Monday, December 14, 2009

In Which I Try To Keep Warm And Nearly Freeze To Death



The Earth had once again settled itself into that arc on its trip around the sun wherein our access to light is limited and our access to cold is seemingly bottomless. Winters in New England are mean. It's no wonder the Puritans chose to settle here. Winter, like Life, is meant to be suffered through. Geese have enough common sense to fly south. Sometimes it's a wonder the humans have been able to climb so far up the food chain.

The place where I live is a throwback to days when a bath was a weekly event, and one was lucky to know someone who owned a horse. Although moderate steps have been taken to update the livability of my apartment building, things are sometimes woefully inadequate. Each room, for instance, has only one electrical outlet, which, until very recently, was wired through a fusebox in the basement. If you were to overload a circuit, a fuse would blow, and it was up to you to have a surplus on hand to replace it. Space heaters, then, were pretty much out of the question. Turning one on would quickly overwhelm the meager abilities of the electrical system and leave you in the dark and cold.

Why would I need a space heater to begin with? Interesting question. The only supplies for warmth are placed at either end of the apartment. The stove in the kitchen doubles as a gas heater, and on the front side, a small heater is wired into the wall in the living room. No heat in the bedrooms. The bathroom is placed exactly in the middle of and very far from the two sources of warmth. In the deep dark depths of January, to end a nice hot shower is to start a race against hypothermia, as those droplets left on the skin drain body heat at an alarming rate.

But we humans are a creative bunch, aren't we? It is through our ingenuity and resourcefulness that we have been able to thrive in places like this. We've invented weaving to turn shorn wool into warm blankets, but even those laurels were not enough for us to rest upon. We've sent men to the moon. Surely we can outsmart something as simple as a little bit of cold air.

This is my ill fated attempt at doing just that.

At some point, while wrapped up in sweaters and furry hats, I noticed that my room, simply by virtue of having had my body in it, was subtly warmer than other parts of the apartment.

If temperature in a small space was raised by my presence, than a smaller space would be that much warmer, right?



I dug my cheap pup tent out from the closet, set it up on my bed, and covered it with heavy blankets. Patting myself on the back, I pulled my alarm clock inside, layered blankets on the floor of the tent, and closed up the flap, eager to spend a toasty evening with my great idea.

Perhaps it worked a little differently than I had anticipated. I awoke gasping for breath. I seemed to be sweating yet was cold. So very cold. The moisture from my breath had condensed on the walls of the tent into droplets which fell onto me and my bedclothes, and ran down the walls onto the floor of my cave.

I fought through all the blankets and wrestled with the zipper, spilling out onto the cold floor of my bedroom, soaking wet and gulping down as much fresh air as I could.

Apparently I hadn't thought it all the way through. The whole process of air circulation and condensation hadn't occurred to me until I awoke, suffocating and hypothermic.



Way to go, genius.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Again With The Songs

After writing this post, I thought I would follow up in a different vein. After reading, someone told me I was a very indie-rock kind of guy, and I suppose it's true to an extent. But I'd hate to come across as smug as I think I sound. Who am I to judge all these talented, hard-working artists? So, in order to take myself down a peg, I herein present a list of songs that I absolutely love, but am embarrassed to admit to even liking.


Bob Seger "Turn The Page"



Everything about this song tells me I should hate it, but I get this song pleasurably stuck in my head with alarming frequency. It's Bob Seger, for crying out loud! The same guy that wrote "Old Time Rock and Roll", a song which makes me shudder. Reasons I should dislike this tune: It's a "road tune", and a storytelling song, two qualities that usually have me scrambling for the radio dial. The saxophone at the beginning should send me fleeing from the room. Once upon a time I kinda liked jazz, and then I suddenly decided to abhor it. The sax is unfortunate collateral damage in that exchange. I shouldn't have a problem with an instrument in and of itself, but because it is so closely tied in with the genre, I can't bring myself to enjoy it. Even the fact that Metallica once covered this song can't erase my like of it.


Christopher Cross "Ride Like The Wind"



I blame my parents for this one. We had a vinyl copy of Chris Cross's self-titled album, and, having little else to listen to, I clung to this one. The rhythm is infectious, and the story line about a badass loner outlaw was very appealing to me. Not to mention the fact that the Godfather of Yacht-Rock, Michael McDonald, sings his smooth-talkin' backing vocals on it. Awesome.


Foreigner "Cold As Ice"



I know. I know. But I can't help myself. You can't really hear it in this live version, but I love the keyboard in the second verse. Neeer Ne Neer Ne Neer Neer Neer Neeeerrrr.... And those vocal harmonies?! Forget about it. I love it. Too bad nothing else Foreigner ever did was this good. If had to judge the quality and value of Foreigner as a band based solely on hearing this one song, knowing nothing about any other tunes, I would nominate them for legend status. It's that good.

Elton John "Tiny Dancer"



This is another one I can blame on my parents. We had a copy of Madman Across The Water laying about, and I still like it. It's a very solid album. I like a lot of Sir Elton's work, right up until about the time of "Candle In The Wind" (yuck!). "Crocodile Rock"? Awesome. Even into the 80's "I'm Still Standing" was on heavy rotation in the early days of MTV, and I was way into it. I still hear "Rocket Man" on a semi-regular basis, and quite enjoy it.

Ram Jam "Black Betty"



This has to be the greatest (by which I mean worst) video ever made. I loved this song til I saw the tools who wrote it. Did they film this in one of the band member's dad's backyard? The bass player is the gayest looking tool I've ever seen, and what the hell is going on with the guy standing to the left? Somebody give that guy a tambourine, for crying out loud. At least then he would give the appearance of being a somewhat productive member of the band. Instead he's the band cheerleader. Yes. The fact that this song finds itself played at a lot of sporting events takes it down a notch, but I don't think you can deny its awesomeness.

Well there you have it. I'm out of the musical closet. Point and laugh if you must. I can take it. I'm sure there are more gems like these to make me look funny, and I'll post them as they come to me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First They Came for the Dance-punks

First they came for theDance-punks.
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Dance-punk.
Then they came for the Emo kids
and I did not speak out
because I was not an Emo kid.
Then they came for the Screamos
and I did not speak out
because I was not Screamo.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left,
except for Nu-Metal,
and I think that shit sucks...

(originally published 11/7/2006)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

In Which Online Worlds Collide

You've most likely thrown yourself under the FaceBook juggernaut. If so, you're probably aware of these viral lists that everyone feels the need to make. Not long ago the "25 Things About Me" sensation caused quite a stir on the 'Book and found itself being discussed in popular media. Seems lately the big buzz floats around the "50 bands" discussion, in which one recounts 50 acts one has seen in concert. I signed on, because I love music, but afterward I was left feeling incomplete. Surely there is more to seeing a show than just SEEING the show, so I sent back and annotated my list. The thoughts are completely subjective, my own self-important opinions, with corresponding supporting information/media.

