Friday, December 21, 2007
Last time I wrote was Oct. 1st. I was in the Bay Area, in the middle of a play. Now here I am, two months and twenty days later, back in New York, freezing my tits off.
I don't think I'll ever get used to the concept of Winter. Don't like it. Never have, never will. I'm a Summer boy. In addition to that, I'm a Northern Californian -- "cool" is cool; "cold" is oppression.
Anyway, if the question is where have I been, the answer is "Busy" (which apparently means that busy is a place). There have been so many plans for so many blog entries, and one by one, they fell by the wayside. I think I felt overwhelmed. Too much happened too fast. It felt strange to write about one, without writing about another, and not wanting to show favoritism to one event and shaft another, somehow they all ended up equally undocumented.
There were surfing sessions in Northern California, wherein I caught the best waves of my life. Spending time with my family, my friends, and my 99-year-old grandmother.
There was the epic three+ week road-trip with Max, across the Southern United States, wherein many amazing experiences were had, many new friends were made, and many things were learned.
My return to NY, and the process of regaining my bearings and momentum. The starting of new (daunting) projects (which have absorbed my life for the last month and some). Surfing on Long Island when it was 16 degrees (with windchill) or lower. Reunions, departures, new things and old, growing a moustache, and shaving it.
This is, I supposed, what I'd feared would happen. I'd feel overwhelmed, and would end up writing such a cursory summary of all that's transpired that I don't really say anything. Let me just talk about now, now.
I haven't been this busy and stressed out since grad school, but I notice that I'm a lot happier than when I was in grad school. Still working on finding ways to keep my stress levels down, but I'm glad that I'm busy with something that's inspiring me. The project I'm working on is MY project, and that means a lot right now. When I turned twenty-eight someone asked me what my goals were for the next year of my life. I said I wanted to move closer to my ultimate goal of supporting myself though my acting and writing, and ideally, to be acting in what I'm writing. I'm happy to say I'm finally getting closer to that goal. Closer than I've ever been before, and it seems more and more possible every day. Now, clearly, I've still got a ways to go, as I'm writing this from a temp desk at a mid-town law office, but I'm getting there.
My personal life isn't any more stable than it used to be, but do you know what? That's not bothering me right now. I'm not sure that personal lives (at least mine) are meant to be stable. I think it's like standing on a ball; you don't wait for it to turn into a block, you just get better at balancing on it. Then if, down the road, you happen to be standing on something less precarious, you'll be even more sure-footed on it.
That being said, my home life is better than it has been in years. My new roommate is my old and dear friend Bay, and he and I, along with our third roommate (whom I've lived with for a year and a half) make a really nice little unit. My home feels more like home than it has in close to a decade, and I'm extremely grateful for that. It's very important, especially in this city.
So, now that we're caught up, no matter how superficially, I feel like I can move forward. I suppose I don't make much of a historian, but I'll do my best to keep up with my "in the moment" writing.
Monday, October 1, 2007
The AIDS epidemic is the number one humanitarian crisis of our era.
I don't here anyone laughing.
So, let's flip it. Imagine if the phrase "It's true because it's funny," actually held up.
Contemporary religion as we know it would fall apart because Priests and Rabbis would constantly be going into bars together. Blondes would be perpetually pregnant from all their sluttery, and Poland would be a very dark place, indeed, with all their light bulb problems.
Some things are true. Some things are funny. Some are both. Some are neither. Let's leave it at that.
I bet bondage with Abraham Lincoln was no fun at all. He'd get you all tied up in shackles, then he'd just emancipate you.
The show is coming along. I'm sore and exhausted pretty much all the time. Also, I've noticed this: my shirts are getting tighter and my pants are getting looser. I'd like to chalk this up to the trapeze work I do in the show, but it could just be a dryer anomaly. There's just one week left, so I guess I'll find out soon.
Oh, and I turned twenty-eight, which means I can no longer say, "mid-twenties". That doesn't really matter, though, because people generally seem to think I'm in my early-thirties. As my dear friend Karl says, "It's not the years, it's the mileage."
I haven't been writing much. Not so happy about that. I've been putting so much energy into this play that I haven't had much left for writing. No good. There are things that need to be written, and I've gotta get to that.
Anyway, I do have some big news...
I'm in love.
It's still really new, and it's a little bit scary, because it's been a very long time for me, but I think I've been ready for quite some time, and was, essentially, just waiting for "the one". And then, one day, there she was. I knew within the first minute.
The first glimpse of her I caught, her curves threw me for a loop. I didn't know if I'd ever held a body like that, and, frankly, I hesitated. But when I heard her voice... I knew. My eyes lit up, and I just knew. Every fiber of my being said "Yes!"
So, everybody, meet my girl...
I think her name's Rebecca... or maybe Lola. She's made of cedar.
And, yes, we're very happy together.
-BR 10.1.07 1.38am
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Please check out the "Past Favorites" section for a sort of "Best Of" of the blog I've been writing for the last few years. They're just some of my personal favorites. The full blog has been moved over here, but note that it all appears to have been written in September, 2007. The actual dates of composition are at the bottom of each entry.
Your feedback is always appreciated, as is your spreading the word. If you have an RSS LiveBookmarks thingy, please, bookmark away.
New entries coming soon.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Live theatre is a harsh environment. Sometimes you're working on a show, and there isn't enough time, and there aren't enough resources, and there isn't enough money, and the play is too big, and the space and the time-frame you've been given are both too small, and, with six days left before your first paying audience, suddenly everyone thinks that same thought that people in the theatre have thought since the dawn of time… "We're not going to be ready."
And that is where things get interesting.
Maybe the script is going through more daily changes than an infant on ex-lax. Maybe, with one week to go, you've been given a bunch of new lines to learn… and they're all in Russian. Or imagine that you have to swing, high, fast, and upside-down on a trapeze in the narrow gap between a 200lb. guy who's swinging at you, and a cement column – if you miss the guy by a foot, and the column by ten inches, you're golden… but you're going to be threading that needle about ten times a week for the next month and a half, and it only takes things going wrong once…
So, what do you do?
Take a few deep breaths.
Ask, "Do I know what I'm doing here?"
Yeah. Yeah, you do. This isn't a life you stumbled into. You've trained longer and harder than Marines do for war. This is your calling, and this is what you do.
Now, put down the ice cream, sign off instant messenger, stop bitching about some lost "old familiar" who clearly wasn't worth your time anyway, and GET BACK TO WORK.
You've got a job to do, and you'll be damned if you're not going to do it well.
Now… who wants to see some theatre?
A little love died yesterday. She was an old familiar.
Friends for ten years, lovers for an eye-blink a few winters back, and now, suddenly, nothing.
Suddenly? Perhaps not.
The demise had been long drawn out. Love in an iron lung. Friendship with defibulators.
I gave out second chances like lolly-pops on Halloween. I was the sucker.
No more, though (I tell myself).
Though my capacity for forgiveness may seem (impossibly? foolishly?) endless, lines can still be drawn through it, and where lines can be drawn, lines can be crossed.
"My boyfriend doesn't want me to talk to you or see you."
Had he asked me, I might have told him,
"I equate her vagina to the Gaza Strip: As much as I'd love to visit, I'm not going near it while it's occupied."
Which is true, but I doubt it would have helped.
So, I go home early, for once.
Mom's place. This is an old familiar too.
The house has changed to the apartment, but the some things are always the same..
The Everything Drawer.
"Do we have any string?" "Buttons?" "Sheep shears?"
Look in the Everything Drawer.
Some people would stare, mouths agape, at this amazing drawer that is usually too full to open.
Sometimes I like to imagine that there really is an Everything Drawer, containing the universe, inside out. In want? Just reach in. It's in there. It's all in there.
And feeling in want (of an old familiar), I place a call, and head to a friend's house.
