Wednesday, June 29, 2005
You Can't Go Home Again
There were about 60 people and at least 15 of those who had shown to celebrate surviving another year had returned from the places they had transferred to. I thought I would never return if I had left, while I was there I did attend the parties, but always felt that other schools had to be better, and while some are, the people you work with are never the same. I found this out the hard way and knew I wanted to go back to see some of the faces I had left behind.
The parties were usually good, fun, and memorable, though this time I was disappointed. I was coming back as an outsider, and while I was greeted warmly by all my former coworkers, something was different, the dynamic was changed. I had moved on, and while I wasn't happy where I had moved to, I had gone, and now, I could never return.
While I was welcomed back, as a child would returning home, whatever relationship that existed was gone; severed. If you got back everyone from your senior trip, even the chaperones, and agreed to take the same trip, and do the same things, it will never be the same. The experience, was a moment, a snapshot in time, that can never be revisited, altered, or duplicated. So enjoy home, whatever home is to you, while you can.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
no more books
no more Administrators
Today, June 28th, is a day that I will always love and hold dear. It is the last day of school, the last day I have to get up at 5:30 am and drive very far for the animosity and chaos and blatant disrespect I get as a teacher. And then there's the students! I started to write a poem about the day once, a love poem but the person didn't really appreciate the feeling behind the words, it went something like this:
You are the sun, the stars and the moon
You are more important to me than
You are the 28th of June
Now if that ain't love I dont know what is!
To any teachers out there have a good summer, and recharge those batteries, we'll need it in September.
Monday, June 27, 2005
Ratboy Reports 4
He came in with a big Century 21 bag with lots of books from the library that he took out for the comps. He said “this is good stuff, I read a little of the criticism and talk to Jack, about it, really likes that. You know, when you suck up to him.”
He misread Jack that wasn’t what he was about, but I wasn’t going to stop him when he got on one of his tirades. Thankfully this wasn’t a long one. He changed the subject said he wants to scan some pictures from this science book into the
computer and print them to use in his thesis. A Masters Thesis. He wanted to put pictures in his thesis so it will look nicer.
On the bus ride home he said that Jack didn't even read his rewrite, and he
wants to give him everything at the end, like Frank and “Mr.ABD” had done.
Meanwhile he had already given Jack up to page 87 of the rewrite, which he actually rewrote, and now is a totally different script.
When I got off the bus, he usually gets off to wait for another bus, this time he asks to use my bathroom, I said all right, so we walk towards my house and he stops
and says I don’t want to miss the bus. Then he walks a few more steps toward my house and talks to himself, I think I can make it. He then talks to me and says, “No. No, I should stay here. I’m afraid ill miss the bus.” I left him there and hurried home before he could change his mind again.
Pretty slim entry but that’s how life goes sometimes…
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Stranded In Beautiful Downtown West Nyack With A Spinner 2
“You left your wallet in the cab?” she asked.
“Seems so. Damn I guess I was still a bit shaken up from the accident.”
“Like I said I would have been a basket case.”
“Hey well I can say it was worth it all meeting you tonight.”
Slick, aren’t I?
She sat close to me and held my hand. I must admit I am a bit embarrassed but I got an instant erection. I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to use it, and had no intentions prior to meeting her that I would even have to option, but things were looking up nevertheless.
I went downstairs to wait for the car service guy. He had doubled parked the car and was walking up to the building as I got outside. He handed me the wallet.
“Damn this is some night.” I gave him 5 bucks for being a good guy about it all.
He smiled broadly, “hey but at least your up in there.” He pointed to a the building
behind me. “Hah? Hah?” he winked and walked away. At least somebody thought I was
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Stranded In Beautiful Downtown West Nyack With A Spinner 1
Aside from her being petite, and about four years younger than me, she was the first black girl I was going to date from the Internet. That she shared with me because it might have been a deal breaker for some. It reminded me of the comments Carol had made about her friend’s man. Her race didn’t bother me. I had dated a black woman before, and while I wasn’t as race obsessed as a friend of mine is, it didn’t faze me. My only requirement of a date is that she is a she, alive, and calls me back. So we were getting off on the right foot here.
