Monday, November 22, 2010

Karaoke: For The Singing Impaired

Recently, I have discovered the world of karaoke.  Over the last few months, one of my local watering holes, Stephen's Green has been having a DJ named Kystle, who plays karaoke.  The first time they had it, I really didn't know what to expect.  The place really isn't that type of restaurant, albeit they do draw a crowd for their weekly music.  The night started off slow with me refusing to sing.  This was partly because a previous time I was tricked into singing Lady Gaga's Bad Romance and that is one hard song to sing when you are drunk.  This time was different.  Well it got up to me and I decided to sing It's Raining Men by the Weather Girls.   Now obviously, the song is great, but there's something about seeing a chubby heterosexual guy jumping around singing this song. Well, I had a little help from some others, so I wasn't embarrassed.  Now I can't wait for it.  Every time they have it, I try and get as many people to come out for it.  The reason isn't so much the karaoke, but there is just something about it that makes people bond.  I love that I can grab anyone t join me and save me from making people endure my tone deaf rythm-less voice.

In the past few weeks karaoke has actually made me some new friends.  Friends of friends have come out and now they are part of the posse.  The greatest part is that this isn't the usual three to four hours of fun.  No, DJ Krystle is the shit.  She stays out and keeps going as long as we want to.  Sometimes til 3, 4, maybe even 5am.  The last time I think we left at 4:30.  My shirt was soaked from all the dancing and I had actually become somewhat sober from the exercise.  I slept well that night...well sort of.

This week is Thanksgiving and the following day, we are set again.  I'm sure the whole gang will be there and maybe even some others.  It was a great time the first time and even though we thought we'd grow bored of it, every time it happens it's better than the last time. How could a guy complain dancing, surrounded by lovely ladies who all feel the need to smack your ass?  Really, does it get any better?  The single best thing about it is as the night progresses, it goes from people coming up and requesting a song they like to Krystle playing feel good music and handing out mics to everyone.  The whole bar joins in and it becomes a sing-a-long.  I know it's become cliche, but there is something about twenty drunken idiots singing Oasis' Wonderwall at 3am that just feels magical.

I've had some of the best nights out of my life in the past few weeks.  I've laughed, I've sung, I've danced with others, I've danced alone.  But the most important thing is that I've done it with people I now consider good friends.  When you are with good friends, you can make the most of any night.  It's just a little better with the Weather Girls!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The DMV: White Plains Edition

As I entered the lovely White Plains Mall, I walked down the dirty corridor, passed some odd restaurant, an optical place and a Subway, I turned to my left and to my disbelief, the DMV was gone.  License plates in hand, I called my boss and he told me they had moved it upstairs.  I walked towards a young man wearing jeans who turned around and he had wings bedazzled on the back of his pants.  Was he a frustrated bird?  The Phoenix rising from the ashes?  I don't think so, he looked more like a frustrated rapper.  I passed a man having a loud conversation with no phone.  This bothered me more when I realized he didn't have a bluetooth device either.  I entered the DMV and was pleased to see there were only three people on line and about forty people sitting.  I knew it would be quick.  I approached the desk to get my ticket and was enamored by the young lady with nails longer than a samurai sword.  She handed me the ticket and I walked towards the benches. 

The first thing I noticed was that half the people in there had canes, walkers or some other mobility enhancer.  I assume they were getting their handicapped stickers.  The other thing I noticed was that every woman under the age of thirty was wearing skin tight pants and knee high hooker boots.  All seemed to be a little full of themselves, although they probably knew the freaks at table five were all looking at them.  I would like to think I was the normal one, but it's mid-November and I'm donning shorts and a tee shirt.  Maybe I was the freak surrounded by the normal ones.  It made me ponder.

 I looked down at my ticket and read the number E395, immediately following this I heard a ding and then E394.  This was great.  I was next, in and out in two minutes.  I sat and watch as a young boy played with a car.  He was running around and at one point knocked a stack of papers out of some woman's hand.  I chuckled.  Then, as seems the usual when I'm there.  A man in a suit, coming from the information desk, couldn't comprehend the ticket procedure and walked up to the first empty counter and handed the woman his papers.  She told him he had to wait and he couldn't comprehend it.  He walked out. Minutes went by and E394 had left.  I waited, but still I was not called.  This gave me the chance to gaze at all the toothless and unbathed. Of course the biggest freak, a woman (I think) was sitting behind me.  Her emphysema filled lungs hissing and squealing like Ned Beatty on a weekend raft trip.  I was getting nauseous. I could smell the smoke as it whistled out of her blackened lungs. I started to get queasy.  Then it happened "Ding - E395."  I raced to the counter to witness another set of plates still sitting there.  Had she not processed E394? The woman smiled, I think it was a smile and told me to lay the plates on top and she asked for my ticket.  Soon I would be out in the brisk cool open air. I couldn't wait. 

