The design of this costume would reflect the recently approved 700 foot fence separating the US from Mexico.

PROS: This is one very flashy costume. Metallic chainlink has always been a chic Manhattan staple. This costume is also guaranteed to attract a lot of attention.

CONS: The costume is ultimately racist, heavy and expensive. While it will make people warm and fuzzy, ultimately won't win any awards. People tunneling under me, also a major downfall.


COSTUME
Star Jones Skin Suit


Now in this picture you will see that Star Jones lost a lot of weight in a very short amount of time. Which begs the simple question, where did all the skin go? It is my belief that somewhere, perhaps even here in the New York area, there is a Star Jones skin suit. If I could track down said suit, I think it would make for a truly unique costume.

PROS: Two words: Skin Suit.

CONS: Lack of conviction on trivial issues would probably reveal me as a fraud. Strong olfactory senses may also play a part in an ultimately unsuccessful costume.


So these are the choices. Much like Ryan Seacrest, I turn it over to you the voters of America. Text your vote to 917.549.XXXX.

FOR L. RON HUBBARD - Text HUBBARD
FOR US/MEXICAN FENCE - Text FENCE
FOR STAR JONES SKIN SUIT - Text SKIN SUIT

The winning costume will be announced next Sunday. It's up to you to you, America, choose wisely.

Also, if you have any other suggestions PLEASE let me know. It is crunch time after all.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Jetsetter: Week in Review





As most are probably aware, people come from far and wide to seek wisdom, inspiration and guidance from me. I become a guru of sorts. I don't know, it just happens to me. In the process, a lot of disciples inquire as to what a day in the life of me is like. I simply chuckle to myself and say, "oh, you..." However, demand has been so great that I have been persuaded to open myself to the masses. Now obviously, I don't have time to recant my week to you, I'm far too busy. In light of this, I have authorized my secretary, Helen, to release this week's itinerary to you, my public. I hope this gives you a sense of the man behind the myth. Enjoy.

MONDAY - 16 OCTOBER 2006

8:30am - Coffee: Black
9:00am - Into West 45th Street offices, return e-mails, exchange pleasantries
11:30am - Chauffeur arrives to shuttle to famed Lucille Lortel Theatre
1:00pm - Inform cast and producers how the other concert members can best highlight Patrick.
5:00pm - Dinner at lauded West Village restaurant, 'The Ball Gag & Whip'
5:15pm - Patrick deems the cuisine too chewy. He opts for McDonald's 10 piece meal w/ hot mustard sauce
7:30pm - Half hour call for Lortel performance. Remind fellow cast members that Patrick has been known to "cut a bitch" for upstaging him.
9:30pm - Patrick releases the following picture to NY Press Corps.

10:30pm - Post-show party. Patrick disappointed to find that Liza is not in attendance-begins to drink heavily.
11:30pm - A drunken, weeping Patrick tells unsuspecting party guest that he loves her and could make an excellent Appalachian husband.
12:00am - Police called. Patrick securely escorted out of establishment through kitchen exit.
1:00am - End of Day

TUESDAY - 17 OCTOBER 2006

8:30am - First alarm.
9:00am - Second alarm.
10:00am - Final alarm.
12:00pm - Patrick releases statement, "Due to fatigue and lack of interest, Mr. Garrigan will not face the day."
12:00pm-7:00pm - Patrick does not face day.
7:30pm - Patrick enjoys a peanut butter sandwich and water bottle with lime EmergenC.
7:45pm - Patrick complains that water bottle mouth piece "smells like ass."
8:00pm - Patrick falls asleep while clipping toenails.
8:15pm - End of Day