I herein present my list, with notes. Perhaps you have your own list. Perhaps you were at one of these shows with me.

50 BANDS, WITH NOTES

OK, here are the rules. Test your memory and your love of live music by listing 50 artists or bands (or as many as you can remember) you've seen in concert. List the first 50 acts that come into your head. An act you saw at a festival and opening acts count, but only if you can't think of 50 other artists. Oh, and list the first concert you ever saw (you can remember that, can’t you)?

Should you choose this challenge, here's what you do:
Copy my note. Click on “notes” under tabs on your profile page. Select "write a new note" in the top corner. Paste the copy in the body of the note. Make your list. Change the number at the top, and add your title. Once you've saved, don't forget to tag friends (including me) on the right.

* Denotes multiples


1.OZZY!(first concert. won tickets off the radio)
I was excited as hell to be going to my FIRST CONCERT EVAR, but even then, in the late 80's, Ozzy was frail and kinda ridiculous. Still, wouldn't trade it for the world.

2.Anthrax
Opened up for Ozzy. Technically cheating, I know, but WTF. I was a way bigger fan of these guys. I still love their cover of "Bring The Noize".



3.Jane's Addiction
Yeah... I'm embarrassed to say this, but I actually used a line from Perry in my high school yearbook: "You gotta be driven by passion, man. That way know one can own you." Thanks, rockstar. Tell that to my student loan officer and my car loan. Dick.



4.Metallica
Somebody actually tried to steal my shoes at this show. While I was wearing them. And sober. This was long before I decided I hate Metallica, after they had come out so forcefully against Napster. The hatred just got deeper from then on.



5.Jethro Tull
Not my fault. Somebody had an extra ticket, offered it to me, then had the balls to ask me for money at the end of the night. People: you gotta put the money thing out front, otherwise this list would contain 49 bands.

6.Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Freshman in college. Jumped on stage and broke my hand diving off.

7.Chucklehead
Again... freshman. Nobody knows who this band is. My buddy, working the door, gave this 18 year-old a booze bracelet, and I got Wah-Hasted. And danced. I remember peeing on my school, claiming my tuition gave me the right.

8.Frank Black
Saw this show with Pollard, and it was the most drunken, surly, border-line violent crowd I had ever seen. Given another half hour to wait and drink, I'm sure this could have turned into a riot. We bailed early. I saw all the songs I wanted to see.



9.Skeleton Key
These guys were awesome. Saw this one with Joel. If you haven't heard their first record, do yourself a favor. Their second, not so much.



10.Shellac
Again with the Joel. These guys walked a maddening line between awesome RAWK and irritating, drawn out, slowed-down wankery. I would definitely think twice about seeing them again.


11.Clutch*
Some shows were awesome, some were mediocre. One of my favorite bands, still cranking out records today.



12.Red Hot Chili Peppers*
The first time I saw RHCP was a free show at UNH, shortly after "Mother's Milk" had been released. It was outdoors, and pretty fucking awesome. Between songs, Flea clutched to an amp stack and puked his guts out, then played the next song like a 4 string possessed. Amazing, since once I puke, I'm out. John did a beautiful rendition of the chorus to "Tiny Dancer" between songs, which got booed by a dude wearing a backwards baseball hat, thus fermenting such fashion statements to a position of hatred in my mind forever.

The second time I saw them was at Lollapasellout, and my appreciation for them has been steadily declining ever since.

Come to think of it, the following 3 acts were also seen at that "event/marketing extravaganza", so I'll keep my comments short and pointless.

13.Pearl Jam
Still like these guys. Sometimes.

14.Soundgarden
Superunknown is the only thing worth listening to by these guys. Some may say that none of it is, and I couldn't really argue.

15.Ministry
Fell asleep on the grass during their set. Back to the single shows:

16.Death Cab For Cutie
Thus begins the Me-Or-Someone-Had-Free-Tickets-So-I-Went (MOSHFTSIW) bands. Once upon a time I liked Death Cab, and then they kept putting out records, and I realized I hated the singer's voice.

17.The Black Keys*
Without fail an amazing show. Every time.

18.Magnolia Electric Co*
See #17

19.Smog
See #17 and multiply that by pi, slap a vagina on it and propose.

20.Gogol Bordello
It's a rare thing for me to dance. It's also a rare thing for me to go to a show for a band of which I know nothing. Check, and Czech.



21.Man Man
Holy hardest working band in show business! I took Nancie to this one, after she had just stepped off a 27-hour, epic-scope plane ride. She may have been a little too woozy to enjoy it, but she still claimed she had seen Jesus during this set. See for yourself:


22.Be Your Own Pet
MOSHFTSIW: Saw these guys after their first record release, when every one was air-humping and proclaiming "Thurston Moore Approved!!!" Yes, they are VERY young. Yes, she is VERY hot. Yes, I agree, it's not that great.



23.Fugazi*
'Nuff said.

24.Sunset Rubdown
Pretty awesome band, too bad they just released a record that I knew nothing about and only played songs from that. Still, good stuff. This tune is great:



25.Swell
Big in France.



26.!!!
MOSHFTSIW Couldn't care less about their records, but goddam! Those fellas can get the asses on the dance floor.

27.Fucking Champs
Saw them open for Trans Am, not a huge fan, but sometimes people like stuff.

28.Trans Am
See above. Saw these guys play at Garment District (huh?), and they were fairly amazing, and someone threw a stuffed animal onstage and got hooked on the bass head for at least 4 minutes. It's the little things...

29.Ho-Ag
Spazz rock, awesomeness:



30.Neptune*
See above, but played on handmade junk:



31.Lightning Bolt
Holy shit this night was amazing. The venue was a Massart iron-pour on Halloween, smoke and fire framed the courtyard, artschool costumes are the best, and LB blew that shit out. Chris brought a pint of whisky and drank it like water while I sipped PBR tall-boys:



32.Future Of The Left
The last show I saw. I was embarrassingly excited to be an old man going out to a rawk show. They didn't disappoint.



33.Rye Coalition
Opened up for Shellac. Hated them, but love them on record. Odd, I know.



34.Afghan Whigs
Awesome show. They played for 2.5 hours, then took a break and came out and played hours of Motown covers.

Who is that guy introducing the band??



35.Parts And Labor
I was very excited to see this show. Their song "A great divide" is one of the most psycho drum bits ever. Unluckily for me, they had just brought on a new drummer who was... timid. At best. Their follow-up record was pretty good as well.



36.The Mars Volta
Along with #37, these 2 were the bastard step children of one of the most amazing bands ever, At The Drive-In. I want to travel back in time and give myself an atomic wedgie every time I think I had had the opportunity to see ATDI but failed. Stupid! However, since these two split, it was clear to see where each song-writing group had contributed to the band. Once they split, they both kinda sucked in a unique way. When the first Mars Volta record came out, it got my swift nomination for Album of the Year. Then I saw them live. Ugh. See the previous entry on Shellac: Huge, frantic tornadoes of amazing rock interspersed with spaced-out, self-indulgent pap. Awful. I know a band is bad when my feet start to hurt from standing still. This band had me thinking positively about amputation.