The town I drive through is an old familiar, too. The streets, the houses, the burrito joints, and the hills; they were all my childhood playmates.
I get into a hot tub I've been soaking in for more than a decade.
When my old familiar and I transgressed briefly from peculiar friends to peculiar lovers, it was in a hot tub. The public hot tub on the corner of the street that my mother lives on, actually, which makes me think of her every time I see that blue and white sign, which is unfortunate, as I pass it at least once a day. So, I think, maybe this other hot tub will help me erase all that.
The hot tub works wonders on my shoulders, but does little to soothe my heart.
The heart aches.
Prepared as I was, there is only so much bracing yourself you can do, and nothing ever seems quite so senseless as the murder of a friendship without cause.
"One day," I tell myself. "I will learn to only give access to my heart to those who will care for it."
So I would like to believe.
In the surrounding days there will be much to distract me. I'll be rehearsing in a trapeze, only to look up and see Joan Rivers watching me from the audience. Or the battery will wear out on the clicker that turns on/off my car alarm, and I will be forced to drive for two miles through city streets with my car alarm blaring bloody murder (amazingly only getting pulled over once). I will eat the world's best food, spend some one-on-one time with my mom and with good friends, and soak in the sheer beauty of this place I am lucky enough to be calling home for another three months, but this divorce from my old familiar is going to hurt for a while.
Until, one day, it doesn't.
-BR 8.22.2007 11.42.pm
First off, I woke up this morning, and suddenly found that I was bi...
But I wish I was bi...
Anyway, yes, for those of you who haven't heard, I'm back in the Bay for a few months, doing a play at the Magic Theatre in SF. I'll be flying around on a trapeze (provided I don't tear my shoulder out of its socket... again... knock wood, please), and if you're going to be in the area from Sept. 8th thru Oct. 7th, you should definitely come peep it. Here's a link:
In other news, I just bought this new pomade that turns out to be so incredibly sticky that if I female should try ot run her hand through my hair, it might just stick there forever. In other words, I finally found the product I've been looking for, and I may now be able to sustain a relationship for more than a couple nights, if only by virtue of capture.
I was stung by a bee on Monday, right on my pinky finger. I went a good, solid decade without getting stung by anything, and now, bam, twice in a month. Is this God trying to tell me to stop stealing honey from supermarkets? Ha! You'll have to do better than that, God.
So, the Bay Area is this place that I tend to mythologize. When I'm away for long periods of time, I tell stories of my homeland like it was Eden. I'll go on and on about the people, the produce, and the burritos to the point where, after a while, even I feel like "surely this guy is exaggerating". But, you know what? Every time I come back, I realize that I haven't been exaggerating at all. The people really really are way cool. The place is totally breath-takingly beautiful. The produce really is fresher, juicier, doper. And, if the burritos were anatomically correct... well, I'd be making chimichangas.
My first big purchase when I got here: a surfboard. Actually, that's not true. I bought a car. It turns out it's waaaaaay cheaper to buy an old beater then sell it back after you're done using it than it is to rent a car for three months. But, after that, I bought a surfboard. Took it out on Monday, and I LOVE it, and I LOVE surfing in California. Who's coming with me? I'm not even joking.
The only other big purchase I have planned is this: after ten years of playing, I have finally decided to buy myself a new guitar. I'm very excited about it.
Also, my tattoo will be turning 10 next month.
I will leave you with this thought: Deltron 3030 is one of the greatest albums ever, and if you don't know, then you need to work on that shit.
This morning, while on my way to work, on the subway, a hornet stung me in the back of the neck. Let me just repeat. Hornet. Me. Stung. Neck. Subway. What the fuck?
When your day starts out like that, you know it's time to write a frivolous blog. And what could be more frivolous than that advice column idea I had a couple months back (see entry "New Blog Experiment"). So, here we go. You asked the questions, and now the answers bubble forth.
Q: Where should I work when I move to
A: Do you know how to fudge? Not as in make sugary desserts, but as in do illegal things with numbers? If so, I recommend organized crime. See, "organized" crime is really kind of a misnomer, because most of those guys don't really have their shit together. Hoes run their mouths and you can't turn your back on a crackhead, and that's why guys like them need guys like you to manage logistics. Also, their dental plan is second to none (if you're into iced-out grills).
Q: Why do we sleep?
A: Jesus is always watching over us, but if he stares at something for more than about sixteen hours straight, he starts going all buggy-eyed. When he was pronounced legally blind at the DMV his dad intervened, so he just kind of has us conk out after a while. Talk about nepotism.
Q: What the hell this "shining beam of golden light" is that everyone keeps telling me that "lives inside of me and someday when I figure it all out I'll find my true calling and I'll conquer the world" sooo, what the heck am I going to do with my life??? what is my "true" calling???
A: The "shining beam of golden light" (or the SBGL) is extremely bright. If we look too hard at a magnesium spark, it will burn our retinas. If we look too hard at the SBGL, it will burn our consciousness. This is why we can only catch fleeting glimpses -- self preservation. If you want to see it more clearly, I recommend the following: breathe long, slow, and deep. Now pull back. Pull back from your tangled web of thought. Pull back from your concept of who you are. Pull back far enough so that it isn't overwhelmingly bright and scary. You won't be able to see all of the details, but you will have a better chance of understanding what direction it lies in, and which way it points. Mustering up the courage to follow, is a whole other thing.
Q: Why are my feet peeling?
A: Because you're gross. Work on that.
Q: Can you suggest a restaurant that won't break the bank but will be filling, nutritious, and delicious that isn't burritos?
A: Cinderella Falafel.
Q: What do I do while the guy is putting the condom on? I hate that moment. It makes me feel really anxious, and it's just awkward.
A: How do you think he feels? Seriously, though, this is a great question. The answer is incredibly simple, and it amazes me how few people seem to know it. Basically... wait, mom, if you're reading this, skip to the next one... okay, basically, the broad answer is "maintain contact/connection". To be perfectly honest, the 1 best thing you can do while he's struggling to get that wrapper open is to go down on him. Pure and simple. It will not only keep blood where it needs to be, and awaken more nerve endings, it also lubricates the head before he puts the condom on, which is going to make the sex way more enjoyable for him (which, hopefully, translates into better for you, too). Be careful not to push him over the edge, but slow teasing with your mouth just until he's got the thing ready to go, and he will remember you forever. Really, any kind of teasing that will turn him on is good, but maintaining some kind of physical contact (specifically with his or your erogenous zones) is a must.
Q: What is UP with monogamy?
A: Good question, lady! I think a huge part of monogamy is where and when someone is in their personal timeline/geography, and how it lines up with another person's where and when. There are, of course, schemas at work, and we almost certainly have some amount of unconscious programming that we picked up as a child, throughout our teen years, and even into adulthood. Our experiences shape who we are, as much as who we are shapes our experiences. But, in my meager experience, it's all in the timing (or a lot of it is, anyway). When I'm in crush mode, I am going to fall for someone. I may fall for someone else in a couple of weeks (if I'm still in crush mode), and it won't feel any less real to me, and if my perception tells me it's no less real, then who is to say it isn't? When two people who are in crush mode (i.e. are wanting to find someone to really like) find each other, and if there's chemistry, then boom, relationship (unless our baggage gets in the way). Oh, wait, I've gotten a little off track here. Monogamy. I think that's just when you continue to be in crush mode on one specific person, and your crush overpowers your urges to fuck other people, and uh, they feel the same about you.
Q: With all the money she has....why didn't Lindsay Lohan hire a driver?
A: Because she's an idiot/asshole. An idihole, if you will.
Q: Which is the best Weezer album? The Blue Album or Pinkerton? (it's obviously between those two)
A: Obviously, and the answer is Pinkerton. In fact, that whole question was a waste of space. Are you kidding me? Pinkerton Pinkerton Pinkerton. Sheesh.
