Monday, November 28, 2011

Life's Like a Movie...

I am usually very "meh" about Thanksgiving.  Maybe it's because I don't have a large family to reconnect with.  Maybe it's because I don't really love turkey, although stuffing is a genuine favorite of mine.  Maybe it's because it finally dawned on me that the poor Native Americans helped out those hapless Pilgrims to make that first Thanksgiving possible, and then those jerkface whities went and kicked them off their land and killed most them.

Whatever the reason, the holiday never resonated with me all that much.  However, this year was a tad different.  I enjoyed the Hell out of this one.  Not because I was thankful to be healthy after the months of crap (I don't need a day for that.  I'm thankful for that every day).  Nope, this year, I was thankful for The Muppets.

This Muppets thankfullosity goes back a long way.  There is a classic story that has now been passed down to my nephews of me in nursery school (which I guess is now known as pre-K) being asked by my teacher what I was thankful for, and I answered, "Kermit The Frog."  The teacher, rather stunned, as most of my classmates were thankful for their families and their whatnot, replied, "Whaaaaat?"  And I responded, with added fervor, "Kermit the Frog!"

As life tends to do, I have come full circle.  Thirty years later, I am once again thankful for Kermit the Frog and company.  I saw The Muppets on Thanksgiving with my roommate and her family, probably some of the same people I saw the original Muppet Movie with back in 1981.  And, movin' right along, decades later, seeing the current incarnation, and I think I laughed just as hard.  I naturally had high expectations, so there was also a part of me that figured there was a chance that this movie would not live up, since most "revivals" do not.  Let's face it, most of my childhood loves have been brought back and crapped on (Transformers, G.I. Joe, A-Team, Garfield, etc.).  And with Jim Henson not involved (because he's, well, dead), there was at least a 60% chance this was gonna suck.

Thankfully(!), it did not.  It was clearly a love letter to the original concept, made by fans, for fans.  Not only did the old sense of humor return, it become fresh again, while paying homage to the original.  There is even an appearance by Orson Welles' "Standard Rich and Famous Contract" that Kermit and Co. received back in 1981.  Stuff like that made me chuckle, for sure, but when they played the actual Muppet Show opening theme song (You know the one.  "It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights..."), that's when I really felt it.  Seriously, I was moved.  And that almost never happens.

Not only did they stick to what made the previous movies and show funny in the first place, the filmmakers also used the fact that it's been a long time since we've seen a Muppet as part of the story.  Whether or not the Muppets were still relevant was a significant part of the plot.  At the end of the movie, it was discovered that they were.  And this was definitely a case of life mirroring art.

So, I'm not going to give away anything else, just see the damn thing.  You may not get as into it as I did.  it may not tug at your heart-strings.  You may not giggle like a school girl for the entire thing like I did.  But you may.  And maybe, like me, you will realize that there can be joy in these kinds of things.  Maybe you will experience it like a 5 year-old who was thankful for Kermit the Frog.  I can only hope so.

A facebook acquaintance of mine said in his status, "If you don't like The Muppets, you have no soul."  Maybe a little harsh, but still...  He summed up in one sentence what it took me a whole blog post to do, so who am I to question?
                   Free song downloads with Muppets tickets.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I Have a Blog, Too

As I write this, I am receiving my last treatment of rituxinab, the wonder drug that is supposed to prevent the return of my Wegener's, and is apparently being used to treat lots of other stuff these days, so here's hoping it works or a lot of people will be in big trouble, not just me.

So, to me, this means I should look towards the future, and stop worrying so much about the trials and tribulations of the past nine months.  God knows you've probably heard enough about it, and I'm sick of re-hashing it, anyway.  But to look toward the future, I want to look into the not-too-distant past.  Saturday night, to be exact.  Let's step into the Way-Back machine, shall we?