WEDNESDAY - 18 OCTOBER 2006

5:00am - Coffee: Very Black
5:30am - Patrick showers, informs me that he gave his back hair "the shavin' it was cravin'!"
6:00am - Driver called. Patrick en route to Chelsea Cinemas West to oversee Starburst Media event.
7:00am-9:00am - Starburst Media staffers / production crew very frustrated by the fact that Patrick abrasively asks, "Do you know who I am?!" ...and they don't.
10:00am - Patrick brings corporate team building sketches / skits to a screeching halt when he proclaims that the productions are worse than Dance of the Vampires.
10:15am - Attendees have no idea what he is talking about. Security is called anyway.
10:30am - Rest of afternoon goes off without a hitch. Patrick secretly confides that he hopes his little bit of theatrics make Page 6. They do not.
3:30pm - Patrick dispatched to Pressure NYC to oversee production of evening event.
3:45pm - Patrick makes feeble attempt to become evening's guest DJ. Pressure staff not swayed despite Patrick's disclosure that he was 'the finest DJ the Caledonia Community Center ever done seen.'
6:00pm - Patrick arrives at midtown apartment.
7:30pm - Phones Las Vegas bookies regarding America's Next Top Model pool.
7:45pm - Patrick calls in the fix. "Tonight, AJ's out. Ya dig?"
9:00pm - America's Next Top Model ends.
9:15pm - Patrick draws a bath filled with pennies. Giggles with glee and demands that I refer to him as Scrooge McDuck.
10:00pm - Falls asleep in penny tub.
10:15pm - End of Day.

THURSDAY - 18 OCTOBER 2006

8:30am - Coffee: Sorta Sludgy (2) days old.
9:30am - Arrives at West 45th Street offices
10:30am-5:30pm - Patrick prepares for evening of Mary Poppins and post-show discussion with Thomas Schumacher.
8:00pm - Mary Poppins begins
9:00pm - Intermission. Patrick complains that there is far too much soot in the production and fears that he may have caught "the black lung." Patrick requests ambulance following the show with proper tools to test for said affliction
10:30pm - Show completed.
10:45pm - Test results conclusive. Patrick does not have "the black lung"
10:45pm-11:00pm - Patrick calls estranged friends and confides that his brush with "the black lung" has opened his eyes to how precious friendships are- even friendships with people he had previously referred to as 'douchebags'.
11:30pm - Meeting with T. Schumacher postponed in order to give Patrick proper time to reflect on this ordeal.
12:00am - End of Day.

FRIDAY - 19 OCTOBER 2006

8:30am - Coffee: 9th Ave. Gourmet Deli; Black. Patrick proclaims, "this is the best .65 cent coffee I have ever had." Shakes deli workers hand for uncomfortably long time.
9:30am - Patrick arrives at West 45th Street offices
10:00am - Patrick reschedules Schumacher meeting for later that afternoon.
2:00pm - Schumacher meeting begins.
2:15pm - Meeting goes south when Patrick advises that Tarzan needs to tour because, "those bumpkins in the heartland wouldn't know a piece of crap if it swung out on a vine and threw its dung at them."
2:45pm - Meeting improves when Patrick smiles and says that Mary Poppins filled him with joy; and demands that every show include people tap dancing on the proscenium. He is 100% serious. Disney execs. take it under consideration.
3:30pm - Patrick confirms dinner plans at Nobu.
8:00pm - Reservations at Nobu are mysteriously not found.
8:15pm - Patrick opts for Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burrito & $3.50 margaritas at Blockheads. Patrick dines with friends.
8:30pm - After $10.50 worth of margaritas, Patrick expresses to all at the table that he loves them and hopes that their future babies aren't ugly.
10:30pm - Command performance at 2nd on 2nd in the East Village.
11:00pm - Patrick and Ryan Swearingen 'tear up' Enya's Only Time.
11:30pm - Beating ensues
3:00am - End of Day

SATURDAY - 21 OCTOBER 2006

4:00pm - Patrick rises. No joke.
5:00pm-7:00pm - Patrick does laundry. Hands me a toothbrush and demands that his laundry needs to be Oxi-Fuckin'-Clean.
7:00pm-9:00pm - Patrick cooks sausages in the George Forman grill and serves them over some boil-in-bag rice. Repeatedly makes unfounded comparisons between himself and Mario Batali.
9:00pm-11:00pm - Patrick views documentary about guy who creates electric chairs. Delights in phrases like, "what a SHOCKING line of work."
11:30 - Patrick to bed. End of Day.

