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decades and sperm banks [09 Dec 2009|02:02pm]

standing in line at the sperm bank, waiting to make my weekly deposit, i happened to glance at the line of males standing ahead of me. each sort of had the swollen look of defeat. mean while any number of women were walking in and out, quite pleased with themselves. a chance at survival is all we were after. the woman were looking for the exact same thing.

do you settle for obscurity? i think i have. sort of excepted defeat. because i'm lazy, or generally too scared to take the next step. in this day and age, it's all about innovation. that's how you make money. than that you must except routine, complacency, and visions of the future are just random stray thoughts, shooting through your brain, faster than you can process them. and then they pass, and a cold wind hits you as you escape from the gas station with a cup of coffee in your hand. clouds moving by at twenty four frames per second. your hair blows back away from your face and your breath heaves out in white wisps. it's good to be alive.

i'm lead down a small hallway with locked doors on either side. the nurse in front of me is holding a cup, which i will shoot my semen into. there's no pleasure here, just a few good pumps and fifty bucks in my pocket. she stops in front of an open door. "how's this?" she asks. i nod in approval, because it makes no difference. "anything to read? watch?" all these questions. i can't help but think that homo sapiens didn't survive this way. though, i'm not one to say no to free porn. "both." i smile, hopeful. she smiles back and tosses two magazines and a dvd onto the small doctor's bed. "let me know if there's anything else i can do." and she walks away. a sudden nurse fantasy flirts through my mind, but i push it away. this isn't a place for fantasy.

happiness is such a bitch. when you don't have it, you want it. when you have it you don't know how to keep it. maybe i'm manufacturing my own chaos. looking for something to whine and moan about. maybe unhappiness defines us, and happiness is just a made up word. something to achieve and work for other than religion, or retirement. i think for me, it's expectations that i haven't met, that cause me unhappiness. the person i want to be versus the person i am. lately though, if i'm not feeling happiness, i don't know what else this could be.

i close the door to the small room, and lock it. the walls are thick but i can still hear the sounds of ooooo and ahhhhh from the room next to me. i pop in my own movie simply because i can't stand the thought of someone else masturbating in the room next to me. but fifty bucks is on the line. so is the future of my genes. i don't know if anyone has ever selected me. what difference does it make? this is my best shot at shoving my genetic failures one generation ahead. and at making fifty bucks. i loosen the clasp on my belt and drop my pants. incredibly there is a mirror in this room. i take one long sad look at the figure staring back at me. even the reflection in the mirror looks better. no other room i have been in has had a mirror. i decide to face the other way. there might be nothing more disgusting in this world than watching one pleasure one's self.

plenty to be disappointed about. plenty to worry about. my 25 grand and climbing student loans. my lack of ambition, or even desire. but goddamn i've never felt better. you start seeing the outcome of decisions made years ago. you start seeing the smallest details in everything, and how one action inevitably, but sometimes reluctantly leads to the next. there's not much to show for six years on my own except my fat neck, and the couch where i used to sleep.

a knock comes at the door, and i'm startled. "everything ok in there?" it's the nurse. "yes?" i reply. i'm not sure what could go wrong. i've never had trouble before. but for whatever reason, i'm just laying on the doctor's table perusing the magazines. in the back are advertisements for all sorts of bizarre bedroom toys. i could never envision purchasing something like this. but whatever makes you happy, right? "ok let me know if there is anything i can do" the nurse says. i thought she had left, but apparently she simply stood there for a moment. listening? wondering? i find a big article in the front about a "violinist" of the vagina. it's about as engrossing as politics, but i'm indifferent. i'm not quite ready to do what i came here to do.

we're about to close out this decade. a decade that has really seen it all in my opinion. attack, divorce, graduation, facebook. 2009 has been a chaotic year for me. as i seek to redefine, or rather finally size myself up i'm quite eager to get a head start on 2010. for what? to do what? i don't know, but i have some optimism for once, and i'm gonna seize it.

the article ended up just as i thought it would. a long narcissistic dissection of one man's superior oral abilities. past girlfriends were quoted and their descriptions were just as lewd as you can imagine them to be. i wonder where they find these people. but i don't have to look far. i suppose if i could have some groundbreaking sexual technique i would appreciate an article about myself. nevertheless it was time to get down to business. just then, in the hallway, i hear a door open and close. the same nurse must have been nearby cause i heard her "i'll take that, i'll take that." i pause for a moment, expecting another knock. almost hoping for another knock. but the usual rap of knuckles against wood never came. i turn my attention to the film, where some muscular bulk of testosterone is heaving himself back and forth against a passionately submissive female. love? never. not in a million years. an industry defined by capitalizing on our most intimate desires. disgusting. i turn it off.

what does all that optimism mean though? where is it coming from? maybe those aren't questions worth answering. if you have it, while try and find the source. preservation comes to mind, or maybe it's just some unquenchable search for truth. everything has borders, but there is always something right beyond the borders, and in those dim gray areas we can find some truth.

i pull it out, and by "it" i hope you know what i'm referring to. i look at it. a mechanism of reproduction, or so the textbooks would have you think. but here i am on a tuesday morning using it for profit. and survival. someone, somewhere will pick my sperm. the sperm will take a long trip down a short tube, first one their wins. it's quite simple really. quite biological. i try and get it going, but nothing is happening. nothing. zilch. nada. i breath a heavy sigh and try and focus on the most beautiful women i have ever seen. she flashes in my mind for just a moment. then disappears. gone, just like all the rest. i try again, but she doesn't come back. i take another deep breath and think about the nurse. but she's too nice. then i rush forth with a slew of superficial male fantasies. but nothing works. i despise myself, my genes. curse you nature! is my family doomed to die with me? will i be the last of my kind?

time to put myself out there, and lose like all the rest, or win like some of the others. time to stop pondering my irrelevant ideas about what i want out of life. time to take on some responsibility and be a man. ah yes, i am terribly excited for 2010.

i've reattached my belt and chalked it up to a nice try. having terrible, terribly trouble for whatever reason today. can't get anything going. not even a half stock. i walk out into the hall, head hanging low, small container empty. the nurse comes by "i'll take that, i'll take that." i hand it to her and she can see the gloom in my eyes of a man who can't run the marathon. "ah well, mr. burns. better luck next time, right?" no comfort. i shake my head in disapproving approval. "maybe next time i'll go in and help." she winks and walks off. i can't help but smile. can't help but do anything but stand for a moment in quiet reflection. what the fuck am i doing here?

comments: 1 found out I was just kidding. and Your opinion matters to me.

weddings and scratch kitchens [11 Nov 2009|10:59am]

big rick is finally settling down this weekend, and becoming a one woman man. the holy ceremony of matrimony (minus the christ) happens this weekend in the forest setting of upstate pa. alot of us have been wondering when it was going to happen, and sometime after the superbowl big rick got down on one knee in a sea of rose petals and popped the question.

ah, young love in old people. it's refreshing to see.

dad has spared no expense i can see from dinner to wine. but you only get married twice in some cases. the whole lot of us are trekking up that way to be a part of this event, some have hailed "the social engagement of the season." one new york time's columnist refered to this wedding as the "dionysian utopia only dreamer's can think of" but seriously though, congratulations to mr. and mrs. soon to be mrs. grimes.


holidays rapidly approaching. i drove by applebees in robinson on my way to work yesterday and noticed a big sign in black lettering reading "WE WILL BE OPEN AT 8AM ON BLACK FRIDAY." good for them. and thank god i don't work there. i asked my manager if we would be opening early too. "alittle earlier than usual, but not at 8. you see brad, we are a scratch kitchen. we have alot more prep to do than applebee's." i rolled my eyes, and minded my business. putting scratch in front of your kitchen seems to give you the right to charge five dollars more for the meal. and i hate that everytime i ask a question, i get corporate philosophy in return. scratch kitchen. what a load.but they are paying the bills. i need a good business model to stand behind. something i believe in, or am willing to let go of my conceited preconceived notions of corporate america. how much will it cost to buy my soul?

or putting micro in front of brewery means the beer suddenly costs more. or homemade in front of pie means the pie is suddenly 6.99 or more.

i've been watching amc's madmen these past few weeks. the show is tragically human. honest, but bitter towards it's honesty. and i recorded the new remake of V that abc is doing. the reviews for that show were incredibly misleading. someone wrote that it was the best pilot in years, instantly addictive and all this other garbage, but it really is pretty poorly made. the acting had me laughing in the second episode. most of the story feels rushed, and characters are jumping to conclusions really fast. they seem to simply understand the motives of the visitors after a few brief encounters.

sadly this past week my hard drive crashed and a year's worth of stolen movies was lost. i didn't know there was emotion involved in piracy, but rest assured, there is. however, on new dvd's i've noticed the decrypting software doesn't work as well as it did before. i think the industry found some way to block out dvd decrypter anyway, so maybe it will be time to go back to just plain old netflix. there are a few staple movies everyone should own. magnolia. there will be blood. no country for old men. american beauty. the lord of the rings triology. the empire strikes back. the shawshank redemption. and the departed. but i think my days of ripping and returning are drawing to a close.

dan brown's the lost symbol? seriously? i can't believe i spent 9.99 for that schlock. and what the hell was the last fifty pages about. there was action and thrills. then it seemed as if dan brown stopped writing and brought in a slow dancer to finish the book. the twists were cliche and sadly predictable. there was a whole storyline occuring at cia headquarters that ended up having nothing to do with the story at all. and while his other books aren't exactly masterpieces, in terms of addicting page turner material, this book left much to be desired.

and because i'm completely fucking bored and because it was free i tried to read charles darwin's on origin of species. i'm not entirely sure what i was expecting out of this one. i'm not a biologist or naturalist by any means. it was a revolutionary text in it's day, to be sure. but the theory has been taught well over throughout my education, and i gained very little by reading it.

dracula and salem's lot were fun. people love salem's lot. but it was just ok. compared to the other stephen king. after i finished the dark tower in april i just needed a break from the master of horror. but right before school started back up i thought i would give the lot a chance. i'm really looking forward to reading under the dome this month.

and i threw in a little nietzsche to round out the beginning of september. thus spoke zarathustra and beyond good and evil. i threw in a few bergman films for good existensial measure and now i feel completely void of god in my life. i'll drink to that. cheers.

perhaps the most signifigant event since july has been the sale of my xbox. prior to moving i started to move away from it. once moved i hadn't played it at all. in late august i thought i was going to make a videogame comeback when i started my WoW account again. but after two weeks the usual boredom took hold and i haven't played since. i started posting on craigslist for the xbox and games in the beginning of october and finally someone took the whole lot for two hundred bucks. there's been a few times since i sold it that i'm like "damn, that thing was fun." the t.v. stand doesn't look the same without it, but i just wasn't playing it. i think i fucking over did it with left 4 dead. i lost alot of life playing that game. i can't even remember doing anything from december to march expect playing that game. 

speaking of craigslist. if you really wanna see some fucked up shit, go to the casual encounters section of craigslist. i viewed two or more pages of this section and saw more than enough dick. when people are looking for quick, guilt free sex, this is where they go. a couple of the more entertaining posts included: "i'm in the pittsburgh airport terminal for the next hour. just looking for a quick lay." and "steelers just defeated the titans, i'm in the north shore and need a blow job." 


useless.

 
 

comments: 2 found out I was just kidding. and Your opinion matters to me.

chatting with the greats [20 Jul 2009|02:49pm]

 "It wasn't good. It was terrible. All it had was a big blue penis for two and a half hours.” Corey on Watchmen

Needless to say, Zack Snyder's much talked about superhero epic comes to DVD and blu-ray at midnight tonight. The only problem now is, which format to buy it in?

Satan: You all are here to serve your time and then you get to go to heaven. Simple as that. We have TV , internet, wifi if you have the card but we will not provide it for you, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, we have it all. If you don't see it here, just talk to one of the staff, and they should be able to get it for you. Any questions?
Abe Lincoln: Ummm, how is this punishment?
Satan: It's not. Wait till you get to heaven.
Susan B. Anthony: Then what are we doing here?
Satan: Waiting.
Abe Lincoln: Waiting for what?
Satan: Hell to freeze over. Haha. You've heard that one haven't you?

Blu-ray sales have increased 91% since 2008. When I sold my PS3 earlier this year, it was under two conditions. The first being the price of Blu-ray discs. To me, it seemed like the studios were trying to milk more money out of consumers. Which they are. Movies that have been out, succeeded in both the theater and on DVD are now being pushed with an extra ten dollar price tag. I'm not sure the cost that goes into converting movies to HD, but those methods that are being used should start becoming cheaper and faster. A lower priced disc should make itself available if the medium itself is to survive. The second reason behind my abandoning of the technology was simply that I was not buying it. I felt no need. I still have a few movies on blu-ray, but that are useless without the player. Not to mention that I have my media center scheme, but I have started to think. Not every movie should be purchased in HD, unless it becomes increasingly cheaper. There are some movies that benefit from a 1080p perspective, though. For example, The Dark Knight's HD presentation is absolutely gorgeous. I can say the same for the BBC produced Planet Earth series. But updating my entire library to HD is simply pointless. I've gotten beyond that total home theater experience I was looking for.

FDR: So what is heaven like?
Satan: I don't know. I've never been. I'm just the warden down here.
FDR: Warden?
Satan: Everyone needs to make a living.
Charlton Heston: A living? You're the prince of darkness. Lucifer. The Devil.
Satan: Oh, come on Heston. You worked in fiction you're entire life. You know the difference between make believe and truth. That whole battle of good vs. evil, that's a bunch of bull shit.
Gandhi: He's right.
Stalin: Have you heard what heaven's like?
Satan: I have. Some come back down here after too long cause they can't stand the gestapo treatment up there.
Stalin: I like the sound of it already. What have you heard? Book burnings? Suppression of information? Strong centralized government? Tell, do tell!
S
atan:
Stalin my man, you're gonna love it there. But I've heard that the Big Man is a vicious cock block.
JFK: No!
Satan: Sorry John. But you're gonna have to keep yourself in check.
Bill Clinton: How can we stay here?

Now Watchmen is upon on us, and I'm struggling with purchasing a blu-ray player again to watch it. On Saturday night, Snyder is giving a live commentary from San Diego using BD-live. Fans will be able to ask questions and listen in as he details his direction of the movie. I think this is a unique opportunity, but only for those who own blu-ray. This film will probably be remember a decade from now as this generation's Blade Runner.

Satan: You can't. Once your time is up you go.
St. Thomas Aquinas: Luckily I've done something terrible. I'm almost at a thousand years.
Satan: You'll be leaving soon enough.
Abe Lincoln: Is that Jesus?
Satan: That's him.
FDR: What's he here for?
Satan: He's got kids here. Hey Jesus. JESUS! Over here, dude.
Jesus: What's up Red Devil.
Satan: Not much White Devil.
Jesus: That never gets old.
Satan: Jesus this is FDR, Abe Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Bill Clinton, JFK, Gandhi, and Bill Clinton.
Stalin: Don't forget me.
Satan: Sorry Joe. This is Joseph Stalin.
Jesus: The Stalin?
Stalin: In the spirit.
Jesus: Dad is gonna love you.
Stalin: Is he looking for a right hand man?
Jesus: Job is taken, bro.
JFK: It's a pleasure to meet you Mr. Christ.
Jesus: Please call me Jesus.
Bill Clinton: Where did Heston run off to?
Satan: I have no idea.

I started pricing the players last night. I could get a drive for the computer for around two hundred. I could at least watch the movies. A small collection might ensue, but I don't want anything big like the DVD collection. I happen to like the clutter and dust free way in which the living is set up. If we could just do something about these shelves.

