Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Little Things In Life

When the big things in life aren't treating you as well as you'd like, you really take solace in the little things that happen day to day to keep your spirits up.  In the past two months, anyone who knows or follows my exploits that are way too public, knows I've been down in the dumps.  I lost the girl, still out of work and my friends list is shortening by the week.

In the last ten days I've been really stressed out and things have really gotten to me.  Thanksgiving brought up some stress that hadn't been around for a while.  Money got a little tight towards the end of the week and some personal stuff was coming to a boil.  During this time, little things really kept me going.

A little joke between me and someone I care deeply about during a tense conversation was all I took away from it.  It made me realize that even when things are bad and we're fighting, we don't lose perspective of our feelings.

As I drove up to my father's on Wednesday, there was a little apprehension.  It subsided instantly thanks to a hug that was long overdue.

On Thursday, when my brother was cooking dinner, I received a text message of a canned cranberry sauce on a crystal platter.  I showed it to my brother, who then realized he had forgotten to buy his favorite Thanksgiving side. We all started laughing, but he found one (probably from last year) and all was saved.

On Friday, I sat and talked to my brother for a long time.  I was on a computer and he was doing something, but we talked at length.  It's been a while since we have.

On Saturday, when I was being dropped off, my sister in law said "since you liked my meatballs, I'd like to have you over for dinner to thank you for helping us move in....two years ago!"

On Sunday, someone told me of a gesture made by one of my friends to another.  He knew two people wouldn't be doing anything special for Thanksgiving, so he made two plates, left his house and drove about twenty minutes to their home to drop off food.  He then gave them leftovers to take home on Friday.  Pure class!

On Monday, I was angry about something that happened, but a message on facebook from someone I know, but don't know, kinda cheered me up.

Today, I was really annoyed at something and then a friend said "I really like the way you write."  Made me feel good, not only because of the compliment, but shows me that someone listens to what I have to say from a distance and doesn't judge.

Tomorrow, the reason for my anger won't be gone.  I have plans to have lunch with a buddy of mine, so my mind will be elsewhere, but I'll be counting on that little thing to spark my day and show me a little light in a dark time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Movies

For the most part, I despise holiday movies.  I hate that they use the holidays to show us that we're all alike and we can come together.  It's a sad state of affairs that we don't feel this way about our friends and family every day.  I recently had a discussion about this with someone and it's true.  We use the holidays as an excuse to be civil, when in reality, it just shows how fake most people are to begin with.  I also hate the sentimental crap that oozes from holiday films, but every once in a while it works.  So I am compiling a list of my ten favorite holiday movies.  You will not find movie that simply take place around Christmas, such as Die Hard and Lethal Weapon, even though I always try to catch those two over some of the ones on this list.  It is purely holiday movies.

10.  Babes In Toyland - I have to admit, this has lost it's luster as I've grown older, but it's a Christmas morning mainstay.  Laurel and Hardy are wonderful, so it's got that going for it.

9. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - now while this pales in comparison to Vacation, the movie does have some laugh out loud scenes and has Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold.  Always worth a gander.  Plus, there's always been something about Beverly D'Angelo.

8. Four Christmases - I love Vince Vaughn.  He's funny in everything and this is no exception.  There are parts that are ridiculous, but the bottom line is, it's a story about families in all their holiday craziness and it kind of hits the nail on the head....over and over.

7. Scrooged - Bill Murray is great.  In a sense, this is similar to Groundhog's Day, but not as good.  The sentiment is deep, but the movie works thanks to Murray.

6. Trading Places - Now you could argue it's a movie that simply takes place during Christmas, but I don't care.  I needed a movie to stick in and wasn't putting Bad Santa on my top ten list.

5. Home Alone - While I have not seen this movie in about ten years, it is a classic.  The crazy idea that parents in their mad rush to get somewhere for the holidays, could leave their little child behind is incredible.  For whatever reason it works.  Plus, when my brother was little he looked like MacCauley Culkin.

4. Planes, Trains and Automobiles - this is actually a good movie on it's own.  It's really about sharing the holidays with someone.  It's actually quite a sad movie, but with Martin and Candy, there are hilarious moments.  One of John Hughes' best.

3.  The Ref - one of the more underrated films ever.  Denis Leary, Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis are amazing.  The story is silly, but the acting and the tale are home runs.  Denis Leary steals the show, but the bit players and the two other co-stars nail every scene.  Has a very "What About Bob?" feel to it.

2.  A Christmas Story - everyone's usual first or second favorite Christmas movie.  Ralphie shoots his eye out, the lamp, FUDGE.  Classics.  So what could possibly be better?

1.  Home for the Holidays - Jodie Foster directs Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr. and a host of others in this incredible story about the stress of coming home for the holidays.  Every single character is nearly flawless in how they were thought out.  It makes you run the gamut of emotions from start to finish.  Charles Durning is brilliant.  The pumpkin pie scene is one of my favorite of all-time.  Subtle, but brilliant and reminds me of my grandfather so much, I cry every time I see it.  One of my favorite movies, period.

As you may have noticed there is no It's a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th St.  Why?  I truly hate both movies.  I know, it's Hopper being Mr. Opposite.  I just don't like them.   I don't have Elf on here, because I've yet to see it.  Don't really want to either, because I hate Will Ferrell movies.  I will probably get around to it, but we'll see.  Love to hear any suggestions for movies I may have missed.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Recurring Dream

I've had similar dreams and even wrote about them.  Usually when I have dreams I have them repeat over and over.  I remember them well, although sometimes there are slight changes.  I've had one dream which is similar to one I had about two years ago.  This one is much more vivid.

I sit in a quiet restaurant across from a beautiful woman.  She looks radiant and a dim light softens her features.  She sits across from me, sipping champagne, or maybe it's prosecco.  We're done with our meal and just enjoying our last drink.  She is looks elegant in a beautiful black dress that shows off her curves in all the right ways.  She smiles as I talk about our plans to go away.  It's some nondescript coastal town, where we will eat seafood, walk on the beach and make love in the sand.  We will go, I promise, soon.

The dream suddenly switches to us exiting the restaurant, huge white doors open on their own and lead us out onto a path which is covered with trees.  We walk for what seems like fifteen minutes,


never saying a word.  We occasionally glance at one another and smile.  The feeling is one of serenity.  In the dream, we might as well be the only two people in the world.  Other than a slight breeze, which blows her hair ever so slightly, we are in silence.  We walk and walk.  In the distance we see a dark object.  As we continue, it increases in size and as we get closer we notice it is a tunnel.  Our walk slows as we get close to the tunnel, which appears to have no end.  Blackness seems to continue for eternity, but we're together.  There is no fear.  As we come to the mouth of the tunnel, she squeezes my hand ever so slightly.  I look over, lip raises and I let her know with a look, I will always be there for her.  We go to take the the first step into the tunnel and she stops and squeezes my hand tighter.  She turns, gives the slightest smile and says "I love you," then leans over and gently kisses my lips.  We then turn and walk into the tunnel.  We walk and walk and suddenly a light appears.  As we walk the light gets bigger and bigger and before we know it we've stepped out into the light.  I turn to see her and she is gone.  My outstretched hand still gripping what was once her hand.  I don't panic.  I don't look in any other direction.  I return my hand to my side and begin to walk. I know right away, she is gone forever.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Realizing

You ever notice how well we humans are at  ignoring all the obvious signs and some of the more difficult to see?  You ever have an extended period of clarity where you start to realize things all at once.  It's pretty overwhelming.  The past few days and weeks have been a time of that.

In the past few weeks I've realized that a lot of people I thought were friends really aren't.  I also realized that some people I thought I might have lost as friends are there, stronger than ever.  Sadly, the first group is far larger than the second.

In the past few days I've realized that my grandmother doesn't have the spark that she did as little as five months ago.  The years and the ailments have caught up to her.  She has her moments, but confusion and the inability to sustain her energy has change her.  Two days ago just might have been the last Thanksgiving as I know it.  A sad realization.

