Welcome to my blog. Here you will find information that is both interesting and useless. You can even see how Steve, my camera, sees the world through my eyes, or get your hands on my latest novel, Jihad Joe at:


Thanks for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the coffee and cake. Sorry we ran out of donuts.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Leaving the apple, remembering the taste, part deaux

cropped and supershopped
Originally uploaded by Rob Hoey
Today is the last day I can blog until after we settle in Canada. We've packed almost everything--luckily we left the fans out as parts of my body is sticking to the furniture that we've yet to pack. We have so many boxes, it feels like we're living in the hull of a ship. The hyperactive, playfully frenetic kid upstairs has actually quieted down the last few days-she has given us a respite perhaps because she knows we are leaving and this is her present to us.
There is another Bangladesh street fair going on along McDonald Avenue. They just had one a few weeks ago, but I guess they feel happy being here and are celebrating like crazy. It's nice. I will miss my Bangladeshi neighbors and their colorful doodads, which is just another word for duds.
When I pass PS 230, my old grammar school, I feel a bit sad, thinking this is going to be the last time I'll see it. But then a little voice in my head says, "You will be back . . . you will be back," and the voice turns out to be Thasneem.
We've gone through a half dozen rolls of wide adhesive tape and two rolls of duct tape, which I like to call duck tape because most Brooklynites think that's the real name. I also refer to it as gaffer's tape because gaffers use it to hold just about anything together, much like the Coney Island auto repair street gang. You absolutely cannot have enough duck tape, and Prospect Park cannot have enough ducks.
We gave away the television, a file cabinet, and lots of chotzkees. Our neighbors next door bought a few pieces of furniture from us and my butt is hurting from my fat wallet. Thasneem even has a deal working with the assistant super in the buiding and he may be buying her cell phone, which is clear proof that she kicks my ass when it comes to selling.
Now I know that I've said I'll really miss Brooklyn and Manhattan, but will Brooklyn and Manhattan miss me? I don't know. I just know that life is like a box of ExLax--you get out what you put in when used properly.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Leaving the apple, remembering the taste

Me BW shopped and cropped
Originally uploaded by Rob Hoey
This is my new hood--we'll be there in less than a week and the move makes me just a bit nervous. I'm wearing a Partnership With Children tee shirt that Thas got for me from her job, a job that she happily left yesterday after they refused to understand that she needed Monday off to prepare for the move. They also tried to pile on as much busy work as possible, even asking that she deliver a computer to the main office. I told her that it's foolish of them to waste her hourly salary on manual labor when they could more wisely use another worker to do the job. Now she's at the school graduation for the kids her program serviced along with other kids who are graduating from the school--I just received a text from her stating that no one else from PWC is in attendance at this graduation. Funny, she was also the only one from PWC to attend the school's Christmas party (I went with her and it was interesting). So, PWC is losing a great supervisor in Thas, not to mention the fact that three other supervisors have also turned in their resignations for reasons not having to do with happy life changes, but more to do with their intolerance of program issues (read 'problems'). And so it ends--just one more company whose misuse and abuse of their human resources caused those resources to dry up. The people who are staying are those who can ill afford to leave and look elsewhere for employment opportunities. They are chronically late, have no idea of theory or treatment strategies, and lack the intelligence to acquire them.
We are so happy to be leaving for Ottawa. We have so much to look forward to--a most excellent life adventure,  Shabana, Frankie, and the Ottawa Senators.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What I Miss

I saw an interesting writing prompt today entitled, "What Have You Lost?" I thought about how wonderful this prompt is because it evoked so many thoughts. I'd like to share some of them and perhaps you can share some memories too.

I have lost the dependency upon someone who loved me more than life, who fed me, touched my head or face a certain way, and took me shopping with her. She always held my hand crossing the street. She taught me everything I needed to know to start me off. She was one of the gentlest souls I ever knew--a person who wouldn't hurt a thing.

I am not now ready to stop.

I lost someone who I referred to as "Ellen Bellen Watermelon," when we were children. It was a nickname I gave her because I loved nicknames. (My grandfather was "Baldy Bean"). She was a few years older than me and we had different friends, but when we learned that she had breast cancer, I was devastated. I visited her in Boston, near the end, after everything was tried at Duke University and the bone marrow transplant was called off, and she ended up at Women's Hospital, without hair, and terrified of what lay ahead. I lied to her about an afterlife because I believed it would take some of the fear of death away, but it didn't. That's because she knew what I know about all that wishful thinking. I visited Ellen in the morning and after a while, went to the hospital cafeteria for coffee. She died while I was gone.