Q: Do you lead with your lips or your tongue?
A: I'm pretty sure you're talking about kissing, right? Personally, I'm a lip-leader, and generally don't bring the tongue into the equation for at least 20 seconds or so, but I've smooched plenty of tongue-leaders, too, and that can be fun as well. Going tongue-first definitely has more of a full-throttle feel to it, whereas lips first gives creates a little suspense. I'm generally pretty happy either way, but there are definitely those out there who have strong opinions one way or the other. If you like it either way and are unsure what to do, I'd say start with lips, and you can quickly add tongue like it ain't no thang if that's the direction your partner heads in. Tongue first could potentially startle someone... but if that's the case, you may be making out with the wrong person for you.
Q: Who is really asking for help, those who asks questions or who asks to answer...?
A: Ooooh, you just mind-fucked me. Congrats. Honestly, probably me (the one who asks to answer), because I wanted to write a blog like this, and didn't want to make up the questions myself. Plus, I want to feel smart and pretty and witty, and all that stuff. But, I'll tell you what, I had a good time with this, so if you enjoyed it, or if you think of more questions, post 'em in comments (or email me directly if you're embarrassed), and maybe I'll do it again.
And watch out for hornets on the subway. Those fuckers hurt. A lot.
Entry One: Saturday Night
Fans are always writing to me and saying, "Brent, we all hear legends of what it's like to be a bachelor in New York City; is it really as incredible as it sounds?" Of course it is! That why there are legends about it. And anyone who knows anything knows that Saturday night is the Holy Grail for a Super Amazing Bachelor
Hang around with your roommate while she gets ready for her date tonight. Talk to her about her date, and dating. Watch a little Everybody Loves Raymond.
Start eating. Make yourself a multi-course banquet composed of leftovers. There's a lot of stuff in your fridge and freezer that you opened and only ate half of. Set the microwave on stun (but really just use the high heat setting), and go to town. By clearing that space in your fridge, you're creating more space for all the ladies' hearts you'll be storing there after you've stolen them, tiger.
You're not done eating yet. Ignore that stupid appestat meter in your stomach; you are a burning love machine and you need fuel, baby! Keep going through your fridge. Find some cheese, and garlic stuffed olives. To the untrained eye this may look like the binge-eating of a depressed person trying to fill the void deep within them, but you know different; this is the binge-eating of the Super Amazing Bachelor Man, trying to fill the void of mercy, because ooooh yeah, those ladies have no idea what they're in for.
Man, you've got a lot of work to get done. You're supposed to do all this writing this weekend. Now's the time, baby. Sit down and write the next Hamlet!
Hamlet 2: Danes, Danes, Danes, is not going as well as expected. Despite constant pestering from the ghost of Hamlet and the ghost of his father, Horatio is reluctant to wage war against the tribe of naked Amazon women who live in the enchanted forest down the road. Fortinbras is equally obstinate. You need some inspiration. Eat some chocolate and watch an episode of The Office, you sexy man.
Listen to the sounds of your neighbor's festive barbecue next door. Just listen to all the mirth and merriment those families are making! Start to laugh. You'll laugh and laugh and laugh, because they are tied down and not free, like you are. Heck, you'll laugh so hard you'll start crying. Crying with laughter! Then crying and crying and crying! Oh, those poor, poor happy families who are not free like you are.
Think about girls a whole bunch. Now that you're preoccupied, try going back to your writing. Better eat more first. Eat enough pineapple chunks to make your mouth raw with the acid; that'll make you sweeter… for the ladies… (wink!).
Start watching web shows by people who know what they're doing. Make yourself peanut butter and jam sandwiches on leftover hamburger buns. Start writing a blog that has nothing to do with the stuff you need to be writing right now. Ha! Just imagine how annoyed Future You will be that you didn't get all that stuff done earlier. Man, you got him good! (continue thinking about girls)
Eat some frozen mango chunks. Write a few more sentences in one of your scripts, then delete them. You're such a maverick!
Turn on the last half hour of Saturday Night Live. Feel instantly encouraged and confident that no matter what kind of horrid excuse for a script you are about to pull out of your ass tonight, it couldn't possibly be any worse than this. Reflect for a moment that these people do what you do, only worse, and make much, much more money than you do. Also, they're famous. Mutter something about the "corporate machine". Zing! Nice one, now they've been zung.
Finish your ridiculous blog, and try to read another chapter in that book you have that helps you deal with what a mess you are. Only a baller can do that on a Saturday night and still be a baller. Now brush your teeth and go to bed. You've got a lot of hearts to break tomorrow, you big Super Amazing Bachelor Man, you.
Signed,Brent (The S.A.B.M.) Rose
Part I: Janky-Ass Holidays
The 4th of July is upon us. Now, I realize that The House of Un-American Activities is going to be all over me for saying this, but... I don't really like the 4th of July. Or to be more accurate, I find it boring. "Forth of July"? "More like Bore-th of July." Heh.
But what about our Forefathers?
Yes, I know.
But what about our nation declaring its sovereignty?
Yes, I know.
But what about the slaves being set free?
You're confused and you need to go back to school.
So, why is this holiday met with such indifference from me? Don't I like barbecues? Don't I like not going to work? Aren't I glad I'm not forced to watch cricket and drink tea every afternoon (caffeine makes me jumpy)? Yes, to all the above. So, what's my beef?
1.) Our flag is ugly. Please don't give me a knee-jerk reaction, but stop, take a minute, and look at our flag. Are you looking? Seriously, what the hell is that!? THAT, ladies and gentleman, is bureaucracy embodied. THAT is what happens when art is made by committee. "We should have stars!" "No, we should have stripes!" "Okay, okay, you two..." Yes, it's the symbol of our great country, but you know what? It looks like a fishing lure, and a cheap one at that. You ever notice that when someone wears pants that look like the Brazilian flag, or the Jamaican flag, it actually looks kind of cool? Wear pants that look like the American flag, and you've got the loudest, tackiest duds ever. Well, here's a secret… it's not because it's pants, it's just because it's shaped like pants that you notice, and it's going to be EVERYWHERE on the 4th.
2.) Our national anthem is not pretty... but to be fair here, most national anthems aren't pretty. If the mute button didn't exist I'd never make it through day one of the Olympics. BUT, where ours goes really awry is that it's damn near impossible to sing! Only the elite singers among us can hit those high notes and actually sound good. Our national anthem is exclusionary by nature, and, on a personal note, the tune bugs me.
3.) And, if I'm to be honest, this is one here is the real kicker for me. This is where I am fully prepared to stand alone, and have the rest of the world judge me. One and Two are hardly factors when stacked up against this one. Are you ready? Okay… here goes… I think Fireworks are lame. Yes, that's right, I said it. You can all moan and wail now, but it's true. Y'know, when I was a kid, they were kind of cool. They're pretty, and they go boom, and stuff. But let's get real here. How far has technology come in the last, say sixty years? You look at a computer from 1950, and you compare that with today's computers... well, there's just no comparison. But look at the fireworks from 1950, and look at them today... yeah... there's really no significant difference. Yes, they've figured out how to make fire in a few new colors. Yes, they can make them explode so that they look kind of like smileys or hearts, but overall, it's still pretty much the same thing. If we expect so much from IBM, why don't we expect as much from the makers of pyrotechnics? I give fireworks a big, "Yawn"... especially if they're far away. People who climb up into hills to see the fireworks that are set off fifteen miles away make no sense to me. I will cheerily flick a bic lighter a foot away of your face and it will be way more exciting. This is where, every 4th of July, my friends/family and I become divided. They want to go somewhere to see fire works and I would rather… learn to yodel, or really do anything else.
So, that's why I'm a bad American. Today.
