Wednesday, August 1, 2007

THE SIMPSONS; The Sandbar; Looking for Work


Go see it, it’s great. My only criticism: there’s a scene about 20 minutes in where Bart undergoes a public burning so to speak, and the cruelty of it set a dark tone that the movie doesn’t recover from until the last scene. THE SIMPSONS was the Bart Show for the first five years with the catch phrases and the national debates on negative influence but it’s been Homer’s for the last fifteen. The movie belongs to Homer but Bart is there with him for the resolution. Stay for the credits as there are several gags lasting until the last frame.

It will be interesting to see if the events of the movie become canonical, which doesn’t mean anything of course. On TV Homer forgets he was Mr. Plow many seasons ago even as he’s wearing the jacket. Whatever they do for a laugh is perfectly cromulent to me.


Voltaire declared that if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. So it is with The Sandbar in Rockaway, Queens. [If you Google this you will find the Village Voice misplaces it in Far Rockaway.] The Sandbar is at B. 116th and the Boardwalk. Last week after accepting a new job offer, I went down to the beach and had a few at The Sandbar. Like a neighborhood bar, your Irish bartender John offers a buyback every 4th brew or so. I sat there reading the New York Review of Books but made sure it was folded over to look like the Post or News. This ain’t Park Slope and no use alienating the regulars. It’s okay to pull out a book at the bar but I feel the NYRB is a little snobby in a neighborhood bar. A constant breeze from the beach wafted through this open air paradise, open to the beach side and the far wall on 116th. There’s a burger counter on that other side too but I didn’t have the nerve to try it. Maybe next time.

In movies and TV I’ve seen guys yell out, “Cat fight,” when two girls start fighting but I’d never seen it in real life, until last week right outside The Sandbar on the boardwalk. In this case, the cry was “Girl fight!” as two girls in bikinis were jawing and finally slapping each other on the boardwalk. There’s a major NYPD presence until 5 p.m. at 116th and the fight was immediately broken up by two cops.


One of the worst job-hunting experiences I ever had involved a publisher in 2005. The fellow who interviewed me said he’d recommend me for the job, whatever that meant. Did I have the job or not? I found out: he left the firm, his supervisor left, and the higherups I followed up with thanked me for my diligence. The trail ran cold after that. Oddly, I have a 2007 update coming up with the same company [stay tuned].

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