On Saturday I went to see United 93, a new movie about the hijacked September 11th flight that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

United 93 had its premiere on Tuesday, as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. I saw the film at the Regal Battery Park Stadium 11, a movie theater across the street from where the World Trade Center used to be.

As I rode the endless escalators down from the theater after watching the movie, I looked out the window at what some people call "Ground Zero." It's amazing how little progress has been made on the site since the initial cleanup.

Almost five years later, the only official memorial to those lost on September 11, 2001 is a security fence around the perimeter of the former World Trade Center, adorned with some museum-style graphic panels. Each day, hundreds of people from all over the world visit this site.

There are dozens of vendors who have set up street equivalents of museum gift shops, selling everything from "I Love NY" t-shirts to 9/11 coloring books. You can also pick up a $3 pirated DVD of Madea's Family Reunion.

United 93 is an extremely powerful film; an understated and fitting tribute to the people who fought back and eventually lost their lives on that fateful flight. Almost five years later, there ought to be a memorial that does the same thing - here in New York, in Washington D.C. and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Some people feel that United 93 was made "too soon." But the time has come to educate a whole new generation of young people about what happened on September 11, 2001.

A fence with a few posters is not enough.



Today is payday at work.

We get checks every two weeks, and on that day we also get free bagels.
I love bagels, and I have for my entire life. Real New York bagels are God's perfect food. I could eat a bagel every day for the rest of my life. I would choose a bagel over the tastiest slice of chocolate cake.

I love bagels so much that sometimes I have impure thoughts about them, what with those holes and all.

Yes, I love bagels. But I'm also trying to watch my carb intake, because I recently had sex in front of a mirror.

I didn't eat anything yesterday, because I had a stomach bug. So this morning I was very hungry. I went to the break room where the complimentary breakfast spread is set, and I loaded up a paper plate with two plain bagels with butter. (I'm a simple man, with simple tastes.)

As I was walked back to my desk, I ran into a co-worker.

"Whoa Nelly!" she said. "That is a whole lotta carbs you got going on there, Mister! I guess I know somebody who's not on Atkins!"

Since when did it become a crime to eat a bagel?
I don't care what Dr. Atkins says. People do not get fat from eating bagels. They get fat from sitting on their big fat obese asses all day long. And then eating a bagel.

So I looked at my co-worker, laughed and said, "I know somebody who
is on Atkins, but it's not doing a bit of good."

"Who's that?" she asked, oblivious to my slight.

"Dr. Atkins, " I said. "He's dead. Maybe he should have eaten a bagel."

Bagels are sexy.



Today is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

I am a big proponent of this program. I think most kids have no idea of the subjugation their parents have to endure to feed, clothe and educate them. And it's about time they learned!

Late this morning I was busily working at my desk, when a group of a dozen prepubescent boys and girls waddled around the corner.

"This is Will," the program coordinator announced cheerily to the group. "Will works here as a freelancer!"

I sat there looking at their inquisitive little faces. What an opportunity! How many times do you get the chance to address the progeny of your co-workers?

"Will, can you tell the kids why you work here?" the coordinator asked." "In two words."

"Well kids, I work here because it's financially lucrative," I answered, without pause. "Kids, do you know what that means?"

The kids did not know, so I pulled out my wallet and took out a $20 bill.

"You guys know what this is, right? " I asked.

"Money!" they all said in unison.

"That is why I work here" I said. "And the same goes for your parents."

"Um, thanks Will," the coordinator said, as she quickly whisked the kids away to the next highly structured, feel-good activity.

"Remember kids, always demand the truth!" I said, as they walked away en masse. "Because the truth will set you free!"

This is why we work.


Last night I did a standup set at an Irish bar in Yonkers, about 30 minutes north of New York City.

Here are some pictures:

Have you ever seen a creative artist at work? Now you have.

Is it just me, or does it look like I'm telling jokes on the set
of a middle school production of "Our Town."



Tuesday morning I awoke absurdly early to go to an 8 AM doctors appointment out on Long Island.

I know that there are people who do things at 8 AM on a weekday, probably a lot of people. I'm just not one of those people.