Jesus: So what are you guys here for.
FDR: I was under the impression we were great men, who accomplished great things.
Jesus: That's a laugh. Try dying for someone else's sins.
Satan: You always hold that over there heads.
Jesus: I guess the Passion of the Christ wasn't out when you guys dipped out, huh?
Bill Clinton: I saw it. Mel Gibson's masterpiece.
Satan: Was it? I mean a masterpiece? The dude who did Mad Max and Forever Young makes thought provoking masterpieces?
Bill Clinton: Well I liked it.
FDR: You have it down here?
Satan: Oh god no. Propaganda we consider it.
Stalin: Propaganda?
Jesus: Easy, Stalin. Down here your a grunt.
Stalin: I resent that.
FDR: You would.
Ghandi: Is this what afterlife is?
JFK: We've done nothing but stand next to this lake of fire and chat.
Satan: And what would you like to do Mr. Kennedy. How would you like to spend your afterlife? Today is the first day of the rest of your afterlife.
Bill Clinton: (laughs)
Ghandi: I figured there would be more praying.
Satan: Pray then.
Ghandi: Would anyone else like to pray?
Aquinas: Praying is for the living. I'm gonna hit up the bowling alley. Anyone else care to join?
Ghandi: I guess I'll go. I've bowled twice in my life. The second time I got a turkey.
Aquinas: Down here everyone is a turkey, bro. Later guys.
Satan: Later.
Jesus: (waves)
Satan: Shit, what time is it?
Bill Clinton: (looking at watch) Little past ten.
Satan: I have to go. New arrivals.
Jesus: Alright man. Catch you later.
FDR: Godspeed.
Satan: (chuckles)

I read Dune this week. The oft-quoted “best-selling science fiction novel” of all time. It was imaginative, and thought-provoking. I could not help but see parallels with today's own global problems concerning oil. I am sure it was written under similar pretenses. The planet Arrakis is a sandy wasteland, void of water. Arrakis holds the key to civilization in the year 10191 in the form of the spice melange. Melange is necessary for inter-planetary travel. The whole of the empire is concerned with it. Much like oil, which is the river through which our contemporary civilization flows. Frank Herbert delivers much philosophy within his pages. Feuding houses that are attempting to achieve political power, and the means by which the go about it call up questions of power, economics and religion. The idea of a messiah is also explored through the lead character Paul Atreides. A good read, which I'll follow up on with Dune Messiah.


FDR: War saved us.
Bill Clinton: What? What about the new deal? All the government spending? I devoted my life to that.
FDR: War. Oh look here comes Satan.
Susan B. Anthony: Who is that with him?
FDR and Clinton: (shrug)
Satan: Everyone, this is Bradley Grimes.
Grimes: Clinton? FDR? Who are you?
Susan B. Anthony: Susan B. Anthony.
Grimes: Do you really need to include your middle initial?
Susan B. Anthony: Typical male response.
Bill Clinton: What brings you here?
Grimes: I don't know. I was just driving to work, and I woke up here.
Satan: Car accident. So sad.
Bill Clinton: No, but why is he here?
Grimes: Yeah, why am I here?
Satan: You're lazy.
FDR: Ouch.
Grimes: Did you need to say it like that?
Satan: Everyone lookie here! Lazy flounders about!
Grimes: Enough. How long am I here for?
Satan: A hundred years, but I could be wrong. Trust me when I say, you'll miss it once you're gone.
FDR: It will seem like nothing son. I've been here sixty and it's just like BAM! It goes by fast.
Grimes: I'll take your word for it.
Jesus: Sup, fellas.
Satan: How are the kids?
Jesus: They're dead.
FDR: Funny.
Jesus: No but seriously, they are. We all are.
Bill Clinton: This death stuff isn't so bad.
Grimes: Speak for yourself. Anyone have a cigarette.
FDR: (handing pack) Here you are son.
Grimes: Much obliged.
FDR: Anyone else?
Susan B. Anthony: No thank you. So lazy?
Grimes: (exhaling) Could we keep that quiet? It's not a reputation I want to earn.
Satan: You've already earned it.
Grimes: I just didn't see the need to contribute. I look around here and I see a bunch of people who killed with a few signatures. Bombs, and bills, and idealism. That's there legacy.
Jesus: Hey, these dudes just had ideas.
Grimes: Jesus, you've no room to talk.
Jesus: It's Mr. Christ to you.
Grimes: Mr. Christ. Listen to you. You father would be ashamed of you.

After I finished the book yesterday, I popped in The SciFi channel's 2000 Dune miniseries. I can't help but notice how shotty the special effects look. Considering that Battlestar Galactica would be produced less than three years later and how stunning they look in comparison, I can't help but think that Dune hasn't been given a proper film adaptation. There was David Lynch's 1984 version which was panned by critics and audiences alike. The trouble with the 2000 version, is that it's presented like a freak show. The House Harkonnen looks like something out a old episode of Batman. The same can be said of the emperor's palace. House Atreides is given a look of nobility compared to the other houses. It's probably meant to show the differences among the ruling houses, but the effect made me take the series less seriously. Also, characters introduce concepts and ideas very formally. It's to bring the audience of to speed on what everything is in the story. But they will say something and they immediately provide a definition for it. Frank Herbert would introduce something and explain it later. It provided a more natural flow to a science fiction story. It really removed me from the miniseries. Another adaptation is in the works right now. Hopefully they can give this story the right atmosphere, so that Dune can finally find a theatrical audience.

Ghandi:
That Aquinas is a cheater.
Satan: You should see Jesus bowl.
Jesus: I've never cheated before!
Satan: Is that why the ball came out of the gutter four times in a row?
Jesus: Hey what can I say, the power of Christ compels me.
Everyone: (laughs)
Grimes: What else have you got down here?
Satan: Plenty of seating for your humble laziness.
Grimes: Couches? Futons? I've slept on them all. Just give me a TV Or a good book and I'll be happy.
Jesus: Actually, big man's orders. No fiction for you. That's your punishment.
Grimes: You guys are dicks.
Satan: (whispering into Brad's ear) Don't worry lazy ass. As soon as he goes I'll get some movies for you.
Grimes: (whispering back) You're a saint. And don't call me lazy ass.
Satan: (whispering) Lazy ass.
Ghandi: Anything to eat around here?
Grimes: Plenty of ego it would seem.

How irreverent of me.


Jesus: Alright, I'm getting out of here. I left in the middle of a game of Hide and Seek with the old man. Hopefully he doesn't realize I'm gone.
Satan: He always finds the best spots.
Jesus: And if they don't exist he just creates them.
Stalin: Classic.
Susan B. Anthony: Actually Jesus, before you go I was wondering if I could talk to you about voting.
Jesus: Just call my secretary and set up an appointment. We'll get it all worked out sooner or later. (Jesus vanishes)
Susan B. Anthony: Jesus has a secretary?
Satan: You just got punk'd.
Grimes: Nice.
Susan B. Anthony: (leaves with fresh tears, swelling her eyes)
Grimes: Women, huh Stalin?
Stalin: Do I look like someone who ever even slept with a lady?
Grimes: Oh come on, that mustache? The ladies must have been dying to get in your suspenders.
JFK: (rolls eyes)
Stalin: The flesh of a women. My socialist practices couldn't control it all though.
Grimes: Maybe thats for the best.
JFK: You got to have a New England accent my man. And a compound. I was quite the philanderer in my hey day.
Stalin: Really?
JFK: You wouldn't believe.
Stalin: Maybe capitalism is the way to go?
Bill Clinton: Oh no. Don't worry. We inherited the whole socialist thing before too long.
Grimes: This is pointless.
Satan: Agreed. Each of you made a small marginal impact on the universe. Yet you are remembered as monumental saviors in your day. History hasn't enough time to reflect on your true effects.
Bill Clinton: But we got some ass in the mean time.
Satan: Isn't that all that truly matters anyway.
JFK: We changed the face of the planet. Ruled people. Allocated resources. I think we did something right.
FDR: I agree.
JFK: Lincoln. Look at Lincoln there. He ended slavery.
Satan: Via war.
FDR: Perhaps war is the only way to change.
Grimes: Idealism. It's a terrible, terrible thing.
Satan: Humans were on the right track there for a while. Then you guys started growing things. Staying in one place. You're animals. You know that right?
Darwin: He's right.
FDR: Then why the emotion? Why the reasoning powers?
Darwin: You needed it to survive somewhere along the line.
Satan: Darwin you always pop up at the right moment.
Darwin: Thank you.
Grimes: What are you here for?
Darwin: You're kidding right? I don't think God is ever going to let me in.
Grimes: Alright, I've had enough of this. We are just going to begin an endless debate here. And sadly, we have all eternity to ponder it. I'm going poolside for a bit. You have Pinot Noir here, right?
Satan: Sorry. We can't get it to grow.
Grimes: Cabernet? Sauvignon Blanc?
Satan: (lowers head)
Grimes: Well, I'll be god damned.

comments: 2 found out I was just kidding. and Your opinion matters to me.

whodunnit? [11 Jul 2009|03:08am]

"I ain't gonna work on Maggie's Farm no more” - Bob Dylan

“Brad, Ed Zeliesko. Well, looks like you guys owe me fifty bucks. I gotta say, I am pissed off. I give you guys a nice place and you jack me off. You better call me back motherfucker.” - Ed Zeliesko's angry voice mail.

Quite frankly, I just think I started out this week the wrong way. Sunday night, at the bar with coworkers, I succumb to peer pressure and do a shot of tequila. It was last call, and after much resistance I cave in and do it. It's warm and salty and just plain disgusting. I swallowed, trying not to taste it at all, but there are somethings in this world that leave strong impressions regardless of whether or not you are willing to except them.

By shear coincidence, I check my horoscope Tuesday morning. I used to do it daily when we got the Observer-Reporter at Subway. But it's pointless because they all have the same uncompromising, broad optimistic message. It's more of a way to subdue the nerve for people who are suicidal. They read it right before they swallow a bunch of pills, or slit their wrists. The message is uplifting and they lower the gun they have pointed at their temple.

Tuesday's Libra horoscope on Yahoo said something to the effect of: Somebody is going to say something to you today. Don't let it get the best of you.

I didn't really give it much thought. I just happened over it on my way to email. I went about my morning business. Coffee and a few dozen pages of Guns, Germs, and Steel. Cleaned up a little bit around the house. Usual day off bullshit.

Around two thirty, I look at my phone and see there is a voice mail. I bring it up and go into nervous panic when the recording verbally assaults me.

That taste of tequila is back in my mouth after I listen to this message. Everyone I have ever met who does drink tequila, absolutely adores it. Their first round of shots, all of them commented on how good it smells. That smell for me triggered horrible memories of a toilet bowl and a bruised ego. It's the smell of my greatest fears.

I have never been called a mother fucker before. Well, not entirely true. I call most of my friends mother fuckers and they in turn refer to me as mother fucker, but it's always a joke. I seriously hope it is. And there is a big difference between a friendly mother fucker and an actual mother fucker. I almost made it twenty four solid years without being called a mother fucker. I think if this shit had not gone down this week I might have made it at least another decade. Maybe more. Maybe I'd go to my grave, and my tombstone would read: Bradley Grimes, Certainly not a mother fucker.

I'm in a terror. This is not how I wanted to start this so called new life here in Crafton. First month's rent is one day late and now I am out fifty bucks. But wait...

Didn't we mail the rent check?

So, about two weeks ago, when the apartment officially became ours I gave Mr. Ed Zeliesko $585 for our security deposit. He gave me keys and I started moving stuff in.

Fucking tequila.

It was over that weekend that we were moving stuff in, that he stops by. He has two copies of the lease which he goes over with us. He also has a self addressed envelope. Rent is due on the fifth. If it's late one day there is a fifty dollar charge. If it's five days late, it's one hundred. Then eviction begins.

So the lease sits on the counter, in the envelope for the next two nights. On Wednesday the first, I go to work, reminding Scott to mail the check and lease. When I get home, I find a sheet of notebook paper with the landlord's address and our new one on the fridge door, held up by a Pirates Baseball Schedule magnet. On the counter I see stamps. It's funny that I remember all these little details, or even saw them in the first place, but I like to think I have fine attention to details. Maybe not.

I don't think anything of it. The check is in the mail. And I go about my business.

Sunday comes and I take that fateful, dreadful shot of tequila. I could still taste it Monday morning. Ugh. It leaves traces behind. The next day you feel it on your tongue and you simply just hate your life. There's nothing else comparable to tequila, and any description I give is just plain pointless. You can decide for yourself whether you wanna swallow it or not. Just keep it the hell away from me.

Monday I receive the first phone call. He's calm, and I tell him the check and lease were in the mail as of Wednesday afternoon. He hangs up. Doesn't say OK. Doesn't say Bye. Just simply hangs up. I call Scott, just to make sure he has put the check in the mail.

The stamps drift back into my mind. I remember seeing the book of forever stamps on the counter. I assume Scott has mailed it, or set up some elaborate scene in which to deceive me. The latter is highly unlikely.

Tuesday rolls around and the rest is history at this point.

I call Scott and he tells me to just write another check. I call Mr. Zeliesko back and he freaks out on me on the phone. He tells me he could have rented the place to ten other people. My first thought was to say “Well why didn't you?” That's my pretentious middle class attitude, but I refrain and just let him rant. I am still in a panic after he tells me he'll be here at five. He reminds me that I owe him fifty bucks. Click. No bye. Just click.

I scurry about the apartment like a rodent, removing the posters from the walls, and the nails that were used to hold them in place. I clean up, but it was just instinct. It was just something to do. Something to keep my mind off that fact that my new pissed off landlord was on his way.

By four thirty whatever part of the brain that controls heart rate had simply given up. My imagination got the best of me and I saw myself sleeping in my car. In the woods. Dirty and haggard looking. I tried to appeal via reasoning, but emotions were just completely out of control. I was pissed off. At Scott, at myself, at everyone. I tried to calm myself by reading Wikipedia articles, but that didn't help. I must have watched every minute clink off from four thirty till five.

He arrives and the first thing he says when he comes in is “Place looks nice.” He goes on to tell me he has a $2500 mortgage on the place and the rent cannot be late. I apologize endlessly. I feel like a piece of shit. Because for me, there's no excuse for late rent. No excuse. It's part of my character. If I borrow money, it's not just a legal obligation to repay it, but a moral one. I tell him again that as far as I know the rent was in the mail Wednesday. He says “Well if it comes, I'll mail that check back.” He leaves. No bye. Just leaves.

Heart rate is still jacked up. I crack open the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon I bought last week. I don't bother with the wimpy wine glass, choosing instead to pour it into one of those huge plastic cups that beer comes in at the stadium. I go out on the porch and light a up cigarette and the wine starts to hit home. Everything slows down a little bit. But I'm still not relaxed. I'm still on edge.

Scott gets home, and the first thing I say to him, “If you don't have the money to cover the check I just wrote, tell me now. We'll go to the bank. We'll rectify the problem right now.” I'm not angry or yelling, I'm just there. I don't want the problem getting any bigger. But he doesn't need money. He says it's there.

So then we start to think. We start looking at the situation via variables. In this case there are four involved. Me. Scott. The post office. And Ed Zeliekso.

If Scott had needed the money he would have said so. Which says to me, the rent got mailed. I was not involved in the mailing because I paid the security deposit. Scott took over the first month's rent. So two of the four variables have now been debunked as far as I'm concerned.

The post office. I don't mail often with the exception of Netflix. I have never, ever had an issue mailing anything. If I put an address and a stamp on it, the post office seems to get it where it needs to be. There is the chance that the envelope went missing, but I find it rather unusual. Seriously. Of all envelopes to go missing, out of the thousands the post office processes every day, it's the one I send my first month's rent in.