In the past few days, I realized I've been silly about something.  I realize a family member has been sillier.  I lost someone important to me for two years.  Important to my family.  I have her back.  I'm thankful beyond words. 

I realize that my father is not a young man anymore.  His fuse is shorter, his stamina is less.  He's worked the last few years,  Most of the last 15 years.  Taking care of others.  Maybe it's where I get my attributes.  Caring for others before myself.  He's tired of it at 77.  I'm tired of it at 41, but we endure.

I came to the realization that I have to let go of someone I love.  That the way I want things aren't the way they are meant to be.  Do I think this person would be my soul mate and we'd be happy together? I don't have a doubt, but we'd be happy at the expense of one or both of us being ourselves 100%.  Many would say that relationship success is based on the ability to give up some of yourself for others, but to change who you are doesn't work.  Maybe one day we'll be in different places and come together again.  It would work, but things will change.  Who knows if we'll be able to change then.

I came to the realization that the harder you try to make something good for others, the more chance someone else will try to make it harder for you.  If you do something selfless, someone else will take credit for it.  I have done my best to build something and time and time again, someone comes in, someone with no history of the situation and destroys it.  Leaving me to pick up the pieces and make it better.

I've come to the realization there is nothing here for me anymore.  Nothing to come home to.  Sure I have friends, but to come home to an empty home.  To come home to messages from a special someone telling me they can't wait to see me would be nice.  While I was away, I think I had a handful of texts, most replies.  Almost nobody asked how my day went.  Those who did, were sincere, but it was mostly because I had asked first.  It would be nice to have someone really care.

I came to the realization that honesty, care, selflessness, compassion and love are attributes of someone who is seen as weak.  A loser.  These aren't things that are revered.  It's how I was brought up and now, at 41, it's not a positive.  That is a realization that is hard to take.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Being Thankful

Last year I wrote a blog giving thanks to those who have come and gone throughout my entire life.  This year, I'm going to narrow it down to this year.  It's been a tumultuous year for me (as they all seem to be lately), but there have been some upsides.  Sadly, I wish there was more to be thankful for, but this has been an odd year.  I'm also not going to say who the people are.  They are important to me, but for private reasons. 

I am thankful for the woman who reminded me not to waste too much time worrying about the little stuff.  Her advice isn't always practical, but it works.  If you realize that time spent doing things you enjoy is more profitable than the things we do out of necessity, you will be happier.  Basically, she told me not to obsess with work at the expense of leisure.  Sounds easier said than done, but she meant it to mean, don't let the obsession with wealth keep you from enjoying life's simple pleasures which are affordable.

I am thankful to a friend who reminded me recently that time spent together isn't the measure of a friendship.  That true friendship doesn't even need spoken words.  I had lost sight of this and had surrounded myself with people who felt like friends, but the reality was they weren't.  True friends always think of you first.   I have very few of those.  I'm going to make sure I keep them.

I want to thank someone who taught me about forgiveness.  Showed me that she's a stronger person than I ever was.  She showed me no ill will or contempt and for this, I am not only astonished, but thankful.  I have never said a bad word about her, but many times I forgot to tell her how wonderful she was.  She deserved it.

I want to thank another friend who brought me great happiness and taught me how to feel again.  It didn't work out as I had hoped, but I hope if nothing else, I have gained a great friend.  Someone I feel who really got me.  Not all of me, but enough.  I've come to realize that nobody really gets me.  I'm me and that's not always a good thing, but it's more good than bad.  If I care about you, I will die for you.  If I don't, I'll let you slip away.  It's just that simple.  I forgot how important that is and had started caring about everyone, when those people weren't caring for me.  I want to thank her for opening my eyes.  I also want to thank her for making me realize that my heart wasn't gone.  It's still there, beating. Alone, but beating.

I also want to thank a friend for always being there in his subtle way.  For always standing up for me and for caring without judgement.  Sure he'll tell me I'm a cocksucker when the time is needed, but he'll also offer to bail me out in a time of need.  I want to thank him for not checking out too soon.  For being strong when others needed him.  Myself included.  I want to thank him for always thinking of me.  Friends like him are hard to find.

Finally I'd like to thank some of the little people along the way who gave me a ride.  Gave me a hug.  Sent me a message asking if I was OK.  Things like that mean a lot to me.  You are appreciated.  Thank You!

Funny Conversation

Anyone knows me that back in mid-September I stopped drinking. I went about five weeks and then decided I'd break the streak one Sunday for football.  Since then I've pretty much only drank on Sundays, but this week, I fell off more than once.  I had plans for the day and good food and free booze was being offered so I knew I'd want to indulge. 

Last night I told someone I drank, but it really wasn't drinking.  Then started thinking about it and told my buddy Pete, with whom I went into Brooklyn and the city about what I had said.  Now Pete's a bartender, so he knows my ways, but this was funny.  He actually repeated the story tonight for another customer and said "You know, Hopper put it best about how we're all not exactly the run of the mill guys.  How bad is it, when you have four beers with lunch.  I had two and a glass of wine.  Then two hours later you stop for another beer.  Half hour after that you stop and have another one.  Then you get to the dinner and have four glasses of wine.  That's ten drinks in about six hours and that's a day you didn't really drink."

Kinda scary!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quickie Blog: Sunday Football

There is something very odd about Sunday mornings during football season.  I don't know why, but it always seems like the sun is shining a little better.  My morning coffee tastes a little stronger.  The birds chirping seems a little more like a tune.  Everything just seems right.  As I walk down the street people smile a little bigger and everyone is friendly.  Tips of the cap.  Waves of the hand.  Even winks.  From total strangers no less.  It's a lovely thing.  I always seem to have a little bounce to my step.  And then I walk into a dimly lit bar, settle into a stool, sip a beer and yell and scream obscenities at my friends and the television for 11 hours.  Something just not right about that.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Are We Thankful Enough?

It's that time of year again.  The leaves are changing.  Many are falling to the ground.  The crisp winds blow and scarves and gloves have replaced sandals and shorts.  Some see it as the end of the nice weather and the beginning of the bad.  Some see it as the holiday season.  I see it as a happy time.  It's a time I know I will spend with some family and maybe some friends.  It's also a sad time, because it reminds me of the wonderful holidays spent with my mother and my grandparents who aren't with me anymore.  It is a time of reflection, although I've come to realize, my nickname could be "Mirror," with the amount of time I spend reflecting.  For me, it is a completely special time.

For the past seven years, I always seem to get sick the week of Thanksgiving and for some odd reason I don't think this year will be any different.  I can feel the tickle starting in my throat.  We'll wait and see.  I'd rather be sick this weekend than for Thanksgiving day.  All that aside, my physical health rarely ruins the week.  Well or not, I will enjoy the time and do what I do best (or worst) reflect.

This past year has been a tough one for me.  It truly has. Despite what people might think, I have stayed positive.  I have really tried to look at the things these negative events have taught me.  Many times, I try not to view them as negatives, but as lessons.  The year started off with my car dying and due to a lack of funds I've had to learn to live without one and count on friends, neighbors, taxis and public transportation to get around.   I left a job I was at for almost five years.  Working with a friend was difficult at times and the friendship became strained too.  The friendship seems better now.  That is important.  I took another job, but realized quickly I'm not 25 anymore.  Physical pain and actual injury caused me to leave that, leaving me with no options until my school program started up in February.  Many view being on unemployment as vacation, but I had to really cut back on things I normally took for granted.  It's a humbling experience to say the least.  At times, embarrassing.  The year was also filled with lots of health issues for people I care about or their loved ones.  As we get older this is inevitable, but this year seems to be filled, almost weekly, with the news of someone else with cancer.  It never seems to escape me since my mother passed.  I guess it doesn't escape anyone really.

