Category Archives: NY

Say, fellows, that Jordan River, well, it’s chilly and, er…cold.

The kids were watching something really shrill on the ol’ DVR. I asked them what it was and they responded “Fred – The Movie”. I encourage them to give everything a chance at least once, as long as it doesn’t hurt ’em. But this movie was as devoid of whimsy, space, irony, humor, pathos, everything. It was awful. Horrible.

I searched for some info regarding this abomination. And found a review from Mark Kermode, a critic for the BBC, who compared the experience to sitting through another painful cinematic experience, apparently, “A Serbian Film”. So of course I needed to read more about THAT film, and I’m sorry I did. Here’s the Wikipedia article about it. I warn you, it’s fucking vile.

But if you must….

So as I understand it, after having read further, it may be that the film is an allegorical commentary on the Serbian tragedy of the past few years. It doesn’t matter. But whenever I hear of anything having to do with Serbia or Macedonia, my thoughts turn to Debbie. It doesn’t matter. Serbian folk music. Debbie. Macedonian Squirrel Cookies. Debbie. Yugo (the car). Debbie. When someone says “You Go Girl” at the doctor’s office. Bosnian Monkey Chunkers. Debbie.

See, Debbie and I met during my senior year in high school. We were at an All-County Chorus festival (ahem, only the best of the best). And some of the fellas were auditioning for solo parts in one of the songs we were singing, “Every Time I Feel The Spirit”, that negro spiritual that we West Seneca kids were so familiar with. “Dat Jordan River, it chilly and cold, it chill de body, but not de soul…” Hey, I could relate. Anyhow, I gave it my best shot, and they picked a couple other guys, and that was that.

Then, during break, the prettiest girl I had ever seen got my attention and sweetly, earnestly, somewhat sardonically opined, and I quote, “Don’t let this go to your head, but I thought you were the best one…” and her name was Debbie. And it still is.

It was nice talking to Debbie, but while we talked, coincidentally, one of the majordomos in the hierarchy of choral fame tapped me on the shoulder and informed me that I would, in fact, be one of the soloists! What a moment! I mean, the other soloist would be a genuine descendent of a former slave, but maybe they were making their own ironic statement by forcing the audience to process the sight of a black fellow and me, the Caucasian-iest of the Caucasians, in a battle for the choral ages, perhaps an ersatz re-enactment of the civil rights struggles of the 60’s. Or we were just the two best singers. It didn’t matter. It mattered that Debbie was there to witness all of it.”Don’t let this go to your head..”? How could it not??

I remember getting her phone number in the parking lot as the buses pulled away for the final time, and looking forward to breaking the “wait-a-day” rule. And we made a date to meet at Sambo’s on Union Road. According to my scorecard, it was, in fact, a date. I remember being really nervous, and I remember being crushed when she told me she would only consider marrying a guy of Macedonian origin. I guess I knew it was too good to be true, but still, it was nice to think, for a moment, that trapped beneath the boozy haze of my white-trash upbringing, someone as sweet as she could see my talent. That meant everything. And it still does. And we sorta lost touch after that.

So years later, our paths crossed again in college. She and I were both pursuing degrees in Broadcasting. Seeing her every other day was so nice, even though I believe she was dating someone else. A great thing about Debbie you should know: She liked my poetry. All those strange, intentionally off-putting poems and stories that all my old friends back in Buffalo know me for were written with Debbie in mind. Not about her, but to show to her and make her laugh. Once I knew she was a captive audience (we were in a classroom, where could she go?) I couldn’t be stopped. The night before seeing her, I worked for $3.10/hr. in the gym locker room, making sure nothing got stolen. I was terrible at my job, but I learned to pick locks.

I won’t post them all here, but I do have some pieces of paper still floating around with my deviant scribbles. Things like:

Roses are red, violets are blue, hot feathered smell-hole, I’ve got a Jew. 

I saw that she was working at a local college and I sought her out unsuccessfully for a few years, but when I found her on the Facebook, it was good to see her smile again. She had changed but she was still doing what she loved, out there singing, dancing, and still, through it all, I could still see the sunshine in her soul. I won’t say more about my friend Debbie except to say that I think about her at unexpected times, and she might not think about me, and that’s ok, because she probably never knew what she gave to me. A beautiful, wonderful stranger came to me and said something nice when I needed to hear it. For that, no matter how far we drift, I will never forget Debbie.

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Who dunnit? Answers.

So let’s see here:

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(After meeting you on a blind date) I’ve decided to stay with my boyfriend.

That happened! She was one of these BPO women. We connected via my phone solicitation and the “action” quickly went to my apartment (phone) where we shared many bawdy stories. Very, very bawdy. Needless to say, her boyfriend was on his way out and she and I should get together and do…stuff. When she opened the door to my teeny tiny apartment and saw my silly wardrobe and ill-groomed countenance, her eyes sort of dropped back into her skull like mine would when Scott Norwood missed. We had an awkward drink at some Buffalo bar, she dropped me off, no kiss, no fantasies that we had discussed would be acted out, and three days later (we spoke every day for a week leading up) I called her to give it the old college try…again…but she was going back with her boyfriend. The one that hit her.

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I have made a pledge with myself and my god to remain a virgin until I’m married. Even so, I am not attracted to you.

This happened! A devout catholic who’s snark and intellect would seem to be a dream match but that’s just a theory. A great gal. I remember going out on a date with another couple. I was asked to tell the story of how we met. I blabbed on like I was Shakespeare or Gore Vidal. Romance this. Chance that. And on the way home, all happy with myself for being so damned eloquent, she blindsided me with the line above. Does oral count? It doesn’t matter. She tapped my shoulder like I was being shelled by the Yankees.