I miss running. I miss the wind in my face, the taste of sky on my lips, and the disconnection of mind and body as I moved through space. And with running, I miss the fitness I had when I ran. Although I go to the gym, I know that I'll never have that level of fitness back again.

But what I miss the most are all the people I've known, places I've been, and the memories of my youth. But today and the days that follow will be what I shall miss the most as I become old and tired and ready to stop.

I lost a man who made special time for me. The rides back to Brooklyn from the country, just the two of us in his car, stopping for coffee and a crumb bun. Getting to the house and running the rusty water in the faucets until they bled clean. A man who had all the answers to all my boyhood questions, like "why are there metal grills on the bridge?' and he would make up some answer like, "to warn drivers if there's an accident up ahead--if the car sways to the side, you better slow down," and I'd believe every word as if it were written by the hand of god, and in a way they were.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


We are waiting for the phone call from Peter Rock, our lawyer, who will tell us the deal is done, the house is ours, and we can come get the keys. The place is lovely. I need to go back today and take photos and post them--by the time you read this, I may have already done that. I can't believe the terrace (yes, we have a terrace), is 12' by 19'. That's pretty awesome in and of itself, but we also have a washer/dryer, a real kitchen with plenty of counter space, an office where I can write the great Canadian novel, and a great neighborhood (soon to be spelled 'neighbourhood') where there is an Asian supermarket that has everything except that carrot stripper that Thas has been looking for since Jesus' dog was a puppy. The phone should ring in about an hour or so to tell us the deal is finalized.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Prospect Park HDR

Originally uploaded by Rob Hoey
This is some of the Brooklyn I'm going to miss. I think Canada will also have some great visuals to offer my photography. I will be surrounded by the people I love, so it will be good, and I will be happy. That doesn't mean I'll not miss places like Prospect Park and all those great restaurants. We ate at Rice tonight, a Thai place that is fantastic.

together and alone

together and alone
Originally uploaded by Rob Hoey
Isn't it sad how some people are alone even when they're with someone? And isn't it beautiful when you are with the person you love, even when you're alone?


Originally uploaded by Rob Hoey
He didn't think she saw him. The lighting wasn't very good. He followed her at a safe distance and he was about two hundred feet away, blending into the shadows of the building. He was an ex-Marine, so he knew that slow movement was harder to spot than quick movement. The sun was low, casting long, warm light on the concrete, and most people were indoors to get out of the heat.

He slowly brought the D3x to eye level, focused in with the eyepiece, took careful aim, and fired off a burst of twelve consecutive shots at a shutter speed of 1/800 sec., and an ISO rating of 400 at 24.5 mexapixels with his AF Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED lens. It was all over in less than two seconds and he put his stuff away.

He walked toward her and she saw him approaching almost immediately. "I just shot a dozen photographs of you and I'd like to discuss it over a cup of coffee."

"That's the strangest and most original pickup line I've heard in a long time. Sure, I'm curious to hear what you have to say."

"I know a nice place just up the street; you may have heard of it--it's called Starbucks."

"Has a cowboy sound to it, but I'll give it a shot."

"What's your name," he asked.

"Calliope. Calliope McFane. You?"

Sergio Dire. My friend calls me Serge."

"You only have one friend?"

"How many friends does a man need to have before you can call him a man?"

"I see your point."

They walked along Broadway as if they belonged together. There was a familiarity with the way they walked in step, him with his camera bag at his side, her with the hottest pair of hips at hers.

He played the gentleman, holding the door for her as she walked into the coffee shop, and she smiled seductively at his gallantry. "Why don't you find us a table and have a seat," he said, as he stood in the cue of perhaps a dozen people, all with different caffeine urges, as he heard them order mocha frappuchino with creme and a twist of fritz, or something that sounded like that. He realized that he had forgotten to ask her what she wanted, so he took it upon himself to simply order a medium coffee. If she didn't like it, well, then he chose the wrong woman to have his babies.

"Here you go, Calliope," he said as he put the coffee down in front of her and took the seat opposite hers. "I hope you like just plain coffee."

"Actually, I was hoping for a Java Chip Frappuchino, easy on the drizzled chocolate, but coffee works for me too."

"Can I get you some cream or sugar or both?"
"Naw, black is fine. It'll just put more hair on my chest."
"Don't talk dirty, we've just met. I love a woman with lots of hair on her chest."

They laughed and talked for over an hour, and he took her phone number. It wasn't until that night that he learned the number she had given him was the New York Rejection Line.