I was now driving and agreed to meet her in her neighborhood. Being a young woman living alone, she made a good choice to meet me at a public place. I was running on time for our date, but Queens is a bit confusing, so I had to cut across the Grand Central. I was off of the highway and about to turn on Jewel Avenue when a car barreled down the exit and showed no sign of slowing. I remembered what they taught me in driving school. If a car is coming at you on the left make a sharp right. I did just that I made a hard right. Right into a tree.
Amazingly the tree was unharmed. My car, on the other hand, was another story. The front end was pushed in to form a V shape. There was smoke everywhere. I parked the car and got out and called car service so I could meet my date.
The car service arrived and I told the guy my story. He was the first person to say he would have abandoned the date. We joked around a bit about how he hoped it was worth it and all. He dropped me off at the place I was supposed to meet Anna and left. At the moment I didn’t know I had left my wallet in the car as well.
To Be Continued
Monday, June 20, 2005
Ratboy Reports 3
by clicking the link below.
We were all sitting around the table in class, and Jack was reading us a memo from the English Department about a special MFA program reading at SUBO.
“Can playwrights go Jack?”
“Yes Mark. Anyway it will be in the Occidental Lounge—“
“Would we have to read ourselves or can we have others read it for us?”
“I don’t know Mark, it is a reading sponsored by the Fiction program.”
“Fiction, can playwrights go?”
And on and on,
That day we read Mark’s “Once Upon A Time On Mars.” Mark said it was done as an homage. He admitted that he popped the laser disc of “Once Upon a Time in The West” into to his player, sat on the bed with his laptop and wrote.
The criticisms, the barrage of the criticisms were harsh. They were really harsh, and the script was deserving of most of it. First of all it was a 90 page draft, and the general rule is one page equals one minute. Well the 90 page draft too one hour and fifty five minutes which is roughly 30 minutes longer than it should have.
Amidst all of the comments Mark kept talking about what the script was about, that it was an homage and he was trying to justify it.
“It is a rough draft, I am going to change a few things.”
“Mark, just listen to the comments first,” Jack said.
Mark interrupted him, “I’m not finished.”
Jack shot back, “yes you are.”
Sweaty boy, wiped his brow and said, “Mark some of the dialogue sounded really familiar.”
Mark beamed. “Yes, yes, some of the dialogue was so good I didn’t want to change it.”
Zev said, “Isn’t that stealing?”
“No its paying homage.”
Tunnel rat glared at him. “How about paying royalties.”
Mark said “Can I just say one thing? One thing Jack, please.”
Jack said no that he could not speak anymore and he had to take the criticism like a man. So he sat ther and took the rest of the criticism and he was not allowed to speak until everyone was done.
On the way home Mark starts to mull it all over in his head.
“I’m glad its over. I put my head on the chopping block. I can relax now. Do you think hell let me keep it as the thesis?”
“I don’t know Mark. He was pretty pissed when you kept interrupting everyone.”“I don’t care. I had to. They didn’t understand. It was an homage, I didn’t rip anything off.”
He started to get nervous. "Do you think he'll let me keep this as my thesis?"
and so it went until Bay Ridge Parkway.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Reflections On My Chosen Profession 2
I wanted to teach because of those reasons and because I would have a lot of time off, time to write, time to vacation and time to relax. Ten plus years later and I haven’t gone anywhere except for my Honeymoon in Miami (hey it was such an event it deserved to be in bold, in caps AND italicized) and haven’t written anything but this piece you have before you. And as for spare time, well don’t make me laugh. Summers off, well if I didn’t have them, if most of us didn’t have them we would eat our guns. Well we don’t have guns but you know what I am talking about, and it burns me that every other profession out there mocks up saying we are overpaid and under worked, I would like to see them trade places with me for a month and see if they can handle it. I bet you they would run screaming into the night, well screaming into the street to their car and driving away never to return. God bless direct deposit you know? There was a major drive for other professions to come into the teaching industry, most of them didn’t last the year. The rest are now climbing up to AP positions. The Fellow program we those have people in them who bail the second their obligation is done. The statistics when I started were abysmal and have only gotten worse. I believe it was something like that 30 % of all new teachers leave within the first year and another 40 or more percent leave with the first for years. So we only retain about 30 percent of our profession, and a certain amount of those remaining go into administration. Then they say we have got to get rid of bad teachers. Well go ahead you already got rid of the good ones.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Reflections on Meeting Someone
Their true personality can be good, can be something we are attracted to, but once you fall for the person you think you are getting, you are left with a bad taste in your mouth and the relationship sours. We want the opposite sex to like us (or the same sex, it goes both ways) so let them meet the real person, not the representative.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Beers and Boatmotors
“Hey you guys want to make some money?”
