NYC in the morning…

6:30pm

I’m heading to NYC in the morning. Flight leaves around 7am. Figured I’d blog through this evening. And perhaps in the a.m. before I leave.

I’m not a very experienced flyer. My 8-yr-old daughter has more miles than I do. And I’m flying alone. Also, I’ve never been to NYC before. So this should be interesting. Actually, the flight will be the easy part. More challenging will be getting from La Guardia to Grand Central Station where I’m to meet Mike, a friend from college. There’s a bus that cost $12. If can’t find that, a taxi is between $30 and $40. I’m hoping to save the money.

6:53pm

Making a pot of pasta sauce and meatballs. That’s dinner for me and the remainder get tupperware-d for my gals when the return home from LA where they have been spending the week.

Hey, I thought thought of something. When I’m in NYC tomorrow, C will still be in LA. We’ll be like one of them famous, rich  power couples of whatever that divides their times bewtween and NYC and LA. Only with out the fame or the riches or the power. But still. Kewl.

Things to do, things to do. Like clean the guinea pig’s cage tonigt. I’m off!

7:10pm

The guinea pig cage clean.

Getting my travel face on — grrr! Watching Grosse Pointe Blank and having a bit of sauce (alcoholic not tomato-based).

Need to pack. I’ll be traveling light, very light. So I don’t have to check a bag, but also because I’ll be carrying whatever I bring with me all around NYC Friday. To save money, Mike and I (or rather Mike did) booked a room in Stamford, Connecticut. Sure, we’ll have to take the train in and out of the city each day but even so it’ll be less than staying in the city. I mean, unless we want to flop at a real dump or a hostel or something. No thank you! Maybe when I was in my 20s, but not now.

I blogged about the concept of traveling light in regards to Generation X but I neglected to save draft and clumsily stroked the wrong key (hate when that happens), wiping it all out.  I just got to wondering when kids regularly started carrying backpacks. I didn’t when I was young. Got my first bp when I started college. But I think it’s safe to say that Generation X pioneered, if you will, the backpack as almost constant companion. I’d imagine much if it has to do with so many kids of divorce. Since they might never know where they’d be form one day to the next, they had to carry certain thing with them all the time. They would have had to learn to pack light, not to mention quickly. I don’t have that particular skill (maybe because I feel the need to blog about it instead of actually doing it) but my wife does. Of course, her rents big D’s when she was like 2 and mine never did. Seems like there’s something to that. I don’t know.

8:29pm

Ahhhh. Nothing like a belly full of pasta and meatballs.

All but completely packed.

Need to get to bed earlier than usual tonight. Shouldn’t be hard. Feeling pretty sluggish already.

Still. I’m nervous about the trip. And not just because I’m flying alone. Or going to NYC for the first, and alone.  Been reading this book, The Survivors Club, about why certain people survive in certain situations and why other don’t, like plane crashes, which are covered in the chapter entitled Ninety Seconds to Save Your Life. Apparently 90s seconds is about all the time you have to get out of a plane that has crashed and is on fire. After that most people bite it. Also, you want to be no further than 5 rows away from an exit. Picking my seats, I made sure I was even closer than that.

Two thing to remember. First the 3-8 rule, which states that the first 3 mintues of a flight and the last 8 minutes are when a crash is mostly likely to occur. Ironically, those are the times when most people are least prepared. People have drinks before they got on bored. They take off their shoes. They read a book or newspaper. Listen to music. And reports reveal that only 61% of people actually pay attention to the in-flight safety instructions.

Second is 10-80-10. Which means that 10% of people in an emergency freeze. 80% freeze but are capable of snapping out of it. And 10% immediately act. Chances are you fall into the 80% so being prepared for that possiblity is worthwhile, because another related stats is that something like 47% of all flight attendants freeze, so you’re likely to be on your own in a crash.

The one thing I have working  my  favor, in addition to being close to an exit, is that statistically I am the most ABP (able body passenger type). I’m male, slender and traveling alone. So as long as I keep my shoes on and make a mental note of at least to escape routes I’m as well off as I can possibly be.

Anyway, you can see why I’m nervous. Maybe I wouldn’t be if I hadn’t read that stuff, but at least I’ll be prepared. Also, it’s worth keeing in mind that you much more likely to be in a car accident then in a place accident, and you’re more likely to survive a plane crash than an auto accident. Statistically speaking anyway. And staticically speaking, the majority of people survive plane crashes that are survivable. The ones that don’t are the ones that do not act to save themsleves.

So  yeah. I guess I’d rather be a little nervous and prepapred. But that’s just me.

That’s a wrap. For no anyway. Peace out.