I took the Long Island Railroad to a town called Rockville Centre, near where I grew up. I love the name Rockville Centre. It sounds like a shopping mall on The Flintsones.

After my appointment, I returned by train back to Penn Station in midtown Manhattan. I usually enjoy riding trains, because it gives me a chance to catch up on my reading/napping. But this particular train lacked an essential component for a train: air conditioning.

As described previously in this space, I have a bit of a sweating problem. By the time I got off the train back in midtown New York City, today's striped polo shirt (blue with red stripes - thanks for asking) was rather damp.

But no worries! Across the street from Penn Station is Manhattan's only shopping mall. It's called the Manhattan Mall. I wonder how many high-priced marketing people it took to come up with that name!

I figured I'd make a quick stop at the GAP, pick up yet another striped polo and head off to work.

But the Manhattan Mall has no GAP. Did you hear (read) that? There is a mall in this country without a GAP. Take a moment to catch your breath. I'm not sure how this happened, but the one time I REALLY NEED A GAP, there is no GAP to be found.

I was now late for work, and desperate times call for desperate measures. So I ducked into the first clothing store I could find: an establishment called Aeropostale.

Aeropostale apparently takes its name from la Compagnie générale aéropostale, a French airmail company. I'm not sure what French airmail has to do with overpriced clothing made in Bangladeshi sweatshops. All I know is there was a striped polo in the window.

I ran into the store and grabbed a large and a medium striped polo and head for the fitting room. I was a little anxious, shopping somewhere other than the GAP. But a striped polo is a striped polo is a striped polo.

Or so I thought.

I tried on the medium. Too small. I tried on the large, and it fit. But then I noticed something about the striped polo: it had a number of little holes in it, around the bottom and the collar.

I figured I had gotten a defective shirt. It happens, right? The Bangladeshis are not infallible! They're probably distracted from their work by extreme hunger and sweatiness. So I went back to the display and pick up another large striped polo. That one had holes too.

All of the striped polo shirts at Aeropostale had holes.

"I think you have moths in this store," I said to the perky young salesgirl at the checkout counter. I spoke sotto voce so I wouldn't frighten the other shoppers.

"Moths?" the clerk repeated.

"Yes, moths" I answered. "They're eating your striped polo shirts."

"I'm sorry, sir," the clerk said apologetically. "I don't understand."

"You don't understand what a moth is?" I asked.

"No, I understand what a moth is," she replied. "I just don't understand why you think moths are eating our clothes."

"All of your striped polo shirts have holes in them," I said. "Moths like to eat clothes. They eat pretty clothes and then they turn into pretty butterflies and then they die."

"Oh, now I understand" Princess Von Perkenstein said with a smile. "That's the style."

"You mean you planned it that way?" I said. "You sell damaged clothes?

"No sir, they're not damaged," she explained. "They're distressed."

I don't know about you, but if I find a hole in my shirt I throw it in the garbage. I don't pay $24.99 (plus 8.5% sales tax) for it. But then I looked at the other employees in the store. All of their clothes, pants, hats etc. were frayed, ripped, torn or otherwise damaged in some way.

Excuse me. Distressed.

"If I want a shirt with holes in it, I'll go to the Salvation Army!" I announced with righteous indignation. "Is there a Salvation Army in this mall?"

"No, I don't think so," said Perky Brewster.

"Okay then I'll take the shirt," I said, looking at my watch.

I got to work and ran into Molly, the attractive young coworker mentioned in yesterday's story.

"Nice striped polo," Molly said. "Good to see you're branching out"

"It has holes," I announced proudly. "That's the style.

"What are you talking about," Molly asked.

"I went to this store owned by the French Post Office and they sell striped polo shirts with holes in them made by Bangladeshi moths," I answered. 'But they're not defective. They're distressed."

"You are so weird," Molly said.

Was yesterday Groundhog Day?



Some people love to shop for clothes. Not me.

I dread buying new clothes, because I always screw it up. The clothes are either too big or too small or too dorky or too gay or too SOMETHING.

Remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? One chair is too big. One chair is too small. And one chair is just right - and then it breaks into pieces.

That's what happens to me when I shop for clothes. In the store it seems just right. Then, somewhere between the store and my apartment, something changes. I get home, try it on again, and I'm like, "What the fuck was I thinking?"