SUNDAY - 22 OCTOBER 2006

9:00am - Departs JFK airport for week-long film convention in Orlando.
4:30pm - Arrives at hotel.
5:00pm-1:00am - Cruises around hotel bars dropping his ID around and singing "..it's up to you New York, New Yoooooork! In the hopes that some overly tan girl will be impressed that he took a (2) hour flight.
1:30am - Attempts unsuccessful.
2:00am - Patrick heard crying in room while hotel porn plays in background.
2:30am - End of Day.


I hope this outline of my past week give you a better sense of who I am. What I'm about. What makes me tick. To put it quite succinctly, a great man once said, "I'm kind of a big deal. People know me." How true....

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Hello and Goodbye

Hello Autumn, I'm so glad I found you. This weekend, you walked into my life. Since meeting you my whole world has changed. You have called on the leaves in Central Park to change, the sweaters come out, and with this, we begin our exciting new relationship. Don't tell any of the other seasons, but you are my favorite. There are so many things about you that get me excited.

There's the palpable sensory aspect of you. You are truly enthralling. What can I say? First off, there is your dynamic sense of color! Your oranges, your reds, your deep greens, your grays, your rich blues and purples that paint the sky. You're fashionable without being flashy. Your colors explode to give you a welcoming crispness.

Oh, and with your delicious smells, Autumn, you hypnotize me. You have created one of the few times in New York where I can smell the trees and the air feels like I am the first one to inhale it. Your impact has woken me up and made me aware of the things that surround me. You, Autumn, are the relationship that connects me to the city, the outdoors and the people who inhabit my life. I look forward to the times that we're going to share in the next few months and beyond. I don't want to jump the gun, but Autumn, I think I might love you.

With the entrance of a new relationship we must say goodbye to another.



Goodbye Summer, you skanky ho, I shall not miss you.

Summer, I don't know we just never hit it off. I'm sorry. Really, no, please don't be like that. I promise. It's not you, its me. You're right I shouldn't have started this conversation off that way. Of course, you are incredibly beautiful. Here's the thing. You're just not the one for me.

Ultimately, I find you oppressive. Sure I, like any guy, enjoy getting hot and sweaty with you. It's just that its not appropriate ALL the time. A lot of times, I had places to go and we're together in the subway and you go trying to make me all sweaty- when we both know the only thing that is going to happen is we're going to end up drenched and agitated.

Its just that I need some space. In the time we were together, I never felt I could get away from you. Even when we were enjoying alone time in AC, I could just tell that you were still there. No, its not funny, its called stalking. ..and its not cool.

Furthermore, you' re an expensive date. In the times we were together I had to pay exorbitant amounts to brand names like ConEd, Westinghouse and Gatorade. Frankly, Summer, you cause me to live outside of my means and I need to be more fiscally responsible. You need to be with a guy who can support you in the lifestyle in which you have become accustomed.

Sure we had good times. Who could ever forget us hanging out in the park eating sushi and making fun of runners. Then there's the game of "where's the thong" that you created, I will never forget that. You bring out wonderful things in people you really do. You deserve to be with someone who shares more of your common interests and I'm not that guy.

Summer, I wish you well. I'm with someone new and I want you to respect that. Please just give me some time with my new girl. Maybe we'll hang out next year or something. Okay?

Goodbye, Summer. Goodbye.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What's With All the Perverts?

Can someone please tell me what is with all the perverts? In the course of a week we have a congressman who engaged in wholly inappropriate communiques with underaged pages and a guy that walks into a one room AMISH school house with a mini arsenal and a tube of KY. I just gotta ask what is with all the perverts?

I mean is it just me or is this just crazy? What the hell is happening?

First you've got Mark Foley (pictured) who engaged in inappropriate e-mails and IMs. I gotta tell you, I've read the transcripts of these IMs and it is just despicable. The congressman has totally violated the public trust and taken advantage of his position simply to get his rocks off. I look forward to him facing serious criminal charges and I wish the same to anyone who knew and/or covered up earlier knowledge of this. That's really all I have to say about that.

