Tuesday, December 30, 2008

All my pictures are confused

2008…get out of here. Just leave. I and everyone else are incredibly sick of you. You gave us Obama and the Phillies, but you destroyed the economy and played a game of gas prices. You offered a great summer movie season full of watchable blockbusters, but Beverly Hills Chihuahua was still a hit. Goodbye 2008…you son of a bitch.

It's time for some lists kids…here we go:

Top Movies (Short and sweet) :

Pineapple Express: James Franco was awesome, and deserves a supporting actor nod…I'm serious. Didn't make fun of 90's action trash cinema, it paid homage to it, and that's all I can ask for.

The Fall: It was made a while ago, but released here in '08. It's a dark Princess Bride fueled by lies and depression. It looks great too.

Iron Man: Post 9/11 America will continue to embrace superhero movies, and this one did it right. I honestly think Downey Jr.’s Iron Man will be as popular as Ford's Indiana Jones (Pre Crystal Skull).

Music (Short as well…):

Wolf Parade, Apologies to Queen Mary: 2 lead singers, one of them (Spencer Krug...in my opinion) is as important as the two Davids (Bowie and Byrne)…the other kind of sounds like Beck but is pretty good too. Check out the epic masterpiece 'Kissing the Beehive.’

David Byrne and Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today : Takes all the themes of the Talking Heads epic song 'Don't Worry About the Government' and plays them out in an I've grown up, but not given up, sort of way.

Cadence Weapon, Afterparty Babies: the kid from Canada continues to be one of rap's best writers and did the ever so popular 'dance album' thing without losing his fire.

TV On The Radio, Dear Science: One of my favorite bands of all time has yet to disappoint, even when their sound becomes more 'accessible.' I have always found a sense of hopefulness in their music, but it's 2008...remember we need this shit.

Crystal Castles, Crystal Castles: They put your Sega Genesis in a blender, threw in some hip hop and created a sound that grows on you and surprisingly put on a wild live show.

Santogold, Santogold : She is a Philly girl and is the future of music in America…if we are lucky. She also made the perfect summer album.

Peter Automatic: Local dude who remembers that hip hop is supposed to be fun with wonderfully catchy lo-fi beats.

Everything Overrated 2008:

Girl Talk: Really…I know it gets hipsters to dance and possibly smile, but is he that much of a beast.? You will be able to do this on your Mac in a couple of years.

Burn After Reading: People love the Coen Brothers, and they should, but this was fucking awful. It had great characters but nowhere to place them and Brad Pitt's shooting death was just a trick to make you think it was progressive or 'unlike most movies.' Go rent the Coen's Blood Simple and enjoy.

Recession small talk: I know we are going through a financial crisis, but stop using it as an excuse for everything. You can’t forget a birthday or an anniversary because of the ‘recession.’ It’s almost as bad as global warming small talk.

Other bloggers Tops of 2008 Lists! Thanks

From Random Acts Of Ben:

Top 5 movies released in '08 you did not see but definitely should have seen.

5. W. (dir Oliver Stone)
4. Mongol (dir Sergei Bodrov)
3. Standard Operating Procedure (dir Eroll Morris)
2. Miracle of St. Anna (dir Spike Lee)
1. The Fall (dir Tarsem Singh)

From The Adventures of Elle-anor Rigby

5 Things on the Internet that Made my Head Spin in 2008:

1-twitter: First of all, what the fuck is that? Second of all, JO told me last week that because of all these fucking social networking sites, she only thinks in 200 characters or less. I have been using twitter for 4 months. I still have no idea what's going on. I just figured out how to make @replies. Mind blown.

2- flickr introduces video: I love flickr for its clean, modern feel and the relatively small numbers of pedophiles and sex fiends that try to contact me on the site.I despise youtube because of its kitschy appeal and the number of people that can't spell or write a sentence. Now flickr, where I share my photos and e-stalk my friends is letting you upload video. What's going to change now? Is flickr going to turn into the media messiah that beats out the legacy of webshots albums that your friends made when only one of your had a digital camera?

3- There are good looking men on match.com: I was pretty sure those obnoxious ads on myspace with good looking people flirting via web cam was a hoax. I thought match.com was only for men missing fingers and men that like to have sex with children. Never did I think there would be multiple good looking men who exist in the real world, who read on the subway, and who wipe their own ass. Wow.

4- seamlessweb: Never has it been easier to find every single pizza joint in Manhattan. It's like all those delivery guys shoving menus under my door are trying to see how many trees they can kill, and to continue with the most useless marketing scheme ever.

5- myopenbar.com: In college, I wished on a regular basis that every day there could be open bar. The kind folks at myopenbar.com have granted my wishes. Even if it means well vodka and some old men ostensibly wearing dirty underwear. If you follow myopenbar on twitter, you can get updated every 42 seconds about where the well drinks are at.

Thanks to everyone for checking this crap show out. This video has a message of hope for 2009 and its fucking strange in a good way:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rode off, the prospect of gold in my wake

John Hughes’ older movies consisted of kids from the suburbs with idiot parents who had no idea what their kids did on the weekends. A rich hot dude would a throw party and simply a shrug when he noticed the ‘Nerd’ had taken off his in father’s Bentley with his girlfriend. A group of diverse kids serving Saturday detention would have a therapy session and dance around the library. Three high school friends, one of them happens to the most popular guy in Chicago, ditch school and get a taste of city life sitting in the bucket seats of a sports car. But did they get a real taste?

