Friday, October 28, 2005

Birth Order Quiz

Now this is really strange and I don't know how to understand the results. So, I will just put this out here and let you figure out what it means.

The quiz asks you particular questions and then, determines your birth order and gives some insight into your personality. Follow the link and see what it says about you.

And yes, it "guessed" my birth order.

You Are Likely a Third Born

At your darkest moments, you feel vulnerable.
At work and school, you do best when you're comparing things.
When you love someone, you tend to like to please them.

In friendship, you are loyal to one person.
Your ideal careers are: sales, police officer, newspaper reporter, inventor, poet, and animal trainer.
You will leave your mark on the world with inventions, poetry, and inspiration.

Monday, October 24, 2005

An Amen Corner

A friend sent me this article from the NY Times about a new sitcom that was recently purchased and will be set in the neighborhood where I went to seminary.


In a Town of 'Friends,' an Amen Corner

WHEN David Light was a student at Columbia University in the early 1990's, dating a future rabbi who would later become his wife, the couple watched in fascination as the biggest party animal they knew - a beer-guzzling, skirt-chasing frat king - recreated himself as a rabbinical student.

Out of this conflict between the pursuit of spiritual knowledge and the pursuit of a good seat at the bar at the legendary West End, Mr. Light eventually created "Morningside Heights," a script for a television sitcom that NBC recently bought. Mr. Light is now developing the script with two executive producers in the hope that NBC will finance the filming of a pilot.

The sitcom is set on Seminary Row, the block of West 122nd Street where the Jewish Theological Seminary sits diagonally across Broadway from Union Theological Seminary. The show is a piously irreverent comedy about good-looking would-be ministers, rabbis and imams who share a dorm and try not to sleep with one another.

It could scarcely be set anywhere else.

"The neighborhood is a huge character in the show," said Mr. Light, 31, who attended Columbia as an undergraduate and a graduate student in the film division of the School of the Arts, and whose wife studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Along with its grand Gothic churches, Riverside Church and the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, the neighborhood's sheer density of institutions of higher learning - Columbia, Barnard and Seminary Row itself - makes Morningside Heights an area that Mr. Light calls "a hotbed of seeking."

"Whether it's knowledge, or what your place is in the world, it's a place to ask these huge questions," Mr. Light said. "Whether in Riverside Park or St. John the Divine or the Hungarian Pastry Shop, it's a truly contemplative and vibrant place that I love."

The area also provides the soaring visual backdrop for a new, perhaps more spiritually highbrow representation of New York than America is accustomed to seeing in television comedies.

Over the past decade, the dominant comedic images of New York beamed around the planet have been the sophisticatedly shallow self-absorption of "Seinfeld," the chirpy chumminess of "Friends," the winking urbanity of "Will & Grace" and the cosmo-swilling, Manolo-obsessed man hunters of "Sex and the City." Regardless of how unrealistically those shows may have portrayed New York, they shared a certain upscale levity. If "Morningside Heights" makes it into the NBC lineup, it will most likely present a different face of the city.

"It's definitely a step back from 24/7, and it's a step back from the glamour, too," said Ron Simon, who is curator of television at the Museum of Television and Radio and who studied film at the Columbia School of the Arts. "You're not downtown, you're uptown, where there's a little possibility of solitude, where you can have discussions that deal with self-examination instead of materialistic striving."

Faith and spirituality, he added, "were certainly words that we didn't hear much pre-9/11."

If there's a link between "Morningside Heights" and the more upscale New York comedies of recent years, it is Eric McCormack, one of the show's executive producers and the actor who plays Will in "Will & Grace," in its final season on NBC.

"The New York of 'Will & Grace' is almost a kind of a dream New York," Mr. McCormack said. "It's Riverside, it's Upper West Side, it's people with money and time to spend it. It's a little bit fantasy almost in the way Noel Coward's New York was in the 30's, as opposed to what we're going to attempt to do with 'Morningside Heights.' I keep thinking of that opening shot of 'Welcome Back, Kotter,' just that sense of more where real things happen."

In addition to their tone of youthful joie de vivre, the major New York-based sitcoms of the last decade all had at their heart a group of supportive friends that served as an ersatz family. In this sense, "Morningside Heights" is not such a radical departure. While the show's cheerfully intolerant evangelist character may tell his cohorts of different faiths that they're destined to burn in hell, by the end of the pilot episode, even he is sharing dinner and camaraderie with the rabbi, the imam and the others. In this reimagining of the New York ideal of perfect integration, the melting pot has become a large pizza at the West End, with everything on it.

Friday, October 21, 2005

$500 Million?!

Howard Stern is leaving the regular airwaves to go to the new satillite radio, Sirius, for a reported 5-year, $500 million contract. You can read the entire story here.

I am just shocked by the shock-jock's salary! That is more than Tiger Wood's Nike endorsements (which I think is crazy in and of itself, and I LOVE Tiger Woods). $100 million a year?! To be a disk jockey? Well, I must admit, I don't really like Howard Stern, he's too vulgar for me.. but I have a lot of friends who just love him. Still, like him or not, he's going to be richer than Bill Gates someday. Imagine a celebrity making more money than a corporate executive.