“Sure Bud.” Bryan said.
“I do need some money, what you need?” I asked.
“Get in the car.”
Mikey Ideas was already in the front of the car with Vic Jr.
“Hey how's your mom?” Vic asked.
“How long has she been in?” asked the Idea Man.
“About four months so far.”
“Damn bud, that’s fucked up”
“Yeah, well so whats the deal Vic.”
He put the car into gear and we drove while he started to tell us about a boat he had and the motor fell off, so now he had this cool speedboat, but no motor, so he wanted to go to steal one.
“Vic aren’t you in the police academy?” I asked.
“Yeah, just got accepted. It’s pretty cool.”
We all said we were interested, he offered us fifty a piece.
He stopped at a light and put the car in park. He looked at all three of us.
“I’m feeling I could use a boost any you guys want some Coke?”
“Yo Bud soda is for kids, I got Budweiser running through me, in fact, let m out I gotta blow my nose.”
“Not Coke, Coke.” He made an inhalation sound. I shook my head now. Ideas had the right idea and said no. Bryan said he didn’t do anything harder than beer. Vic Jr shrugged and said he could probably get by without it.
He let Bryan out of his car to, “blow his nose” which was a polite euphamism to urinate. Which he did on a Yashiva.
We drove out to Long Island. The ride was fun though it was cramped in the back of the Firebird. Bryan was not as big as I was but we both barely fit into the car, and I wondered where we would put the boat motor if we did get it. I wondered what I was doing there. The money would be nice, but it wasn’t worth going to jail for, was it the thrills? I had no idea why I went along but I did.
I guess this is what they are afraid of; an unsupervised kid. But I knew what I was doing; on some level, I wanted to express my freedom. We got to our destination, and thankfully I was the lookout. I can act dumb well and look fairly innocent and nice, so the role was perfect for me. I stood by the car, looking at a map while they went down to where the boats were docked. I had the headlights on, directed in the way opposite of where they were, so anyone that would see me or come by would be drawn to the headlights and not to the dock, where a motor was being ripped off. No one came buy and soon the three of them returned with the motor.
They set it down as Vic opened the back of the car, they fumbled with it several times trying to figure out how to get it in the car. I guess Mikey had no ideas on how do it, and neither did Vic. Soon they got it in. The long part went down the center of the car towards the windhield, and the bulky part was resting on the back of the car, a large portion of it between me and Bryan. The back of the car had to remain open. If he would stop short the motor would fall out of the back of the car, or go through the front windheild. If he turned sharply, either Bryan or myself would get our skulls smashed in my the weight of the motor. All in all this situation really sucked. If it didn’t suck it wouldn’t be my life.
The ride back was excruciatingly painful being cramped in the back, and having to hold onto the motor, so it wouldn’t crush either of us. When we got back we all carried it into the basement of the apartment house. Vic paid Nick the building’s superintendant who was near seventy, for use of the storeroom. Vic’s father used to be the supe until he moved out of the apartment because he was divorcing Vic Jr’s mother. We got the motor up on a large 2x4 balancing on two ladders. Why I don’t know, but a few seconds later it came crashing down almost crushing me. God’s karmatic justice, or my being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I didn’t want to stay and find out so I went outside to wait for them.
Vic Jr. said he would pay us the next day, we were all pissed but thought he was good for it, he wasn’t, he never came with the money. The fall had broken the rotor on the motor, and it was useless and he got rid of it so there was no evidence, and decided if he didn’t have a motor then it never happened and he didn’t have to pay us. It was okay because the price eventually failed a drug test and was kicked off of the force shortly after he graduated from the academy.