In an entirely unrelated story…
In an entirely unrelated story…
Part II: Date-Ending One-Liners
I've been thinking about this all day, and I'm really not sure why, but this is a real story from my real life. Those who know me will not be so surprised; those who don't may be in for a shock. I'm not sure why I'm sharing it, exactly; I suppose I'm hoping that my personal foibles will be your collective merriment. Here goes...
Some years ago, I was on a first date. I don't even know if it can be called a date; it's was like a pre-screen for a date. She'd asked me to come visit her where she was tending bar, and I obliged. I was sitting there, and we were having a nice little conversation. It was going alright. Not amazing yet, but certainly not bad… and then I heard something. A couple stools down from me a woman was talking to her friend and said something to the effect of, "Yeah, so my girl friend and I went to this club…", and I started laughing.
I turned to my date and said, "Why is it that a woman can say, 'My girlfriend and I are going to go shoe-shopping,' and nobody bats an eyelash, but when I say, 'I'll be right back, I'm going to go suck my boyfriend's dick', everybody like, assumes I'm gay?"
Stone. Cold. Silence. And a blank stare to go with it.
It's not everyday where you can pinpoint a single, precise moment where everything went to pieces. This was one of those rare moments.
Now, some of you may look at that as a "What NOT To Do" story… but I'm not so sure. If this girl didn't find that remotely funny, then, clearly, she was not destined to become Mrs. Rose. We would have found that out sooner or later, so didn't I really just save us a whole lot of time?
I think so.
Happy Fourth of July, everybody.
Your assignment this week: Get out there and be somebody!
Scattered This and That's (from my trip to California, and other)
Caves can be nothing but holes in rocks, but when you fill them with brothers and best friends they can be things of wonder and majesty.
Perception is a tricky mother.
Regardless of faith, weddings are almost always freaky tribal gatherings... at least if you choose to perceive them as such... which I do.
Holy Christ, is it almost July already? Where did the first half of this year go?
Swimming naked in the Bay, in mixed-company, in a high-traffic part of Marin County, on a very bright day, without being seen, is not only possible, it is awesome.
I can make thirty boxes of Jello in an afternoon. No sweat.
Some people get harder and harder to leave as time goes by.
A good burrito literally brings tears to my eyes.
I'm fine with a sigh just being a sigh, but when a kiss is just a kiss...
I worry about my loved ones who worry too much. I recognize the irony.
I am still having trouble accepting that I need to do more than I used to in order to attain a body that isn't as good as it was. More work for less? Fuck aging.
I'm a pretty damn decent pool player when I'm on my game. I'm fairly mediocre when I'm not.
I love wearing new shirts, if only for the belly-button lint.
I've (finally) started practicing meditation and mindfulness. I think I like it. I think I like it a lot.
I've been writing a lot, lately, and in mediums I'd never really considered. Doing a lot of Seat-of-the-Pants Piloting, and I'm enjoying it. In a sink or swim scenario, the survival instinct is remarkable, so I'm just going to keep throwing myself in the deep-end.
I'm not sure that I would go as far as to say that "I'm in love with falling in love" right now, but I definitely seem to have a crush on crushing.
I need to spend more time in the water. More time on soil and rock. Cement is over-rated.
Did you know that the only difference between "Athelete's Foot" and "Jock Itch" is geography? This is why I don't sit cross-legged while naked.
I would sleep a lot more if I had fewer amazing people in my life. I consider myself a very lucky, sleepy man.
-BR 6.26.07 4.15pm
P.S. Surprise yourself today. Don't over-think it, just do it. I'm willing to bet that it feels good. Always remember, that you can do that any time you want. Any time.
These pants won't break,
they're strong and solid.
Their buttons are brass,
their hue is an olive.
These pants won't break,
they're thoroughly stitched.
Don't need no suspenders,
I like how they're hitched.
These pants won't break,
they could go through a mower.
Roberta sure likes them,
and I hardly know her.
These pants won't break,
they never need fixin'.
Like cash in a safe,
they're what my dick's in.
These pants won't break,
yours are crawling with maggots.
Your pants taste like shit,
mine are rated by Zagat's.
These pants won't break,
not in nuclear war.
I can't be shot by a junkie,
or stabbed by a whore.
These pants won't break,
in 30,000 foot falls.
They cover my ass,
and safe-guard my balls.
So where ever, O ever, these pants will abide,
you'll know you can find me,
all snuggly inside.
You know, it's all too well told: for being one of the world's most densely populated cities,
New Yorkers are crafty, despite the way they talk, and are highly adept at avoiding basic human interaction (the kind that people in other locales may take for granted). If you want to make contact with a New Yorker, you will have to trick them. Here is a handy guide that will list several of the ways to get past the wily New Yorker's defense system.
1. Be a Hot Chick
Here's a test. If you read my introduction and found yourself thinking, "What is he talking about? It's not at all hard to get New Yorkers to interact with you!" then, congratulations, you are a Hot Chick. If you were reading that and thinking, "Yeah, I totally feel you," then you are everybody else in this world. If you are a Hot Chick, you don't need to waste your time reading this guide, unless you are interested in anthropology/sociology, because this information will be of no use to you. HC's do not have this problem that everybody else in
2. Ask For Directions
I hesitate to recommend this course of action; it will work, but there are caveats. New Yorkers, on the whole, are very forthcoming with directions. In fact, it's just about the only thing they're forthcoming with. Here's the catch: you run the risk of looking like a total idiot. They'll look at you, but it won't be the kind of look you want (unless you've gotten reeeeeally desperate). You ask, "Which way is Uptown?" in the Financial District, and you might escape with merely a look of dismissal, or perhaps sympathy. You go into a bar in Bed-Stuy and ask where the nearest Polo Ralph Lauren is, and you might just get your ass kicked. Asking someone on the subway if this train goes to so-and-so is generally safe, but you will generally be assumed to be a tourist.
3. Share an Uncommon Experience
This is most effective in enclosed spaces like subway cars or elevators. It could be anything, really. What you're hoping for is "weird without being horrible". For example: a really good (or, even better, a really bad) subway musician is a great thing to bond over, as is a cute little kid doing something cute (as cute little kids are wont to do). Examples of negative things include someone throwing up and/or defecating. If you have the impulse to say, "Wow, that guy's not getting enough fiber," you may want to squelch it. Subway conductors with indecipherable accents and/or speech impediments are a goldmine. Or the other day I was riding my bike with a bunch of other people and some moron said, "I didn't think there were so many Communists in the world." We all shared a good laugh, me and my comrades.
4. Carry Something Out of the Ordinary
While Sharing an Uncommon Experience is great, it places a heavy burden on luck. Carrying Something Strange, on the other hand, is entirely within your control. I first discovered this when I'd just got my surfboard and getting home involved multiple train rides and a brief walk down 42nd St with it tucked under my arm. Nobody would bat an eye in
5. Other Options
Dressing like an officious geek worked extremely well for me yesterday. I was all nerded up for a show I was on my way to shoot, and these kids on the subway were giggling and saying, "You ask him… no, you ask him?" I said, "Ask me what?" They said, "Do you know if the driving age in
The latter two people in the above story exercised another good principal:
6. Something In Common
This one is fraught with hazards, but it can pay off. If you see someone with a shirt that announces that they are from Buttfuck, Nowhere, and you, too, happen to be from Buttfuck, Nowhere, congratulations, this just might work. If, however, she's wearing a shirt that says "
7. Final Thoughts
Just don't expect the Hot Chick to laugh.
Do you ever blink, and when you open your eyes you think, "My God, how old am I? When did I arrive at this section of my life?"