Clothes shopping for me is a nightmare of indecision, second-guessing and buyer's remorse. And I hate it so much that I end up rushing to make my purchases, which only makes things worse.

My closet is a mausoleum of ill-fitting garments that mock me with their very presence. But I refuse to get rid of anything, because to do so would be to admit my abject failure at the relatively simple act of clothing myself.

I'm 5'10", 165 lbs with a 33" waist. I am completely average height and build. Yet I can never find clothes that fit me perfectly. If a buy a shirt that's too tight, I look gay. If I buy a shirt that's too loose I look like a fat guy trying to hide a gut.

But recently I found a shirt that was just right.

It was a GAP polo shirt, and it fit me well; it showed off the biceps, but it didn't look like I was trying to show off, which is important. You gotta work it, but make it look like you're not working it, you know?

I was so excited to have a piece of clothing that fit! So the next day I went back and bought one in every color they had. Now I have six different striped GAP polo shirts. Now that it's warm out I'm basically wearing the same shirt to work every day, just in different colors.

I figured nobody would notice. But I was wrong.

"You really like striped polo shirts," an attractive female co-worker said to me the other day.

"My Dad was a famous polo player," I said. "And when I wear striped polo shirts it makes me feel closer to him."

"I thought your dad was a bus mechanic," she replied.

"Yes," I shot back. "He used to work at the garage during the week and play polo on the weekends."

"You're weird," she said.

If the shoe fits...



Well, here we are. Another Monday!

Everybody says the same things on Monday morning:

Monday sucks! or

Fuckin' Mondays! or

Who can I fantasize about killing at work today?

(Maybe that last one is just me.)

If comedian Rodney Dangerfield was a day of the week, his name would be Monday! Because Monday gets no respect, I tell 'ya. No respect at all!

How do you think Monday feels about all this? I'll tell you how: not good!

I bet Monday was not happy when he first got the news:

You mean I'm gonna be the day where everybody goes back to work? Great. I guess I can look forward to a lot of suicides.

You can say what you want about Monday, but remember this: If it wasn't for Monday, you'd never get to the weekend!

Monday needs a makeover. And maybe a new name. After all it's the day when a brand new weeks begins, with all sorts of potential for happiness and joy and accomplishment! It's a day to start fresh.

How about FreshDay?

I like it, but I think it may sound too much like a feminine hygiene product.

I think we should call today Punday. Let's celebrate the first day of the week with a witty play on words:

President Bush held a press conference last week with Chinese president Hu Jintao. The Chinese president spoke to the media, then Mr. Bush answered questions. I'm not sure what happened next.

So, in summation:
Hu's on first, Bush is on second and I don't know is on third.

Hu are you?
(That's two for the price of PUN!)

Happy Punday, everybody!



a poem by WIll McKinley


You have no power over me.

You are nothing but water, rain!

Harmless liquid, falling on my head.

You will not make me stay inside, rain!

You will not make me hide in my bed.

I can protect myself from you, rain!

With a slicker, with boots, with an umbrella.

You will not depress me, rain!

Because I am a stable kind of fella.

You will not defeat me, rain!

You will not ruin my day.

Soon you will be gone, rain!
For that, we all shall pray.


You have no power over me.

Of that, there is no doubt.

Look to the horizon, rain!
The sun is coming out.



When I got to work on Monday morning I noticed that my cubicle-mate was sick.

It was hard to miss. She was sneezing and coughing and wheezing and spitting her toxic germs in every direction. But mostly, in my direction.

This went on all week long. And every day I had to listen to her.

"I'm so sick!" she kept repeating. "I wish I could just go to bed!"

"So do I," I replied. "Bed is a good place for a sick person, much better than sitting next to me."

But my subtle hints did no good.

This is the problem with working freelance. If you call in sick, you don't get paid your day rate. The absurdity of this situation is, both my cubicle-mate and I work there every day of the week, and we have for
years. But because we are not on-staff, we don't get sick days, medical benefits, vacation time, 401(k) or any of the perks of employment.

By Friday my cubicle-mate had gotten rid of her cold - and given it to me. Now I'm sick, just because I was trying to do my job.

