Sunday, February 23, 2014

Four Hours & Seventeen Minutes

Looking out at the light grey Ithaca sky. The sun was as distant as my troubles this week. Fine goods, wine and company allowed me a brief respite from a world I've ceased to enjoy.  I take full responsibility for my actions and inaction's, but the lack of accountability in others brings my life constant turmoil.  I don't know how this will play out. I don't have the money, nor the legal clout to truly fight, but I will try. I've allowed others to renege on their responsibilities, but it has reached a booking point. My apartment is nearly uninhabitable.

As look out the open window, my face gets cold, but it's pleasant. Just as a hot towel after a great meal, the cold invigorated me. Reminds me to feel. To mentally and physically push through perceived discomfort and enjoy life, even if the enjoyable parts are few.

I've been away for seven days and with the exception of one person and my kids, I haven't missed a thing. Tomorrow I will awake, most likely unrested, to the slam of a door. My eyelids will flicker and I'll listen for the birds that sing. I'll anticipate that chill. I'll listen for the churning of a coffee grinder, the rolling of an office chair or the faint sounds of a Bach concerto. I won't hear any of then, and like now, a single tear will fall and reality will set in. I'll wipe at it, push myself forward and face the day. Spending every second preparing to hide reality, so that s group of kids, who might never remember me later in life, will have an hour of escape. Deep in the recesses, I'll be in Ithaca or Wolfeboro or maybe running down a Brooklyn sidewalk and it will keep me going until the next time.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Think About It Facebookers

Did your kid grow in the last 24 seconds?
Do you call people on the phone or text them every song you listen to?
Do you go to the gym for your health and beauty or for recognition?
Do you eat weird, nasty tasty foods and supplements for you or for others?
Does anyone really care about anyone else while stuck in traffic?
Did you go away to relax or to show people you could?
Do you think you're kids appreciate the pictures you post of them suffering?
Do you think your cold is any less debilitating than others?
Did you think your shitty relationship would change with marriage? Kids?
Do you think 24 degrees is colder at your house than others?
Do you think money issues don't affect us all?
Do you think calling out your friends for not being there, brings them closer?

Realize we all love seeing your kids.  In moderation.
We all like to learn things about each other, but not trivial stuff.
I admire anyone who wants to better themselves, for them.
Your diet, is your diet, but it's not ours, so don't judge.
Nobody likes being in a jam, but some of us grin and bare it.
We all love knowing our friends can get away, but don't rub our noses in it.
Kids are fragile and in today's world, think before you include them in nonsense.
Being sick sucks, but don't one up someone when they are down.
Relationships are hard work.  Ask someone who made theirs work.
Weather happens and we all get by. Look for the person who can't.
If people knew some of their friend's struggles they'd be ashamed of themselves.

A lot of people get mad when people don't like or respond, but our lives are complex.  It's not always something you did or something that happened.  Sometimes it's as simple as our own lives have overwhelmed us.  One of my best friends in the world has not heard my voice in over two years.  I love this man.  He will always be a true friend. I haven't called, because I don't want our time to be spent speaking about my woes.  I want it to be hugging, drinking and speaking about our wonderful past and or visions for the future. If I were truly in need, I'd reach out.  If the world was my oyster, he'd be right next to me enjoying the spoils. 

Facebook is a tool.  I use it to make people laugh, to make people think and to make people understand there is more to life than their tiny little worlds.  The one's who get it, love and appreciate me for it and they tell me.  The one's who don't ridicule me publicly, but much more commonly, privately.  Understand that I know who does and I know what you say.  If you don't know, you've lost touch with the social part of social media.  I was told I have no right to tell people what they can write, say or try and monitor their opinions, by someone who does this in real life with every person they meet. So because I put it in print, my actions speak louder?  Judging others who do as you do, because you have a reason, an excuse or because you feel you are teaching them, makes you no different than I.  The only difference, is I don't enforce my actions. If you laugh, you laugh.  If you cry, you cry.  If you think, you think.  If you open your mind to anything, even a little, even if you wholeheartedly disagree with me.  I've won.  I don't need a like or a comment to make me whole.  You're on my friend list, because we share something, however minute. I might judge your differences, but chances are it's something that drew me to you in the first place. If they are moral or ethical differences or if you disrespect me or my true friends, then I will take issue.  Our voices might not always mesh, but I respect them fully, as long as they aren't wasted 24/7 on triviality. 