Now that is truly the humorous part of the American dream, right?

Woo-hoo! My email works!

Wowsers, what a mess I've been through this week; fortunately, Yahoo!'s security team was able to verify me and I gained access to my email last night. I've learned so many lessons through this experience, most notably: change my password often, and the most important one, don't have your work email tied into your personal email. If you can't get access to one, you can't get to the other either. Unfortunately, I can't fix that problem now, but if I ever have a new email set up, it'll be separate from my personal one.

Whew! I was so relieved last night that I went to the gym and worked off some of my stress in the swimming pool. And then, I went to a friend's birthday party at my favorite gay dive bar. I had a nice night and slept like a baby last night.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I Still Don't Have Email Access!!

..but at least now I know why.

Get this. Someone hacked into my email account, changed my password, and personal data. Changing the data, I cannot confirm with my email host that I am who I say I am. As a result, my personal and business email remains inaccessible.

I am in contact with the security department as we speak. I am going to fax them certain information hoping that any of it, matches what they are looking for. If I cannot match what they say I must, my email account will be in the hands of my perpetrator... forever!

I wish I could express the fear, shock, anger, and stress I have been feeling since Tuesday at 5pm, when I got locked out of my own email account. I have had my personal email since I lived in Texas, some 12 years ago. I feel like a part of me has been taken away.

Let me encourage you, dear reader, to go into your email personal data. Write it down, change your password often, and take the necessary steps to make your email service as secure as possible. Otherwise, you're in for a heap of frustration. Like what I am feeling now.

Numa numa Dance!

This guy is hilarious and a good lipsyncer although he starts to get out of sync there towards the end. Still, it's a lot of fun. Have a looksee and tap your foot to the beat while you're at it. Oh, and be sure to turn your speakers WAY up. :)

Having a broadband connection will be most helpful.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Problems with Yahoo!

I am having email problems with my Yahoo account. Unfortunately, I cannot access my account at all, which has me in a fright. It has taken me too long to find a customer service phone number for them, so long in fact, that their customer service is now closed for the evening (you'd think they'd run 24 hours a day given how big they are).

If you have problems with you Yahoo! account, here is their customer service number: 408-349-1572. Keep in mind that they are only available Monday through Sunday from 6am-6pm (Pacific Standard Time).

If you have sent me an email, I don't have access to it and probably won't until I get this issue resolved.

"You Can't Be All You Can Be--If You're Dead"

Now here is an interesting story. A highschool student paid for an advertisement in her highschool newspaper. As a member of a pacifist religious order, she felt that there were alternatives to paying for college than enlisting in the U.S. Army and found an interesting way to communicate that.

Follow this link to and see that ad for yourself.

Dang, you know THAT took guts!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Getting Out those Tough Stains

I found an article in this week's issue of HX, the local gay men's magazine for what's happening in NYC. Included in the issue, is how to care for your "tighty whitey-ies". Here are a few tips:

1. Our own salivary glands produce an amazing stain remover; the enzymatic action of saliva can remove quite a few unsightly stains in a pinch, most notably, blood. We produce an anzyme in our saliva that can break down our own blood. Unfortunately, only our own saliva will remove our own blood. This works equally well on whites and colors.

2. Unsightly underarm stains are caused by aluminum in most drugstore deodorant products. To avoid the stain, switch to a brand that doesn't contain aluminum. They're more expensive, but your undershirts will tahnk you. You can sometimes remove the ugly blotch by soaking in crushed un-buffered asprin mixed with water.

3. Both lemon juice and the combination of baking soda and water will gently bleach out stains in whites. Try applying one to the stain and letting the garment sit in the sun, providing you'renot averse to airing your dirty laundry in public. ;)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Wanna be a Geek?

I found this today while doing some internet research on a 1gig USB flash drive. It is a watch that also has a built in flash drive. The drive only holds 128mb of memory but wearing your flash drive would sure prevent you from losing it.

Check it out here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Cool Free Program

Have you ever heard of Microsoft's One Note? It is a program that allows you to keep the notes you take, the links you link, and the webpages you..well, you know.. all organized in one place. This is a handy program when you're doing research for papers or for sermons. I had used the program myself with it's 60-day trial free feature. After the 60-day period, I was remiss to actually pay $100.

Instead, I read in this month's issue of PC Magazine about a freeware program called Evernote. This program does the same thing as One Note. How cool is that? To get your free download, go to*.

*This is not a paid endorsement of the product, I am just passing along something really cool.

Miers Opinion Piece

Here is a good link to why Harriet Miers' nomination should be reconsidered. It's very thoughtful and best explains my consternation.

Monday, October 10, 2005

My New Art Project

I have begun a new art project for my apartment. In the vein of my odd eye for art, I have decided to draw/sketch my favorite places in New York City. After I have sketched 6-8 different places, I will then frame them and create a collage on my wall.

