Thursday, May 29, 2008

Curse of Film School: Part II

So, the other day I saw Indy 4. Knowing my usual take on most movies, what do you think I thought of this one?

Yep. Thumbs down.

I was pretty much with it for about the first half. And I won't spoil anything for anyone, but there was one point in the movie where something really goofy happened, and it was all downhill from there. I was lost for good.

I know what you're thinking: "This guy craps on everything. There are elements of goofiness in every Indiana Jones movie. What kind of fan is he?" In fact, I am a huge fan, hence my disappointment. To me, Raiders of the Lost Ark fathered action movies for the next ten years. It is one of my favorite movies, and literally changed the way heroes were portrayed on film. So, I held all of the Indy movies on a pedestal for a long time (Even Temple of Doom, which was downright silly at times thanks to Kate Capshaw and that annoying kid). Anyway, this movie failed miserably to live up to those expectations. Had I known I was going in to see another Mummy movie, I probably wouldn't have been so disappointed. It was those expectations that did me in.

So, this is how it is. I guess I can't look forward to any movie ever again, because I always end up being disappointed. The bugaboo is that the idea of seeing a movie centers around expectation. Most of the time, you see or hear about a movie, and you expect something, and you think, "I want to see that. It looks good." Or you don't. In my case, it's usually, "Wow, that Ghost Rider looks like a piece. John and I will have to see that." Either way, there are expectations involved. It's the same with buying a book or a cd. You buy them thinking you might like them, and sometimes you do and sometimes you don't. Most of the time, it seems people do. Sometimes, it seems like people will swallow anything.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rate my Landlord

Just a quick post here to pass along this link: I posted a nasty review of my last landlord here, so check it out if you know the sordid story of that one (If you don't, we tried to take her to court for our deposit, and she didn't show up, then she sent us the deposit as if she had no idea she had received a summons.)

I feel that most tenants feel like we have few rights in this world. We actually do, if people actually went by the laws, which they often don't. I have no problems with my current landlord, but I know a lot of people who still do, so places like this website is your chance to get the word out and at least help future disgruntled tenants from falling into the same trap.

Go for it, people! They have made your life Hell for years! Give them Hell back!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bad Luck Run

Here's a quick story that is really no big deal, but I feel is part of a larger picture/problem. Yesterday, i was getting off the train at the same time as a young-ish girl, who seemed to have some trouble negotiating the pavement in her high heels. She started telling me (with no prompting on my part, I assure you) that it was not the shoes, but the fact that she was from Florida and had only been here two days and was unaccustomed with the way people drive. I got all of that in one quick walk across the street. She asked where I live and I pointed up to my apartment and said, "Right there. Nice to meet you." She extended her hand and introduced herself and I said, "See you around." I figure the chances of that happening are about 40-1. I might as well have said, "Nice to meet you, Melanie. I'm Tired and Bitter."

Old me would have jumped on that and tried like Hell to at least get her number. New me is tired. Too tired to pursue. Too tired to do any of it. A friend of mine says that I have been embittered by my past experiences. Well, no shit. But wouldn't anybody?

As a refresher, and perhaps to help exorcise these demons, let me give you a little glimpse into my past experiences. This may sound a bit like a pity party, but I just want people to get the full picture. Some readers will know these already, but what the hell? You've read this far.

When I was about 19 or 20, I was already kind of angry at life because I was diagnosed with diabetes at 18, but i wanted to make some changes, so when I met a girl (whom we'll call "Tigra"), I wanted to impress her so I laid it on think. This caused her to pull away, and eventually drove her into the arms of her ex, who was actually gay (well, this fact was never proven, but he took her to gay clubs, so that makes him gay in my book.) I forgave this transgression, and then Tigra soon fell into the arms (and bed) of one of my friends, causing major upheaval. When I forgave that one, too, she did it again, when I was living in L.A. To get even with my friends, I fake-married her in Vegas. I'm weird like that.

A few months later, I had reached my limit, and a co-worker of mine, we'll call her "Elektra," maybe sensed that, so she expressed some feelings for me, and I ran with that. For almost five years. Elektra and I had some ups and downs, but it was pretty much fine until we moved in together and she decided to stop going to work or school and felt her time was better spent by sitting on the couch and ordering things on my credit card. Lots of things.

