Monday, December 21, 2009

And so This is Christmas

I think I've done this one before...

I seem to do it every year, with the same title and everything (Hey, I like it.) This year, though, I want you to read it with a little more bite in your voice and end it like a question, like "And so, this is Christmas?"

As we close out a weird year of a weirder decade, I can't help but think that way. Think of it this way, we still don't know what to call this decade (that "aught" shit never flew). On a personal level, on a cultural level, or on a political level, this decade never had it. For eight years, we had a really dumb President, who has had our country in a really dumb war for far too long. Our country is suffering through a financial crisis the likes of which we haven't seen in a long time. Millions are out of work while buckets of money is spent on that ridiculous war. The Fall of the Roman Empire is happening right here right now in our own country and all people can talk about is how many chicks Tiger Woods fucked.

And so Happy Christmas, sang John Lennon. I wonder, if he were alive today, what would he be singing about?

I don't mean to poop on everyone's parade. I know people are trying. Every store I go into is packed with shoppers spending money that they probably don't have on gifts for loved ones. Despite what they are saying about the economy, I still see people trying. Office Holiday parties are still going strong. I went to several of them already. And yes, I got a pretty decent raise this year, in spite of my fears. I know I shouldn't complain too much, since a lot of people have no wage to get raised, but believe me, the raise wasn't that much.

So, I'm sorry to be like his, but how it is is how it is. I will celebrate Christmas with my family, as I do every year, and it will be fun and I will get some socks. And I hope everyone does. Come the 26th, though, it will be back to the old grind. The war will still be on. There will still be no jobs and no money. There will probably be some new news about Tiger Woods, so that'll be nice. I guess the one good thing is that this year, this decade, is over, and that we can look forward to a new one, hopefully a better one, with a clean slate.

Maybe Christmas can be the start of something better. Maybe it can be a good one, without any tears. Let's hope, anyway.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Trouble Finds Me. I Swear

Everything around me seems to be on its ear. Everyone I know is breaking up or messing around or estranged in some way. As if I needed any more incentive to stay on my own. Not that it's exactly my choice. My sole prospect informed me today that she's seeing someone else. Someone who is no doubt much younger and less bald.

I, however, never seem to change. I keep chugging along, day after day, night after night, bar after bar. I mean, I think the ratings on The Dursin Show are still solid, but the storylines are mostly about everyone else. Most of mine are one-offs. But still very good stories. Take the other night, for example.

I went out with some people for my friend's birthday celebration. My friend was the only person I would know who would be attending, but I have this thing about birthdays, and drinking, so I went. She had sent out various facebook messages detailing the events of the evening, so while everyone else journeyed into the city with her in a rented limo, I met them at Dick's Last Resort, where I will only go again if it was actually my last resort.

One member of the party was quite a bit louder and more belligerent than the rest. He arrived and informed the bartender that there was a special lady coming and she needed something special. The bartender had no idea what that would be, but he would serve us whatever we wanted. We ended up with several 24 oz. Miller Lites and some kind of strange wine. This belligerent man also announced to my friend that the bartender would have sex with her. Yep, he was one of Those Guys.

Now, I did not speak to this man all night (although I did drink one of his beers. Why not? No one else was drinking that crap.) When we left Dick's, this guy claimed he could get us in anywhere in the city without waiting in line. My friend had no preference, but wanted to go where there was dancing. We ended up at the Black Rose, where there is, in fact, no dancing. My friend promptly left and headed to the Hong Kong, one of those shitty Chinese restaurants that turns into a nightclub. This place was $5 to get in, and when my friend wanted to go upstairs to dance, I paid her $5 cover for that (What kind of dick place has two covers?) I did this as part of my birthday thing, because I feel people should do what they want and enjoy themselves. After a few minutes, The Guy was back, along with some of the other members of the party. I stood by while they were saying something in her ear, but in the loud club, I had no idea what it was. Suddenly, The Guy pie-faced me for no reason. For the uninitiated, it's basically like you are shoving a pie in someone's face, sans pie, so you're just sticking your hand in their grill. So, yeah, a big meaty paw in my face.

So I popped him.

I probably haven't hit someone since I was eleven, and to be honest, I didn't really make any solid contact, or cause any harm. In fact, the bouncer took me right out of there before anything could escalate, and the guy at the door was quite nice, in fact. But, yeah, I got thrown out of another bar, this time for actually doing something, although it was certainly not provoked. I can only assume that he assumed I was putting the moves on my friend, but I certainly was not. maybe he was just mad about the beer I drank.

As I was on the street putting my jacket on and getting ready to go home, the party came out and I was signalled by one of the more sober members. this guy was kind enough to ask if I was going in the limo or needed a ride anywhere. I told him I was fine with taking a cab. As we walked past The Guy, he said, "I'll find you!" Which was odd since I was right there. I just told him to relax. The funny thing was I found him, on facebook, and saw pictures of his young son, which means not only did he get laid at least once, but that he is supposed to be some kind of role model. I wonder if he would encourage his boy to shove people around for no reason. Pay attention now, people. This is what happens when assholes procreate.

What I don't understand is why this stuff happens to me. Is it strange that I am always finding my way into weird situations by doing absolutely nothing except going with the flow? It's not like I get together with my friends and say, "Let's go fight!" or "Let's harass people until we get tossed out." In fact, the one time my friend Paul and I tried to get tossed out, we couldn't. Is it because I need stuff to write about on here? Is it because the universe needs my stories? Am I just a bad person and a magnet for trouble?

I wish I knew.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Christmas in the Sticks - Redux

Saturday was my second annual trip to Dudley, MA for the Ed Humphries' Holiday Party. You may recall (if you read it. if not, here's proof it happened) that I attended this event last year, and it was noteworthy for two reasons: I won the Holiday Pop Culture Trivia Contest, and I left Boston. this time around, though, it seemed a little different. Because I did it last year, journeying that far out of my comfort zone wasn't so bad this time (and maybe I'm just not as cynical as I was a year ago.) However, I did not win the trivia contest this time around. Stupid Island of Misfit Toys.

Maybe it was different this year because last year I was still in my "Uber-single" phase, where I extolled the virtues of singlehood at every opportunity. I've adopted more of a "Live and let live" philosophy as far as that goes now. And I also have to admit that Ed is still someone who has brought balance to The Force, and can basically have his childish "guy fun" and keep the wife and kids happy. I'm not sure if that can be attributed to his juggling abilities, or that his wife (Andi, the Duchess of Dudley) is just so much more understanding than most wives I know, but there it is.

The other noteworthy thing about this year's gathering was the inclement weather. It was assumed that those who had to travel a great distance would bow out rather than risk their lives to possibly only end up with a lame Yankee-Swap gift (My contribution: those bottle tops you can put on soda cans so they don't lose their fizz. Seriously? How slow are people drinking their soda? I can finish off a can in seconds.) Instead, there was quite an awesome turn-out, and I think this can be attributed to the kind of guy Ed is. I think people are willing to drive to Dudley in the snow because that's the kind of guy he is, and he would probably do it for them. Granted, I wasn't actually doing any of the driving, but I was a passenger, so there's still a risk. But I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

Even though I ended up with Nerf Cosmic Keep-Away.