Wednesday, April 07, 2004


My Inner Hero - Paladin!
I'm a Paladin!
I strive to help others, and to bring truth and harmony to the world however I can. Whether times are good or bad, you can always count on me. I'm a shoulder to cry on, a champion for the helpless, and an all around nice person.
How about you? Click here to find your own inner hero.

A Few Too Many Words about Sports

Hello, folks, and welcome to "A Few Too Many Words." This is a new feature in which I share my opinions about random subjects, of my own choosing. Should be a real blast. Today, we inaugurate this new feature with --

Sports. This is one of those topics that’s a little bit hard for me to discuss, because from the way I talk, it sometimes seems – I think – like I have some kind of problem with sports, and/or with sports enthusiasts. I really don’t. Some of the people I love the most are way into sports, and I certainly think no less of them for it. I just don’t understand.

Maybe the illusion that I hate sports and sports fans comes about because sports are easy to make fun of. But there are plenty of things I enjoy which are just as easy to criticize, I mean as far as being meaningless and stupid. I do wish sometimes that public enthusiasm for sports, particularly as directed at children, were more often tempered with the caveat that off the field, the rules are different. Sports are seen as positive outlets through which aggressive young people can expend their energy in a healthy way, and I find this position basically sound; just the same, I think you’re kind of kidding yourself if you think sports automatically encourage good citizenship. They can, sure, but I don’t think there’s anything inherently virtuous about them. And for every kid who learned cooperation and achievement from sports, I’m sure there’s one who learned how to knock other people over.

Competition may be what turns me off -- being at heart a socialist revolutionary, you know. The competition between athletes makes some sense, but the competition between fans does not. Why do fans of rival teams have such a problem with each other? It's not like that in the arts, and entertainment; kids don't knife each other over whether Elf was funnier than Starsky and Hutch. The competitive aspect of sports is its greatest draw, it would seem; it all comes down to numbers – who has more points, who has more money – and it's probably an evolutionary snag.

Watching sports – again, I don’t think it’s a crime; I just find it all pretty boring. This is because I have no idea what’s going on. I really don’t get it. Even if I know what’s happening, I have no idea why, and that’s the whole point. WHY? Why are they so concerned about this? What’s the point? That’s just me.

I guess that’s my sports-block – I don’t care about the outcome. Therefore, all the tension and excitement of a game is lost on me. Maybe if teams actually represented the cities they played for, it would make more sense to me – this is New York against Boston! Well, New York kicks Boston’s ass! But professional athletes go where the contract is, right? It’s not like these guys are especially New York; that’s just what it says on their – and this is another thing – silly little costumes.

The uniforms are another reason why I personally can’t get on board. This doesn’t just go for sports, either; I just have an aversion to anything where large groups of people are dressed identically. I find it a little scary, and it explains, at least in part, my trepidations about sports, the military, the police, jobs, and Scotland. I know that uniforms are necessary, so you can tell who’s on what team, but wouldn’t it be more interesting if that were something you had to figure out? I don’t know – identical uniforms. A big problem for me.

Football and homosexuality – just something I like to point out. I have no problem with football, and I have no problem with homosexuality – I just have a problem with the fact that the obvious link between these two things is so undersold. Football is supposedly the ultimate heterosexual machismo trip – something straight guys love, and something many straight guys feel only a gay guy would dislike. But that’s a lie. What football actually represents, I think, is the acceptably mainstream expression of the heterosexual male’s closeted obsession with homoeroticism. There is really nothing gayer than football. You’ll never see a ballet, for example, more homoerotic than a football game. Never! Go to a ballet, and men are dancing with women; go to a football game, and men are patting each other on the ass. Which is the least of it. I’ll bet most gay porn isn’t as homoerotic as a football game – that testosterone-dripping event in which a bunch of big, strong guys line up, bend over, jump all over each other, and then go take a shower together.

