Sunday, December 29, 2013

Things that will allow me to live in the woods by myself, but still have wifi and not drop dead and get eaten by bears

I ****ing hate New Year's Resolutions and I never keep one.  So I need to call them something else.  I'm going to call them, things that will allow me to live in the woods by myself, but still have wifi and not drop dead and get eaten by bears.

I will stop complaining about insignificant things. I am so critical of the people who complain about traffic on the way to their six digit job, but I complain when the TV goes out and I can't watch the game and eat nachos.  I need to stop that shit.

No more shots.  Shots kill me. Shots make me wake up in the middle of the street. Shots make me pee in places that aren't a toilet.  Shots make me spend ridiculously more money than I need to spend.  Shots also make me believe that the strange girl who asked me to buy her a shot is interested. Estimated time I'll keep this up.... St. Paddy's Day

Get my hip looked at.  I haven't been able to walk without pain in over seven months. I need to do something.  I have a high threshold for pain, but there are days, I literally take 10 minutes walking ten feet to the bathroom.

Get a full time job, but something I can call a career move.  I've been out of full time work, despite looking for a long time.  I just can't find anything even remotely inviting that pays enough to give up my part time gig (which actually pays the bills).  I also haven't found one possible job giving me even 80% of what I was making when I left my old job.

Have a prospect for a new place to live by November. I pay minimal rent, but my space is too small.  At this point in my life, I'd even be willing to have a roommate.  I'm painfully bored (can't stand the town I live in) and need to be around someone.  Of course, finding a significant other would be much better, but as of late, the market for a broke, limping, out of shape, pain in the ass is not great. Sugar Mamas need apply.  I will cook, clean, take care of your kids (if you have any), love your pets and be faithful!  It has also dawned on me that having a few guys and girls over on a Friday night would save me about $50 a week.

Watch more movies.  I know this sounds crazy, but over the last two years, I'm down to somewhere around 120 new movies per year.  I used to watch somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 new movies per year.  I'm so obsessed with film, it hurts not being able to concentrate long enough to watch a two hour film.

Write more.  Not this stupid blog, which 12 people read.  I don't care if I write a manual for how to manually stimulate a hummingbird, I need to get my laptop fixed, get Microsoft word and get going and start writing an hour each day (minimum).

Be more careful trusting people. This is the fifth year in a row I've found myself burned by those who I felt were friends. It's been them cheating on me or my friends going after the person I'm interested in.  It's been opening my heart to those who didn't reciprocate or only pretended to do so.  It's been people I've known for years spreading rumors and lies about me, defending them to others, even though they do so. 

Pay off my personal debts to individuals.  I currently owe four people money.  Nothing crazy mind you, but that facts absolutely kills me.  I just don't have it.  The problem is there is this feeling of guilt every time I have an extra $50-$100 here or there and I spend it on something useless.  I'm going to try and put a little away and try and knock it down, because two of the people truly need it. P.S. I didn't borrow money from any of these people.  Don't ask.

Don't fall into other people's misery and let them turn it into the appearance it's mine. If you know me and my social media ways, you know what I am talking about.  I also need to ignore the maniacs out there and not play into their games.  They are only trying to accumulate likes and comments and don't care when I offer my shoulder to cry on or my time.  I probably need to just cut ties altogether, but it's not in my nature.

I will own a pet by the end of this year.  Most likely a cat, but maybe a dog.  I need a companion and something to snuggle with who I can care for and who will love me unconditionally.

Eat more fish!
Read an entire book!










Quickie Review - American Mary

I knew absolutely nothing about this movie other than the fact that it was popular among a small group of horror enthusiasts on Twitter.  So last night, upon the urging of the "Monster Honey" from a wonderful group of gals called The Horror Honeys http://www.thehorrorhoneys.com/, I dove in.

