Wednesday, December 21, 2011

8 damn good albums that I bought in 2011

Let's face it...when it comes to fresh, new Rock N' Roll music, there's getting to be less and less to choose from in this sometimes dismal world.  That's why I'm so ecstatic when I hear something that actually moves me, in one way or another.  Most of these albums listed are from artists that I was already, it seems that finding new artists with music to rock out, raise hell, and do "the deed" to is getting awfully rare.  It's too bad.

With that said, I picked up some great albums this year.  All hope is not lost!

[BTW-I BOUGHT all of these albums! Support Real Music, my friends!! Our lives depend on it!]

In no particular order:

1. The Twilight Singers-Dynamite Steps

Jesus, this album should have been called, Greg Dulli Does It Again.  "Whenever you're here, you're alive," he sings in the first lines of the album opener, "Last Night In Town."  Evidently, he believes in what he sings, because he delivered an album this year with more passion, angst, attitude, guts & heart-crushing melodies than I've heard from Dulli since 1993's (Afghan Whigs) Gentleman album....and that is certainly saying something.  Check out "Get Lucky", "On The Corner", and "The Blackbird & The Fox" (w/ Ani Difranco).

Get it on Amazon:

2. Kasabian-Velociraptor!

I don't understand why these UK geniuses haven't caught on more in the US.  They one of the most vital bands in the world today.  For my ears, that's because they are so extremely creative & daring with meshing genres (Rock, Brit Pop, Trip Hop, etc) while still managing to be catchier than gum on your boots...with some damn brilliant lyrics to illustrate it all! If you haven't given this album a listen, you are seriously missing out.  Check out "Days Are Forgotten", "Goodbye Kiss", & "I Hear Voices." 

Get it on Amazon:

3. Tom Waits-Bad As Me 

I don't know how many fucking great albums this cat has made, but my mind is blown once again.  What's great about this album is that Waits demonstrates all of the many reasons why you love Tom Waits in the first place - making it among his career-defining albums.  What ties it all together is that all of the songs are coming from a dark, candle-lit cavern of his imagination, and they move you right in!  Pretty much every song on here makes you say to yourself, "Holy FUCK this is FUCKING GREAT!"   The first ones that struck me were the titled track, "Face To The Highway", "Chicago", and "Kiss Me"....but you can't go wrong at all here.

Get it on Amazon:

4. Vain-Enough Rope

For my money, Vain were THE best band in the Late 80's/Early 90's Hair Metal genre. Yes, you read that right; I like them better than Skid Row, LA Guns, Poison, or what-have-you.  That's just me; the hooks, sexually-charged-but-not-cheesy lyrics, screaming guitars, and devastatingly huge rhythm section speak to me.  Unfortunately, they got screwed by a variety circumstances, and never achieved the fame of those bands.  Despite that, they have continued to release albums periodically, and occasionally tour overseas.  This album is just as powerful as their debut (No Respect).  Check out "Cindy", "Worship You", and "Stray Kitten Burns."

Get it on Amazon:

5. Kopek-White Collar Lies

I was playing in Orlando, FL last spring with The Dirty Pearls, on my way to get lunch, when Kopek's "Cocaine Chest Pains" played on Sirius Satellite Radio.  "Who the fuck IS THIS?!!!!," I said, very loudly!  It turns out that they are from Ireland, and are an extremely talented trio.  They're one of the only new bands that I've discovered in the past year that I really dig. I think that these guys have a real shot at making it. Check out "Cocaine Chest Pains", "The Easy Way (DB Cooper)", & "Love Is Dead."

Get it on Amazon: 

6. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

One good thing about the demise of Oasis (one of my favorite bands) is that we get to listen to two spin-off projects from it, one obviously being from their leader & main songsmith, Noel Gallagher.  It's a no-brainer that this album is going to be damn good; he gives us what he always does - a set of kick-ass songs. What the fuck else do you want?  Check out "Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks", "AKA What a Life", & "The Death of You and Me".

Get it on Amazon:

7. Beady Eye-Different Gear, Still Speeding

The other Oasis spin-off, of course, is Beady Eye, with Liam Gallagher and long time Oasis sidemen Gem Archer & Andy Bell. It's not quite as consistent as Noel's album, but there are some gems on here, and is about what you'd expect if you heard the last couple of Oasis albums (which were quite good). Check out "The Roller", "Beatles and Stones", and "The Beat Goes On."

