Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday Morning 3AM

So, tonight was my first time checking out Kingdom of Heaven at The Creek & The Cave in Long Island City. I gotta say it was totally awesome. I got a little too drunk on Stoudt's Winter Ale (it was very stout-like), plus a free yeungling! I had birthday cake (thanks Melissa's parents!) and talked about Beowulf in 3-D sucking, kind of, while comedians played shuffleboard, just like my crazy grandfather used to (he refered to himself as "Wild Bill").

Anyways, I had some random thoughts that recovering from being drunk at 3am and feeling the need to share retarded non-sequiturs to get them out of my dreams (and into your car)....

Dear argyle socks that I bought at Target two months ago,
Why the fuck do you have a hole in the toe already. I've worn you maybe three times total. Douchesocks! Not only was it weird that my feet were sliding around inside my shoes because of you, but nobody even noticed I was wearing argyle socks. What's the fucking point if nobody sees them??

Dear Times Square Subway Tunnels (specifically, the part near the 7 Train),
You are freaking awesome! In a total of 12 steps (yes, that's a joke, but not far off the actual count), I received a flier for The Church of Scientology AND some kind of kooky apocalyptic Christian propaganda that I can't look at right now because I'll probably get nightmares (thanks, Grandma Flo). I collect all this crazy shit, so thank you! I also recently acquired a free Book of Mormon from a hotel in Reston Virginia! Who knew? So, not only do I have my Jew Bible (I have at least two mini-Torahs, a tiny Tanakah (not the breath spray, silly Gentiles!), two different Haggadahs, the New Union Prayer Book, the Jewish Book of Why (not the Jewish Book of Whine, though), AND the Book of J), but I also have a tiny New Testament that my college roommate Hoka gave me (complete with a dedication to read a certain line!), several Chick tracts, and a book on how Rudy Giuliani is a fascist dictator-type (or the devil himself, whichever..tomayto, tomahto). I have a lot of religious studies to catch up on. I think I'll finish Ulysses first, though.

Dear belt buckles (I knew a guy named John Buckles in Buffalo...any relation?),
Why the fuck do you keep itching my belly and making it red? Stop it, it's not nice!

And one more thing before I call it a night before waking up still drunk in four and a half hours for work...

Did you know you can microwave spaghetti squash? I didn't until the little sticker on the actual squash told me so. Yay, microwavable spaghetti squash - for the drunk and hungry asshole who can't wait 40 minutes to eat squash at 2am while watching an episode of "Smallville" from November 1st (spoiler alert - family reunions make me weepy, and this proved no exception. Finding out that Kira was the one who named Clark Kal-El and that her dad wanted to have sex with Helen Slater (well, can you blame him, she still looks good) was kinda awesome. But I digress).

Just be careful, though. It says to let stand for five minutes. Well, let me tell you something. I let it stand for maybe 7 minutes (I was dealing with some rogue asparagus), and it was still TOO HOT to hold, and I used to hold hot pieces of lead in my hands for work as a kid, so this was way too hot.

Oh and I lied. I just remembered a conversation I had with a co-worker this morning about Dunkin Donuts. He was saying how when your mom (or someone like a mom) makes doughnuts and bread and coffee, etc. that each item has it's own distinctive taste. Yet, he said, everything at Dunking Donuts tastes the same. The coffee, the donuts, the bagels, etc. He said that it's like they are all covered in the same coating (I suggested that it was really all coated in the soul of the "Time To Make The Donuts" guy now that he is dead. At least he can live on in your Bostom Creme! "Time to make the donuts. I AM the donuts!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Random Thoughts Before Bed - 11/26/07

I started writing a piece for a blog earlier today, but it isn't done yet. The four of you probably don't want to read an unfinished thought that spans 3/4 of a page. I mean, if you want, I can post it, but that only means I have to finish it soon so that I can post part two, which if you read the last blog that I didn't finish before posting, you know it doesn't work out so well.Enough about that. I'm going to sleep soon, but before I do, let me just say that I'm in the process of re-watching "Freaks and Geeks" on my roommate's DVDs (my brother used to have the deluxe super-cool version that came in the yearbook with two bonus discs, but someone fucking stole it), and I just have to say again how much I love this show. Yet more proof that people in charge of network TV hate everything I hold dear. It'll be great when I start writing for real. It'll be like Larry David's stint on SNL, where they only aired ONE of his sketches.

So, I was watching the Pilot episode, the one with the school dance. I thought about how I was always into the Lindsay Weir type girl -- smart and hot, but damaged and trying not to be smart. Sort of like the female version of how I viewed myself back then (although I didn't think I was hot...apparently, neither did the girls in my school). I'm pretty sure a cheerleader (and a senior at that!) did like me my junior year, and I know I liked her a lot, but I was too wrapped up in being an outcast listening to The Cure and The Smiths (before it was cool to like these bands outside of a John Hughes film). In particular, I remember a scene from the day we had a field trip to the Vanderbilt Planetarium. I may have even held her hand in the dark. All I remember is that while waiting for a ride home from the school, she looked at me longingly (I did not know what this meant back then) and I shit you not, she said "Why are you so far away?" probably not even realizing that she had just quoted my 7th favorite Cure song at that time ("Perfect Girl", "Pictures of You", "2 Late", "How Beautiful You Are" and "Charlotte Sometimes" outranked it, and "Like Cockatoos" fucking destroyed every other song on the planet to me at the time...O Robert Smith, wherefore art thou?).