It's Sunday on Memorial Day Weekend, and I woke up early to help my friends move. My friends who have been living together. My friends who are engaged. I spent the first half of the day loading their belongings into a truck, so that they could move down to
From there I go home, shower and shave, and then head out to an engagement party for another friend. It's a lovely day in
Oh my God! When did this happen? When did I get to the age when I'm going to parties to which people bring their kids!? Just having a dog is a lot of responsibility, but these people have babies, for Christ's stake! Oh man... I know what this is! I remember these parties from when I was a kid; this is a grown-up party!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!
And then it happened.
The one-year-old found me. At fourteen months, the tike came up to where I was sitting on the bench. His dad sat down on the other side of the bench, and he plopped the kid down in between us. This kid is frickin' cute. He turns to me and starts talking to me in baby-gibberish. He reaches out and he holds my giant finger in his freakishly small hand. He stands on the bench, and puts his hand on my shoulder. And then, the moment. He puts his arms around my neck, and gives me a great big hug.
It was the sweetest thing ever, and the feelings which rushed through me were both blissful and terrifying. It felt really, really... right, somehow. It felt good. Frighteningly good, and all of a sudden it hit me, "Hell, this could be my little boy." And there it was. Suddenly, I wasn't a kid at a grown-up party; I realized that these people are me. Those who are getting married. Those who are buying apartments. Those who own dogs. Those who have kids. These are my friends, my peers. Some of them are younger than I.
The kid walked away, and I sat there and thought for a bit.
Really, everything is still bouncing around in my head, and it's hard to make heads or tails of it all, but I remember... I remember worrying about whether I would be equal to the task. Not in terms of being a loving and caring father, and not in terms of being a loving and faithful husband, but rather in the role of Provider. How would I do that?
How, if I was with the right girl, and it was the right time... how? I'm scraping by on my own here, but there ain't much extra. There's no money for an engagement ring. There's no money to buy an apartment, and there's certainly no money to raise a kid. And you know, I'm going to be honest here and admit that that scared me. That scared me a lot. I'm putting everything into following my dreams. There's no savings account. Fuck, there isn't even any health insurance, and if I got sick, or hurt... well, that's a whole other road... but suffice to say, how would I even take care of myself, let alone a family?
You know, though, things happen the way they do; whether you believe that there is a reason behind it, or not, is your business. Tonight, I am open to the possibility that maybe that's kind of why my love-life is in the state it's in. Sorry, let me plain-English that; maybe that's why I'm pretty much perpetually single. I feel that there's something I need to take care of before I do all that. It's not just a matter of "I have to make money"; I have to make money doing what I love doing. I have dreams I aim to fulfill, and at this juncture in my life, I can definitively say that I have absolutely no intention of compromising my dreams so that I can make enough money to do X, Y, and Z. I joke around about not going to undergrad a lot and so I sometimes forget that not giving myself something to fall back on was a deliberate choice. Yes, there are better jobs out there that make more money and are more palatable than what I'm doing, but I choose to continue doing crap-ass temp jobs so I can say, "No, I am not going to work today, so I can go to an audition," or "Yes, I will just go out of town for a week, and no one can tell me I can't, and if I want to come back next week without a nickel to my name, well, I have nobody else I'm disappointing." I am comfortable with starving; I am not comfortable with my kids starving. So, I'm waiting, damnit. I've got shit that needs to get done.
Now, at the same time, I would like to believe that if the right girl came along I would have the presence of mind to say, "Yes. You. Me. Here. Now." (note: being in love makes you talk in single-syllable sentences.) And what would happen then? I don't know. I hope to God that she would understand why I need to do what I do, and I hope she would be patient. Biological clocks are funny, though, and I certainly just rediscovered today that men have them, too.
I suppose we do our best to follow our dreams and our hearts, and we deal with life as best we can. Try to know the right path when you come to it, and try to remember why you set out in the first place.
P.S. After completing the above entry, the sky opened up, and I played in the rain, naked, on my roof. So there.
-Brent Rose 5.27.07
I've got a request. I always thought it might be fun to write an advice column, so I figured why not do it right here in this blog? Here's what I need:
Questions! Your questions. Questions you've always wanted to ask, but haven't dared. Questions about life, sex, relationships, sex, dating, sex, or maybe sex. No, really, it can be about anything. Don't hold back. You can post them as comments on this, or if you'd rather I post your question unnamed, then shoot me a message.
For those readers who AREN'T on Myspace (I know you're out there), I want to hear from you, too. Shoot me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org (and tell me how you found my blog, while you're at it).
How I end up writing this will depend on the response I get. I've got a couple blogs in progress already, so I may publish those first, or I may do the "advice column" first. If there's a big response, I may do more than one. If it ends up being fun, I may make it an ongoing thing.
Some questions I may answer seriously. Some, I may not. Some I may make up. You never know what you're going to get. I promise to keep it entertaining, though.
I hope to hear from you!
P.S. 10 points if you know the reason I'm listening to the music I'm listening to today.
Sometimes why you feel something doesn't matter. Feelings defy intellect; sometimes quite directly. You get yourself a strong feeling, and all the whys in the world don't add up to a two-inch speed-bump; they're going to go where they want to go, and they're taking you and your flailing brain along with them. Right or wrong. Good or bad. Smart or stupid. Safe or dangerous. Emotion just loves to remind you that words are nothing but nonsense sounds we have assigned meaning to, and their meanings are as ephemeral as our imaginations.
You can choose to follow blindly, and be carried away to paradise/utter oblivion/nowhere in particular/right back where you started, or you can dig your heels in and fight it, kicking and clawing. And who's to say which is better? Your gut's right at least as often as your brain, and your brain is a lot righter than your gonads, but where does your heart fit into the equation? What exactly is the percentage of correctness of the human heart? Well, first of all, it depends on whose heart, right? You have to look at the heart's story; its training, its abuses, its accidents, its victories, and its defeats. And perhaps just as important as where it is, is when it is (although it's arguably the same thing – see Einstein, spacetime continuum, blah blah blah). By that I mean when/where it is in its personal history; in its timeline of experience, education, and evolution.
All illusions of "rightness" aside, here is my current philosophy, somewhere in the middle of this, my twenty-seventh year: The needs of the heart are above all, but you can't just follow your heart, because your heart doesn't have any brains. At the same time, your brains don't have any heart, your gut is frequently full of shit, and your gonads are almost certainly either a dick or a pussy. Like humans, dolphins, monkeys, and dogs, though, they can learn to communicate in some ways, despite their vast differences. Feelings can, at least partially, be understood, and as we gain understanding we can enlist the support of more of our faculties. When you can get them work in tandem, rather than opposition, you can find a better path toward getting what you need.
I suggest this: Listen to your heart, first. Then consult your gut and your brain to come up with the best plan. What you do with your gonads is your business.
(end entry #1)
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(start entry #2)
Now. All that sounds fine and good, and it was that philosophy that I was clinging to about two hours ago when I starting writing the above entry, but now, I wonder if it's just the excuse for cowardice. This is where Old Brent and New Brent meet and do battle. There's the Wide-Eyed Brent of the past with his love-will-conquer-all fanatical beliefs. Then there's the Grizzled and Harried Brent of the present, with is bruises and scars, and burn-marks that maybe aren't quite healed through. If I know these two well (and I certainly do), I know they'll be up all night, arguing over the validity of the above entry.
If the question is, "Do you believe what you wrote?" The answer is I don't know.
I will say this, though: The best path between you and what your heart wants is seldom a straight line – but your heart doesn't know that. Your heart will dart toward what it wants like a starving dog for its dinner, and if there's a field of cacti and volcanoes in between, so be it. Your gut, however, is pretty fucking adept at sensing danger, and your brain isn't entirely useless, either. Like I said, though, don't even get me started on the gonads – those fucking things… *
That's all the wisdom I've got for tonight.
* 10 points for anyone who caught that pun.