Get it on Amazon:

8. PJ Harvey-Let England Shake

This is an extremely ambitious album, even for PJ Harvey.  In fact, it's so ambitious, that I still don't fully "get" all of it.  It's not like some of her previous albums, like Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea or  To Bring You My Love, which grabbed me & pulled me in right away....and probably isn't supposed to be.  This is an album that has to grow on you, I think.  That said, the title track, "On Battleship Hill", & "In The Darkest Places" are my favorite songs on here, and are worth the price of admission alone.

Get it on Amazon:


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My first day of school, EVER, or how I learned to take the hard knocks & make sure the show goes on

I'll preface this entry by saying, what happened here is the epitome of my life, for better or worse!

The first day of school is scary for anyone, especially the first day of Kindergarten.  I mean, that's where it ALL starts, you're not quite 6-years-old, and you have NO IDEA what to expect!  I mean, all you know, in your little kid's mind, is that it's FUCKING SCARY! 

Anyway, I went to school that early-September day, very timidly (especially for me), and I rolled with it. I did what the teacher said, made a couple of friends, took some bullshit from wise-asses, and basically minded my own business and had a good time.  (I also wondered what the hell was up with the Principal, who was a nun who looked like Ernest Borgnine with a habit, but I digress).

At the very end of the day, around 2:00 or so, we had Gym Class in the field in the back of the school.  We played some game called "Cowboys and Indians", which involved those who were designated as Cowboys to capture the Indians and make them one of their own....or the other way around.  Anyway, it involved a lot of running around and catching people and that sort of thing.

I don't know how it happened, but I remember some girl running toward me, and I did the best I could to get the hell away from her, but....however it happened, we ran smack-dab into each other, and we knocked heads, and fell to the ground, and started crying like any kid would.  At least that's how the story goes.  I was helped up & my tears were wiped when the teacher and his assistant noticed that I had a bruise underneath my eye and on my cheek.  The girl who plowed into me had a similar problem, although, if I remember correctly, not quite as COLORFUL as mine (of course).  He said something like, "Oh....Great!"  I'm sure that the prospect of sending not one, but TWO kids home from their first day of fucking KINDERGARTEN wasn't exactly how he wished to end his day, hahahaha.

So, anyway, I went home with what was turning into quite the deep black and blue shiner to contrast with my baby-blue right eye.  My Mom, ever the good sport, didn't raise too much of a fuss (she'd had seven boys before me, you know), was sympathetic enough, but, clearly, I was ok.  I sat down in front of the tv to watch Woody fucking Woodpecker and eat some Jello or some shit, when my Mom, with a very concerned look, poked her head in from the kitchen, saying something like, "You have to be the RING BEARER in your brother, DAVE's WEDDING with that shiner of yours!" The only thing I could muster up to say was, "UH OH!!!!"

But....what the hell were we to do?  Postpone the wedding because the groom's peckerheaded baby brother, who's supposed to carry the damn wedding rings in a pillow down the aisle, got a black eye on his first day of school?!!  Was some other kid going to be the ring bearer in the wedding?  Hell no!  My brother, Dave, and his bride-to-be, Heidi, had honored me by asking me to be in their wedding, and there was no way I wasn't going to do it! 

So, the wedding day came.  I was suited up in a little tuxedo that was a little bit big for me, and the bridesmaids were CRAZY about me, in my little tux with the darkest shiner in Minnesota History.  I was, believe it or not, really quite shy, as I didn't become girl-crazy until the 2nd or 3rd Grade, hahahahaha.  There was a flower girl in the wedding too, who was about my age, but I don't remember getting along with her as well.  I do remember walking down the aisle with her, carrying a little pillow with the wedding rings, while she took flower petals out of a basket and tossed them on the ground.  I remember thinking, "WHY is she DOING that?!  She's making a MESS!  Someone's gonna yell at her to PICK THAT UP!"  No one did, hahahaha.

I learned a lot from that experience at that tender young age.  From then on, it was always about getting up, dusting off, turning chicken shit into chicken salad, and making it happen.  And we did!  I think that it gave me my "SHOW MUST GO ON" attitude that I've always had about everything I do.  I think it taught me not to be a wuss about things, to take shit as it comes and deal with the hard knocks, come what may.  Why let something relatively minor tarnish the big picture?  Screw that.  Nothing is impossible, really.  There are just different kinds of things that are POSSIBLE that will blow your mind!  Furthermore, taking a hard knock or 12 along the way makes for a great story later on.

