Monthly Archives: September 2005

Last Day of September Part Zero

Right now I am ready to relax for my first day off in weeks but I have two things to begin the Last September day with, and then I will write more later Friday afternoon sometime,

A quote to commemorate September, the month it was discovered that gorillas use tools:

“Chimps are portrayed as the super-ape and gorillas are the big brutes in the forest,” said Richard Carroll, a primate expert and director of the Africa program at the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, D.C. He has conducted gorilla field studies since 1980. He did not contribute to Breuer’s report.

“Gorillas are very intelligent, but they don’t have to be as delicate as chimps – they can just smash open the termite nest,” said Carroll, who a decade ago reported observing gorillas using sticks to ward off attacking leopards.

“New studies like this show that especially lowland gorillas are very chimplike in their abilities,” he said.
People have been finding 3rdarm.biz by searching for the weirdest phrases on Google, including “john wayne had undigested beef in his intestines”, “ultra 64 controller”, and “men s hair perm fantasies.” I have assembled a poem in honor of the month of seasonal transition, September, using the list of Googled keywords used to locate 3rdarm.biz, in order of frequency,

“Song for Questions” September 2005

arthur mullen
3rdarm.biz
3rdarms bizness
fishsex-mothers cadillacking
ultra undigested children-beef
3rd charles river
wayne in traps
arby
john arms skins
song for questions
lemur-pidgeons with perm
bizmark intestines
stubbornlion do dr. controller
men thinking picture fantasies his hair
i had pastry 64
racing gimp m homing meyer
as often III hartford

The Return of Bizarro Art

Back in the day when I was a freshman in high school I was plagued by Bizarro Art syndrome. The perpetrator was a man named William William Williams, and he was the exact opposite, physically, spiritually, and mentally, of everything I was reppin’. He wore glasses, I didn’t. He was three years older than me. Also, he wore plaid shirts with buttons, and made jokes about ranching porcupines. I wore sweater vests and told monologues based on the observational humor of Jerry Seinfeld. Also, he played a horn in the band and I was trained on violin in the orchestra. And that’s the tip of the iceberg. It was so obvious that we were polar opposites that the magnetic fields pushed us against opposing lockers when we happened to pass in the hallways. You see, I knew so thoroughly what I was reppin’, but I had no idea who I was. William William Williams had no idea about reppin’, clearly, but the man knew all about himself. It was a source of my adolescent frustration, for sure.

Back in those days I used to ride to English class with mah man Schwartz, because he held the power of the schwartz. Our teacher was Ms. Moberly, who took a leave of absence halfway through freshman year to drop a baby into a birthing tub, and finish her epic poem, Benediction… the finished copy, after 10 years of labor mixed in with some 9 months of additional labor & the birthing tub, contained the line, “Pulling many multi-colored fish out the ground with my hands…” That is all I remember now. Anyway, this is Schwartz here, the first proprietor of freestyling.com, which he later sold for large G’s: schwartz rocking it large on 3rdarm.biz

Tonight Schwartz gave me royal shivers with the following conversation-

schwartz (11:24:33 PM): yo
schwartz (11:24:38 PM): bizarro art is on http://65.75.50.13:8000/listen.pls
arthur (11:24:54 PM): what the hell is that?
schwartz (11:25:00 PM): a shoutcast server
arthur (11:25:01 PM): im listening to my own shoutcast right now
schwartz (11:25:04 PM): trinity college radio
arthur (11:25:09 PM): 3rdarm.biz:8181/listen.pls
schwartz (11:25:13 PM): oh man
schwartz (11:25:19 PM): choices
schwartz (11:25:23 PM): art or bizarro art
schwartz (11:25:36 PM): nah bizarro art is about to blow up
—– arthur silence —–

schwartz (11:37:03 PM): yo you are missing he is ripping it

Okay so now I have to deal with all this paranoid bugged-out Bizarro Art is better than me because he is my opposite shit. God damn it. When I asked schwartz if I could include him in this study of my psychological weakness, he said, “Include my fascination with backgammon, a most underrated board game. Yet once you master it, its genius. Gotta get inside the head of your opposition.” Mebbe I start practicing now, and in 4 more years i can beat Bizarro Art.