Next, this guy walks into a school kicks out everyone but the little girls and shoots up an amish school. As of today, (5) girls have passed away. Why does it come out that he did this? He molested a relative twenty years ago and had dreams that he would do it again.

I really want to know what is happening. I don't ask this rhetorically, I really want to know. Is this symptoms of a larger cultural problem? I tried to think of some funny way to spin this but there isn't anything funny about it. Which really causes me to sincerely ask, "what is with all the perverts?"

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Have a Problem

My name is Patrick Garrigan. ....I have a problem. It took me some time to come to a place in my own consciousness that I could even say it out loud. The past six 'cycles' my Wednesday nights have been monopolized. Whenever Wednesdays approach, my palms get itchy and my throat dry. Nervous ticks have not been out of the range of possibilities when I think about embracing my sweet, sweet joy.

My name is Patrick, and I'm addicted to America's Next Top Model on the new CW11. I know! It hurts me just as much as it hurts you- probably more. However, unlike past addictions [see Snakes on a Plane], this is not simply a passing fancy. Yes, friends, I have followed this brain rot for six cycles and now a new one begins....

Some might ask, "Patrick how could you possibly get sucked into such trivial programming?" Well, as always, I'm glad you asked:



TOP TEN REASONS I LOVE AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL:

10. There is nothing like watching a woman balance "being true to her values (not getting naked) and going after her dream (not getting kicked off the show)."

9. The anticipation of tuning in to find out if the two freakishly RuPaul-looking brothers will show up to teach the girls to "twirl".

8. The non-stop cringing as the girls tell Tyra about every trivial event in their life that might allow them the opportunity to cry on national television.

7. Seriously contemplating the style, structure and presence of each model's walk. Seriously.

6. The hope of an 'ugly duckling turned swan' scenario keeps me coming back for more.

5. I love Twiggy. I want to keep her in my closet, open the door periodically, and make her say pithy British comments.

4. The ubiquitous crying that ensues when the girls get their hair cut. Its just hair, you dumbass, it'll grow back.

3. I like watching people in high heels fall down. It is maliciously delicious.

2. Judging each girl's crappy Covergirl commercial. I mean really...

1. Simply, models.


Yup... just sad. I'm going to get a peanut butter sandwich and a beer. I'll be fine. I'm fine. I don't have a problem. I'm..... fine......

Monday, September 18, 2006

And I Thank You

"My Father thanks you. My Mother thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you.”

When I was about 10 years old my dad sat me down because he said he had an important movie for me to watch. The film? Yankee Doodle Dandy. Some seventeen years later the experience still stands as one of my most formative engagements in American patriotism. The sense of national pride, faith in leadership, and optimism for the future struck me in such a visceral way. This pride in what our country was and hope for what we could become was and is entirely thrilling to me.

These values are so deeply rooted in me that I still get a charge out of hearing the pledge of allegiance or singing the national anthem. Over the years my patriotism has not changed and I doubt it ever will. To me it is one of those constants. However, somewhere between being 10 years old and today America has changed.

At some point, I think around my college years, patriotism and its symbols became a punch line. It became some sort of archaic idolatry that asks to be mocked for its dated values. The more I think about it and talk about it, the more I feel like an outsider. A square. Yet another example of how “you can take the boy out of Ohio….” and all that. What happened?

Could it be that I live in the epicenter of cynicism? Is it general apathy that the world is going to hell in a hand basket so fuck it? Have ethically corrupt leaders sapped our faith in the direction they lead?

Could be.

To the other extreme is it the politicians and religious leaders who falsely wrap themselves in patriotic rhetoric strictly to meet desired ends? Decking themselves with the proper trappings until ‘Mission Accomplished.’

Whether you are looking to the cynical left or the hypocritical right both of these factions do our country a remarkable disservice.

You may be thinking, “Patrick, why so heavy this week?” Well I’ll tell you. This weekend my brother (of whom I’m very proud) was home from the Air Force. As part of his visit we went to the Intrepid Museum, a docked aircraft carrier located on the west side. It’s an older, antiquated monster of a ship that’s been around since World War II. (...and I’ll tell you just from this visit it easily makes its way into my top 10 list of New York favorites.)