USA Hockey - What Has Happened To Our Country?

Absolutely no heart from the men today. Proof that it's all about the money. All you who were duped into it being about pride and patriotism, I feel for you, buy it's not surprising, being most of your politics are based on quantity mot quality, perception over reality and money over ethics. I love the Olympics, but I'm happy for the Ukrainian X-country skier, the US half piper who recognized those who came (and died) before her. The Jamaicans who added levity to trying times. I'll never get the rah rah rah stuff, because it's manufactured now. What I realize, is WE need enemies to feel good about ourselves. 1980 was real and it was important, but now, it's all about capitalism and commercialism and it's been made dirty. It's no longer about the athletes and their countries, it's about the countries and their economical power. It's an uglier world than 1980 and if you had told me that would be the case, I'd never have believed one word.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Free Writing Take 34

I can not sleep between the hours of 2am and 5am. It just doesn't happen.  I can sleep from 4pm to 6pm easily, but not at home, because my asshole neighbors slam the door constantly as they come in and out. I can not eat breakfast at 7am, it is not natural to eat that early, especially if I've just got out of bed.  I need time. I actually find when I visit my father, I'm starving in the morning, because we eat dinner so much later than I am used to, but when I eat at the same time at home, I am not even remotely hungry in the morning and usually will skip both breakfast and lunch.  I've noticed that I perform my best with tasks at hand when I first wake up and any time after midnight, but I'm pretty much an ADD-rattled disaster between 9am and then.  Which doesn't bode well for my future employer.  It does however drive me to entertain and instruct my kids.  It's that scattered combination of enthusiasm and inability to focus that actually plays well into my interactive moments with them.  I find they feed off my frenetic pace, although I completely admit, I can't keep it up for as long as I used to. I've also noticed I become very emotional at night, usually between the hours of 10pm to 2am, which is when I like to watch movies, because I immerse myself emotionally in them.  Watching anything right after I ate, puts me in a sour mood and watching anything while hungry distracts me.  I actually like to either eat while I watch, enjoying my two (OK two out of three) favorite things in life at one time, or I like to watch when I am settled in. No hunger, no worries and at a time, I don't have to fear a call from a bill collector, family member or any other unwanted distraction as the screen flickers. It's a shame that we are all such conformists.  I have to imagine there is an employer, a friend or even a lover who doesn't feel like the wake at 6-7 and work from 9-5, then watch TV and off to bed is not a normal thing.  I need to find someone like that.  In all facets of my life.  To employ me, to confide and entertain me and most of all, to love me.

Super Quickie Review - Trick r Treat

A near perfect joyride. Exceptional acting for a horror flick. Great plot twists. Four stories that intertwine, with one essentially done within the first ten minutes, leading us in. The movie has everything. Gore, violence, humor, monsters, drop dead gorgeous ladies, a few twists and in a rare case....it all makes sense. Oh, did I mention am iconic figure? To know Sam, is to love him!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

So Far 2014 Sucks, but.....

OK, this year, like so many before it is starting off the same way.  Strapped for cash to the point, I'm not sure if I'll be eating come late March and in more regular pain on a day-to-day basis than every before in my life.  Oh yeah and my apartment's ceiling is going to cave in from leaks and my management company might be evicting me when they get the letter I just sent them.  That being said there have been a few bright spots.

While walking my kids to class the other day, one kid, usually outgoing and loud, was visibly not himself.  As we walked he let the group get ahead and fell back to where I was and held my hand.  Kids hold my hand all the time, but didn't expect it from him.

Four lovely ladies made me feel a little less lonely on Valentine's Day.

A surprise delivery of a pork chop with four sides and a container of soup, just when I needed it most.

A movie that shook me to my core.  That does magical things for me.

An e-mail from a long lost which included a picture of her and her family.  I cried it made me so happy.

Getting on the bus and fleeing Westchester and getting off the bus in Ithaca for the first time in 2014. 

Fifty days in and those handful of things are as good as it's been this year. Here's to happy surprises for me and for many during the next fifty.