I think I have grounds for a lawsuit. First I will sue my coworker for intentionally infecting me with her disease. Then I will sue our employer for forcing me to work in unsafe conditions.

I'm not doing this for the money. It's the principal of it. I am going to fight to make the workplace safe - not for me, but for future generations of freelance workers.

From now on, you can call me Norma Rae.



Yesterday was April 20th, also known as 420 to marijuana aficionados around the world.

Apparently 420 is police lingo for possession here in the U.S.. So the potheads have decided to celebrate the affection for a particular medicinal herb every year on 4/20 - and their celebrations usually involve smoking.

A coworker who knows of my interest in this substance asked me yesterday how I planned to celebrate 420.

"I'm gonna hang out with my ex, smoke a bowl, watch TiVo, eat some popcorn and hopefully hook up." I answered.

"That's what you do every night," she replied.

It's kind of like a religion. Some Christians go to church only on Easter and Christmas. But true believers go all year round.

I guess I'm a true believer.

On the sixth day, God created marijuana.
And on the seventh day, he took it easy.

And it was sweet, dude.



Tuesday night I worked as a red carpet celebrity interviewer at a high-profile event, at a high-profile New York City club, for a high-profile magazine.

There were a number of A-List celebrities there, and I met and interviewed all of them.

Here's the story of how I got to be on the red carpet.

The client (a well-known magazine) hires a public relations firm to plan and promote an event (in this case, publicizing a special issue). The P.R. firm hires a production company that specializes in "video news releases" to shoot footage of the event and interview the celebrities in attendance. The production company hires me as producer/field reporter.

I interview the celebrities, rush to an edit room and cut a highlight reel, for the purpose of distributing "targeted" content to TV news and entertainment shows. That highlight reel is either fed via satellite or distributed in hard copy form.

Technically that's where my description of Tuesday night's events should end, which brings up a larger issue: blogging about work.

I would love to give you all the names of the people I interviewed and the dirt about each of them, but to do so is a risky proposition for me.
The client assumes a certain degree of trust in the individuals whom they hire to stage and promote the event, and to break that confidence by revealing unflattering details runs the risk of damaging relationships.

For example, I would love to tell you about how one of the celebrities I spoke with last night reeked of day-old alcohol. But I can't do that.

I'd also like to tell you that another celebrity nervously scratched him-or-herself throughout the entire interview.

And that another celebrity I interviewed was a lot shorter than he/she looks on TV.

And I'd like to tell you about how a very attractive young starlet slipped me her phone number after our interview.

But I can't do that.

In the case of the last one, it's because it's not technically true. But that's not the point.

I waited a day to write about this because I expected that the P.R. people would be monitoring coverage. And of course, a mention here in
previously owned is going to garner a fair amount of buzz.

But now that it's 24 hours later, I can reveal some details. But I'm not just going to hand them to you on a silver platter.

How about this? Let's make it a quiz, like Jeopardy. I'll give you the clues and you have to come up with the answer, in the form of a question.

Email your answers to me at will@willmckinley.com. If you get all ten correct, I'll give all you the dirt.

And now it's time to play America's fastest growing game show sensation...

1) This hard-partying young starlet recently co-starred in a movie with a famous car.

2) This star of
Sex and the City is married to a Producer.

3) This twenty-two year-old singer and actress currently has some
American Dreamz.

4) This rugged, fifty-something actor used to be married to an actress named Meg.

5) This red-haired Sex and the City star now has a lot more room in her closet.

6) This Academy Award-winning actress and political activist once drove off a cliff.

7) This beautiful young actress looks a lot like 1950's pinup girl Bettie Page.

8) This three-named actress won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as the life partner of a famous painter.

9) This blonde actress was a cast member on
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and now plays the same character on the NBC drama Conviction.

10) This former boy band member recently impressed a lot of people with his dancing skills, while his brother endured a very public celebrity break-up.

EXTRA CREDIT: Who am I interviewing in this picture?

Just email your answers to will@willmckinley.com.

And don't forget to put them
in the form of a question (i.e. Who is Tom Cruise? He wasn't there by the way. Although I did find out about Suri's birth from an Entertainment Tonight reporter on the red carpet, which was kind of surreal.