Monday, June 13, 2005
Reflections On My Chosen Profession
I have had recent online conversations with some former students, two to be exact, and both of them have succeeded in either achieving their goals, or well on the way, without having the obstacles of life trip them up. With one, we spoke of our class that we had, the one I taught, the one in which she learned, or I had hope she learned. The other we talked about the class as well, but briefly, and how I was still "silly".
Those of you who know me may or may not believe, that I do, at times try to help, and do no harm, and I try to reach the person more than teach the content. I do not know if I am doing a disservice or not. While I do, genuinely like many of my students, I hate the structure of the system. The machinations of which do all they can to widen the chasm between student and teacher and administration. All should be working together. Instead, we have a system in ruins.
I am left, after my twelfth year in the system believing that I am not a good teacher. That I am doing more harm than good, and in fact, I am left feeling that I have never done a good job. Though, when I chatted with these students, while not querying their opinion, they said that I was a good teacher. I find it hard to believe that, but I didn't ask, nor did we talk about teaching, but it was said nevertheless.
After being dehumanized, demoralized, and abused by a system that is unjust, and unfair, I wonder what am I even doing here. And then I ran into two of my students, and I know exactly why.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
Mr. & Mrs. Smith Movie Review
An Action Romantic Comedy. That is it in a nutshell. The first thing I noticed about the movie was that it was bookended in a couples therapy session. This is widely reminiscent of romantic comedies, and indeed that is what we had here. The window dressing was nice, both stars are attractive and make a good couple. This worked for the film because they did look good together and had a chemistry, even when they were kicking each others asses.
Doug Liman, Director of the Bourne movies, as well as GO, and Swingers, seemed to blend those styles for this go around. During production he was fired only to be rehired again. The steamy sex scene rumored to have been filmed was cut for the PG 13 rating, and various other actors were considered for the roles, such as Nicole Kidman, and Johnny Depp. Hmmm do you think that would have been a different movie?
Vince Vaughn's character was funny, but under used in the film, you wanted to get a sense of closure with his character that never actually came.
The action sequences were decent. There was nothing earth shattering effects wise but it was definitely first class. And did I mention Angelina looked hot? If you like either of the actors, see the movie. If you like light romantic comedies that you can predict the outcome of, see the movie, if you are a fan of Doug Liman, see the movie. If you want to see a blockbuster, or something groundbreaking--don't bother. I wasn't disappointed, but I wasn't blown away either.
I also heard that Angela Basset had a decent sized role in the film, those shots were cut as well. I would be interested to see a directors cut of this picture, and hear why the director chose to do certain things. I cannot wholeheartedly recommend the movie, but if you like any of the things I mentioned, than this will be to your liking.
Until next time,
Look for someone wearing a Fight Club T-shirt. I thought that was a nice touch
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Ratboy Reports 2
I was sitting in the class waiting for Jack, it was almost time for the class to begin. I was talking to Madeline about some Dramaturgy class she was taking when Mark enters the room. Mark interrupts asking her how she feels about putting her head on “the chopping block.” She said that she would let her play speak for itself.
Madeline was the only female in the class for a while, and was a bit snooty, and there was strong indications that she was going out with Sweaty Boy, who was this huge hulking, hairy mass of flesh that sweated profusely, often dripping onto the scripts we were reading. He wrote a play about their relationship that was weird, sick, twisted and almost completely incomprehensible.
After the reading, Mark says something about the characters being wooden, and the story being unrealistic. The almost then immediately turns to her and apologizes for criticizing her. It appeared as though he were afraid she would smack the crap out of him.
After class Mark tell me Jack would not sign the sheet for acceptance of the tutorial.
“You think he’s trying to fuck me Doug?”
“Think I should talk to him again?”
“I’m going to talk to him,”
“Okay Mark, but I wouldn’t recommend it.”
At the break Jack runs out to the mens room, I go out in the hallway to strech my letgs and to see what trouble Mark is going to get himself into. He waits outside of the bathroom for him.
Mark talks to Jack when he comes out of the bathroom Jack looks pissed. Mark complained that Jack did not want to talk about it.
Zev overhears this story. Zev was a late twenty something or early thirty something that was divorced and using his student loans to pay his child support. He made his living by playing videogames, beta testing. The job paid more in products that salary, and he used to spend what little money he had left buying comic books. I wonder why his marriage didn’t work out.