The biggest thing that happened this year was meeting a special person.  Sadly, like most of the good in my life, this was short lived.  We "dated" only a few weeks, with some time after that was tumultuous and then it looked like we could be friends, but there are feelings on one side and complexities on the other that seem to doom any realistic chance of this.  I'm hopeful, but doubtful.  If anything, the brief moment of complete happiness, taught me lots of things about myself.  I realized that the people I surrounded myself with for the past year are not truly my friends.  They are people who when given the opportunity will look to benefit or enhance their day at the expense of your year.  Maybe even your life.  I realized that it was always apparent, but needed it to happen to me to see clearly.  I also realized that I love with all my heart and I do it too quickly.  I dive into things and people I love head first, without ever checking to make sure it's safe.  At times, I do so, knowing it isn't safe.  This was one of those occasions.  I realized also that I needed to slow down.  I need to take more time to recover from nights out and needed a break from being the funny drunk guy.  I can still be that guy, but once, maybe twice a week, not seven days.  I realized we are given chances to shine and when we fail we lose some of our luster.  That luster, unfortunately does not ever come back.  You can't undo your mistakes and there are some times when an apology isn't the answer.

So I looked into my mirror, as I seem to do so many nights and I came to some conclusions, based on my life and on those lives I'm surrounded by.  When it boils down to it, I'm a good person.  I do for others much more often than others do for me. I am extremely thankful to those who do and I try at all times to show my gratitude.  I don't cheat on my spouse or significant other, sadly, like the majority of people I know do.  I don't fuck over friends to benefit myself, like so many people I know do.  It dawned on me this year, I have had the opportunity to "be with" three of my friends wives and one of their girlfriends and all four times, I politely declined and went on with my boring honest life.  I've had the opportunity to better my standing with people, but throwing others under the bus and have passed on every one.  I have had opportunities to tell the truth, knowing people would get hurt and lied to save someone who was innocent the pain.  I wonder at times is that really the right thing to do.  I have helped someone out financially when I didn't have money myself.  I have donated to charities, when the donation itself was roughly 5% of the money I had in the bank.  I just felt at the time that it needed to be done.  Maybe it was my subconscious telling me my karma needed some charging.

I'm not trying to implicate anyone or make myself out to be some sort of moral martyr.   I just wish people would look into their mirrors.  See the loving partner, the beautiful kid, the job which could be worse and realize it isn't bad at all.  If you feel stuck with someone or something, I feel for you.  I know the feeling, but hurting them isn't going to make you feel better in the long run.  I always wonder why people cheat, lie or steal to benefit themselves.  I wonder how they live with themselves.  I know the one time I did anything that could be considered cheating I felt awful.  I feel awful to this day and the person I hurt was and is special to me in many ways.  I have stolen two things in my entire life and it was a VHS tape and a video game.  I was young and stupid and if I could pay it back, I would.  I try never to lie unless it is to protect someone.  I love the saying "if you never lie, you never have to remember what you said."  I try to live my life by that code.

So Thursday, when you look across the table and you see people that love you.  Remember that just because they don't know, doesn't mean it isn't hurting them.  I know that when I sit across the table, I will look at my father and know there sits a man who gets me and I get him.  I will look across at my 98 year old grandmother and be ever so thankful that we had the chance to connect this summer in a way we never really did before.  I will cherish those three weeks. I will look at my brother and wish we were closer.  Not in the sense we don't love each other, but we're distant at times and don't do enough together.  I will look at his wife and feel bad I wasn't part of her life more the past two years.  I didn't know how.  I will look across at whoever else might be there and be thankful they are with us on that day.  I will spend the rest of the day looking into my mirror.  I will think about my handful of true friends who were with me through the journey.  I will think about those who aren't there, but I know would be in the blink of an eye.  I will think about that someone special, who isn't with me, but is in my heart.  Who may have broke it slightly forever, but mended other parts of me.  I will then end the night thinking about the greatest person in my life and I'll wish she was there.  I'll definitely cry.  She and my father made me the person I am.  They made me smart and they made me strong, but most importantly, they showed me the way.  The way I could live my life, so when I look into my mirror, I can know the person looking back at me is the best person he can be.  At the end of the day, I'm thankful for that.

Thinks That Made Me Happy As A Kid

When you spend as much time alone as I do, you tend to think about things that bring, or brought you happiness.  It's those little moments that tear away the sadness at times.  Over the last few weeks I've thought a lot about those times.  So many of them seem so insignificant now, but at the time they meant so much to me. 

I always loved going into a movie theater when it was light out and coming out when it was dark. I'm not sure why, but this always made me feel great when I was a kid.  I never really thought about why, but I think it somehow made me feel older.  When I was really young, I'd only go to matinees, so before I could go to the movies at night, this was the next step. 

Sometimes I would go out at night in high school and go to play basketball in the local park in dark.  Usually it was short lived, because the sound of the bouncing ball on in the silent night would make quite a bit of noise and someone would call the police.  I remember being so focused.  It seemed like I never missed.  I would cut through make believe defenders or spot up for three pointers at a basket that seemed as big as a hula hoop.  Sometimes it was just magical.

I remember pretending to shave with a plastic toy, while my father shaved.  He would lather up my face and I would stand on something and slowly slide the toy across my face, then rinse it off in the sink.  Always made me happy.  Little did I realize how annoying shaving would be as an adult.

I used to love playing video games with my brother.  He was a little kid, but he was always so happy when I played them with him.  One of the best times was when we were playing Super Mario Bros and we got to the final level.  We both tried to save the princess, but couldn't.  One day, I left the house and was outside waiting for a friend to pick me up, when I heard him calling my name from our terrace.  He said "Jona, I did it, I saved the princess.  Sounds silly, but I was so proud he did it before me.

Probably the thing I miss the most was when I would sit on the family computer, before I got my own.  It would be late at night and everyone was sleeping and my mother would come out to get something to drink.  She'd walk buy and go into the kitchen.  A few moments later, she'd walk out, turn  the light off and every time, as she passed, she'd brush the back of my head with her hand.  It's the little things like that.  The ones we know we'll never have that brings tears of joy.  Miss that so much!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

8-11PM When America Actually Becomes Dumber

Just flipped through some news and read that NBC's Prime Suspect will not be renewed for a second season.  It is arguably the best new show to come on Network TV in the last five years.  Easily the best. It has the grittiness of past great cop shows like Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue before it jumped the shark (which surprisingly was when David Caruso left).  It's humorous enough to get some laughs and the people are real and you care about them.  It's sort of like The Shield in that you care, but you also dislike some of them for different reasons.  The real tragedy, is Maria Bello's character  Jane Timony is one of the best, most real characters on television. 

So this show will be taken off, but another year of Survivor, Dancing with the (B-List) stars and crap like this will be renewed.  As America gets dumber my the night, the chance for shows that actually entertain will be lost.  I remember when I was a kid, PBS showed wonderful series', channel 9 and 11 showed classic movies and CBS, NBC and ABC had a decent lineup of quality shows.  Not all the time, but most.  Even the mind numbing shows like Dallas and Dynasty were at least fun. 

So Tuesday night at 10PM, apparently nearly three times as many people would like to watch Private Practice.  A hospital "drama" that at first view seemed to be written in the same crayon it's predecessor Grey's Anatomy was.  If anything, if you take the main characters, it says a lot about what American women think about themselves, to choose some sappy story about women hooking up left and right over a strong character with morals and pride.  When I hear and read what women watch, it's a sad state of affairs and explains a lot as to why I'm single.  Stupidity and self esteem lacking people need not apply.  Maybe we have become such a shallow society that even our television ideals have fallen so far that we look down on intelligent powerful women.  Women always seem to champion the likes of Oprah or Hillary Clinton, but they don't actually want to be them.  Men say they respect a woman who feels secure in her skin and can handle herself, but the reality is that they just want a pulse and someone who will let them watch the game.  Honestly, as much as some love to say they love that the glass ceiling has been shattered, there are more people squeezing out the crazy glue than there are smashing through.  If nothing else, TV has taught us that.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Random Thoughts: Tweets Version

Sometimes I want to say things, but I don't know if it's Facebook suitable, so I usually write it on Twitter.  Twitter gives me this anonymous place to vent or just air my dirty laundry without much reply or judgement from others.   So listed below are some of my tweets to show you where my head is most days.