As this went on, I started hanging out with a co-worker of mine, whom we'll call "Rogue." Rogue and I had been great friends for years, but it wasn't until things with Elektra were going south that I started to think of her as more than a friend. Naturally, one thing led to another, and eventually, Rogue and I kissed. It was great, I thought, a whole new thing for me. So, I thought it would be best to end it with Elektra at that point, and I did, even though it took me three days. This only served to enrage her, and she began making my life Hell (this was easy to do, since we were still living together). Eventually, she discovered my lapse, and that really sent her over the edge. She tried to make Rogue's life Hell, too, and eventually, when all else failed (Here it comes, the big one...), she resorted to prostitution. Yes, friends, my ex-girlfriend started having sex for money after I broke up with her.

You'd think that would be enough, but as a nice footnote; things with Rogue never really panned out the way I had intended, and she is now dating a WOMAN! Yes, rogue likes women.

The last few years since Elektra and I split has seen a few dalliances, but nothing that I ever put my heart and soul into. Not like I did with these other women. Maybe it was because I was scared, or maybe it was because I was bitter, or maybe I just didn't care. And maybe I don't have it in me to care anymore. But let's just boil it down again; Elektra became a hooker, Rogue became a lesbian and Tigra, well, she never changed. She's the same person she was when she was 20. That may be the saddest case of them all.

So, I'm a little bitter. This is my descent into the dark side. And I know what you're thinking: "Man, we've all been through shit. What makes you so special? It's how you deal with it that makes you who you are." Well, thanks, Dr. Phil, but this is how I deal with it, and I don't think I'm doing that bad a job. But in the women department, yeah, I'm a little gun-shy. Sorry.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


So I'm trying to nail this down, because I've always been a bit confused, but I always liked to be the guy who came up with these sorts of things. The problem is I don't think there will ever be a real consensus. Before I begin, I want to be clear that I am not writing this to be mean. I'm actually trying to figure out exactly where I stand on this whole thing.

Had a conversation this morning about the guy who runs Trivia at my local bar every Monday. To me, he is a nerd: book smart, awkward, possibly lives in his Mom's basement. However, maybe he's a geek. Or perhaps even a dork. So, since we had so much to do at work this morning, we tried to figure out what was what.

From :

1. a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person.
2. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd.
Also, nurd.

Doesn't sound like me. At least the "unattractive" part. Don't let the fact that I'm going to Comic-Con fool you. I'm not obsessed with it, even though it is kind of a non-social hobby.

1. a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp. one who is perceived to be overly intellectual.
2. a computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders.)
3. a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken.

Doesn't sound like me, either. I'm certainly not overly-intellectual, and hopefully not too dislikable. And I've never bitten the head off a chicken. I like chicken, but...

1. a stupid or ridiculous person; jerk; nerd.
2. Vulgar. penis.

Closer, maybe. But here they are now adding "nerd" in with "dork," like they are the same. I don't think they are because a dork seems less irritating and ineffectual. (As an aside, I do like that someone who works on computers fell into two definitions.) I'm pretty sure I'm not a penis, however.

I actually liked the Thesaurus definition of nerd better:

One deficient in judgment and good sense.
ass, idiot, imbecile, jackass, mooncalf, moron, nincompoop, ninny, nitwit, simple, simpleton, softhead, tomfool, nerd

I don't know what a mooncalf is, but that's hilarious. And I've heard of "tomfoolery," but never a "tomfool," so now I have a new word to call people I dislike. "Geek" or "dork" weren't on there. Guess they speak for themselves.

So, what have we proven today? I have no idea, except that maybe more than any of them, I may be a dork. Or maybe just a loser for even caring. Or perhaps mooncalf.

I will now open it up to the floor. Any thoughts, gentle readers?

Saturday, May 10, 2008


I have had almost this exact conversation with several of my friends recently:

Friend: "What are you up to this weekend?"
Me: "I don't know. Nothing, I guess."
Friend: "WHA...?"

I should clarify that the people asking this question are usually married and living in the suburbs. Now, I'm not disparaging these people (for once) for the choice they've made, as long as they are the ones actually making it, and the choice isn't being made for them (but more on that later), but I find humor in their shock that I'm not doing anything on a given weekend. In fact, I do nothing of interest most of the time. However, I have either (a) built up a persona over the years as a guy who is constantly on the move from bar to bar , or (b) these people do even less than I do, and wish I would do something so they can live vicariously through me. In fact, from their tone of voice, I half expect their next sentence to be, "What are you doing? You're wasting your gift!"