“Hey Mark,” Zev says.
“Jack just signed my form right in front of me last week.”
“You see, he is trying to fuck me.”
All the ride home he kept rambling on and on that Jack was trying to fuck him over and he said that he will go to Kramer (the director of grad studies for the English department) and talk to him about it. I recommended that he did not go to Jack’s superior, and just relax a bit. He then became paranoid that that Jack wasn’t going to let him graduate.
“Damn I really wish Dom was here.”
“He was a good bullshiter, he’d be able to tell me how to worm my way around things with Jack”
Times like that was when I knew the Ratboy moniker was an apt one.
Friday, June 10, 2005
On the Edge Of Seventeen
when like is still an unrealized dream
& youve never woken from a nightmare
with a scream
wondering what your future would be like
On the edge of a breakdown
after a dozen years or so of
disappointment and disillusion
waking in a cold sweat
depression is all you get
is this how it seemed to you back then?
On the edge of seventeen
life is still an unrealized dream
dont be in a rush to go nowhere fast
slow down, and let these fleeting moments last.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Paradise by the Empty Gas Light
I will admit we, as human beings, fear change. Though I did take an alternate route that took me nearly as long, at least I was moving. And I got to see more of Jersey, more than I cared to, but I explored.
Before mapquest, or onstar, what did we do? Waste a hell of a lot of gas for one, but we had a hit or miss situation, trial and error. And sometimes we found some cool things.
Today I tried yet a different route to prepare me for Friday's horrors. I took route one all the way home. And I saw some stores and places that look cool and what not, not to mention Gas prices under 2 bucks, WHOO HOO.
So I was driving and noticed my gas was painfully low, this due no doubt to me having the AC pumping and waiting over 30 minutes to get on the SI expressway. So I looked for a gas station, after I just passed about 20 of them, and low and behold I look up and there, to my surprise was a burger lovers paradise. Fuddruckers. Right smack dab in the middle of Route 1 In Jersey, and yes it was on the other side of the road, but I made note of it and will be passing through there again real soon.
So I implore, you, try a different route every once in a while, who knows what you may find.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
This weekend I saw Phantom Of The Opera on DVD it was an excellent production, and I enjoyed it better than the play. I had seen the play with an extremely forgettable cast, and I had mentioned to my friend that one of the main songs, "Music of the Night" was almost indistinguishable from the rest of the music. Not so in the movie version. Dialogue was crisp, costumes were bright, and the transfer of the disc was sharp and pristine. The acting was superb and the music and lyrics were given their proper place. All in all it was a great piece and Joel Schumacher, thankfully gave us a Phantom without rubber nipples. (an allusion to his garish Batman foray)
I also saw Cinderella Man. It was a very good period piece about the Depression Era boxer James Braddock. Crowe is Oscar worthy as the never punchy pugalist who makes a great comeback earning him the nickname that is the movie's title. Good performances are also turned in by Giamatti who plays his manager and Renee Zellweger as his loving wife, who is always in his corner. Craig Bierko also turned in a decent performance as the reigning champion, Max Baer.
The fight scenes were realistic, (with the exception of a CSI shot, if you see the film you will know what I mean) and showy camera movements are minimal. Also the portrayal of the Depression and how it ravaged individuals, families and the city as a whole. The day before I saw the film I heard a guy, in the library, tell the librarian he had seen Cinderella Man. I was about to walk away because I didn't want to hear anything about it, but I was too late. The guy said that it took place around the Depression, (and now I am quoting) I didn't really know anything about the Depression, so I really couldn't relate. I guess he could relate to Episode III because he was a padawan and the force was strong with him? Oh well. I digress.
Hope your weekend was aiiight
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Ratboy Reports 1
Mark came up to the second floor of Boylan Hall with a huge Conway bag. The bag that he was carrying was full of scripts. He says that he brought in all his scripts to get free copies at the GSO (Graduate School Organization). He then tells me that there are no more free copies there, he gets mad and says,
"Fuck them. They're not good for anything now."