37.Sparta
Part B to entry #36.

38.Thursday
Headlined for #37. I've never seen a crowd so violently erupt on note #1. Unfortunately, those fans have awful taste.

39.Constantines
Awesome. From Canada, took the stage with hockey sticks. Irony?!



40.Deerhoof
Played at MIT, and I had to have a sponsor to get me, an outsider, in. Haughty eggheads... Deerhoof was amazing! The drummer was indistinguishable at one point, he was thrashing so hard. And the singer was a pint-sized dynamo.



41.Dismemberment Plan
I brought my friend Jane, and she was put off by the singer, who, according to her, thought he was way sexier than he really was. But don't take my word for it:



42.Drive-By Truckers
Just got off the plane from Europe, was blown out by the southern rawk.



43.Mr. Bungle
Fairly great. Someone groped me in the crowd.



44.Kings Of Leon
MOSHFTSIW. Good set. Short.

45.Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Free show at City Hall Plaza. I wonder how successful they would be if Karen O weren't so hot...?



46.Morphine
Free show at the Hatch Shell. It kills me that Mark Sandman is dead and yet all four members of Motley Crue continue to draw breath on this earth.



47.Portishead
Ran into my former drug dealer just before the show. We hung out in back and traded round for round. Didn't pay much attention to the performance.

48.Six Going On Seven
Awesome. R.I.P.

49.TV On The Radio
Opened up for YYY at City Hall. Had never seen/heard them before. Blown away. A fan was born that night.



50.Tom Waits
Someone asked me once what that show was like. I said it was like getting a blowjob at disneyworld.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Roommate Retardation


Recently I was listening to an All Things Considered bit about kids who were about to move away from home and start college, and about the roommates they were to soon encounter at their choice of higher-learning institutions. One kid was nervous about moving in with his gay roommate, and had his mom call the school to try to make different arrangements. Long story short: a lot of people wrote and called in to tell stories of their own experiences rooming with scary, culturally different people, and how ultimately, the experience of living with and getting to know these people who were so outside their realm of comfort ended up being a blessing, as they learned a lot and got to know someone who they continued being friends with long after college had ended.

As I was listening, I felt that the program had not addressed the situation in which I had found myself on my first day in college. What does one do when they are arbitrarily matched to room with a moron?

Those were different times, back then. One couldn't look up a new roommate on Facebook or Myspace. Maybe the two would exchange a letter, or a phone call. I opted for the latter, and I knew very soon: This guy and I are not going to get along.

A little background on the living situation: The art school I had chosen to attend had recently completed five floors of a state of the art dormitory, complete with suites with shared bathrooms, media rooms and a communal studio on each floor. 24-hour security stood sentry over the comings-and-goings of residents, and copious socializing space ensured that residents had ample opportunity to network and get to know one another.

This was not the dormitory in which I lived.

Baker Hall was to be my home for my first year of adulthood. Baker was owned by a nearby Technological Institute, and the Art College rented a floor for its overflow population, those who were too poor to afford the new digs, or were late to come to the party. I was a bit of both. Baker was five stories of dorm rooms that could favorably be called Spartan: Square rooms with ersatz cinder block walls, painted white to reflect the sickly fluorescent lights. Two bathrooms serviced the entire floor, one for boys, one for girls. Heavy steel doors with enormous deadbolts protected that 14 by 14 cell, consisting of one window, two beds, two wardrobes, and a low, rickety "work table" and a pair of stiff work chairs. Security was a rarity in this building, and it was a treat to have a security guard that would bother to spend the entire night sitting on a hard plastic chair behind a small metal desk. Homeless people would find their way in, break into the rooms on the abandoned fifth floor and squat until the smell of crack smoke or excessive b.o. would alert someone to their presence, in which case they would be ejected, only to start the whole process over again the next day.

I was the first to arrive to our dorm room. The date was September 6th, 1992. It was a warm and sunny day in Boston, a very exciting day for me, moving from the desolate woods of Maine to the Big City. I quickly set up my stereo and blasted Ministry's "Psalm 69", positive that musical taste was the surest way to broadcast one's personality and interests. For comparison, the room to my right was cranking hip-hop, while the room to my left was offering Kiss. I figured, as a former metal head, completely sold on the grunge revolution, I was sure to make friends quickly.

Then Derek showed up. He was dressed head to toe in Chess King. His hair was shellacked with gel and a "gold" chain hung around his neck. He smiled out the side of his mouth and offered his hand to shake. I took it, sizing him up. No good can come of this, I thought.

Fortunately I had a couple friends from high school who had moved in nearby just a few weeks earlier. I bid Derek a hasty farewell and went over to their apartment to reunite and indulge in some rooftop chemicals with them.

"How's the room?" Jared asked me.

"Is Cell-like a word?" I replied.

"Meet your roommate yet?" He asked.

"I dunno, man," as I hoisted the pipe to my lips.

Looking back on it now, I think there was a kind of Survivalist Mentality that settled in to everyone who lived on the floor. We all knew well that the other dorm was a sparkling hotel, littered with high thread-count sheets and mints on pillows compared to our shanty town. We were alone, left to cling to and support one another through our hardships. Needless to say, many very strong friendships grew out of this shared experience, some of which continue to this day, 17 years later. For a while, with no formal agreement or preparation, someone would wander from room to room, gathering people for dinner at the dining hall. We would all walk in en masse, like a biker gang. Everyone would turn to look warily at these wild and unruly savages, boisterously kicking open the doors and hooting like madmen.

Yet, despite this sinking-ship togetherness, there were some pariahs. As I mentioned in this post, a poor lad earned the unfortunate nickname Stinky Fat Elvis due to his reluctance to shower and his striking resemblance to the Rhinestone Jumpsuit-era Elvis. Many nicknames came out of that building: Wicked Smaht, The Yeti, Kurtlet, Pretentious-H Jhenn.

And then there was Derek. He earned the unfortunate name Corky due to his seemingly lower-than-average intelligence. That poor bastard. It was no secret he wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed. It probably didn't help that I was his roommate. I certainly did nothing to help his cause.

Some stories to illustrate the point:

Derek had a tattoo of Jessica Rabbit on his ankle. This was well before tattoos were commonplace and widely accepted. But even then, I know that this was the work of a douchebag. The thing was, Jessica was depicted only from the waist up, and Derek would spend a LOT of time making sure that his sock covered up the fact that she had no pelvis or legs. I was never able to ascertain what the reason for this was. Was it designed this way? Did the tattoo artist not know how to do bottoms? Was Derek too much of a puss to endure the bottom half of the tattoo? Or too cheap to pay for the whole thing?