Remember - send me ten correct questions and you will get all the inside scoop!



Tuesday night was one of those times.



Monday morning I flew back from Ft. Lauderdale to JFK on Jet Blue.

My flight left at 6:05 AM. You're probably thinking, "Ugh! A flight at 6 o'clock in the morning! What a nightmare!"

But remember, Jet Blue has 36 channels of Direct TV programming!

Here's a list of the fabulous television programming I was able to enjoy on my flight:

History Channel: John Beck’s Free and Clear Real Estate System
Discovery Channel: Winning in the Cash Flow Business
HGTV: The Selleca Solution Skin Care Program
Bravo: Acne Complex
National Geographic: Mari’s Winsor Pilates
SciFi Channel: Ionic Breeze Air Purifier
Travel Channel: 7DMC Colon Health
Comedy Central: Millionaire Mindset

Sure, discount carrier Jet Blue jacked up their normal ticket prices by more than 100% because they knew a lot of people would be traveling for the Easter holiday.

But on the upside I will soon be a real estate millionaire with great skin, toned muscles, pure air and a healthy colon!

Thanks Jet Blue!



I went to church with my parents, sister and nieces yesterday to celebrate Easter. But their church isn't in a church - it's in a high school auditorium!

It's the "Home of the Gators" - and John XXIII Roman Catholic Church!

At first I thought it was a little weird, going to a Catholic mass in a public high school. I mean, Easter is the most important holiday on the Christian calendar - the day we remember the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

But I gotta hand it to the folks at Everglades High School. They really did a great job of honoring the occasion.

It was kind of fun worshipping the Lord in a high school. All that was missing were the Sweathogs.

Is it just me, or does Gabe Kaplan look sort of Jesus-y?


Yesterday my parents drive down from Port St. Lucie to celebrate Easter at my sister and brother-in-law's place near Ft. Lauderdale.

Everybody in the McKinley family has the same haircut
- except my sister!

But she's always been "different."



Happy Easter from South Florida!

On Saturday morning I had a 7:15 AM flight from JFK to Ft. Lauderdale, where my sister, brother-in-law and their two daughters live.

I had to arrive early in the day because there were Easter Eggs that needed coloring!

Will explains the fine art of Easter Egg Coloring to his nieces
(who shall remain nameless, for security purposes)

If you've ever colored Easter Eggs, you know it is a very complex procedure. The most important thing to remember is don't drop the egg. I cannot stress this enough.

Don't drop the egg!

You can't color an egg that has cracked, because the food coloring seeps through the shell and into the egg. Hard-boiled eggs are not the most appetizing thing in the world to begin with. But hard-boiled eggs that are green on the inside are even less appetizing - even if you are a fan of Dr. Seuss.
I do not like them here or there. I do not like them anywhere!

After a busy day of egg coloring, the girls took their baths and got ready for bed. But before she went to sleep, Niece #1 (age 7) decided that she wanted to write a letter to the Easter Bunny.

There's no "e" in bunny? Thanks Spell-check!

I find it fascinating that Niece #1 can describe to me, in intricate detail, the manner in which King Tut was mummified, yet she still believes that a giant rabbit hides hard-boiled eggs in her house on Easter Sunday. And that the giant rabbit can read.

If it's good enough for Santa, it's good enough for the Easter Bunny.

Of course my sister and I used to write notes to the Easter Bunny when we were kids, but we didn't have the same technology at our disposal. We used loose-leaf and a pencil. I think one year we used a crayon. No electricity was required for our notes to the Easter Bunny.

Note the correct use of punctuation in the salutation.

Here, in it's entirety, is Niece #1's note to the Easter Bunny (with my comments in CAPS):

Dear Easter bunny,

I think Easter is a great Holiday. Do you?

My uncle in crazy (NOT TRUE, JUST OFF MY MEDS) and my Dad is a really good person with computers. (TRUE, BUT NOT SURE HOW IT'S APPLICABLE. MAYBE THE EASTER BUNNY NEEDS HELP WITH WINDOWS XP?)