Today's episode... The Media: How it's Killing Us Mentally, Spiritually, and quite Literally.
What ever happened to the idea that tons of coverage of incidents like school massacres actually encourages people to follow in those footsteps? Do you remember all that talk after the Columbine killings about not over-covering things like that in the future, and certainly not letting the killers' "message" be heard everywhere, like they would want?
Today, as I was walking to work, I passed by a whole row of newspaper vending-machines. The front page of every one of them had this kid on there, with a gun in each hand, in his full regalia, looking like an absolute bad-ass. The front page looked like the poster for an action movie!! Certainly, that's not aggrandizing this killer, nooooo. The pictures they were using were from the guys home made publicity packet! Videos of him, telling the world his message in his own words, are all over the news and all over the internet.
So basically, Mass Media, the message you are trying to send is that, if you do something like this, it will work. It will get you want you want. You will be seen, you will be heard, and people will pay attention. You will be on the cover of every newspaper, on every TV and radio station, all over the internet, and your message will be heard by millions. Thank you, Mass Media, for further enabling this kind of horror show. (see that link for proof)
Then we have the correspondents, "on the scene", and you can see it in their faces. They're so close to smiling that you can actually see it at the corners of their mouths. They're so excited about this scoop! To have this story on "exclusive", and to be bringing that story FIRST! It's not about the news, it's about the news business. It's about winning. "Sure, the guy from the other network talked to a witness, but I talked to a witness and got them to cry!" News crews have become contemporary ambulance-chasers.
Also, what has happened to CNN? When did all of their correspondents become super-models who read well? Deliver tragedy smoothly and beautifully, with slightly smiling (but always perfect) teeth, and striking bone-structure? When did they hire the guy who does the crazy camera-angles and zooms from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire to do Wolf Blitzer's show? On February 8th and 9th, they barely touched Iraq -- It was all Anna-Nicole Smith! (And the truly frightening fact is that of the three major cable news networks -- CNN, MSNBC and FoxNews -- CNN actually did cover it the least; less than half of FoxNews' coverage... not a shock, and yet, still, revolting.)
Listen: I couldn't care less about what my news anchors and reporters look like or sound like, as long as I can understand them. GIVE ME SOME UGLY PEOPLE THAT GIVE A DAMN! Give me some people who care! Give me a reporter who weeps, and cries "O, the humanity!" and means it! Give me someone who is committed to the truth, not committed to saying "committed to the truth". Give me somebody who will ask the tough questions, and who won't settle for a bullshit answer. Give me somebody who cares more for people than they do for the company they work for.
I don't want a salesman; I want a HEART, a BRAIN, and a VOICE.
Is that really too much to ask?
-Brent Rose 4.19.07
I've been doing a study, lately. Did you know that people are far less likely to sit next to you on the subway if you appear to be asleep? This is absolutely true. I think it's because they worry your head will nod over onto their shoulder, but I don't have any hard evidence to substantiate that. Yet.
Why does a clean room always feel colder than a messy one? It does.
The vast majority of Americans will never be satisfied with the tightness of their abs. If people with less tight abs hear those people complain about their abs, or see them refuse a second slice of cheesecake, they will think that those people are assholes.
Tongue-kissing is great. I'd like to meet the person that invented tongue-kissing. I would tongue-kiss them.
It's funny how our palates change over the years. The 7-11 Slurpee used to be a much coveted item. The appeal has become lost on me over the years. Unless, maybe, it was 1/3 filled with rum.
What is the reasoning behind making some dildos, say, bright blue or hot orange? Is it to make them seem more fun? Doesn't a device that has rotating beads and is designed to work your clit, vaginal walls, and g-spot all at the same time seem "fun" enough already? Women are needy.
Sometimes there is a great disparity in the way we view each other. Like, if I was walking down the street with a friend and I saw a woman I knew, I might say, "Dude, I know her. She and I have these amazing, earth-shaking conversations. Our desire for each other is palpable. It's as if our lips have complementary polarity. When we look into each other's eyes, I can actually see a future without war or pain. I can envision utopia, and I can see our children living it." But that same woman, walking down the street with her friend, might see me and say, "That guy does my dry-cleaning." You see? Disparity.
I would very much like to see the statistics on the increased percentage of people who talk on the phone while taking a dump since the massive surge in cell phone use during the last decade or so. I'll bet there's a direct correlation.
I still have my teddy-bear from childhood. Super Poochie. (Yes, that's his name, and no, he doesn't have a cape. Eff you.) He's awesome, and I enjoy having him out. I feel like his real place is in my bed, but he's been living on the shelf above my computer, because what if a girl comes over? There is a fine line between "Fuck this momma's-boy!", and "Oooh, I wanna fuck this momma's-boy!", or so I like to imagine.
If they made pens filled with chocolate ink, the teller at the bank would constantly have to say, "You don't want to lick that. Seriously. Everybody licks that," and he would hate his job even more than he already does. And you'd probably get herpes.
To bring it all back around: When a girl doesn't want to tongue-kiss me, sometimes I wonder, "Is it because I am a taupe-colored dildo, rather than a bright blue? Or am I, rather, the Slurpee she's moved beyond?".
Now throw your teddy-bear onto your bed! Take your clothes off and just drop them on the floor (to warm up the place). Now, wrap your arms around your waist and hug your abs. Just hug 'em. They're good enough.
Lots of love,
Brent 4.13.07 12.29am
so I will tonight.
The world is a confusing place. In fact, it's a spinning ball. Is it any wonder we get lost sometimes?
I started to write something last week about journeys -- big and small. The example I used was my trip to
Sometimes we overcomplicate things. Sometimes we get so enmired in the details that we lose all perspective. In terms of a journey (large or small), it's easy to get so tangled up in the details, the stress, the logistics, the hows and whats, that we lose sight of why we wanted to take the journey in the first place. If you're taking a trip to
And what's the answer? Well, I don't know. I imagine it's different for everybody. I will say this, though: we need less than we think we do. Never forget your quest, though. You can be cold and hungry, but the pursuit of your dream (again, big or small) will offer much satisfaction, whereas you can be warm and full, but if you're not in pursuit of what your heart needs, your soul will feel that lack, and an unsated soul is far more dangerous than an unsated stomach.
In other news, romance comes and romance goes. Sometimes the flux and flow is like the tide, and sometimes it's a rogue wave. Lately, though, I've been feeling like I'm just floating on my back in the middle of the sea. And I'm content with that. I'm not interested in paddling right now. I'm not in a rush to be anywhere. Currents are always at work, though, and land may be...
Goodnight, from your tired friend.
-Brent 4.7.2007 4:37am
While I was coming into the station this morning I saw a pale, tubby kid (with an under-sized Yankee's jacket) just inside the rotating gate. He was just standing there, kind of absently spinning the gate with his hand, but not going through; not quite ready to leave the station yet. I just wanted to hug him. I wanted to pat him on the shoulder and say, "This world is going to be a rough place for you, little one, and I'm sad to say that it's going to get worse before it gets better. Just try to ride out puberty, though; if you can make it through that, you've got a good chance of survival." Poor little fucker. I don't blame him for standing there and spinning the gate. I wouldn't want to go either. That's a phase of life I wouldn't do over again for the world.
My friend Abdul and I once had the same dream. I mean, the exact same dream. This one night, my senior year of high school, I passed out while my
He said, "What meeting?"
"The Kryptonite Meeting."
"The superhero meeting… with the fat people."
At which point he said, "Dude. What are you talking about? Wake up. I'm leaving."
And then I actually did wake up and say, "Huh? Oh. Alright, peace."
