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Butros Butros-Ghali | PJ Newman

Why is the name Butros Butros-Ghali Stuck in my Head?

Greetings, equally bewildered readers. I don’t know why the former Secretary General of the UN’s name is lodged in my brain. For most of the day, it was the Beatles song, “Misery.”
To tell the truth, Misery is still playing, but now they’re singing his name in the chorus. I must find a better combination of painkillers and lunch entrees….

Finally, and I mean FUCKING FINALLY, signed the lease for my new studio space today. Seriously like pulling teeth from someone who didn’t have any teeth but still didn’t want them extracted. Here, take the money, give me the keys and I’ll send you a check every month. Even I can see the linear simplicity in that.
It’s probably a good thing that I only consulted my attorney a few times and even better that he didn’t actually read the stupid thing. Anyway, I should have the keys in my grubby paws by the end of the week and then we’ll see how I fare with power tools of unspecified intentions.
Seriously though, I’ve been waiting for this since Thanksgiving and here it is the 2nd week of February. I was ready to pack it in and move to Bermuda if it didn’t happen sooner than later. I suppose that I can still buy the shorts…

What else, dear readers? Well, let’s just see what’s sticking to my psyche like peanut butter (chunky) to the roof of Mifune’s snout…

Did I mention the little fall I took at work a month ago? Well, it’s gone from an inconvenient gash on my right shin to non-stop pain. Don’t mean to whine, but it’s become a source of constant contention. I started physical therapy and massage, but the only thing that seems to alleviate the pain anymore is electro-stimulation. Basically, for those of you who are not plugged into the nearest receptacle, it’s….well…being plugged into the nearest receptacle! There are like 4 sticky bits connected to electrodes attached to my lower back and I’m, for no better term, electrocuting myself. Something about stimulating the muscles to keep them from scabbing over. I don’t know. Painkillers are fun until you need them to actually kill pain. What a bitch!

Last night at the Tractor, Peter Himmelman stopped by for the first installment of this year’s “Next Book” series. For the uninitiated, Next Book gathers Jewish writers to come and read their works and sell and autograph and leave warm fuzzies all around. If you know Peter, well, this just ain’t gonna happen. Peter showed up a bit aggravated by having to be driven around by someone who just wouldn’t shut up.
Do you have kids? Do you work in a semi-stressful environment? Then you know of the static that rattles around your brainpan 24/7. Peter’s idea of vacation is getting away from writing television cues and the constant hubbub of Los Angeles is going on tour. So he drives up and basically needs to ditch his designated driver for a few minutes. When he asked me what the series had been like up ‘til now, I said it was pretty much NPR touchy-feely goodness and sell some books. Peter said that he was going to do more like Lenny Bruce-Spaulding Gray with a guitar. And scrotums. He mentioned scrotums quite often during the evening. His scrotum, to be exact. He also touched upon the deaths of his father and sister, a nearly dead rat and a definitely dead possum. It was great working with him and he had the foresight and good taste to invite our good friend Ben Smith to play some percussion and wrestle on stage.

Speaking of work (scant few paragraphs ago), I only have 15 more shifts to pull at the long-suffering day job. I’m taking a week off for good behavior, during which I plan some bad behavior. Well, as much bad behavior you can realize hoisting 12-foot sheets of drywall. I guess if you were my doctor or physical therapist, it would be a bad move. Well, until Star Trek-like anti gravity sheet rock slabs become available at my local lumberyard….

Well, tonight ends 24 days in a row of work with about 5 double shifts thrown in (tonight being one of them). The band has finished soundcheck, my dinner congeals somewhere in a greasy white box and the painkillers have gone on strike or vacation. Did I mention that concrete was much softer when I was a kid? Fucking gravity anyway.

OK, fellow adventurous word junkies, I’m off. I promise to write more frequently and not bitch so much. More good news next time… Don’t eat 100 Advil in one sitting, though. My doctor told me that your liver will melt and it’s not very pretty. Not quite sure what brought that up, but it’s good advice nonetheless.