Just walk away…

One of the other movies that I watched this past weekend was Grosse Pointe Blank, perhaps my favorite Gen X movie of all time. I know some people get a confused look on their face when I dubbed it a GenX movie, but I think I can give a plethora of reason to support this claim. I’m not going to right now, but trust me, the movie drips with Xer ethos, and not just because it stars John Cusack, who is about as GenX as they come.

Anyhoo… I was watching it again tonight. And I started thinking about this idea of walking away from one’s life, just up and going, disappearing without a word, which is the main character, Martin Blank did ten years previous to the current action of the movie. I’m wondering if there is something particularly Generation X about this notion or impulse or even the thought of it?

A more recent novel by Dan Chaon entitled Await Your Reply, explores this very idea. Check the amazon description of the novel:

Longing to get on with his life, Miles Cheshire nevertheless can’t stop searching for his troubled twin brother, Hayden, who has been missing for ten years. Hayden has covered his tracks skillfully, moving stealthily from place to place, managing along the way to hold down various jobs and seem, to the people he meets, entirely normal. But some version of the truth is always concealed.

A few days after graduating from high school, Lucy Lattimore sneaks away from the small town of Pompey, Ohio, with her charismatic former history teacher. They arrive in Nebraska, in the middle of nowhere, at a long-deserted motel next to a dried-up reservoir, to figure out the next move on their path to a new life. But soon Lucy begins to feel quietly uneasy.

My whole life is a lie, thinks Ryan Schuyler, who has recently learned some shocking news. In response, he walks off the Northwestern University campus, hops on a bus, and breaks loose from his existence, which suddenly seems abstract and tenuous. Presumed dead, Ryan decides to remake himself–through unconventional and precarious means.

My guess is Mr. Chaon does not think of himself as a Generation X writer. But he was born in 1964. And I think if you examine his other works, short stories and a previous novel, you could make a reasonable argument for him qualifying as a GenX author. Anyway, that’s my take on it. Although it wasn’t initially. Not until I watched Grosse Pointe Blank again. And recalling coming across Joshua Ferris’ new novel on amazon — The Unnamed. Check out the descrip of this new novel:

Tim Farnsworth is a handsome, healthy man, aging with the grace of a matinee idol. His wife Jane still loves him, and for all its quiet trials, their marriage is still stronger than most. Despite long hours at the office, he remains passionate about his work, and his partnership at a prestigious Manhattan law firm means that the work he does is important. And, even as his daughter Becka retreats behind her guitar, her dreadlocks and her puppy fat, he offers her every one of a father’s honest lies about her being the most beautiful girl in the world.

He loves his wife, his family, his work, his home. He loves his kitchen. And then one day he stands up and walks out. And keeps walking.

In addition to that, I thought about a stories that I’ve heard about people, GenXers, who just up and walked away from their lives one day. Not necessarily disappearing, but still walking away.

I considered too that this has been a recurring theme in my own writing, characters that just walk away suddenly and disappear. I never thought much about it until now. Why does t his interest me? Is there something it beyond my own fascination?

And so I’m wondering if this is a GenX thing, for lack of a better description. is this a commonly held experience or idea or hidden impulse within Generation X? Or am I just imaging things, as I am want to do from time to time? I don’t know. You tell me.

with the gals away the movies will play

Wife and daughter out of town, visiting family in California — Mahattan Beach and San Fran. With them gone the house is empty and quiet. So to fill the void and my time I’ve been watching a lot of movies, more than I have in some time.

This weekend, among other movies, I watched:

The Informers, based on the Brett Eston Ellis book of the same title, which as been called a novel but seems more like connected stories. In any case, I’m interested in any works of BEE’s. Set in 1983-84, this is typical Ellis fair, involving rich LA young people that do a lot of drugs, have a lot of sex. Sort of the counter-view to, say, John Hughes version of the 80s, which much less ominous, more bubblegum pop. It didn’t do well at the theater, but I liked it, for the 80s details as much as anything else. Although one thing that seemed off was the that the girls’ hair styles seemed more late 90s, i.e. straight and blonde as opposed to done up with Aquanet and brown with frosted blonde highlights etc. But maybe things were diff in LA at the time.

Good performances all around, especially by Kim Basinger and Winona Ryder, who deserves more roles but for some reason seems to have gone a little undeground — very GenX. Mickey Rourke is a good scarey guy, as per usual. Billy Bob Thornton is okay, but I’ve never been a big fan of his anyway, especially since he fucked up All the Pretty Horses, although I’ve heard it was the studios doing more than his, but in any case a serious missed opportunity.