Freshman year means that there are a lot of required courses for the young scholars to take. Unfortunately, Derek and I were placed into a writing course together. At one point, we were having an in-class exam. Derek happened to be sitting ahead of and to the right of me. 10 minutes into the exam, he turned around, and with no attempt at subtlety went:

"Hey roomie" I tried to ignore him. He tried again. Then again.

"What?!" I nearly hissed at him.

"Is #1 like the thing that we talked about last night, when..."

"Derek. Shut the fuck up and turn around," I glared at him. He took on a slightly confused look and slowly turned back to his paper. I looked to the front of the class, where the professor was glaring at us.

A big part of dorm life is just hanging out. It's kind of like summer camp. Spontaneous events would spring up in a room, in the hallway. Sing-alongs, movie screenings, spirited debates. Often these were participated in while wearing casual, at-home garb. After all, this was our home. I remember many a conversation where the theme seemed to not only be Gardner's Art Through The Ages, but sweatpants. But not for Derek. Oh no. Please try to understand, gentle reader. I could not make this stuff up if I tried. Derek would routinely walk around the halls dressed in black socks (positioned to display Jessica, natch), a Dallas Cowboys half-shirt tee, and blue bikini briefs. Again. Not Kidding. He would then go on to complain about "How cold it is," while my fellow dorm-dwellers would look on, mouths agape, and incredulous.

Eventually Derek moved out. He lasted maybe a semester. I don't know the reason for his departure, and I don't know if he continued his studies at the school. I did help him move out, however. Loaded his crap into his father's station wagon, stood on the curb waving goodbye as they pulled away, went upstairs and jumped on his bed, joyously yelling "Mine! Mine! Mine!".

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

100 Words

For the first six months of 2002 I participated in a project called 1oowords.net. Since then, it's become a dotcom. The idea is simple: Every day for a month, write and submit exactly 100 words. This collection, known as a "batch", would be published along with all the other members' batches every month.

It started off innocently enough, an exercise (as this blog is), an excuse to write, with a certain type of pressure in the monthly deadline, and another type of pressure in keeping it within the confines of One Hundred Words. Eventually though, it became oppressive, and it shows in the overall body of my "work". Full Disclosure: I was in the midst of a profound bout of depression at this time, coupled with the pressure of completing my final semester in college, in which I scrapped all of my work with seven weeks left to begin a new body of work from scratch. It came out in the writing, and in my everyday, person-to-person interactions. As I became more and more bored, I would lash out in that "I'm on the internet and anonymous!" type of way. Pathetic.

It got to the point where I was randomly picking through other members' posts, copying and pasting bits and pieces into my own posts, writing "poems" with the scraps and shards.

At another point, I was perusing spam email, posting its content into Babelfish, translating the English into German, copying that German translation, then translating that back into English. BTW: German is teh Funniez.

I herein present a few choice selections from those sad pathetic six months, consisting of some of the Cut/Paste Poems and the English-German-English freakouts. Enjoy?



04/11
A captain of Fury
By age twenty.
To my surprise I’ve survived this long. Disgustingly precise.

I am trying to slow down,
For some reason I’m not afraid.
But I have enough trouble -
I can’t seem to do anything but choke.
I’m more nervous than I look, brutalized with punching.

They just don’t exist. I’m alone, but I don’t care
Because I'm doing ol' number nine right now.
I’ve been struggling to know more.
I made a decision,
Brought it to my bed.
Hand has ceased shivering
Like a child-murderer's lullaby.
Where the hell’s my hammer?
I need this.



04/12
We all suffer, but I declined once again.
I love it here, heart and head riding a winning streak

"Don’t Quit The One Thing You Can Do Right"

Fine beyond her fear: Six hours of other people’s plates.
I was a ghost along the rails,
Deemed "missing" in today’s Post,
Spilled out all over the leg of the man with the big fists.
I’m slightly amused, covered in dirt and weeds.

Dirty, I stood, trembling with anger.

"Nothing. I'm doing nothing."

Just sit around
People are sharing their stories with me
Frankly we can’t win in a world of snares.


04/15
Because its like okay think brain think.
I just couldn’t face all the grossed out faces smelling my creation.
Like its fucking pink.
Like they’re supposed to look out for you.
My dad wants me to side with the union, he’s been loyal to his for like 20 some Years.
Like incredibly lots!
I forgot to renew my plates and registration so technically my car wasn’t insured so Its like endangerment of something or other bullshit.
Before I was like hoping that the time would go by slowly.
Then its like family allowance day or something.
I totally congratulate you!


04/16
This is how I lost my innocence, so long ago that I'd forgotten:

My fever broke, dogs stood rapt;
Genius is a secret that I keep. I don't feel I need to fill her in.
She said she was having a hard time with it.

Today is tomorrow, and I've got this black angel that rides with me.

We have trouble talking.
We're going to counseling to try and work it out.
Right now, she is the Anti-Christ. She'll be with me.
At certain moments we will catch each others' eyes,
See we are not what we pretend to be.



04/19

I learned, like one fish between my back parts squeeze together.
When I was not any more than one boy with a load in mine diaper,
I dreamed over this job.

Bemuttern you means to me, in order to be more practical,
But I would like to become only bottuck fish a Squeezer.
I studied very strongly at the university
And each temptation of the Schnaepse and the inexpensive sex Avoided.
And now I stand the proudest moment ago in my life.
I remember for the remainder of my life
First on feel the professional back part fish squeezing.


04/20
I guess, you hide that matter in yours underpants.
In order to see the fact that I means to adhere to finger
Into my hot slot wet-made.
Two women in hot tub, which receives to it, you bet your donkey!
Do you click here, in order to find out?

They left photos to 'confidence friend '.
Apparent they wanted to show the world:
What material lezzers to the rear closed doors to rise!
Enjoy!
Friday has the largest boobs, which you at all and a delightful body saw,
In order to go with it, and it really loves cords...



04/21
They are need more Fraurapists.
Kueken with Brueckeons those even taking it of a man to gunpoint;
Were probably still away received and to fall in love itself...

"AWW. As sweet. They put my piston in for free..."

Yep is which I, Mr. Fuckbutt,
Because I feel strong over to the hand the topic.
It gives, somewhat wrongly with that straight.
Me meant this already? They are an idiot.
Well, possibly Patsy are sometimes also..
Except... which I not the Ivana Trump hairdo to go has on...
I'm which with the blond angel...
...ha hectar hectar...
(people that clings to)
hectar hectar hectar charlies, MOODS!


04/25
A jewel from Mom’s cakehole quite came out today.
"The Urologist saw my blister by a camera.”
Los Angeles gives me boogers.
It lets me watch out to football and fights begins to wish.
"It's very wet. That’s a good thing."
All my last juices out into a promised five month window,
Squeezing together from now on and continue carrying on
In any new place in which I mean ideas drop
Dwelling around me do not leave.
...receive drunk now and a Bumsen not, giving.
I am that, who receives, to wash all those pots?
I formed mean understanding!