One of the installations was a magnificent multimedia exhibit entitled A Day of Darkness, A Day of Light. This 13 minute featurette chronicled the exploits of the USS Intrepid during its actions against the Japanese in WWII. At one point in the presentation, a principle character informs us that if we had been standing where we are today in April of 1944 would find ourselves surrounded by blazing fires and the dead bodies of 69 servicemen – the result of two kamikaze direct hits.

For some reason today I was open and ready to hear this message. Sixty-nine people died where I was standing. Sixty-nine people would never be granted the opportunity to bring their grandchildren to the museum to share their experience. The reason that these people will never have this chance is because they chose to serve their country in a truly remarkable, selfless act.

Do you love this country enough to die for it? It is an extremely weighty and complex question. However, it is important to stop and think about it because it is a choice that others HAVE made, in the sincere hopes that most wouldn’t have to answer the question. It is these "others" who have made sacrifices so that we could deliver on our country's potential.

Where do we go from here? What are the next steps? How do we go about rectifying what has become a cultural problem? It is not an easy task, but it is one that is entirely possible:

1. RESPECT – The first steps begin, as they often do, on a grassroots level. Holding onto the real values of America and those who fought on its battlefields. Remembering those who served in Amierica’s diplomatic, political, cultural, social, civil or combat struggles. Not only to embrace their service, but perpetuate their personification of real American values.

2. HUMILITY / RESPONSIBILITY – Using self-restraint and prudence when referring to “American values” and patriotism. Commentators, such as Sean Hannity, have abused the phrase “Good Americans” to the point that he has dulled its meaning. Lies, hyperbole, and irony are exceptionally punitive to true reflections of Americanism.

3. ACCOUNTABILITY – It is only when someone steps up and says, “this isn’t right,” do things really change. Through the populous holding the media, politicians, religious leaders, and other influencers accountable for their comments a real shift in the American psyche take place.

In the meantime, while there is so much that worries me about the current direction of the country, I am exceptionally hopeful. There are egregious missteps in the current handling of Iraq and the War on Terror, and yet I am optimistic about our future. We have a long-standing history of reinvention and I believe that the US is due for yet another. It is so important to remember where we came from; to remember the sacrifices and mistakes that brought us to the place we are today. On a more immediate basis, it is important that we cherish and remember those who currently serve our country. So in the words of George M. Cohan, “My Father thanks you. My Mother thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you.”

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was really influenced this week by a commentary by Keith Olbermann remembering 9/11. To me it was truly profound. I encourage you to check out the following clip.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I Want To Experience New Things

So after spending the past few years out of the country serving in the military my baby brother, Brian, is making his triumphant return to New York City. I thought to myself, I don't want to give my lil' brother just your average Empire State Building / Statue of Liberty experience. I thought I might try to create unique experiences that he can walk away with some real lasting memories of his visit. I took these intentions to the web and was excited to find some brochures that just might be what I'm looking for.

Brian has always been really outdoorsy. With this in mind, I really wanted to do something where he could get outside and enjoy the majesty of New York's finer things while still being physically engaged. I think I found the perfect fit:



DEPTH: Dirty Dave's DUMPSTER DIVING TOURS:
"Do you love international culinary delights, but don't have a 5 star budget? Not a problem with DEPTH: Dumpster Diving Tours! New York City boasts some of the world's finest cuisine and Dirty Dave thinks you should be able to taste it all. Dirty Dave brings his experience as an inventory manager (scavenger) and sommelier (wino) to bring you the finest the city has to offer. These 3 hour tours will take you inside the dumpsters of NYC's finest establishments. Sick bag and latex gloves included in tour price. Book now tours might fill up."

Recently, Brian told me, "Patrick I've grown up and I want to experience new things." About a year ago, Brian and I got matching tattoos. That really got me thinking, maybe we should take it to the next level:

KIM SOON'S "JUST PRACTICIN" PIERCING SALON:
"Kim Soon draws from her exhaustive 4 months at the Palisades Mall's Piercing Pagoda to bring New York the latest in piercing technology. Kim describes her artistry poetically and yet succinctly, "If you have skin. I put hole in it." Kim takes the fact that she's "just practicin" and passes the savings on to you!"

