Monday, December 31, 2007

Prudenia Shows Its True Colors

(Me in Gray on the bottom trying to get my camera phone to work)

I worked on this really great show for
the Colors Project
(If I must rep a color I consider myself gray, and like most grays we prefer to stay behind the scenes, like space aliens and cats) if you really want to see a fun example of what fantastic artistic things public access is capable of I highly recommend you watch the episode REKINDLE (with the Tisch choir an Harold Hudson Channer as the Narrator) on their website

Wishes For 2008

Thank you for making this the most interesting year ever. My resolution is to be more compassionate and more understanding to friend and foe alike. I will be more honest with myself and others. I will take actions to improve myself in all directions, educationally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Tall order huh? When I was in Mercy college the Manhattan campus used to be inside this catholic school (it was before the Herald Square campus was built) I had this Literacy teacher that really inspired me. He had this vocal quality and and elocution that I just admired. When I asked him about it, he informed me that not only did he used to have an Spanish accent (not a bad thing) but he also had a terrible stutter. Only through practice and working with others he was able to gradually create this kickass voice. He imparted some knowledge that his abuelita used to tell him: "inch by inch every thing's a cinch." Only now, I think I'm beginning to comprehend. If I start with this small space of time (Right now) knowing the right thing to do through making an informed decision (through a a combination of gut feeling, researched information, and recommendations from others with experience in such matters) and then (most importantly) taking action.This positive cycle will be reinforced by the rewards that doing the right thing repeatedly brings. Only then life in the most Mary Poppinesqe way will become a cinch.

This in theory is all well and good but ask in me in a year how this all worked out. Happy 2008 Y'all. It's going to be a happy New Year...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Keep Good Company

Q: What do these gentlemen have in common?

  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Sir Isaac Newton
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Albert Einstein
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Thomas Edison
  • Steve Jobs
  • Morrissey
  • KRS-1
  • Philippe Robert Dejean
I'll tell you the answer in a sec if you hadn't guessed already. A little back story first: I walked outside this crisp, fine morning and I saw a list of people tacked onto a scaffold. I was very interested because the paper was of such impressive quality It caused me to stop (because I'm a freakazoid like that) I added Morrissey and KRS-1 because this list also applies to them also (Ironic because in the early 1990s I had this strange dream that god was a space alien and he imparted to me that KRS-1 and Morrissey were prophets that I should heed but I just dismissed it as the psilocybin induced delirium it was) But in retrospect my reverie was correct! They both share a connection I had completely overlooked at the time. Give up yet?

A: !snairategev lla R eW

Heres a couple of websites they plugged on that sheet:

Healthy Eats on NYC's Longest Street

No, not Broadway! Although it's mad long (it goes all the way to Albany if you let it) It is an avenue! Turn your sights over to 14th Street! This is NYC's longest street, spanning two and a half miles long. It is bookended by the Hudson River on the West to the East River (Where we dump the bodies... kidding..) This mighty thoroughfare was the first street in New York to get electric lampposts.

As you know this street with little bargain shops, cheap electronic stores and all sorts of fast food joints and bars each one seedier than the next, Where can I get my vegetarian grub on?

Drum roll please!

Thai ME Up is a cool sandwich shop with great salads, noodle bowls and other healthy goodies! Amir the owner is always on hand and made me a great smoothie! "I'd rather it taste healthy than it taste all super sweet with those high fructose corn syrups" I like the ambiance! He plays some really cool music! All the stuff on the menu can be made vegetarian or not. He even let me try some of the vegetarian dumplings! Great! He assures me the chicken ones are quite good too! I'm sure the menu is online, You can peep their city search page here. You feel free to write a review of your adventures in eating Also you can bum rush their myspace page that you can friend them at!
I'm sure their facebook page isn't far behind! Give them a try!

