I'm sitting in Hamburger Harry's, next to the Lyceum Theatre, eating a Ha Ha Burger. That's a burger with Texas Chili & guacamole. I ordered it out of curiosity, which is only sometimes rewarded. Though Harry must've actually visited Texas, because this chili has no beans.

On my left, there's a table full of what seem to be Broadway producers. I'm hearing lines like this:

"The kid's great, but the show stinks."

"Sure, New Yorkers'll see it, but what about the tourists?"

"I'm not just talking Broadway, I'm talking Louisville, Kentucky!"

"Yeah, I'll throw 50 grand in there. He's a good joe."

I feel like some cracker-jack kid in a messenger cap will run in at any moment and call, "Telegram, sir! It's from gay Paree!"

Speaking of the Big Gay City, Wifely & I ate at our first French restaurant last week. And it seems my lifelong suspicion is correct: I really don't have any use for the French. The steak was all right, but I could've gotten better elsewhere for less. Wifely got the tiniest portion of duck I've ever seen (slices a single cell thick!), next to a big heaping mountain of yam puree. What bollocks. Gimme some damn food. Even the Germans can do better than that.

And speaking of the Germans, Oliver The Upstairs German hast moved out. I presume he's gone back to Deutcheland, where all the men are strong and it is not possible to live with the women. But the Other Upstairs German is still there, & I spotted his German hair products in the upstairs bathroom the other day. Some highlights from the bottles:

1. Igel-Look.


3. Halt der Swingt.

4. Mit Micro-Fruchtwachsen

and my favorite:

5. Ultra-Starker. HALT.

I get this picture of a street sign with a big naked German (Ultra-Starker) stopping people in their tracks (HALT).

While we're talking about foreigners, I've been feuding with this girl at work who's from some island in the West Indies. First of all, she sounds like Dr. Evil from Austin Powers. I had this image in my head of what someone from the West Indies should sound like, and it wasn't Dr. Evil. But even putting that aside, she finds it necessary to answer every statement I make with, "Ugh. That's because you're a Capricorn."

Now, I've been known to be something of a mystic, but I'm drawing the line here. Is the assumption going to be that all the babies in the hospital on January 15, 1974 grew up to be crusty old misanthropes who hate people that dismiss their behavior using a theory which is essentially a faulty explanation of why there are little points of light in the night sky?

And what do you think happens when I point this crap out? "Ugh. That's because you're a Capricorn." So not only do Capricorns have completely irrelevant observational skills, but none of them believe in astrology either. Fine. From now on I will only fraternize with people born between December 22nd and January 21st. The rest of you, get out.

She also calls the rest of the United States "The Middle". Even California is "The Middle". "The Middle" scares her to death, so she's never been anywhere outside NYC. She says they'll string her up. Roving lynch mobs everywhere. And she looks at me suspiciously when I try and convince her that I've lived my whole life in Texas without witnessing a single lynching. But I am a Capricorn from "The Middle". It's hard to be more untrustworthy than that. Unless of course I wore a sheet to work.

But enough white boy blues. Truth is, I've been doing music-related things all week, so there isn't really much funny/interesting stuff to write about. Unless you want to hear "I waited tensely...would Tracks 1 and 5 bounce to Track 8 with the correct balance? Could it be fixed in the mixdown? I watched as the MIDI/Disk light flashed busily, holding my fate in its blinking little hands."

Nah. Didn't think so.

So instead I'll turn things over to Wifely, who is my Guest Letterer for the week. Take it away there, sport.


...I'm sorry, what? I was distracted by images of naked German traffic cops. Ja wohl! Anyway, I'm guesting here in Matt's letter because his creative well is otherwise occupado, and because darn it, I haven't got my website up yet (it is now - ed.), where I can more fully bore the world with my mundane ramblings. Consider this a preview.

As I was walking around Midtown yesterday, it got very gray and misty and even almost chilly outside. I love this city! This is August? Right on! But as I walked around, I realized that NY, like London, looks better in the rain and the cold. A little gray, but much more like itself, if that makes any sense.

It's partly the tourists that make it less pleasant in summer, of course, clogging up the sidewalks and asking me directions and all; but at the same time, when the thermometer gets above 60, the locals all seem to get a very South-Seas-Islander- "who needs clothes anyway?" attitude.

I'm not kidding, I've never seen a less-clothed group of people than New Yorkers in June. Tube tops? Sure! Flimsy flip-flops you should only wear to a swimming pool, but instead you're walking down Fifth Avenue? Dig it! Shorty-shorts? OK! Bras? Who needs 'em? Underwear? Th-thong, baby! (Preferably a bright-colored one under white pants). Nipples? Perky! Man-packages? Bulging! And so on.

But before you start thinking this is Peeping Tom heaven, be aware that most of the people dressed this way are not hot young love-toys, but sweaty, often hairy, often scary groups of people. You will see pit-thatch. You will see belly-hair. You will see ass-crack. You will see sweat stains in surprising places. So, be prepared. Try not to stare at the fat old hairy guy who inexplicably chose the "Ricky Martin"-style fishnet shirt as the cornerstone of his afternoon ensemble. Be subtle as you edge away from the threatening-to-spill-over-boobs of the older lady who suddenly decided to take Britney as her fashion role-model. You don't want to be there when those things break loose. Trust me.

So anyway, hopefully I will soon be spared this spectacle of flesh when Winter sinks its claws into the city and everyone's decently covered up. I'm really looking forward to that. In winter, New Yorkers can be snazzy dressers--it's one of the few places you'll actually see men and women in 40's-style hats, and it works for them. Everyone seems to wear those looped-around-the-neck tasseled scarves over a dark coat, just like in all the movies about New York. It's cool.

Another cool thing (how's that for a segue) is my mom. Or rather, the way she puts me to shame when it comes to being bold. Here I was thinking moving to NY was all ballsy (ovaries-y?) of me, ditching my Texas job and Texas life with no guarantees. But then my mom informs me this month that not only did she 1). Join an Internet dating service at the age of 61; 2). Start dating a guy she met there; but 3). she is getting married in November!

Go Mom! She is my hero. She's been single since Dad died 10 years ago, and we didn't know that she'd ever get back out there, but now she's done so with a vengeance. She seems really happy, and the guy seems like a straight arrow who treats her well. Like I told her, she deserves to be happy, and you couldn't keep me away from that wedding if you tried. So Matt and I are going to TX for Turkey Day week, and watching my mom get married.

And that's cool too.



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the matthew show