Post Script: About six months later, during Gym Class again, I got yet another black eye.  This time, it was because the jerkoff next to me kept raising the plastic fucking hockey stick too high while we were playing floor hockey, and hit me in the eye.  I kept telling him to stop raising his stick so high, but he wouldn't listen.  He didn't even get into trouble!   So, here we go again!  

For some reason, I'd be willing to bet my life is a lot more fun than his is.......

The Old New Me Taken on the Chin by Slim Dunlap @

Monday, July 25, 2011

The air I breathe and the wine in my glass, or 5 albums I couldn't imagine my life without (Part 1)

There are things that you see every day that could effect who you are, perhaps forever.  A smile from a stranger, a new pair of boots, a new place to eat pasta....and a song! Everything in life, really, is interconnected, if you think about it, and that's what it's all about.

As usual, I'm obsessed with music, so....I'm starting an ongoing series on my blog about music that shaped who I am to the point where it goes without saying (but, if I didn't say it, nobody would know).  I think that five at a time is enough to be substantive, but not so much as to bore people.  Life's too short, from what I understand, so.....

1. Mother Love Bone (self-titled set, includes their Shine EP and only full-length album, Apple)

I discovered this band when I was still a pretty little kid, with designs on playing music, but still at the beginning of my formative stages, and very, VERY impressionable.  I happened to find their Shine EP in the local music store, after school on a Friday night.  I took a look at it, and there was definitely something different about it; the name, the image, the song titles ("Half Ass Monkey Boy", "Mindshaker Meltdown", "Chloe Dancer", etc.)....and, I only had 7 bucks anyway, so it was the only album I could afford at the time, so I picked it up.  I've been hooked ever since.

What I liked about them from the get-go was the fact that they ROCKED, vaguely in the same way that Guns N' Roses did, with a tight, simple rhythm section, dynamic guitars (if not nearly as much so as Slash and Izzy's guitars), and a frontman with a HUGE, very unique personality.  What was it that made Andrew Wood so unique?  He had an explosive concoction of the cocksure egotist, the hilarious Rock N' Roll stand-up comedian, and the sensitive, nothing-too-sacred, bleeding-out balladeer. Who could ask for more?  This is the guy who, on that first EP, sang, "I'm a Hollywood dreamboy, a pin-up in their eyes, I represent, Mama, All you despise" on one song, and, "This is my kinda' love, It's the kind that moves on, It's the kind that leaves me alone," on another.  The dichotomy wasn't lost on me at all, and....despite the fact that I couldn't directly relate with his lyrics (being a little peckerhead at the time), I knew myself well enough to know that one day I certainly would.  Another thing I've always loved about Wood was, simply, the charisma with which he would sing the simplest word, like, "Baby"  (or "BAY-BAAAAY!!!!!") and sing it loaded with sex and longing and desperation and power and confidence.  Yeah, for my ears, he was spot-on.

After I bought the Shine EP I waited for the much-anticipated debut, full-length album, Apple, to come out....and I waited, and waited, and waited....almost a year.  This was before you could get your Rock N' Roll news at the click of a mouse.  All I had was MTV and the Rock N' Roll ragazines, as I called them, which weren't forthcoming with any news, and I was getting really pissed off.  Then, toward the end of that Summer, there was a review of Apple in Rip Magazine, saying that Andrew Wood had died that past March of a heroin overdose....the night before they were supposed to do a co-interview for the magazine with Kiss, or some kind of  shit.  The review also said that the album was fucking brilliant, essentially.  My little heart was crushed that my Rock N' Roll hero was gone, but never more-so than when I finally picked up the album, and blasted it on my Mom's stereo in the living room without asking.

The album as a whole, probably didn't quite measure up to Gn'R's Appetite for Destruction (which is the "gold standard", probably, to this day) in terms of consistency (some of the harder-edged material could have been better), but....the gems on Apple (including all of the ballads, no less than FIVE) were nothing short of magical, and shimmered like candles in some underground cave.  The songs, for the most part, were fucking real, and made me feel what I thought Wood must have felt like singing them.  Whether he was singing of the love of the stage ("This is Shangrila" and "Stardog Champion") or the love of his girl ("Stargazer" & "Bone China"), I believed every word of what he sang, and the music only accentuated that.

