Monthly Archives: May 2012

Subway Energy — By Jill

I’ll start off this post by saying that generally I’m a “keep hands to yourself,” bubble-of-personal-space type of girl.  Sure I like a good cuddle now and then but that takes a while and when it comes to sleeping with someone, it’s you stay on your side – I stay on my side. Don’t know what it is, but this is how it’s always been.

But as sensitive as I am to things that make me creep out, I am also sensitive to good touch. I’m not talking about masturbating here.  Dirty minds! No I mean that physical comfort you can share with someone. Hell, I’ve been on dates with guys, them sitting next to me at a movie or a play, our shoulders barely touch, and I can feel an electricity. It’s like anticipation wrapped in attraction with a side of tingling.  Don’t know why it happens. It’s not logical. But when it does, it’s undeniable.

Needless to say, most of the things on New York’s MTA subway system generally makes my skin crawl, waddle, then run. When the trains get super super crowded I almost freak out from claustrophobia. Standing smushed between people is worse than crowded seating. I usually lean forward in my seat immersing myself in my Kindle (the perfect escape from reality.) But this one day last week I felt the spark on the B train.

It wasn’t the exciting spark, it was more of a soothing wellness feeling. The train got rush hour crowded. And for some reason I didn’t lean forward. Instead I kept shoulder contact with the guy next to me (maybe ’cause he was kinda cute.) We never looked at each other, I was in to my book, he was into his iPad. But I felt it. It was that feeling comfort I had when I was with my 10th grade boyfriend, spooned on his couch after school watching Simpsons reruns. That type of comfort you can melt into.

The burdens, anxiety, and anger that accumulate on these hot and muggy days  the city of New York bestows upon me evaporated. I may have even put a little extra weight into him and I swear he did the same damn thing.  I stole a glance or two, but he never looked back.  My stop was fast approaching. I didn’t want to get up. I swore to G-d he was going to ask for my number. But sure enough 103 arrived and nothing. I got up and exited. Looking back at him through the window he never stopped reading that damn iPad.  The B train continued to 110th and stood there perplexed as to what the hell happened.

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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in By Jill


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Pimping a play – By BEN

Tomorrow’s the day.  A play I started writing a year and a half ago will be staged read by the Hudson Warehouse theatre company. It wasn’t solicited by me, it was chosen as part of their series. I am honored as I have crossed an important distinction between someone who has a talented hard drive and someone who’s work is recognized by others. If anyone is in the New York area and would like to come I would be more than happy to have you.

More Mack Jack and Jill to come.

Same River Twice
The Underground Lounge (107th and Broadway)

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Posted by on May 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


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The Post-It Date — By Mack

Continued from…The New York Post Date!

With one glance I knew…I wasn’t into her. And that this was going to be a very awkward date. Now you can chide me all you want about “beauty being on the inside” or that you fall in love with the person, but if that attraction isn’t there, it’s not there. Men fall in love with their eyes, people. It’s a fact of life.

We went off, shared a pitcher of beer, and bowled a couple of games. We both sucked by the way. Simply put we just didn’t have anything to talk about. I did my best to make the date fun. And thank God, it wasn’t a dinner date. When a date starts, you have the “exchange” part where you are essentially casting lines hoping something hooks. If it does, you’ve got conversation. When a conversation thread dies both daters feel it and it’s almost a capitulation to “cast another line.” We didn’t hook very much. The bowling really took the attention off the boring conversation. Don’t get my wrong. She was a nice girl. Teacher, worked with disabled kids, loves empanadas. But I’ve spent too long in relationships with nice girls because I was too afraid to reject them, hoping I’d fall in love with their inner self. Yea never happened.

We finished our hour of bowling but the Post was supposed to send a photographer to take pictures of us on the date. Brooklyn Bowl desperately wanted their lane back. They had paying customers. We shrugged off the manager’s dirty looks as we waited for the increasingly late photographer. Eventually he showed up and had us do a series of fun picture. While striking a pose, my bowling ball hit her bowling ball (with my finger in between the two balls.) It wasnt’ pretty.

I walked home to the Brooklyn train station alone, drunk on 3/4 a pitcher of beer, nursing my finger, pondering how I would write my mandatory recap (that had to be written by the morning for Callie.) I didn’t know how to say I wasn’t into her without making her or me sound bad. I felt because her thighs weren’t thin enough, or that her earrings were too big, or her face wasn’t pretty enough for me that that some how made me the bad guy.  And I certainly didn’t want to say that about her in print.