As far as sexuality itself goes – sexual interest and sexual turn-ons – I am actually the most heterosexual guy I know. I don’t mean that my taste in music, clothes, and social activity is all totally butch – I mean that I’m sexually compatible only with women. Men just don’t do it for me at all. I don’t want to have sex with them. I don’t think they’re sexy. I’ve never seen a sexy man. It doesn’t seem possible to me. That’s why I didn’t want to take a shower with them after gym class in high school. I would have showered with the girls in a second.

But there were a lot of guys who I went to school with who were gay football players, and I never once criticized them for their bending-over-and-tackling games, or their communal bathing parties. I say more power to 'em, and to this day, whenever I encounter men who are big into football, I'm always sure to speak to them, telling them that I completely support their right to live happy, homosexual lives.

Maybe I'd better quit now...

Noah

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Friday, April 02, 2004

NoahDiamond:  One day, Sam the Pickle and Louella the Hot Tomato went to the Big City to compete in the Dancing Contest.

Feeniesmom:
  Sam the Pickle was an old hand at these contests

Feeniesmom:
  He'd been all over the country -- tap tap tapping his little pickle self in competition after competition

Feeniesmom:
  racking up medal after medal....but, three years before, Sam the Pickle's partner, Juanita the Lime was gravely injured in a freak tequilla accident...

NoahDiamond:
  ...which nobody seemed able to talk about yet.

NoahDiamond:
  Now, Louella the Hot Tomato was stepping boldly up to the plate, attempting to make a name for herself beside the champion partner of the fallen hero.

NoahDiamond:
  When they arrived in the Big City, Sam and Louella were delighted to find a friendly chipmunk who had been sent by the Dancing Committee to show them around.

NoahDiamond:
  "What shall we see first?" asked the chipmunk, munching on some chips.

Feeniesmom:
  "

Feeniesmom:
  "well!" said Louella, who had never been to the city before, "I'd just LOVE to see the dancing tomato hall of fame!"

Feeniesmom:
  "I hear there are some GREAT exhibits there" replied Lou, and off they went with a chomping chipmunk leading them north

NoahDiamond:
  At the Hall of Fame, as they marvelled at wax replicas of the great dancing tomatoes of history, Sam the Pickle began to tear up.

NoahDiamond:
  "What's the matter?" asked the chipmunk.

NoahDiamond:
  "Nothing...it's just...Juanita," said Sam, sadly. "But that was the past. I know we're going to wow 'em at the contest tonight," he said, brightening.

NoahDiamond:
  "Speaking of which," said the chipmunk, "we'd better get you two to your dressing room!"

Feeniesmom:
  .............................................................................

Feeniesmom:
  "Oh!  I'm so nervous!" Louella murmured as she squeezed into her sexy sequined leotard.  "What if I mess up?!"

Feeniesmom:
  A chorus girl strode over to Louella and brusquely pulled Louella around, away from the mirror she'd been gazing into.

Feeniesmom:
  The chorus "girl" was, upon closer inspection, about 60 years old and bore the tell tale rings and whiskers of a common racoon.

NoahDiamond:
  "Why did you even bother to show up?" growled the chorus raccoon. "Everyone knows THEY'RE going to win."

NoahDiamond:
  And the raccoon gestured toward Mack the Ear of Corn and Bephanie the Leek, who had just made a grand entrance, decorated in first place ribbons from their previous dance contest.

NoahDiamond:
  A great cheer went up as they entered.

NoahDiamond:
  Sam and Louella exchanegd nervous glances.

Feeniesmom:
  "Ohhhhhhh!  And who's this cute cute thing here?  A first timer?"  Bephanie trilled as she entered the room and made a beeline straight for Louella

Feeniesmom:
  "A new partner, sam?  Aren't you worried?  I mean after what happened LAST time?"