I spent a lot of time singing along, and yes, drumming along, and this album has had a huge effect on me.  If you give it a listen, perhaps it will effect you similarly. I will say this: despite the enormous success Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament had with Pearl Jam after Love Bone's demise....for my ears, this music stands the test of time in a much more poignant way.

2. Hanoi Rocks-Two Steps From the Move

Again, growing up, after listening to lots of Prince, Ozzy, Motley Crue, Ratt, Iron Maiden, etc, Guns N' Roses really rocked my little world.  And it was Guns N' Roses who made me interested in a Finnish Glam Rock (not to be confused with "Hair Metal) band called Hanoi Rocks, who had broken up a couple of years before (we all know the story....if not, look it up).

Guns actually released all 5 of the Hanoi albums that hadn't been officially been released in the US, on their own Uzi Suicide label, via Geffen.  So, of course, I went to check out all these albums.  Unfortunately, I could afford only one, and the one that they HAD released over here was the one that caught my eye for some reason, so I grabbed that one, which happened to be Two Steps From the Move.

There are some great sleazy, Rock N' Roll songs on this album.  "Underwater World" is a dark, down and dirty song that seems to be about the New York City subways....the New York Dolls or Alice Cooper would have been proud to have made such a song.  "High School" is a glam-punk rave-up, with VERY, very well worked out, dueling guitar parts, despite its rather hokey lyrics, much like "Futurama" (although I think the lyrics are far better on that one).  "Don't You Ever Leave Me" is a pure glam ballad, and actually, an updated version of a song from the band's first album, complete with vocal harmonies in the chorus that still remind me of the fucking Beach Boys! "I Can't Get It" is a frustrated, whoa-is-me song, that any of us can relate to sometimes ("I sit and count them, shot-by-shot-the little things that I never got!").   And of course, the singles, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and their cover of CCR's "Up Around the Bend" make me smile like that cat that at the canary at any party, and they often do!  A lot of these songs were co-written by Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople, presumably to give them an Arena-Rock facelift for America, and I think it worked!

Even at the time, I could understand why Gn'R had spoken so highly of Hanoi, and why they did them the service of getting their older albums.  Listening via headphones, I could hear a similar Stones-on-steroids, two-guitar interplay between Andy McCoy and Nasty Suicide that Slash and Izzy had, with each guitar panned to a speaker, which I still love.  Also, it wasn't lost on my that the term, "Welcome to the Jungle", is in the chorus of "Underwater World" (and I later heard the term "Rocket Queen" in the 3rd verse of the Hanoi song "Don't Follow Me", from their Oriental Beat album)....which has to be more than a mere coincidence.  Their look, too, at least in the early days, certainly was reminiscent of Hanoi, w/ Axl Rose and Izzy Stadlin' in particular.  But, of course, everybody lifts ideas from somewhere, whether consciously or least Gn'R returned the favor, so to speak.

In any case, I sort-of consider this album to be at least somewhat of a prototype of what was to come via Gn'R's debut album, but these are two different bands, though and through.  This album has more of a naivete and a sense of humor, to contrast with the all-out dark intensity that Gn'R gave us a few years later.  It fits right in, though, on the same shelf as Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, the New York Dolls, and Guns N' Roses.  If you're a fan of any of that music and haven't heard this, you'd be doing yourself a service by picking this up, as well as the rest of their catalog.

Sisters of Mercy-Vision Thing

This album, from the 3rd (or 4th, depending upon your perspective) incarnation of English "Goth Gods" the Sisters of Mercy, came out right on the advent of "Industrial Music", when bands like Ministry and Nine Inch Nails were seriously gaining world notoriety.  And it fit right into the middle of that.  The guitar riffs were very multi-layered, but extremely simple, and the music was as dark as you'd expect from the Sisters, but not as melodically sophisticated as anything they did before.  The music is at the Sisters' most basic and primal, yet most intensely danceable (due in no small part to their ever-present drum machine-Doktor Avalanche) and, for lack of a better term, COOL! 

That being said, this was by-far Andrew Eldritch's most ambitious, focused, and intelligently-written album, lyrically. The themes touching on greed/corruption (the title track, "More", and "Dr. Jeep") to the inevitably sadomasochistic and who's-screwing-whom nature of relationships ("Ribbons", "I Was Wrong" & "When You Don't See Me") to life's admitted uncertainties ("Something Fast") to putting the pedal to the floor in an El Dorado ("Detonation Blvd").  And, through it all, Eldritch sounds as arrogant as ever (which I like), but also, confident, and as if he might actually be having FUN (which I like even better).  Eldritch is singing, whispering, and screaming on the entire album like Leonard Cohen on Amphetamines and appears to be enjoying every minute of it.