And that was that. Until, maybe a week or so later I was at a party and I was talking with my friend Abdul. Bay was there too. And somehow that night came up, and we were talking about my crazy jibber-jabber as I was waking up. I said that I was like, "You can't go… you'll miss the kryptonite meeting." And Abdul, without blinking said, "The superhero meeting?" And I said, "Yeah." And he said, "Yeah… with the fat people." I said yeah. "Yeah. I had that dream," he said.
It was one of the weirdest things ever. Bay says he didn't tell him about it or anything. It was just one of those incredibly weird things, where two people, two friends, had the exact same, strange dream. Weirder still: he had the dream when he fell asleep one night while watching Desperado on IFC, leaving it running in the background, just as it had been with me. Now, I've watched Desperado since then, and I have verified that there is no mention of Kryptonite meetings or superheroes, anywhere. Yet, two people, passing out watching the same thing, had the same dream.
It was one of those things that was just so bizarre, and so far beyond explanation, that we both just kind of accepted it, like it's just one of those things that happen. We still bring it up every now and then. "That was really weird, right?" "Yeah. Really weird." But, beyond that, I don't think either of us really knows how to wrap our minds around it, so we haven't really tried.
Abdul is one of those interesting characters in my life. He and I really became friends when neither of us had ever been snowboarding before and our friends took us up an intermediate slope then abandoned us for the rest of the day. We spent the entire day falling on our asses and crashing into trees, but we laughed a lot. (And really, is there any friendship stronger than one that's forged in laughter? That's how Bay and I became friends too, now that I think about it. Dylan too. Hmm...) We never really hung out consistently, or that often, but he would show up for random moments of awesomeness. Running into each other in
Whatever the case, that is my story about Abdul and the weird, shared dream.
And those were my thoughts at on the subway this morning. There were others as well.
Have a nice week.
-B 3.12.2007 10.36am
"I'm so god damned horny, the crack of dawn better be careful around me, boy." –Tom Waits (from Nighthawks at the Diner)
So, you're stuck. Stopped. You haven't moved in days. You see scattered plans laid out around you, scrawled on wrinkled sheets of paper, strewn about your bedroom floor, surrounding you; all your ideas, all your projects, perhaps your dreams, perhaps your heart's best intentions. They are treasure maps to the things you want. Some would take half and hour, some would take half your life. Some are half-cocked, some are genius; most lie somewhere in between. You start to reach toward one, but you don't get far, because there's that other one. You move toward it, but you barely budge. Pulled in so many directions at once, you remain static, in the middle. Until... until you can't take it any more. Turn yourself as best you can toward the direction of your desire, then start rocking back and forth, bit by bit, trying to keep your nose pointed in the direction you hope to go in, and hope like hell that when you finally tip you don't go blindly backward and hit your head on the ground. Rock forward, then back, then forward, then back, each time the arc getting bigger, and then, finally, you tip forward, and you start to roll. Set in motion, you have, at last, attained some...
Man, that was hard, wasn't it? It seemed like every minute disturbance brought you back to zero, didn't it? Every disruption, every distraction, every excuse halted your progress, and maybe you even had to change directions a time or ten, but you made it, baby; you're moving. What now? Now you have to stay just ahead of it. You're like a kid running down a grassy hill, and for just a moment, it feels effortless; you're almost flying, and in that sweetest of moments, you actually let yourself believe that you've crossed some threshold, you've slain every dragon, and this is how it's going to be from now on; it will always be this sweet and easy. But just like when it was forming, momentum continues to be a delicate thing. Where, just moments ago, you were effortlessly gliding down that grassy slope, suddenly your legs are struggling to keep up with the speed of your body. Any change in direction or acceleration, any attempt to decelerate, and you immediately feel G-Forces acting on you. And you can't have a G-Force without...
Gravity (when things get heavy):
Sometimes things happen. Sometimes these things that happen are most certainly not the things you would have wished for. Sometimes you fall. Sometimes somebody gets cancer. Sometimes somebody gets pregnant. Sometimes somebody gets hurt. Sometimes it's you. Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes the kid falls down on the grassy slope; sometimes he makes it to the bottom, and stops to catch his breath. Sometimes the surfer doesn't have enough speed and the wave passes him by; sometimes he falls in front of it and it eats him alive; or sometimes he actually plays it just right, and he makes it to the end; in any event, he sinks back down, and he stops. Sometimes people slow down, sometimes they speed up, sometimes they change directions, and sometimes they collide. No matter the result, in any of these cases, eventually, you have to come to a stop, where ever you've landed, and when you do, you take stock. You check to see that your limbs are all where they're supposed to be, and that you can wiggle your fingers and toes. You look around to see where you've ended up, maybe who you've ended up with, or without. You replay the experience in your head again, as many times as you need, and you mine it for information. You see what you've learned.
Rest. Heal. Lick your wounds, cry your tears, mend your bones, shout away your victories and your demons, take a deep, deep breath, and put those lessons in your bag for the next go 'round.
Now, which way this time? It's a big, fat world out there. Don't stay seated too long.
When it comes to whacky religious traditions, those Catholics are on their game. Why just this week there was:
Ash Wednesday: The beginning of Lent, where Catholics go to church and the priest or minister marks the forehead of each participant with black ashes. The symbolism echoes the ancient Near Eastern tradition of throwing ash over one's head signifying repentance before God (as related in the Bible). They wear the ashes on their forehead all day (which, every single year causes me to go, "Dude, that guy has a serious mole!" until I see the second or third large-moled person, and I realize that A) It's Ash Wednesday, and B) I'm stupid.)
Fat Tuesday: a.k.a. Marti Gras! Juxtaposed with Ash Wednesday, rather than wearing ashes, people wear very loud clothing (in quantities as slight as possible). It's the quintessential bender before the forty days of social/sexual/libational hibernation (depending on what you're "giving up") that is Lent. Also, while on most days legal tender is generally considered "coins, bills, checks, and credit cards", the preferred set of currency on Fat Tuesday is "beads, beer, vodka, and virginity".
So, we have Fat Tuesday Ash Wednesday. Everybody knows about those. What most people don't know is that the Catholics have every day of this week plotted out! Let's take a look...
Spinach Saturday: The color for this day is green, specifically, in the teeth. On this day Catholics eat a hearty quantity of spinach for breakfast, purposefully mashing as much of it as possible into the crevices between their teeth. Then all toothbrushes are removed from the house and burned (note: a special papal dispensation in 2004 was granted allowing Sonicare owners to merely discard and burn the replaceable head, citing the high cost of replacing the base unit every year). For the rest of the day, Catholics are then encouraged to "Smile super-big!" so as to show both the top and bottom rows of teeth, and use lots of words that utilize the long E sound. This is to show fealty to God and his wisdom in creating plants and vegeatables.
Poo-Shoe Sunday: a.k.a. "Walk a Mile in His Shoes Day". Step in some poo. Go on, do it. If you live in New York, this will be very easy. If you live in the suburbs you may have to resort to your cat's litter box or your child's diapers. Don't wipe it off. Not until sundown. Your co-workers my object, but if they do, you may threaten to sue on grounds of religious persecution (and you'll bloody win, too!). This tradition dates back to an old rivalry between shepherds and goatherds, each of whom believed that the other's animal's fecal matter was less pungent than that of his own animal. In order to put an end to a resulting 89-year blood-feud, King Irving (a.k.a. "King Irving the Embezzler") mandated that each step in the other's animal's excrement and walk for not less than a mile (round trip). That shut them up.