And then it happened.  Someone who was on one of their many breaks, came over and asked my woman a question.  Obviously, the woman helping me did not have the ability to multi-task and she turned her shoulder and proceeded to explain something to the young questioning woman. Minutes went by and once again I grew anxious.  I started to wonder if I put enough money in the meter.  Finally, she turned to me and says "can you spell the name of the company that the vehicle was owned by?"  I got through three letters when she raised her flabby arm and said "stop."  I wanted to continue with "in the name of love," but I felt she'd either find no humor in it or accuse me of being racist.  She reached in to an unkempt file cabinet and pulled out a paper, hit a button and printed out the form.  Seconds later I'm walking to the door and who is in front of me.  The woman whose lungs sound like lobsters in a boiling pot. I exited DMV and skipped down the stairs.  My haste almost caused my shorts to fall down.  I sprinted out the door and over to my car.  I looked at the meter - 2 minutes.  I got into my car, opened the window and breathed the fresh cool air.  The DMV tried to break me.  Surround me with freaks and women in slutty boots, but I prevailed. At least for today.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dream Analysis

I've had this ongoing nightmare that has me perplexed.  It's lasted quite some time and the last time I mentioned a dream, a friend of mine gave me her analysis.  It was pretty much on point, so I threw this one at her.  After her analysis I decided to reflect a little and see how her analysis and the dream told me things about myself.  Her analysis is italicized for the reading comprehension impaired.

Here is my initial post on her Facebook page: Hey dream analyzer - had a dream the other night that someone was trying to kill me. This has been an ongoing dream (for like two years) with the same person after me (I don't know them). The person always appears and I get away. In the dream, I write my dreams down, because I'm also dreaming I'm being chased by this person. They told me if I burn all my written down dreams, they'd leave me alone. So I do this. But while doing this, I meet a woman. She asks me what I'm doing and I tell her. Now he's trying to kill her and she wants my help, but the would be killer now keeps telling me he's going to kill her (BTW I don't know her either). OK, so what's the deal? Aside from me needing therapy and detox! Oh and yes, I have a job....two. So Dr. What's your prognosis? And everyone is probably going to ask you "who the hell is the wacko writing on your wall."

To see a killer in your dream, suggests that an essential aspect of your emotions have been cut off. You feel that you are losing your identity and your individuality. To dream that you are being threatened, indicates that you have internalized some fear. You are feeling inadequate or oppressed. To dream that you are being chased, signifies that you are avoiding a situation that you do not think is conquerable. It is a metaphor for some form of insecurity.

I agree that in many ways I feel I've lost my identity.  My close circle of friends has diminished, some due to relocation, some due to marriage and children and others have just faded away, much due to my inability to stay in touch with anyone.  I probably have more friends now, but many don't know the real me.  They see the crazy teenager trapped in a 40-year-old body and that is all they know.  I have fun in my life, but the down to earth conversations are less and less. 

I definitely have been internalizing a fear.  The fear that I'll be 60 doing the same things I'm doing at 40, which sadly are the same things I was doing at 20.  I don't need a big house, 2.2 kids and a white picket fence, but it would be nice to have security.  It's something we all crave and is the base of a happy, healthy life.  I don't have that and many times I feel it leads to unhappiness and stress, which as we all know can affect your health.

My insecurities and my avoidance issues are probably due to the things I feel I've come up short on in my life.  These are many and seem to be a growing list.  This isn't to say I'm not proud of many things, but there are so many things I've said I wanted to do, but seem to find it easier to make excuses as to why I haven't.  I make excuse, as my mother used to put it, I put up walls that don't need to be there.  It's something I know I do, but just continue because it's easier than tackling situations, relationships and other struggles.

To see or dream about your handwriting, represents your self-expression and creativity. Consider the symbolism of what you are handwriting and how it relates to your waking life.�The dream may be trying to warn you against something as in "the handwriting is on the wall". To see something burning in your dream, indicates that you are experiencing some intense emotions and/or passionate sexual feelings. There is some situation or issue that you can no longer avoid and ignore.

The part about my handwriting is interesting, because in my mind there are tons of ideas.  I've wanted to write a screenplay forever.  I have the ideas, but when I sit down to write them, they disappear, much like waking from a dream.  Or maybe it is the writing on the wall, telling me to shit or get off the pot.  Maybe it's my ability to easily dispense the thought of actually going after things, when I know it's easier not to. 

The fire might be about my internal passion for people I'm attracted to, but don't pursue because of the fear of rejection or the fear that it might work and that would put an added, although pleasant, stress on my life.  Maybe it's the realization that I have to move on.  I've done it physically, I've done it mentally, but I haven't acted on the fact that being hurt is part of life. It's how we learn.  I've done it to others, I've had it done before and maybe I need to act.  Or maybe, like the Oasis song says "the fire in your (my) heart is out."

To see a woman in your dream, represents nurturance, passivity, caring nature, and love. It refers to your own female aspects or your mother. Alternatively, a woman indicates temptation and guilt.