So that leaves Ed Zeliesko. Now think about this. I didn't send the letter with signature confirmation. How hard would it be to call and pretend to freak out about rent, even though you actually have it. Not that hard at all. Another thing that strikes me as a little odd is that he isn't concerned about getting a lease from us, since the one we mailed “never arrived.”

I called him Wednesday to see if our check and lease did arrive. I left a message which was returned Thursday morning. He said he hadn't received it but not to worry about it.

Don't worry about it? Why not? It's the legal document that binds me to this place. Without it, I really don't have to pay rent. I really didn't have to pay him the late fees, because he doesn't have anything that says I need to.

I searched his name on Yahoo the other day, and a site came up called Landlordslum.com. He received a 1.7 rating out of 5. The previous tenant wrote that the landlord never repaired any issues with the place. Mr. Zeliesko, must have seen this, because he wrote a counter argument, stating that he has been in the rental business for thirty years, and that the tenant was being evicted.

The whole week, I've been nervous about coming home. Nervous and panic stricken in general. Wednesday night, I stayed and cleaned at work till about midnight. The same can be said of Thursday and Friday. I feel like I'm living the New Caprica story arc of Battlestar Galactica. I'm looking around right now and all I can think is “what the fuck did I get myself into.”

Eleven more rent checks are due to go out over the next year. I will not pay another late fee as long as I am here. So to combat the variables mentioned earlier I'll write the check. Take it to the post office on the 20th of every month and get registered letters sent. It's the only way I can be sure.

To me this place seems temporary. Or at least I want it to be. I just can't believe this has happened. The first month of all months. Since Tuesday this place hasn't seemed like home at all. Maybe that will pass, but part of me doesn't want it to. It seemed smooth at first, but then you start to notice things. Like the shower drain, which really doesn't drain. The bedroom door which really doesn't close. I took pictures of all of these things, because next year when it's time to go I'm not going to put myself on the hook for this shit.

I can look past being called a motherfucker. My horoscope that day told me to do so. But there's a certain level of character that I want to hold myself up to. Levels to which I will not stoop no matter what. This whole move for me was about living up to that. I want to be mature and get on with my life (whatever the hell that means), but this situation is just unsettling. And if this dude did scam me out of fifty bucks, what else am I in for. Shit, it's only been two weeks.

I'm thinking that if I can use this year wisely, financially anyway and work, and work, and work to get some real cash put away instead of wasting it, next year I might do away with the landlord all together. I think if there has ever been anything to work for in my life, buying a house would be that thing. Working at Subway had purpose for me. I think that's why I stayed there as long as I did. I felt needed. And personally and financially I moved up there. I was reliable. Hard working. I've lost that since I left there, shuffling from one stupid job to the next, with no direction. But maybe having something to work for is what the problem is. Something important. Something visible, tangible. Something real.

Needless to say, Thursday night when I went out again with the people from work, I stayed away from the tequila. We stuck with pitchers of beer. It might be a few more years before I venture into the tequila trap again.
 

comments: Your opinion matters to me.

boom, boom, boom [04 Jul 2009|10:44pm]

I woke up on the couch this morning. an unexpected return to my old bed. ha. i was watching gaffigan last night and must have passed out. i am hoping it was a one time thing. like a condom. i only get channels 1 through 60 on the little thirteen inch in my room. last night there was just nothing on worth my time. gaffigan felt right for the fourth.

it was just after nine thirty when my eyes opened this morning. usually i am getting up around eleven thirty or some strange post-eleven, pre-noon time. i had never slept this late before i went back to work. i was always up around eight. weird.

i decided to seize that extra time and go to the laundromat. i gathered up my clothes, breath terrible, eyes still glazed with last night's dreams. no coffee, which made things even worse. I've no higher cognitive function without coffee. I've noticed that mornings where I go forty five minutes without coffee I resort to grunts when speaking. OOFS and BAHS. I'm nothing more than a shaved gorilla.

since i've moved to this smoke free environment, i decided to run all my clothes this morning to give them a fresh "non-smoker" feel. it took up the entire backseat of my car and cost me around twenty dollars to run everything. the machines are slightly more expensive here. a few other people were in the laundromat capitalizing on the early fourth vacany of the mat. most of them were older.

my clothes now dry, i started slapping them into the boxes from whence they came, when an old lady told me "you should fold them. all those nice clothes." i told her i was just going home to put them on hangers, and folding them would be a pointless exercise. "but still..." she said. but still what? why use valuable time folding that which will not end up folded.

putting the clothes away was kind of like neatly making a mess. i have no dresser or place to put socks and underwear. i've used a moving box to construct a make shift dresser thing in my closet. it will do for now. i've not much space to work with in my room, and i want to utilize it wisely. a dresser is planned, but for the time being, my moving box will have to suffice.

how many entries pertain to laundry? every time i go it's the same situation. i hate it. i write about it. never ending story right there. if time travel were invented it's only useful purpose would to mix it with a washer/dryer. put your clothes in, and poof. they go to the future. and come back clean. or rather, show up in the future clean. that doesn't make any sense. maybe that's what we could do with all our garbage and radioactive waste. instead of building landfills and other ways to store it underground, just send it to the future. let them deal with it.

it's noon and work is a few hours away. i like the idea of working on the fourth. only because it gives me another reason to hate working. people are like "why don't you like your job?" ummm, cause i have to go.

scott and i go to giant eagle, where he purchases fifty eight dollars worth of coke, sprite, dr. pepper, chips, burgers, kielbasa, hot dogs, and the buns associated with each of those meats. somewhere in the middle of the mile drive from here to the store scott pulls over because his eyes are tearing up. he thinks he has allergies.

it's one by the time we get back. work now drifting closer and closer. we grill up a couple of burgers and i have another cup of coffee. corey comes over, and i leave to read before work.

i pull into the parking lot, promising myself that next year will be different. but as i glance around at the landscape and row after row of cars, i realize it's just pipe dreams. half the people i work with have degrees. at least two have come from the university of pittsburgh. unless something major happens in the next twelve months, like bill gates and i become best friends or i pull off a ponzi scheme, i'm still gonna be working my little proletarian heart out..

it's the level of absurdity, stupidity, and slave like tactics i find hard to swallow. listening to my managers give orders is like scraping layers of skin off. whatever pain is associated with stepping on rusty nails, is the same pain i feel when i hear them talk. trying to swallow their orders and my pride, the only thing i can do is make a smart ass comment from my unkempt face, and keep on trucking. i remind myself i'll be back in school in under two months. football is back in a month. these things keep me going. but for how much longer?

one of the servers is on the edge of a nervous breakdown because she is stuck there on the fourth. at times it looks like she is crying and her mascara is running. i don't know. maybe it was just the way the light hit her? but i doubt it. i could cry. but just like folding my clothes destined for hangers, it's a pointless exercise.

there's a small rush of people around six thirty, but nothing worth freaking out about. the line has been cut to two cooks, and one dishwasher. we are all actively engaged in closing.

at eight, the doors lock, and we can go home. another hour of clean up and by eighty fifty six, i'm strolling out to my car. admiring the way the sun is setting on the clouds.

i come home and sit on the porch for a bit. the crackle of small fireworks is prevalent, but by nine thirty, the big mother fuckers are going off in the distance. i see flashes of light, followed by the inevitably slower sound of boom. there was something interesting about experiencing fireworks in this manner. i thought about what it would have been like to live during the war with britain, as a citizen anyway. war just over the next hill. the sounds of muskets and cannonballs and gentleman's war. calvary and bayonets. long before nukes, napalm, or terrorist's hijacking planes. i imagine that's what it sounded like. those early battles when democracy was right around the corner.

i had plenty of time sitting out on the porch to think about how much this country has failed me. even more time to think about why i never have anything nice to say about us. americans with our clogged arteries, anti-trust lawsuits, scandalous south carolina governors, republicans, democrats, neither of those two. our "economic stimulus" packages. social security. medicaid. welfare. our right to bear arms. our wonderful 9.5% unemployment rate, or our new car company GM.

too much time to let that all sink in. too much time to ride that angry wave back to the shore. And once you get your feet back on the ground, you notice your own body staring back at you. A life of high fat foods, immunizations, trash collection and government backed stafford loans. You have nothing to be pissed off about, but you are, because something is terribly wrong. the whole idea of america now seems geared towards preserving some vague post world war 2 definition of success. Are we using this recession wisely?

But never mind that. Let's explode pyrotechnics into the air for a couple of hours. Let's salute the stars and stripes, and recite the star spangled banner in unison. Let's burn some more fossil fuels, and bailout a few more industries. Christ, where are the founding fathers when you need them? Boom, boom, boom.

SPIDER WATCH 2009:
The entry prior detailed my planned assault on a spider that has taken residence on my porch. Using a broom I was able to clear away the remaining web. My thought process behind this is that I'm the one paying for this place. I hate freeloaders. I realized as I was destroying it's web that I was doing the equivalent of burning a neighbor's house down. I forgot the insect killer, so I had to improvise.

I plugged up the hole using a nail and piece of carpet. It was downright dick. I've no shame though. It's a fucking spider. The thing was huge. Best case scenario it dies. Worth case scenario, it kills me. It's him or me, but this apartment isn't big enough for both of us.
 

comments: Your opinion matters to me.

the physics of unpacking [30 Jun 2009|03:48pm]

i think i could live in a constant state of moving for the rest of my life. moving out, packing, swtiching utilities, meeting with landlords, signing leases, faxing leases, and a dozen other things to worry about. i think i rather enjoyed the whole process simply because i needed to be focused on a number of different things at once. i actually got to use all those neurons. i could feel each one firing this past week.

but now that the moving part is done, a new breed of mundane activity is filling the void leftover by yesterday's move. unpacking. what a relentless bitch. just when you think you have every glass unwrapped from the numerous newspapers they've been wrapped in another box simply pops up out of nowhere. i thought we'd have enough space for all of scott's "trophies" but they still look pretty congested on that shelf.
i have no t.v. in my room, so i was forced last night to try and watch a dvd on this here "porn box." the movie looked terribly grainy on this small screen and movement was not well projected. i'm thinking about solutions to this problem, but it seems i may be stuck with this thing for a few weeks. maybe as i move into august i'll have a more accurate projection of my total costs of this place. it sucks, but that's what happens when you use your computer to sastify your male curiosities.

i was just out on the porch smoking a cigarette and i met the last neighbor. i've noticed a spider web hanging around the bottom of the sliding door. when i went out today my new friend was cocooning a bug that happened upon the web. this thing is big. one of the biggest spider's i have ever seen (not caged or in a movie of course) he or she stood on the web for a moment as i sat down. contemplating whether or not to proceed with it's meal. then it finished and scurried across the web and into this little hole in the wall. it's kind of like death row. the last meal. because at around eight o clock tonight, i'm going explode that hole with insect killer. just the thought of it moving along inside the walls gives me the creeps. eh.

water still isn't turned on. i must say i'm rather displeased with pa american water. they've been very slow and i've done everything they've asked. they can afford to be slow because they have the resource i want. either way, they are going to make money and control my hydration. bastards. dirty rotten filthy bastards. i was unwrapping stuff from the newspapers and now my hands are covered with ink from yesterday's news. and last year's. i feel like silly puddy and that's not how i want to begin describing myself here in crafton. brad "silly puddy" grimes. it has a ring to it, but i'll be damned if that's how i'm remembered.

i'm finding all kinds of stuff that has been packed away for like a year now. it's a bittersweet reunion, where i'm like "oh yeah. i did have this." and then i realize i got along fine without it, so now it's just like get it away from me.

air conditioning. oh sweet baby jesus in heaven. there is nothing more sinful than air conditioning. it's running right now. i can here the sixty seven degree air pumping through the house. and then it blasts from the vents, slowing. expelling the humid late june air, and bringing october temperatures to my home. there is nothing quite like air conditioning. i've dealt with window air conditioners for the past few years. if you start doing something (mop, sweep, cook) the apartment would get to hot. way too hot to live comfortably, without sweat poring from every which where. i was actually cold last night. i mean cold. shivering. needed a blanket. that's how i want to live. in constant need of a blanket.

cable got hooked up today. i think this dude who came was like former englishman. he didn't have the accent, but he used "bloody" in a number of sentences. he looked scottish to be perfectly honest. if i asked him to write out color or flavor there mgiht be some more evidence should he have included a U in them. he was friendly. making sure everything was hooked up to my liking before he left. and then i really got down and into the unpacking.

which is where i'm at now. most of it's done, but there's an ever growing pile of garbage. and sadly, garbage day was yesterday. another little fun tidbit. i tried to get mail forwarding via the post office from their website yesterday morning. because we lived above a business the post office says it cannot do mail forwarding because the entire address is listed as a business. john pankis you son of a bitch. the apartments were off the record, meaning no lease, no taxes, no legal residency in the building. i swtiched everything i could think of to this address, but it's still a big ole crock of bull shit. 

that's about it for now.
 

comments: Your opinion matters to me.

images of canonsburg in the rear view mirror [25 Jun 2009|12:32pm]

So, we are moving. Finally. We've talked about it, almost made it, talked about it, almost made it again, talked about it some more. Things happened, one month led to the next, and then one year. Moving was always a back burner thing, slowly boiling till the point where we simply couldn't be here anymore. How much longer might we have stayed? God only knows. But we are outta here.

The apartment we found had been on Craigslist a few weeks. I called a few days ago, and we viewed the place yesterday afternoon. By 3pm he called us back and said it was ours to lose. We just had to get the security deposit to him. This is sort of how my first apartment was obtained. There was no credit check, or two week waiting period, it was just “Get me the cash.”

Of the many places Scott and I have looked at over the years, only two have felt like home from the moment I walked through the door. The first was this amazing house up in Dormont. Clean. Cultured. Charismatic. The landlord didn't even show it to us, and we filled out a credit check, and never heard back. This place in Crafton was the second.

We're right on the busway. Ten minutes to work again. There's a deck. Bathroom. Bedrooms. Garage. Washer/Dryer hookups. Central Air. Not located in Canonsburg. Just about everything we were looking for. There will be no foul smelling air from the poop plant over the hill, no shady characters hanging around the front of the apartment. No early morning sounds of cars being repaired, or dealing with the holiday Sarris' traffic.

Sitting back last night after work, once Scott went to bed I had sometime to think about all that has happened over these past few years. Certainly the life I led wasn't the one I set out to when I left high school. It's certainly been a pride swallowing life living here. But it was also a growing experience. People have come in and out, leaving traces behind. I've figured out more about myself than I knew was there. I learned, in a sense who I am. I've figured out my abilities and my failures. I recognize them, and the next part of my life is going to be geared towards making a living off of my skills. Or something that resembles skills.

It all started with a flood. One day it rained. It didn't stop raining till later in the night. And then the water came.

There was the night I moved in. A brief moment which I'll always remember was my cell phone that night. A year earlier I had started writing this script, when I still wanted to be a writer. It was on that day, September 19th, that I had wrote a reminder in my phone. It told me that the journey begins. It was a strange uncanny way to start my life here in Canonsburg.

Then there was the night I had a girl over. Trying to get her pants undone in the early evening hours, Scott brings the whole crew back here. It was a vicious cock block, the likes of which I still shudder in embarrassment from. I've got no shirt on, a half stock of an erection, and in come four or five souls. Funny? Some of you will say it was hilarious. I disagree. Nothing should come between a man and a vagina.

There was the night we all drank, and Brian and I pissed off the balcony. A car came rolling by and Binder starts yelling to “Clamp it off” I'm a little drunk, so I attempt to clamp it off, but what happens next is I let loose in the hallway.

There was the night Scott and I first smoked a bowl and watched Fear and Loathing.

There was the time I thought we were going to get evicted, because we hadn't paid the rent in months.