Sometimes when my friend posts pics of the food at his restaurant actually salt my frozen pizza with tears!

Sometimes when I see people I talk about the weather...what I really mean to say is "I would rather swallow battery acid than talk to you."

Had a dream last night but I can't remember....oh wait, that wasn't a dream that was yesterday.

Why haven't strip joints jumped on groupons?

How times have changed. remember when man cave meant vagina?

Why is it that I'd rather be alone lately than hanging with "friends." says a lot about my friends.

Things not to do when sitting at home on a Friday night after arguing with someone you care about.....1. Listening to Al Green

Love having verbal jousts on Facebook. It's like being with real friends minus all the drinks poured on your head

My friend just started selling party light candles. So anyone out there with that whole wax dripping fetish....hit me up.

How is it possible I could possibly be this sore from bowling and darts?

Why do pictures of MIchele Bachmann in high school and the nanny in the Omen look alike?

Andy Rooney already made me forget about Steve Jobs.

Kardashian divorcing. Lohan back to jail...where in the hell is Paris Hilton?

I find the nicer I am to some people, they further the push me away. My continued pleasantries are my subconscious letting them go.

Just saw the crucifix scene in the Exorcist and for a minute thought it was a Michele Bachmann home sex tape.

Every time someone uses the phrase "once in a blue moon," it really makes me want to fuck a Smurf!

Religion aside, can we admit the creation of man was some high power's greatest failure?

Wait a minute the new Footloose movie isn't about a kid with a prosthetic leg?

reading watching Star Wars is how I feel watching Shawshank. I was rooting for another prison rape while trying to hang myself.

Sometimes I don't think Ted Bundy gets credit for all the men who he saved from broken hearts.

Britney Spears has 10 Millions Twitter Followers. I'm actually rooting for the Rapture now!

every time i see a picture of Beyonce without makeup, it makes me realize just how pretty the elephant man was.

You know what I miss? E.F. Hutton commercials!

I had an erection for over four hours and then found out I was the one who took the placebo.

Dear CC (Christopher Columbus), without you finding something that wasn't lost, taking what wasn't yours and killing natives. I wouldn't have off of work. Thanks!

Age has changed me. I no longer have the ability to stay mad at those I have feelings for, no matter how hard they hurt me mjesus

Can't wait til global warming really takes effect and ruins all the seasonal ales from Sam Adams. Gonna be as delicious as Sam Adams Rapture.

 Playing pool sober is like sleeping on your arm and trying to masturbate!

Just came to the conclusion I am a woman trapped in a Panda's body. But a Kung Fu panda, so it's all good!

I kinda got the creeps by the guy at the animal shelter asking the attendants which dogs liked peanut butter.

"Sunday, My house, The Notebook/Dirty Dancing double dip. F*** Football!"

Sometimes after sex, I like to smoke....a salmon

Sometimes when I eat baby carrots, I pause, wipe the tears from my eyes and think about what could have been

Being Unemployed is like a free all day pass to NSFW material.

I'm not sure if this is a pimple on my forehead or a side effect from banging that unicorn.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Ten Best Country Songs Ever (Not Sung By Johnny Cash)

Now I'm going to preface this with saying that I don't consider most of the new stuff country music, so my list will not have anything by Toby Keith.  Kris Kristofferson said it best when he said "Toby Keith did for country music what pantyhose did for finger fucking."  You also won't hear stuff like Rascal Flatts or Lady Antebellum, because to me, one is crap and the other is pop.  I'm also not going to include stuff like Johnny Cash, because I honestly believe that most of Johnny Cash's songs transcend a genre and to be honest, I'd probably end up having ten Johnny Cash songs on my list.  No this is going to be real country.  Dolly, Kenny and Willie.  That kinda country!

So I started with a list. My list had a lot of classics, some new stuff and some duets.  For the most part I tried to get stuff out that really isn't country.  I don't consider Ray Charles or Elvis country.  I don't consider Emmy Lou Harris country.  I also don't know some of the original artists who made famous songs, such as Lefty Frizell who wrote Long Black Veil (One of Cash's masterpiece covers).  So I dwindled my list of twenty-one down to ten.

In no particular order, here are the one's that didn't make the cut: 16 Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford, Friends In Low Places - Garth Brooks, Lady - Kenny Rogers, I Wouldn't Have Missed It For The World - Ronnie Milsap, Falling - Lee Ann Womack, Sunday Morning Coming Down - Kris Kristofferson (#11), Ruby - Kenny Rogers, Fancy - Reba, Tonight The Heartache's On Me - Dixie Chicks, Breathe - Faith Hill and Always On My Mind - Willie Nelson, Lousiana Woman, Mississipppi Man - Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty .  Hard to believe it, but no Willie in my top ten.  Well he did write on of the songs.

10.  I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song) - Brad Paisley.  Hilarious song about a guy who's girl tells him if he leaves to go fishing she won't be there when he gets back.  Well, you know what he did. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwRrKaq0IyY&ob=av3e

9.  Crazy - Patsy Cline.  Written by Willie Nelson, this might be the quintessential female country song.  Cline's shrill voice hammers this song home.  Cline has tons of songs that would be in my top 50, but this is a top ten.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zzq5X-p2C0Y

8.  I Love A Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbitt.  Now a lot of people might not think of this as a country song due to it's appearance on tons of K-Tel records, but Rabbitt was a country singer, so it's on my list.  Plus this song is amazing.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJ1GQFtHGxU

7.  Devil Went Down To Georgia - Charlie Daniels Band.  Granted I've heard this so many times, I definitely need some liquor to enjoy it, I still have to give it props for being a great bar song and one of the better country songs.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnepPZChA5U

6. Islands In The Stream - Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.  The second greatest country duet in my opinion (most consider it #1).  I love it and for the record, I think Dolly is pretty damn hot.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lixDK_tMEhE

5.  I Will Always Love You - Dolly Parton.  If you watch any one of the clips, watch this one.  Dolly had written the song about her breakup to the guy who's show this is.  Amazing! And Sorry Whitney, you can scream, but you can't show the emotion Dolly does. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS-F4rfU4ns

4.  Are You Sure Hank Would Have Done It This Way - Waylon Jennings.  Jennings had so many great song, but this one always does it for me.  Probably the country song I look for first on the jukebox when I'm out.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKV7vt1kHnk

3. Til I Can Get You Off My Mind - Tammy Wynette.  If there is a sadder breakup song ever made, I don't know one.  It makes I Will Always Love You Seem happy at times.  Absolutely amazing how it builds and grows sadder and sadder.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHycUpawWh0

2.  Portland, Oregon - Jack White & Loretta Lynn.  OK So I broke my rule.  A Country singer and a crossover star, but I couldn't keep Loretta Lynn out of the top ten.  Here it is.  My favorite "country" duet.  Feature one of the queens. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuC_l3ymXhM

1. Jolene - Dolly Parton.  I posted this the other night on Facebook, because it's just one of those songs.  One of the saddest songs ever.  About a woman, whose man is everything to her and she knows that Jolene could have him or any man she wants.  All she asks is that she not take her just because she can.  So sad, so poignant.  One of the greatest songs of all time.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1plvBR02wDs

Now I'm sure you could argue.  I've left some classics off the list.  There is no Johnny Cash and others.  The reason I kept Cash off is because he'd probably have eight of the top ten if I'd of included him and what would be the fun of that.  OK, this took way too long.  I started this over an hour ago.  Time for bed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Protective Soul

When I was younger I had a wonderful core of people who let me see the world on my own, but were always there to protect me.  My mother would allow me to walk to school alone, but later in life I found out she trailed behind.  My father opened my mind to all sorts of things, but always made sure I knew there were alternatives.  My grandparents showered me with gifts and made me feel I could do what I wanted, but deep down I knew they were watching every step.  My neighborhood seemed like a utopia of children playing, free of parental restraint, but all the while every mother took their turn watching over their flock.  It is because of this, I am who I am.