Reasons To Be Cheerful Paaart Three


Kat Kong napping on my bed. I couldn't resist snapping a pic!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Best Xmas Ever

This past couple of days has been the best in my life EVER. I emailed and spoke; I made future plans to and have hung out with positive friends old and new. I saw some great performances. I ate some great food. I spent time with my family all in the same place and it was all good. I listened to good music, I had meaningful conversations, I listened, I walked some long distances and cabbed it when I felt it appropriate. I took suggestions constructively, I saw two great movies, I tucked my godchildren in and read two chapters of a book to them. I helped others without asking or expecting anything, I felt loved and appreciated on many levels I am about to meditate, give thanks for this life, fill my C-pap with distilled water, set my alarm and sleep.

Not even a year ago I was miserable in pain ready to die rather than suffer another moment here on this planet. I remember a time before that crying at my Mothers grave that I was a total F up and was unrepentantly hurtling towards definite demise.

I am glad I started taking steps to change my fate. Some of my students think life is written in stone and it IS only is if you perceive it is. Life is a prison sentence if you make it that. Surrounding yourself with negative people and situations will create horrible self fulfilling prophesies. I'm no doctor Phil (not yet anyway) but I will say this. A wise man once told me living in the past causes resentment about what has already transpired (a useless waste of energy), living in the future causes anxiety about what will be. (Another useless waste of energy) The only thing you can actually affect is your actions in the present. So stop being a hard headed, prideful jackass like me and handle yo dang business!

Living in the now is a gift that's why it's called the "present"

Don't get me wrong I got miles to go. The giant in Twin Peaks said "A path is formed by laying one stone at a time." I'm just happy right now and putting this down so I can reread this and remind myself when I'm feeling blue.

More Giant Wisdom: Don't search for all the answers at once.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mothra Movie Twin Fantasy @ MNN

Working on a fashion show at MNN. Nice harp huh? No really...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Phil's Dance Fever

My homey Vince Lombardi at Rolling Rhino directed a cool music video for the musical artist, Shira. I get to do a cameo... Wait that's longer than a cameo a cameo is a walk on, or a cookie or a sillouetted portrait, or that band that sings "Word Up!" with that dude with the high ass flat top fade! In any case you cant miss me I'm about mid way through the video. Enjoy!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Yin & Yang Wendys

Fall has Fallen: Rockland, NY 2007

This post was originally titled "Why Wendy's sucks" but truth be told it doesn't. It just did something that pissed me off. So first I'll say something I like about this particular fast food chain then I'll get down to my particular "beef" with them. Feels fair to me.

Something Nice: I respect Dave Thomas and all the great work he did helping kids. Also Chocolate Frosties rule.

Naughty Wendy: As a vegetarian so I think I know my way around a salad so when the tofurkey did a Caesar's Salad get Bacon? the only vegetarian item and you hadta add meat? I understand a little bit of anchovy it's actually in the recipe but bacon? In addition to dissing veggies you're alienating two of the the major 3 religions. not a particularly good power move there.

Update 12/19/7 : here's a pic of me @ MNN with a big Yin & Yang

Friday, November 2, 2007

Phil @ Comic Book Store

Today I took my comic book class students to Jim Hanleys Universe. They were used to the simple manga section at Barnes and Noble so I was only too pleased to remove them from their comfort zone. When all was said and done they seemed to enjoy themselves and right when we were leaving, Hunter, one of my first comic club students walked in, thus proving my evil (okay chaotic neutral) plan of turning students into lasting fanboys and girls truly works! (add nefarious laughter here...)

If you are curious of what I'm reading, I've got the new Love and Rockets Los Bros Henandez rule even Time Magazine sez so!, The Boys (Garth Ennis/Darick Robertson) Jeff Smiths Shazam! collection and a comic I'm pretty happy about BIFF BAM POW! by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer I love the House of Fun posse going from way back, I can't reccomend them enough! Enough talk! I gotta get back to work! A top secret project needs attention!

