Monday, August 25, 2008

What if This is as Good as it Gets?

Friday night I made out with a she-male. A big, hulking, old, leather-y, busted man-woman.

Ya like that? usually I tell the story from beginning to end, and build up to the big finale. I think this time I just wanted to grab the reader. Much like I was grabbed and molested on Friday night.

I had dinner with my friend Brom, and after dinner, he called our mutual friend, Lara, and arranged to hang with her. She was apparently bringing her friend Denise. Because I'm such a suave and caring person, I quoted Tom Cruise from Magnolia: "Denise. Denise the Piece." Well, Denise, or perhaps more appropriately Dennis, was not a piece of anything, except manliness. She talked liked Patty and Selma from the Simpsons if they were from Southie, and towered over me. She had no breasts to speak of, and was apparently 45 years-old, but I would have guessed 55. Needless to say, I was instantly repulsed by Dennis.

Well, we ended up at Tommy Doyle's, and all four of us sat at the bar, which confused me because there were tables. So, four across the bar and I somehow was situated next to this thing. And we're having a few drinks and I'm talking and figuring that any minute now we would be moving to a table. Well, that never happened, and I was hearing all kinds of ridiculous stories about this woman's time in Hollywood (she was an aspiring MODEL!), and how Jackie Mason was hitting on her. So, I decided to drink some more, to get through it, her with her Coors Light and me with my Harpoon. I even ordered a shot, which I never do. I think shots are usually pretty lame actually, and this one was no exception. Jaeger and Peach Schnapps or something. Whatever. It tasted like grape juice, and it certainly did not improve my situation. In fact, I think Dennis was getting more drunk and frisky by the minute, even telling me at one point, "Order me anotha be-ah!" Que? Order your own fucking beer.

Finally, she asked for the bill, and since it was under her card, I actually tried to screw her on the bill a little ("Here's $14. That cover me?"), which was ungentlemanly, I know, but I thought maybe it would sufficiently turn her off. I ended up throwing her a twenty and we left. Outside, she grabbed me and said, "Is that a Hahhhvid frat house over there? Let's go see if they'll give us some of their be-ahs."

"Well, it's empty," I responded. It's summer."

"Let's go check!"

Bad. Very bad. She dragged me over to the dark corner of the street, and laid one on me. With tongue. Mind you, I have had a few drinks, but not so many that I am not conscious of what was happening. Clear thoughts raced through my head, like, "What am I doing? This isn't good." Yet I did not push her away. Somehow, I guess I would have thought that rude.

Thankfully, it was brief, and we rejoined our friends, but not before she gave me her "cahhd," and asked me to give her call sometime. Which I will never do. She also told me that I am "a good kissah." I wanted to say, "Compared to what?"

This was a low point. Probably worse than the Audra Blue Ball Incident. I have a list of people I've made out with, and up to this point, it was all good. This taints the whole thing. And yet, I couldn't help but think, after it was over and I had rinsed with powerful mouthwash for three hours, that maybe this is all I'm capable of. Maybe I can't do any better than Denise the Piece. Like Jack Nicholson, I was left to wonder, "What if this is as good as it gets?"

I refuse to believe that, deep down. I've had better women, more fun, and I do truly feel that better days are ahead. However, until that someone better comes along to make out with, I will still have that lingering thought in the back of my head: What if this is as good as it gets?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Some Random Thoughts of the Day.

* First off, I'm back to a Bostonsportz gig. Although no Heroes to rant about, I rambled incoherently about Misty May and Kerri Walsh winning their second straight Gold medal here. Those chicks were sumpthin' else.

* I like to check out where the random people who find this blog are from, and feedburner is nice enough to provide this information. Upon checking it today, I saw one reader was from a sleepy little town called Freehold, NJ, which just happens to be the hometown of one Bruce Springsteen. Maybe it was him. You don't think...? Maybe he wanted to read my take on the show in Foxboro. Or he just wanted to know what was up with those empty eBay auctions.

This is really random, but a few years ago, I sold a book or something on to a guy from Freehold, and I had to ask about Springsteen. I sent him a brief e-mail, apologizing for my silliness, and asking if Bruce still comes around (or even if he knew him. It's a small town.) Apparently, Bruce still keeps a house there, but only comes around to visit old friends once in awhile. He moved to L.A. pretty young, but he's still identified as a Jersey guy. I guess they need something to cheer for besides Bon Jovi and Eli Manning.

* In perhaps the most random discovery of the day, Star Wars LEGOs are apparently worth some money, probably due to the video game, but I'll take it. Years ago, when my office was gray and dismal, I decided to buy things to spruce it up a little. Being me, I bought toys, mostly Star Wars LEGO sets, because not only were they neat and different to have around the office, I could pass some downtime at work by putting them together. Believe me, there was nothing better I could be doing. Those were the days when my job was a lot less stressful.

Anyway, my office was eventually remodeled, and so I put the LEGOs in storage for awhile, not needing so much decoration, and wanting to look slightly professional. I recently unearthed them while cleaning some stuff, and reassembled some of them. A few still adorn the office, but again, being me, I did a quick ebay search for Star Wars LEGOs. Zounds! Some of these things are selling! Apparently, some of the tiny little figures are hard-to-find, and some of the sets have been discontinued, so they are rare and that means money in my pocket. I mean, sure it's sad, but so is poverty. I'll say this; you'll have to pull my Jedi Starfighter out of my cold dead hand.

I guess that be all. I'm going out for the first time in awhile tonight, so I must prepare (which basically means having money and eating enough so i have food in my stomach and don't get too pasted.)

Carry on.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It Ain't Me, Babe

My friend Brom and I were talking the other night, and he brought up the fact that of all the people we knew and hung out with in high school, only one has managed to procreate (that we know of. There is always the chance of a few bastards.) That got me thinking about all of my current friends, as well, and how very few of them have children. There's my friend Jay (who is the one that Brom and I were talking about) and my brother, and... I can't really think of any others (apologies to anyone who considers myself a friend who may have children. I just went through my cellphone and didn't find you, so...).

I'll ask the same question I asked Brom: Are we weird? Immature? Smart?

Obviously, I have made my distaste for children into a lecture on many occasions for anyone who would listen, but surely that's not the reason. I don't think I'm that persuasive. I don't think it's because I have a lot of lesbian friends, either, because they could have kids if they wanted. Anyone can have them these days: artificial insemination, surrogates, adoption,.. Hell it seems hard not to have them these days. Anyone who has heterosexual sex at the proper time of the month could end up with one. No intelligence or sobriety test required.

I think age plays a factor. Years ago, an unmarried woman of 30 was definitely looked down on as an old maid. But 40 is the new 30, I guess, and more and more people are putting it off to have a career. It all makes sense, of course, but I wonder if we're getting a little close to that movie Idiocracy, where Luke Wilson was cryogenically frozen and woke up a hundred years later to discover that the only people who had children while he was asleep were morons, and that eventually leads to inbreeding and eventually the only people left were the morons. It was scary, and vaguely plausible, I thought.

They say that woman are more apt to have children with birth defects if they have children after 35 or so (or something like that.) So my friends are probably hearing the clock ticking. or maybe not. I think a good deal of it has to do with the fact that everyone else is having kids, so you want to do it, too. So, maybe the reason that my friends don't have any kids is because they don't have any kids, so there's no pressure. It's entirely possible that nobody wants kids (and I was right all along), but sometimes it's just a biological thing, right? All species do it, right? Time comes, a suitable mate is there, and WHAMMO! It's just science.

I don't even know where I'm going with this one, but I just wanted to point out that I'm not the only one. I'm just the most vocal. Or maybe it is me and I've just surrounded myself with people who don't want to have children. And I'm certainly not complaining about it, because I'm not a big fan of Christenings and stuff. Just sayin' is all.

Or maybe I am just that persuasive.

Friday, August 08, 2008


Like that cool Aimee Mann song from Magnolia, I have momentum. I'll even post some of the lyrics if you've never heard it:

Oh, for the sake of momentum
Even though I agree with that stuff about seizing the day
But I hate to think of effort expended
All those minutes and days and hours
I have frittered away.

(Side note: It's funny how you're listening to a song you enjoy, and you think the person is singing one thing, and then you actually read the lyrics, and then you go, "Oooohhhhh. well, that's even cooler.")

The momentum I'm referring to is that I have taken steps to (hopefully) better my future self. I have entered into a debt consolidation program, something I was always ridiculously opposed to, figuring I can handle this crap myself. Well, I can't. So, for the next few years, I'll be paying a few hundred dollars a month to get rid of this credit card debt, instead of several hundreds of dollars a month and not see the debt go anywhere. Also, I signed up for a class for the Fall semester: Ancient Greek and Roman Literature, which I am told does not require the student to know Greek (Longtime readers may remember that last Spring I signed up for a Greek Mythology class that was actually in Greek. Like everything Greek. This time I made sure.) Once I complete this, I'll be more than halfway to my Masters degree. This is, of course, coming on the heels of the conversation I had with a friend who said that he makes twice as money as his wife, even though she has her Masters and he has no degrees at all. Makes me sort of wonder why the Hell I'm doing this, but hey, it's free.

I also sold about 150 old comics to a small Asian man yesterday. I felt a little bad because I was pretty sure they were worthless, but he seemed pleased to get so many books for a mere $25. The hook is I fibbed a little and pretended not to know anything about comics when I posted the ad on craigslist, hoping I would lure in someone looking for a diamond in the rough. Looking at it this way, he offered me twenty-five dollars sight unseen. Plus, if he was looking for a hidden treasure for a cheap price, then technically, he was trying to screw me out of it, too. So, I think all's fair, y'know.

Now, I think the momentum ends here. I'm off to the Cape for a week, doubtless unable to post on here. Will you miss me?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Money Matters (It Really Does)

So, I have recently come to the conclusion that just about everyone I know has more money than I do. And I don't mean a few more bucks in their wallet, necessarily (although right now I have $1 in my wallet). I mean they are worth a lot more than me. This was not the case a few years ago. Somehow, I was left behind... again. Interestingly enough, this directly relates to the other aspect of life where I was left behind: coupling.

Being the virtual Last Man Standing has its drawbacks, and I am now discovering one of them. I'm poor. Now, one of the reasons I'm poor is the copious amounts of beer and pizza that I consume, the large DVD collection, and ridiculous other things I spend money on. However, everyone else I know spends money on these things too, and doesn't have the money woes that I do. It really does go back to Keri and our break-up. not only did she charge a lot of crap to my card in the months leading up to the split, but after I was forced to move out of our apartment for my own sanity, I had to charge things just to survive, like food and car payments (I was still only a nine-month employee here back then and making very little money, to say nothing of the whole first/last thing on my new place.) So, interest rates being what they are, I'm still paying for all that, five years hence. It's like paying for the sins of the father.

So, if that wasn't bad enough, I am now one of the few people I know who does not live in some sort of double-income situation. Granted, many of my married and coupled friends have separate bank accounts and all that, but let's face it, they buy each other shit. Plus, they probably split the rent, the electricity, the cable and whatever else. "hey, man," you may be thinking, "Why don't you just find a roommate?" Well, I did, and it was great, but it can't go on forever, and incidentally, the main reason my roommate and I parted ways? Money! She moved out to save money, which was very smart of her. I'm just too damn stubborn.

Finally, let's throw in one more small factor. Very few people I know live in the city, where things cost more. Much more. "So, dude, quit complaining and move to the 'burbs," is what you're saying, right? Good idea, except I'm stubborn, remember? And I'm not really complaining. just reporting the facts. Plus, I'd have to buy a car and pay to gas it up, and I have no desire to do that these days. So, not only do they split the bills, they have smaller bills. if I lived out in the boonies, I'd probably be a millionaire and be able to score with easier women. Well, nice as that sounds, I love the city, I work in the city and am staying in the city.

I think what I can conclude from most of this is that one of the main reasons people couple together is that it's just too damn hard to go it alone. And to that much I will attest.

But I will try.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Let it Rain

Saturday night, I saw Bruce Springsteen and the Heart-stopping, Booty-shaking, Viagra-taking, Pants-dropping, etc., Legendary E Street Band at Gillette Stadium. I had asked my brother to go as a birthday present to him and because I wasn't sure who else I could go with who would appreciate the band's talents. See, he saw Bruce at the same venue (well, in its former life) twenty years ago, in 1988, on what I believe was the Tunnel of Love Tour (TOL was released in 1987. Not necessarily a high point in The Boss' career, but coming off of the success of Born in the U.S.A., there's only one place to go.) Anyway, so he told me it was an interesting way to circle around again, 20 years later. Plus, I don't think he gets out much anymore, so it was definitely a good thing. The one drawback for him: he does not own Magic, and only heard Radio Nowhere the night before the show. Some fan. Hopefully he'll go buy it now and even use my link so we can all be happy.

Nevertheless, I was slightly nervous we wouldn't see a show at all. Lightning and torrential downpours delayed the start by a little over an hour. However, it did not dampen the spirits of the crowd (even Bruce mentioned that "a little rain agrees with us.") This was a really "up" crowd, perhaps the most I've seen since Fenway 5 years ago, and I've seen Bruce 4 times in those last five years. Yeah, I'm a little nuts.

I don't want to just do a review of the show itself, but there were personal certainly high points. I've read online that Bruce fans across the country, with the exception of maybe Jersey, are slightly jealous of us Bostonians (or Foxboro-ans) because a lot of his shows are viewed as warm-ups for us. This is because when he was a nobody in the 70's, he played to appreciative and loyal fans on the local club scene, possibly because we were the only ones who would have him. While I've never seen a show in a different city (and I don't know if I could tell the difference), but the energy at Bruce shows is way beyond any concert I've ever seen. He certainly seems to be enjoying himself out there, and after over 30 years, it may be difficult not to phone it in some nights. I definitely have days where I don't feel like working.

How do they do it? Especially tour after tour, night after night? Some of these songs have literally been played on every E Street tour for the last 30 years (If you went to a show and didn't hear "Born to Run," wouldn't you feel a little funny?) The key may be a little variety in the middle. Springsteen amuses himself between E Street albums with his solo stuff (Devils & Dust and the Seeger Sessions tour over the last few years), throwing commercial success out the window and satisfying his creative hunger a bit. And on this tour, instead of showing their age (as was the case when I saw Duran Duran earlier this summer) the band is taking advantage of their experience by taking requests; fans in the pit area are encouraged to bring signs asking for their long-lost faves. Saturday night, I think he played five requests, including "Little Latin Lupe Lu, " originally by the Righteous Brothers and covered by many, including Bruce ages ago. Weird one, but at least it wasn't, "PLAY AIN'T GOT YOU!"

In all, the requests were kind of a mixed bag; I could probably go the rest of my life without hearing "Hungry Heart" ever again, and "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd St?" is a little too far back for my tastes, but for the encore, Bruce grabbed a few more signs, saying, "We have here the rarely played and even more rarely requested..." and he turned the sign around to reveal "I'm Goin' Down." This song is one of my guilty pleasures. While I see the hokey factor, if you look closer, you can understand that it is about a poor young dude who is in a failing relationship that he can do nothing to save. The girl is just bored with him. It's hopeless. He's goin' down. The funny thing was that Mark and I had a discussion earlier in the day about what a silly song it is, and I tried to explain the sadness of it, and after hearing it live, he was forced to re-think his stance. the requests ended with a birthday present for someone: "Jungleland," which was just awesome.

Not to get too gushy, but here's the clincher. After going way passed curfew for Foxboro, Bruce played the Seeger Sessions' "American Land." After reviewing setlists for months, it seemed to be his closer, except in Jersey, but that's expected. The band all came together and took a bow, and the roar was amazing. Bruce encouraged us to get even louder, and louder, and loude, and we did. He yelled, "Boston, Rhode Island, Connecticut, wherever the fuck we are!" And then he played "one more fairy tale from Jersey:" Rosalita. Yet another song I had assured Mark he would not play, having already played "Mary's Place," the nouveau "Rosalita." The boy was psyched.

I know performers have to make it seem like every city is their favorite and that the fans are special everywhere, but I believe in my heart of hearts that "Rosalita" was not on the original setlist. It was a small reward for sitting on wet seats in wet clothes for over an hour to see him and still being incredibly loud and appreciative for the almost three hour set. And what a reward it was. As Bruce might say, "A Beautiful Reward." People need a Reason to Believe, and I will always believe that he did it just for us, and in this, I cannot be jaded.

How many Bruce songs can I quote in one paragraph?