I recently made a suggestion to someone.  Someone my own age, actually slightly older and said this with nothing but love and care.  It was received with disdain and was not only rejected, but I was made to feel badly about this.  Not my care, but was told that not only could they take care of themselves, but it was insinuated they had someone else caring over them, so I needn't worry.  I was upset, but not for the reason you'd think.  It wasn't jealousy, but sadness.  That someone could take my caring gesture and turn it into an attack, not only of my thoughts, but of my manhood.  I don't think I'll discuss this further with the person, because frankly, it's not worth my time.

Recently, I told of a story of a mother who lied to me.  She did something which contradicted the point of a sign out sheet. She did something, which in essence, put her own child in harm's way.  Something no mother, no parent would do in a normal world.  This world has ceased to be normal though and the things I mentioned have proved it.

I care for my brother and worry about him.  He was coddled a little more than me as a child and it shows.  His naivety to some things is evident, but he has seen things as a cop, I can't imagine.  I make subtle comments to my friends, especially those who are parents, in an attempt to make their kid's lives better, but it's usually ignored. People don't like being told how to raise their kids, even when they know you mean well.  Even when they know you are right.

The past few weeks have been somewhat of a revelation to me.  I have cut back on my carefree lifestyle and I've realized, with eyes wide open, that most people are completely selfish.  Even those who think they only do for others are always complaining about it.  They do so with the hopes of recognition.  They don't display selfless acts because they are charitable, but because they either think someone will notice or there might be  the almighty karma. 

I have a huge problem with religious faith, because it teaches people to do the right thing, because in the end, you will be judged and should you follow these guidelines your soul will be spared.  What about doing the right thing, because, quite simply, it's the right thing.  Why should I be mocked for caring for my friends and loved ones, because I feel compelled to do so out of necessity, not some phony supernatural afterlife hoping dream?  Why am i laughed at and insulted because I don't want bad things to happen to those I love?  What happened to wanting good for people, because it's humanity?  We are humans and if we don't take care of each other down here because it is the right thing to do, what difference does it make? 

I know nothing I write or say makes much of  a difference in anyone's life, but my own.  I realize so much good of others falls on deaf ears.  I have lost my faith.  Not my faith in some supreme being, but my faith in humanity.  I'm not negative, as people think, I'm a realist.  When people see wrong being done or they worry, they assume someone else will take care of it or the person can handle it.  And every day we read about a child gone missing or a girl raped and murdered and the news interviews all the witnesses. Why should there ever be one witness?  If you see, hear or even feel that someone could be threatened, don't you owe it to humanity to speak up beforehand?  Sadly the answer for most of you is no.  You can read this and say yes, but I'll point out a time when you didn't.   And you'll call me negative.  I'm OK with that, because I'll speak up.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

Remember when it was called Armistice Day?  Me either. Well at one time, this is what it was called and it was strictly  a day to remember those who gave their life to serving their country.  In the 50's the holiday was changed to Veteran's Day and was  to be a celebration to honor all of those who served their country.  Some used to salute the flag at 11am in remembrance of the signing of the Armistice by the Germans to end WWI.

In modern times it's a federal holiday and while many celebrate and honor those they know it's lost some of it's luster with civilians.  There are many reasons why, including unpopular wars, lack of respect for the military by many who are tired of hearing of the amounts of money dumped into it and a society that in general doesn't care about anything that doesn't visibly benefit themselves.

Now I am far from a flag waving patriot, but I do love my country.  I would die for many aspects and many of the freedoms afforded us, but I wouldn't die, more importantly, wouldn't kill for unjust reasons.  I respect those those who fought to protect our country.  I truly do.  I think those willing to give of themselves to protect and provide for others is one of the most selfless acts.  I know what  would do to serve and protect my loved ones, but to take an oath to do that for everyone.  That's an exceptional person.

I will not say the pledge.  I will not thank God.  I will not sing and dance and pretend like everyone who has ever worn a uniform is a great person.  I sometimes think the celebration of war takes center stage and there are no winners when lives are lost.  What I am thankful is that I can say, I won't do this and I will do that and  I have this freedom because of those brave soldiers.  For that, I will quietly thank them.  Without fanfare, just like they did their duty to their country.

Penn State to State Pen: It All Seems So Familiar

Nobody has been able to avoid the stories of Jerry Sandusky and the awful things that took place thanks to the sick mind of Penn State's ex-coach.  As the story has unfolded, the tales of these atrocities seem to go back further and further.  Apparently, as many as seven people knew of these atrocities and didn't do anything.  The real argument seems to be whether or not the men who did nothing committed a crime and should have their lives ruined.  As it stands now, the only person who has maintained their job is the man who actually walked in and saw what Coach Sandusky had done to the child.  He was even going to coach, but has received enough death threats to scare him away.

I am not going to defend or persecute anyone.  I have been a Penn State fan for nearly 30 years and Joe Paterno was a hero of mine.  He is an icon.  He stood for everything that was great about college athletics.  Or so it appeared.  The latest public revelation of awful crimes against kids have gotten my mind working about things that have happened in my past.  How I reacted to people I've come in contact with, or almost did.  Thoughts of rage and anger brought back by people I don't know.

When I was a young child, I grabbed a friend as she was entering the back seat of a stranger's car.  At seven, I knew better than to trust those I didn't know.  I was so scared when this happened.  Years later it never leaves my mind that had I walked out of the school five seconds later, my friend would most likely be gone. 

In fifth or sixth grade I saw bruises on a friends back.  I asked him what happened and he said he fell.  I saw hand marks and what looked like a belt mark.  I ended up going to the school nurse and telling her.  She told me I was probably wrong and if he said he fell, he probably fell.  I then walked into the head of the school's office and told them I needed to tell them something.  When they asked me why I didn't go directly to the head of the middle school, I had to tell them the hardest thing I had ever said, "because it's his son!"

I played in a park while in 8th grade when a man entered the park and started talking to some younger girls.  I pointed this out to a few friends and we walked over.  We asked the man why he was talking to our friends.  He said he was making a movie and needed some kids for the movie.  While we talked to him, a few other friends who had gone to get a teacher, started to walk over.  The guy saw our teachers and ran away. 

When I was about twenty, I was sitting on the couch watching TV, when my brother came upstairs and said that there was a man talking to kids in the park.  My brother and his friends were about 9-10 years old.  I asked him if there were other parents in the park.  The kids all told me they had told some of the parents and they disregarded it.  I asked what he said and they told me he wanted them to come with him and he was going to take some pictures.  He was going to pay them.  I grabbed a baseball bat and ran down to the park.  The guy saw me and took off.  Thankfully for him and probably in some ways for me, I am not very fast.  I chased him for nearly two miles.  Ironically I lost him at my brother's school, when he took off into the woods.

I was in my twenties when guy a few years older than me was arrested for sexually abusing his friend's kid.  I knew her, but wasn't friends with her.  I did however know her sister and some of her friends.  She was in the bar.  I walked over to him and told him to leave. He resisted and me and another escorted him out.  I was livid and was enraged and I grabbed him and threw him against a wall.  In a moment I will never forget, the woman whose child was molested ran out and asked us to stop.  I will never forget it.  She knew, but he was a friend.  She forgave him.  I left the bar and walked home that night.  I didn't know what to make of it.  I still don't.

I know people who were sexually and physically abused as kids.  I know people who were sexually and physically abused as adults.  I don't know what that is like, but I do know that while they have gotten over the physical pain, the emotional scars have molded some of their behaviors.  They never trust like other people, because most of the time, these horrible acts were committed by someone they knew; someone they trusted.  The victims of the Penn State scandal are listed as numbers.  They are faceless victims, whose lives have been ruined.  I can't imagine the fear they felt when they were molested.  The trust that was broken.  I know what it is like to be betrayed.  I know that pain, but that is nothing.  They say, time heals all wounds.  I;d like to believe that is true, but can't imagine that any of Sandusky's victims will ever completely heal from what they've experienced, because I know people who have gone through it and they are never fully healed, because they can never fully forget.