I just nod in agreement knowing he is probably the reason for them stopping us from getting free copies. He picks up his bag and proceeds to go "visit" Jack, for the tutorial portion of the program.
I had originally wanted to enter the MFA fiction program but was rejected. I also applied to the playwrighting program, and was surprised to find out I was accepted. So in the fall of 1994, after my first year of teaching, I went back to college enrolled in Brooklyn College’s MFA program. The “Jack” that Mark mentioned was Jack Gelber.
Jack Gelber, was an Obi award winning playwright for the play “The Connection.” He ran the MFA playwrighting course for many years. He was a nice, and decent human being who has since passed on. Me and Dominic sometimes referred to him as Slappy, because of his bald head and resemblance to the bald Benny Hill actor who was often, and repeatedly slapped in the bald part of his head. Despite our musings of the man, we were deeply saddened when we learned of his death. He will truly be missed.
Aside from the 3 hour class, we also had a tutorial. At that meeting you usually discussed what you will bring in to class, what you had brought in and you would discuss your thesis plans. Mark was in there for a long, long time. When he came out he looked upset. I didn’t have a chance to ask him what was wrong because I ahd to go in next. I wasn’t worried either because I knew I would be hearing all about it on the bus ride home.
I entered Jack’s office and sat down. Before my but hit the chair, Jack sighed loudly.
“So Mark believes he is being stalked?” Jack asks.
I laugh and fill him in. It appeared that Mark was being stalked or felt he was being stalked on the Internet by some married woman who wanted him as a sex slave. When Mark refused her advanced because she was married, and he would never do a thing like that, she became nasty and calls his house and hangs up. His mother got so worried she told Mark to go to the police.
Jack leaned back on his chair, with his feet on the desk, and laced his fingers behind his head. SLAAAAPPPYYYY I thought, as a smile spread across Jack’s face. He was amused beyond comprehension.
Class started at six, we were all there except Mark who came in late. He sits next to the hot Cuban chick proceeds to rap to her, informing her that he’s Latino; though unfortunately he speaks almost no Spanish.
After class he says he thinks the hot Cuban chick digs him.
The bus ride brought more of the same and his added paranoia.
“Do you think Jack will be a mother fucker?: he asks.
“No, not at all.”
“Do you think he will accept my thesis?”
“Sure, why not? He has too doesn’t he?”
He shrugged. “Do you think he will like it? Do you
think he will let me go next week?”
He was referring to having his piece read in class the following week.
“I don’t see why not.”
“ Do you think I have to do another reading?”
“I am sure he will Mark, just relax.
“ Do you think he'll fuck me? I don’t think he likes me.”
And on and on and on. I had never been so happy to get off of a bus in my life.
Ratboy Reports...a brief Intro
Also during the first year and a half of this program there was only a lone female, named Madeline, whom you briefly met in Condum Conundrum. The term in which these reports took place, there was a new female in the class. I never refered to her by name in the original reports, she is only known as the hot Cuban babe.
Another addition to the class was the first black guy in the year and a half I was there. The class was limited to ten, and the selection process was based soley on the manuscripts you handed in. Anyway this guy's name was Tatak (pronounced Ta-TAK) and he was into martial arts. I bring him up because Mark, being the poster boy for non threating latino warmed up to him and wanted to know how to be down. Tatak was also in to martial arts. Mark was gawky and uncoordianated and wanted to learn some moves and introduced himself to TaTak by showing him some lame ass gesture from Enter the Dragon.
Anyway I am getting away from myself, all of these stories and more will follow.
On Writing a Blog and Writing in General
I am writing my memoirs now. Longer pieces of stories you see here, and some you wont. I have already written a novel, short stories, one act plays, and some screenplays. Writing in those media you invariably use elements of your self, so I figured why not write about myself.
And here is the shameless plug if any of you are reading this and are not on my mailing list, or if you are and no any agents....wink wink.....
One of my screenplays I wrote in about 72 hours, not in a row, but in 6 hour intervals. That's when I ferment the story in my brain for long periods of time, write scenes on index cards and the like. It was easier to do while I was in college because when you are in a writing class you have deadlines, or a writing job. I have neither. Instead I am stuck in the DOE as a teacher and if you don't know, not only do they stifle creativity, they try beat you down into submission. So one has little else to do but look inward.
