Monday, December 5, 2011

my last night in brooklyn (aka a thing i wrote)

It is my last night in Brooklyn, and I’m going out with a bang… fuck a whimper.  I picked the wall out weeks ago, not sure if it would ever come to anything, hoping for a change in plans.  Destiny’s harsh on a young man.  Rebellion on my tongue and in my heart, but no reason, no outlet, no sense in it, still it remains; yearning.  It was my father’s ladder, big enough for the job, but only so once propped on a dumpster, a precarious pleasure, placed playfully.  Regarding consequences was outside of my jurisdiction at the time, the future was assumed, expected, not earned or worked for.  The young we are immortal! we scream silently to no one and everyone.  

Night falls, the ladder comes out, buckets brought, brushes bound for adventure.  The wall was perfect, rebellion assured, the message will be perfect, understood, and the heavens will sing my praises; the certainty of those who should have none.  The ladder was set on the dumpster, wobbled as was its nature, and corrected with duct tape and harsh words.  Then the leap of faith, from father’s ladder to Father’s ladder, metal safety steps, their own ladder extended out of reach of the undesired.  The legacy of a fire in the Garment District ages ago, burning Triangles… singed children and dresses, we must have an escape! the city cried.  I made my way up the fire escape, heading to the wall, the perfect wall, where my greatness will shine through, and even a passing lawman wouldn’t be able to stop me. 

A stranger’s roof, or more accurately, a roof belonging to many strangers is an interesting place to be.  The detritus of other lives lived in the city, lawn chairs, flower pots deadened by winter, a grill for the aspiring chef; signs of lives lived well, weller than mine certainly.  The wall looms ahead of me, perfect, with a light low and pointing up, perfectly lighted like a gallery, or a proper installation.  All signs that the owner sent to me, unknowing maybe, but signs sent me nonetheless.  A quick twist of a screw, and the light was deadened as well, joining the flower pots in decrepitude, there mustn’t be a sign to those below what was to occur above. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

because no one demanded it: hard data on the escobar cocaine empire!

In 1978 each kilo probably cost Escobar $2,000 but sold to Carlos Lehder and George Jung  (Johnny Depp in Blow) for $22,000, clearing Escobar $20,000 per kilo. In the next stage they transported an average of 400 kilos to south Florida (incurring some additional expenses in hush money for local airport authorities) where mid-level dealers paid a wholesale price of $60,000 per kilo; thus in 1978 each 400-kilo load earned Escobar $8 million and Lehder, Ochoa, and Jung $5 million each in profits. Of course the mid-level dealers did just fine: after cutting the drug with baking soda each shipment retailed on the street for $210 million, almost ten times what they paid for it.

Soon Lehder was hiring American pilots to fly a steady stream of cocaine into the U.S., paying them $400,000 per trip. At one trip per week, in 1978 this translated into wholesale revenues of $1.3 billion and profits of $1 billion.

Around this time he bought a Learjet to fly cash out of the U.S., and the Cartel’s expenses included $2,500 per month for rubber bands for bricks of cash.

Escobar employed a team of 10 full-time accountants to keep track of it all, but could also be surprisingly relaxed: he shrugged when $5 million was loaded on the wrong boat — “you win some, you lose some” — and accepted the regular loss of 10% of his income to “spoilage,” as up to $500 million per year was eaten by rats or rotted due to improper storage.

Escobar’s personal fortune was estimated at $7-$10 billion in 1985, of which perhaps $3 billion was in Colombia, with the rest spread out in countless foreign bank accounts and investments, including apartments in Miami, hotels in Venezuela, and up to one million hectares of land in Colombia (about 3,900 square miles, or 1% of the country’s land area).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

gchat is fun

me:  you there?
 Elizabeth:  Yeah.
 me:  do your feet get cold?
 Elizabeth:  yes.
 me:  so do mine
i thought maybe it was just me... i feel much better now
 Elizabeth:  No, a lot of people's feet get cold because no one's blood circulates as well down there.
 me:  that sounds like science!  who the fuck taught you science??!!!  THIS IS AGAINST THE LAW
 Elizabeth:  What?
 me:  well you're a woman... at the meetings we decided that women shouldn't learn science so they can continue to be disenfranchised
 Elizabeth:  But I'm in law school.
How am I going to be disenfranchised with a law school?
 me:  have you ever met a truly enfranchised woman?  think about it... law school is just another trick we're playing on you
 Elizabeth:  Well that sucks.
I wish I had known that sooner.
 me:  sorry, it's like fight club... i couldn't tell you about it until it was too late
 Elizabeth:  That makes sense.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

is my bagel place run by the mob?