With all these activities going on, it wasn't long before I realized this is going to start to cost a lot! How could I afford to do all these fun things? Was there some way that Brian and I could score some cash and in turn have another fun activity? I all but gave up on the idea when I stumbled on this ad in the Hell's Kitchen Chronicle:



YA ONLY NEED ONE!
"When it comes to black market kidneys our name says it all! It isn't just a kidney removal, it's an adventure! TOP DOLLAR PAID CASH!! Complimentary shuttles to St. Vincent's available upon request."

Yeah, I think it is pretty fair to say it is going to be a great visit. Something, you know, memorable.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Week of Happenings

It has been a busy week! As per usual I am happiest when I am busy and kept out of trouble this week has been no different. I have been involved in a lot of exciting projects. To the most obvious the beginning of this new blog! Let's see what else is shaking....



On the performance front there is UNSUG 2006 a benefit for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS. For more information go to www.fantasticfeats.com








On the producing front, Catharsis Dance Group, of which I am managing director, continues to lay the ground work of what looks to be a 2007 premiere. More updates to come shortly! In the meantime, check out www.catharsisdancegroup.com.



Finally, the germ has been planted for what I hope will grow to be an evening of entirely inappropriate entertainment from your friend and mine, Rob Rokicki.

Life has been pretty good, being kept supa busy and I dig that. How much do I dig it? So much that I spell supa with an 'a'. Ya, that much. I've got this spunky feeling where I can't sit still and I can't stop smiling. Its a good place to be. But fear not cynical readers I'll be back next week with stories of mirth and sarcasm. Wait for it.... wait for it.... yeah, the moneyshot is coming!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A New Era

Dear Blog Reader,

This shall be the first posting on my new blog. A lot of hopes and dreams are riding on the success of this blog. "Will it be so successful from ad revenues that I can finally buy that Shetland pony I've had my eye on?' I ask myself. Only time will tell, but thanks for checking out the new setup.

I look to resume Sunday postings, so please check back soon. In the meantime, if you could look for stables for my pony I would really appreciate it!

Thanks,
Patrick

Farewell Friendster Blog, We Barely Knew Ye.

Well, I took up writing this little friendster blog as an exercise in improving my writing skills and creativity. A virtual independent study of sorts. My efforts have not been well received by family and friends (thanks Lisa and other friends who complained about e-mail alerts) Due to popular demand, this will be the end of my friendster blogging exploits. However, for those who read these blog entries and found them midly entertaining, fear not. I'm setting up a new account on blogspot. Here's the info:

www.greatness-with-gumption.blogger.com or something like that.

As soon as I figure out how the damn thing works I'll be back to my antics. That is all.

FRIENDSTER BLOG - GREATNESS THROUGH GARRIGAN GUMPTION
R.I.P.
JULY 23, 2006

"We barely knew ye...."

"Well Back in My Day...."

When I turned 27, yes, 27, it suddenly occurred to me that I was getting old. With a realization like this comes a certain degree of sadness to be sure. One starts to feel that life is flying by, the good years are past and that you may as well surrender to being an old man. I have already adopted a lot of the habits of old men: scratching my ass with wild abandon and telling those, "oh no, he's not really going to tell that cheesy joke and laugh at it himself, is he?"-style anecdotes. Why not go whole hog?

For further exploration, let's examine this new frame of aged thought through the prism of my recent trip to:
The_oc_logo

This area has become the epicenter of all things young and hip. Which I have decided I am neither. Now, I've been to the LA area a few times and I don't like it. In fact, I hate it. When I found out that I had to go for work I wasn't too excited. However, I was going for business meetings- because that's what grown up men do. So I comply.

When flying your first thought upon boarding is, "please dear God, just don't sit me next to a fat person." It is unfortunate that you think that and as much as you are disappointed in your own bias, your need for self-preservation wins out as you walk with anticipation of what awaits you. This old man arrives at 22E to find that he is in the center of the row sandwiched between a 40-something male unfortunately decked out in skin-tight Under Armour apparel and a drowsy Asian octogenarian. Great.