Let the schwartz be with you, always.

The Raw Bar Has Been Filthy

I should be reading Brave Men by Ernie Pyle about the Naval Invasion of Italy by the world’s largest super-fleet but instead I am pouring over the New York Times and reminiscing. I don’t have much left today because I battled hundreds of super-oysters. But I am not as far-out of my head as some of the columnists from the NYT:

DISCLAIMER: Need Times Select Subscription, Yay.

“Imagine that the Gulf Coast was inundated not with water but with a swarm of nanobots. These would be microscopic machines designed to break down substances like cancer cells in a body or pests in a farm field.

But what if scientists accidentally created some superorganism that outcompeted all other life and wiped out everything on the Gulf Coast – then spread like pollen around the world. What if they engineered nanobots that kept replicating and evolving until they broke down the substance of every living thing, leaving the planet covered in gray goo?

This is part of what Joel Garreau calls the Hell scenario in “Radical Evolution,” his book analyzing the new forms of life – including “transhumans” and “posthumans” – coming to your neighborhood soon. A man has already used his thoughts to send e-mail and control a robotic arm. And in three years, there could be memory-enhanced humans who take pills to banish senior moments and raise their SAT scores by 200 points.”

Using thoughts to control a robotic 3rdarm…. thats what I do here at my website. Tierney is talking about my website and he is absolutely correct about everything except the Future and What to Do About it. Paging Tom Friedman.

tom friedman has his picture taken with an alien yet remains goofy 3rdarm.biz

Night of the Dying Bizamp

Saturday morning I served two iced teas only, both to the same woman.  The #1 lunch server in North America took it to the East Coast Only for a buffet of 40 celebrating a 60th birthday party.  Two of the family & friends were under 30, approximately, and everyone else was over and up.  They did not drink iced teas Saturday morning, but plenty of gin & tonics, blood marys forget about it.  I used a beverage tray, under heard of under those circumstances & rarely used at the Grill, which is built for speed, direct delivery of freshly made drinks & big bold flavors.  Lunch was a piece of cake… for me.  For the rest of the revelers & wellwishers lunch was a piece of pecan pie or key lime, and they had to choose.

At home after the service period I laid on the couch and read Joan Didion’s excellent piece in the New York Times magazine & eventually fell asleep.  I dreamt about elephants with toyguns in an artificial environment specially built for them on the moon, where weightlessness gave them newfound flexibility & intense intelligence, from where they plotted to launch an invasion of Earth, in the year 2001, using terrifying time machines which send elephants into exceptionally fast orbit, and back to the year 2001, where they come jumping out of the burning World Trade Center.

Upon waking, the first thing I realized was that I was going to have to eat roast beef very soon, or my life energy might lapse and I’d drift back to the dream of the elephants.  I drove over the Tobin Bridge and then down to the waterfront to the drivethru of my favorite Chelsea waterfront-area Roast Beef drivethru.  Rileys, is the name, although Allan from Cheapo’s says the roast beef there tastes like dog shit.  It does not, but since he said that I do order mine to be pastramified, cause Lord knows that takes of the fecal factor.  The pastrami is hot at Riley’s, though the process of pastramification tends to paste the meat to the wax paper wrapper. Other than the equivalent of 4 peanut butter cups & 5 peanut butter cookies, a Big One Pastrami and One Large Curly were it for my stomach Saturday.

When I came out of my pastrami-coma I nearly scratched my pure-white Faith car in a minor parking fender bender (Thank god it’s 100% fiberglass like a boogie board).  I dallied on the computer and with the new Harper’s until I fell back to sleep, and the roast beef sure enough took care of the surly space elephant high-speed invaders.  All that shit was buried under a mountain of mostly Pastramified Riley’s Roast Beef & I was able to maintain a steady sleep until late Sunday afternoon.  I was wearing an all-fleece outfit, which was soft when I wore it around the house, but acted as velcro for keeping me in bed.  I didn’t even drink any coffee at all on Sunday because I woke up so late.