So I'm kind of a weird weirdo who likes to read about organized crime.  I think I can trace it all the way back to watching The X-Files with my Dad as a kid.  Watching a show like that when you're young and don't understand the limits of what the government is actually factually capable of will fuck you up.  Man, I was ready to believe just about any crazy government rumor.  In high school, I did a year long report on the JFK assassination, and would've sworn blind to anyone who would listen that the CIA had done it under orders from Lyndon Johnson.  Of course, once you realize that the CIA had to that point successfully killed like 2 people, it kind of ruins the theory.  So i became very disillusioned in conspiracy theories, but I still had that itch, that wanting to believe there was more happening in the world than we were being told about.  You want to know about a real conspiracy theory?  There was a group of old Italian men that controlled crime from coast to coast, and culminated with the creation of LAS VEGAS.  Think about that.  A nationwide criminal fucking conspiracy, run by a bunch of old men.  How conspiracy theory is that??  If you didn't know there was such a thing, would you even believe it?

The problem with learning about organized crime is that once you've opened your eyes to it, you see it everywhere.  I went to high school in a small town in vermont.  There were like 2 restaurants in town, and one of them was a chinese restaurant.  They were cheap, they delivered to the dorm, and even though I'm almost certain they served us cat meat at times, we ate the shit out of it.  So here's the crime, when they would bring you your food, the receipts were never right.  The front of the recipt would always be a big number, and your number would be written on the back of the receipt, like they were recycling receipts or something.  Like they ran out of clean ones, so they just wrote on the back of a used one.  Here's the thing though, i don't think I ever saw a clean receipt from them, and we ordered all the goddamn time.  So maybe I'm crazy, but I think they were laundering money in that joint.  Here's how that works:

Let's say you sell drugs.  You've got a ton of cash in your house, because who doesn't like drugs?  What are you gonna do with that cash?  If you take it to a bank, the bank is gonna say, Hi, nice money, where'd you get it?  And because this country is balls, you can't just say, well my good sir, I sold a bag of drugs, and I would like to put my drug money inside your bank.  That's where the chinese food comes in.  If you buy five dollars worth of food from them, but they write ten dollars on the receipt, they can take your five dollars, and add it to five dollars of drug money, and now they can tell the bank where the drug money came from!  Oh no sir, I didn't sell a bag of drugs, I sold a big hunk of cat meat to these high school kids and called it general tso's chicken, and they gave me ten dollars for it!  Now, add up five dollars from like 10 restaurants you own, and pretty soon you're sitting on a pile of clean money that you can use for whatever you want.  Probably jetskis. 

So ok, that brings me to the bagel place a block away from my house.  I've lived in the neighborhood for a while, and in that time, the bagel place has burned down twice.  Once maybe I understand, but twice?  They're not welding firecrackers together over a bed of wood chips, they're fucking making bagels.  Now here's where the mob comes in.  I read somewhere once (of course now I can't find fucking where I read this) that the Gambino family runs bagels in this town.  Sounds ridiculous right?  Here's the thing though, the mob has always loved these little niche businesses that they can infiltrate and create a monopoly, and then hold everyone up for cash.  Like the garment industry.  Like the vending machine industry.  Like the garbage industry.  Like the waterfront.  These are all real businesses that at one time or another were controlled by la cosa nostra.  Important industries all, but smallish, you see.  Not a ton of folks were trying to make money picking up garbage.  So they created their own business, and went around to the competition and quietly said, fuck off or we'll kill you.  Bagels are the same thing.  How many people are buying bagel mix?  Full disclosure, I don't know how to make a bagel, but bagels in the city are similar enough that i'd bet they buy like a mix they add eggs and water to and make bagels with.  Well, what if you owned the company that sold the mix?  And what if you charged more than you used to because you had no competitors because they were scared to compete?  Boom.  That's the mob. 