I told you about them because they might be sleeping out there when you come to hide the eggs. So be careful! (GOOD POINT. I'M SLEEPING ON THE AIR MATTRESS IN THE LIVING ROOM AND I DON"T WANT TO GET TRAMPLED BY A GIANT BUNNY.)

Today we painted all 12 eggs each of us so that is a total of 24 eggs. Be careful not to break the eggs! (SOMEBODY WAS LISTENING) We already broke 3 eggs painting them. That is no big deal to us kids but I think it might be a lot to the adults. (OK, MAYBE I WENT A BIT OVERBOARD ON THIS)

Anyways here is a silly dilly Poem that I made up:


Me and my best friend had a big fight,
and we got over it the next Saturday night.

So do you like it? If you do, write it here!


the ones who live here

After everybody went to sleep, I asked my brother-in-law if he wanted help hiding the eggs. He said yes, so I went to the refrigerator and took out the two cartons of eggs that my nieces and I had spent the whole day coloring.

"What are you doing?" he said to me, as I began to hide the eggs.

"Hiding the Easter Eggs," I answered.

"We don't hide the real eggs," he replied. "We hide plastic ones filled with jelly beans."

I was speechless. How could they not hide the real eggs?! Dave explained that the eggs might rot. Well of course they rot! That's how you locate the hard-to-find ones, like two weeks later. That's the best part!

It's not like my nieces actually eat the hard-boiled eggs. They think they taste gross. So if you're not going to use them for hiding, what's the point? It's just one big photo op.

I believe in the sanctity of the Easter Egg! They should be painted, hidden and searched for - just like I used to do when I was a kid.

To use an Easter Egg for any other purpose, well, that's just wrong!

The Limited Edition previously owned Easter Egg. Order yours today!

Happy Easter everybody!





Today is Good Friday, the day that Christians around the world commemorate the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross more than 2,000 years ago.

I don't know who came up with the name Good Friday, but I bet it wasn't Jesus!

I wonder how he felt about it when he rose from the dead three days later.

JOHN THE APOSTLE: Jesus! Wow, it's really great to see you again, man. Seriously. It's kind of a surprise, but a good one, you know? Hey. Wait a minute. That gives me an idea. All of us apostles were talking about how we gotta come up with a name for the day you died. You know, for marketing purposes. So what do you think about Good Friday?

JESUS: Good Friday? Let's see. They made me carry a heavy cross up a mountain. Then they nailed me up on it and left me there to die. Yeah, that was a pretty good day.

JOHN THE APOSTLE: Jesus, you don't have to be sarcastic about it.

JESUS: I'm not being sarcastic. I'm just making a point.

JOHN THE APOSTLE: Honestly, Jesus, you're being a little bit sarcastic. I mean it's understandable, considering what you've been through the last couple days. I was just putting it out there to see what you thought.

JESUS: You want to know what I think? I think we should nail you to a cross tomorrow and see if you think that is a good day.

JOHN THE APOSTLE: Okay, Jesus, you've made your point. We'll go back to the drawing board. There were a couple other ideas.

JESUS: Like what?

JOHN THE APOSTLE: Well, Matthew suggested Freaky Friday.

JESUS: No can do. That's going to be the name of a movie with Lindsay Lohan. I think it might be confusing for people.

JOHN THE APOSTLE: What's a movie?

JESUS: It's a long story. What else you got?

JOHN THE APOSTLE: Well, I have a list here. We have Cross Day, Crucifixion Day, Nails-in-Hands-and-Feet Day, Hammer Time...

JESUS: Stop! Hammer Time!

JOHN THE APOSTLE: Can't touch this!

JESUS: oh-oh oh oh oh-oh-oh!

JOHN THE APOSTLE: Break it down!

Every time you see me, that Messiah's just so hype!
I'm dope on the cross and I'm magic on the mic!

JOHN THE APOSTLE: Too legit...too legit to quit! Hey hey!
Wait a minute. What's a mic?

You know what? On second thought, just go with Good Friday.

And that's how today came to be known as Good Friday.



Wednesday night was the first night of Passover. Happy Pesach!

I had forgotten that it was Passover, but I was reminded as the majority of my co-workers made early exits from the office Wednesday afternoon.

"This is discrimination!" I thought to myself, as I sat at my desk, surrounded by empty chairs. "I have to keep working, just because I believe in Jesus!"