Sunday afternoon was a bit cool, but I read Frank Rich and the rest of Week in Review on the deck.  The vibes were chill.  Music was blapping several houses beyond, flourescent lime-green vested Public Workers were laughing like hyenas by the public works & Frank Rich was speaking the Gods’ honest truth.  Being out in the air reminded me of my personal conviction that life works in 4 year cycles, the same as Presidential elections.  4 years ago at this time I was out on my own for the first time in the quickly darkening streets of the South Loop & 4 years later I remember how freedom felt for the first time.  Autumn is the season of memories.

Maureen Dowd was on Meet the Press 9/25/05 morning.

Night of the Living Bizamp

Lunch, I have to go serve iced teas. The live shoutcasting went down tonight and for all those that missed it, I will be replaying the whole session continously in its entirety on 3rdarm.bizamp. Also some pictures in the green box. Look forward to the next session.

Dia De La Live Shoutcast

Tonight, the night of friday, at approximately whatever time (?), big e and i will be playing records live on the shoutcast bizamp… Until then:

My good writing friend Emerson has restarted his blogging engine, found at White Animal,

he and big G have finished posting their euro pics, some of which are fantastic,

and our neighbor downstairs is stealing our internet access. I can’t play Quake 2 and although I’ve been told he is blameless in this, I am still a little crazy, because my Quake 2 yayas do that to me.

Tune in to The Shoutcast Bizamp tonite and listen live to the amazing sound of my Quake 2 yayas coming out.

Just for fun, heres a list of the countries & regions who’s peoples have checked out 3rdarm.biz in september: United States, Canadia, Netherlands, China, European Union, Australia, Finland, Great Britain, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, & Thailand… (listed most visits to least) Wtf is going on?

International Human Resources Customized Power Lunch

A plan has begun to blossom in my head for dealing with working multiple double shifts in a row. Take the medicine early, but not until after 3/4 a large coffee and at least one cigarette. Not until already riding on the Green Line train. Otherwise it will be too early. Take the medicine and finish the large coffee and try to smoke a second cigarette as soon as possible. Drink two cappucinos, and smoke one more cigarette before noon. That lays the AM foundation for PM success.

Thirty minutes after noon on Wednesday the international human resource people came into the hotel to have a 45 minute Power Lunch. Srecko & I were on hand to guarantee the group got served within that timeframe. Everything had been planned in advance. The Power Lunch had been customized so as to agree with the distinct international tastes of the group. The human resource people were a very international group. Of forty people altogether, twenty arrived in handmade African gowns. These were all men. The customization called for the tables to be set with cold tap water, NO ICE. To comply, Srecko and I set the ice water out 45 minutes before the group’s arrival, and opened the curtains so that the sunshine melted the cubes. The tap water was cold and mostly cubeless upon their arrival, in accordance to the customization.

The sole beverages for these Africans & Middle Easterners & British Raj was to be iced tea, NO ICE. The internationals, I knew from experience, hate ice of all sorts. So the ice was kept on the side of the beverage set-up, in a bucket. To be scooped by request. The typical beverage order exchange went as follows. “Good afternoon sir, may I get you some iced tea, with or without ice?” “Yes, I will take a pineapple juice.” -or- “Yes, a sprite. NO ICE.” To which our only reply, in compliance with the customized Power Lunch menu, was, “We are authorized only to serve iced tea, with or without ice. Would you like iced tea?” To which the majority of the responses was a blunt, “Tea.” Srecko or I would then return with an ICE FREE iced tea, plunck it on the table, and scurry away before a comment or complaint could be registered.