If nothing else, I hope people learn from this tragedy.  Learn that we can never assume someone else will take care of any situation.  If nothing else, I hope one person who might have seen something terrible steps forward.  Just imagine, if one person stepped forward and told the police, as few as eight children would not have been molested.  If this could have been avoided, even once, it would be worth it.  I know what I would have done in the same situation and I do know that it wouldn't have been the story that was buried.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Troubling

Something happened Monday that I can not let go.  To be honest, the quiet weekend, the drunken Sunday and the excellent to Monday overshadowed something, but given  time to think it's a true reflection of our society.  Not a very pretty one either.

As people know, I run an after school program.  For years, we had a relatively lax dismissal policy, but one day a mother came to pick her child up and he wasn't there.  I knew he went home with another mother, but couldn't remember which one.  With no sign out sheet, there was nothing to check.  As the mother became more upset, I started to doubt whether I saw him leave with someone or had imagined it.  Roughly an hour and forty five minutes later, after calling the police, searching every classroom and under every desk in the school, the mother slapped her hand on her hip and said "I'm a dope, he had a play date today."  This fear subsided, but the anger didn't.  This would never have happened twenty years ago, definitely not thirty and things were a lot safer back then. 

Today we have a sign out sheet and every class there is a parent or two who forget to sign.  This week a mother came 15 minutes early and tapped me on the shoulder and asked for the sheet.  It was on the other side of the gym, so I said I confirmed the mother's name and told her i would sign out.   She thanked me and was on her way.  Then another child's mother came early.  She ran and gathered his stuff and on her way out, she said "I'm taking him two minutes early....I signed him out."  I thanked her and she was on her way.  As the rest of the parents came for dismissal I grabbed the sign out sheet and signed the first kids mother's name and then looked at the sheet.  There was no other signature.  The rest of the parents gathered their kids, said their pleasantries, grabbed the clip board and signed it.  No questions asked. 

So here's what has me angry.  The mother who said she signed and didn't, never had to lie.  She could have made eye contact, let me know she was leaving early and said anything.  Anything would have been fine.  She didn't though.  She lied.  She lied right in front of her kid.  Ironically had she not picked him up early, I was going to speak to her about her son's behavior.  Her son, the only one of 17 kids who misbehaves week in and week out.  One of three kids in the class who haven't known me for at least two years previous to this one.  A kid who sat out almost as much as he played that day.  Now I don't know if it's worth it. Why waste my time and energy telling a parent about her child's behavior, when she doesn't even care about his safety.  The sheet is there for his protection. For his well-being.  Apparently it's not important to her.  To top the whole story off.  She took the wrong kid's backpack.  Not even her own child's.  Like I said, troubling.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Netflix Activity

I was just looking at my Netflix activity and realized I have only rented forty seven movies this year.  A very slow year by my standards.  So I decided to break down my activity based on what I've seen.  As always, I rate every movie I've seen using there five star system.

Eight movies received one star (hated it) with the three worst movies I saw this year being Hall Pass, Dinner with Schmucks and The Crazies.  The Crazies is probably the worst movie I've seen in a while.  I should also probably add that The Social Network was also in this 1-star list.

Seven movies received two stars (didn't like it).  With some being very popular films such as Taken, Catfish and Iron Man 2.  One movie I was shocked to find on this list was Stone with Edward Norton and Robert DeNiro. 

Nineteen movie received three stars (liked it), but I should point out that when I give three stars to a movie, it's pretty much a range of 2.5-3.5 and I'm a little picky about giving anything four or more stars.  Some are actually just a little better than I expected like Predators, Hobo with a Shotgun and Machete and some are movies that everyone loved that I felt fell a little short, like Inception and 127 hours.  Some are just good movies that entertained me and that's it, such as In Bruges, Resident Evil: Afterlife and 13 Assassins. 

Nine movies received four stars (really liked it).  I should say there have been times when I've rated something four stars and then gone back and lowered it to three.  I think two on this list might find the same fate, but as of now they are sitting with four.  The nine movies I rated four stars are Charlie Bartlett, OSS 117: Lost in Rio, Kinsey, The Ballad of Jack And Rose, Blue Valentine, The Perfect Host, Animal Kingdom, Martyrs and Hanna. The best of this group would have to be The Perfect Host or Charlie Bartlett and the worst was probably Hanna, but not at all because it's bad, but because it's basically a fluffy action picture.  Blue Valentine and Martyrs are two movies that were very good, but I can guarantee I will not ever watch again, because of how they make you feel.

Finally we come to the five star movies.  The movies I loved of which there were only four.  One was a movie I had seen before and needed to see again. That was Oldboy.  Arguably the craziest movie I've ever seen.  Love it.  Korean masterpiece.  Another was Mesrine Part 1: Killer Instinct.  An amazing true story about a French gangster.  Unfortunately the sequel isn't as good, but this is a wonderfully riveting movie.  Vincent Cassel is absolutely mesmerizing in the title role.  Winter's Bone was probably the most underrated movie I saw.  Yes it was nominated, but I don't think people truly understood how good it was.  Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes give two of the best performances I've seen in years.  The final five star rated film was Let Me In.  The American version of the Swedish masterpiece Let The Right One In.  This was nearly a scene by scene recreation with the exclusion of one horrible scene in the original.  Chloe Moretz followed up her brilliant performance in Kick Ass as Abby.  The young girl who befriends a young boy who is being bullied.  A tremendous job done by both, which rivaled the original.  Definitely one of the greatest "horror" films ever.

Of the 47 films, sixteen were foreign.  Three were comedies, seven were horror movies and the majority were dramas or thrillers.  Next up is A Gun, A Woman and a Noodle Shop which is apparently a Japanese version of the Coen Brother's Blood Simple. Can't wait!

If anyone has any movie suggestions, please let me know.  Always looking for something different.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

True Friends

The rice was sticking together.  I hadn't even nuked it to make it warm.  The hot sauce dripped from the chicken and I chewed around the bones to get every last bite.  Hot coffee was probably not the drink to be washing it down with, but I was in the mood.  I was tired, back sore from an ailment I'm not sure of.  I saw a little screen pop up on my computer and saw the tiny picture of an old friend. 

The chat was brief, but telling. Two years has gone by since we last spoke.  We've e-mailed once or twice and maybe exchanged pleasantries via Facebook, but that is all.  He ended the conversation with a few sentences I don't care to share.  He reminded me what true friendship is all about.  I needed that.

True friends don't need booze to have a good time.  Acquaintances need that.  True friends don't need sex.  That's what we need when we run out of things to talk about.  True friends don't need to speak, because the thoughts are there when we're not.  True friends don't even need to see each other, because the next time will be as good as the last.  True friends know.

It made me realize that true friends wouldn't lie to us.  They wouldn't cheat on us.  They wouldn't ignore us when we're down, no matter what the circumstances.  True friends might not always be able to be there for us when things are rough, but that's because we know deep down things aren't as bad as they seem.  We don't go to them when things aren't going our way, we go to them in times of need.  They are always there for us, but we don't burden them with the petty.

I've gone through what I've felt is a bad point in my life.  I have been in a funk.  Financially, emotionally and physically.  It dawned on me today, I haven't reached out to any of those friends.  I haven't reached out to family really.  They are there for me when it really gets bad.  Why bother them with what isn't important.   Today a friend, a true friend, reminded me that we are so few.  The special ones, who are there when they're not.  Always!

Friday, November 4, 2011

3am....my best friend

Dear 3am,

Hello my friend, we meet again.  So many times we've spent the quiet hours together.  At times they aren't so quiet.  Remember that time singing karaoke and dancing like a fool this Spring?  Oh, you, the music, the girls jumping up and down...a few shots of Jager and we were sore as hell the next day.   It seemed like good times at the time, but the memories are fleeting now.  It was an empty time. 

Remember recently you and I watched a movie.  Popcorn, coffee and some foreign film about Samurais.  The movie was OK.  You fell asleep, I stayed and watched the sunrise.  You always leave me with another, but you always come back for me.  I can count on you. 