Monday, February 17, 2014

My Recent Trip Up North

If you see me walking in 17 degree weather with a gym bag, you know I'm not going to the gym.  Don't beep; pick my ass up!

Kids (18-25) spit way too much.

Hipster college kids smoking cigars while waiting for the bus back to school.  Knock that shit off.

If you're waiting inside a warm office and you see that someone else has been waiting outside for 40 minutes, because there was no room in that office, don't push them out of the way so you can get on the bus 20 seconds before them. 

I have finally reached that age where I have to accept "that girl is too young to sit next to when there are older people with open seats near them."

Don't wear lime green jeans with a fox fur coat, because yes, we all think you're a hooker.

Cheese Doodles = not bus food.

If you grab the back of my seat and you touch my head, it is perfectly acceptable to apologize, I will not get mad.

Talking on your cell phone while on a coach bus is obnoxious.  Trying to get your girl to send you a pic of her naked is fine.  Not on said bus.

If you have emphysema, please don't take the bus.

Finding out that you are on the wrong bus totally sucks, but do you really think the bus driver is turning around because you made a mistake?

You're a woman and you are attractive and I could care less, get your feet off the damn empty seat.

 Nobody on a bus or any other time needs their ring tone on high.  Unless they are 105 years old.  Also, if you are going to annoy everyone, please don't have the default ringer set.  That weird banjo sounding, 70's disco ring is just not right.

Finally, it's your stop and you chose to sit in the back because you....
a. think it's cool
b. you have a weak bladder
c. admire Rosa Parks
Let the people in front off first.  It goes faster and it just makes fucking sense!




What If All You Have To Show For It Are Memories?

Friday was Valentine's Day. A Hallmark holiday, that has become such a symbol of commercial capitalism, it's lost it's allure. That being said, we all want to share this ridiculous day with someone special.  Ideally the day consists of giving someone a token if your appreciation, a box of chocolate, a card and some dinner and eventually ends up with a sensual finale. The key word is ideally. I've done everything from jewelry to champagne & chocolate covered strawberries to ordering a pizza to spending it alone. In the end, it's really nothing more than a day in your life.

We have this desire to hold into special days. Through gifts, cards, pictures or video, we've become a culture that needs a record of each happy event. But why? Isn't that feeling you had when you saw their face as they opened that gift, read that card or bit into that strawberry enough.  Why can't memories be enough.

What if the important part of last Friday wasn't the picture of me sandwiched between to girls smiling. It wasn't the outfits the wore or money spent. What if it wasn't some sexual tension or lack thereof that made the night special? What if it's nothing more than a group of people, all lacking a little something that night, coming together? What if in ten years, I can't remember what I bought so and so and the night of passionate sex, but I do remember the night I laughed alone and with others alone?  I will never hold something tangible from that night and the kisses that ended it were kisses you'd share with a friend or the family member who made your day.

Pictures and videos and personal mementos can capture an instant, but they don't capture the feeling. The fun, the silliness, the warmth and for lack of a better word, the love.  Those memories will be all I will be able to take from that night and do you know what? I'm good with it.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Perfect Blizzard Day

I'm not prepared for the snow, the scary times, the lack of transportation and the epic apocalypse that is about to hit us. Nope, I've got coffee abd three eggs. But it hasn't stopped me from thinking about my potential perfect blizzard day.  Obviously, sharing the confinement with a special someone is nice, but I'll stick to what I know for now.

I'm thinking I'd awake around 10am, hitting the button on the coffee and getting back into bed. While sipping on my first cup is colm up some bacon and eggs, accompanied by a sesame bagel with cream cheese, tomato, raw red onion and a few pieces of lox. I'd leisurely eat this while perusing the news and social media.

I'd then spend some time looking at the snow, maybe a walk, who knows. Live the sound of the fresh snow crunching beneath my feet. I'd throw in a movie, probably something mindless, like an action movie or comedy. I'd then start baking some chicken wings.  When the movie ended, I'd get a frying pan and melt some butter, adding sriracha and stirring to make a nice sauce, is add the wings to the pan and toss them until they were fully covered, then dig in with a nice little bowl of bleu cheese dressing, some sliced carrots and bell peppers.  Something tells me a nap would be in order following.