I made it home, threw something together and sent it off to Callie. What actually got written was a crock of shit. But what else do you expect from the New York Post?

–Big Mack Attack!

Ben’s note, here is the actual New York Post – Meet Market column. By the way, I never called her a “nice lady.”

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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in By Mack, Dating


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New York State is fucking retarded! (The conclusion to the Taxes Saga) — by Jill


It was April. My taxes were done. Due to a slight hiccup (which cost me $360) I was mailing an amended tax return to New York State. If you remember, Liberty State Tax had me paying no Manhattan residency tax. New York said I needed to pay $860. Liberty managed to get it down to$ 360. It was all set, I went to the post office to mail my stuffed envelope and be done once and for all. Or so I thought! A few days later what arrived in my mail box?

What’s that? Additional postage necessary? But I mailed you at the fucking post office!!! That’s like saying…fuck another metaphor, this post office situation is the metaphor I’ll use for other crazy Catch 22 situations of incompetence.  So back at the USPS, they were dumbfounded. If you notice that number under the $0.85, the 00026176-10, the apparently the  -10 signifies an employee number. The people at the USPS were all like “who’s 10? “We don’t have a 10!” Great. So my letter was process by a maniac who likes to disguise himself as a postal worker and process people’s mail in his spare time! I paid the extra 45 cents (apparently because my letter was thicker than a 1/4 inch, it needed additional postage) and it was done. That is the end of my taxes.

–Jill…well I guess I don’t have a signature like Mack and Jack, but you get the idea. Sing fat lady. Roll credits. Go home….sigh…

Yea we’re not done. Flash forward to a month later when I get a letter from New York State.  I owe another $530. If I don’t pay in 10 days my records will be turned over to a collections agency etc… etc. I go back to Liberty State and they are dumbfounded. The woman looks over the documents and we just figure New York has rejected the amendments and wants the full amount. I cut a check, sign my name, and seal the envelope. You can’t fight city hall, right?

The instructions for paying the balance involves me calling for some reason. Doesn’t really make sense, but whatever. The Liberty Tax woman suggests it might be just to let them know the payment is coming. I walk out of the Liberty on my way to the blue mail box when I call the number. I punch my social into the phone when the automated system asks for it then replies with, “your tax balance is zero.” Huh…Zero???

I desperately try to get an operator on the phone, but the damn system keeps hanging up on me. I head back into the Liberty Tax and I tell the woman and we tag team between her cell phone, my cell phone, and the office’s phone trying different numbers. Finally we get a live person. He tells us that, yes, my balance is zero. They processed my check, sent out the notice for additional needed funds, and after that processed my amended tax return.  Fan-fucking-tastic!

“Wait, what would have happened had I sent in my check?”
“We would have cashed it and in about 60 days, you’d have gotten a refund check.”

Assholes. But at least I don’t owe that extra $530 dollars.

–I’m just about done with this stupid city.


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Posted by on May 12, 2012 in By Jill


And Ode to Whedon — By Jack

I know that praising Whedon right now is sorta jumping on the super geeky band wagon. TIME magazine did an article about him.  The Avengers just destroyed the record for all time opening weekend (not adjusted for inflation.)  And his horror/deconstruction film Cabin in the Woods has already achieved cult classic status. By the way go see it as soon as you can. So among all this Whedon hoopla and craziness, what do I have to add?

Nothing really. I’d just like to point out the things I love about what he does and how I will be stealing it in my work for years to come.

Brief history on the guy. Whedon wrote the original Buffy the Vampire slayer, you know the one with Kristi Swanson and Luke Perry. He then adapted it to television a few years later. Now when the TV show first came out, my reaction was pretty much what everyone else’s was. “Oh God, I can’t believe they’re making into a show.” It seemed so cheesy and  Hollywood, so I went back to reading my X-Men comic books. (Which Whedon has written a few of.)