When I was a little kid, I got WAY into this album, because, while it fit in with what was becoming popular at the time (and I was listening to all of that before anyone else was anyway), THIS stuff was, perhaps, a little bit too far out-there for most of America to really understand, so....that probably got me into it THAT much more....and you might still catch me on the subway train singing along with my Ipod, "It's a small world and it smells funny, I'd buy another if it wasn't for the money, take back what I paid, FOR ANOTHER MOTHERFUCKER IN A MOTORCADE!!!"

4. The Jesus Lizard-Liar

The Jesus Lizard was probably my favorite band in the 90's.  The music itself is difficult to describe; it isn't metal, but it's very intense and fucking heavy (but not particularly distorted).  It's not Punk, but it's very-much against-the-grain.  It's not Rock, but it's very primal, and, for my money, VERY Rock N' Roll.

There aren't a lot of vocal melodies, because the vocals aren't sung (by fellow Budweiser enthusiast David Yow) as much as they' screams, moans, grunts, and chants, I guess.  That isn't to say they aren't (eventually) catchy, and actually, quite intelligent and informed....even though, most of the time, I never knew (or cared. particularly) what the fuck they were about.  The guitar playing, courtesy of Duane Denison, is a mixture of Surf Rock, Spaghetti Western, and early Punk Rock, but delivered very cleanly, and with a precision that....well, wouldn't make a lot of sense to you the way I'm describing it (or does it?).  The rhythm section is among my favorite of all time, via David Wm. Sims (bass) and Mac McNeilly (drums & one of my favorites, see one of my previous blogs), delivering and extremely intense, pile-driving foundation, that I can only compare to the sound of dropping concrete blocks on your head while building a house over it.  And Steve Albini's production of this album ties it altogether and makes perfect sense out of it, for my ears anyway.

I guess it made sense to other people too.  Nirvana (who did a split 7" single with them when this came out) used Steve Albini to produce their In Utero album, as Bush later did with their Razorblade Suitcase album.  Both of them had very similar sounds to this very Jesus Lizard album, but obviously, the music was way different.  But in many ways, these guys exemplified what was so cool about the 90's, and that was, that you could play music like this and still get a major record deal (which they did a few years later, starting with their Shot album).  How fucking cool is that?

5. Afghan Whigs-Gentleman

This album could have been called "Relationship Hell"....but, never did perpetual heartbreak & emotional blackmail sound so goddamn good.

"What should I tell her?  She's going to ask...."  The opening lyrics of this album say it all, really.  There's inner and outer conflict, deception vs. truth, betrayal vs. loyalty, and above all, uncertainty....what a hell of an introduction!

The entire album rolls that way, as a sort of concept album based on the anatomy of a bad break-up, with a whole lot of arrogance and self-loathing thrown in, smothered with drugs and alcohol, as well as a whole lot of sex (let's hope that the sex is good, but I think that's implied).

The title track states it all explicitly....consider for yourself, the second verse: "We dragged it out so long, this time, Started to make each other sick, But now I've got time for you....and me too!"  How about the third verse?: "Let me in, I'm cold, all messed up but nowhere to go....Unlock the cabinet, I'll take whatever you got!"  It's misery that's pathetic but not so much as to think it's the end of the world, and....give me a drink!  I understand that!

"Be Sweet" has one of the most titillating lyrics I've ever heard: "I got a dick for a brain, And my brain is gonna sell my ass to you, Now I'm ok, but in time I find I'm stuck, 'Cause she wants love, And I still want to fuck..."  Yup, it's anguished and it's terrible, and profoundly full of itself, all wrapped in a killer rhythmic cadence, dripping from a tearful guitar line (and Rick McCollum's guitar lead after the first verse is fucking irresistible).

The album is chock-full of gems along the same lines, from the first single, "Debonair" ("I'm not the man my actions would suggest....tonight I go to Hell for what I've done to you") to "What Jail is Like"  ("If what you're shoveling is company, Then I'd rather be alone, Resentment always goes much further than it was supposed to go") to "My Curse"-sung by Marcy Mays from Scrawl ("Hurt me, Baby, I flinch so when you do, your kisses scourge me...").  This is all saturated with swirling, anguished guitars, and punctuated with impeccably slamming rhythms (drummer Steven Earle plays incredibly on the album, and I was disappointed when he left after the tour for this album). 