There was the time Scott and I jumped buildings and lit fireworks off from the adjacent roof.

There was Super Bowl 43, AFC Championship, Divisional Game.

There was the night Family Guy first came back on the air. Josh and I attempted to wrestle in a who has the bigger balls contest. I lost.

There was the endless nights at Eat N Park.

There was the midnight showings of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Dark Knight.

There were a bunch of stoner quotes on the wall.

There was the Rock Band night.

There was the time I got a bed.

There was the time the toilet backed up.

There are the crazy drunk, next door neighbors, who take their verbal assaults into the hallway and beat each other up.

The freezer which does not freeze.

The refrigerator which chooses to freeze.

There was World of Warcraft, forever it seemed, and Xbox.

There was the night I slept on a pile of dirty clothes because Scott had the only air conditioner in the house.

There was the night we almost got evicted cause neither one of us had cleaned for a few weeks.

There was the night Kevin Gallagher threw salt and pop bottles everywhere, and then put a knife to my throat.

The New York City night.

Super Bowl 42.

Super Bowl 41.

Super Bowl 40.

There were a lot of other things that happened during five years or so. It's been a wild, wild, wild, crazy ride here in Canonsburg. But soon this place is something I'll look back upon. My time here, and what I've learned about myself.

It took long enough, but it's finally happening.
 

comments: Your opinion matters to me.

fight club, a decade later [22 Jun 2009|03:57pm]

a boring october saturday as a fourteen year, roaming the markets of peters township. no money, no car, no girlfriend. fight club is in the theatres. i've been trying to see it for weeks now, but no one will go. no one is interested in watching pitt and norton go bare knuckle against each others pretty boy faces. i've finished the book. i want to see it now.

i've no idea about consumerism, anarchy, freud, disassociative identity disorder. i've never had enough material possessions to feel owned by them. my father is at home, he's not out trudging through the cities to set up "franchises." yet the story has a profound hook on me. for starters it's probably because it's different. it's not rose and jack loving each other till the ship sinks. it's not obi-wan kenobi and anakin sskywalker dry humping the galaxy with their bizarre religious zealously. it's different in the sense that the studio producing it fears it. it's different because people fear it. corporations are afraid of it because it gets under their bullshit and asks the hard questions we fat lazy americans are too scared to ask.

i was hooked the first time i saw the TV. spot. brad pitt begins by announcing the first rule of fight club. Don't talk about. Cue montage of destruction, bombs, beatings. the second rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club. another round of car crashes and explosions, and blood. we were in the wake of the columbine shootings. people saw this terrorist message and were afraid. the studio used a shitty marketing campaign, which ultimately led to the film's horrible box office reception. it's a wonder the film was ever made at all.

that saturday, the plan to go to the movies begins to become more concrete. we're going to a 7:30 showing at that horrible south hills village theatre. after a run in at burger king, my friend and i decide to jump over those planter things in parking lots. they separate the lot from the grassy area. this is fun for a few moments, but on a bad jump I twist my ankle. bad.

it's a wonder it wasn't broken. it swelled up and looked like a basketball, bruised, black, hints of dark blue where the blood is creeping into the torn flesh. it hurt. a lady slowed down in her car to make sure i was alright. to this day if I move my foot in the right way, there's still a click of bone or tendon that didn't heal right. but i lived. and fight club drifted through the theatres. my parents wouldn't take me, after much protest. a similar situation occurred six years prior when i wanted to go see jurassic park. what can i say, I'm a child of fiction. i know more about battlestar galactica history than I do of this world. more of my life has been devoted to the fake than the real. the lines blur at some points. but it's escape. escape from this terrible plight we call civilization. away from our stock portfolios that are drifting into the red, and our cars which have been overdue for inspection for several months. retreat away from the grim responsibilities we have to keep if we are to call ourselves Americans.

fight club left the theatres. i anxiously awaited it's arrival on video. i was still without a DVD player when it came to home video in april of 2000. and so my first viewing of the movie was as it ground it's way through my VCR, frame after frame of magnetic tape. astounded. shocked. convinced that Tyler had the answers, i still didn't grasp the full message. i understood it, but not the way the male of the 90's would. the post-grad, with the apartment and the girlfriend clinging on to the idea of marriage, family, a life.

When I received my first paycheck, from Subway, it was 130.00 dollars. A lot of money when you are used to having none. It seemed that money would last me the rest of my life back in those days. My first purchase once the check was cashed was the Paper Bag two disc edition of Fight Club.

the night before i was flooded, i watched fight club. a rather fitting way, in retrospect of course, to wish away your life that you've attempted to create for yourself. uncanny foreshadowing, that i still struggle to grasp to this day. when i was finally able to get into my apartment the next day, when the waters had receded, everything in my apartment was destroyed. furniture was everywhere, the refrigerator had sided itself onto the floor. the kitchen drawers were filled with filthy shit smelling water. a TV. had found it's way out the window somehow. yet with all that, the fight club poster that I had in my bedroom still clung to the wall. it suffered through a night of drowning and in the afternoon it was the only thing not destroyed by the raging waters of Hurricane Ivan.

The day after I moved in with Scott, the first thing he gave me was a copy of the movie to replace mine that had been lost. A few days later, struggling to get over my vagina that I lost, I went to Borders and bought a copy of Fight Club. It was a Tuesday night. I remember taking it and walking across Rt. 19. I sat underneath one of metal parking lot lampposts in the Kohl's parking lot, and blew through the book for the next few hours.
 
I remember reading it yet again after I got my perfect little office job at 84 Lumber. I was by myself at night, and unless I was sleeping on the job, I was reading a book. It was during those few months that I went through all the books by Chuck Palahniuk. Invisible Monsters. Survivor. Lullaby. Diary. Haunted. Rant.

And just the other night, I got stoned, and watched it. After having one of the most surreal experiences of my entire life, I decided to read the book yet another time. It was during this time that I realized what a big part of my life that story has been these past ten years. It drifts out of my head, but at all times the story has never been more than an arm's length away. It's cemented an undying devotion to the works of David Fincher. Every one of his movies is a visceral and philosophical engagement about the modern human condition. His films are visually stunning to say the least, setting new precedents in an industry where super heroes and giant fucking robots reign supreme.

There was the canister of lye in the cabinet under my sink. I almost worked up enough courage one night to burn a kiss into my hand. But that never happened. There was the bar of soap I made, and wrapped it in a Squire Lane Soap Company package. There was the beatings in the garage of my home, where we attempted to emulate Tyler's message of no holds barred living. Or rather living for survival. Finding yourself in the dark recesses of our regressed modernized American minds.

1999 was a great year for movies in general. Magnolia. Fight Club. The Matrix. Movies that made us question reality, who we are, what it means to be human. Redemption. I get more out of the book and movie now though than I ever did.

In Tyler we Trust. But Tyler reaches a point where he becomes self defeating. He fights against authority, and tells the narrator that he needs to hit bottom. Find himself and seek individual power, but in the end he abuses his power much like any great leader or dictator in history. FDR. Hitler. Napoleon. George W. Bush. Barack Obama. It seems that Fight Club is relevant, important, a decade later.

I wrote to the editor of a group of philosophy writers who publish works dissecting Pop Culture. You've probably seen the books in the store. The Simpsons and Philosophy. Seinfeld and Philosophy. Blah, Blah, etc. I told him it would be interesting to do Fight Club. He responded telling me that the book and movie have faded and he didn't think there would be much interest. I was stunned.

However, I'll admit it right here and now. The movie is vastly superior to the book. So many others will argue that a book is better than a movie. In most cases this is true. The works of Steve King are an example, but here you have a film which provides the interesting visual back drop for these characters. The book seems scattered at times, struggling to maintain it's message at various parts. The Jim Uhl's screenplay is nothing short of phenomenal. A pitty that it wasn't nominated for an Academy Award, but like I said before, this isn't the type of movie that studios want consumers to get behind. The direction is outstanding, as well as the performances. The make up is beautifully and gritty. It's a film unlike any other.

It would be really cool if they did a tenth anniversary release in theatres. I haven't been going much, but i'd pilgrimage to the theatre to see this one. The sound of raw skin pounding against skull and jaw, the sight of blood flowing out of the 90's male, and the death and rebirth of civilization, all the while in the darkness of cold movie theatre. The brief glimpse of a huge penis passing on screen, so the audience knows Tyler may be gone, but not forgotten.

comments: 3 found out I was just kidding. and Your opinion matters to me.

being useful, being used. [19 May 2009|12:43pm]

since i'm working mostly nights, and when i get home i'm rarely ready to go to bed, i thought i would use those few extra hours to watch some movies that i have so frequently neglected recently. for example, in 2005, my year end chase summary told me that i had spent a little over eight hundred dollars at destinta movie theaters. it's not that hard to do. considering a movie ticket was 8:25 in 05. and my little brother did not work, so i usually paid for his tickets. but this year however, i have spent about sixteen dollars at the movies. the reasons i think are twofold. a few years back i used to get excited in may when the big budget blockbusters started cramming into the theaters one after another. the formula for these movies hasn't changed in years. a farm boy on a distant planet living with his uncle and aunt, a high school nerd living in queens with his aunt and uncle, a group of mutants living in new york (with a bald, paralyzed man). essentially these figures overcome there fears of the outside world and shape it for the better blah, blah, blah. Netflix is the second reason.

and on a side note, there's only about a three to four month difference between release in theater and dvd. the only movies that have gotten me out of the house thus far this year have been watchmen and adventureland. both well done films in their own right, though i feel i need to see them both again. watchmen hopefully will eventually bring downfall to the superhero film genre as it has both been overused and cliche since sam raimi followed bryan singer's lead in 02. adventureland on the other hand was a magnificent coming of age story, with special focus on that whole after college thing.

and since acquiring netflix, i've just found it profoundly easier on both the wallet and sanity. instead of trying to fight opening weekend crowds for the "perfect seat", i can relax in my living room, smoke some pot, and chill.

so, night falls on canonsburg. there's the occasional musings of a drunken man in the hallway of my apartment around this time. they yell at each other back and forth, laughing and screaming. a temporary skirmish sometimes breaks out and they begin to fight. these are usually a test of who has the bigger balls though. and i'm left to choose between one hundred and seventy movies. the number keeps increasing thanks to a little known media center hack. “little known” but it is actually becoming quite popular.

however, for a time, my ideal collection, was a shelf full of dvd's that would eventually gain dust, as the time to watch them became less and less. than this idea of ripping and returning was brought before me, and has completely changed the way I keep a dvd library. granted it's illegal, but i like to think as an early adopter of the dvd format, and the countless thousands of dollars i've spent at the movies and purchasing dvd's, the film industry can look the other way on this one. Maybe not.

my time off from work awarded me ample opportunity to go through and watch these movies. however for some reason or the other i began watching TV. shows that have been on for a couple of years, but that i never had time to watch because i was working or... i was probably working. the office, lost, battlestar galactica. but now i've made my run through them i'm ready to return to movies. even though i'll be able to follow tv more closely now. but it's summer and everything goes on break until the fall.

so the first film i watched was the life aquatic with steve zissou. this was my favorite film of 04. i saw it three separate times at the theater, i was so much in love with it at the time. watching it a few nights ago, i forgot some of the more hilarious moments. bill murray returns from smoking a joint and his producer comes to greet him. murray remarks that "this is probably his son ned, we just met." in another scene murray is talking to his long lost son and apologizes saying "i'm sorry i didn't acknowledge your existense all these years... it won't happen again. i promise." it wasn't well received by the fans of wes andersen's previous films. although i personally feel this is his strongest film ever. 

On yet another side note, I did in fact purchase the amazon kindle. This is related to the next set of movies. I've had the device for a little over a month and trudged my way through three books during that time. It's an impressive little machine. It's not like reading on a computer screen at all and very closely imitates the look of printed text. The only downfall to this device is the price of books. They are cheaper, enough to warrant the purchase in my opinion, but they aren't nearly as cheap as they should be. There is no production cost related with them, and therefor publishers and authors are making bank off the books right now. I've read that this is due to the low adoption rate of e readers and that as more people buy kindles and sony e readers the price is bound to drop. However, a standard book is four to five dollars cheaper. You save there, and on the the price of actually having to drive to the store. I'm currently working my way towards the finale of Stephen King's Dark Tower series. But I've been debating on which book I want to read next.

Which brings me to the next movie I watched. Since moving in here, annually I watch the Star Wars Saga. Not on any sort of dead set time line, but I usually begin by watching Empire and slowly work my way through the series. By the end, I shudder at Hayden Christensen's so called acting, and George Lucas's so called scripts. However, I haven't watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy, in it's entirety in any shape or form since before I moved out of my parent's house. I own all the movies, and their extended editions. Yet I haven't watched a good Rings trilogy is five years. 

I find this disturbing. At least one person alive can attest to the effect those films had on me during my useless, loathing high school years. In a way, they were the most important part of my adolescence. The stories and characters contained within were more real than the white, republican, god fearing people of peters twp. And so I started with Fellowship. 

I've fallen asleep on it, and it took me three nights to watch it, but it reminded me of high school. Except I don't remember being as impressed with it as I am now. The sheer brilliance and awe of Peter Jackson's trilogy need no introduction, nor do they need to be reviewed yet again. They ushered in the sword and sandal epics of the past few years. They redefined what was commercially and economically possible in terms of shooting films. The idea of back to back sequels has been imitated redundantly since these movies were made. The Matrix and Pirates of the Caribbean. But those sequels were epic let downs. Jackson's film progressively pushed the boundaries and never sacrificed good story telling in the process. 

But it helped me decided what to purchase next for the Ole kindle. In the midst of the night I downloaded Tolkien's Rings books and will brave them after I am finished with the Dark Tower. I read these books once, but was at an age too young to appreciate the full complexity and genius of such a work. Too young to realize why those books are so important. 

I started Two Towers the other night, and have now fallen asleep on it twice. I figure it will take me three nights to watch Return of the King. But breaking it down has it's upsides. 

On yet another night I watched the Wrestler. The movie had been hyped and talked about and reviewed and appeared on many top ten lists. But for me Mickey Rourke was just that guy who played Marv in Sin City. I'm in now way familiar with his career and these two movies are the only ones I can safely say I have seen him in. But I read a Maxim article on his turbulent career, with it's ups and downs. It talked about how he quit acting in the early nineties and pursued a boxing career. I also read that directors didn't like to work with him as they found him difficult to manage.

So I approached this film with some caution, not expecting to walk away both troubled and moved. And like so many movies I begin watching this way, this one did in fact do just that. Rourke's portrayal of Randy “the Ram” Robinson was so on target, so to the letter that I forgot all about Rourke in general and became absorbed completely. The Wrestler appears to start in the shadow of a fading star, until you realize that the star has faded and the shadow of his legacy that is trailing him is also fading. It goes from drama to a troubling philosophical tale about aesthetics and stardom. At times we don't know whether to feel sorry for “The Ram” or simply feel sorry for the people around him. “The Ram” is clinging on to the last vestibules of starlight that he can grasp, spending a fortune to keep in shape and looking good, all the while his entire world, that makes him human is crumbling down around him. It was a fantastic character study. And one of the best films I have seen this year.

My tastes in movies and fiction have been changing over these last two years. I'll still always love the summer blockbusters. They are pleasing on the eyes (Megan Fox-Transformers-need I say more) But I cringe at the thought of Michael Bay behind the camera. I often mock the dialogue in these movies, with nothing but contempt (Remember Darth Vader's infamous “NOOOOOOOO!!! in the end of Revenge of the Sith). Or I suppose I can sigh at the thought of another Will Ferrell comedy.