Maybe the faceless woman, who I feel the need to protect is my subconscious telling me that I need to fill the mental void of missing my mother.  She cared and nurtured me in my youth and I returned the favor in her dying days.  I think about her more and more and quite possibly, it's me internalizing the fact that I need to love, to be loved again.  That unconditional love that we share with so few in our lives.  I'm not tempted by much and there are very few things in my life I feel true guilt for, so I'm thinking this is a sign.  My dream is telling me that someone needs me to be there for them.  To protect, to nurture and quite possibly, to love.

So, with a little help from my dream analyzer and a little self-reflection, maybe it's time to make some changes.  Maybe it's time to start doing the things that I avoid.  To face my fears.  I've always hated the phrase Carpe Diem, but maybe it's time, instead of rolling my eyes, I embrace the thought.  Maybe it's time, I go for the things I'm missing, even if I don't realize I'm missing them.  Maybe if I can change the things that bother me in the real world, I can save the girl and the dream killer will stop haunting me.  Only time will tell.

Thanks Jenna!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween: Behind The Mask

Let me begin by saying that I am not a big fan of this holiday.  Sure as a child I would pester my parents about it and we'd sit and make a costume and then I would skip down the street and annoy my neighbors with that irritating little saying "trick or treat."  Funny how in all my years I never got a trick.  Why don't we teach our little ingrates to just say "put the damn candy in the bag, grandma," because that's what we really mean.  One thing I will say for Halloween is that it does teach us many things about many people. Sometimes their costumes reveal more than just some cleavage.  Sometimes they reveal someones hidden persona.  One that is trapped beneath heavy sweaters, taped glasses and failed expectations.  Sometimes they just show us some tit.  Either way, it's always an interesting evening.

Halloween has taught me that whether it be an intricate mask hiding someones identity or simple fake glasses with a moustache, a mask enables people to lose their inhibitions.  There is something about dressing up that takes on the effects of hours of alcohol intake.  It's a libreating feeling for some.  I am not one who hides their feelings, thus I do not need to don such apparel or hide my identity.  I'm an asshole all the time.  No mask needed.

Halloween has taught me that no matter how many beautiful women are dressed in bustiers and fishnet stockings, guys will always grab each others asses.  It's a phenomenon that can not be explained.   Now while I realize that it is unacceptable to grab a woman's ass, just because she's wearing something sexy, it still makes no sense to me that heterosexual men, feel it necessary to grab their friend's asses.  Did I grab some man ass on Halloween?  Absolutely, but he was dressed as a woman, so I feel it is justified.  In my mind.

Halloween has taught me that there is a little slut in every woman.  Not that their clothing dictates how promiscuous they may be, but it tells that they have these clothes available.  So why not wear them on, say, September 4th?  I'd bet they'd be much more popular in these get ups on a random day than they are on October 31st.  I also love that they can take any character, put on stockings and boots and they are instantly "dirty" whatever that character may be.  Snow White with knee high boots is instantly Dirty Snow White.  Have some glitter makeup and some wings.  Just add a mini skirt and a see thru shirt and you have Dirty Angel.    It always works for girls.  I just can't see the same for any male costume.  Do you wanna see Dirty Batman?  I don't?

Halloween has also taught me that people's perception of their costume doesn't always translate without an explanation.  If you are wearing a mouse costume, you are a mouse.  If you are wearing a mouse costume and your arm is shaking, you're obviously, Michael J. Fox playing Stuart Little.  If you are wearing a mouse costume, with vampire teeth and a knife sticking out of your belly, nobody knows what the fuck you are trying to be, so you must give an explanation.  When you roll your eyes and say, I'm a vampire rat who was attacked by Jason, you're an asshole, not clever.

Halloween has taught me that parents have given up on originality.  I was very unhappy that no child went as an aborted fetus, a malaria stricken Ethiopian or Jon Benet Ramsey.  I know if I had kids they would definitely be on of these.  Either that or I'd make a huge milk carton that says missing on the side and my kids face would be there.  Then on the other side it would say, just kidding, I'm not missing, I'm dead.  I know what you're thinking.  Did he just make a joke about kids being kidnapped?  Why yes I did.  Not that I think kidnapped children is something to make light of, but I'm trying to make the point that if you have a kid, make the most of their Halloween.  Don't dress your daughter as Ariel because you like the Little Mermaid, dress her up as Ariel if she was caught in a net, chopped up and made into fish sticks or Ariel if she was attacked by a shark.  Now that would be funny.  And remember, kidnapping is no laughing matter....unless you're kidnapped  by a clown.                                            

Finally, Halloween has taught me that no matter how wonderful your costume.  If you are leaving a party, don't leave alone.  There is nothing sadder than seeing a pretty young girl with FMPs, a miniskirt and a lace shirt getting gas at 5am.  Even sadder is when you make eye contact and realize that she not only lost the costume contest, but a little bit of her dignity.  Maybe Halloween isn't all that bad, because you should never underestimate the potential benefits of a girl with low self esteem.