The international human resources people had to be in and out in 45 minutes. Out of 4 choices for their one course Power Lunch, quite a few tried to order three or all four choices as a series of courses. They were refused. No pineapple juice today, and no you cannot select the entire menu for your lunch. The fish was prepared in a rice tempura batter, and was the most popular final answer. NO RICE, said many of the customers. Its in a rice batter, we explained. NO RICE. Or, when we served the fish and chip, the flip side of that discussion was, Where is my rice? MY RICE. Some of the people that ordered the sirloin & chopped salad ate the steak only and then asked for a second sirloin. I brought them an un-iced iced tea instead.

The ones that ordered the shrimp quesadilla were upset until they found the shrimp, cleverly hidden inside the quesadilla. One guy that got chowder asked for PEPPER. PEPPER! Srecko brought over the peppermill but when he was bringing it down to the man’s bowl of chowder the man grabbed it and fought Srecko for it. As if he thought an attempt on his life was being made.

Look it, these people were good people for the most part, but as a server in America I feel a right to poke fun at their wackiness. Last year we had the same people for a party and I was a busboy. An African woman showed up with a fantastically giant flamboyant hat with REAL FRUIT in it. To be fair, last year the International Human Resources menu had an appetizer, entree & dessert, and they had a full choice of beverages. So they are forgiven for expecting the same or better this year, but their hosting group either ran out of time or money (which are really the same thing). So I don’t blame the internationals, I merely poke fun at their wackiness.

The energy-star plan for working doubles continued after the Customized Power Lunch ended. Buy a can of Red Bull on the way home. (Avoid drinking soda. There is not enough caffeine in soda to sustain you, it cannot be trusted and will only slow you down.) Do not drink the Red Bull. Think about the Red Bull. Pretend you drank it. Think about the effect it will have on your metabolism. Do not eat anything, or if something is absolutely needed, a small bowl of rice. Eating in quantity will only slow down your metabolism and make you want to sleep. When you have carried the Red Bull on your person for half an hour, you are free to drink it. Do not expect to feel better; it is merely to raise your metabolism.

Do not smile or laugh in the afternoon. It takes a couple hundred facial muscles to smile, but only 3 or 4 to frown. Conserve those muscles, let them stay relaxed. Do not drink coffee, as this will make you feel like you have to go to the bathroom, or start you yawning. Let the Red Bull raise your metabolism and keep it at that level for the rest of the evening. Do not talk to other people, or let them engage you in discussion. This will lead to smiling, or laughing. Remain focused on the strategy. As the evening turns into night and the end appears on the horizon, let the smiling and laughing return naturally. Abundant beef brisket & Pall Malls will be at hand, if you follow these directions and successfully pull double after customized power double.

Crumbling Buildings Falling hurricanes Earth shattering membranes Scattering insane Happening

Last night, I had a strange dream about the owner of the Grill. Let me take it back…

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary party at the Grill, an event titled, “To All the Chefs I’ve Loved Before.” To commemorate 20 years of grilling, the owner, the Man, called back some of the chefs he had previously employed, who had since moved on to cheffing and owning their own restaurants, to return to the Grill and each cook a course for the pleasure of the crowds. I was put on the party as the oyster shucker, but had been unsure of my exact role for the night. I figured that the Returning Chefs would pretty much have the food covered. Wrong. The very first course of the evening, to my horror, was titled, “Super Raw Bar…” which could only mean one thing.

I arrived early in the afternoon after waiting tables at the hotel. It had been a slow day at the hotel, interesting only when my musky Indian coworker made a 5 gallon pot of steaming hot iced tea, which should have been a 5 gallon pot of steaming hot coffee. I had never before seen so brazen and unusual a fuck-up. Anyway, I got over to the Grill around 3:30PM and immediately went about my task of rinsing and icing up about 360 oysters and 120 clams. At the preshift meeting I asked the Man if it was a coincidence that all the chefs he’s loved before happen to be men. I think it was the over-fatigue talking, and I wasn’t the only one blushing after the fool words left my mouth.