Also if it's not to much trouble, I'd like to discuss work for a minute. I have been back to work for a little over four weeks now. Humorously, I worked briefly at Primanti Bros on Steubenville Pike. I'm not exactly sure what I expected when I applied there. Within the first ten minutes of starting I realized I had make a huge mistake. It reminded me of working at Subway, with beer. For example, on my first day I was asked to come in at ten in the morning and work their Friday lunch shift. I arrived around ten minutes early. I was introduced around and shown the place from 9:50 to 10:00. At 10:01 my only thought was “what the fuck was I thinking?”

I've visited Primanti brothers both drunk and high. Never sober. Well, maybe once. I had been drinking that day, but I'm sure I was coherent enough to make a decision to go in there. It seemed chill enough, but everything seems pretty chill after you've hit the bowl, right?

Instead of giving me something to do, I was sort of shuffled around for the first hour. It was during this time that I was shown how to punch french fries. I've done this before. At Atria's. I talked with the man who was punching them. A lady at a meat slicer kept eyeballing me, and it started to creep me out. I introduced myself and she told me her name was Rita, SHE WAS THE PREP LADY. She declared this with such authority, like I was trying to take the job from her. In all honesty she scared me. So I returned my attention to the man punching fries. He told me he had worked there about two years. Then he pulled back the side of his cheek and revealed a tooth he had pulled himself. With a pair of pliers. The next thing that took over was combo laughing/insanity. I saw myself here for the next few years, envisioned what it would be like to become a seasoned veteran of the Primanti Bros. Empire and decided it just simply was not for me. Right then and there, I knew this wasn't going to last.

But what choice did I have. All I've read about recently was this economy in shambles. Unemployment, banking, housing. All those things hit me, and I realized nevertheless I needed to keep working. There were still several applications out and about and I just had to hope that someone would call me.

While at Applebees, I witnessed one person cut themselves. The kid was a screwup in his own right, and nobody was really surprised. The first cut I witnessed at Primanti's was the very next day. I was in charge of making coleslaw. For those of you who have never made nine or ten five gallon buckets of coleslaw, I honestly would say, Give it a try. The recipe, I was told, would take a few weeks to learn. This was misinformation, because I saw it once five weeks ago and I still remember it. While chopping the hundred or so required heads of cabbage for this recipe, my workmate cut himself something fierce. Rita, THE PREP LADY, luckily had some sort of powder that she put on the cut. It was essentially gunpowder because it cauterized the wound. My workmate agonized over the pain from the powder for the next half an hour or so. I've never seen color leave someone's face but this dude went pale white. I couldn't believe my eyes.

On another night, one of the managers was giving a demonstration on how to clean the fryers. It's really difficult (sarcasm). He was using a razor blade like an asshole trying to scrape dried old fryer grease from the back of the fryer. Showing off, know it all kinda attitude. And then wouldn't you know it, he digs deep into his pointer finger with the fucking thing. I couldn't believe my eyes. Never mind where the blood went. Just don't eat at Primanti brothers.

This was all during my finals week at school. The placed closed at midnight during the week, and two in the morning on the weekends. It was the next day I was off that I realized just how much like Subway that place was. On Thursday I got a call asking if I could work. On Friday I got a call asking if I could work. On Saturday I got a call asking if I could work. I've seen this before. And I didn't like where it went then.

Never mind the 7.15 pay. Never mind the regression and the few years actual cooking experience. Never mind it all. But I was working. What choice did I have?

As luck would have it, someone did call me. I applied at another restaurant in the Robinson region, and wasted no time starting there instead. I was back up to ten dollars an hour. My brief stint at Primanti's was over, but will not be forgotten because it had an interesting effect on me.

I've been working since I was thirteen as previously stated. I had a job, that I probably should have waited to get and thrust myself into that working environment. And Subway, because of their staffing problems, just worked me endlessly. But I was paid more and more as time went on, and in effect, personally, creatively, and financially I hit the plateau there. There was no getting any higher, aside from buying the place. Nor did I have any desire to creep up the management ladder there. Some ladders lead to interesting places. Like a ladder in the barn leading to a loft where you lose your virginity with your high school sweetheart. The ladder at Subway was equivalent to the ladder you use to clean your gutters. Once you get up there all you see is pile of decaying shit.

Primanti's reminded me that no matter where I go, the end result is going to be the same. I'm fairly happy with my new job, but in time boredom and the dull decay of variability will take hold. I'll begin to look at the walls less a workspace and more as a prison. Some jobs take a little more time, Primanti's only took a few short minutes.

But I also recognize the utter immaturity involved in quitting a job, with no future or prospects hanging in the balance. I respect the idea of capitalism, I respect the give and take, the work and succeed. I want to contribute to a society, and be useful. But there is a difference, a big difference, between being useful and being used.

Scott and I the other night got stoned and made some egg McScooter's. A late night version of the McDonald's classic. We ate them and laughed and discussed political philosophy, economic philosophy, and growing up. I had this to say on growing up. “You're whole young life, you just can't wait to be older. To be independent and live your own life. And then when you get there you're like 'Seriously... This is it?'”

comments: Your opinion matters to me.

40hrs. a week for this shit? [24 Mar 2009|03:38pm]

since leaving work, i've had to abstain from any big purchases or any purchases really. food and cigarettes have been priority, and a weekly bottle of wine have served me well over the past two months. i also purchased four seasons of battlestar galactica so i could catch up prior to this past week's series' finale. but in essence, i've tried to enjoy the company of my other possessions. instead i've concluded that progress, being a natural part of my personality (or so i'd like to think) includes growing both as a person and in terms of items i own. i write this both in the hopes that someone foolish enough will shell out the bucks to purchase these items for me, or perhaps as i take my journey back to work that i'm reminded of why i left in the first place. 

1. amazon kindle 2 (MSRP $350.00) - eBooks have been around for years. i think i first saw ads for these in reader's digest, though i never paid much attention to it. i have waves of reading. it peaks and i do nothing but read, and then the tide recedes temporarily. an example was my first semester at pitt. instead of reading the textbooks that i spent five hundred and some odd dollars on, i found the company of stephen king's books more interesting. i'd arrive two to three hours ahead of time to read before class. i could never get reading done at home. this costs me some grades early on during my four year school career. slowly and surely video games took a dramatic hold over my life, and reading was minimalized to quest directions from world of warcraft. and after a time i even skipped over that, and looked at the requirements to complete. (five of six rabbit tails, "WHY THE FUCK WON'T THE LAST RABBIT TAIL DROP. forty five minutes later, and one hundred a sixty three digital rabbits, i finally was able to loot one.) The Original Kindle was something of a joke to me. It looked bulky and was capable of being a real pain in the ass from the sight of it. It's design seemed more suited for a Neanderthal, than that of a homo sapien. I apologize in advance to any Original Kindle addicts I upset with that comment. I realize I am attempting to pose on the new Kindle train. Acting like a fan, but really just an outsider looking for attention. 
The Kindle 2 has wifi, larger capacity, wikipedia, 20% faster page turns, and UR (a novella written exclusively for the Kindle by Steve King.) The Kindle is truly the shape of things to come. A recent yahoo.com news article talked about the death of some major newspapers nationwide. I would guess that within the next ten to fifteen, daily print will become cost prohibitive and obsolete. The Kindle is able to receive daily newspapers that download automatically in the morning. The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, and some other major news magazines such as Time and NewsWeek all have Kindle capability. Textbooks are also making their way, albeit slowly, to the Kindle. Solely for the purpose of getting my hands away from an Xbox Controller, and onto something more intellectually stimulating, I desire a Kindle.

2. Tablet PC. (MSRP $1500-$2500) - The first time I heard of this concept was a few years before they came out. In a class in high school called Futures. We referred to it as a digital notebook in the class, but essentially this is the same thing. Or at the very least, Tablet P.C's. are the precursor to digital notebooks (the ones we talked about in the class, anyway) After the flood, and a generous donation from Uncle Sam, I hoped on the laptop bandwagon that was so popular in my group of friends. Josh bought an hp something or other, and Scott got this bulky Dell that redefined mobile personal computing. Redefined in the sense that the Dell was so fucking big, carrying it anywhere was both time consuming and humiliating. Josh and I both bought the same laptop, branded with a different name. There is a previous journal entry detailing the recall on the battery (which I was not a part of, sadly.) The laptop was fun though. Until it succumbed to what I have affectionately called "porn syndrome." The details of this disease, I will not go into. It's self-explanatory, and crude. Needless to say, towards the end, my computer was like a geriatric in the final stages of life. In and out of consciousness, and not enough power to keep going. I blamed myself for the longest time, but I've come to realize that HP is good at making products that last a while and then require capital to keep performing. I've looked at some Tablet PC's and have read they are on their way out. I disagree with this, but at the moment am reluctant to buy one until they are slightly more perfected. If they do die, I'll regret not owning one, until something better comes along. My reasons for wanting one are both immature and unnecessary, but like most purchases, desire outweighs reasoning. I believe I have the capacity for logical decision making, at least that's what economics teaches. But occasionally conflicting neuro-chemical processes, or emotions, lead to irrational market behavior. A more recent example is the HDDVD-Bluray Media war. Two sides fighting for market control, and consumers that choose a side without promise of victory. I am a recent causality of this war. And now, I lobby for neither side, instead maintaining that disc media in general will be gone within fifteen years, and everything will come over those lines hanging from the poles outside your house. 

3. Cabernet Franc (MSRP Varies by Bottle.) I've never tried this varietal because I was oblivious to its existence until recently. Doing a search on PA's liquor control board website says that the state only sells two brands of this wine. Both are fifty dollar bottles. While I desire to begin a nice wine collection, with bottles that need time to peak, and other bottles to collect, my pocket has never been deep enough to enjoy some good wine. I believe the most I ever spent on a bottle was in the forty dollar range. In any case, the two bottles offered by the state are only available at some locations, and this only fuels my anger over PA's neo-prohibition style to alcohol distribution. In an effort to control consumption, the state minimalizes what is brought in. There are thousands of different wines, liquors, and beers that are produces by micro(breweries, distilleries, wineries) that never make it past the borders of our great state. It is also illegal to have wine shipped to your door from out of state. Never mind that, cabernet franc is what is being discussed here. Not propaganda, and prohibition campaigns against controlled substances. After reading about this particular wine, my palate was contemplating the pleasuregasm it would receive during consumption. It's a medium body red, similar to merlot, but possibly heavier. depending on the description. Raspberries and black currants are also contained, and it leaves a taste similar to green peppers, according to one source. 

4. ECig (MSRP $100) My first cigarette was a disgusting and vengeful adventure. During a camping trip with the Boy Scouts, the others thought it was cool and grownup. Like those classes teach us, I bowed into peer pressure and had my first puffs. We all enjoyed the "dizzy" feeling associated with the nicotine high. But I embarked from that day with no real desire to continue smoking. For a time, it was just something stupid we did, because our parents didn't condone. Growing up, it seems we were always looking for some way to separate us from our parents. But then you find out that you really are your parents. (Both of mine smoked, and my mom says to this day that if she had just one, she'd be hooked again.) Maybe it's genetic, or maybe it's Freud's Psychosexual Oral Stage. Maybe I was weaned too soon. Maybe my mother smoking during pregnancy is to blame. I don't know. It was one afternoon at Subway. We had been really, absurdly busy. I stepped outside to have a smoke with my manager/mentor. I remember that feeling, because euphoria simply washed over me. I felt like a I could have worked forever after that cigarette. And that's when the desire began. The need and want of smoking really began because I was too dumb to realize that Subway was the worst job I ever had, and the best. It's really stupid how I look back on those days with disgust, because I was more motivated to get out of there than I have been since I left. The desire to work has left, and instead I'm left with a great big void, as the future begins to look far more grim than I had ever imagined. I start to realize that my appetite for nicotine is something that has gone far out of control, but I also recognize it may be something I am never able to beat. I present the Ecig. Dubbed a safer alternative to smoking (though there is debate over this), the ecig uses an atomizer and puts nicotine into a vaporous form. There is no burning of tobacco, which they claim reduces the risk of cancer. I remember the fourth Planet of the Apes movie, entitled Battle for the Planet of the Apes. During a quick tracking shot through a downtown area, a woman is sitting at a table talking to her friend. She is puffing on a cigarette and remarks "Funny. Now that I know they won't kill me, it just doesn't do anything for me." If I could switch to the Ecig, and get off regular cigarettes all together, I wouldn't feel that sting of guilt when I light up around non-smokers. The smell of smoke, and all the rest may go away too. Several companies offer these products, though none are FDA approved yet. I suppose I'm waiting, just to make sure that instead of cancer it doesn't cause ball shrinkage or something silly like that.  

4. House (MSRP $100,000-$(numbers to high to comprehend)- On the day I signed the lease for my first apartment I ran around work giddily commenting that I was a home owner. My manager Pam shot this notion down responding every time "You're a renter." She was right, but signing that lease was my first journey into post-parents life. Living at home during my last two years of high school, at times it did feel like I was living on my own. My mother was concerned with her well-being(and rightfully so) and so I needed to behave and survive in an independent manor. I suppose that's why moving out was not a big thing for me after the first week. I still had rules to follow, such as not playing music or movies or video games loud. But I had a girlfriend and regular sex. What more could I ask for? Ah(money.) Problem solved four months later. I moved into my brother's apartment, living room :(.... Met some new people, began school, started a new relationship, ended relationship, and worked. Since the month after I moved, Scott and I have been talking about moving. To Dormont. To Oakland. To Crafton, To Carnegie, To Squirrel Hill, To Shadyside, back to Oakland, SouthSide, Oakland, Dormont. Writing it out like that, it's kinda sad that it hasn't happened. Not kinda sad, it is sad. Lately I've been wondering, if we really were that determined to move, we would have done it by now. Since this past semester, I've looked around at these walls with anxiety, depression, and sometimes joy. But late at night when I can't sleep, those walls begin to taunt me. I see myself ten years from now still confined by this place, for some reason unable to get out. Like a chain has me attached somewhere. Then I consider where we are moving. Dormont. Of all places. Dormont, at least for me, is just another Canonsburg. The difference for Scott is that there are bars within walking distance. That serves him well, but I've come to realize I rarely go out and get drunk. I'll go out for a beer, maybe four or something along those lines. Maybe I would get into that more, if they were in fact in walking distance. But Dormont seems like another dreary area, where I can right the next chapter in my dreary life. Furthermore, I no longer want to rent. I'm tired of the constraints of being a tenant. I'm tired of the bird shit on my car cause I park under power lines. I'm tired of the down the hall drunk fights of my tenants. Watching my Dad redesign his house into this amazing sculpture of his personality has been both interesting and cathartic in a sense. I can see the freedom one has over their destiny with a house. Home for me these past few years has been the place I lay down, smoke a bowl, watch t.v. or drink at. I suppose I just want something more than that now, feel a need for something more. There has been incidents since moving in here. Incidents that could affect me in huge ways, and they were completely out of my control. I suppose I want a greater grasp on my fate than being a simple bystander during a robbery.

