No, the OTHER one

If you Google Roger Green and Albany, most of the hits will NOT be of me (And I’m all right with that, BTW.) Most of the hits will be for Roger L. Green , NYS Assemblyman from Brooklyn since 1981. He seemed like a decent sort, the little that I knew of him. However, he had to resign his seat on June 1, 2004 for some fiscal irregularities. In the tradition of the New York State government, he was nevertheless elected again in November 2004. I think he lost some privileges.

Given the fact that I’ve been in Albany since 1979, it is curious that we’ve never met. I did meet one of his assistants once at a summer party; I accidentally hit her in the face with a volleyball.

Also, I receive phone calls for him. Often, I’ve been the only Roger Green in the Albany phone book. The one call that has always stuck in my mind was an answering machine message from WCBS (radio or TV, I forget) in New York City, asking me to call back to comment on the death of Yusef Hawkins. I’d been at work all day, so at that moment, I had no idea who Yusef Hawkins was. The next day, I did.

Anyway, I’m THIS Roger Green. Yeah, I appeared on JEOPARDY! once or twice back in 1998, something I mention now only because an unnamed blogger mentioned it in his May 6 column . And he’s put this blog in a list of links. Of course, I bribed him heavily…

Speaking of JEOPARDY!, I’ve decided that I will be sharing about my experience on this blog. I had written it in my mind – several times- for years, and I need some mind decluttering. But how to approach it? I didn’t want to write that much about that one topic, all the time, all at once. I’m not that disciplined, and I’d bore myself, and probably you.

Then it came to me: the Saturday serial matinee! In days even before mine, there would be movies shown in parts over several weeks. Each section ends with a cliffhanger.

So, that’s what I’m going to do: each Saturday starting May 21, I’m going to write a piece of the story. Can’t promise you a cliffhanger every time, but I’ll give it a shot.

Sweet, Sweet Baby

My daughter is very beautiful. I will show you sometime when I figure out the photo aspect of this blog.

(PLEASE don’t tell me it’s “easy.” I’m a Luddite at heart- nothing mechanical or technological is “easy” for me.)

Anyway, this is not idle parental boasting. The trip to Washington Park just yesterday or a visit to the shopping center seems to confirm this. A woman I know once said that Lydia is the most beautiful baby she’s ever seen— including her own baby! This was, of course, in direct violation of the Law That One’s Own Baby Is ALWAYS the Most Beautiful, passed sometime during the The Peloponnesian Wars.

Of course, I want the best for my daughter, but I also want her to be viewed by her intellect (she’s also very smart) and, as someone once said, “The content of her character.”

We’ve all read how tall, attractive people seem to be treated better, get better jobs, more pay, etc. In that vein (or “vain”, if you prefer), I give you a scary little something forwarded to me recently:
“Are ugly children less loved?
“Do parents take care of their cute children better than ugly ones? Most parents would deny it, but Canadian researchers have found that physical attractiveness makes a big difference in how children are treated, according to a newspaper report.

And on that happy note, Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. (And thanks to sister Marcia and niece Alex for taking care of her down in Charlotte, NC.) Also, happy Mother’s Day to Mom Powell, and all the mothers I know. Lydia, who doesn’t have her own blog yet, wants to wish her mommy and grandmas the same.

Out the In Door

Last week, my daughter Lydia had gastroenteritis. I didn’t know what gastroenteritis was, but apparently, it’s been “going around.” I DID know that seeing my 13-month old daughter throw up 11 times in about 10 hours (followed the next day by similar exports from the other end of the digestive tract) was one of the more painful things Carol and I have gone through.

We took her to the doctors twice and the ER once. The best thing about going to the ER was that the pediatric resident said that Carol and I were doing a good job with her, that we were right on top of things regarding her symptoms. This was especially gratifying because as first-time parents, we feel that we’re making it up as we go along.

She’s better now, climbing on EVERYTHING, verbalizing, taking steps. It was the lack of those activities, which made us continue to be concerned, even after the other manifestations were finished. Now we’re back to, “No, Lydia, that plant is not for eating.”

As they say on baby.com, “Having a baby changes everything.” Oops, Johnson & Johnson TRADEMARKED that? Hasn’t every adult who has kids said to people who are expecting kids, “Having a baby changes everything” for the last few millennia?

“Having a baby changes everything.” TM, (Johnson & Johnson).
“And blah, blah, blah” © Paul Simon

Funny books

Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day. I’ll probably go over to Earthworld Comics in Albany and pick up SOMETHING. For me, going into a comic book store is often like going to see an old girlfriend. Will I remember why we fell in love? Will I be reminded why we broke up? Or will it be more like, “I’m happy for you in your new life. I’ll see you in another decade or two”?

I fell in love with comics fairly later in the game. In 1971, my new best friend in college, Mark Klonfas, was into comic books. I wondered why an adult would be into “funny books.” (I won’t say he was a grown-up; he used to perch on the end of his desk like Peanuts’ Snoopy, feigning to be a vulture.)

But get into comics I did, first with Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1, then Sub-Mariner #50. Luke Cage (Nicholas Cage’s namesake, REALLY) appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #122. Then I noticed that Cage appeared in shadow at the end of #121, and I picked THAT up. That happened to be “The Death of Gwen Stacy.” I got particularly hooked on the web-slinger, and much of the Marvel Universe. (Curse you, Klonfas!)

Eventually, I worked at FantaCo and for a brief time at Midnight Comics in Albany. This is where the romance soured. There were all of these #0s, and silver and gold “special” editions. I’d be asked, “Is ___ any good?” but it wasn’t about the artwork or the story, it was about whether it would increase in value. Bollocks! When I left Midnight to take my current job in 1992, I quit comics cold turkey.

I always read in the entertainment press to see how comics are doing, seeing them get reviewed regularly in Entertainment Weekly and the like. And I’m very happy for the industry. But I can’t afford to get into it like I used to, so I view the trip to the store warily, fearing the siren will suck me back in…

Synchronicity 5 (of 12) or 9 (of 24)

I woke up just before 5 a.m. and waited until the clock read 5:05. 5:05 on 05/05/05-this made me smile. Then I rolled over and went back to sleep. I have a 13-month old baby, and sleep is precious.

Today is, of course, Cinco de Mayo, which is an important holiday, not just an excuse to get drunk on tequila or kahlua. Did I mention
tequila?

This weekend in Albany, NY is also the the Tulip Festival in Washington Park, featuring the Funk Brothers and the Family Stone Experience (featuring founding members of Sly and the Family Stone -“oooh-lawd!”) on Saturday and Little Anthony and the Imperials on Sunday.

You don’t know the Funk Brothers? They’ve played on more hit songs than anyone as the sensational backing band for Motown’s biggest stars. Even if you don’t live around Albany, find out more by renting or buying “Standing in the Shadows of Motown”. I saw it in the theaters, enjoyed it tremendously, and learned a great deal about the music I love.