The raw bar was complete and ready to rock well before the 6:30PM start time, so I turned my focus to creative tasks, like changing the chalkboards to appropriate 20 year anniversary slogans such as, “Celebrate the bidecadial.” At one point all the cooks were bunched up, staring with beedy eyes at my chalkboard that read, “Come, celebrate the bidecadial.” What the fuck is a bidecadial? they called out to me. Flippantly I replied, go ask Bill Safire. The Man came over and I BS’ed him and the managers into momentarily believing that “bidecadial” was a word, and it perplexed the customers & revelers throughout the celebration. The celebration of the bidecadial.

The celebration kicked off around 6PM, which was when people began amassing at the bar. The Man gave the green light to me and my wingman, Dan, and we began the mass slaughter of oysters. Oyster juices and half shells were literally flying into the air and got all over my shirt, face & hair. We pumped them out. Many hundreds total shellfish throughout the cocktail hour. It made me feel like a man to kill so much. At one point I felt so much like a man that I thought I’d grown facial hair. It was merely an oyster, cut free from its shell, plastered on my upper lip. A couple of the clams had partially opened shells from which they witnessed the carnage, and they tried to run away, but I scooped them up & they were rapidly vivesected. The celebration of the bidecadial.

At 7:30PM it was all over and the only shellfish remaining were in a small pile under ice on the raw bar, quivvering like a jellomold. Purple oyster blood and juices covered every square inch of my skin & clothes, and my teeth were stained purple because some of the oysters had resisted the knife, forcing me to rip them open with my canines & incisors. I counted the remaining oysters and subtracted them from the starting figures, and then reported loudly to all revelers the total destruction. Over 300 shellfish had gone down throats. Some customers had become addicted to the oyster juices throughout the mania, and now had to be hooked up to machines that would let them come down slowly off their fix. They trembled from withdrawal, as I took off my butcher apron and packed up the refugee oysters. Super raw bar.

On my way out the door the celebration of the bidecadial was in full swing. I didn’t know what to make of it, my role had been fulfilled. I shook the Man’s hand and congratulated him on 20 years of all that. He looked at me, dripping with oyster juices, and then over at the raw bar itself, which looked something like what the Alamo might have looked like had there been over 300 hundred Davy Crocketts slaughtered instead of just one. Minus all the cooncaps, natch. The Man shook his head slowly, and I could almost hear him whisper, “You’re fired.” Instead, he barked loudly, “That raw bar is a mess. I will be talking to you all about cleaning up better.” I nodded, and left, stinking of the sea.

After I got home, took a shower & relaxed a minute, I decided that it had not been a gracious exit for such an occasion. In clean clothes, with only a bit of purple left behind my ears and under my fingernails, I returned to the Grill. Thanked the Man for hiring me and properly congratulated him on his bidecadial achievement. Then I went to the Hess gas station and bought me four Reese’s peanut butter cups and I ate those. That made me feel much better. So anyway, last night I had the weirdest dream, and it was about the owner of the Grill:

My friend from Chicago came to visit me in Boston but got arrested. I bailed him out of jail but then lost track of where he was. Turns out he was pawning this gold ring he had for some crack cocaine (?). I was so disappointed but determined to get him back, I prowled the streets in my car. Finally, I located my friend, scooped him up in the whip and drove him to an apartment I was renting in New York City (?). It was a tiny apartment with one big bed, and I put my friend to sleep on one side of the bed and lay down to sleep on the other side. The Man came shuffling in, and tucked us both in (?). He said, “Goodnight,” and then left.

I need a day off.

Spiritual Connection to the Red Sox

The last summer I spent in Chicago was an exhilerating season of baseball.  The Chicago Cubs had a great record for the first time in the millenium and the talk of the town was that they might play the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.  I was living Northwest of the city with my friend Luis and his girlfriend Katie in a tiny apartment on the cusp of Humboldt Park, working as a dishwasher at a hotel.  Tragedy fell on my head as I learned that my mom had passed away, and I knew that I would have to leave the city of Chicago.  I made plans to move to Boston, because I had people there willing to set me up.  The week after the funeral I made a trip up to Boston to lay down those plans, and while visiting I bought a yellow Red Sox hat.  That hat stayed on my head as I finished my last two months of dishwashing at the hotel, so that everyone in the building would know where I was headed.