05/15
It’s awcrunch: the cruel heart of listening, it
Lets you know, with no hint of letting-in.
Suddenly:
The bleak fear of letting down turns away in short order, passing out.

By the way, Saturday’s my rotary,

WHITE GIRL: Yo Mutha Fucka, I Holla back!
ME: What?
WHITE GIRL: You heard me motha fucka
ME: Why are you talking like a white girl?
WHITE GIRL: I’m ‘onna fuck you up!
ME: Now we’re getting somewhere. Some wine?
WHITE GIRL: Yo I gotta go hook up wit my peeps
ME: What’s your hurry baby?
WHITE GIRL: Got any cookies?
ME: Right here.


05/31
I read the first valid horoscope I have ever seen today. “Libra: ...anger management starts in the home and ends at your fist.” Amen sister. I’m gonna go put that fucker to work RIGHT NOW. To quote that beautiful song, “...roll up my sleeves, take my crowbar in hand...” I will now punch kitties and flip the bird to children. I’ve got a can full of gasoline and I can’t find my matches. I am a delicate blend of rage and hurt. When I want to hear my opinion I will beat it out of myself. Or beat off. Whatever...



06/15
I have reached that point:
I'd said goodbye.
It was something I just had to do.

tired
tired
tired.

Transfixed by the shadows, the world was about to be washed away In a new flood.

Ruddy face flushed with pleasure,
She closed her eyes, “It’s the big one!”
We called them “breeders”.
The department store believed the staff lockers correctly surmised That soon would have to save himself:
See his pink snout fat, pink belly.

‘I’m worst at what I do best. I don’t sleep much.’

Trained to deny her instincts,
Her eyes would meet mine,
Then glance away anymore.




06/16

It’s hard enough not to wake up.
I’m considering euthanizing the best birthday gift I’ve ever received.

There
Are
Certain
Rules:
An
Unspoken
Code

A fleeting buzz is like a contagion.

A man of god can be so persuasive.
I later realized he may have just had a runny nose.

Crazy piece of work, to fix what has been broken.
You do well with sharp objects.

What a shame:
Everything is an excuse to 12-step.
Impossibly clumsy.
Maybe I’m just hopelessly wanting to hang it up and walk away.

I have stopped worrying about me – for now, at least.


06/21
_soaphead_> i'll quote:
jimboelrod_1> please....
_soaphead_> hang on
_soaphead_> ready?
jimboelrod_1> aim
jimboelrod_1> fire
JGBLONDIE> lol
jimboelrod_1> same hand?
JGBLONDIE> dont u just hate that
jimboelrod_1> yes...
JGBLONDIE> me 2

_soaphead_> ..." 'Bitch, you are nothing but a funky zero.
Before me you had one chili chump with no rep.
Nobody except his mother ever heard of the bastard.
Yes, Bitch,
I'll be back this morning to put your phony ass on the train.'..."
JGBLONDIE> omg
jimboelrod_1> sorry
_soaphead_> but wait there's more...
_soaphead_> "...'Bitch, I don't want a whore with rabbit in her. I want a bitch who loves me for life..."


06/24
Often one to want
I’m typically unfortunate.
After some free bowling, and an unbalanced budget,
I was too aware of all that I wasn’t.
What?
At various passing moments.

I’m going to crawl into my childhood:

A collage of pebbles glued to Styrofoam, my name written backwards
Panic if someone has dropped out of sight.
I have a history.
It wasn’t good.

I’m back home now.
I feel surrounded.
I have things on my mind that I can’t sort out.
Life has surprised me.
To end a chapter:
some things rapidly sour.
I need to cut things open more promptly.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Douchebag Conundrum

I was having dinner recently with my dear friend Valerie. We had met in college at Student Government Association meetings, and had once worked together after college. I was telling her a story about Bad News Gary. It went a little something like this:

I was at work and needed to go outside to fetch something from my truck. Bad News Gary was standing outside smoking a cigarette.

As I walked by he said, "Man, you've got a lot of gray hair."

I looked at him, "Yeah, maybe. I doesn't bother me any."

"You should dye your hair, like me," he says, with that creepy smirk of his.

"Yeah?" I said, "Lemme see." He pulls off his ratty baseball hat to show what can best be described as a six-week-old Just For Men wash-out of a dye job. I sort of snort and cough a little, trying not to crack up. "Dude. Your hair is purple. You look like a douchebag."


"Whoa whoa WHOA." Valerie waves her napkin in the air for extra emphasis. "That is COMPLETELY inappropriate!"

"What?"

"Douchebag? DOUCHEBAG?!?"



This was shocking to me. I felt "douchebag", "douche", and "douchiness" were perfectly acceptable terms when used in a casual conversation. Granted, I wouldn't call someone a douchebag in front of my Gramma, but we were old friends, and this word was tame compared to some of the conversations Val and I had had in the past. She was a stalwart opponent to its use. She seemed almost scandalized.

"Do you even know what a douchebag IS?" she asked. Jokingly, I said I did not, but that it had something to do with walking with your mom on the beach. We asked our server if she could give us any insight on the matter.

"Well, personally, I NEVER swear," she said. This was, again, shocking to me. Swearing? I put calling someone a douchebag on par with calling them a putz. Surely, not the nicest thing you can call someone, but it's not like saying something nasty about a fella's mother. Plus, it seems as if it has become something else, a way to describe a certain type of moron, usually a "dude", overly confident, and oblivious to how ridiculous he is. There is ample proof on the interwebs to prove this. Like this. And this. And this.

I would love for someone to prove me wrong on this, if you are out there.

[Thanks to my lovely friend Morgan for some help on this post. Check out her blog, she makes some pretty, pretty things. And buy flowers from her, dammit.]

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Songs that, despite my hating them, get stuck in my head on a regular basis

Sometimes I think I've been cursed. I'll get an idea, or an image stuck in my head and I can't get it out. The stuck songs are the worst. Very rarely will I get a song stuck in my head that I actually like. Usually, it's a song I hate, or worse, a jingle, as in the time late last year when I had this insidious tune from a commercial by that awful scam FreeCreditReport.com lodged in my brain, playing on endless loop for at least three weeks. I felt my grip on reality loosening. I wanted to jab a sharpened stick into my ear and extricate these poppy demons. I guess that's what sucessful marketing is all about. You be the judge:



So following is a list of just a few songs that I seem to get wedged into the gears of my mind on a regular basis, and whatever inane mutterings I care to add about said song.

1. Blinded by the Light.



I actually don't really hate this song. I just find it repeating Ad Nauseum recently. I suppose it's my own fault, as, when I heard it recently, I began "writing" a parody version of it. It's called "Goddamn those pants are tight", and I really didn't get much further than that. It goes a little something like this, or something:

Goddamn those pants are tight!
Dressed up like a douche
you know that you're a hipster, right?