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is considered a classic. Matthew Broderick talks to the camera and schemes his way through the greatest day of his life. The whole time he is followed by a beautiful girl and a miserable friend in a hockey jersey. His life is amazing. He is a beast with a leopard print jacket. He isn’t that street smart though.

There is a pivotal scene in the move when Ferris hops on a parade float and takes over a parade full of white people until one moment. One moment when the kids from the ‘burbs get their first taste of urban culture.

Wait or skip ahead to about :39

Ferris and friends most likely haven’t spent much time in any major American city. Maybe they haven’t even left their sparkling white neighborhoods, which is why Ferris’ escape is supposed to be so revealing. But they now see that black people rise up out of the concrete when danceable music is played. Apparently black people dance in unison and don’t stop smiling either. A black man actually vaults through the air above the crowd with precision at about 1:17. This is what it looks like outside of their neighborhoods. 

I think you get the point here. This is just as offensive as a McDonald’s Dollar Menu commercial. Someone really needs to Save Ferris.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Godspeed to you, Keep The Lighthouse In Sight

The holidays are upon us and we're all prepared to be disappointed, drunk and tired, but how can you not love it? No matter what you celebrate it always seems like a quick drastic change. It flies by in blurs of sparkling lights and turkey legs, but we drudge on with clenched fists and partial smiles. Maybe that is what family is all about…but the holidays bring something larger. Something to make you cry, laugh, cringe and spend money. The holiday movie season is here kids, and so are the good ol’ Oscar contenders. Mickey Rourke is starring in Darren Aronofsky’s ‘The Wrestler’ and the trailer is a good one:

I was never a wrestling fan, although I did like G.L.O.W., but this movie looks wildly promising. Bruce Springsteen wrote a song creatively titled, ‘The Wrestler’ for the movie and it plays in the heart-wrenching trailer. Once again not a fan of Springsteen, but the song works perfectly here. Trailers are sometimes better than the movie itself…they are music videos with big stars (I wrote about this before a while ago). Here is to hoping this movie is better than Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man.

The only thing that has me confused is the uplifting tone that appears in the trailer. Aronofsky did the anti-drug masterpiece ‘Requiem For A Dream’ which makes you afraid to even take Flintstone vitamins. It ends with a double dildo and an amputated arm, leading me to believe Mickey Rourke will be beheaded in the ring by the end of this movie. His head will land the arms of his estranged daughter as Marisa Tomei shoots heroin between her toes in the bathroom. Cue the Springsteen! I mean how else could it end?

Top 5 Holiday Movies:

Elf: Is this considered a new classic yet? Somebody call AMC and have them put it on their list right next to ‘The Rock.” The elevator scene gets me every time.

Gremlins: Joe Dante is a wildly underrated director, and this movie is fucking hilarious. It was kind of scary and funny when I was a kid, now it’s hilarious and a good reminder of how shitty CGI can be.

Scrooged: Bill Murray reigns supreme per usual and a good reminder as to how cute Karen Allen is.

Last Boy Scout: Has nothing to do with the holidays, but Willis plays a version of John McLane with more marital problems and vices, and Die Hard is considered a Christmas movie…So I am slipping this one in here. It’s also fucking awesome.

Empire Of The Sun: A good movie to make kids appreciate their parents around the holidays.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

No you can’t, can’t settle down, until the Icarus in your blood, in your blood drowns

I live in a neighborhood with mixed cultures and row homes. Small trees are placed sparingly throughout the street giving an organic feel to a land of cracked concrete and empty Newport cigarette boxes. When you are having dreaded small talk with someone and when you tell them you live in this area they usually say, “HEY! That place is up and coming. Gentrification is my favorite word! Lots of young families are moving in. Etc. Etc.” It’s one of those neighborhoods. They are in all cities and they all generate the same small talk. Some might say it was cute even, and I enjoy it as much as the teenagers roaming the streets at night. I park my car in a pseudo u-shaped parking lot covered by a huge oak tree dropping plenty of shit on the cars below. Windshields are left speckled with yellow splats and heaves of bird poop resembling a disaffected art student’s attempt at something abstract. My car is white, but so dirty, and could pass for an original Ford Model. Its looks a bit ragged and people look up to the sky when I drive by them because the engine sounds like a low flying airplane. It’s just easy to see.

It must stick out in my pseudo parking lot because all the teens on my street congregate on the hood of my car. My front porch is one the side of the lot giving me the perfect view. They must be thinking this piece of shit can’t get any worse. I don’t want to be that guy either. I don’t want to puff my chest out and yell at the kids. I just can’t do it. Am I a little scared of them? Maybe. I know they are pretty young because one of the girls asked me for a smoke one night, and like an idiot I handed her a Parliament. Her friend snapped at me immediately. ‘She‘s only 15 you know! “, she said with a valley girl tone. I am guessing they range from 14-16, but I don’t know kids that young who chain smoke blunts. Call me a puritan. They have ridiculously loud ring tones and seem to like spitting. If I was 15 and walked pasted these kids in the lot I wouldn’t make eye contact with any of them. They are just bad-asses. Bas-asses who make out on the dirt stained hood of my car every fucking night.