Mustard-Stain Monday: a.k.a. Dijon Danny Day! The early days of Catholicism were not easy; Catholics were oppressed, enslaved, even hunted for their shiny, shiny ivory. Catholics are, however, not easy to identify merely by appearances, so whenever a known Catholic passed by he would be squirted in the pants with mustard. Then one day, horrified by this inhumane treatment, a non-Catholic traveler named "Daniel" (his surname has not survived to this day) opted to show solidarity, and doused his own shorts with mustard. Danny mistakenly used Dijon mustard, though, (the Catholics were generally squirted with French's yellow) and due to the high concentration of horse-radish he had just dispensed to his crotchial region, he ran screaming through the town, flung himself into the nearest well, and drown. (note: wasabi, to this day, is not sanctioned by the
Trouser-Tent Thursday: Don't ask them about it, but the Catholics once were Jews. The Jews, back then, were a nomadic people (where as now, just try and get us to leave Brooklyn for an afternoon!), and dwelled, generally, in tents. The Jews were (and still are) also known for their comely women who "developed" early, and their teenage boys, who would "stare" and "gape" at them, while the whole world could read their mind through their tunics. Hence, Trouser-Tents.
and last, but certainly not least...
Frotteurism* Friday (if confused, see definition below): Catholics are, after all, if nothing else, all about the love. They give a lot, and they get a lot. The Catholic church is basically just one big love-fest. Frotteurism Friday, however, is the day they share that love with you, the stranger. Go ahead, rub up against that special someone on the train you've never seen before. Gently brush against your neighbor's wife. Do you work on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange? Heck, you can honor this age-old tradition during a busy bit of trading and no one will even notice (but they'll notice in their hearts, and in the eyes of Jesus). And if you're feeling ambitious, and you happen to be passing by a church... hey, what are you waiting for? That choir isn't going to frotteurize itself! Now get out there and give some LOVE!
*Frotteurism: In psychiatry, the clinical term frotteurism (no longer called frottage) refers to a specific sexual disorder. It is a paraphilia involving rubbing against another person to achieve sexual arousal or even orgasm, discreetly without being discovered, typically in a public place such as a crowded train. -wikipedia
P.S. Hope no one's offended. You know I love you guys from the deepest cockles of my heart.
Let's have fun today. Let's catch up.
First, I recently installed Myspace Messenger because, yes, I really am that bored at work, and I noticed that Tom is always signed on. I figured that no one was actually there, or that it was just a program that would have automatic responses or something, but yesterday, I decided to send a message and check. The following is the copy/pasted actual conversation I had with the real Tom:
tom is online (02:53 PM on 02/15/07) :
Hey Tom. How's it going?
I was just kind of curious to see if anybody is actually there.
That's all you say, isn't it?
Hmmm... I can't tell. I know, I'll ask you some questions. Who is your favorite hiphop crew?
... Oh! Wu-Tang? (it's actually spelled W-U, not W-O-O, but I knew what you meant) Yeah I think they're awesome! What is your favorite Jada Pinkett movie?
Good answer! Man, you didn't even hesitate! Okay, okay... what do gay construction workers shout at boys as they walk by?
Your omnipotence humbles me, Tom. I will tell others. Bless me, father, before I go?
--- end of conversation ---
Second, the last couple of weeks have been very trying. Love-life woes combined with a stagnant-feeling acting/writing career (and a soulless day job I have to wake up at 6am for every day that's sucking all my energy) made for a very unhappy boy. Last week was the worst. Because, on top of all that, I seemed to have some sort of transportation/communication curse placed on me. Really, almost every single train I got on last week either was late, stopped on the tracks, or was rerouted while I was half-way home. It was maddening. And I seemed to be unable to express myself properly, to anyone, about anything. Things were getting confused and misinterpreted all the time. But then I heard a lot of other people complaining about the same thing sort of thing (love-life, transportation, and communication) last week as well. It seems that it may have been more of a universal curse. I'm not generally one given to believing in planetary shit but maybe Mercury was in retrograde, or Venus was in technograde, or something. Anybody else? (Pluto in metrograde?)
Last week I send out a big email and bulletin post saying I was, at long last, going to make my "Wallowing In It" mix cd, and I asked for suggestions. I expected maybe two or three responses. Three days and roughly 90 emails later, I suddenly found myself in an intersting situation: already in my highly emotional state regarding things of the heart, I suddenly had literally HUNDREDS of the world's saddest songs to (carefully) listen to, contemplate, and, well, wallow in. And let me tell you something, aparently, my friends are some sad, sad motherfuckers. Or, at least, they have good taste in incredibly depressing music. Suffice to say that, not feeling social anyway, I spent a good portion of my weekend at my computer, with my headphones on, balling my eyes out like a misunderstood teenager. Don't start feeling bad for me, though, because it was actually exactly what I needed. That's the whole idea behind the Wallowing In It mix: get it out of you system, so you can get on with your life. I was feeling much better on Monday.
On Wednesday I had a big audition. It was for a killer role on Law and Order. And, well, I didn't do all that well. The audition was alright, but it wasn't much better than that, and I knew it. What killed me is that I was so "right" for the role, and the casting director thought so, too, and I know that if I'd just been in a better headspace, I should have at least been able to get a call back. But yesterday was the day I would have heard, and it came and went, and I was bummed... big time.
Also, looming, was that this weekend (or now, today, actually) the girl that is the up-to-this-point love-of-my-life is coming to New York... with her new husband. (NOTE: See blog entry "How bizarre, how bizarre..." from March or May of '06 for more on this.) I haven't seen her in over five years (essentially, since we broke up), and I've never met her husband, yet, here we are, all going out tonight (along with a few other friends I haven't seen in half a decade). Am I uncertain of how I feel about all of this? Yes. Yes I am.
Then last night, around 1am I awoke when a friend called me (forgot to turn off my ringer again, damnit), and I was talking to her, trying to remember how to speak English, when my roommate knocked on my door, and said there were all these firetrucks on the street. I hung up the phone, and sure enough, you could see four fire trucks from my window. My roommate opened it, and the smell of smoke poured in. She thought it was the pizza place on the corner (about two buildings over... which I was really upset about because that's the best pizza in the neighborhood and it's right on my corner!). So I threw some clothes on and went outside. It wasn't the pizza place. Worse, it was an apartment building across the street, and it wasn't four fire trucks, there were nine or ten full-sized trucked, and dozens and dozens of SUV sized, ambulences, and cop cars. Thick smoke was pouring out of the windows, and suddenly, all of my problems were put in perspective. I was watching fire fighters strapping on their gear, getting read to go in, and you could see that there was some fear in their eyes, but they were going in just the same (god, I have a lot of respect for those people). And I could see whole families, who'd clearly come out of the building, huddled around in blankets, and I said, "Man, my problems are small-time, compared to this." I went home, and my roommates and I sent some good-wishes/prayers to those affected by the fire (residents, fire fighters, etc.), and I went back to bed. It wasn't that my problems were gone, but I sure as shit wasn't complaining anymore.
I leave you with a story of triumph and great glory:
It finally fucking happened! I got out of work early on Wednesday to go do that audition, in the thick of the East Coast storm. I sent out the bulletin again, and I got two takers. My friend Clara (and her two dogs), and my friend January. We got as bundled up as we could, walked to Prospect Park, and blew up our intertubes... and it was amazing. We started on a small slope, and gradually found a big one where you could get really, really long rides, that would take us crashing into a very forgiving fence! It was hilarious and wonderful. It was real "kid fun", you know? And I think that's really the purest kind. In fact there were tons of kids sledding around us; we were by far the oldest people there. Well, we were, but then there was this father and daughter who had been admiring our tubes (our tubes, incidentally, were WAY faster that any of the sleds that the other had... campmor.com ... five bucks... get yours!), and so we let the daughter borrow one for a bit. Then we put them both on my tube built for two and they went careening down the slope and smashed into the fence. They absolutely loved it. We let some kids play on them, too, and I'd try out their snow toys. It was a really, really great day. I hope more people can come next time. I'm leaving you with some more pictures below.
January and pooch (Maya) with glorious tubes in the background:
Clara and pooch (Radio), right before she went careening down the slope with him in her lap:
Me, about to take off, stoked out of my mind: