Thursday, October 30, 2008

This is Halloween

"What are you doing for Halloween?" is a question I get frequently, and the answer is usually brief: "Nothing." I mean, I may act juvenile sometimes, but I'm not a kid anymore.

And I'm not being a curmudgeon here. I love Halloween. But it seems like adults that I know care more about it than the kids did when I was a kid. I remember I was one of the last kids in my neighborhood to give up trick-or-treating, even tacking on a couple years by acting as a chaperon for my friend's younger sister. I really just wanted the candy at that point, but I also enjoyed the idea of trick-or-treating. And it seemed like I was holding onto something that everyone else thought was kids' stuff.

As an adult, I've done the Salem thing, I've dressed up and handed out candy, I've gone to the haunted houses and crazy parties and the whole shmear. It seems like I've had more fun as an adult than I did as a kid. Even not being able to actually eat the candy did not daunt my spirits. I was into it!

This year, and the last couple, I guess, I just haven't had the energy. It's the opposite of when I was a kid. now everyone else is into it and I think it's just kid's stuff. Sure, there's creativity in coming up with a costume, and it's fun to see everyone out and having a good time (and I love the old movies), but really, sometimes it seems like an excuse for some people to dress slutty and act stupid. Not everyone of course, but a lot of people (I guess for a lot of people, Saturday is a good excuse to do that.) Maybe this is another one of those days that is better when you're with someone than when you're single, like New Year's Eve or..., well, okay, that's about the only other day I can think of where it's better.

I guess what I don't understand is what Halloween is all about. Is it a day for little kids to get candy and have a good time picking out a costume, or is it a day for adults to party and drink and have a good time picking out a costume? I guess it can be both, I just don't want to seem like some kind of Grinch when I say I just don't care anymore. I mostly just wish it was a real holiday so we could have a day off.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


This is going to be a bad one. You've been warned.

A few days ago, October 25th, 2008, would have marked my ten year anniversary with my late fiancee'. Hah! No, she's not dead (that I know of, although the girl I knew ten years ago died a slow and painful metaphoric death around 2003). I just thought I'd shock everyone.

Anyway, point is, we would have been together ten years the other day, and I would probably have been married with children, and possibly even divorced with children by now. Or worse, living in a quiet house in the suburbs, commuting an hour or so into work on the train, eating dinner every night with my wife and kids and dogs and cats, getting old and fat and watching prime-time soaps that we TiVo'd from the week before. Sound familiar to anyone? I'm sure it would have turned out something like that, anyway. Whew! I narrowly avoided that fate five years ago, and I feel like I've lived an entire life in those five years. Ah, good times.

That was the life that the Ghost of Christmas Future would have shown me were I Scrooge. It's a life I see many people living every day. I think, if I were Scrooge, and I saw that life, I would not suddenly become a caring, giving person. I would run out and get a vasectomy as my gift to everyone. Peace on Earth, in other words.

Please, don't be offended. Have your kids, and love and cherish them for the rest of your life. But don't yell at me if I look at you with the same pity that most people reserve for me. You may think my life is sad and barren, but I look at your life and think to myself, "My God. If I had to be like that for one day, I might go insane."

Before you think I'm just a bitter asshole, think of it like this; in the 50's and early 60's (or in other words, on Mad Men), women were simply baby factories, put here so men could breed, or have affairs with, and cook and clean and take care of the children. Women working in offices or doing much of anything else were looked at as really strange people, or at the very least hussies, (if they were having sex out of wedlock, that is). That was less than 50 years ago. Is it irrational to think that in another 50 years or so, people's philosophy will change again and we will produce less children? I believe at least the smart ones will continue to put it off, if for no other reason than the simple fact that the planet can't hold all these new people.

See, let me again quote the great Heath Ledger as The Joker: "I'm not really crazy. I'm just ahead of the curve."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I haven't written much lately. I've been trying to actually be a nicer, not-as-bitter person. It's difficult in the face of some of the craziness in the world. For instance, I was asked to work last Saturday, and the college where I work is rented out on weekends to what is called the German Saturday School. It is a bizarre bunch of German people (probably all of them in the Boston area) who seemingly get together to sell things to each other and have their kids run freely around the halls. I have never seen any actual learning going on, in fact, which is odd for a school.

This day, I walked past a German woman changing her young child's diaper on the floor in the middle of the hallway. Maybe my San Diego adventure has dulled my senses to such things, because I walked right on by. About fifteen minutes later, I walk down the same hallway to find that said dirty diaper has been deposited in the PAPER RECYCLING BIN!!!

What is wrong with people? I'm sure even someone who can't read the sign can discern between a trash barrel and a paper recycling bin.

This is why I will not have children. I'm sorry to all the parents out there. if you choose to have children, then go for it, but please dispose of your diapers properly and leave me the fuck out of it. Something happens to a lot of normal people the second that kid comes out. A lot of parents suddenly forget how the world works and will do things like change their kid over my food or throw their dirty diapers in recycling bins, and I don't want that to happen to me. I want to retain what little sanity I have, thank you.

This probably sounds like an angry rant, but think about it like this for a moment (I mean, really think). Humans are animals, so therefore it is in our nature to breed. However, as humans, we have brains (well, most of us.) We have the ability to make choices. We don't have to succumb to evolution. We can do whatever we want. So why do we want to make babies? Because we want to populate a planet that already has a few billion too many people on it? Because diaper shit is awesome? Humans have children because we like having sex, but more importantly, because society says we should. Society says we all should go to school, get a job, get married, make babies, lather, rinse, repeat. Am I the only one who has stopped to ask why? The looks I get from people when I say I don't want to have kids is the same sort of look I would get if I told them I liked to kick puppies. Why? It's just a choice I'm making. I don't begrudge your choices.

And no, I'm not waiting for the right girl, and it won't be different when it's my child. Diaper shit is diaper shit, and all kids smell and cry and are stupid and then when they stop being stupid they hate your guts until they're in their mid-twenties or so. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but, it's true. And before you start thinking, Wow, what a bum, let me just say that yes, I am a bum. The real reason I don't want to have children is because I am selfish (or so you would think). I know that my life, as I know it, will be over, and that is not a sacrifice I am willing to make. And no child deserves a father who doesn't want it. So, there's selfishness for you.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Giving it Up?

So, last week while I was toiling at Harvard University's Sever Hall Media and Technology Services, and one of my duties was to assist a professor with a DVD player for this class. While waiting for this professor to show up, I noticed all the students had Syd Fields' books on screenwriting. I saw this kind of beatnik-looking guy walk in (a little like Peter Tork of the Monkees actually, only scruffier) and figured he was the professor, so i approached him.

*** Note: Since so many adults take night classes at Harvard, it is often difficult to tell the instructors from the students. The fact that this guy was holding the DVD clued me in, but also my personal experiences with writers allowed me deduce that this beatnik-looking guy was in fact the professor.

*** Note #2: I use the blanket term "professor" to describe anyone who teaches a college course, but I realize there are professors and instructors and adjuncts or whatever. Faculty would be a more appropriate term, but who cares? The point is, while this guy does have an MFA, it seems odd to refer to someone like him as "professor."

So, I mentioned to this man (while helping him with his DVD player, I might add) that screenwriting was my field when I was an undergrad. His response?

"And you gave it up, huh?"

Que? Gave it up? Why? Just because I'm doing this monkey job? Fuck you, you lousy beatnik. You're not exactly lighting Hollywood on fire with your one credit on that crappy Luke Perry sitcom from last year (according to, anyway). Besides, he doesn't even know me. How does he know that I'm not some really big indie writer? And where does he get off? He can't even shave.

I swore revenge on this man. I swore I would sabotage his DVD player next time, tear the thing out of the rack and scream, "Hah! Now you have to teach for an hour! How ya like them apples?" But actually, he turned out to be a nice guy, especially since I had a little problem making his Mac show up on the screen and had to get help. He was okay with it and actually thanked me for my effort. Ruined my whole perception of him. Still, he shouldn't have said that to me.

So, I went home and wrote a few scenes, instead.