Feeniesmom:
  Mack the Ear of Corn seemed embarassed and pulled Bephanie away from Sam and Louella.  "Come on Bephanie.  Let's go"

Feeniesmom:
  "Good luck!" Bephanie laughed as she was pulled away "Oh, that's right, Sam!  You only have BAD luck!  Careful, honey" she said looking right at Louella "You don't wanna end up like his LAST partner, do ya?"

NoahDiamond:
  Sam felt distinctly uncomfortable, and began to wonder if he had made a mistake in asking Louella to be his partner. She was a kid with a bright future, maybe, and here he was, luring her into his web of tragedy.

NoahDiamond:
  "Sam," said Louella suddenly, "I want you to know that I am honored to be your partner in this competition, and whether we win or lose, I'm thrilled to be here."

NoahDiamond:
  "Thanks," said Sam.

NoahDiamond:
  All of a sudden, there was a faint crackling sound overhead, followed by the unmistakable sound of rope breaking. An enormous anvil came crashing to the ground! BANG! Louella stepped out of the way just in time.

NoahDiamond:
  "Oh my God," said Sam. "One inch further west and you would be a tomato splatter!"

Feeniesmom:
  Louella swooned and was caught by a giant pear making it's way off stage with his partner, a tulip

Feeniesmom:
  "Are you alright?" the giant pear asked Louella.  Louella looked around for Sam, but he was on the floor staring at the broken rope

Feeniesmom:
  "What is it?" asked Pear

Feeniesmom:
  "Nothing...It's..."

Feeniesmom:
  right then, they heard the roar of the audience and then the emcee's voice over the applause "And NOW, Ladies and Gentlemen....Mack the Ear of Corn and Bephanie the Leek performing the black eyed pea tango!

NoahDiamond:
  As everyone crowded into the wings to watch, Sam noticed Bephanie the Leek's backpack sitting in the corner. Sticking out of it was a well-thumbed paperback book. Squinting in the darkness, Sam could just about make out the title -- "How to Make Anvils Fall."

NoahDiamond:
  He didn't want to scare Louella with this revelation, but he was concerned. "Stay close to me, okay?" he said. "I'm not sure how safe it is around here."

NoahDiamond:
  Onstage, Mack and Bephanie danced the black eyed pea tango with studied professionalism. When it was over, the panel of judges -- a tangerine, a doughnut, and a bunch of red grapes -- held up their score cards.

NoahDiamond:
  9.5  --  9.3  --  9.8

NoahDiamond:
  "Pretty intimidating," said Louella nerbously.

NoahDiamond:
  "Are you nerbous?" asked Sam.

NoahDiamond:
  "Bery," Louella replied.

Feeniesmom:
  Suddenly, the chipmunk who had been such a gracious guide earlier screamed "LOOK OUT!"  he called

Feeniesmom:
  Sam looked up and saw, swinging towards them, a huge anvil.  Sam jumped on Louella, knocking her across the room and bending her long green stem

Feeniesmom:
  they landed breathless in the corner as Bephanie and Mack took their final bows.

Feeniesmom:
  "And Now, Ladies and gentlemen -- SAM and Louella!"

Feeniesmom:
  "Can you do this, Louella?" Sam asked

Feeniesmom:
  "Yes, Sam" replied Louella who had already figured out what was going on..."I wouldn't miss this for the world"

Feeniesmom:
  They stepped out onto the stage, momentarily blinded by the stage lights, nervously realizing how exposed and vulnerable they were...

NoahDiamond:
  But as the music began, and their names were called out by the announcer, Sam and Louella began to dance with such grace and artistry that all their fears melted away.

NoahDiamond:
  In the wings, everyone was watching -- even Mack and Bephanie seemed unable to think of anything but the performance they were watching.

NoahDiamond:
  Every move was perfection. Sam and Louella seemed to be redefining their entire art form.

Feeniesmom:
  As the large Pickle effortlessly hoisted the hot tomato up and threw her gracefully all over the stage, anvils began to fall from the sky -- first one, then another, until soon, the entire stage became a minefield.