A few years ago we sat together and said our goodbyes to my mother?  I cried and you stood there by my side.  You let us be alone for one last minute.  The next night, I couldn't be with you.  I was tired, but I know you watched over me.  Protecting me from the past, getting me ready for the next day.  Life goes on they say.  For some, I guess.

You used to stay up with my mother when she would wait for me.  Never realized how much she cared back then.  You did.  Stood by her side til the end.  You did the same for me when I worried about others.  It was different then.  I felt like you mocked me at times.  Maybe you were pointing out how silly I was.  Caring for those who didn't care as much.

Sitting  next to me watching me type at night.  So often you give me inspiration.  At times it's the silence you bring.  A brisk walk down the street or to the gas station for a snack.  Remember the old days when we'd stop for chips and soda at 7-11. 

I look back at all the nights we've been together.  Seems like we've spent more nights together than we haven't.  Sometimes you keeping me up, even though you know I have a busy tomorrow.  I never hold you at fault.  That's not what true friends do. 

I think back to one night when you introduced me to someone special.  A silly drunken night in retrospect.  A false hope of change, similar to that promised by our president.  But maybe the change is happening now and I don't see the signs. Maybe it's always been changing, despite seeming so familiar. 

You've been there to see me laugh and to see me cry.  To watch me make love and to watch me argue.  You've been there for so many of the highs and lows of my life.  So many have occurred in your presence.  You never interfere.  You are the friend that listens.  The one that never judges. The one that is there, like the footsteps in the sand.  Carrying me through life, when I feel I can't carry myself.  You're there when I'm doing my best thinking, but not always making my best decisions.  Most of all you've kept me company when I'm most alone and you're never jealous when I ignore you.  I always know you're there.  I can feel you.  At times, I feel you know me better than anyone, because you've seen me at my strongest and at my weakest.  You've seen me guarded and seen me at my most vulnerable.  Sometimes I secretly wish you'd leave me alone, but when I'm alone, you're all I have.  I can't forget that. Ever.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Current TV Schedule - Prime Time Crap

I have dwindled my TV watching down to three shows, although there are a few I'll watch in a pinch.  That being said the state of Network television during prime time hours is disgraceful.  Filled with reality trash and ridiculous concepts, the networks have given up trying.  Or have they?  No, they are still trying, it's the viewers that have stopped, because at the end of the day, we will sit in front of imbecilic shows and laugh and cry and say they are great, no matter how much they suck.  What lies ahead is my feelings on the current prime time lineups.  Some might have reviews and some might have ideas for changing them.  I'm going to list the best shows, worst shows and comments on others from each night.

Monday:
Best shows: Two Broke Girls & How I Met Your Mother - actually HIMYM is awful, but it happens to have one of the best characters on Television in Barney, played by Neal Patrick Harris.  The rest of the cast is obnoxious and boring.  Two Broke Girls is the best of a very week evening.  Kat Denning is adorable as the sarcastic waitress who makes muffins.  My one gripe with the show is the dialogue is too predictable.  Two minutes of witless banter all to set up a joke anyone with 100+ IQ should see coming from miles away.

Worst Shows: Hawaii 5-0, Terra Nova & Dancing with the Stars.  Hawaii 5-0 has possibly the worst acting I've ever seen, which is a shame, because I kinda like Scott Caan.  All 5'2" of him.  Terra Nova held me for about 30 minutes. I couldn't do it.  Dancing with the Stars is the Monday car accident.  I have a brain and can look away.

Two and Half men has never been funny and is basically the exact same show with a different hot girl every week.  The kid has lost his luster and cuteness with age.  Mike and Molly would be good if Roseanne hadn't killed the regular people thing for everyone twenty years before.  I can't stand House, because I hate the star.  I'm in a minority.

Tuesday:

Best Shows: New Girl - best comedy since Rules of Engagement came out.  Zooey D is hilarious and the show borders being a full fledged dingbat comedy to occasionally being touching.  The pilot was one of the best shows I've seen in a long time.  In the first four episodes, it's pretty much nailed it every time.

Worst Shows: Dancing with the Stars - see above.

I can't really comment on Glee because I actually like some of the music.  I also like that it attempts to tackle real issues. I do take issue with the fact it does it in a farcical way.  NCIS is something I can't get into.  Too hokey for me.  Like 70's cop shows with cuter people.  Parenthood is a decent show, but never keeps me for an hour.

Wednesday:

Best Shows: Criminal Minds, Up All Night & Modern Family.  Criminal Minds is still the best police drama on TV, because you actually care about the characters. Sure it's a little silly with the everyone say one sentence to tell a story, but it works.  Up All Night had one show that made me sway, but last night I saw two that were laugh out loud funny.  But please get rid of Maya Rudolph...she is ruining the show!  Modern Family is probably one of the best shows on TV I won't watch.  Why?  It's on when CM is on and I don't have TiVo or DVR.  I'll catch it on reruns.

Worst Shows: Survivor, X-Factor and America's Next Top Model - do I need to give reasons? 

Saw Free Agents once and think Hank Azaria needs to stick to cartoons.  Harry's Law had one good episode and the the next was awful. Law and Order is still going...sort of.  CSI has run its course.

Thursday:

Best Shows: Prime Suspect.  I know it's a remake of a British show, but it rocks.  Maria Bello is amazing and the supporting cast is near perfect.  So far in it's first season it's by far the best new show on TV.  This truly is a must see show.  Bello will win something.  I guarantee it.

Worst Shows: Big Bang Theory, Person of Interest, Community, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice.  BBT is quite possibly the dullest show on TV.  Person of Interest is a great concept that just doesn't work. Community has possibly the best cast doing the least of any sitcom in years.  Grey's and PP are what they have always been....crap!

I have never seen one second of Parks and Recreation, so I will hold off judgement. The Mentalist and Bones are essentially the exact same show.  I dislike both. The Office has never grabbed me as it has others and now is a shell of what it once was.  Whatever that is.  Whitney is quite possibly the worst show on TV.

Friday: I must admit that if I'm home on a Friday night, I'm watching movies. I've seen almost nothing, but would like to check out Grimm.  That being said, I'll most likely be missing it.

The best show not on during the week is Rules of Engagement.  David Spade and Patrick Warburton are hilarious and the ensemble remaining cast is perfect.  You have sarcastic, witty, beautiful and dumb.  it's perfect.  As for Sunday.  Simpsons have always sucked (since leaving Tracey Ullman) and Family Guy has totally sucked this season.  Seth MacFarlane has all but admitted mailing it in lately and it shows.

So there you have it.  A sad state of affairs.  Don't cancel that Netflix subscription just yet! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Somewhat Odd Moments....That Rocked!

You ever get a little depressed and think back to some silly moments in your life when you were happiest doing something completely out of the ordinary?  Of course we remember great meals with loved ones and trips we took.  Those are the memories we think about all the time.  I'm talking about the random moments that made a day, a week or possibly meant more than you know.  I have been thinking about those moments quite a bit lately.  Possibly out of depression or just out of the desire to remember those I've lost touch with.  Here are a few special ones.

I remember when I was in my early 20's and my girlfriend and I took this little girl out to lunch at Friendly's.  I had this little growth on the side of my nose and it was driving me crazy.  My girlfriend convinced me that nobody could even see it and I was being silly.  So we pick up the little girl and take her out.  She was maybe 2 1/2-3.  We're ordering food and having a good time and the little girl looks at me and had a quizzical look on her face.  She pointed and said in the cutest little baby voice "what dat on yaw nose?'  Needless to say, I wasn't happy and my girlfriend thought it was hilarious.

My brother was playing little league and the game before he got beaned in the back by one of the hardest throwers in the league.  He wanted to quit and was terrified of getting hit.  The next game the pitcher knew he was scared and threw the ball close to him.  My brother was about ten feet out of the batter's box when the second pitch crossed the plate.  The kids on the other team were laughing and my brother was white as a ghost.  He hadn't had a hit all season and it looked like this it was never going to happen and I questioned whether he'd play again.  He struck out swinging on a pitch that was over the plate and he was about six feet away.  His second at-bat he didn't want to get in there.  I told him to just hang in there and that he'd be OK.  The first pitch once again was inside and he bailed out.  The second was over the plate and he ran away.  I called him over and told him to just stand there and swing as hard as he could.  The next pitch was right over the plate and my brother smacked the ball off the outfield wall.  He probably should have had a double, but he was in such shock, that he didn't run when he first hit it.  As he stood on first, his teammates cheered and the pitcher on the other team stepped off the mound and walked over to first base and gave him a high five.  I was the proudest brother in the world.

Many of my great moments happened at Pierce Camp Birchmont in New Hampshire, but this one was odd and funny.  We had spent the afternoon at Old Orchard Beach and there was drinking and laying on the beach and my friend Liz (who was married) said, who wants to come bathing suit shopping with me.  Being she was one of the few females, nobody said they would.  I hated laying on the beach so I went.  As we shopped we made fun of some of the suits and started to pair them up with some of the younger counselors who would have worn them.  It ended up being one of the most unexpected great moments of the Summer and something we joked about years after.

One night while downing Mandarin Vodka and club sodas, my friend Eric and I started talking about great baseball teams that we felt were underrated.  We started talking about baseball lineups from the late 70's and early 80's and got hung up on the early Brewers team.  We couldn't think of the 3rd baseman.  We told the bartender we'd be right back and drove to his house and poured out a box of baseball cards.  We finally found one from 1981 - Larry Hisle.  We were so happy.  Years later I looked and found out that he only played a few games the year they were in the playoffs and played DH, but that night it answered our question.  We were thrilled.  Thirteen drinks later (and in less than three hours) we called it a night.

An ex-girlfriend took me to Boston for a weekend.  We stayed at a really nice hotel, we had tickets to the Red Sox, we hit some nice bars and places to eat and met up with a friend of mine while we were there.  The funniest was the trip up there.  She brought CDs for us to listen to and two stuck out because we listened to the entire CDs.  The one she brought for herself was Def Leppard's Hysteria.  For me, she brought Cher's Greatest Hits!


A friend of mine and I drove up to see a friend of ours (who we both had a past relationship with).  She had no idea we were coming, but we knew she hung out with her boyfriend where he worked.  So we somehow found out where it was and we stopped there.  He went in and asked for directions.  I watched and saw the look of horror as she sat there staring at him.  We drove away and went to where she lived.  She showed up about 10 minutes later.  Pretty funny at the time.  The fact we drove over an hour round trip for a practical joke seems silly now, but it was worth it.

While in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, we were partying it up and I decided I was going to go home early and save myself for the next day. I took one of the keys and headed back and crashed on one of the two queen beds in the room.  There were five of us, but one guy had volunteered to take the floor, so we were sharing the beds.  About an hour later, I woke up to take a piss and realized that someone else was in the bed.  I went to the bathroom and on the way out I realized that one of my friends had come back alone and got into the occupied bed.  I don't know why, but to this day it bothers me that he didn't automatically take the empty bed. 

I remember a lot of great little moments.  Sometimes it's these moments that keep me going when times are tough. Sometimes it's these moments that make times tough.  It can be hard thinking of better times, but the memories, despite what may have happened before or after, will always remain.  For all that happens in our lives, it's those little moments that mean so much.

How 1970's Cartoons Made Us Crazy

Remember when you were a kid and you'd run down stairs on Saturday mornings and watch cartoons all morning?  These shows somewhat molded us into who we are today.  We grew up on odd looking characters, incredible amounts of violence and at time adult humor we weren't ready for.  Along the way, we became understanding of people's differences, but never really saw these characters as people.  In many instance, they weren't.  Here are a few of the shows and how they molded me.

Captain Caveman was one of my favorites.  I don't remember what show it was on, but I'm pretty certain it wasn't its own 30 minute cartoon.  I remember thinking to myself, he doesn't look like a man, but he also doesn't look like a primate, but he was funny.  Now looking at him, he looks like a hairy ballbag with a big nose.  Kinda creepy in a lot of ways.  Not sure what I got out of this, but loved when he yelled and the fact he could fly, which never really made much sense to me.

Josie and the Pussycats was a dopey show when I was a kid, but I watched it for the cat.  The funniest thing is looking back and realizing that this is what made catsuits sexy.  I credit this show for my adult self liking lingerie....not to wear.  I'm not that frisky.

Super Friends was honestly one of my least favorite shows, but back then, I would adhere to social norms and I only watched it to know what friends were talking about.  I usually chose to eat breakfast during this show.  I did however think Aquaman was kinda cool. 

One show that wasn't a cartoon was Arc II.  It was a dopey show where two scientists drove around in a space craft RV.  I recently looked it up and saw a picture of the two stars and realize my attraction to Asian women probably started way back when. 

I also loved Heckle & Jeckle and believe they were my introduction into sarcasm.  I was once told that sarcasm is wasted on youth, but I disagree.  They were definitely one of my favorite characters as a child.

Don't remember, but I think Jabberjaw made me like sharks.  That or Jaws, which I also saw as a very young child....the day before my parents took me to the beach!

Scooby Doo was probably the one cartoon not really made for kids, but kids loved it.  Probably because we all felt smart, because it was so easy to figure out who the bad guy was.  It was always someone in a mask.  This taught me that smoking weed and popping pills make you a great private detective.

The Bugs Bunny Road Runner hour taught me that you can kill animals and they come back to life.  Not really, but it showed that violence is an acceptable solution to any problem.  Probably not the greatest lesson to teach a young child, but probably more honest than the lessons taught in later life by silly shows such as Growing Pains and Family Ties.

I'm sure there were more, but I'm actually just taking a break from cleaning my apartment at 1:45 in the morning.  So that's all folks!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Random Thoughts For November 2011

The average person who tells me I'm full of shit, knows more about Kim Kardashian than they do about Obama's presidency.

What if you did walk a mile in someone elses shoes and they felt comfortable.  What would you say to them?

One of the most profound movie lines on dating comes from the movie Clerks, when Silent Bob finally breaks his silence and says "You know, there's a million fine looking women in the world, dude. But they don't all bring you lasagna at work. Most of 'em just cheat on you."  

I had a conversation with someone about eye contact a few days ago.  I think it's overrated.  Sometimes when I'm speaking with someone and they are looking at me, I can see right through them and while I'm giving them sound advice, they are thinking about who will win Dancing with the Stars.  I can see it in their eyes.

I am almost never tired, yet I yawn more than any human on the planet.  Thoughts?

I'm thinking about writing a blog about sex, but need to do more research.

I don't know what I was talking about, but I told someone the other day that the only movie that has ever given me a nightmare was Hitchcock's Spellbound.

I have an uncanny and odd love of cottage cheese.  Pretty much everyone else I know hates it.

I have a pile of mail on my bed that dates back to two weeks ago.  I did however open the one that promised me a cash prize if I test drove a car.  I didn't test drive the car.

Am I the only person who looks at a restaurant menu and thinks about how much it would cost me to make the same dish (probably as good) and have leftovers?

Last night I watched a sitcom and was mouthing the dialogue before it happened.  That is just how predictable TV has come.

While speaking to people the last couple of weeks, I realized mine and others biggest fault is lying to themselves.  It's tragic, because it compounds the problems.

Recently I saw an attractive 20-something with an attractive 50-something and realized I've hit that certain age, where the choice (if I had one) wasn't so easy.

Last night I walked home in the cold and thought about promises of laying in front of a fire, glass of wine and some Chinese food.  Maybe something romantic to set the mood like Dexter.

Well it's almost time to get going and my thought process isn't really working today.  I think tonight, I need to sit down and write something good.  I need to get back to normal. Stop the drivel and the cries for attention.  I need to write about things that really get me going.  I just have no thoughts as of late.  Well, I do, but I don't know who reads this and I don't want to alienate anyone.  Well not really.