Good night and thank you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

News and Reviews from the Big Apple


A favorite of school lunchrooms everywhere! a yucky skin reveals a mealy inside! I will try again soon and see if it proves me wrong!


Almost paid a full buck for it but for the dough it's a pretty round big ass Apple. Crisp, sweet but not od. Yummy.

Jason Tractenburg told me "You can eat a Fuji on one day, on another day it can taste totally different!

Jason's right. Jes like a box of chocolits, I never know whut I'm gonna git! They range from really meally to excellent. My ongoing research goes on. information inconclusive. I buy only when I'm feeling adventurous and have sufficient backup (a washed polished Gala waiting in the wings)


The best! Consistantly yummy and good!

Granny Smith:

Sour Power! If offered, I won't kick it out of bed, but I might hog the covers. (Sorry vicking your line, but it really applied here!)

Golden Delicious: Sweet yummy can get mealy.

Red Delicious:

Thickest and waxiest of all skins. Sharp tasting. Does not dissapoint. Sometimes too sweet

Braeburn: Taste like what one would recognize as artificial "sour apple" flavoring. Stayed crispy! I dig this one!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Smells like Morrissey

Morrisseys Shirt, No really!

Yep just got back from the Morrissey Concert. It was the best one ever! He did a lot of Smiths songs. I was very close... How close was I ? Well close enough to get part o' his shirt with button. my homegirl Maya got a whole cuff and part of the arm! How fanatic is that?

Shout out to Andrea my soon to be sis in law and her cool cousin and Jen who also came to the show. I enjoyed Kristeen Young, the opening singer, She evoked Kate Bush voice with the eyes of amy winehouse in a mindstate of futurist Klaus Nomis meets Bjorks fashion sensibilities.

In the end Mozz's shirt smelled nice. How sick is that? Sitting, smelling torn shirt fragments after the show. awkward!

click here to see Mayas mozz photos!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Checkerphil appears on Chess Now!

click on photo to watch the episode

MNN: I appeared on this weeks episode of Chess Now when the chess computer couldn't get online so I jumped out from the CG computer and played some callers! You mostly see my hand but I make a cameo. Thanx to the whole MNN crew including the producer Vex, the director Yael and the host Agathe for being so kind and letting me represent! CHESS NOWs website

Power Walking The Lower Loop

I walked the Southern Lower Loop in Central Park! 1.7 miles I know it's light since I used to walk to Astoria and Brooklyn. Feel free to go ahead and diss me. It's okay though because this was a prelim walk concentrating on perfecting my ability to go straight no stopping! My side hurt at first but I worked though it! I even met a nice jogger who I met at Harold Channers Xmas party. (He enjoyed my show clips on youtube ~ YAY!) Here's a pic of me triumphant after my walk. Notice I'm wearing the TFSP T-shirt I designed for their Scottish Tour!

A color version of the Trachtenburg Family

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Power of Pussy

Me petting Pretty Princess

I was sitting here stroking my pussy and I listened over to the next room and I noticed my roomate doing the same! I tell you felines doth rule! Pretty Pretty Princess is so black I can't get shots of her but today I snapped one with my phone I like (It's actually upside down) and below that is a shot I took of Mr Cameramans cats Jimmy and Molly who were foster cats but moved on to becoming his own! *Sigh!* or *Purr!* My roomate says cats calm humans down and help them live long lives! I can see why!. Meow outs go to Suzanne Muldowneys cat Ebony that keeps her calm, Junipers new kitties, Peters Mz. Kitka, Muties Roxy and MMM's cats especially Ritz (RIP)

Jimmy and Molly at home

Two silly cat videos I just love!

I Love Kitty Cats

Kitty Cat Dance

Friday, October 5, 2007

Vegetarianism Up In Harlem

Harlem World is not all Fried Chicken, Waffles and artery clogging fare! In addition to vegetarian spots like No Pork On My Fork on 125th and Adam Clayton Powell (I love that name) you guys can get down with a NEW joint I just tried out called CAFE VEG at 2291 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. and 135th Street. They offer a lot of yummy soups, smoothies and vegetarian dishes in addition to a whole bunch of faux meat dishes. The BBQ ribs had me thinking twice. This is a mad unsolicited plug! I like to eat eat cruelty free, not flavor free! If you're like me and happen to be in Harlem, GO CAFE VEG!