But eventually I gave it a try. I started in the middle of season 2. I couldn’t stand Sarah Michelle Gellar. The monsters looked like bad Star Trek aliens. The plots of each week’s episode seemed too formulaic. But suddenly, Buffy decided to have sex with her vampire boyfriend Angel and he went insane. Due to some curse, her most trusted and intimate partner was now hunting her friends and drawing her as she slept. It was cold, it was dark, it was chilling. But then to end the conflict, in the season finale, Buffy has resolved to kill Angel once and for all.  Whedon didn’t stop there. He didn’t just make it a conflict between good and formerly good.  Right when Buffy defeats Angel, he snaps out of it (due to the efforts of Willow, one of the most charming characters in all of the Whedonverse.) Angel is restored, loving, confused. But it is too late. Whatever plot evil Angel had set into motion could only be avoided by his death.  Buffy kisses him one last time and impales him sending him to hell.

Wow.  That’s when I realized, this guy has balls. As I watched Buffy over the next 5 seasons I noticed other things come about. I never really gave a fuck about Buffy Summers, but almost everyone else in that cast became so robust. They changed and grew. The aforementioned Willow started as a dorky teenager, fell in love with another woman, mastered witchcraft only to succumb to it like a drug, and finally find some peace with her burden.

The plots of most individual episodes were still nothing spectacular, but Whedon was a master of laying the ground work for incredible story arcs that spanned seasons.  This guy really knew how to get you involved.

But through out it all, there was always a mind to the formula. He knew when the show was getting a bit routine and it was clear he always wanted to be above that.  Sometimes, it was merely a sarcastic comment to draw attention to it. In the case of Cabin in the Woods, he has the whole end of the movie spiral out of control to spite the formula. And sometimes he’d fuck the formula by killing someone that by all story telling logic made no sense. It left you in a head space that no one in cast of characters was safe.

Granted they guy doesn’t have a perfect batting average. The first two season of Angel are pretty bad and I’m not nuts about Dollhouse. But then there is Firefly. All the complaints about Buffy (weak main character, individual plots kinda lame) are absent as you have an incredibly perfect cast and a flush sci fi western world. The show got cancelled far too soon, but it did finish things off with a film, Serenity (one of my favorite movies ever.) And everyone should Youtube Dr. Horrible.

And it’s because of all I’ve listed above, Avengers works. It doesn’t just work, it’s an accomplishment. It is fun. Balanced. Knows how to raise the stakes. And unlike so many summer action movies the ACTION feels fresh and specific and clever. It’s by no means perfect, but it is a hell of a lot of fun.  Go see it. And watch this video of the master talking at an Equality Now conference. It’s pretty inspiring.



–Jack out.


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The New York Post Date! — By Mack

My dating profile got a message one day.  But rather than the usual “BigMackAttack84? That’s a silly name” or “How can you hate the Princess Bride?” (I put that just in to grab attention,) it was a message from someone at the New York Post. Turns out they have some Dating Game/Blind Date column they run on the weekends. The gist? A girl picks one of three guys and the New York Post pays for an awkward blind first date.  Now Jack often decries the evils of News Corp and their tyrannical Aussie dictator, The Murdoch. But c’mon, the guy’s going to pay for a date, not asking me to buy blood diamonds.

I replied to the message and filled out a questionnaire and before I knew it I was off to a photo session at the News Corp building. The crusty hallways of the New York Post were not what the glamorous exterior of glass security gates and a series of check points lead me to expect. It looks closer to a crappy public school, but oh well. Callie, the girl who sent me the message, met me and lead me through the inner bowls of pure evil. I signed my rights away on some legalese contract (probably shouldn’t be writing this blog, but who cares? I’m a fictional character!) And before I knew it I was in a photo shoot.

About a week later Callie contacted me, informing me that I had been chosen. Whoo! Free datesville, population me…and some…stranger. I’d meet my future love at Brooklyn Bowl.  I arrived at the venue only to have the bouncer ask me for a cover for the show. Apparently Less Than Jake was playing. If I was still fourteen I’d have freaked out. I told him I wasn’t there for the concert. He stopped me.

“Look buddy, this is a convert venue. If you’re not going to the show you probably shouldn’t bother.”
“I’m here for this New York Post thing.”

Immediately a girl from the back of the line jumped forward.
“Did you say you were here for the New York Post date?”

With one glance of her I knew…(to be continued!)

–Big Mack Attack!


Ben’s note.

By the way, the real preview article (they do one before the date and one after the date) is here
Ironically, this article came out after I had been on the date. So that poll (which I kicked ass in) was completely meaningless and had no bearing on whether I was chosen or not.

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Posted by on May 2, 2012 in By Mack, Dating


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