Feeniesmom:
  The music was drowned out by the crashing percussion of the falling metal

Feeniesmom:
  And Sam and Louella kept dancing!  They seemed to instinctively know exactly where each anvil would fall and danced masterfully around the stage, sometimes avoiding the falling death traps by mere centimeters!

Feeniesmom:
  As the music swelled to a dramatic crecendo, Bephanie the Leek, who had grown more and more agitated with each falling anvil, ran out on stage "STOP!" she yelled "You're supposed to be nothing but salsa by now!

NoahDiamond:
  But Sam and Louella kept dancing, almost as though their feet had taken over and their minds had conceded, agreeing not to get in the way.

NoahDiamond:
  Security guards -- two big, burly avocados -- marched on and took Bephanie away as she screamed, "But I am the CHAMPION! The CHAAAAAAAAAAAAMPION!"

NoahDiamond:
  When the last of the anvils had fallen, Sam and Louella struck a pose at center stage, concluding tehir remarkable, triumphant performance. The applause -- from the audience as well as from their colleagues in the wings -- was deafening.

NoahDiamond:
  And then the judges held up their score cards:

NoahDiamond:
  10 -- 10 -- 10

Feeniesmom:
  Even the donut -- notorious for NEVER giving a perfect score -- was on his feet applauding wildly, his jelly insides squirting out with excitement

Feeniesmom:
  As the trophy mice ran onstage bearing a large golden dancing pickle, Sam looked to the skies.  "This one's for you, Juanita," he said, tearfully.  Then he looked at Louella, "thank you Louella."

Feeniesmom:
  "No, thank YOU, Sam," Louella replied, gently taking his pickle face into her tomato hands and giving him a small sweet kiss.

Feeniesmom:
  the crowd went wild again and carried them away, down the aisle and into the bar across the street "Jimmy's crab shack". 

NoahDiamond:
  At the bar, Mack the Ear of Corn apologized for his partner's schemes, and swore he had nothing to do with it. Sam and Louella believed him, and invited him to join the party.

NoahDiamond:
  A photographer arrived to take their picture for the cover of "Dancin' Times."

NoahDiamond:
  Sam and Louella were famous!

NoahDiamond:
  It was a niiiiiice thing.

Feeniesmom:
  The End

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Sick and Tired

Hello, everybody. It's been a while since my last entry, partly because I've been sick. Like, in bed for days sick. You may recall, if you've been following the sizzling details of my life, that I was sick in bed for days not very long ago -- two months ago, give or take -- and although I've turned a bit of a corner in the last twelve hours, I'm still pretty sniffly, and I'm so tired of it. I've basically had a cold since I quit smoking (two months ago, give or take). Enough already. Have I not yet done my pennance, for those eight beautiful years of smoking cigarettes?

Anyway, you don't wanna hear about that.

I'm sure you don't wanna hear about the state of the nation, either. Neanderthals and baptists are trying to prevent gay couples from getting married. Republicans are coming out of the woodwork and saying that Bush a) planned to attack Iraq long before 9/11, b) deliberately concocted false connections between Iraq and 9/11, and/or c) knew about 9/11 in advance and chose not to prevent it. Democrats are struggling with every fibre of their souls to summon something resembling enthusiasm for John "Electable" Kerry. In the wake of terrorist tragedy in Madrid, there seem to be very real threats of more attacks, not to mention a stadium on Manhattan's west side (AHEM), not to mention the Republican National Convention, on Manhattan's west side (AHEM AHEM).

Maybe you'd like to hear about elk? I'm still in touch with the noble Save the Elk Club, which, you may recall, recently dubbed me "Special Overseer of Specialized Non-Indiana Elk," and I sent them a picture, which should appear on their Officers Page soon. One of these days I will follow through on my ancient promise to revamp the Scooting Elk page. The big news, I guess, is that Amanda made the first purchase ever from the Nero Fiddled Emporium, namely the exquisite Scooting Elk Messenger Bag, which she proudly uses every day.