Update in 2018: Cafe Veg no longer exists but Jahlookova does and they totally ROCK!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Happy Birthday Underdog!

Yep the cartoon character Underdog celebrates his 43rd birthday today! It would be wrong if I didn't represent fully.

Bounty 4 the quicker picker upper!

I was incredibly depressed with existence today then I actually chuckled (rare lately) when I noticed someone had painted a Boba Fett and IG88a on the sidewalk of 63rd Street right off Amsterdam (10th Avenue). I bet it was LaGuardia students, Only they would have enough time, paint and passion to do this. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. They had the means motive and materials! So without further ado exhibit A!

While I'm on the subject of Boba Fett:

Monday, September 24, 2007

Farewell to Mothers

My mothers birthday coming
I miss her.
She is happy and free.

Goodbye to Brunilda Bravo
who raised the straightest arrow

Rachel PiƱa
passed her special gifts to the future

Adelaida Marie
who rhythm and humor
resonate here and now.

Stay immortal you jewels
We honor you as you honor us.
with deeds , memories, genetic code.

Thank you for teaching us how to love.

Drawing of my Mother and I
by my dear friend Juniper
She SO rocks!
View her artwork!

Phil Weighs In

248 lbs.
Don't get smug
and F up!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Music I Drive People Crazy With

These are songs I listen to a lot in loops that drive my friends crazy with:

The Hanslick Rebellion
"You are Boring the S Out Of Me!"

This local group made goods video is mentioned in SPIN! It's adult angst at it's best!

Here they are performing on my show, Checkerboard Kids!

Lisa Peters aka the big Dub
Song: "Beautiful Girl" (Cover)
Top Irish Youtube entertainer, Lisa Peters star of the wildly popular 2am Show covers the song "Beautiful Girl". I've never heard the original.

Here is Lisa in NYC on my show with Rachel Trachtenburg! Link

Song: "Plus 81"
This vid is okay but for the real fun download this song off their myspace page! It's totally fresh!

I listened to this song like 20 times yesterday! (conservative guess)

Note theres a lot of tunes that I run into the ground but I cant find their videos yet! My latest favorite video is Indian Mtv VJ Lola Kutty in a cool Boney M Medley!

She is super cool!

"...Like a f- fool in a swimming p- P- Pool!"
~ Jimmy from South Park

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The MNN Street Festival

Saturday Sept 15th from 1-6pm was the Manhattan Neighborhood Network Street Festival; It was a great way for MNN to celebrate the groundbreaking of their new uptown facility as well as excite the community and destigmatize the mystique of creating television.

Photo: Look! It's Pretty Princess sleeping atop my cool MNN swag!

Everything was being filmed as is usual with us Public Access TV types.. The crowd was a veritable who’s who of cable TV producers and MNN staff old and new! Even my Sister and her family dropped by after the Mets/ Phillies game! (Phillies took it but at this point NY is still in first place.)

It was a great meet and greet with the community, producers from many boroughs and producers to be. Vex from Chess Now and I held down a chess area where I proceeded to get my butt kicked by everyone I faced including little kids (embarrassing!) Bah! Puny Humans I was distracted by the going ons! Luckily Vex was on hand to Challenge the Public and even beat Corey who is mad nice at chess! Let’s see him face Eddie! "Little Man, What Now?"