At the end of the summer, I arrived at South Station with my mountains of records and the yellow Red Sox hat on my head.  I got off the train and into my sisters car, and as we took off into the ancient, winding streets of this coastal city, I whipped the hat off my head and threw it out the windy window, giving it back to the Boston nights.  It was a spiritual move, and a practical one.  Spiritual in that the energy of the hat had belonged to me in my last times living in Chi, but now back on the East Coast that energy must be given back to its proper owner, the city of Boston.  Practical in that I didn’t want to look like every other schlub in the city of a million Red Sox hat wearing schlubs. I told my Bostonian buddy Ro, who is huge into baseball (although a noob compared to his sports-writing brother), that the Red Sox would win the World Series.  I could feel it coming, as that yellow hat had come, across the plains of Pennsylvania on a train in the night of America, a train named destiny.

The Cubs and the Red Sox both advanced to the post season that fall.  The Cubs played the Marlins and lost the series, 4-3.  The Red Sox faced off against the Yankees.  Game 7 found me working in a new hotel, now as a busboy.  I was bussing a private party in one of the private dining rooms.  They had a television brought in as the game went to extra innings.  The service in the room ended, the servers went home, but the customers refused to leave.  They didn’t want to chance missing Destiny.  As a busboy I was left behind to wait for the customers to leave, so that I could finish cleaning the room.  It got later and later.  The Red Sox lost on a homerun in the eleventh inning.  Like the Cubs, they lost the series 4-3.  The hotel gave me a cab voucher to get home, because the trains had stopped running to Cambridge.  I didn’t just jump into the cab on my exit, though.  That night I walked the streets of Boston a bit, amidst public sadness & abandoned signboards that said, “This is the year,” and “Cowboy Up.”

One year later the cities of New York and Boston got into the same series, and New York ramped up 3 straight initial wins.  But then the Man Upstairs, aka Big Papi, got to the plate in Game 4, with Destiny on the line, and crushed a homerun.  That opened the can, the Ark of the Covenant, and Pandora’s spirits came out of the mouths of every fan of baseball, magnetized to the skin of the boys from Boston.  The potential energy was converted, the corner was turned.  The Red Sox won the next four games and the World Series, and my prophecy was fulfilled.

I mention all this because of the current strange similarity to the Boston Red Sox and my spiritual life.  The Red Sox are in first place with the Yankees hot on their trail, and are in the midst of playing 30 games in 30 days.  They have not had a day off since August 22.  I am on a similar journey, working 2 full time jobs with exhaustion and defeat hot on my trail.  We are both holding on until our opportunity arrives.  The city of Boston and this restaurant professional are running parallel processes, and there is plenty of heat and energy about.  Every day is hustle time, one more mountain to climb, hard work around the corner.  But I believe in the country of me and the Red Sox, and faith is a strong wind on the back.  Anyway…

I set up the Scrod Hut with the help of one busboy Saturday morning, basically by myself to do the server side work.  We turned that corner and headed into the evening.  Last night I served dinner at the Scrod Hut while Manny Ramirez was smashing a game-winner over the Green Monster.  I love serving people because its such a tight human connection, and I do enjoy pleasing people.  Almost nothing is as pleasurable as a good meal.  Dinner service is a strange beast because there is so much time for server/served interaction, compared to lunch, due to the amount of time spent at the table. But sometimes the customers just wants to be left alone, so its important to be sensitive to bright-line boundaries. I hit it off with a table of nine wonderful women and they paid with a wad, and Manny Ramirez hit that homerun with such a sweet swing.

I don’t have any days off either, and so I draw energy from mythical mystical metaphorically mindful manifestions of faith.

Friday night E and 3rdarm (uhh…me) spun records live on the 3rdarm server.  We didn’t get more than a handful of listeners because there was no heads-up, and a lot of people spend Friday night away from the computer.  Next time there will be a heads up, until then, keep your head up.

Have you seen the Revolution controller?  I’d love to play me some Quake 2 ctf in “nanchaku mode.”

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