What else do you want to hear about? Work? Come on! You don't really want to hear about work, do you? On Monday, I'm taking the revamped (but probably still ridiculous) New York City Sightseeing Guide Test, so as to keep my license valid and do some tour-guiding this summer. I'm not sure yet if I'll be flexing my tour guide muscles on buses or boats or both.

Oh, you mean real work? Well, I'm writing a musical. Go ahead and laugh. I'll do it, I tell you. I've done it before and I'll do it again. When it's finished, you'll get to hear all about it, because as soon as the writing part is done (which will still be a while yet), I'm going to get down to business putting it on. Putting on a show. Imagine! And there's also another project brewing, in the idea stage, which is a much larger and more ambitious musical, based on an epic historical novel, which may or may not be the next secret project after the current one.

It seems that I've refined my definition of success -- validated it by removing money from it. I figure if I can get into a pattern of writing and presenting shows, just by renting performance spaces and putting up fliers, and if I can keep doing that for the rest of my life, even if only ten people show up -- that's much more my idea of success than, say, trying to figure out what I can do that's vaguely related to my creative impulses and is also lucrative. Even if I never quit my dayjob. Even if I never make a dollar as an artist. Making a dollar isn't what being an artist is about. For better or for worse, I do have a vision, and I am stumblingly finding my way back to it. The last thing I want to do is corrupt it by trying to sell it.

Of course, if someone offered to buy it...


Wednesday, March 10, 2004

From the Vaults

So I was going through old notebooks and I found a true gem I had to share. Amanda and I wrote this together, passing the book back and forth. I think it rivals just about anything.

Item the first:
you are an accountant
Item the second:
you are an idiot
Item the third -- eightyfifth:
Look at yourself.
Item the eighty-sixth:
Had enough, idiot?

Thusly stated, the jig is up, Mr. Sunshine.

Sincerely,
Mahatma Gandhi (Mr. Bojangles)
aka "Flame retardant Leroy"
Please Ignore This Entry
Taking a cue from Kim, I am using this entry simply to get the Ads by Google at the top of the page to stop being antithetical to my ideology. Soon, there will be an entry sparkling with the boyish wonder and acid wit you've come to expect. Please ignore this entry.
Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal Liberal.

Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music.

Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles Beatles.

Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar Antiwar. Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace Peace. Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest Protest.

Theatre Theatre Theatre Theatre Theatre Theatre Theatre Theatre Theatre Theatre Theatre Theatre Theatre Theatre. Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art Art.

Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love.

I am moved near tears by the poem I have just written. Please don't ignore this entry.



Tuesday, March 09, 2004

INSIDE NERO:
The Agony and the Ecstasy

Here's a frenetic selection from the ever-present composition book, which I feel nicely captures the madness of a hysterical mind having an art tantrum. The art tantrum, I now feel, is an invaluable aspect of the creative process, and if I didn't like the name I was born with, I think I would call myself Art Tantrum, which is also a nice homage to jazz piano player Art Tatum, isn't it?
Is Mickey a character in his own musical? Yes. Is that character Mickey Nero? Yes. This would all be easier if my name, my name, actually were Mickey Nero. These questions (of Mickey's name, Mickey's character's name, and my name) are deeply involved with the further questions of Mickey's play's name and my play's name. His could be called Nero Fiddled, and it's interesting to consider that maybe mine isn't. On the other hand -- it would be brilliant if my play is called Nero Fiddled and Mickey's is called Diamond Engagement. But the problem with that is that that means that the character in Mickey's play is named Diamond. Which is the point of me wishing my name were Nero.

But what's the point?

Incidentally, I'm not saying necessarily that this is a recent note or a current project. I'm actually writing a musical right now about the Staten Island Scooting Elk. No, really.


P.S. Not really.