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I have invented a paint that changes color when you look at it, and the government is after me to steal it. Also, I want to remain a virgin. I really like being a virgin.

This happened! Whoa nelly!!! I asked a stunning girl out in 1989 or so. she worked at the Towne Restaraunt in Buffalo. She had a delightful bodice, nerdy glasses, and random braids of random colors. Sweet poppa chongo I loved that gal. Or at least the idea of her. When she said yes to a date I was three feet off the floor and full of flippy floppy!! So we went to dinner and a movie. She sat down a seat from me, which really crushed me. I feel like I wrote this before here. Did I? Well, we went on a couple more dates, each one providing more solid evidence that no, she was not going to prance around in a silk camisole for me, and no, we were not going to act out pages from my own adaptation of the Kama Sutra, and no, I would not be getting a boyfriend discount on souvlaki. The kicker came when she told me about the paint she had invented that changed colors when you looked at it, according to your mood. And the government was out to get it, and her. I swear I told you all this before. Anyhow, even a horny fool knows when to bow out gracelessly.

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I must stop seeing you because your dirty apartment reminds me of my mother.

This happened! Dave and I were looking for something to do in Buffalo on a Friday night. And I needed to go to the Wilson Farms next to my apartment for some smokes, so that’s what we did. I made nice conversation with the gal behind the counter, and she agreed to meet us at the Towne. She was a little pedestrian, which is probably why she kept having to avoid cars on the road when they couldn’t see her, but she was also very attractive in that Buffalo girl way. I couldn’t tell you her name. But she dumped me over the phone with the line you see here after spending a few evenings in my apartment.

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I cannot date you because I am training for the Olympic Archery team.

When I was working at Ingram, I had a crew that I would go to lunch with on a regular basis. When I was with them, my cocksure ego overrode my normally shriveled self-esteem. Everything I said, it seemed, was funny. Every time a pretty girl was waiting on us, the charm got turned on. And so it was at one of those delightful pizza places on Hertel Ave. I couldn’t tell you what she looked like now, but I thought she was diggin’ my rap. So I asked her out. She gave me her number. I waited the requisite two days and called her. She told me that she was too busy. She was training for the Olympic archery team. Too busy. Sorry. I think I may have called the National Olympic Committee to check if her name was on any roster that they knew of, but the answer they gave escapes me, as did/does common sense.

See, when there’s a barista or a waitress or a service industry worker of any kind, they’re PAID to be friendly. They are friendly because that’s how they make more MONEY. It never occurred to me that her pleasant demeanor and tepid acquiescence to my flirtations were a means by which she would be able to get more cash out of me. How stupid was I?

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Your hygiene is terrible.

If anyone ever thought this of me while I was either smooching them, trying to manually close the deal that my other parts could or would not, or getting out of my fast-food wrapper-carpeted Chevy Spectrum smelling of repeated, un-showered layers of Pierre Cardin cologne in the phallus-shaped bottle from my mother for the 5th straight Christmas because once I said it smelled nice, they never said it. So congrats, one person who guessed this.

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Man Against Mauve – Hip Hop Almighty

I have no idea what this song was supposed to be about. More a groove than a song, really.

Man Against Mauve – Drive Away

Here’s another one from WBNY‘s 33 West show. 1987.

“Drive Away” (1986) was written about my ex-girlfriend. She and I spent most of our “together time” at her house, watching MTV, waiting for her mother to go sleepies, and then delving deeply into the world of neophyte carnality. Oh, it was sugar. Sweet, sweet sugar, I tells yez. However, she soon learned to drive. And her new-found freedom meant new friends, new experiences, and not much of the fun we had so enjoyed. So I wrote a song-cycle called “Mary and the Monster”. Do you have my second CD, “Our Deepest Apathy…”? The song “Downtown” is from that song-cycle. The songs therein were supposed to tell the story of our courtship, coupling, corrosion, and collapse. All I wanted in the world, once I was finished with it, was for her to hear it. I put a copy in her mailbox. And even though I’ve seen her a few times since then, I still have no idea if she’s heard it all the way through.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyhow, my friends in music thought it was pretty good, and I was able to take pride in it as well, once the searing pain of a humiliating break-up wore off a bit. So I formed a band to play it live, thinking it was a good starting point. A set of original music ready to go. That’s how Dave, Paul, Jeff and I got down to the business of being rock stars. “Drive Away” was about her finding her freedom at my expense.

The truth of the matter is that I was absolutely at fault as much as she was.

It’s a good song by a good band. I hope you like this and the other offerings from this, our big TV breakout.

 

Man Against Mauve – I Had A Girl

I wonder if Michel Weber remembers this song. A pretty funky version from 1991.

Another girl, another song cycle, this time for another girl from 1986, but the song dates from around 1988. Good lyrics, I think. And my publishing company name “Autoholic Friend” comes from this song. Self-depricating to the point of exhaustion, “People call me cynical, people call me mad, everything considered, I’m the best I ever had…”

Man Against Mauve – Anything

1987. I was playing a right-handed Yamaha bass guitar left-handed. Dave Pandolfi had yet to come to terms with his scoliosis. Paul Hoeflich was pure and innocent, and Jeff Dolina was muscular.

Man Against Mauve, for the first time, on the internets. Here is the first song from our appearance on WBNY‘s “33 West”. The song is “Anything”.

This is the second song from “Mary and the Monster”, the point in the story where love is pure, all thoughts are happy, and two people represent an infinite, positive reflection of the future in each other. And the fucking.

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