The movie stars Katharine Isabelle, who horror fans will remember from Ginger Snaps trilogy and Freddy vs Jason.  Isabelle plays Mary Mason, a beautiful young, but not too young, medical student who is an exceptional student and we learn quickly how devoted to her craft she is.  Needing money, the broke student goes to take a job as a stripper (massages) and shows up with a garter belt and a resume.  So up until this point (about 15 minutes), we're expecting this to be the typical exploitation film. Not so fast, this bad boy...er girl, is written and directed by Sylvia and Jen Soska, who are known in the horror world as The Twisted Twins. The Twins carefully construct each character and give them each flaws, closets full of skeletons, some redeeming qualities and ironically values.  What is almost as shocking as the storyline, is that we not only like this band of misfits, but we understand them.  Maybe not Penis Boy, but everyone else.  One note: There is a minor (in terms of lines) character named Lance who is absolutely amazing in every scene he gets a chance to speak.

American Mary is not as graphically violent as many films, but there are some subtly shocking scenes.  It is not filled with rage, despite the pent up emotions of many of the characters.  It is truly a character study of people lacking something, each wanting to become something they don't have and doing anything in their power to attain it, whether it be emotionally or physically. 

I will add one last comment to the review that I don't normally do, because I hate giving any real plot points away.  This movie is a rape/revenge film and while the rape and revenge scenes are handled differently than most horror films, it is difficult at times.  That being said and judge me how you will, I can only hope that every rapist on the planet meets a Mary!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

The 21 Best Movies I Watched In 2013

Here is the simple criteria.  These movies could have come out in 2013 or they could have come out in 1913. This list is simply a list of the best of the best from my laying in bed with my thoughts, some coffee (maybe a snack) and film in front of me.  They are in no particular order, but I may give some "best of" nods at the end.  This is out of well over 100 movies.

Everything Is Illuminated - A young man's search to find out about his heritage.
The Kings Of Summer - Boys coming of age.
Secret Honor - One man fictional showing of Richard Nixon unraveling.
La Jetee/Sans Soleil - Sci-Fi & Documentary done exquisitely.
Stoker - Superb thriller about a family being torn apart.
Dear Zachary - Absolutely heartbreaking documentary.
Lincoln - Biopic with incredible cast, recounting a great moment in history.
Silver Linings Playbook - Beautifully touching tale of the craziness of love.
Django Unchained - Wild West meets Hip-Hop meets Social Commentary
Argo - Near perfect drama about a real life hostage rescue.
The Secret In Their Eyes - Beautiful, but intense "crime" drama.
Bully - Most important movie of the last five years.
Tyrannosaur - Brutally painful tale of broken hearts mending with odd outcomes.
Persona - Mental illness viewed as only Bergman can do.
Taking Chance - The grim reality of war after the dead come home.
Sleep Tight - Eerie thriller that makes one question their privacy and safety.
The Raid: Redemption - The best action movie "ever."
Kill The Irishman - True Irish mob tale that is better than any recent Italian ones.
Fish Tank - Young girl's painful coming of age, but beautifully handled.
Starbuck - Funny tale of sperm donor, recently redone with Vince Vaughan.
The Guard - Hilariously funny crime caper set in Ireland.

Five Best Actors:
Peter Mullan - Tyrannosaur
Ray Stevenson - Kill The Irishman
Daniel Day Lewis - Lincoln
Philip Baker Hall - Secret Honor
Ricardo Darin - The Secret In Their Eyes

Five Best Actresses:
Mia Wasikowska - Stoker
Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook
Katie Jarvis - Fish Tank
Tilda Swinton - We Need To Talk About Kevin
Helen Hunt - The Sessions

Five Best Films:
Secret In Their Eyes
Argo
Tyrannosaur
Stoker
Lincoln




Friday, December 27, 2013

Free Writing - Take 31 (Speed round)

Feeling cold. A feeling that is usually foreign to me. Things I can't control weakening my being. My thoughts keep coming back to an unexpected turn. A true punch to the gut, a gut filled with the happiness of a Christmas duck, but one that has left nauseous, not because of it's decay, but because of something so completely unprepared for that it beats my soul.  I will get by and I will survive this bump in the road. I have metaphorically (and literally) become my own bump in the road and need to one day be the car.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Irony and Epiphany


I'm staying away from the religious and celebratory irony and going straight to the sources.  I don't even want to get into the irony that was the mass at the Vatican.  When the Pope contradicts what's in the Bible, what is left?  Maybe I need a little lesson on blessings, but when the Bible says do not pray for idols and then the Pope says he must bless the statue of the Baby Jesus, I'm going to question everything I hear from here on out, even more so than I usually do.  Oh look, I got into it.