My choice has always been to live in the city(or as close as I can afford) and to have a certain degree of autonomy. When I was in high school, I used to go into Harvard Square to buy bootleg cd's and old movie posters when there were still stores there that sold that stuff. As an undergrad, I spent most of my breaks between classes walking down Newbury Street, or Boylston Street, or Park Street, or through the Common, or to Downtown Crossing or Beacon Hill (these places were a lot different, too). I wasn't doing anything in particular, just wandering around. I now realize what I took for granted for all those years: that was my real education. And I learned it so well that living a quiet life in the suburbs would never in a million years appeal to me. So, maybe I am wasting my "gift" when I spend a night in front of the TV, but there will be other nights, and there's always a chance someone will call and want to grab a drink.

That is my choice, however. There are others who choose to go the other way. They want a quiet life in the suburbs, with the nice house, the kids, the dogs, the lawn and the gobs and gobs of money spent on putting gas in their cars because their commute lasts about four hours. As I said, more power to you. It's fine if that's what you want. HOWEVER (and here I go), I feel there are some who don't even make the choice. Somehow, someone, somewhere has made it for them. And I don't mean this in my usual, "That guy's a wuss because his wife wears the pants and makes all the decisions" way. I mean that they don't feel like they could live in the city, when they've never actually done it. Growing up, the American cultural landscape trains people to think that way, but that's not the only way. You can do whatever you want. And it's not a matter of finances, because if I can afford to live in a city, anyone can.

If you want the idyllic life in the suburbs, then do that thing and be happy. But make that choice. Don't do it because that's just the way life is. Personally, I lived a good chunk of my life out there in the suburbs, and I'm not ready to go back just yet. Hey, I'm only 32, it's the weekend, and I'm just getting warmed up.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It is May. The weather is getting better. The Red Sox are playing well. The school year is coming to an end. And that is big.

There is nothing like Boston with no students around. Don't get me wrong; with no students I would have no job, but I love, love love being able to get around without so much pedestrian traffic and being able to take the train without so many people crowding around the doors. And again, no offense to the students, but they do make getting around much harder.

(This, of course, completely goes against my post a few weeks ago about how I like "girls in their summer clothes." I'm a complete paradox, and by "paradox," I mean idiot.)

I've been trying harder to put myself out there and possibly meet someone. The problem is, once I do, I always end up going, "Jeez, what a hassle. Why did I do this?" Hides says it's bad dating karma, and I agree, but this is the problem when you have no passion: you know something is bad karma (and probably bad human behavior) and yet you continue to do it because you just don't care. Actually, I would probably like to be in a relationship (the right one, anyway), but I would rather it sort of just happen, rather than me doing anything to make it happen, like show up for dates.

Well, whatever. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Tourists

So, I'm reading Tucker Max's I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, which I swaptree'd for some crap DC trade paperback. Figured it was perfect for me, but so far it seems a little base in its humor. I guess part of me wishes I could be as much of an asshole as this guy is and still get laid (Hell, I'm not nearly as much of an asshole as him, and I'm not getting laid, so maybe there's your answer.) but what really bugs is some of the similarities between this and my old blog. If I had known that I could have parlayed The Fall of Dursin into a book deal, I wouldn't have deleted that thing. I did, in fact, write a good long story entitled the Fall of Dursin that I thought could be a book. It went all the way back to the waning days of my relationship with Keri (the true fall of Dursin) to the autumn of 2005, where I purposely laid waste to my entire life. I still might try to do something with it, so you heard it here first.

But what I wanted to cover in today's lesson is my encounter the other day with the most loathsome of our species: tourists. I guess being a Bostonian has really made it hard for me to imagine that people actually come here from a great distance to sample what this city has to offer. But, lo and behold, I was eating lunch at Beerworks the other day, and three women approached the bar and sat next to me. One of them (the most attractive, and the only one I would consider "sponge-worthy") asked what I was drinking, and the conversation took off. They were from Fort Meyers, FL, but from what I could tell, it may as well have been Mars. This was confirmed when they remarked, "We noticed this is a really gay town."


"Yeah, haven't you noticed?"

I kind of wanted to make her feel like a shit and say, "Yes, a lot of us congregate here," even though I'm not actually gay. But I mentioned the gay marriage thing and that the South End has a large gay population.

One of them replied, "The South End? Isn't that funny that they all hang out in the South End?"

Yeah, Beavis, it sure is. I was starting to lose interest, even in the Hot One, and then came the line of the night. Barack Obama was on TV, and when we started talking about the Presidential race, the Hot One said, "Oh, we're Republicans."

Good night, ladies and gentlemen. You're a beautiful audience.

I quickly finished my lunch, paid my bill and made my exit. The lesson? Even after a couple high alcohol content beers, I'm not drunk enough to fuck a Republican tourist.