My friend's cover band was playing the 11th Annual Lupus Pub-crawl that evening, and I was helping out, as  usual.  I must admit, this entailed a lot less work than their other gigs, since this place had their own sound equipment, and the band that usually plays there allowed us to use their stuff.  So, I basically showed up, carried a mic stand, some pedals, and then drank a lot.

So, I'm standing off to the side, watching the show and the pub-crawlers, and this young lady next to me strikes up a conversation.  Like myself, she has nothing to do with the pub crawl, but simply came in to use the bathroom and heard the music and wandered in.  She asked me if I danced, and I replied, "Define dancing."  At least the treatments haven't damaged my sense of humor.  So, we danced a little, and during the break between sets, I introduced her to the drummer and asked her if she wanted to hang with us after the show.  I should point out here that, since this was just the second stop on the pub crawl, the show ended at 7:00.

During the course of events, I found out a few things about this girl.  She liked Goth music, she was a writer, and, oh, she actually had a boyfriend.. in Utah.  So, this naturally set off a buzzer in my head, but while at dinner after the show, my band buddies all said that it didn't matter, that they saw the way she was looking at me, that even if it was true, this girl was a sure thing.  So, I pressed on.

After dinner, we re-joined the pub crawl at another bar, and more drinking and dancing ensued.  This time, the dancing was getting a little closer (and to be perfectly honest, she was kind of critical of my dancing, which I have already admitted sucks.  Cut me some slack, lady.  I'm as white as they come).  As the night progresses, she begins taking my hands and putting them on various parts of her body.  Despite all of that, however, she whispers in my ear, "You know you're not getting paid tonight, right?"  Obviously, that should have set off tons of buzzers, but, forgive me if I'm thinking that actions sometimes speak louder.  She and I eventually leave the band and move on to one more bar, closer to where her car was parked, and closer to my home, as well.  More dancing and touching.  She delicately places my knee in her crotch and my hands on her ass.  She eventually needs food, so I take her to an all-night diner and buy her a sandwich.  She hasn't had a drink in awhile, but claims she may have to sleep in her car rather than drive back to Gloucester.  I offer her my couch to sleep on, and at first she seems that she's down with that, but as the night moves on, she says she will, in fact, drive home.  Apparently, she is in love with her boyfriend, although she told me that he lives in Utah, they have not slept together and they have been together less than a month.  Oh, and she's into bondage.  I call bullshit, but accept her ride home and assume she made it back to Gloucester in one piece, but, y'know, who cares?

Now, for some reason, this night really got into my head.  I'm not sure if I'm mad at myself for allowing this girl to cock-tease me all night, at her for being a cock-tease, or at society in general for allowing it to be okay for a girl to do this for a fellow human being.  To be perfectly honest, she's lucky I'm a nice guy and not some crazy.  Seriously, girls have been killed for less in this city.

So, here's where the looking to the future part comes in.  I told this story to my friend Heidi, and her response was that I should have walked away at the mention of the word, "boyfriend."  I told her that I didn't want to be That Guy, who is only out for sex and nothing else.  Even if that is true 90% of the time, remember, in this case I was minding my own business until this girl came along.  Her point was that I have to be a dick more often, especially in the world of dating.  This, of course, is not the first time I have heard this, but the problem is that it not only goes against all logic, but it also goes against everything I've been trying to do for years.  Not to mention the fact that I thought that my recent medical issues had made me realize what is important in life, and being a dick was not one of the important things.

Naturally, I shouldn't be a dick all the time (fun as it may be).  Just when women are being bitches, apparently.  This is a sad truth, because if you are not a dick to a woman who is being a bitch, then you will be walked on.  Plain and simple.  And I've been told the reverse is also true.  So therein lies the rub.

The real problem is that it's pretty much like opening Pandora's box.  You get a angry at one person just for being a bitch, and pretty soon you're angry at everyone.  And I've been Angry Young Dursin before.  It ain't pretty.  But he was confidant and happy and had a lot more sex, so I guess there's a trade-off.

You've been warned.