As I awoke from my nap, I'd jump in the shower, then open a bottle of string cabernet. Grab a bunch of crackers, a nice camembert, some chevre, a strong cheddar, an English stilton and a patè.  I'd pop in a good drama or psychological thriller and hunker down. It would be about 7pm by now and I'd start thinking about dinner. A nice rib eye, some mashed potatoes and haricot verts.  I'm thinking a Malbec would be nice.

I'd let the meal settle and then make some coffee, a glass of Bailey's on the rocks as dessert and I'd probably make some popcorn and pop in a juicy foreign horror film.  Something grotesque and disturbing. Then when it was over, I'd peak outside, walking out one last time, maybe even barefoot, to feel the cold wet snow. Coming in, taking a few more sips of coffee and heading off to dream about having a serene day like this in reality and not just a blog.

Super Quickie Review - Carrie (2013)

I was very skeptical when it was first remade, but actually liked that one. This one is so similar to the original that it is hurt simply due to udue to go the lack of originality. That being said, the mean people are much meaner (almost to the point of appearing silly), the nice people are nicer and the mother is even more of a kook. Moore nails her roll as does the young Moritz. Moritz is one of my favorite young actresses, but she might be too young for this. I believe she was 16, during filming. The movie excels in capturing the rage in the prom scene in a way that the original didn't, but not sure that is a good thing. Spacek's detachment from her actions made it so much more powerful. Better than the 2nd version, but the original is a classic.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Super Quickie Review - Troll Hunter

First off, Troll Hunter is not a great movie, but for what it is, it is good. Better than Blair Witch, because it actually tells a story. I honestly don't know if this mockumentary meant to be so edgy, but it is. It pokes fun at societal gullibility, both in terms of our trust and belief in religion and government. The trolls are just metaphors for excuses we accept and in terms of religion, idols we easily worship. If god is real, why not trolls?

The movie is entertaining, but has multiple plot holes and some unexplained and under used characters. It is also about 30 minutes too long. Ibalso despises the final scene. All in all, worth it for the giggles. I should also add, the landscapes are breathtaking.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

If You Had Told Me

If someone had told me the boy of 13, who ran all day, the young man of 23 who pranced on roof tops or the 33 year old who stood directing camps in 100° heat, that at 43 he'd be winded and aching from walking one block, he'd never have believed.

If someone had told me the boy of 13 with the glove on his hand, the young man of 23 throwing touchdowns on Sundays or the 33 year old shooting threes, would not play a sport at 43 , he'd never have believed.

If someone had told me the boy of 13, who flirted endlessly, the young man of 23 who thought he was married or the 33 year old who had already had two five year relationships, would be alone at 43, he'd never have believed.

If someone had told me the boy of 13, who flirted endlessly, the young man of 23 who thought he was married or the 33 year old who had already had two five year relationships, would be alone at 43, he'd never have believed.

If someone had told me the boy of 13 went to the best school in the city, the young man of 23 who wanted to learn so much more or the 33 year old who couldn't stop researching would be without a degree at 43, he'd never have believed.

If someone had told me the 13 year old worked at a local deli, who at 23 worked 40 hours a week, 51 weeks a year and who at 33 was doing everything he could while taking on even more responsibility at home would be struggling to fun work, he'd never have believed.

If someone had told me the 13 year old who couldn't run out if the house fast enough to go play, the 23 year old who lived spending every night with his friends and girlfriend, the 33 year old who stayed out til all hours would
want nothing better than to sit with his dad and brother by a fire, he'd have never believed.

If someone had told me life would kick the shit out of me and my loved ones as much as it has, and I'd be the one listening to trivial problems of those with lives most would die for, I'd never have believed, because until 34, I had that life. I just never knew it.

I wish someone had told me.

Wes Craven's Deep Social Commentary - The People Under The Stairs

The first half hour is hilariously funny. The lines are sharp and witty and the action sets the tone for the lunacy that would take place in the second two thirds. Is it great? No, but as far as horror/comedies go, it's superbly written and actually has good acting. The real treat is between the lines or in this case, between the walls.

The entire movie is a social commentary on the Reagan Era and how wealth begot wealth at the expense of the "forgotten" poor. The allegories and metaphors are not difficult to read, but they are hammered home. So much so that the leather clad "man" and the classy on the outside "woman" are perfect caricatures of Ronald & Nancy. So much so, that the man calls her mommy.

Even the actual people under the stair's clothing is representative of the punk, then alternative, then grunge era, known for it's anti-establishment views and look.  Craven's boldness in being so blatantly obvious in his disdain for capitalistic America and his use of a black lead (and a child) works wonderfully. What the movie lacks in scares, it more than makes up for in laughs and thoughtful direction.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fading

I'm laying here in the dark. The hum of the boiler below rumbles. Reminding me that no matter how quiet it gets, there is always something to remind me of life. The monotony of this noise reminds me of those I know. Ah, a brief respite as the temperature drops. For seconds I can listen to nothing. A dog barks, another reminder.

I stress over the tiniest things and I can't stop. I used to have this uncanny ability, but it us gone. Hunger starts to creep in, but I think back to my massive dinner. Tonight will be more simple and healthy.

I miss my dad and my brother, my sister-in-law and my canine nephew. They are a phone call away and I forget them. I miss my grandmother. I miss my mother. I miss her so much. She's visited me recently, but that's a blog fir another day. Instilling wisdom from beyond.

The boiler has started up and us gaining steam, while I run out. Steam, money, patience. Seems I'm running out of everything these days. Hope?

Fading away into what I hope is a peaceful slumber. Dreams, I hope. Fulfilled I hope.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Kraft Mac & Cheese - A Metaphor

While doing my storm preparation shop the other day, I bought all the essentials. Coffee, milk, veggies, beans, whole wheat wraps, some proteins such as pork chops, sausage and ground chicken and then I decided to succumb to a lifelong mystery. I bought a box of Kraft Macaroni and cheese. I was disgusted. Not only with the awful taste, but with the knowledge so many parents give this shit to their kids and call it a meal. It was absolutely revolting.

Now I don't confess to liking mac & cheese as it is, but I do like it on occasion. Homemade is decent, but I'll admit it, my favorite is KFC, which most likely is a processed variety. That being said, certain things dawned on me as I chowed down on this slop and I realized the product is a metaphor for life in today's world.

It's a simple substitute for something that isn't that difficult in the first place. Showing how little effort we are willing to put forth in order to be fulfilled.

It's fake, much like the majority of society. It represents something good on the outside, but is not what it advertises to be.

It's viewed as harmless and my reaction to it was received with annoyances, but the reality is those people are simply defending their poor choices. Something that they may likely do on more important topics.

It's common. Yes, but so are moat people. They want to fit in, to be accepted and to do so lower their standards many, often at their morals expense.

It's a quick fix. Possibly, but what does it fix? Was there ever a problem that needed such a weak solution?

It's not that bad and I'm overreacting. That may be, but are having some standards, no matter how low, really that wrong?

It's fast. From boiling the water to that first bite, took about 15 minutes. In that amount of time, a few nights ago, I sauteed some onions, added tomatoes, threw in two thinly sliced boneless pork chops and cut up a salad. So what am I gaining exactly?

It actually caused people to be bothered, yet it is so insignificant. This is a microcosm of society. Spending energy on those things that matter so little, while ignoring the real problems. See our government for a prone example.

Finally, and this is real problem "My kids love it." I'm 43 and had never bought it and had tasted it only once before, probably in a drunken stupor.  Why do we blame our kids for their lack if judgement and taste, when it is we who created it. I am the reverse and I know it. I'm a good snob, because of my upbringing, but is that such a negative, as I am always told it us? Why do standards and expectations have to be so low fir then to be accepted and realized?

I'm going to give mac a cheese another chance, but the next time, it won't cost $1.99 and it won't come from a little blue box. I'll be sure to document the torment and the woes it causes. I'm guessing other than an extra dollar or two, there won't be any. Life might even be a little better and a little more simple.



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Serious Thoughts at 5am

I have so many passions I can't afford and so little passion to be able to. It's not always been this way, but pain causes strange reactions not only to one's body, but to one's mind.

The other night I thought I was about to have a panic attack. If you have never had one, it's about the oddest feeling ever. Luckily, whatever the feeling was, it subsided and I actually fell asleep. The relief was actually exhausting.