5. Fulfilling employment (8 to 12 hours a day, five days a week, (weekends off for football) - March of the year 2000. The great Y2K apocalypse had come and gone. My final year of middle school, with a decent but somewhat defiant group of friends. Many enjoyed their high school years because of the friends they made. I enjoyed middle school far more. Hot off the heels of the Blair Witch Project, I borrowed (without permission of course) my Dad's clunker of a camcorder. We were producing this fun video called the Dude Project. To this day Scott and I are searching for this video, but it is believed to be lost in the great flood of 04. It was Friday Night, weather cool. My mother had given me money to pick up cream cheese in my travels. This money was spent on BK and cigarettes. With time running out, I went into Giant Eagle and attempted to steal it. Wouldn't you know it, I got fucking caught. It set my Dad back a hundred and fifty and I skipped further charges. I promised to pay him back, but he didn't believe me. That began a five month search for employment that ended when I lied about my age to get a job at Subway. With my first paycheck I paid my Dad back, and purchased the Fincher authored paper bag two disc edition of Fight Club. That thrill, of buying something, with my own bucks was different. For a kid trying to become independent, self reliable, working and buying stuff with your own bucks is amazing. Or at least it was for me. I built a sizable DVD collection. Invested in stereo equipment, t.v. computer. I also saved half of every paycheck (totally eight grand at the end.) By my senior year, I grew disillusioned with my job though. I'm not sure why, but I felt the need to prove that I could do what I did at Subway, somewhere else. I was looking for acceptance, but in the wrong place. And so I left and went to Applebee's. By the end of the summer I was back at Subway. And so I spent my senior year leaving school early, working at Subway, and then going to Applebee's at night. I wasn't burnout like I am now. Something was different then. I worked odd jobs in between those years (Tuesday Morning, 84 Lumber) When I couldn't stand Subway anymore, I left and went to Atria's. I had a good thing going there. Three days a week. When I couldn't stand Atria's anymore, I left and went to Applebee's. I had a good thing going there as well. Three days a week. I wasn't making a shitload of money, but enough to stay alive. When I couldn't stand Applebee's anymore I quit. I've been unemployed since. There was a brother aspect to this. I was simply following in Scott's footsteps and instead of carving my own path, I simply piggy backed on his. There was the monotony, which played a crucial factor. Once you start seeing the barebones task, and the same format, it grows tiresome. And then there was my head. My stupid, stuck up head, which kept telling me that I could do something else, that I was smarter than this. I've seen no evidence of this though, and I guess that's what I'm struggling with now. My own colliding thoughts about what I'm capable of doing. Another aspect praying upon me is the overall opinion of my decision. There's some unsaid animosity, but how do you fight your own emotions and desires. That's how people go crazy, by trying to suppress what feels natural. I can't help but feel that whatever I'm doing now, just isn't what I was meant to do. This entails nearly every aspect of my life.

6. Washer and Dryer (MSRP $(i don't know)) I used a plastic garbage bag for a while, to carry my clothes to and fro the laundry mat. Then I got this red hamper thing that is still kicking. But I cannot overstate how much of a pain in the ass it is to go to the laundry mat. It's comparable to going to the DMV or getting a phone call from an Army Recruiter. Speaking of which, is there any phone call more obnoxious than a Recruiter. One time they called, and I immediately said I was not interested. The dude said that if I answered a few questions he could take me off their call list. I was like hell yeah. Forty five minutes later, he tells me I got enough of the answers correct to be a Marine. I'm sure if I came from a family with a proud and cherished military tradition, I would have excepted this as a compliment. Instead I was somewhat appalled that he wasted my time asking questions about drug use and my libido. During another such call, I told them I would have no way to come out and talk with them, because I didn't own a car. They offered me a ride. If these measures are needed, is democracy worth saving? I don't know. Doing laundry at a mat is hellish nightmare I don't wish on anyone. The worst is when you get there and all the machines are in use. You have to stand off to the side waiting for a machine to open. Another time, I put my money in, lowered the lid. I came back twenty minutes later to find the machine had filled with water and then simply stopped. So I had to pull my wet ragged clothing from the machine, fill up another, and wait an additional twenty minutes, minus a buck seventy five. While my dad was out of town last week, I utilized his washing area to save money and time. And now that I've spoiled my self with home detergents and thorough wash cycles, I can't imagine going back to the mat. I could get one of the fuddy duddy wash boards and then hang my clothes up, but that seems like more work than it's worth. I just thank god I don't have to clean those awful Applebee's shirts anymore. I swear to god, some of the shit that would be on those things...

7. A cat (MSRP $50 for adults, $80 for kittens) Honestly,  what could be more fun than an adorable little kitten, running around, clawing and terrorizing?

8. Ship Round the World (MSRP $20,000) I looked into many different places to take a vacation. California, was atop my list. Napa, Sonoma, Anderson Valley. A few day's in Yosemite. Maybe do the whole drive up the coast thing. Prices were out of my league, even if I had been working. But in my search of vacation destinations, Princess cruise lines came up. They offer a four month, twenty thousand dollar cruise around the world. Visiting 108 different Ports this is literally one of the most bad ass things I've ever heard about. The price seems like a lot, but if applied for twenty credit cards, each with a thousand dollar credit limits, suddenly this doesn't seem like that bad of an idea. If I worked straight for a year, and didn't buy anything, I could afford this. On the way I would lose weight too, from the sudden decrease in calories. I figure I could go to my moms for dinner two nights a week, my dads a night a week, and then just starve myself the remaining days. I would siphon gas from all the cars on my street, give up xbox, internet, t.v. Instead of drinking coffee, I'd have water. Instead of going to the movies, I'd act out Shakespeare in the kitchen. It could work. However, these are just the playful mutterings of a man confined to Western PA for the time being. Giving up food for me, would be like the Pope giving up Christ. Just ain't gonna happen.

9.  Fire Extinguisher (MSRP $20.00) There has been only one time in my life that I've gotten to use one. At the Ole Subway/Dq one of our Pre-WW2 ice cream cake freezers starting sparking and the resulting power line slightly erupted into blue flame. Chances are, it would have just gone out naturally but I wasn't going to pass on this one opportunity to be FireMan Brad. And so I pulled the pin out, and pulled up on the lever. My one and only experience wasted on an electrical fire that was so small I could have stepped on it. Now, my appetite for fire suppression is uncontrollable. Smoky taught me well. There's been some open flame in the apartment recently, and I wondered if there was in fact an extinguisher in the apartment. Upon further inspection, I found that there was none. And because the fire alarm was going off erratically one night, the battery had been removed. Our building is probably a fire marshal's nightmare, and an arsonist's wet dream. There are only two ways out of this building and one entails a jump to a neighboring building. I suppose we could jump out the windows but it's a fifteen foot fall to some nice hard cement. I think, for mortality reasons only, having an extinguisher in the apartment is just commonsense, even though it's never really been my forte. Although I have toyed with the idea of all of the Earth's elements destroying my life. I'm 1/4 of the way done right now. Fire would be the next, followed by air, and then a little earth.

10. Health Insurance (MSRP $hahahahahaha-ripoff-you've got to be fucking kidding?) I had health insurance. Twice. Once provided by my parents, and the other from my first employer Mr. BS. I got health insurance in response to an embarrassing incident involving my genitial region. I assure you it was neither contagious nor grotesque, but needless to say it was the worst fucking pain i've ever been in. the doctor's appointment and prescribed pills cost less than dinner for two, yet I felt the need to insure myself should future circumstances arise that required medical care. After careful consideration, I chose the Legal Rape plan. This plan offered all the benefits of wallet rape, with the same cost cutting, corporate minded, coverage denied service you'd expect from any such plan. So after a few months, when I felt my immune system could handle another disease, and my wallet could no longer take the beating, I discarded the plan and excepted the fate plan. This plan is nice, and I share it with roughly 45 million other Americans. 84 Lumber offered some nice coverage, for low cost, but I never made it past the required thirty two hours to get it. Nor did I want to devote my life to deforestation. Applebees offered health care, but I never opted into for reasons I don't really know. I know in writing this, I'm likely to fall down the steps and break something, but hopefully I can find all the information needed to heal myself on wikipedia. In No Country for Old Men, Anton Chigurh takes a brutal shot gun blast to the leg. He blows up a truck outside a pharmacy to get the materials needed to nurse himself back to health. One serious bad ass. Then I'm left to wonder, the philosophy of medicine. A select few hold the secrets to longevity, which they procure for a fee. What is the nature of longevity, and life in general? Is there really a need to live as long as humanly possible?  Homo Sapiens survived a migration out of Africa, crossing from Asia in Australia, walked the Bering Strait land bridge, displaced major fauna in all corners of the globe. All without the help of a doctor. Instead instinct, and a will to survive provided them all they needed. Maybe it will just be some good old fashioned natural selection. Those who want health insurance will pass their genes down, and those that don't will die off. I'd love to make a couple little fugly children. Little Brads running around, punching people in the dick. I'd pay to see that. So if I wanna live long enough to pass on a couple of my chromosomes, I better suck it up and buy some health insurance.

11. Condoms (MSRP can you put a price on safe sex? Yes you can. $11.99 for sixty)  I haven't had much use for them recently, but signs point to yes. That's what the magic eight ball said when I questioned it about my sex life. So on the advice of that, I thought I would put these on here as my last item.

now that a few of these things are written down, i implore you to buy them for me. many of you may find that right before you purchase them, you'll question why you are. don't. i cannot overstate the joy of gift giving. i've never done any of it myself, but from what i hear, it's better than sex.



progress. or i need a sugar momma.

comments: Your opinion matters to me.

photos. [22 Feb 2009|11:54pm]
there was something... ancient, in the woods that night. i'm fairly sure of that now. when it happened, and it happened fast, we were all running like crazy. in the dark, in the middle of nowhere, you don't question the sound of hungry howls, breaking trees, and fierce footsteps. once we got away from the light of the fire there was little more we could do except scatter, hope for the best, and pray to god whatever was following us didn't have the will to keep running. i suppose it's a little different when you're the prey.

i was rolling through some old pictures for amusement, and boredom. over christmas i obtained damn near every picture of the grimes family ever taken. it was part of a large scale, majestic and emotionally significant present for our mom. in any case, my parents loved to take pictures of their children, and just store them away without ever looking at them, because some of them i don't ever remember seeing. however, i've figured out two things about my brothers. scott's sole purpose in life has been to transform him self to large rimmed glasses boy, to slick talking bad ass. and corey... god damn... his entire life has been one massive growth spurt. a picture from just a few years ago shows him no bigger than me. and then suddenly he's looming over me like some horror movie character. suffice to say the only direction i have grown is outward.

bob is the first to die.  i've never heard bob scream, but i can only imagine a yell that loud came from him. he's always been loud. even when we were in the library during high school, the librarian would always be riding his ass about talking loud. he's probably the one who attracted that beast towards our campsite in the first place. he was telling some stupid story about college, making sure the camper's miles away heard us. i can't tell you how sick of the "obnoxiously drunk" stories i am. but it looks like they just finally caught up with old bob. there was a loud crash right before i heard the scream. and then he pleaded for help. i stopped for a moment, realizing it might be the last before i had to take off running again. a lot went through my head listening to him be torn apart. but the one thought that never occured to me was to go back and help. whatever was ripping him apart, was doing one very precise, practiced job. the screams lasted no more than ten seconds. i sucked in air like i was preparing for the end. then i took off again.

there's one really funny picture from my preschool years. remember when they used to line up your whole class for the group picture. looking at those pictures now, and how far away all those years are, you can't help but smile. i went to preschool in this church, which is now a night club, fancy that. i think it was presbyterian, or methodist, or one of those kooky christian sects. they marched us all into the basement, and rearranged us to get every one's face in the middle. i was average then, because i'm in the middle row. my mom happens to walk in when they are getting ready to shoot this thing. she had come to pick me up, and when i saw her i decided i no longer wanted to be there. i wanted to go home. so i start crying and making a terribly childish fuss. they tell my mother to wait out in the hallway until it's finished, but i just kept on crying. so my preschool picture has a disgruntled bleached blond brad in the middle row. arms crossed in an embarrassing "michelle tanner" way.

i never thought smoking was bad. i'm young and prone to mistakes. and a pack a day was never a problem for me. sure my former girlfriends never liked it. even the ones that smoked. i use to think i had control over it, but i'm sure of it now that i don't. in the woods, running like hell i realize how big of a mistake smoking really is. when you take off running, with everything you got, those lungs that you've so elegantly neglected all these years, they begin to ask questions. when you don't answer those questions, your lungs begin to laugh at you. needless to say, they need you to survive, but they also realize the level of stupidity you have failed to see all along. so they refuse to take in the oxygen you so desperately need. you get dizzy, and your legs start to burn. but it's not like fire burning, but like they are stretching apart because of horrible friction. the last time i think i ran, was freshman year. i used to laugh at all those stupid guys with the tight running shorts, charging up fifth with their ipods, and sweat. 

there's an endless assortment of sports pictures. baseball, soccer, basketball, football, swimming. all three of us were fairly active growing up. our parents couldn't fathom us being sluggish, feeble ingrates. so they were always riding us to and from any number of these practices. i can't say i remember a game that they were unable to attend. thinking about that now, it's really mind blowing. especially when i listen to the trials and tribulations of my dad's employment during the 80's and 90's. i sifted through some of these pictures, and for a moment completely speechless at the changes we've all gone through. my dad is in a few of these photos, having been a coach for baseball i suppose. he's got his thick black mustache in those photos. i often try and tempt him to grow it back. but he laughs it off and i know he's thinking "fuck that." classic.

i hear kelly go down next. and i'm not even curious about that one. i know it's her. i'd recognize that cry of agony anywhere. for awhile, kelly and i were... friends. not run of the mill friends. more like "i can't fucking believe i have a twenty page paper due tomorrow. let's have sex." friends. that's complicated. that's the only thing i am thinking about while i hear her screaming her guts out, and quite possibly having her guts ripped out. that whole situation was just, complicated. when it first started happening, it was just harmless friday night, drunken makeouts. then it turned into saturday night blow jobs. but within two months, it was steady three to four nights a week sex. we were doing other things, that some might call dates. but they never felt that way. maybe they did to her. but she started seeing some professor and then things just sorta slid downhill. there was still awkward tension when we went camping that night, but i suppose i don't have to worry about it now. i could hear her screams even while i was still running.

possibly even more numerous than the sporting photos are the boy scout pictures. all three of us were in cub and boy scouts. there's plenty of pictures from camping trips, backpacking, canoeing, and all those other outdoor things. there's court of honor pictures. this is the ceremony in which boy scouts receive merit badges, and other honors. and philmont. my dad and his three trips to new mexico with his sons. philmont is this large ranch owned by the BSA in northern New Mexico. it's a barren wasteland and a monument to simplicity. ever since moving out, i've questioned the motives of the boy scouts. i think more important than that, is that i've questioned what i personally got out of boy scouts. i've said harsh things, some maybe true, some maybe not. but it's really a unique thing, when fathers get together and teach their young collectively as a group. teamwork, responsibility, and acceptance. however, there were just some of the parents that didn't like my smart ass mouth, and so that just is not where i fit in.

there were only two of us left running at this point. myself, and danny. danny was kelly's new boyfriend. and she just couldn't wait to flaunt him off in front of us. we heard endlessly, for hours, about his whole... medical school thing. he was quiet about it for the most part. he kept trying to change the subject, talking about the school's almost perfect football record. all in all, he seemed like a pretty chill dude. but that made no difference now. i could hear him running next to me. not the thrash-thrash of his footsteps, but the heavy wheezing of his breath. i called out to him, and he called back. neither of us stopped running. but we started to run towards each other. the creature behind us, let out a great big howl, and resumed it's hunt. danny asks me what the hell that thing is. i say i don't know, don't care. he asks me if i have the keys for the car. i do.

 there's photos of the trips we've taken over the years. vacations to the beach, motor home excursions to god knows where, america. there are photos of mt. rushmore, disneyland, universal studios, the golden gate bridge, custer's last stand, erie, the smoky mountains, the corn palace, white water rafting, fort sumter, skiing, and other moments that are gone but not forgotten. it's interesting to look at these pictures, from my perspective because i barely have enough money to survive. i realize at some point sacrifices must be made. but thinking about raising a family of my own is such a far off idea, i can't even explain it. when i think about kids, i see this great big black void. i talked with my dad about this recently and i asked him how he pulled this shit off, on an annual basis. he tells me one thing, "if it's important, you find a way to make it happen."