Goddamn those pants are tight!
Dressed up like a douche
big sunglasses at night?

Goddamn those pants are tight!
Dressed up like a douche
have you got your bangs done right?


2. The Joker.



Again, this is another example of me trying to entertain myself by inventing parody lyrics to this awful, awful song. Where Steve Miller writes:

I really love your peaches
Want to shake your tree
Lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey all the time
Ooo-eee baby, Ill sure show you a good time


I go:

Really like canned peaches
Diet Coke is caffeine free
Huggy huggy in a Snuggie it costs $12.95
Ooowee baby, buy a Corona, get a lime...

Also, I genuinely hate this song.

3. Dude Looks Like a Lady



This one is the worst. THE WORST! I hate this song for its insidious ability to lodge itself so tenaciously in my brain for HOURS, usually right before I decide to take a nap. Man! Once upon a time, Aerosmith was actually a pretty good band. Toys In The Attic was a great record, IMO. But this is the absolute nadir of midlife mediocrity. Self-indulgent crap. I fucking hate this song, as well as this era of music in general. It just serves as further proof that, as a band, once you stop doing drugs, you start sucking.

Stay tuned, misanthropic hipsters, more to follow.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I Heart Lunatics



I found this piece of lined notebook paper folded up on my front stoop as I was about to embark on my evening constitutional to fetch booze and porn. (What?) Is it an ominous warning? Should I be worried? What is the message this crazy mess is trying to get across? I now present, verbatim, this missive I discovered not one hour ago:

[side 1]

tears for Mchl Jcksn?

THIS IS IT

N 6 13

Un dabieux ne viendra loin du regne,

La plus grande part la voudra soutenir:

Un Capitole ne voudra point qu'il regne,

Sa grande charge ne pourra maintenir.

OBAMA


Which, roughly translated, means:

W will not come far from the reign,
The greatest part will want to support it:
Capitole will not want qu' it reigns,
Its great load will not be able to maintain.


I love it when raving loonies take the time and effort to rhyme!
It continues, in English:

This is my gift to
you upside down flag
people.

Translate

eat shit + die. losers.

I told you so 2 years ago

wake the fuck up!
tatoo schmuks like like like like I was like your generation is like suckworld. like idiocyness OMG how else like can I describe you like Liberals? retarded. true


Wow! My generation IS like suckworld, now that I think about it. And our idiocyness IS profound. This person knows me well. It goes on:

[page 2]

enjoy your donkey party brief
stayin power. you fucking suck

BUSH AS BABY KILLER?

YOUR BOY B.O. IS KING ABORTION

Dronemaster AFGHAN
wasting villages nightly those
are babies being blasted you fucking
piece of low life shit you have
no reason to live. you don't think.
you are a fucking parrot. try try try
to like rise above your like
roomtemp. IQ ----- think for
yourself. can you do it?! talk to
your friends -- think [triple underlined!] don't parrot

maybe you can possibly see that
liberal deal is a sham. RICH DOCKSUCKERS are
out for themselves -- you are fodder fool for them.
R? not nec. but think USA is not evil but D yes now.


I won't begin to try to debate this well thought out document. It's too pretty. It's precious. I hope this little conspiracy theorist drops off more messages for me! I feel I have much to learn.



The one thing that I can't shake though, is, what the hell is a docksucker?


[EDIT: I posted this note to the "missed connections" section of Craigslist. I'll keep you posted of any weirdos crawling out of the woodwork. You can see the ad here.]

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Last Missive From CrySpace

[editor's/writer's note: The precursor of this little web-log once lived at an obscure little site called Myspace.com. I blogged there for a while, until I realized it's tools and reliability left a bit to be desired (ie: none). So I moved it here and posted links to what has become known as:
ThatDudeWithTheStuffThatHappens
I didn't mean to provoke anyone, simply to provide a venue for my handful of readers whom I love dearly and owe roughly $43 apiece. Time passed, and I noticed that the benevolent douchebags at CrySpace didn't take kindly to my dissing their site while promoting my own. What follows is my last transmission from that awful place. I closed the account soon after. I can now be found on Facebook and Twitter, and although those are not actively hijacking or censoring me, are already walking a thin line.]



I'm closing my CrySpace account. If you haven't noticed, this place is a dead scene.

It was lame/irritating enough as it was, but now the jack-booted minions of Rupert's are blocking links I post in my "blog". Paranoid much, FoxCorp?

I've opened a new blog at: that dude with the stuff that happens dot blogspot dot com, if you care to look. When I post links to it here, a snarky, oh-so-funny Hijack page comes up with this missive. Prepare yourself for hilarity:

"The link you are trying to visit has been disabled.

You have reached a link that is no longer in service. That means the link was very naughty, and, much like head lice, had to be eliminated before it spread.

You may be asking yourself, 'Hey, what was it about that link that got it in trouble?' An excellent question! Usually, it's one of the following reasons:

- The link was spam! No one likes spammers, and we don't like their links.

- You almost got phished! There are people out there who want to steal your MySpace password. They want to log in as you and send spam, harass your friends, change your profile, and generally run amok. Phishing pages are usually designed to look like MySpace to trick you. Other sites may also ask for your MySpace login information to customize your profile, insert videos or slide shows, track visitors, or any number of other things.Don't make it easy for them. ONLY USE YOUR MYSPACE LOGIN INFO ON WWW.MYSPACE.COM!!

- Viruses are not fun! Neither is adware, spyware, or malware. We cut the links to places that are known sources of infection.

If you really did want to check out some spam, viruses, or phishing pages, we're really sorry to have interrupted. We're sure you can find it elsewhere. There's plenty on the Internet "


Oh you witty bastards! You saw right through my fool-proof plan! Thwarted! Damn it all to hell! Closing my ability to express myself in a free manner outside the confines of your corporate paradise was bad enough, but comparing me to a head louse? Ouch, Myspace. That really hurts.

So... I'm gonna leave this Orwellian nightmare up for another week or so, in case some of my actual friends might not have another way of getting hold of me. Send me an email, and I'll give you your own set of keys to reach me away from this crap-wad. I'll shoot an email to those I think might wanna find me after I cash out from this fascist advertisement masquerading as a hip place for the kiddies to play.

I hate to say it, but I encourage everyone to throw themselves under the Facebook juggernaut. Just for spite.



Filthy Rich. And a Douchebag.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How To Get Telemarketers To Stop Calling.



Back in the days before home phones became known as "land lines" there were certain types of "irritants" who made their living as "telemarketers". Man, those were great days! 5-disc CD changers were the height of cutting edge. VHS still reigned supreme, giddy with the heady rush of its momentous besting of Beta. The INTERNET was yet an Al Gore wank fantasy.