I digress.  This year, Facebook showed me just how funny and ridiculous faith, appearances and people's general levels of happiness are.  The people who told me they love everyone, because that's what Jesus taught, spewed hate and vile words nearly every day.  The people who posted pictures of their vacations, trips to sporting events and lavish dinners cried the blues or, more often than not, let slip that all was not well either financially, emotionally or in the world of relationships.  Those who posted pics of smiles, the biggest smiles and threw their happiness in the face of those less elated, posted woe is me status updates all throughout the holidays.  Those who were miserable, continued their misery loves company quest and left nothing back.  Those who were indifferent, like myself, tried and succeeded in finding the silver lining, many times, the one we weren't even looking for.

Once again, true friends said the right thing, did the right thing and were there for me and I for them.  This wasn't a year about spending on an item to somehow prove our care, but merely a time to share an experience, a laugh, a moment.  I didn't have any intimate moments of the romantic nature and oddly, this year, there wasn't even the silly back and forth that I've found myself in the last four or five years, usually leading to an odd falling out.  This year was about an awakening for me.  A realization that walking up a chilly street, turning to glance at the setting sun, gives me as much joy as a more momentous occasions.  I realized that new, good people will always come in an replace the ones who try and tear you down, compensating only for their shortcomings, whilst blaming your life for their anger and sadness.

I realized more than ever this year, that I have been a bit of a magnet for people who need someone strong to use.  Whether it be to support them emotionally, to fill some intellectual void they find themselves in when looking at who they surround themselves with and most of all, those are jealous of the realist I am and my acceptance of fate.  I've had lovers disappear from my life, gloating of their happiness, but telling all who will listen just how miserable they are.  I've had friends who left me, telling me how how pathetic I am and how lost I am, yet searching for anything to define themselves.  I've had people threaten me, only trying to make up for something in their lives that has emasculated them, whether it be a relationship, an upbringing or their own religious beliefs.  I realized that there are even less people in my life that matter than even I originally believed.  I have embraced that core and cautiously added a few more, even those who I've been warned against. 

I know that when I'm away from home I'm at my happiest and that is a sad statement.  I know that the stress of getting to and from work every day has affected my love of it.  I know that my financial situation, which others define me with, will never be one that will define me, but I would like to one day not think about it.  I know that when I'm away I miss no more than ten friends and think about spending time with only four. 

I know that holidays are not celebrations of a new beginning or even truly a time to be thankful, but merely a chance to breathe and reflect. They are a bitter reminder that we, as humans, are weak souls.  For if we acted the way we do during the holidays the other 364 days of the year, we'd all be better for it.  The holidays have all become Halloween, as we wear masks to hide our truths and portray what we wish others to see. I refuse to play into that charade and will be who I've been since day one. I will anger many, please few and hold my head high when spending time with those who matter, all the while, being humbled by their gracious nature. I will do this every second of every year, not only on selected days of this and the coming year.

Peace and respect to all, but love, thanks and admiration to those special few.



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Quickie Review - Everything Is Iluminated

A near perfect film, in that it adds humor to a topic often devoid if such an emotion. It could be classified a road trip movie, but that would trivialize the awakening in the final third of the film. The end message, while confusing in sine ways, was brilliantly done. The movie is all about understanding; self, surroundings & we all can learn from each other. It is that illumination that makes all of the same. We just need to be brought to that point and this movie dies so beautifully.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Ithaca Calling?

Thanksgiving in a little town called Accord. Turkey, dressing (two kinds), all the other fixings and lots of wine. A nice snooze and then a bus ride to Ithaca. Lamb, chicken, delicious bean soup, pork chops, salmon, trout, cassoulet and other delicacies danced on my tongue over the two plus weeks.  Delicious dips and cheeses and once again lots of delicious wines.