They get down. Just full on makeout sessions, which are for some reason the most awkward things to watch. When I was a 15-year-old boy my hormones would have led me to make out on the hood of a car as well, so I can’t blame them, but they look like they are fighting. These kids look like baby birds being fed worm vomit from their mama birds. It’s a vile event and forces me to look away like the 15-year-old version of me would. I still say nothing. What teenage boy wants something like that to end?

One night there were around 50 kids congregating around my car and on the hood. I was brought out to the porch from the noise of ring tones and the F-word. They started yelling at each other and the girls scattered. I have no idea exactly happened but I know was a battle of the sexes. I put my smoke in the ash can went back in the house.

The next morning I get ready for work, grab the keys and walk out to the pseudo lot. The car looks like it always does. Splattered with green watercolors and blasted by bird shit. The sun hits my hood and sends a beacon of lighting piercing through my skull. There is a message written on the hood of my car. It reads: FUCK YOU RAKEIA. It was done with a blue ball-point pen, so it doesn’t jump out, but it won’t come off. I have tried everything. Green Turtle buffer, soap, elbow grease, and something by Armor-All. None of them work.

I too would like to say, FUCK YOU RAKEIA. You must have pissed one of those horny teens off. I could have ended it all. All I had to do was open my mouth and tell them to get the hell away. Now these kids have something to laugh at when they hang out in the lot and when I park in the city people will think I dicked some dude over. By keeping my mouth shut I dealt with a sort of a reverse punishment. If I did say something, who knows if they would have stopped. They might have written something like: FUCK YOU NERD, FUCK YOU GET A HAIRCUT, FUCK YOU PENIS HEAD, Etc.

But they will never write: FUCK YOUR FOR BEING THAT DUDE Or FUCK YOU FOR THE BLUE BALLS, and I can live with that.

Check out my boy Ben's blog: http://randombenonethree.blogspot.com/

P.S. All of my titles are song lyrics from bands I enjoy...I am not that clever.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The words you spoke, I know to much, It's over now

Weekend Notes:

Philly was buzzing this weekend with Springsteen playing on the Parkway for Obama, a diabetes awareness walk, a motorcycle ride to fight breast cancer, and the Eagles and Phillies having games at the same time. Everyone was fighting for something this weekend and Philly is the perfect place to release some anger. Anger is pumped out into the atmosphere from the mouth of the William Penn statue. Most people don’t know that, but that’s the main reason everyone in this city is a fatalist. You don’t need to be a hippie to believe in karma.

I went to the Eagles game, which was wildly disappointing, but there was one redeeming factor. He was sitting a couple rows in front of me and he had a personalized jersey. It read ‘JO JO’ and it was number 20.

Personalized jerseys are horrendous. Nobody gives a shit if you put your name or something mildly amusing on the back. His and her personalized jerseys shouldn’t even be allowed in the stadium. They should have a bin where the tickets are taken for those wearing personalized jerseys. If you wear one you need to leave it in the ‘asshole’ bin and pick it up when the game is over.

I am guessing JO JO is the son of ‘Big Joe.’ Big Joe was probably watching the game at home because he is disgusted with ticket and beer prices. Big Joe most likely gave JO JO shit for paying so much for a ticket and is still jealous of Vince Papale. Big Joe is from Northeast Philadelphia and JO JO lives down the street or just a few blocks away. Who knew a personalized jersey could tell you so much, but it does. It’s like wearing a social networking jersey. Get a new jersey JO JO.

Is it me or is this picture from philly.com the gayest picture that ever gayed? I have nothing against the gay community, but LOOK AT THAT! Three men just open mouthed and dousing each other with champagne. There has to be some crude name for this act like such popular terms as: Lemon Party, Blumpkin, Jelly Doughnut, or the ever so popular Boston Guggenheim. We need a new term for this picture. I got nothing.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua was the number 1 movie at the box office this weekend. I was waiting for cries of racism from the Latino community before this movie came out, but $29 million was made in three days from an extended Taco Bell commercial.

This is a summary of the movie from IMDB.com:

Chloe (voiced by Drew Barrymore) is a diamond-clad, bootie wearing Beverly Hills Chihuahua who thoroughly enjoys her luxurious lifestyle. But when the much-pampered Chloe gets lost in Mexico with only a street-wise German Shepherd (voiced by Andy Garcia) to help her find her way home, it's up to her longtime admirer Papi (voiced by George Lopez) to join forces with a motley crew and head south of the border and rescue his true love.

That’s not fake. ‘Street-wise’ German Shepherds are fucking fearless, don’t ever cross one.

Halloween costume suggestions coming soon...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

And where’d you learn to stage dive with such grace?