Here is my first sketch, it is the Bethesda Fountain in Central park. It is one of my favorite places to sit and think and realize how amazing this city really is. You may notice that although the statue is supposed to be a woman, she looks awfully butch.

Now this is funny, sort of..

I found a blog this morning that purports to be that of Harriet Miers, the new Supreme Court Justice nominee from Dubya. Going to the blog however, one sees that it's not hers. It is someone else having a good time at her expense.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't think she should even be considered for the position, not having served as a judge in any respect. But I am not surprised at Bush, heck didn't he appoint that FEMA director who had no experience whatsoever? And look what happened in New Orleans. I cannot even believe people are taking his nomination seriously- but they are and, it's just scary what the implications could be.

I wonder if we should reconceptualize all appointments. Instead of having experience be a qualifier for various positions, we should consider other factors like hairstyle, likeability, and good understanding of our Founding Father's intent on developing a Christian nation. For instance, I wonder if James Dobson might be a good Education Secretary, Richard Land could be the Secretary of State, and Miss Ellie May Hornsbeak, the President's dog groomer and Style columist in the local Crawford, Texas newspaper could become Bush's new Press Secretary. And this might happen, with the Bush's new 37 percent approval rating and his supposedly return to drinking, he just might have Ms. Hornsbeak before the cameras.

Okay, so Ms. Hornsbeak isn't really real but it highlights my point, you can't have unqualified people in really, really important positions. No matter how nice they are, no matter how sweet they are; people in really, really important positions need to be the best in their field making decisions that'll affect this country for a hundred years or more. To me, this is just common sense. But then, I am implying our President has common sense and quite honestly, I am not convinced he does.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Superball Spirituality

I have become a new convert... well, not really new but definitely a convert. Several months ago, I discovered a blog that I enjoy reading each and every time. The writer is a pastor from a church in Texas (I've linked him before on here and you can find his link on the right side of this blog). But today, unexpectedly, I read something he wrote a while back and found myself connecting with him- in this spiritual, artsy-fartsy yet redneck "Yeah man, Preach it!" kind of way.

Have a looksee and you'll see what I mean. The blog is Real Live Preacher and his article on Superball Spirituality is here. Any man that can cus like he does and enjoy a brewski (even though he's a Baptist), has got to be both 'his own man' and yet, have that special kind of courage that either means, "I really don't care what you think," or, "It's not about the cussin' or the beer drinkin', you snotty nose silly Texans, it's about something so much more." (For the record, while I do enjoy a good cussin' at just the right moment, beer makes me fat.)

Beware of Bloody Sunday!

New York City is in a state of panic/fright today. Maybe you've heard about it wherever you are but tomorrow, Sunday, is the day when a terrorist strike is planned to hit the New York subways. You can read the whole story here.

It's wild and scary and yet, not so wild and scary that the fear is crippling. For those of us who have to take the subways to get to work (I have to be at church tomorrow), the thought of traveling in the subway has mixed feelings. Part of me thinks this warning was concocted. Another part of me thinks that its for real. And yet, there really isn't anything I can do about it.

I could, of course, take a taxi to work (church) tomorrow. It'll cost about $40 one way. That could be money well spent or I could be giving in to the panic and fear. Such decisions.

Not going to Nashville

Well, for those of you following my life on here, I received a call recently that I am no longer a candidate for the pastoral opening in Nashville, TN. The pastoral search committee had narrowed their search to two candidates. After a time of discernment and discussion, the church decided to go with the other candidate. The chairperson of the search committee called me to inform me of their decision.

Honestly, I am glad the search committee found the candidate they were looking for. The church was a nice one and I think I would have enjoyed my time there; and yet, I am also relieved because moving to Nashville would have taken me away from my extended family, the friends and former lovers who make up my family here in New York City. For that reason, I am very glad that I will be around here longer.

Interestly, there is a church in nearby New Jersey who is considering me to be their pastor. I have been interviewing there and am excited about the possibilities. All in all, I am confident that God is in the entire search process, I just need to be willing to be a part of that process and trust that whatever happens, is what God desires to happen.

But boy o' boy, its the waiting and hoping that sure makes a fella nervous (even when God is at work).


Something happened underground in my neighborhood this afternoon. Some say it was a fire, others say it was an explosion that caused the fire. In any event, firetrucks and the electric and gas company (ConEdison) are swarmed outside my building.

As it turns out, half of my apartment building is without electricity, the other half is without water. I am in the "without water" part of the building. I think its almost ironic that I go 5 months with a leak in my bathroom ceiling that caused half of the ceiling to collapse. Finally, two weeks ago the leak and my ceiling get fixed, only to now have no water in my building.

If you are ever thinking of moving to Inwood, the northernmost neighborhood in Manhattan, do everything in your power to NOT move into 4996 Broadway. That is the address to my building and I've had nothing but problems here.

Hopefully I won't get sued for putting my address on here and for disparaging my apartment building. I'll let you know if anything of a legal nature develops.