I am limiting my memoir writing to the week, though I am thinking of what to write about, what is interesting, what is fluff, what just plain sux. There again comes the blog to my aid, and that is why I relish comments, and have gone onto blogexplosion and other means of expanding my blog readership, to share ideas and get feedback.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Caffeine, Therapy and Awesome Pizza
After Tammy I went on a lot of Internet dates. And believe it or not they weren’t all horror stories. The fact that I decided not to go out with TRAINTOOBA again was because, while I don’t mind baggage in a relationship, its another story when someone brings a steamer trunk full to a blind date.
I had met a med student with the rather interesting name of SAPHENOUS, which is an artery in the leg. We met for a movie and an reasonable dinner. She dropped me off at my car and we shared an Altoid, and a kiss and said goodbye. We never spoke or Imed again.
Bunny Foo Foo, I don’t remember the actual spelling of her screen name was an older woman and we only met because we had been chatting for some time and thought it would be nice to meet. It was, though we fell out of touch, she will always have a special place in my heart and gut. She had turned me on to the rapture that is Spumoni Gardens Pizza. (it truly is a taste like no other)
If It Didn't Suck......the genesis of a title
I guess I am glad I could help. Anyway I would tell him things like when Tammy dumped me on the phone, or once when my car locks wouldnt unlock so that the doors would close and I had to tie a rope on the grips of them and drive home with them flapping open, or the fact that my dog in fits of loneliness would shit the house regularly, or getting my nose caught in a revolving door or the fact that I have sleep apnea and sleep with a Darth Vader type of mask so I wont die while I sleep, he would say; affectionately so, "Hey, C if it didn't suck it wouldn't be your life." Thus a title and motto was born.
So you can see, constant and faithful readers, that if it didn't suck....
well no need to bore you with the rest, I have some blogs to write.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Selling Out? Or Buying In?
They were angered that fans were passing along their music freely without them reaping the benefits of royalties. Now this is ironic since the band used to hand out demos to fans at shows at such places as Lamour (the one and only rock capital of Brooklyn) and others. Now I guess there is a time to cut your hair and face the fact you are getting older but do you have to turn against your fans.
Success is not selling out. Though there is something that happens, not to everyone, sort of what would be called a paradigm shift of sorts. I hate to admit but success does inevitable change the once raw and frenetic hunger a band/group/artist once had. As I sat to write this, I was surfing through On Demand on my tv an scrolled through the music stations and came across a band I had great love for, but haven’t really listened to in quite a while. As the song played there were clips from the Adam Sandler film, “50 First Dates,” interspersed throughout,
Don’t get me wrong, the song was good. It was the main love song from the movie and I believe it was called Love Song. It sounded like one of the 100 or so bands out there that do this type of music. When I saw them singing it, Or when I saw Nick Hexum sing it, I wondered what happened to the 311 I once knew.
311’s first album was called Music and it came out in 1993, and at that time it was hard to find in mainstream music stores like the Wiz because their music was an infusion of rock, reggae blues, ska, hip hop and rap. And their sound was unique and eclectic and awesome. Soon they began to get a wider audience, and when their album, Soundsystem came out years later, I felt that they hit their peak, and I stopped following them for a while. And then I saw that video. I was horrified. .
Wendy O. Williams committed suicide because of a lot of issues, but the reason she voiced was the depression of the image of an aged rocker on stage. She didn’t want to be that. So she killed herself, forever being the Wendy we all know and remember tearing up the stage, and other things, with the Plasmatics.
Now that’s a bit extreme but all in all we should all know when we are stagnating. There is time for a change, but the change should not come at the expense of the fans. Remember who had faith in you and who got you to where you are, your hard work did most of it, but the fans pay your bills. Without us, you are nothing. I am not asking for profit sharing, but please, don’t change the very fabric of what made you great.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
My First Internet Relationship Conclusion
On the weekends that we would see one another she started to not talk as much anymore and began to say things like, “we talk all day, there’s nothing left to say.”
At one point she even said, “we talk all day and see eacher all the time, its too much.”
Too much. Interesting way of putting it. Though this happened after one night, in a moment of weakness during a late night phone conversation I said, “I love you.”