Several minutes into the flight:
To my right Mr. Sunday Night Football stretches out, taking the arm rests- his creepily long arm hair brustling against mine as he takes deep wheezy breaths. And to my left? My fellow elderly friend has opted to use my shoulder as a pillow. Well this kermudgeon is none too pleased. Luckily, following doctors orders, I had started my day with a large helping of yogurt. Did I mention, I'm lactose intolerent? I probably should have. Never was I so happy to be afflicted with such a condition. I giggle with glee as I repeatedly lean to my right and left releasing my own brand of bitingly stinky gifts to my row mates. Some things do get better with age.

I finally get my rental car, wouldn't you know it bumper to bumper traffic. "Damn yuppies with their SUV's! Back in my day..... aw, nevermind." 2 HOURS later, I arrive at the hotel.

I swing the door open to my room, my large bed looks so comfy. I contemplate renting a porn through my in-room entertainment system, but decide I'm too sleepy. I would never reach the desired effect anyway. I turn on the tube, and flop on my bed. Why am I so tired? Early departure time? Crappy food? Jet lag? -"Just the way it is when you're old," I reason. I mix myself a generous helping of Metamucil and call it a night.

My meetings go on without incident. I stay fully caffinated and ultimately congratulate myself on professional decorum and the presence of both vigor and vim. When in OC, do as the OC-ians do. I change my clothes and head to the LA Fitness around the corner.

These gyms either by accident or by design have a unique coliseum-style feel to them. The cardio equipment reigns on the 2nd floor encircling the space. It takes all my self control to not stand in the center and scream "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?" But I resist and show myself to the water weights. If I'm going to be the old man in the joint, I decide I'm going to be the one who just doesn't give a fuck anymore.

I look everyone in the eye as I step to the racks to fetch my bitchin' 15 pounders for some curls. Then I stand in front of someone trying to watch themselves in the mirror and grunt - loudly. "Deeeaahhhh! ONE." I shout at full voice, as the other gym rats stare on in wonder. At least I think its wonder. Scared I might pull my Achilles (that was a pun from earlier, see...nevermind.), I decide to wrap it up and get some dinner. They ain't ready for THIS jelly.

Next to my hotel, is this incredibly cool open air shopping plaza called The Block. I have always hated malls, even before becoming old. However, I really had to hand it to the designers of this space. It is incredibly open and inviting. Well designed without being pretentious. I look at the directory to find some soft food and opt for a chain wrap place.

I sit outside and enjoy my 'Californian' wrap, as I watch people stroll by. My stubborn old ways come out once more. THESE KIDS. For starters I have never seen so many kids in my entire life! The concentration and the diversity of age was really remarkable, and awful. The young ones were burgeoning Ad Council spots for childhood obesity. I openly wince as I hear one scream, "I wanna Jamba Juice NOW!" The older ones were equally shocking. Girls with so much make-up on they would make Tammy Faye 'blush' (see what I did there? fuck. nobody gets me.) and the skankiest outfits I have ever seen. That's sayin' something too. I went to school with some real sluts.

I've met my limits and I head back to my hotel to put my teeth in a glass and get some sleep for my morning departure.

As I board the plane, I exhaustedly think back on my weekend and enjoy a delightful article on John McCain. "Now there's a good American," I confess out loud. (..and I really do think that. I'm not being ironic this time.) Boarding time arrives and I drag the tired 'ol bones back onto another plane. As I sit down, I shift in my seat to get comfortable. Most likely, the early onset of hemroids. Finally, I get my in-flight beverage, "Just an orange juice, please." The stewardess walks away.

She reappears a few minutes later with a cup of ice and a full can of concentrated OJ. "Here you go, kiddo." Kiddo!? Does she know who I am? Her circa 1992 bangs would suggest that she does not. Does she know that I am 27? I work to wrap my brain around this encounter, as I look down at my yellow, whimsical JuJu Fruit t-shirt complete with holes and paint stains. I begin to laugh. I'm suddenly a 'kiddo'.