Ohh summer! Here you are with your wavy heat and high crime rates. Here you are making a two block walk a sweaty experience. Here you are burning bright above signaling vacation time. Ohh summer…you are fucking awful, but you are gone now. Tucking your heat and sweat beads away until next year. Leaving t-shirts matted to the bottom of drawers. We can now start dusting off the courdorouys and hooded zip-up sweatshirts. Iced coffee melts into hot coffee and we can all sit around and small talk each other to death for a month: “I can’t believe the summer is over!? It went so fast where did it go? It didn’t even feel like summer! I miss the summer!” You will most likely be saying or hearing these words for the next 2 months. The end of this summer was different. Someone said something to me that struck me like the summer sun, and it had nothing to do with the seasons.

‘People don’t have dreams anymore. I can’t imagine someone feeling like they were too old to have dreams. How could you not have dreams anymore,” said Theodor.

He wasn’t talking about dreaming while our eyes are shut. He wasn’t talking about getting on the school bus naked type dream or the dream where you have to run away but are moving at the speed of molasses. Those dreams, like the 4 seasons, will happen throughout our existence.

He was talking about your dream. Maybe you do something as simple as hitting the game winning shot in Game 7. Maybe you fall in love and marry that beautiful person you saw in a fleeting glance on the train one day. You might win an Oscar, possibly a Pulitzer. You might save a child right before they are struck by a car, sacrificing your body for theirs. You could be a war hero, fighter pilot, famous actor, musician, CEO, circus performer, painter, puppeteer, doctor or even just a loving parent. You all had some dreams at some point.

We may have moved on from those daydreaming days in grade school, and we now sit in offices waiting for happy hour or to head home to our loved ones. Summer isn’t as important as it used to be because there are no more summer breaks. We aren’t scooping ice cream or carrying golf bags for some extra change in our pockets. We deal with mortgages and health insurance. Relationships fade and become more painful when finally broken. We are all a little bit jaded and our skin is thicker and a bit prickly these days. Some moments in life might be rougher than others, more than we all thought we could handle, but they too will come and go like the 4 seasons.

That dream you hold, no matter how silly, will always be around. It should never falter or fade. It should never be left in your old shoebox full of G.I. Joe’s or your Barbie Malibu dream house. It should stay as silly as it was then. You might suck at basketball, but you still hit the game winner. You have zero dexterity but you are fixing a newborn’s heart. You are scared to jump in front of that car to save the kid, but you will do it. You will push that child out of the way, send them fleeing to the sidewalk with just a few scratches. You take the hit in front of a crowd of onlookers who gasp in horror and are filled with honor at the same time. They have just witnessed an envious selfless act of bravery. You will roll around for a bit in shock, but you will get up. You will dust off and refuse to talk to the media.

That’s what fucking dreams are. You know how it happens, nobody else. Not some bullshit recurring dream about the summer, fall, winter or spring. You need your dreams, no matter how unattainable. Don’t let go of that dream that starred while you were awake one day in the 4th grade.

Jump in front of that car because in your mind you do it flawlessly.

'Oh, don't carve me out! Don't let your silly dreams,
fall in between the crack of the bed and the wall.' -Jim James

Sunday, July 06, 2008

If there are 2 eyes in my head, there are 4 seasons in a year

Movies about a dystopian future always inspired me. Running through a world reduced to crunchy gravel covered with tattered buildings and simple machines seems like the perfect place to be the next people’s champion. Food and water would be scarce, but you would never have feel like you didn’t live in peace. No cell phones, door to door salesman, spam, Asimos, or local TV news. You wouldn’t have an alarm clock ruining your life every morning, and people would never take your parking space. You would just wake up whenever you felt like it. You just roll out of your cave, or if you are lucky, a dilapidated building, and wait for the day to bring you something.

The post-apocalyptic world is yours.

There wouldn’t be many people around so everyone with in a 20-mile radius will most likely know you. You wouldn’t be self conscious about not having many friends because everyone would be in the same boat. Hunting for all of your food might sound awful, but the agility needed to do so will leave you lean and ripped, which is a god thing considering you will be wearing scraps of clothing. Shoulder pads topped with spikes and feathers will only look good if you have nice biceps.

All of the cars would be totally gnarly with their cages for bodies and huge wheels perfect for patrolling around a desolate earth. There would be no cops around to stop you for driving to fast or blowing stop signs. You might have to evade gangs of cannibals though. Just you, the road and contaminated air flowing through your unkept hair.

In all of those movies about post-apocalyptic earth (Mad Max trilogy, Escape From New York, Tank Girl, Ghost Dad, some parts in The Terminator) the hero always has a legion of people on his side. There is no government holding them back, just a calvacade of dirty faces waiting for them to unlock a new water supply being held captive by a band of rogues traveling on motorcycles and dune buggies. The people the heroes in these movies save aren’t asking for much.

So when you want to bitch about gas and the suffering economy don’t imagine a world where everything is free. Imagine a world in ruins. When some stoner is talking about the Terminator and exclaims, “That SHIT is GONNA HAPPPPPEN MANNNN!” Don’t wince or sniff at their comment, embrace it. Welcome it. Just imagine folks: No distractions, lack of parking, awkward silence, retro sneakers, hipsters, Soulja Boy, fake wrestling, real wrestling, or online gaming. And when you are caught in a convo when someone is bitching and catches themselves and sheepishly mutters, “It could be worse.” Just reply, “I hope it gets worse.”

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Can you live with the way they make you look unreal?


The morning light arrives and you are in a rush before your eyelids move north and south collectively. You smash the alarm after the 17th snooze and ponder. Fuck work…fuck mornings…fuck this alarm…fuck. You bounce off your mattress when you realize you have 10 minutes to shower and get to work. The shower is quick and your tardiness shows in your frazzled work attire. You grab your jangling and you are out the house like a screeching bottle rocket ready to take the train/bus/car.

You arrive at your fluorescent workplace and offer your hellos to fellow co-workers and pseudo-friends. The revolving padded chair bounces when you descend and something is missing. Something isn’t there. It isn’t one of those popular naked at work dreams, but something is feeling naked. You pad your pocket/check your purse
and the spaces are filled with air. There is almost an echo. You forgot it. It’s sitting at home, plugged into one of your four walls. Your forgot your cellphone.
You then begin to tell everyone in the office about your near fatal mistake. “I left my cell phone at home today!” you shout. “We hate when that happens! You feel so naked,” exclaim your co-workers and pseudo-friends.

Your self hate slowly recedes and turns into a refreshing breeze. You don’t need that silly glowing piece of plastic!! You don’t need to have that leash sitting in your hand waiting to give you a brain tumor! You don’t need such modern machines! You begin to feel like a child of the earth. You are feeling so organic you decide to buy lunch at Whole Foods and asked the pierced check out boy if the lunch you bought was tested on animals. Walking back to work you pick up every piece of trash and you see and walk back into the office feeling soooo new age.

You turn to your jaded co-worker and say, “It’s amazing how much those things take a hold of your life man. I was freaking out this morning about a CELL PHONE. Can you believe that? I am glad I don’t have it honestly.” You co-worker noddingly approves before slyly sending a text message under their desk to a significant other.

You leave work in better shape than expected and make your way home with a new sense of freedom. You love the nakedness.

Home is here and you leave the jangling keys on the coffee table and make your way towards one of your four walls. There it is. There is that adorable little gadget that allows you to never feel alone and send drunk text messages to old flames who are long extinguished. This wonderful technological advancement looks happy to see you and the light flicks on that tiny screen letting you know the batteries are charged and calls are ready to be made. But wait…there is a nakedness again. The echo is back. The organic lunch sits like a quarter pounder with cheese, cheese whiz actually.

NO MISSED CALLS! NO MISSED TEXT MESSAGES? 8 hours and change with nothing. Nobody wanted to see how the weekend was? Nobody wanted to send you a purposely misspelled text message? This is even worse than you thought it was going to be. Absence is supposed to make the heart grow fonder. This homecoming was supposed to be full of love and open arms.

Now you are left alone, staring at one of your four walls with NO missed calls.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Forget about our mothers and our friends. We are fated to pretend

I have written about songs before on this terrible internet story forum, and another song by a female singer has struck me. The original was Heart’s Magic Man. It just made sense one night. This new revelatory song has been on my Itunes and Ipod and Imind for quite some time and even sampled in a popular rap song that I bumped in high school. (White kids in high school love rap…it makes them feel dangerous)

Lisa Stansfield’s 'All Around The World’ was released in 1989, and according to Wikipedia reached #3 on the Billboard charts. She is your typical white British female singer trying to recreate the sound of black American R&B singers. (See: Amy Winehouse) She has covered songs by Barry White and even recorded a version of All Around the World with the late velvet voiced legend.

This song was shaking out of my tattered car speakers and my passenger started to dance like he was escaping a hornet’s nest. It wasn’t the scotch in his soul it was the SOUL in his soul. Why is this song so jarring? Why do you need to play it at a high volume? Why does Lisa feel so bad? Because Lisa fucked up.

Most love sick songs are about a man making a big mistake. We cheated. We were afraid of commitment. We were even told to ‘Call Tyrone’ because our friends mooched of our girlfriend’s amenities. Ruben Studdard had to apologize for a whole year even. He was sorry for ALL of 2004, not just one stupid comment or mistake, he fucked up for 365 days!

Then Lisa chimes in with the baritone. She sounds like the guy who just talks in Boys II Men. She begins the landmark tune with these words, but she isn’t singing them.

I don't know where my baby is
but I'll find him, somewhere, somehow
I've got to let him know how much I care
I'll never give up looking for my baby

You can just feel the ‘oh shit’ in her smooth voice. She is sitting alone at home, manless and smoking cigarettes at furious pace. She really fucked up this time.

We had a quarrel and I let myself go
I said so many things, things he didn't know
And I was oh oh so bad
And I don't think he's comin' back, mm mm

He gave the reason, the reasons he should go
And he said things he hadn't said before
And he was oh oh so mad
And I don't think he's comin' back, comin' back

I did too much lyin', wasted too much time,
Now I'm here a'cryin', I, I, I

She can’t even muster the words at that last line. All she can say is, “I..I..I…I.” The ‘I’ is Lisa and her mistake. She plays it over again and again in her heard and can’t shake the man. Who I am guessing was a great guy if she is willing to go all Amelia Earhart trying to find him.

I've been around the world, lookin' for my baby
Been around the world, and I'm gonna
I'm gonna find him

So open hearted, he never did me wrong
I was the one, the weakest one of all
And now I'm oh oh so sad
And I don't think he's comin' back, comin' back

The vulnerability she displays through song and lyrics is the most appealing aspect of this late 80’s tune. Lisa did her man so wrong that she knows deep down in her soul he isn’t going to return. Not even for a late night booty call/text. Not even a random email or instant message. He is simply a phantom now. Whatever she said in that quarrel must have been crushing. So crushing that she knew as soon as the words left her mouth at the speed of sound he was going out the door and never coming back as the speed of light.

There is no way that dude is coming back…and you know and I know LISA is going to have to look for another beau.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

we didn't speak just exhaled frozen worlds

One of the hardest things to conceive as time continues to tick along is chinks in the armor.
When you are in 1st grade the 8th graders tower above and seem to have it all together. They engage is relationships that a child can only compare to marriage. We look up to them as elders who have endured all life has to offer. They look so old, ready for gray hair and bifocals.
As nervous high school freshman seniors walk on stilts, drink beer on the weekend and have most likely lost their virginity. They no longer look as old as the 8th graders but they seem to have traveled the road, ending their journey with college acceptance.
Freshman in college have nothing to worry about. They have a forum to reinvent themselves. They become idealistic and experiment in ways that would leave parents sobered with disappointment. When you are handed the diploma you peer at your elders: mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, uncles and old friends waving in the breeze. They have finished that part of the journey and are excited but have been here before. They know the drill and ease back in their folding chairs, gripping the program filled with names and supposed destinations. You sit back down, hungover and staring at your newly acquired paunch.
I might be naïve. I might have lived a sheltered life. I might have no idea what the hell I am talking about. I am most likely considered immature.
I do feel that nobody wants to witness weakness entering the pores of someone you admire. They reveal a weak spot in a frozen moment. A moment only the admirer can understand. A sweet spot where the shooter is trained to aim.
It’s not weakness amongst your peers. Many of them will get devoured by the night, you next to them with clenched fists. Peers grow old with you and find new things to compete for in golf handicaps and the homeliness of their new homes. You might not fight the fight with them but you will always watch from the sidelines.
It’s those who towered above. Those who walked on stilts in hallways with echoes of clanging locker doors. Those who waved with the wind sneaking through the tiny slits between their moist fingers. Those hands that waved grow crooked with a sense of urgency. They might have disappointed you. Said the wrong things or didn’t say anything at all. This aspect of age we should fear most.
As I grow older and inevitably closer to my elders, I don’t want the gap to close. I want the spaces to be huge and filled with calm winds.
I am not consumed by sadness. I am just consumed with the human experience.


Enough serious talk. Once again my dear friend Ted offers me a piece of music that chills me to the bone. Check out Grand Ole Party.

Don't compare the sound or voices. Just listen to the lyrics and fall over when the music stops.

I am as excited to see this as I was when my brother revealed to me the news of a live action Ninja Turtles movies through excited shiny braces.

The next Last Boy Scout? God I am hoping so.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

You never heard it from me but there’s a breach in the hull of the truth

I was about to embark on the treacherous Kelly Drive not long ago when a friend (I call him Frederick) in the passenger seat of my '92 Sable pointed out something profound. A car driving in front of us had the queen of all vanity license plates. It was a young college-aged girl driving a pinkish Ford Focus with the license plate reading (prepare yourself, hold on tight, protect your privates, cover your ears and scream, etc.) LIZASTER. That's right: LIZASTER. I pulled up closer to get a good look and the young woman seemed miserable. I was expecting a crazy party girl in oversized sunglasses and a North Face Jacket. I was expecting a red head smoking a Marlboro Light with the window down while blaring Dropkick Murphy's. This license plate didn't seem fitting for the driver. She stared ahead as the day got dark and was unaffected by the beauty of Kelly Drive. She should have been jumping up and down in her padded movable seat to the sounds of Kelly Clarkson. So I devised a theory on this person because it's more fun than doing your job under some fluorescent sun.

We are going to assume that her name is Liz. She is a white, 22-year-old college senior who lives in the dorms, but visits home often. She started out in college as a well-behaved honor student who was still attached to stuffed animals and American Girl dolls. One night, early into her freshman year, a girl living down the hall invited Liz to her room for some drinks and extended and invite to an off campus party. (Nothing like a night of vodka and orange Gatorade to prime yourself for the latest off campus romp) Liz was scared but she wanted friends and a boyfriend. She had only made out twice before and was ready for a third. She thought this opportunity could garner friends and someone's tongue writhing about. She drank once in high school after the prom, where she encountered her second make out session. (Her first was at a dance, unwillingly, freshman year of high school) She acted drunker than she really was to wane the peer pressure. She got somewhat wasted, didn't black out, and started making out with her date in someone's closet. Her make out partner tried to get a finger blast in, but was denied immediately by Liz.

Liz was a good girl, always was, but tonight was the night when she would get obliterated drinking vodka and orange Gatorade from Burger King cups. Liz drinks her first cocktail consciously. She makes a mental note of the taste, which is vile at first, but then she eventually agrees with all of her new friends in unison, "You can't even taste the VODKA!" After the first cup one of her new friends starts blasting 'It Wasn't Me" by Shaggy off of her playlist and the all-girl dance party starts. Liz knows her dance moves are terrible so she sticks with a subtle hip thrust and slow head nod. "GO LIZ," shouts one of the girls. Liz thinks she is being sarcastic and immediately asks for another drink like she is an experienced drinker who asks for drinks all the time. She thought about asking for it 'on the rocks' but figured that would sound too forced (Good choice Liz). She takes down her second drink much faster than the first and now she is grinding up on a bunk bed to the bumping bass of Nelly's 'Ride With Me.' The girls sing the song together as the third cup is poured and they begin to put on their makeup for a group of upperclassmen boys patiently waiting around the keg for some freshman girls to come to their off campus party. This term 'Off Campus' scared Liz a bit. She didn't think she was ever going to need to step foot off campus to have fun, but tonight she embraced the fear.

So by the fifth drink Liz is ROPED, but doing a good job maintaining her balance and speech, which is even more assuring as the girls grab their keys, shut down the computer and head out of the dorms. One of the girls mentions that they are going to Tucker's house. Tucker plays lacrosse and loves it, loves steak, and loves what he calls: 'freshMEAT.' Tucker and his friends have been drinking ICEHOUSE out of a keg since the early afternoon and they are….as many of them proclaim throughout the day, "Ready to get their dicks wet." If only Liz knew that's what these boys were up to.

The girls arrive at the party acting wasted. Some of them really are wasted but most of them are putting on a show. They quickly make their way to the keg in a tight group, giggling the whole way. Red cups are distributed and Liz is dying to say something about how dirty the whole process looks but keeps quiet. She diligently fills her cup so she doesn't look like an amateur. She observes the room and notices about 20 sets of eyes leering at the group of young, fertile, and apparently drunk college freshman. This is unsettling for a moment until one of the girls hits the dance floor and starts bouncing to the sounds of 'Juicy' by Biggie. The rest of the girls join the brave dancing girl and start moving their hips. The group of girls is quickly joined by Tucker and some of his lacrosse teammates, who are reciting the song word for word as they work to cop a feel and laugh at each other's attempts. Liz feels the bulge of a midsection rubbing against her butt and is shocked at first. One of the girls shouts, "GO LIZ!" Liz doesn't think she is being sarcastic this time and starts dancing at furious pace. A junior lacrosse player is now draped around Liz's back as she finishes her first cup. It went down like nails, but she says she will have another when the junior asks if she is thirsty. She asks his name, Nathan, and they engage is meaningless conversation for a while. He is doing most of the talking, about himself, and she nods like he is talking about his first encounter with a ghost. As the night goes on Liz gains a confidence she never had before. She is moving at the speed of light, but not bumping into anything along the way. Her dance moves are no longer awkward and she has suddenly become and expert drinker. It's time to show everyone who she is so she notices a coffee table in the middle of the party, which seems like a perfect mini dance floor.

Liz hops up and starts dancing like a burning protestor. Her friends started to cheer her on and the boys start screaming, "Show your tits! FRESHMEAT! Show your ass!" Liz for some reason thinks showing her butt is more appropriate than her breasts and starts to wonder if the word Freshmeat is a reference to her college status. She stops wondering, bends over and pulls down her jeans to reveal her backside to the crowd. The guys erupt in sophomoric nature and ask for more. Her friends look at each other in shock and grow slightly jealous that she is getting so much attention. One of the boys runs by and slaps her on the butt, a move that a sober Liz would detest. Liz laughs it off and Nathan grabs her hand to help her off her new brave pedestal. He looks into her half open eyes and asks her if she wants to see his bedroom. She complies and they make their way upstairs.

Liz falls several times going up the steps, leaving Nathan shocked and excited. He knew she was drunk, but not this roped. She makes her way into his room, a newborn 4-legged animal adapting to the forest floor, and flops on the bed. Nathan immediately begins to make out with her although she is having trouble maintaining balance even while lying on his bed. His sheets and pillow smell like he hasn't washed them for weeks. Liz notices this and her tongue grows silent. He is plowing away snake style, but she has nothing. She begins to feel sick like the night she ate to many spaghetti-o's at a sleep over in the 4 th grade.

Liz jumps off the bed so quickly that the springs rejoice. She flies down the hallway looking for a bathroom. She doesn't miss the toilet or throw up down the hallway as you would expect in a story like this. She gets every last drop in the toilet, notices how cool the DNA stained tiled floor is, and falls asleep. About twenty minutes later Nathan notices this piece of Freshmeat and immediately grabs a digital camera. He sneers and snaps for about five minutes and hooks it up to his computer. Being a student in the age of facebook and Myspace he immediately starts sending the photos via text to party goers downstairs.

The herd of co-eds comes flushing up the steps to stare at the passed out Liz dreaming of 4th grade sleepovers. She would rather be partying like the good old days, making bracelets and pot holders while watching Grease on VHS with her friends. One of her dorm patrons decides to pick her up and take her back to her bed. Liz is placed quietly on her bed next to an array of stuffed animals. She is still dreaming of those sleepovers until she is awaken at about 8 a.m. by the girl who was nice enough to carry her home. Her friend tells her about how wild the night was after Liz left. One of the girls ended up in the same spot as Liz around 2 a.m.

Liz and her friend make their way to the dining hall for some eggs that look like her vomit from the evening before and toast from a toaster than can hold about 100 pieces of toast at a time. They sit with the rest of the girls who attended the party and everyone giggles and gasps as they talk about the night. Then the attention is turned towards Liz. "YOU GOT WILD last night Liz!" "Did you hook up with Nathan? Look out he can be a real CREEP." "Do you remember showing everyone your butt?!" GRANNY PANTIES!" The girls erupt in laughter. Liz replies with a courtesy laugh. "More like LIZASTER!" shouts one of the freshman girls as she finishes her Orange Juice. The crowd explodes…even Liz is giving more than a courtesy laugh. They repeat it over and over through the first semester.

Liz continues to hang out with this group of hard partying girls and feels out of place on most nights. She doesn't get nearly as drunk as she did that fateful night, but continues to go to lacrosse parties. When she comes home for Christmas break her father had a surprise waiting in the driveway. The pinkish Ford Focus was all hers. She decided to get a vanity plate bearing her infamous nickname. She thought the girls would love it, and they did.

Liz turned into the designated driver when the girls needed more Vodka and Orange Gatorade. They always asked to borrow the car and Liz's annoyance with the situation grew everytime someone asked to use her services. Liz grew apart from the girls by the time Freshman year ended. They stopped asking for her car and stopped reminding her about lacrosse parties.

By Sophmore year they stopped exchanging hellos in the Dining Hall. Her reign as Lizaster was over, and it didn't bother her all that much. She became focused on studies and started dating a well-behaved Philosophy Major who wore scarves. She was content; however that damned vanity plate. She kept is as a reminder of that semester. It was both a warning sign and a welcome sign. She gets embarrassed when people ask about its derivative. When she tells the story she leaves out the part about showing off her midsection. She was bearing it like a cross that day I saw her making her way down Kelly Drive.

People are strange, but more than that, they're good. They're good first, then strange.”

BEST OF 2007

Albums (In Five Words Or LESS)

Sunset Rubdown, Random Spirit Lover - Exploded upon first listen.
LCD Soundsystem, Sound Of Silver - Touching. Honest. About Growing Old.
Menomena, Friend And Foe - Dark songs veiled by saxophone.
Arcade Fire, Neon Bible - I finally caved in.
Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna Are You The Destroyer? - Danceable and Tragic Explosions.
Busdriver, RoadKillOvercoat – Stream of conscious genius.

Songs (Short as well)

LCD Soundsystem, All My Friends - Just listen to it alone.
Bloc Party, Song for Clay (Disappear Here) - Bret Easton Ellis by Brits.
Rhianna, Umbrella - Silly beats, nice song.
Lupe Fiasco, Superstar - Rises and falls without notice.
The Shins, Sea Legs - Makes me want to swim.

Movies (Short too…more than five words)

Transformers - Knocked my tits off. Felt like a child. When I saw Jurassic Park as a young man I wanted to shit from excitement. This movie made me feel that way.

Darjeeling Limited - I am a Wes Anderson geek for sure, but the flashback scene when the brothers stop at the auto repair shop on the way to their father's funeral will haunt me forever.

Into The Wild - I could have watched a three hour film based solely on the relationship between Emile Hirsch and Hal Holbrook. When he tells Emile that he wants to adopt him….jesus it will break you down.

(I haven't seen There Will Be Blood or No Country For Old Men…they seem to be hot ones)

People Of The Year

Charlie Rose - Classiest man on television.

Michael Cera - I would thank him if I saw him.

Dwight Howard - Will rip a rebound off of your face, but smile when it's all over.

Tom Brady - Is the Justin Timberlake of pro sports. Why, because Timberlake transcends race. You will hear his music on all radio stations. When Tom Brady comes to the sidelines he is referred to as a 'Cold Ass White Boy', making them both Cold Ass White Boys.

Barack Obama - Kennedy figure for my generation. Please vote for him.

You - For reading this…thanks dude.

Themes of 2007

The reemergence of those damned UGG boots. COME ON….I thought these things would be gone quicker than L.A. Lights. I still see young women in sweatpants and UGG's talking on their cell phones as they place the keys in the door or their red SUV's. Stop…get some Air Max 90's.

The Wii has placed itself among such modern 'pop technology' achievements as the IPod and Personal Navigation systems. The latest Family Circus cartoon featured a kid playing the Wii. If Norman Rockwell were still around he would have painted a grandmother and her friends playing Wii bowling on Christmas Day. It will be around for quite some time and recognized as one of the greater machines of the late 2000's.

Young married or engaged couples getting expensive dogs from breeders. It's so 2007.

People telling stories about thinking someone using a Bluetooth was talking to them even though they were just talking on their phone. E.g.:
“I was walking down the street today and some GUY was talking into the air and I thought he was asking me a question…BOY WAS I WRONG! They were using a miniature phone receiver that attaches to the outer lobe of your ear!”