There were lots to do raffles, NoriVision had an Art section, There were lots of performer including Brazillian busker Don Juarez. who sang one of my Favorite songs "No More Procrastination",

Chuck did a rousing rendition of the "I love MNN" song. I joined the revels as one of his backup dancers with Harold Channer and others. It seemed pretty free form with no choreography so I fell back on the standard Robot/ Running man combo A little bit of River dance fast stepping to prove my versatility It seemed like an extended version of the song so I embodied the spirit of Isadora Duncan and did a little interpretive dance. I exited the stage completely spent... In any case I'm sure the footage of that performance is pure video gold. ~;^)

Roberto’s Band… Fetal Syndrome… OMG! Although their name eludes me, their performance will haunt me for days to come! I totally dug their version of "Stand By Me" It's not for the faint of heart!

But seriously folks I really do love MNN! The path of my life has been forever altered in a positive way thanks to them! To MNN go the mad props and kudos one and all!

Tired! must sleep!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

...And Now You're Burning!

This is a exclaimation I hear a lot in my school. The closest translation for "An Now You Burnin'!" is it is the 'hood vernacular for "..And now you feel stupid" Usually used to punctuate a point by adding a stinging insult to the injury of the protagonist (you) attempting to prove somebody wrong but alas, failing miserably. (The culpability of the antagonist withstanding.)

Despite the grandiose buildup, I regret to tell you dear reader that this blog entry actually isn't about that. This is about a really yummy dinner I made. I arrived home especially famished! I was especially excited about this meal because not only did I have Romaine Lettuce and Crispy Redleaf but I had the good fortune of finding some leftover Baby Spinach Salad to add to add to my repast! (I know, Woo-wee I'm living on the edge, right?) From there I added diced plum tomatoes, a goodly sum of flaxseed meal (omega 3's, What?!) then I added Organic Cut Leaf Spinach and Garbanzo beans with Bragg's Amino's and Trappey's Tobasco Sauce (just a touch to y'know, spice it up!) then I chopped up a Jalapeno Pepper and added that. I got a good sized Spoon and fork and tossed that salad right! I hearkened back to the Sidney Poitier educational drama "To Sir with Love" (based the 1959 book by E.R. Braithwaite) Sir teaches the students some real hands on life skills like making themselves a healthy meal. The kids were kinda stunned but eventually appriecative. I wiped away a tear thinking back to myself as a young kid in the '70s watching this on the late, late. late show on Channel 7 (WABC) on a Late Saturday night/ Sunday Morning after watching the old school "Not ready for prime time players" on SNL and Don Kirschner's Rock Concert.

Ow! My frigging eye is burning! No, seriously! Did I scratch my nose? Because now my nose is burning! swiftly I realilized I hadn't washed my hands after handling that Jalapeno! Hey, it could've been worse! I could have been unfortunate enough to have had the urge to a take a leak! Now that would have been an absolute scream!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I Took The A Train (no, really!)

On the occasion of my Godchild Xavier's birthday his grandmother and I got him tickets to this!:


Highlighting the 75th Anniversary of the IND, vintage R 1/9 trains will travel on the A line from midtown Manhattan to the New York Transit Museum, in Brooklyn Heights, for a one hour layover for passengers to enjoy the various museum exhibits and vintage car collection. From the Museum we’ll head out to Lefferts Boulevard and back track to Manhattan where we’ll change to the D line to go to Coney Island. After a stopover in Coney Island so that passengers can partake of all that this famed destination has to offer, we’ll travel to 207th Street in Manhattan and back to Midtown where we’ll end our special “Day on the A

Travel Journal: The trip was long and ardurous. Trees falling on tracks rerouting the action, exited folks getting too excited and almost getting decapitated by sticking their heads out of windows. I must admit seeing a lot of this all before my main interest was watching and interacting with the people. Everyone had a different story and love of trains to varying degrees (even people that were there to support their relatives obession.) Everyone seemed affable, approachable and well mannered, Although some individuals love the F-word more than my students love the N- Word!

The higest kudos have to go to Mikey (Left) who rocked a super exclusive NYC subway map prosthetic leg. (click on pic for detail) It was like a convention with everyone sporting rare T-shirts, pins, hats or adorned with cool train tattoos.