I can't stop laughing. The woman next to me (who is outlining the qualities that make her a good mate-weird) gives me a look. After getting to the airport, I get into a cab and roll down all the windows to feel the air in my face. It just so happens that I get the best driver ever! I have the largest shit-eating-grin on my face as he takes 70mph speeds down the FDR, almost hits/trades expletives with a "real" old pretentious East-sider, and gets me to my apartment is what couldn't have been more than 15 minutes. It was totally kick ass! ...and I like, totally got these great shoes!

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....except mine have red stripes.

DISCLAIMER: I'm sorry that this friendster blog sends out alerts. If I figure out how to stop it from doing that I will. In the meantime, I am sorry.

Summer Thoughts

So it has been quite some time since my last posting of ought five, but believe it or not I've had a lot of thoughts. Some of them include:

DRIP, DRIP, DROP....
One of the things that have to make you laugh or you'll go screaming for the hills - the mysterious drops of water that descend from high above the buildings of New York. Now, I know what you're going to say, "oh Patrick, don't be a dipshit. That is just condensation from air conditioners dropping down on your pretty little head." ....in most cases I would say you are right. As I walk around most neighborhoods, I find myself confident that this drops are just the efforts of hard working A/C trying to make local apartments a cooler place to live. It's the shadier neighborhoods such as the underdeveloped Garment District that have me on pins and needles. One day while walking home, I received on my head what can only be described as at least a watercooler cup's worth of fluid come pouring on my head. Upon receipt of this delivery my first reaction was to touch it and smell it. Fortunately, I concluded that the scent of the fluid was neither bodily waste or toxic refuse. Other than that, I was not able to identify it. I'm not gonna lie, it really put a damper on my day. What was that fluid? Has my use of fluid bothered anyone else in the same way that it has bothered me? There's no resolution to this story, just watch out for that stuff...that's all I'm sayin.

WHY I'M AN ASSHOLE
Well this topic could really go on for sometime and I'm sure that people could contribute their own features. Despite this, I am going to focus on the fact I can't stop quoting Anchorman. Namely, the part of the movie where Mr. Burgandy informs Christina Applegate's character that he is, "kind of a big deal" and that "people know me". For some reason this tickles my fancy to no end and has been implemented into my unique form of verbal OCD where I can't stop saying it. It has made it to the point where upon meeting new people at parties and the like, it is really only a matter of time until I saddle up next to new persons' and inform them with a belch that "I'm kind of a big deal" while friends laugh uncomfortably and attempt to disguise involuntary cringing. I'm seeking help so that I will continue to be invited to functions and salvage my remaining relationships.

IF YOU WERE A PIE WHAT KIND OF PIE WOULD YOU BE? AND WHY?
It's a harder question to answer than you would think. Oh, sure you can shout out any 'ol pie, but its the 'why' that gets me every time.

SEAT OF THE SOUL
A friend of mine once gave me this book Seat of the Soul, upon the recommendation of another friend and while most of the principles make sense I find them a little too touchy feely for everyday applications. One of the points in the book outlined that reconnecting with nature is essential to the spiritual life of people. As a regular park walker, I've known this to be true for sometime. However, I just returned from doing a show in West Virginia [insert lack of teeth/in-breeding/Deliverence joke here] and it was remarkably refreshing. Our housing aptly named the Ridge was set in a ridge. Looking out my window I saw the rolling hills and mountains of West Virginia. It was truly remarkable. Almost every morning it rained and there is nothing like waking up to a gentle rain. There was also a rooster somewhere that would crow around 9am. I never figured out where that thing was, but I found it charming. It was a perfectly envigorating little break to relax in very picturesque surroundings. --You know actually I think that get in touch with nature thing was from Don't Sweat The Small Stuff: And it's all Small Stuff. Whatever, it was a refreshing couple of weeks.

MORE TO COME
Life has been very crazy over the past few months, but I am so happy to be here in the city surrounded by friends and to have such a supportive family. If I have learned anything recently it is always, always, always wear sunscreen:

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