I used to go to seders, back when I was dating Maggie. For four years I celebrated the holiday with Maggie's extended family at her rich uncle's apartment. I dressed up in my nice clothes, ate the gefelte fish, even read from the Haggadah when my turn came.

But all the while I felt like a spy. After twelve years of Catholic school and seven years as an altar boy I was now behind enemy lines. It felt kind of exciting; like I was a cop who infiltrates the mob.

I had always wondered if traditional Jewish religious celebrations were as bizarre as Christian ones. And the answer is, yes they are.

But then Maggie and I broke up (sort of, it's a long story) and I stopped going to Passover. Three seder-free years passed. Until today.

I knew Maggie was planning on going to her brother and sister-in-laws apartment for a very low-key celebration of the holiday. So I called Maggie up and invited myself.

I'd like to tell you that I felt inspired by the religious devotion of my co-workers, but that wouldn't be true. I just wanted to go home early. I am so bored at work right now, I'm willing to convert.

I tried to finish my work, but it just didn't happen. And at 6:15 pm I was still at my desk, finally wrapping things up.

Then the Account Director came over with an emergency!

"Can we get it done?" she asked. (I won't bore you with the details.)

"Only if takes less than ten minutes," I replied, to her consternation. "I have to get to Passover!"

Notice I did not say "I have to get to Passover dinner" or "I have to get to seder." I said "I have to get to Passover" like Passover is some kind of place you go; a magical land of praying and bad food.

The Account Director didn't look like she was buying it. But what could she do? Nothing. If I want to take off early for Kwanzaa, that's my prerogative. And if anyone gives me a hard time about it, that's discrimination.

Now I had a problem on my hands: I didn't get to leave early, AND I was committed to going to Passover. And now that I had used it as an excuse to leave work in the middle of a crisis, I had to go.

So I did. I didn't eat much, though. I've kind of lost my taste for the seder food (not that I ever really had it). And when I got home I ordered some takeout barbequed ribs.

Because nothing chases away the taste of gefelte fish better than a good piece of pork.


Of course, I could be lying about this whole thing. Maybe I went right home from work, got high and watched the Mets game. And maybe this story is just an alibi.

Only one person knows, and he's not telling.



I've lived in New York City for almost twenty years.

I've been from the Bronx to the Battery, and everwhere in between. But there's one borough I have managed to completely avoid.

So tonight, I decided to take a cruise to the beautiful Isle of Staten, fabled in story and song.

My journey began as I exited the #1 train at South Ferry station. Toot toot! That's the end of the line!

Follow the signs, Baldie!

"How do I get to Staten Island?" I asked the guard. "Practice!" he answered.

Maybe I'll send all my friends a postcard from Staten Island! Wait a minute. I don't have any friends. What a lucky break! Think of all the money I'll save!

"I should have had dinner before I left," I thought to myself. "I'm so hungry I could eat my own arm."

All aboard! And it's free! How else would they get people to live there?

Blue seats? What is this, a hockey game?

How far away is this island, anyway? It looks so close on the map.

This is Shiraj, from Sri Lanka. He gets to ride the Ferry all day long, while serving commuters delicious treats! Thanks Shiraj!

What better place for a New York City pretzel than the Staten Island Ferry?

God, I love New York City pretzels! With no mustard, of course! That's called "riding bareback."

Land ho! Staten Island is beautiful in the moonlight!

"Yea, the bridge of the Lord shall carry us to the land of milk and honey." Gen 3:16

That was a big pretzel!

Six minutes on Staten Island is puh-lenty! Time to head back on the next ferry.

Okay, this adventure is getting a little boring.

So it's time for more snacks!

God, I love New York City popcorn! With no mustard, of course! Thanks again Shiraj!

What I am doing here is technically against the law. But this is the Staten Island Ferry! Everybody on it is guilty of some sort of crime!

It was a fun trip to Staten Island - and I made a new friend, Henry, who offered me some crack!

Nothing tops off a relaxing cruise like a good hit off the crack pipe!

THANK YOU Staten Island Ferry - for an adventure I'll never forget!

And thanks to Maggie, our intrepid photo-journalist!