Hell, if Ronnie Van Zandt christened himself a "Simple Man", Greg Dulli could have written an answer called, "Complicated Man", but instead, he gave us this entire album, which, since its release, I've basically lived, front-to-back, at least three times!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

That little itch in the deep dark night...or....You're never, really....never!

This is my first blog entry in months and I'm going to make it a good and titillating one, that you won't soon forget.

About six months after I moved to NYC, I started living in what was perhaps the shittiest apartment building in Manhattan, near the southern border of the neighborhood known as Hell's the West 30's.  The place was shady to say the least, but my room was relatively cheap, I paid in cash, and the landlord usually left me alone, which is usually just fine with me. But this landlord was the kind of guy who, on one hand, would lock someone out of his apartment if he didn't pay his rent on time....and on the other, would have letters from lawyers (and even The People's Court, once) piling up by the mail boxes because of unreturned security deposits (and, I'm sure that it's no coincidence that I never got mine back).  His name was Kamal, but he asked to be called "John."  File that in the back of your mind if you're looking at apartments/rooms in that neighborhood.

So, to begin with, these were anything but deluxe accommodations.  There was no living room (I used to point at the tall buildings and streets outside when friends came over, and exclaim, "NEW YORK CITY is my fucking LIVING room, ok?!!"  Hahahahaha), and nothing but the most basic of amenities (the kitchen and bathroom were at least sufficient).  The walls between the bedrooms (and between each apartment) were paper thin at best, and shoddily put together. Hell, I believe there was even open space at the top of my bedroom wall...which I think I covered up with something.  We all need a LITTLE bit of privacy, by God!

Well, it turns out that I didn't have as much of that as I had hoped.

One night I decided to stay in and get some decent rest and a little peace of mind.   I was lying in my bed listening to the Verve, and just starting to go to sleep.  Do you know the feeling when you're trying to sleep, and for some reason, you get taunted by these pesky, unexplainable, spontaneous itches?  Well, that's what I thought was happening.  But then...something....fucking HURT all of the sudden.  I shot out of my bed, and there, on my leg, was this little reddish-black bug, feasting on me.  I pulled the blankets back and there were a couple more of them.  I grabbed a tissue and....well, crushed them.  They became red splotches against the white tissue.  BLOOD!  I pulled my mattress back, and there was a mini-New York City of BEDBUGS going MY BED!!!!  The HORROR!!!!

I don't recall having felt so terrified or helpless at any point in my life, before or since.  But I had to do something....these were the days when I had work in the morning.  So, I think I found some bleach or some similar cleaning product and a bunch of rags, and basically caused a mini-chemical tsunami on the city beneath my mattress and temporarily remedied the situation enough to get a somewhat decent night's sleep.

I felt trapped because I didn't have the wherewithal at the time to just pick up and split; Craig's list wasn't really happening yet, so it was WAY harder to find a roof then.  Complaints to my landlord fell on deaf ears, and from what I heard, the entire building was infested.  FUCK!.

The best solution I could come up with was to clean everything up as best I could, get a new mattress....then my roommate and I would get Raid "bug bombs", which were essentially, bug sprays that you'd open up, then leave the apartment for a few hours while they emptied out and did their work.  It didn't really harm the bugs, but at least it scared them into neighboring apartments, and kept them out of ours, for the most part....until we finally just couldn't take it anymore, and split.

Whenever I walk by there, I usually utter some kind of expletive.  The memories are deeply ingrained I guess.

There was one funny thing that happened because of our bedbug problem.  I very briefly dated a girl who lived a very privileged life in her dad's HUGE apartment in a Park Avenue high rise....but he was never home.  Anyway, once, she decided so "slum it" and spend a night at my place.  A couple of days later, she called me up, said something about having some kind of bug bites, and asked if this might have come from my apartment.

In my best Jackie Chiles from Seinfeld voice, I quickly blurted, "I-dunno-anything-about-it!" and hung up the phone.  I haven't heard from her since. Sorry about that. 

Anyway....needless to say, I don't miss those days one bit!

Thanks for reading!  I know it wasn't easy.  Hell, I'm itching all over now just from writing it....ahahaha....I think!

Marty E.