So why specifically my bagel place?  Well, let me be racist for a second, but they're italian.  Even the israeli bagel place a couple blocks up is full of spanish dudes, but this one bagel place?  Wall to wall italian.  Part two, it's burned down a lot, and the mob in the city's always fighting about some bullshit or another.  The five families don't get along, and when they don't get along, shit burns down.  That's how it works.

So yeah.  My bagel place is run by the mob.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Based on the name, megapolisomancy is the art of predicting and manipulating the present and future using the massive building structures, roads, railways, electric lines, water, sewage and gas lines, underground tunnels and cisterns as a kind of magickal topology, which can be seeded with sigils, talismans and other occult artifacts and thereby, harnessed to whatever ends the magician would desire. As de Castries himself says in his book, as quoted in the story:

“The electro-mephitic city-stuff whereof I speak has potencies for achieving vast effects at distant times and localities, even in the far future and on other orbs, but of the manipulations required for the production and control of such I do not intend to discourse in these pages.”

Friday, September 9, 2011

what evil lurks

the sound of something magic

i'm fairly certain I would be just fine in the event of a zombie apocalypse

So I was watching High School of the Dead (it's a show), and I've learned three things. First, that they show more panties than are appropriate. I like panties as much as the next pedophile, but come on. Second, they yell more than people trying to avoid being eaten should. Pro tip, if there's something trying to fucking eat you, keep quiet. You might just make it out alive. Third, I would absolutely be able to murder my loved ones if it meant saving the group.

So they did that bit, you've seen it in some dumb movie I'm sure, where someone's boyfriend or girlfriend or wife or fucking paraplegic mom (sorry mom, if you can't walk, you're bait, not a travel companion) is about to turn into a zombie and despite them having killed like fifteen zombies already, the significant other is like, "Oh no, you're not going to turn, that infected-looking bite is totally normal, let's not warn the others." So yeah, that doesn't work out, and the guy's starting to turn, and his girlfriend is losing her shit, like "hey other guy, you're not killing my boyfriend, he's fine, he's always liked the taste of brains, in fact we met at a brain tasting in Napa." Just being loud as shit, and unhelpful, and trying to give us all AIDS, I mean, not AIDS, that would be sick if they made hundreds of movies about AIDS people turning into monsters and eating us... So yeah, the hero has to slap the unhelpful girl, like you would (you wouldn't, that's why that's a joke), and kill her boyfriend, and it's met with bawling tears, drawing more attention of course, and yeah.

So let's posit a scenario. Everyone's a zombie except you and some other unlucky pricks. You're running for your life, maybe you're looking for water, or medical supplies, or some other flimsy pretext to not be hiding in a barricaded room somewhere. And then, lo and behold, on your journey you bump into someone you love! Like you would, of course, on a normal day where there's no monsters eating baby's faces. But SHOCK, they're a fucking zombie. Because your loved ones suck. I'm not a zombie, but your fucking mom is. Your mom sucks. We all talk about it, it's time you knew. Ok so your fucking zombie mom is coming at you nice and slow, ready to eat your face. Would you be able to gank your mom? Ok I don't really like my mom, so yeah I would, but we're not talking about me, we're talking about you, and your suckass zombie mom.

Here's why I think I'd do ok. I love my sister, she's friendly and she's a goof, and she doesn't hate me even though I'm crazy. She might be my favorite person. But I would be able to shoot her right in her zombie fucking face all day if I had to. Depending on how long it's been since Z-Day, your loved one probably looks like shit, is trying to kill you, and IS TRYING TO KILL YOU. Don't be stupid, shoot your dumb zombie mom in her face. Yeah your mom is dumb. I sold her a bridge once. I don't even feel bad about it, because she looked so fucking happy. SHE DIDN'T EVEN ASK WHICH FUCKING BRIDGE. Bye.