I think that at the Planetarium, she and someone else had said that I should raise my hand and ask "Where's the Little Dipper?" or something at a weird moment. I probably could have made out with her if I had. Why was I such a stick in the mud? Did it have anything to do with being a "Mathlete?" Technically, it was called MESH (Math English Science History), and I was always more of a EH-xpert myself (math started eluding me in 7th grade, around the time the Space Shuttle blew up and I got a 49 on an algebra test. I thought my head was gonna explode after that). I never got to dance with her. Not like Sam danced with Cindy to "Come Sail Away." In fact, I'm pretty sure that any girl I tried to dance with turned her back to me as soon as I came near them.Wow, I have to be awake in 5 hours. Awesome!Oh, and in the one in 100, 000, 000 chance that you're reading this, Linda Cardellini, stop by and say hello.

Jonathan in Williamsburg and Margot At The Wedding

So far, I have lived in Williamsburg for three full weeks (this is my fourth week), and aside from having to stand most of the time for my entire ride on the L and A/C/E trains to get to and from work, it isn’t all that bad. I’m still getting my city legs, as it were. I mean, I love walking and it was one of the primary reasons I wanted to move out of the sticks (standup comedy, socializing and career options being the others), but I’m still adjusting to walking all the time again. Mind you, I’m no slouch. For shits and giggles last weekend, I walked from my apartment to Chinatown, crossing the Williamsburg Bridge in the process. It took me about 40 minutes, all told (I think I got where I was going in the same amount of time I would have had I taken the J train).

I’ve had a blast so far, having caught up with some friends from college that I haven’t seen in excess of a decade, and catching up with close friends I’ve missed since their own moves westward. Three full weeks and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to stop into a cafe for a bit to write down some thoughts electronically. Of course, most of what I was thinking I would type out is totally gone from my memory banks. Other things are too fresh to post now. In due time, there will be more stories. All just a part of life in the big city.

I’ve been going back and forth to Long Island on the weekends to pack up more and more of my crap. I am not into material possessions, as it were, but I AM a record collector. This puts me in kind of a quandary. I want to own less things, but all I own are records and CDs and tapes (well, and books and DVDs, to be fair, but if I had a smaller CD collection, like say, more normal people, it wouldn’t be an issue), and I am concerned that my furniture won’t fit in my bedroom in my apartment (although my bedroom is bigger than my previous occupancy, a quaint summer cottage on the water deep in suburbia that I lived in year-round, there was a living room and a front porch where all my CDs seemed to reside, all over everything). Mostly, I just want to have my bed and my TV in my room. And my other chair. I’ve been waiting for my other roommate to get back from tour to move the bigger items, because he has a van. I think he has returned from tour, but I haven’t seen him yet. I hope we at least stay in this place for a little while. Hauling all my belongings up three flights of stairs ought to last me awhile. Especially considering that I haven’t moved really in nearly seven years (I hardly count moving across the driveway, although my brother still managed to drop one of my speakers, breaking the peg that fastens the grille to the body of the speaker).

I made pretty good use of being on Long Island for the extended holiday weekend, though. On Thanksgiving, I saw “Margot At The Wedding” AND “The Giant Claw!” First off, I will preface my comments on “Margot” with the disclosure that I am a HUGE fan of Noah Baumbach, going back to several years ago when IFC would show “Kicking and Screaming” (not the Will Ferrell vehicle about kids playing soccer) in regular rotation, all because I heard that Dean Wareham did the music for his film “Mr. Jealousy.” As a big fan of Galaxie 500 and Luna, I knew it had to be good. Oh, and it was. Needless to say, I am a fan of Whit Stillman’s movies, as well. That whole Upper West Side intelligentsia thing that I had sort of mythologized and romanticized when I was a youngster (I envied my Uncle as I helped him move into his Chelsea co-op, imagining how amazing it must be to work and live in the center of the city).

Anyways, I had high expectations for “Margot” based on previous Baumbach excursions. I had heard some negative rumblings, but I held them in check until I could see for myself. First of all, let me say some nice things about the film. Jack Black was fantastic. He gets to show a serious, sensitive side that we should get to see more. Jennifer Jason Leigh is always wonderful, and her turn as Pauline is no exception. The actors playing the teenagers are superb as well. Unfortunately for all other parties involved, Nicole Kidman can’t even muster up enough emotion to portray a cold, neurotic bitch. Margot is a role that seems written for Parker Posey. Granted, that was probably what everyone would expect her to play, but I think the film would have been helped considerably by that casting choice. I mean, the film is a character study (it certainly isn’t an exercise in plot writing), so why bother employing an actor who can’t show depth? Margot is a complex woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She should vacillate between barbed insults and overly prodding suggestions and sheer lunacy. Ms. Kidman doesn’t really do this character justice.

What’s funny to me is that while I enjoyed watching this film, and I enjoyed a lot of the dialogue and pithy barbs tossed at a steady stream to whomever is in the room with whichever character opens his or her mouth, I was disappointed with the way it ended. The reason this is funny us because I am a big fan of Raymond Carver’s short stories, which are generally just snapshots of characters’ lives. They rarely start at the beginning or have a real end. Carver tended to fill in the colors, almost like a still-life with words. I love his approach. Yet, apply this approach to this film, and it left me perturbed. Is that a double-standard? Having said that, I would like to watch this again, and not just because Jennifer Jason Leigh gives the camera a little something something in one scene.