danny asks me how far to the car. i tell him we marched ten miles into the woods for seclusion. he says fuck.

last but not least, there's the photos from the last few years. these pictures tell a different tale. pictures from home tell of growing expierience. they show the tutelage of your parents as they try and raise us into sucessful young men and women. our parents instill attitudes on us whether we want to except it or not. and as much as i've tried to distance myself from them, their morals and reasonings are still very much apart of who i am, how i think, and what i want out of life. but the pictures that have been taken since i've moved out show some insubordinate form of independence. defiance, inebriation, and the downright stupid. there's pictures of my drunken self with sharpied smileys, swear words, and other symbolic messages drawn on me. there's the pub tour pictures. there's the rehoboth beach pictures in which i sunburnt the shit out of myself. there's the football games and baseball games. there's the road trip to new york. there's pictures of past loves. there's the john adams. i included an assortment of these photos onto my mom's christmas present.

i see the clearing with the cars. there are probably a dozen or so cars in the parking lot, but only one concerns me at the moment. the creature for some bizarre reason is circling us. i've watched it round us. like i said before, it's a unique situation to be the prey. it must be equally interesting to be the predator. especially when said predator has you surrounded. a predator can take his time. he can taunt, if he chooses, because the ball is in his court. i realize both of us aren't going to make it. there's just no way. if we are lucky one of us will though. i guess when i pondered death, i never though it would be at the end of a ten mile super run, being eaten alive by some unseen creature that can mow people down at his choosing. danny asks me what it's doing. i don't reply with words but instead i push him to the ground. he falls face first into the ground. i reach the parking lot, and can hear him screaming at me. then i hear him just plain screaming. it's more painful to listen to than i thought it would be. because instead of just his screaming, i hear my own. i jam the key into the lock and open the car door. i lock the doors, thinking about how ridiculous that is. a creature with that speed and agility will have no problem slamming through a window. i have the car in drive, before i even realize it is. and now i am speeding along, getting as far away from those woods as possible.

the christmas present to my mother was a digital photo frame. i loaded it up with pictures both past and present. i even included a picture of harrison ford as indiana jones. it's always been my position that a photo album without at least one picture of harrison ford is both sleazy and in poor taste. you can make up your own mind, but i know you agree with me. she unwrapped it, and not being technologically savvy, she was slightly confused at first. scott set it up, and she started to tear up. she understood almost instantly what it was. it was really a beautiful moment. the million dollar oscar award winning moment. so as i glance through all these pictures, and remember some of these things, i can't help but be humbled by every single moment. it's a permanent record of an amazing family, chance encounters, and absolutely mesmerizing friendship.  
 
comments: Your opinion matters to me.

frantic. [19 Feb 2009|05:09pm]
netflix play now has become a favorite of mine recently. there's over 12,000 titles available to view at any time. when i first signed up that number was considerably less. even though i've been a customer for a little under a year, they've made dramatic improvements to that service which should secure there place in the digital on demand services. to be playfully blunt, i would imagine this little economic recession, or whatever they are calling it, will see the death of most of the dvd rental stores. it's simply an outdated business model that is not going to survive much longer. that's beside the point.

scott bought this bottle of gentleman jack, superbowl weekend. he said he had been craving jack for sometime, not whiskey, but jack. he was pointing out a specific brand. the last time i had had jack daniel's was destroying a half gallon with brian. i haven't touched it since because i felt down right shitty the next morning. in any case, there's the gentleman jack. the bottle looks like it's for gentleman. it has the feel of cologne, with the smell of a dank afternoon. many other jack fanatics will disagree with me, but i'm not a hard alcohol person. i don't think i ever will be.

i came across jericho on netflix's watch instantly. i remember following the campaign to save the show last year, but never had watched an episode. i love when fans react to a network's decision to cancel a program. right at the beginning of the decade i remember scifi had this show called this invisible man. i was a faithful follower, and when they decided to cancel the show everyone sent in packets of kool-aid. it was really funny, especially when nbc universal sent out a press release asking the fans to stop sending the packets in. this was in 2002, right after the media began reporting of anthrax being sent via postal mail. apparently nbc universal didn't want to risk it. but alas that show was canceled. however, the fans were able to revive jericho for an additional season, by sending viacom over twenty tons of nuts.

at this point in the week, scott has made several trips the the liqour store. he's bartending now, and wants to set up his own at home. there's absolute citron, bacardi 151, another bottle of gentleman jack, jose cuervo, and just a plain old bottle of vodka. there's other things on that shelf, but it would be useless to name them all. in addition he has purchased a blender and a new fridge to get this all up and running to his sastifation.

jericho starts off slow. it doesn't open the way i thought it would, but instead focuses on the struggles of this small post-apocalyptic kansas town. none of the characters have much depth to me, except for some of the cliche small town characters you would expect to see in any story of this kind. drama is introduced through families, love, and politics. i cannot say that it was unrealistic, because i have nothing to compare it to.

by saturday night, scott has his bar next to complete. he only needs patrons to consume his booze and then he can restore peace and justice to the galaxy. i begin that night with a gin and tonic. i may have had a sip of scott's one time before. he has always been a fan. it's not bad. amanda comes over, and scott makes her a drink. i forget what it was but it's fairly pointless to even bother writing it down.

slowly and surely jericho begins to pick up pace. i continue watching it, because every episode is left with a cliffhanger. and since all the episodes are right there, i just continue right on down the line. most of it becomes predictable after a while, and the acting consistently suffers save a few names. but as i'm watching it, i realize the one thing that could have saved this was to have a more 24-esque feel. the show simply did not pace itself correctly until the tail end of the season.

margarita's begin breaking out next. this is an odd choice, because i haven't drank a drop of tequila since...

while watching this show, i think about all the post-apocalyptic fiction in recent years. some of it might not even deal with the aftermath, but the actual end. deep impact, armageddon, the road, independence day, the stand, battlestar galactica. these have all entered into mainstream america and have become popular on one level or another. armageddon is only popular because it's downright stupid, but for some reason there's a criterion version of it.

it doesn't take long before i'm spewing forth bullshit about the church. i recommend having a buffet of communion in order to attract a larger crowd to catholic ceremonies. the next minute corey and i are testing water surface tension in the kitchen sink. scott pick's up his guitar and starts strumming out saturday night blues.

i had finished the first season of jericho by saturday night. it only took me a few days, but there was honestly nothing better to do. by the last episode the story had played itself out in a fairly unique fashion, as humans begin to contemplate their own survival in this new world. they have managed to hold onto law and order for the time being, but it was only hanging on by a thread. a new type of competition for resources had emerged by the last episode. maybe not new, but certainly something these people never dreamed of having to do.

amanda leaves before too long. maybe it was the testosterone in the room. and then we sit in silence for a few moments. each of us possibly owning up to responsibilty. tonight was supposed to be about getting shit-faced drunk. apparently only a couple of us had that in mind.

why is there so much "end of the world" story running around? so many films have explored the horrors of human nature. spielberg stylized it in the 90's with schindler's list and saving private ryan. many other filmmakers have followed in suit. how can you continue to function in a world where death is potentially only minutes away?

josh and steve show up next. but i'm fairly gone by this time. that weird "i'm home" feeling peeks from around the corner. looking at the walls and all the years that have gone by gets the best of me. justin comes over, and we decide to go down to the "pj" to shoot pool. it was nice and cold saturday night.

of all that fiction though, there is always some small rag tag group of survivors who seem to do whatever it takes to survive. even if it means killing one of their own. the great good, or whatever it is. i would certainly like to think that we'd band together after a nuclear war, or a massive cooling of the earth, or a pandemic that kills 90% of the population. even if artificially intelligent robots rose up against there masters and tried to exterminate us all, it's a nice thought to assume that some stability could be found in the world of tomorrow.

at the "pj", i shoot one game, but the motions are making me nauseous. all the leaning, and peering is making my stomach churn. so i decide to sit and watch corey and justin play. corey himself is fairly drunk, but begins to sober up over the next few hours that we are there. a few people i know come over and say happy valentine's day. but i'm too drunk to have a conversation or explain anything about myself for that matter.

at some point you have to question why these types of stories have become so popular. if i produced a story about burning my friend's house down, he might ask if i never come by ever again. if i shot a movie about a virus that wipes out my neighbor's family, he might not invite me over for the fourth of july next year. so in these stories, we cannot single out a group of people, but instead there must be dramatic change to the way we live our lives.

as we are heading home, justin asks us if we want to go to bridgeville to meet a friend of his. i'm beginning to sober up, so it seems like a good idea. it was only three.

maybe the truth is, we aren't happy with the way things are going. maybe we are envisioning what life would be like if we weren't confined to the contraints of government, religion, captalism. these are all barriers to achieving happiness, and in these movies these people establish new ways for themselves to survive. it's like b.f. skinner's walden 2.

at bridgeville, this kid pulls out the pipe. we smoke. and american pie is on. i haven't seen that movie in a couple of years. and it had never been funnier than it was on saturday. i tried to remained balanced though, but the pot was getting the best of me. any control i had gotten a hold of was lost. i have never smoked bud like that before.

we've been through recessions before. but it seems we always had something to work for, something that would bring us out of the dire circumstances this country found itself surrounded in. during the great depression it was world war 2, in the eighties it was hedonistic materialism. but right now, it just seems like we are fulfilling some endless cycle of up and down declines. sure we may pull ourselves out of it. but then we sink right back down. people lose their jobs, homes. some people wrap their lips around the end of a loaded gun to escape these times. and i can't help but ask for what?

i'm not sure what time it is, when we decide to leave. we got back on 79 and roared home. there was a binding pact to go to sheetz when all this was over, but i wasn't going to make it. not to sheetz, not anywhere but home. the car ride felt like hours, but in reality it's a small five minute drive.

it seems to me, like this whole system is failing. there is nothing to work for except our own petty survival. that seems kind of arrogant anymore. simply assuming that we have to be atop the food chain.

the car gets off at the canonsburg exit and justin is just driving like a nut. or so it seems. he's braking hard, accelarating fast, and taking bends like the whip at kennywood. all and all, i simply can't hold it down anymore. when he gets the car in park, i open the door and fall out onto the ground. i crawl a little bit away, and release the contents of my stomach onto the street. nothing solid, just a bunch of mixed booze that didn't fit in so well with the marijuana.

maybe we use this, not as some panic driven frenzy to ensure "american the beautiful." maybe we ask ourselves the hard questions that we have failed to ask ourselves. the question should not be how to get these things back, but how to proceed in a new direction. we need something to work for, and all the bailouts and loans, and grants, in the world aren't going to change that. these people need something more to work for. deserve more, than cheap wages, outsourced work, no health care, and ever rising product prices.

after that puke, everything feels better. much better. i pick myself back up, and trudge into my apartment. i know that in a few hours i'm going to be awakened with the bob evans plan. it has become more ritual than plan. an obvious end to a night of wasteful drunken behavior.

so jericho's second season was even better than the first. the same principle problems remained, but it was all and all a unique vision of the nuclear embattled remains of america. i'm going to move on to something a little more... uplifting.


comments: Your opinion matters to me.

[13 Feb 2009|02:44pm]

since i posted a few weeks ago, i've been trying to sort out what that all means. i put it down, and have looked at it several times. glancing over it each time, i expect some answers to fly out of what i've wrote down. some direction, or some reason that i'm feeling the way i am feeling.

i feel these waves of darkness, that come and go. i start thinking about tomorrow or the next day, and i only see blank sheets of paper. when i think that i am closer to solving this riddle, another line of text presents itself, and i continue on a neverending journey. the problem is, that journey truly has no possible resolution.

over the past two weeks, i've engaged in somethings that i hoped would take my mind off of all this. but it goes deeper than just random activities. from my perspective, i'm looking for the slightest bit of encouragement. something that makes me think that as crazy as all this sounds, there may yet be some hope.

talking about things like this has gotten increasingly difficult. the closer we get to normality, the harder it is to see beyond those thin lines that seperate normal from the absolute fucking crazy. swallowing anger, or beating around the push have become my defense in these situations.

and so i listen to the distractions, and discouragement. for a moment they allow me to put things in perspective. but when i'm by myself, my thoughts always drift away from that. vengeful eyes stare upon me. and i become afraid to open my mouth, or write down what i'm feeling. i'm trapped in the corner with every possible angle of pressure looking at me. there are cures, however.

they are neither acceptable, nor reasonable. but going off the deep end isn't either. crossing that line. and maybe that's what i'm trying to do. seperate all those distractions and discouragement, and just go my own way. because for me, that's really all i want. i want to step outside myself, just for a little while. step away from everything that i've pissed around with for too, too long and pursue what i always thought was right for me. everything else is bullshit.

i would hate not to explore just a while longer. i would hate not to go just a little bit crazier than i am right now. i feel a nervous breakdown on the horizon, but it's quite possible that's what i'm shooting for. if i can get to that point, all the barriers and expectations won't mean a thing to me anymore. all the criticism, and judgements and raised eyebrows will just be one more meaningless thing.

i never intended for this to happen. it's reasonable to assume this is just a passing phase. and i may end up just going back to doing the thing i absolutely hate. and if that is the case, that will be that. but the thought of doing that simply scares me. because it's beyond my comprehension.

i want to send a special thanks out to the balloon guy.


 

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strange dreams the past two nights... [28 Jan 2009|07:17pm]
my classes this semester are earlier than they have ever been. 9am. while that is nothing to some of you, mind you that for my christmas break i was up until four or five everyday playing left 4 dead or fallout 3. both were considerably worth my time. ha. in any case, december 11th was the day the dark knight came out on dvd. so at midnight, my brothers and i went to walmart to purchase it. scott had to be up early the next morning, and decided to take a unisom to get his ass to sleep.

both corey and i decided to take one also. for the shear expierience i suppose. if you asked me now i couldn't really answer why we took it. but corey and i decided to have a who goes to sleep first contest after taking it. as long as your not sitting up, drinking something, or moving about, the effects hit pretty quick. if indeed they hit at all, there's always the placebo effect to consider. however since it works, i have used it a couple of times since to ensure i get to sleep and wake up for school on time.

scott told me you have very real dreams when you take it, very visceral and surreal. i never noticed it before, but my last two nights taking it have proven to prove me wrong.

the first dream, i was sitting on the side of a creek with my dad and brother. a text message came into my phone from and old worker named summer. it said "unix?" unix is the old text based operating system from back in the day. although i am sure some companies still use it in some form, somewhere, somehow. i looked at my dad, in the dream, after reading the message aloud, and he turned away looking at the water. then i looked at my foot, sitting on the side of the creek. two huge warts, and i mean huge were growing out of the top of my foot. my brother commented that they were gross looking. he recommended just ripping them off. which i did. they peeled off very easily and underneath them it appeared as if my foot was rotting away.

i woke up confused.

last night, i again took a unisom.

this time it was super bowl sunday. i'm not sure where the superbowl was being played, but it was reminiscent of caprica from battlestar galactica. we'll get to that in a moment. the steelers were playing, and i was out and about. i remember going to church at some point, and then coming outside. a huge attack was going on and bombs were flying this way and that. why i mention battlestar galactica, is because the entire series takes place after a huge attack on caprica, much like the one in my dream.

strange.

freud would say i'm jealous of my father.

it's strange how real some of those dreams can become. after the wart episode i woke up looking at my foot, just to ensure it was turning gray and slimy. just to make sure it wasn't rotting away.
comments: Your opinion matters to me.