“What?” she asked.
“I love you Tammy.” Big silence. Her reply?
“It makes me feel really good that you said that.” Should I have woken up and smelled the El Pico at that point? No not me, I moved ahead and continued like nothing had changed. But it did.
Soon her friends became more of a fixture into in our relationship. It was me and Tammy. That is, it was me, Tammy, and Ellen and Robin. All the time. Then Robin started to date this guy next door to her, so it was the five of us. All the time. We had very little alone time anymore and I was getting pissed. I decided to do something about it so I broached the subject and she said that’s what couples do, they hang with other couples, I guess she was forgetting her other friend, but that wasn’t the point. I said well couples hang with other couples and then hey spend time alone as well.
The following day I spoke with her on the phone and said that maybe we should just take a week off from seeing one another. Just to take a breather. I figured if that is what she wanted, that if it was “too much” as she put it maybe we should pull back a bit.
The week was the second week in July, It began on a Sunday and would go to the following Sunday. No phone contact or IMing. That Saturday I had already had a party to go to that she declined to come to earlier on so there really wasn’t a problem with this little separation, in fact, it was a good idea, at least I thought so at the time. I was a little upset, but I was willing to give her the space she needed. And I had a chance to go to he party guilt free.
The party was a pool party in Staten Island, given someone I knew from work. It was her first year at my job and first summer party of hers I was invited too. The only problem was I had no ride. The reason that Tammy said she didn’t want to go was because she said that she gets nauseous traveling over bridges. In fact whenever she goes on a long ride she takes Dramamine. So if we didn’t have that little arrangement that weekend I would not have gone, because I would have wanted to be with Tammy. Though it did work out for the best, because I spent some time with Patricia outside of school and soon after that day she became one of my best friends, if not indeed my best friend.
Dan had been invited and wanted to get out of the house so he decided to go, and he drove me. The party was great. I had a good time, and surprisingly I really didn’t miss Tammy all tha much. Now one can say that’s good because we are so comfortable with one another that we can have a good time on out own or it says that we really don’t care all that much about one another. I didn’t think much of that at all. I did think about seeing Tammy that Sunday.
Early Sunday morning I called Patricia to thank her for inviting me and to tell her I had a great time. As we spoke another call came through. It was Tammy, I hung up with Patricia and said I would call her back.
“Hey Tam, whats going on? I missed you.”
“I’ve been thinking.”
Here it comes I thought.
“Yes,” I rather foolishly persued.
“I don’t think we should see each other anymore.”
DAMN, she went there. Before I could say anything she continued.
“It’s not you its me.”
Damn right its you, I thought, and I was brazen at that moment I said, “I know.”
“You are a really great guy, you nice and treat me right but I guess I am not ready.”
She was acting as though I proposed marriage. “Ready for what.”
“A serious relationship.”
“Your profile said you were otherwise Tammy I wouldn’t have started anything.”
There was a pause for a moment.
“I thought I was ready for a serious relationship. I guess I was wrong.”
“I guess so.”
“I didn’t mean to hurt you and I hope you find someone that will make you happy.”
As long as it's not you I thought.
“Doug, you made me feel things I thought were no longer possible for me, and I will never forget you for it. But now that these feelings are opened in my I think I have a lot of soul searching to do before I get serious, and its not fair to you.”
Oh god, just slit my fucking throat already.
“Take care Tammy.” I said.
She said something at that point and I hung up.
Dumped on the phone. At least she didn’t do it via Email.
I called Patricia back and told her what just happened. She was upset for me, and I don’t know if it was a result of that conversation, or that I felt freer to chill with her and not be guilty that I had a girlfriend at home to worry about, but we became closer on that day and remain as close until this very day.
Incidentally after I got off of the phone with Patricia I went on line. Mainly to change my screen name from our initials to something that would suite my mood. For a period of a few months my AOL screen name was the very depressing AGAINALONE . And there waiting for me, my last piece of email for screen name DVCLUZTJJ was a Dear C letter. I opened it, read it, and deleted it, as I was about to delete the screen name and the memory of this latest failed relationship. If it didn’t suck….it wouldn’t be my life.