At this point, I think the only novel of Ellis that hasn’t been made into a movie or is in production to be made into one is Glamorama. But then Ellis is,  at least in part, bank rolling these projects. Perhaps the reason he moved from NYC back to LA area. He’s an ex-prod on this film. And it seems a worthy effort. Not as good as Less Than Zero and American Psycho but then the original material wasn’t as good so. But then those movies had actors in roles they were made play, baby — Robert Downey Jr. and Christian Bale.

New featured blog

Gen X in Iraq.

I came to this blogger via facebook post by JenX67. No surprised there. If there’s a GenX blogger that Jen doesn’t know about…well, I don’t know…

He’s from Texas, a Navy Reservist who wasn’t expected to see action, but there he is in Iraq, watching things get blown up and hopefully keeping his head down. Stop by and get a first hand reports on what it’s like to be in the sh@t. And wish him well.

Take care, dude! Keep your wits about you.

Where was NPR when things sucked for Generation X?

That’s what I want to know.

Today on NPR there was a discussion show — probabl Talk of the Nation, but I don’t know for sure — that was addressing the difficulties that  recent college grads where facing as the enter the lousy job market, which of course is wothy topic of discusion, but I couldn’t help wondering where the hell was NPR (which is, come on let’s be  honest, a Boomer dominated news sourc) when things sucked for Generation X?

I’m not saying they didn’t address it. Maybe they did and I just missed it. I wouldn’t be surprised, since I was too much of a slacker to tune into NPR most of the time. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that no such discussion every took place on NPR. Furthermore, I would not be surprised to learn that GenX slackerdom and cynicism was a topic of discussion. Would anyone care to confirm or deny?

I wonder if Mellinnials appreicate the attenion they’re recieving. Considering all they’ve ever receieved is attention, I’m guessing not really. Besides they’re no doubt too busy being upbeat about the situation.

…the wheels are in motion….

…and rolling towards California.

Although we’ll probably end up flying there.

Of course, I am speaking of where my wife, daughter and I plan to relocate, with any luck by this time next year. It would seem that certain events and circumstances have conspired to help this happen. Mostly to do with C’s career. But also the behavoir of certain familial elements have only served to reinforce the desperate need for this move. Plus, The Woodward Dream Cruise this past weekend gives me yet one more reason to want to bolt Michigan.

For those not familiar with The Woodward Dream Cruise, and I’m assume there are at least a few, it is an annual event that takes place here in Southeast Michigan in mid-august, in which hordes of motor heads, car enthusiasts and other assorted automobile fetishists converge on Woodward Avenue, one of the major hub roads that runs from downtown Detroit up into the northern suburbs, and either drive their cars, many of which are sweet classic rods, although I did see this year one old Grayhound bus painted purple, up and down Woodward, or pop a squat on the side of the road and watch cars roll by. Yes, here in Metro Detroit cruising is a specator sport.

Anyhoo…before I lived so close to Woodward, I was pretty indifferent to The Dream Cruise (for short, sort of). Depsite having been born and raised in the Motor City, having a father who worked for GM for 35 years and a brother who worked for Ford for some time, and growing up with many friends that were really into cars, I’ve never been much of car person. To me they’re mostly just boxes with wheels that get you from one place to another. Don’t get me wrong I can appreciate a fine automobile as much as the next guy, but my appreciation for large hunks of metal on rubber wheels has diminished a bit since we’ve been living in B’ham, not far off  Woodward. The traffic is a pain in the ass. The cruisers that lose their way and decide to turn my street into a drag strip are all being nominated for jerk of the year, and are just lucky I don’t decide to chuck eggs that their cherry rides. ( Plus, this year my wife and her friend, while on a walk, had the misfotune of encouthering a couple of 18 year-old little pricks waving huge signs with graphic pictures of aborted feteuses on them.  Hey, I’m all for free speech, which apparently covers this sort of abhorent display, and yet if I want to parade around with a big photo of two lesbians going to lunch on each other  I’d be arrested, but this sort of thing is just wrong. Not to mention these little dickheads feel perfectly within in their rights to accoust anyone that passes close to them, verbally pistol whipping them with thier self-righteous indignation. )

What I’d like to know is what is the environmental footprint of this event anyway? Cuz it can’t be good.

Ultimately, my unwillingness to kneel before the altar of the American Automobile companies (can’t really call them The Big Three anymore, now can we) probably disqualifies me for residency in this area anyway, at least in spirit if not legally. Hell, I drive a Honda.

Of course, one could argue that you need to move from the state entire to escape The Dream Cruise. But hell, if I’m gonna move, I’m gonna move. Besides, you know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific Ocean? They say it has no memory. And that’d suite me just fine.