So now it's time to return.  A little piece of me dies when I return home.  I'm not content there.  Happy to see friends, of course.  Can't wait to hug some tightly and wish them holiday cheer.  Glasses will clink together in celebration of health and happiness and there will be laughs, lots of laughs.  It is where I live and where I have lived for 28 years.  It no longer gives me any satisfaction to say so.  Unlike my neighbors, the town's changes aren't what bothers me.  It's the bitterness that surrounds me.  The sound of the train I had trained myself to ignore has been replaced by slamming doors, loud people and car horns and sirens.  To listen to this town you'd think it was the crime and accident capital of the world.  It is constant noise and maybe it's my age, but solitude deserves silence.  My thoughts are constantly interrupted by minuscule noises, getting louder by the day.  A socket doesn't work. A hole left unfixed in my ceiling. A neighbor who finds it necessary to converse right outside my door as the early sun hits my blinds.

Ithaca is silent.  The snow muffles the already quiet town.  So much so that I awoke the other night and could have swore I heard the snow hitting the ground.  I looked out to an amber sky, light dusting on a rail that fences in the deck that we enjoy each summer. The porch sits unused, resting from the summer of activity.  I miss it so, especially during the cold mornings. I drink coffee, steaming hot, but only for a few seconds, while the winter chill evaporates into it's steam.  Sleep comes easier, meals taste better and conversations need no raised voices and no explanation. 

I find comfort in getting older and not needing to cling to something as phony as a town.  Roots are wonderful, but roots are who you are, never where you are.  My town confuses this and believes the place they stay is the reason they stay.  It's fear.  A fear I know, but need but one thing to overcome.  The root of all evil will cure my fear, but will it be enough?  Is Ithaca calling?  Not necessarily.  Maybe Wolfeboro, Andes, Portsmouth or Alna.  Some place where I knew only joy.  I need that again.  Laying one's head down in a place that brings pain is not healthy.  Eastchester has become a jail sentence.  Those who have left and some who still live there refer to it as the bubble.  There are no secrets, but the lies are plenty. I need a new start. I've joked about into the wild, but trust me, I'm not THAT pretentious.  I just want to wake in a place, with the sound of nothing that nature didn't create and call it home. 2014 might be the year.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Snow

I don't know if there is anything I like more than sitting watching the rain from a porch or out an open window, but snow comes pretty close.  Snow fall, aside from being beautiful is so different, in that there is no sound.  Just a slow accumulation of whiteness, blanketing the black streets.  There is just something so soothing about it.

I think there's something therapeutic about a snowfall.  Almost as if this clean sheet lays down over the dirt that is our everyday life.  The pureness covers the metaphoric evils that lay beneath.  Sure, we know what is there and within hours the next day, that dirt and grime will seep through and turn that clean slate into something even worse than originally sat there.  But for those moments, when the snow falls, especially at night, we see those individual flakes, working to form something beautiful.  Like the covers we hide under at night, symbolically protecting us from all the monsters of the day, as we dream of worlds filled with fantasy and splendor.  Only to awake to reality.  Although sometimes we awaken to that beautiful snowfall.  I know I smile.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Envy

Envy is a dirty word.  It's one of the seven deadly sins, but is it always bad? Envy can be a motivational tool.  I wrote about my feelings about the Seven Deadly Sins years ago, but this is a new feelings.  I don't ever feel envious of anyone, because I know we all have our warts, it's just that so many of us choose to mask them, while I'm pretty open about mine.  I just feel it's better to be open with people about who you are, what you can offer and what you can't.  I know my good qualities and I'm more than aware of those people (not all) deem to be negative.  So why am I suddenly experiencing a feeling of envy.  Well it's difficult to explain, because it's the idea of something more than a specific example.  Cryptic crap, let me start again.

I recently met someone who is with someone else.  I found them very attractive and they possess two characteristics I find incredibly sexy.  They are tiny and they are incredibly intelligent.  Obviously the first one is simply a plus, but the first second one excites me just as much as any sexual or aesthetic trait.  They have their shit together and they have a goal.  Two things I am not close to having.  Here is where the envy came about.  While my "career" isn't anything in terms of importance compared to theirs, they praised my dedication, my desire and my passion doing something, even I feel is somewhat unimportant in the grand scheme of things.  Compared to their career, mine is laughable to be put in the same conversation.  That is not where my admiration stopped.  Little comments, expressing appreciation for my quick wit and my ability to include everyone in my conversations, even those who initially had nothing to add.