Not being able to walk normally is starting to scare me. Last year I was walking about a mile a night and losing weight while eating like a horse. Two weeks ago I ate practically nothing for five days and gained two pounds. Frustration is an understatement. To think one night of basketball a week and I was able to maintain a weight of 40-50 lbs less than I am now.

Have you ever started to feel like you've lost the ability to connect to others (in general). It is somewhat frightening.

I'm really starting to question social media as a way to keep connected. I havent had a phone conversation of more than two minutes with a "friend" in nearly a year. I wrote down a list of the ten people who mean the most to me in the world, who aren't family and only three people are on social media and to be honest, two of them annoy me on it.

Do you ever wish you could throw everything away and start fresh? I find myself hoarding insignificant things in some sad attempt to keep good memories alive, realizing often they weren't that great.

I sometimes wonder how much happier I'd be if I didn't have to deal with the world 19-20 hours a day, but 16-17 like everyone else.  I heard a friend groan the other day, claiming to be suffering after only seven hours of sleep. I would kill for that, if only twice a week.

I don't think I'll ever be truly happy unless I get a big break, but what that break is, is not what anyone else probably thinks. It is my secret desire and even it scares me a little.

Well off to dream I hope. I've become immune to melatonin as far as fatigue, but the weird dreams do still occur.

Goodnight all


Quickie Review - Exit Through The Gift Shop

Greatest hoax or greatest slap in the face?

I believe the latter. It's just too easy to dismiss, but then why? Why create something that was real, just to rub people's faces in it. Also, to have the entire film be a hoax would be to discredit the likes of Harring, Warhol and Banksy himself. To create this facade that this subculture doesn't really exist, all to say that art critics and society has no taste, seems counter productive when you look at many of the artist's messages.

Guetta did in fact mortgage his business, rent the studio and make tons of money. Banksy might not have intended that. He may have wanted to prove that he and others were the real artists, but hype is more powerful than the message or the art itself. He did so and probably regrets it. Maybe he felt conned by Guetta, but who knows? The result is brilliant and an homage to real artists, but with a strong social message.

The very title tells you that the message intended is very real and the consumer aspect of art has become more important than the art and the artists themselves.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Getaway?

I'm considering taking a month off. A month of from the norm. There are people who I've come to know who sicken me. The sight of them, even their words, cause stomach churning nausea. There are others I've come to appreciate tenfold. My critical eye seems to be cast on everyone, including myself lately. I'm bored. Bored with chats about weather, marital woes and how hard life is.

I live a boring life, spending hours laying alone thinking about past times where I spent hours with people wishing I was somewhere else. I'm where I wanted to be then and there is where I want to be now.

Cared for, loved. Unappreciated then, I crave it now. Boredom has always been my undoing. It's stripped me of common sense, of decency and of doing what's right. It's cost me money, relationships and friends. It's turned hours of lost time into days, weeks and months. I fear years.  Boredom is my cross, but it's not a heavy burden, but more like a parasite. Maybe it's those little fish that follow larger ones, feeding off of them, but not giving anything in return.  For years I've wanted to write and the thoughts flow through me, but the energy finds it's say to blogs and tweets.

Try comedy some say, but my humor is dry and many times hurtful. I look at the out if shape vegan and relish in their misery, all the time ignoring my own lost health. Just do it, some say, and I roll my eyes at their cliches and their silly suggestions.

I'm tired. Physically and mentally. Tired of motivational suggestions from those who ate doing what they dud 20 years ago, misery written all over their withered bodies. Tired of the man who can't keep his marriage together telling me the importance of virtue. The fat girl telling me I eat too much starch or is it too little? The person who has no self esteem telling me I don't strive to be something. The drug addict telling me I need to slow down on the drink. I'm tired of constructive criticism by those who are destructive forces in their own lives.

I want to be able to sleep for 12 hours a day.
I want to wake to bagels and lox every day.
I want to fall asleep to a second breath.
I want to walk without pain.
I want to make others laugh.
I want to watch movies with someone who appreciates the art as much as I.
I want to eat with those who taste what I taste.
I want to feel that funny feeling only few make you feel.
I want to feel comfortable again
Do I need to get away from it all to find it again? And if I away, where to?