Fuck blogs! In those days we had Journals! (or Diaries, if you were 12 and a girl) And who read those journals? NO ONE! Those were secret thoughts! We hoarded and kept hidden our inner-most inklings. Our deepest desires, too illicit and dangerous to elaborate were kept wedged firmly between mattress and box spring. Or futon and frame... No one is here to judge.

Our mundane comings and goings were just that: mundane. When I was sitting in the dentist's waiting room, that's ALL I DID. I couldn't tweet that shit because I was not a fucking bird. Facebook was just a face in a book.

So our "land lines" were the only thing keeping us tethered to the outside world. Got an emergency? Call 911! Psycho killer after you? He already cut the phone line! Run away!

Along with the convenience of a designated hard line to tie you in to the rest of society as a whole came the inconvenience of someone calling you at inopportune moments, usually begging for money. So Caller ID was invented. A part of me wonders how much cold calling could have been avoided if the subscription cost of Caller ID could have been passed off to phone beggars, just to keep them from getting hold of me. Just a thought.

Regardless. I found myself the owner of a phone bill. I'd get calls, usually in the evening, after business hours. You could usually tell the nature of the call from the lag between when you said "hello" to the callers response:

"..... [clack, pause, shuffle] Hello, may I speak to Mr. Sullivan?"

You got 'em pal. I'd listen politely, decline politely, and get on with my day as quickly as possible. This did not discourage their ilk.

Eventually, I couldn't take it.



I don't want a subscription. I can't donate. How did the local Socialist party HQ get my number? True story.

One evening, I fielded a call:

"Hello?"

"May I speak with... Mr... Sutherland?"

"Who is calling?"

I listened once again to the pitch. Drastic measures had to be taken:

Me: "[sighs heavily] Oooh. Yeah, see... here's the thing. Brandon died this past weekend in a car crash. I'm here taking care of his effects. I'm sure wherever he is now he doesn't need your service(s). No offense, you might want to take him off your list."

Sometimes I could actually hear the caller cringing on the other side of the line. Eventually I learned to relish that tiny sound.

What I Learned:

Tell enough people you're dead for a long enough time, and soon enough they start to believe it. I'm getting ready to deploy this technique on my stalker.

I didn't mention I have a stalker? Well, it's true. I'm being stalked. It's the strangest thing though, because all she wants to talk about is my student loans. Weird, huh?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ode to Tank Top

From January a few years ago:

Ode to a Tank Top

Bless you, half yard of cotton
You should be cocooned in wintry slumber
Yet this unseasonable warmth
Has brought you forth
Dazed and blinking.

What prestidigitator revealed so much
While hiding so much more?
Copperfield has got nothing on you.

What tempest has stirred so violently
So much chaos in my pants?

Bless you, early springtime.
Bless you, spaghetti strap.
Bless you, pale and tender flesh.

A whisper of better things,
So many months ahead.

I have but to sit and wait
For your timely flowering
And savor this vision
Which will carry me through.

(originally published 10/19/2006)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Evaluating My Creepiness

First off: I need a roommate. Not right away, but May 1st shall see a new chapter in my living situation. If you know anyone who would like to live in a fairly large, no-frills apartment in JP, steer them my way. Oh, and it's the cheapest place in Boston, hands down.

My current roommate Adrienne is great. We get along quite well. She's an arts educator, and when we are able to hang out in the apartment together we have no shortage of conversation. But she's met someone, they've fallen in love, and are moving in together. I'm happy for them, but wish I didn't have to go through the stress and annoyance of finding a new person to share my place.

When I was interviewing Adrienne for the room, an interesting bit of conversation occurred. I informed her that I've never had a lease on the apartment, and that she wouldn't need to sign one, a bit of information which she was very enthusiastic about. Her enthusiasm raised red-flags for me and I asked her about it.

"Well," she explained, "It's good in case this doesn't work out, if we don't get along... if you're creepy..."

I assured her I was not, in fact, creepy. I try to be a decent guy, abide by the rules, all that. But it got me thinking.

What if I am creepy?



They say that people who have body-odor issues don't realize it, because they are around it all the time and can't distinguish their stink from fresh air. When I was a freshman in college a fellow dorm-dweller earned the unfortunate nickname Stinky Elvis, due to his BO and prodigious sideburns. I tried once to be friends with him, but he stank up my dorm room. He didn't realize he smelled bad.

I've known creepy people, too. Bad News Gary was one of the creepiest dudes I've ever met. He was the genesis for me leaving a job, he was that creepy. But I'm sure he had no clue about the fact that he made people's skin crawl. Even now, years later, I'm skeeved out by him. To Bad News Gary, though, each day was like any other. He left in his wake a sea of people with the sudden, strong urge to take a shower, and he had no clue.

So it stands to reason that I could be creepy. I could be a weirdo, and not even know it. That is scary as hell.

I've never had the urge to kill anyone and dress myself in their skin. My sexual piques and proclivities tend to be somewhat vanilla and definitely self-contained. I've never stalked anyone. (Does Twitter count?) So I think it's safe to say that no, I do not stink, and no, I am not creepy.

I am, however, paranoid about both.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Crappy Job III: With Soundtrack!

My first real job when I moved to Boston was at a one-hour photomat called Moto Photo. The thing that makes the job crappy was that I was paid probably about $6.25 per hour, but other than that, it was kind of an awesome gig. Plus, take it away, Def Leppard!



One of my main jobs was quality control/packaging. The process was fairly automated. Rolls of film were fed into a machine that spit out developed negatives. These were then put into a machine that exposed the negatives onto a giant roll of photographic paper. It was carried, through rolls and conveyors through development chemicals, and spat out at the other side of the machine into neatly cut 4x6 photographs. My job was to collect the piles of photos, look through the entire stack to make sure the colors and alignment were correct, then package the prints in envelopes with the negatives and file them into bins alphabetically for the clients.

On one hand, this experience warped my perceptions for all eternity: I cannot look through a stack of photographs the way a normal person can. I look at them in a rapid-fire manner, scrutinizing for color balance, exposure, etc. I take in what I'm seeing, although it doesn't look like it to the proud owner of the prints. More than once I've heard, "You're not even looking at them!"

But I am. I am.

Working in a place like this, you experience the joy and wonder and good times vicariously. I've been three steps removed from weddings, births, vacations, parties, reunions, sporting events, concerts, celebrity sightings, you name it. This was also the days before digital cameras. We had a number of repeat clients, people I saw several times a week. Insurance companies, galleries, Realtors all needed photographic documentation often. So I got to know some of our regulars. Every once in a while, one of them would have a couple frames left on a roll, and would snap off shots just to fill it out before dropping off. I've seen a number of wife-boobs due to these thrifty urges.

On the subject of naked people: I've seen A LOT of them. I did not ask for or seek out the exposure of nakedness. I simply punched a clock, and voila! Naked people. It's not so bad. I went to art school, after all. I've seen naked people. I've even drawn them.