So is this envy?  I know I will never be with this individual and while their might be similar people, with similar traits out there, it dawned on me that the people who I make the biggest impression on are always those who I can never have.  I'm sure in a few weeks I won't think twice about this person or maybe I will.  There are those people who walk by our lives and leave their footprints in the wet cement of our grey matter.  I know it's best to move on mentally, but isn't life about wondering what if, while moving on and accepting that for whatever reason things are the way they are because of some unexplained plan?  Sure, I don't even believe that horse shit, but it makes it easier and isn't that why we hold beliefs, to make pain easier to understand? Yes? No?  I don't know either.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Eight Items I Can't Live Without

I am very vocal at my disdain for the materialistic nature of most people.  I find those people lack so much in their lives that they have filled it with houses, cars, jewelry, trips, etc to compensate for life's simple pleasures that elude them.  Sure, ask them and they tell you I'm jealous or I'm compensating, but the reality is, I've never been into items. I collected baseball cards as a kid and when I got tired of that, it became frivolous in my mind to try and own stuff which really added no pleasure to my life.  These days a nice meal, some drinks and a good conversation are all I need, aside from the basics like a bed to sleep in and shelter from the elements.  That being said, there are certain luxuries we all need and I'm no different, so I made a list of the things in any given week I simply can't live without.

1.  My phone.  It used to be my laptop, but with no WiFi, I have become one of those people who needs a phone at all time.  Ironically, I average less than 4 minutes of actual calls per day.

2. Netflix - As a movie buff, this is my only true extravagance.  At $18 a month, it should tell you a lot about me.

3. Coffee Maker - I've actually been drinking less coffee as of late, but more for sleep reasons and not because caffeine keeps me awake.  That being said, I use it more than any appliance in my home.

4. My Playstation 2 - you read that correctly.  It is and has been my DVD player for 14 years.  I use it almost daily.

5. My Debit Card - I find that I never have cash on me anymore.  Sure it would be nice if the debit card didn't seem to run out as often, but such is life.

6. My Chef's Knife set - two knives, nothing special.  They came with a cutting board and they changed the way I cook. 

7. Spices (especially Cumin) - I love to cook and what I love about cooking is the complexity added by something as simple as spices.  Adding cumin and mustard powder to black beans and sprinkling chicken & rice with smoked paprika transforms a simple dish into something almost special.

8. My Comforter - I am never cold, but I can't sleep unless I'm wrapped in my comforter.  In the summer, my A/C cranks and in the winter my windows are open.  I need to be cool to sleep even a little, but I also need that snuggle of the comforter.

This list was going to be the standard ten, but for the life of me I couldn't think of another two to add.  Yes, I care that little about materialistic things.  




Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Facebook Statuses from 1970 To Now

What if Facebook had always been around?  Imagine how truly amazing our statuses would have been?  So much better than today's boring bullshit about going to cross fit, doing yoga, pictures of food, etc.  Well here's what mine would have looked like if Facebook has always been around

1970 - Wait, what is that bright light. I can't fit through there....ahhhhhh!
1971 - Hey Mom, why do the other kids get titties?
1972 - I must be fucking gorgeous the way everyone makes kissing faces
1973 - Wait a minute, where are the bars on my bed?
1974 - Who is this ugly guy and why is raising a peace sign?
1975 - Grandma and Granpa gave me $5 - getting 250 pieces of gum bitches!
1976 - First grade is rough. Need a fucking nap.
1977 - I wanna be a Jedi when I grow up.
1978 - Girls have cooties.
1979 - New School. I have a free period. I'm nine? Hold me.
1980 - Wow, I'm a decade old.  Thanks for the Playboy grandpa (no really).
1981 - Wait, wasn't that the guy from that movie with the monkey?
1982 - Is that a hair on my balls?
1983 - Graduated 8th grade and still haven't kissed Jennifer Singer.
1984 - I have a girlfriend who is 17. I have no idea what I am doing.
1985 - I'm moving out of Brooklyn to Westchester. I hate life!
1986 - Buckner!!!!!!!!!!
1987 - So that's sex! And look the commercials aren't even over.
1988 - Do I go to graduation or make $63.20?
1989 - I am just taking a "little" break from college to work.
1990 - I'm rich bitches! Who wants to go to the New Ro and drink?
1991 - I'm 21, dating someone and have no other social life.
1992 - Work 40 hrs, Little League 25 hrs, Girlfriend 50 hrs. Sleep - the rest.
1993 - Wait, the guy who cheated on his wife and smoked weed won?
1994 - Run Juice, Run! He's the craziest person...what did Tonya Harding do?
1995 - Thoughts to all those in the OKC bombing. The world is getting scary.
1996 - Single for the first time in a long time. Hello Mardi Gras!
1997 - Wow, Tupac is dead.
1998 - I'm going back to Birchmont! Woohoo....greatest place ever.
1999 - This show the Sopranos is pretty fucking amazing.
2000 - Didn't think we'd survive the clocks not working. Phew!
2001 - Saddest day of my life. I am at a loss for words.
2002 - Run-DMC will never be the same. R.I.P. Jam Master Jay
2003 - I thought these wars were supposed to last six months?
2004 - R.I.P Mom (Never realized the Sox won year she died - she was spared).
2005 - This apartment is perfect. I can reach the fridge and the toilet from bed.
2006 - Saddam Hussein is dead. Not sure how I feel about watching it though.
2007 - Red Sox again? Woohoo!
2008 - Grandma, we have a black president! I know, voted for him. Wait, what?
2009 - What's this Facebook thing? I'm going to check it out for ten minutes.
2010 - Woohoo I should have health care in no time and I can fix my knees.
2011 - Wall Street looks like a fun place to be right now.
2012 - Apparently, intelligence is looked down upon from those on social media.
2013 - As a child, our parents would put us in a circle and watch as we shared our toys, laughed together, hugged and kissed each other and cried when we were separated. As we grew older and moved our separate ways, we laughed, kissed and cried as we said our goodbyes.  Now as an adult, I realize we don't laugh, kiss or cry together, because we've all become so self absorbed that the act of sharing emotions is foreign. I speak not only of my small inner circle, but of the world as a whole.  I hope I can write something better for 2014, but I know that it will only get worse. It's not pessimism, it's reality.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Free Writing - Take 30

Sipping the last sip of my morning coffee at a quarter to five. This is Ithaca life.  A nice life.  No motorcycles roaring down the road.  No sirens waking me at all hours of the night. No discourteous neighbors letting the door slam or having loud conversations outside my door.  The birds that woke me in August have gone south for the winter.  My move north seems almost apropos.  Going against the tide, against the grain, against the masses. The chilly air warms my soul.  Even today, the only sounds I heard were that of the sanitation workers, picking up the remains of Thanksgiving.  I love Ithaca's silence, because it allows me to think deeply. No worries about being disturbed and no self induced distractions.  I miss my kids, their laughs, but more so their stories.  I missed those who know me so well, ages 5-11, even better than those I call friends.  The six year old who knows my sarcasm all too well, yet people I know for 27 years are perplexed by it.  The five year old who tells his teacher's aide that his favorite day is Monday, because he gets to see Jon Hopper, yet my truest friends I see rarely, if ever.  The little kid who appears to be unable to focus on his tennis swing, yet gets better with each passing week, while those who sit next to me at the bar, seem unable to understand my thoughts.  The brothers who view me differently, one as fun loving and the other as a disciplinarian, fully realizing that I treat them in accordance to their behavior, yet my Facebook acquaintances can't fathom my reactions to their taunts or my nods to their acceptance. People will never understand why I've suffered to stay with those kids.  Being a parent isn't the same.  I get to watch these kids grow on their own.  Sure I'd like to think I play a small part, but the disconnect in our reality is healthy.  Unlike the one I've come to see between those I call, hesitantly, friends.