Big question: Was Jerimiah from Xaviers favorite site "the Subway Nut" there? I couldn't tell! There were a lot of Sub Chat folks! A cool site I lurk on the low.

It's my blog and I'll plug if I want to! This cool cat named Junior from the LIRR is down with the Central Operating Lines LTD. a model train club operating out of Ronkonkoma. You can attend their free open houses and see some cool train layouts!

So what have I learned from all this? I learned in the 1950's 81 out of 100 women prefered men with hats! if you believe the advert on the left!

End result: Xavier had a great time and so did I!

Morrissey News:
I only got one Mozz ticket for the Monday!
No I dont wanna talk about it!
You know I'm truly dissapointed.
Truly truly truly,,,

Saturday, September 1, 2007

"Vex Now!" Among The Wisteria Pergola

Friday at last! I finished work without incident pehaps it'd because there's no students at school yet. This is the calm before the storm.

I went to MNN to assist my homeboy Vex on a outdoor "Chess Now" episode. He has big ideas about 3D on TV "Go for it!" says I! The Wisteria Pergola (added in 1985) in the Central Park Chess and Checkerhouse was beautiful but players avoided us (my theory was that they were chess hustlers that thought we were Americas Most Wanted trying to bust them but people spoke to us once we finished shooting!.

Yes we had a permit!

Since we couldn't get any players I played Vex and won one and drew the second. (Time constraints) I wish to get my Chess game up this year! In the Photo is Vex setting up with is a new producer from Budapest, She is seems eager to learn and will under Vex's wing. When I left Cinefiles this Thursday I saw Vex giving some of the up and comers a little on Picture in picture and Chromakey stuff! He's improving by leaps and by bounds!

Chess Now on Youtube

Friday, August 17, 2007

Adventures in Catsitting

My roomate and I are sitting two cats. I always secretly desired owning a cat so this week I can try it out. The first day they just hid in a dark corner only coming out to eat and do their business whenever we left the house. Luckily today’s visit from their owner drew them out of hiding. When I returned home Kat-Kong came out from under my bed to say "Hi" and later that night "Princess" jumped on my bed and demanded I pet her.

Update 8/29/7: They caught a mouse today! Whoo-hoo!

Photo: (L) Kat Kong and (R) Princess

*Last blog I was going on about a secret life changing thing. Well if you must know, at the end of June I became a Vegetarian. It’s been really life changing and so far I’ve lost around 20 pounds. Unfortunately, when you’re as hefty as I am, 20 pounds is but a drop in the bucket but I feel inspired to keep going


Books: Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman MD (Thank you Zack!)

Videos: The Meatrix parts 1, 2 and 2 and a half of the funniest but informative flash animation on thios planet! (thanks Debby!)

Vegetarians who inspired me through actions not words
Beta and Landy of Just Landed, Rebsteroc and her family, The Trachtenburg family, Jessica Delfino, Christopher X. Brodeur, Kerry Lea, Chuck Naked and of course Morrissey. There are tons of others who encourage me to press on; Omnivores and Vegetarians alike thank you all!

A special nod to Marcia from “Making the Scene” who initially hipped me to all this first!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

On my way to the Mermaid Day Parade

Salutations dear reader I am Checkerphil!

I’m trying to create a perfect hassle free existence. Crazy huh? Lets see if I can do it!

The first thing I promised myself this year I was going to finally begin a blog so here I go. This is day 3 of my experiment. I just wanted to start logging in all the stuff I do it all so I can see what works etc. Bah! I will better explain it when I return.

Right now I'm preparing for today’s event. .Every year for about the past 13-15 years rain or shine I've been escorting Suzanne Muldowney to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. This is the 25th anniversary and Sue will be debuting Sylvia the Silver Mermaid!

Suzanne is famous for her portrayals of several character, especially Underdog. You can peep her lil' fansite at . I hope the live action Underdog film doesn't flip her heck out.