On one day in particular, I was leafing through photos at my usual breakneck speed. I picked up a stack that looked a lot like a number I had seen before: The College Keg Party, known primarily for the proliferation of red keg cups, baseball caps, and chummy, arms-around-shoulders, cups-hoisted head shots. One girl in particular was featured in a majority of the shots. It became clear, in retrospect, that this girl owned the film at hand, and posed in most of the frames. These were run-of-the-mill pics, boring, really. Until the last few shots. These featured our young lady, pants down, leaning back on a bed with what can only be described as a Huge Apparatus inserted into her lady-bits, with a look on her face like the one that most people reserve for riding on an awesome roller coaster. If this photo could speak, it would say, "WOOOO HOOOO HOOOO!"

Somewhat amused, I nudged my friend Dan, "Hey, heh. Check it out."

Time passes. I'm packaging, Dan is working the counter. I hear a girl's voice, here to pick up #3497. Dan digs in the bin near me, retrieves an envelope, places it on the counter and takes the money. She asks, "Do you guys look at these pictures?" I say, without looking up, "Yeah, sometimes we pass 'em around," to look up and see that girl, aghast. She turns crimson, does an about-face, and bolts from the store.

Whoops! Sorry... She should have gone with a Polaroid.

Stay tuned for Part IIIa: "Way More Excessive Porno Than Even I Can Tolerate In The Work Place."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

This Weeks Guest Blogger

[editors note: Nancie K is the Blog's first guest blogger. She is fairly awesome and maintains her own Blog on her adventures in her community garden. I highly recommend it if you like to garden, eat vegetables, or are the least bit interested in garden drama. -brandon]

I Got Peed On At Camp:



Some of my most vivid summer memories are from camp. It's sort of a thing in the Jewish community to send your kids off to summer camp where they can hang out with other kids, play, learn songs and learn some of the hows and whys of being Jewish. There's also the idea that it teaches independence, but probably more important than all of these is the chance for parents to get rid of their kids for 2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks and enjoy some child-free peace and quiet!

A lot of the fun of camp is the unfettered freedom. You're mostly being supervised by teenagers!

Here is a sampling of things I learned at camp:
1) How to swim and especially how to dive
2) How to play card games like "spit" as well as American, Chinese and Israeli jacks
3) How to play Newcomb and Volleyball
5) What a hickey was and how to give one
6) How to "moon"
7) What all the "bases" are and how to french kiss
8) That the girls in G-3 "did pot" although I think I learned what "pot" was much later on.
9) How to put someone in a "trance," how to hold a seance and how to use a ouija board.
10) bats like the rafters of rec rooms and sometimes like the very curly hair of counselors - ew!


In my youth, I went to a lot of different camps: day camps, sleep-away and even a teenaway camp when I was in junior high where we went someplace cool in the city every day.

Unfortunately some of my camp experiences were better than others and the very first camp I went to was a girl scout camp when I was seven. This is where I got peed on. It's really not that much of a story, but here's what happened:

A girl in my bunk wet her bed and her sleeping bag needed to be washed. While her sleeping bag was at the laundry she couldn't use it and for some reason they couldn't get her stuff washed before we all had to go to sleep that night. My counselor had the brilliant idea that we should just stick her in my sleeping bag with me and she'd get her bedding back the next day and all would be ok. Well, this kid was a bedwetter and so, she wet the bed, but this time it was MY bed. I don't really remember much of what happened next, but I have some vague recollection of them maybe sticking me in her sleeping bag the next night while mine was being laundered. It seems far fetched so maybe it didn't happen that way, but I think these girl scouts were that stupid and it really may have.

I stopped going to that camp. It was lame and there were no boys either!


Links:
Jewishsummercamp.com

Newcomb Ball

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Brush With Fame

Bored at work, I started cataloging all of my brushes with famous people. I asked around, and nobody had any interesting experiences, except for the boss. He went to a concert with Boz Scaggs' younger brother. How cool is that? Not really, I know.



My earliest memory of a brush with fame was shaking hands with Sugar Ray Leonard at a boxing match at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. I still think it's kinda neat, even though at the time, I really didn't understand who he was.



Along the boxing vein, a later brush with "fame" was when "Hurricane" Peter McNeely asked me for directions on Newbury Street once. He had recently got his ass whooped by Mike Tyson, and I was more than a little amused to have a run-in with him.



Also, at the same job, Curtis Armstrong came in to the store and bought a vest. Don't know who Curtis is? He's more commonly known for the tagline "We've got bush!" in Revenge of the Nerds. That's right. Booger. Or Charles DeMar from Better Off Dead: "This entire mountain is made of snow!"



A couple doors down from that job was another job at a cafe where I had the following brushes with fame:
Greg Hawkes was a regular, and a pretty nice guy. Don't know who he was? Me neither, at the time. He was the keyboard player for The Cars.



I served coffee to Joe Perry at one point. He seemed a little freaked out to be among the commoners. It was too quick an exchange to get any sense of Joe's coolness. Also, once at the airport I saw the bass player for Aerosmith.



Recently I came within feet of the tiniest Dixie Chick. They had pretty tight security. I found out that one of the Dixie Chicks owns a monkey that she takes on tour with her. It's true.



Also, through the same friend, I got into the green room of E-40 and his posse. Don't know who 40 is? Stay there. He's a hardly marginally talented rapper. And he's a DICK. And so are his hangers-on.



The brush that I'm kind of ashamed with took place in Denver, when I ran into Charles Lewton-Brain.



He's a jeweler and sculptor who writes little books on techniques, tricks, and shortcuts. A big writer/teacher, he writes great articles about steamlining one's workspace, and lo-fi techniques. I've been an avid reader of his books and articles, and really respected his knowledge. I ran into him at a conference and was rendered nearly speechless. It was pathetic.

My coolest brushes took place over a weekend recently. I found myself having breakfast in the same room as Mean Gene Okerlund. Fucking badass.



I'm way over it now, but I was a fan of WWF as a wee kid, and Mean Gene was the voice of it. Also, on that same day, I got within two feet of Hulk Hogan. The Hulkster. If seeing Gene was a big deal, Hogan was like walking by Elvis. I also saw a bunch of superstars of the modern fake-pro-wrestling, but don't give a crap about it, so I didn't recognize any of them, aside to say that it was filled with Huge Dudes, and Smokin hot chicks.



Also, living in Boston affords some odd perks: I sat on the orange line opposite former presidential candidate Mike Dukakkis once.


(*no caption necessary)

Walking with Pollard in Kenmore Square, he claimed that we had just walked past Frank Black, but I wasn't paying attention, so I can't confirm that one.

Anyone else?

(originally published 11/10/2006)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Crimes Against Nature


Assault and Butterfly

Grand Theft Otter

Man Sl-Otter

Crimes Against a Manatee

Hake Crime

Domestic Bass-ault

Henocide

Hamdalism

Joeyriding

Pros Tit Tution

Codomy (depending on state)

(originally published 9/30/2007)