[26 Jan 2009|10:25am]
not being a fan of vodka, last night i succumbed to vodka and tonic water. despite half the glass being filled with vodka, i found it void of taste. which was excellent. this is the first week without football. and seeing how there really is only one more game in the season, i feel a great bittersweet about the end of the season.

i'm no fan of summer. and this past summer i worked two jobs day and night, came home and got stoned with scott. i had a countdown going to the days until i started school. for me, school was about education, it's more about freedom. not being confined to one place and time. the hall of fame game came around at a time where the summer was just about over. i had two more weeks to work.  and then i was going to a limited schedule. the preseason games are just an opening act. getting everyone pumped for the seventeen weeks of regular season.

scott and i went to the last preseason game, against carolina at heinz field. we drank somewhat, with melissa who i hadn't seen in years. we arrived after the second quarter had started and ben had already come out of the game. so, after that there was about a week before regular season started.

the giants opened up at their field the following thursday, and the steelers played ball that sunday. they won against the houston texans, 38-17. the first few weeks aren't really filled with spectacular all or nothing games. the key match-ups are usually used later, for marketing and other business related reasons.

the following week, they played cleveland. and won. big. that was one of the big things going into this season. cleveland. they had five primetime national games. they were expected to go far this season, since finishing 10 and 6 last season. but they just couldn't get the ball rolling this season. cincinatti likewise played awful ball. baltimore though, joe flacco is gonna be a pain in the ass for us for years. his story is similar to that of ben, and it would be hard not to imagine baltimore giving us grief in the afc north for some time to come.

our first loss came against our team from across the state. the eagles played really well that game. and the offense just couldn't get moving on pittsburgh. in many ways that has been the problem for much of the season. jeff reed and defense made the wins this year. not that the offense didn't play well. but willie parker has been struggling all season, only truly having a good running game going in the afc divisional game. mewelde moore was more crucial and effective in the backfield than willie.

we then won against baltimore, jacksonville, and cincinatti. i was at the cincinatti game, in cinci. the county did some bus ride thing, which basically consisted of starting to drink at nine in the morning and not stopping till the bus ride home the next day.

after that, the giants came to heinz field where they beat us. that was a pretty tense game. for the next few weeks, i had my mind pretty much set that it would be dallas or the giants in the superbowl. funny how things turn out.

the redskins game was the night before the election. a monday night game in washington. the broadcasters kept talking about the theory that if the redskins won, then the incumbent party would stay in power. and if the steelers won, the democrats would win. they droned on and on about that all night, and sure as shit the next day obama was elected. thank god.

indianapolis came to our field the following week and dealt us our third loss. much had been talked about in the preseason about how peyton manning's surgery left him out of practice and preseason. but he really came through and earned the mvp this year. playing in the same division as tennesee, they got their wild card spot secured in december, and lost the first week to san diego. tony dungy retired a week later. i've heard rumors that obama was going to appoint him to some committee dealing with family's, and children. i'm not sure if that even happened, but i heard it. he's a good man. any interview i've ever seen him in he's very collected, calm, and modest about his position in life.

the steelers went on a winning streak the next few weeks. beating san diego, cincinatti, baltimore, new england, dallas. the san diego game had one of the best interceptions i have ever seen. phillip rivers throws to jackson, who somewhat catches it and then it flys out of his hands. polomalu comes running from behind, dives, and scoops the ball with his fingertips milliseconds before it touches the ground.

tennesse gave us loss number four. there was alot of hype that week abou how the steelers had the oppurtunity to become the number one seed in the nfl. and i have to admit i got wrapped up in that hype for a time. but after the loss and just realizing it had little to no impact on us whatsoever, i cared little for that game. someone afterwards text me to tell me it was a depressing game. i responded with my theory that in four weeks tenneesee would be gone. batltimore took care of them, and then we took care of baltimore.

last regular season week was against cleveland. most pittsburghers know thats the game ben went down with the concussion. the fifteen minutes, the cbs annoucers talking, talking, talking.

finally it's the new year. it's playoffs. wild card weekend. the steelers have earned themselves a week off. i really didnt think san diego stood a chance against the colts. but thats history now. and i didn't think arizona had any reason to be in the playoffs. finishing 9-7, they played hard hard football these past three weeks. kurt warner has done an impressing job, same with larry fitzgerald and therest of that line. but defense stepped up also. congrats to ken whisenhunt.

divisional weekend, it was stirups across the land. philly beats new york. arizona beats carolina in a crushing display. baltimore beats tennessee. the only home team to win that weekend was of course the pittsburgh steelers. it was this weekend i started throwing the parties. they seem to have brought some luck thus far. regular season doesn't attract alot of my friends out, though.

it was saturday of that weekend when i admit i got a little nervous. i knew the steelers were gonna win against san diego. but baltimore beating tennesee. baltimore. out of all our games this season, our two matchups against balitmore have been insane. overtime, and a controverial touchdown. so going into this week, most people on the radio concluded that the steelers were gonna win.

of course afc-nfc championships proved that. arizona beats philly, and the steelers beat baltimore.

this past friday i went down to the pep rally. we walked by the lombardi's of the past. bought superdogs which were disgusting. and sat for two hours, listening to the pittsburgh girls dance team, some marching band that was running around. the clarks played. then they started showing clips on the jumbo of some of the big plays from the game. anytime polomalu was on the screen the crowd went nuts. his fourth quarter interception return had the place rocking.

and so it's monday before the super bowl. six days and the last real game of the season. arizona first super bowl appearance, in the history of the nfl since the 70s, and pittsburgh's 7th. i think both teams are in for a fight on sunday.
comments: Your opinion matters to me.

81 weeks ago. [24 Jan 2009|02:15pm]

the last time i posted here was 81 weeks ago. over a year and a half to be precise. i tried out another journal, but just couldn't get in the mood for posting. frankly i don't think i will ever get back into it. at least not the way i once was, with a journal entry a day, or more. but i felt like writing some things down here today. some things that have been bothering me.

choice is such a odd word. choosing, and selecting, and choice. decisions go hand and hand with choice, but i've never been very good at decisions. which also means i've never been very good at choice. lately i've been looking around, at alot of things, knowing that the decisions i've made have failed me in big ways. you get caught up in your choice, and you want to believe you are doing the right thing. you defend and justify your actions with ever breath you take. and then one day you take the good hard look you have been failing to do and see that you're miserable.

long before i started school, over a cup of coffee at eat n' park i spoke of school. and how it was simply not the place for me. i honestly believe that is true now. i've completed two and half years of a psych degree that i have no clue what i'm going to do with. i haven't even considered my possibilities, let alone looked.

the economy in recent times is another troubling aspect of the world we are about to venture out into. the news delivers somber news every day about the dow, about companies going under, about the value of our money, about the number of layoffs. it's like vietnam without all the death. my own dad, investor extradanaire tells me that he knows of no safe place to put money. although he remains optimistic, and is far from broke, his own puzzlement only fuels mine.

but, back to school. it's not regret over going to school. in unbelievable ways school has only opened my eyes. public education is designed to produce good hard working american citizens. liberal education degrees teach us to think, and not accept everything that is handed to us. but i wonder, in a corporate world in which we live, how can thinking be respected and condoned. where can i make a mark? that's really the question i've been struggling to answer. how can i be of use to people, when everything is about money, profit, and the bottom line.

school has taught me lots of things. psychology, sociology, literature, philosophy, film. i feel more wholesome and i am in a place that i would not be without school, but at the same time i'm never going to cure disease, or be an economist. i'm never going to be a politician, or a social worker. i'll never be middle or upper management at a company, and i am never going to be a psychologist. sitting in a cubicle is about as fun as watching paint dry, working in retail is about as exciting as watching the olympics. i've worked plenty of food service jobs, and most of you know my position on this hellish, terrible, dream destroying enterprise.

on a side note, i quit my job two weeks ago, and i have to tell you, unemployment is the way to go. i don't mean sitting on unemployment. i have some money saved up, and should be fine to not work for a couple of months. but right now, these past two weeks have been the longest i have not worked since i was thirteen. i've been thinking about that a lot recently too. i've been working a decade. i feel burnout and defeated. if you've ever seen kevin pollack act, just imagine him, but picture me. i walk around aimlessly, with slumped shoulders, sunken eyes, and zero energy. if i didn't know any better, i'd say i was dieing of terminal illness.

i don't want to be unemployed, but i can't come to terms with producing a product i don't care about, for a company i don't care about, for a customer i don't care about. when your whole life consists of these variables, you suddenly begin to realize your entire being is pointless. self-worth, self-esteem, self-(insert any defining word here), take those away for just one minute, because i'm not talking about those. i'm talking about your reason for being here, eating food, drinking water, and breathing air. and right now i can't come up with one good reason to keep persuing this direction.

a while back, i thought i found the solution to this. i was trying to determine what to do with the rest of my life. i thought that maybe i was thinking to far ahead. i felt i was being over-zealous about the whole thing. and instead i tried to answer the question of where i thought i saw myself in five years. i still can't answer that fucking question. i think it's pretty reasonable to try and answer that one. because it's a mere five years.

over new year's, i talked to my dad about some of this. i don't think anyone fully understands the extent of my confusion, simply because i don't know how to communicate it. in some ways i seem the same thing in my brothers, and i'm sure they feel the same way at time, but they certainly don't show it. scott is fairly confident in his decisions, and seems to be moving along. corey, working on a pilot's license, seems to have some direction. my dad told me stories about his carpet and furniture business with his brothers. and how that all went to hell. he told me of some of the things he did, younger than i, to keep the business running. and when it went under how he responded to those pressures. i haven't faced anything like that, but you can see how my dad is the way he is because of that. he's cautious with his money but not uptight. he knows how the world works.

one factor heavily influencing me is the degree mentality. i've always been taught and brought up that a degree was the only way to get ahead, or at least gurantee some security and stability. i've bought into alot of that. but i've also seen the polar opposite. those who have degrees, but cannot find anything worthwhile and work at applebees. i've seen far to much of that, not to wonder "will that be me?"

and so i escape, and continue to run, towards the things that bring me fulfillment. movies, videogames, steelers fucking football, starbucks, max and ermas. destinta theatres in bridgeville, miller lite, pinot noir, windows media center. i often wonder if i can find a way to make a living from these things.

are other people unhappy with their lives? as a journey to and from school every day, i see this mass transit of people sitting in traffic, or taking the elevator up and down, or getting on or off the bus, always heading to and fro, and i can't believe that this is the life these people accept. with a possibility of one hundred some years of life, how much of that is spent on the parkway in traffic? i sit for an hour and half each morning. i'm not going do the math, because it will just depress me more, but i can see a rough estimate in my head.

so when does the work part stop, and when does life become fulfilling? it's not about not working, it's simply about having some purpose in life, some direction, something to work for, and for me right now not working is the only way to accomplish that.

 

comments: Your opinion matters to me.

concerning a past entry, on a certain subject... [02 Jul 2007|07:39pm]

a conversation at work the other day prompted me to pop in the powerhouse movie mystic river the other night. mystic river was of course directed by clint eastwood, and starred sean penn, tim robbins, and kevin bacon as the male leads. since i first saw it, i always praised sean penn's performance, but i never truly understood why i liked it so much.

in any case, i went through a painstaking review of past journal entries to find out where i mentioned mystic river, and what i thought about it, when i first wrote about it. i knew my former manager had purchased me a copy sometime before april of 2005, but i wasn't entirely sure when i wrote an entry about it. i found several entries that detailed me reading the book by dennis lehane. and certainly more entries that discussed a phony emotional distress, and depressed nature. i look back on those entries with shame, but contend they are part of my past. and it's a great measuring stick.

on thursday march 3rd, 2005 at 8:03pm I wrote an entry titled consequences aside, continue your destruction. an obvious reference to my shattered life, struggling to get over a first love, and maybe for the first time realizing that i wasn't a little boy watching movies in the dark anymore. the entry talks of a few things, but at the end there is a small paragraph that mentions mystic river. 

"also, yesterday i asked pam if i could borrow mystic river. we had both bought a copy when it was released and i don't have mine anymore. so anyway i asked her, she said sure, and then she went out and bought it for me. she's like the mother i never had. her birthday is next week, so i gotta get her something. last year i got her concert tickets to the howard shore symphony at heinz hall, seeing how were both lord of the rings junkies. but i got no clue as to this year. but yeah, back to the whole mystic river thing. the story is not that original. but this movie has the most brillant acting ever. sean penn is absolutely amazing. i'm gonna watch it when i get home tonight."

tonight when i got home, i was watching t.v. and realized that i had written about mystic river before. but i knew that i had only written a passing comment. and that's all there was to it. after watching mystic river the other night i realized i had been wrong in that comment. this film is possibly one of the greatest movies to come out of hollywood since the turn of the century. 

i say in the comment, that the story is not that original. but i was wrong. it's filled with novelty. the story opens with jimmy, sean, and poor dave boyle playing hockey on the street. a few minutes into their lives and they are writing their names in wet cement. at this point a man pretending to be a cop takes dave into the back of his car. a single event that would shape the outcome of the rest of the story. their lives were changed forever when dave boyle was abducted.

the story jumps ahead, sometime in the future when they are grown and have their own families. dave and his son are walking down the old street where the preceding events had occured. the sidewalk with their names written in it was old and weathered. i thought for a long time about that. about how the events that had transpired were long past, but certainly not forgotten. how they would never be forgotten, etched into whatever sidewalk for all time. 

the main character's daughter ends up being murdered further into the movie. and i began to see, as the movie progressed, how the one event occuring so many years before, had filtered down into their lives now. how it had affected their personalities, and how the event directed their lives in certain ways. jimmy's defensive and impulsive nature, sean's disillusioned nature, and dave's paranoid and uptight nature, all stemming from this one event. the end of the story is ultimately determined by their personalities.

as said before, i had always liked sean penn's performace. i never cared much for his films before, but his acting in this movie was about as emotional as you can get without actually expieriencing the event yourself. a few scenes worth noting are the obvious ones. jimmy learning that his daughter had died. another scene when jimmy is talking to his wife's father. and yet another when jimmy and dave are sitting on his porch. these moments are so brief but they are pinnacle of what great acting can be. the oscars that year awarded penn his first oscar. i ponder the times he had been nominated before, and realize there was never a perfomance that deserved that award before. all best acting oscars should be compared to his portrayal of jimmy markum. 

that same year marked the release of return of the king. peter jackson's finale to lord of the rings franchise. even though eastwood was nominated for mystic river, jackson was awarded the best director oscar. i have often contended that jackson deserved that oscar more than anyone else that year. but a rather interesting argument arose in my head as i watched mystic river. i thought about the role of the director. i asked myself what the director's job was. and i've often viewed it as the person who puts it all together. but the director views the movie in his head, he sees it before it is even filmed. his job is to put across the emotional and literal meaning of the film. his job includes pulling the best possible perfomances from the actors and actresses as he can. to put those actors in enviroments where their perfomance will shine, and in the end put it all together. so after i considered that i wondered who deserved the best director oscar. i still think peter jackson deserved it. but certainly not just for return of the king, for all three movies.

so, hopefully that makes up for that trightful blurb i wrote, about the nature and power of mystic river. 


"yeah, well... like i said dave. this next part you do alone" - Sean Penn

comments: Your opinion matters to me.

group work. [15 Jun 2007|11:53pm]
post-28 weeks later, post fantastic 4: rise of the silver surfer. i'm beyond all that now. a fun-filled evil day at the theatre can be more fun than a case of beer and and a very aroused ex girlfriend, who you randomly bumped into in the middle of new york city. alas, the former is what i delved into today. 

with me now are three others, i'd like to mention. all three all small seedlings of the cannabis sativa plant. germinated, planted and miracle grown. they are coming in fairly nice. we worried about the properly lighting, temperatures, etc. neither one of us had any expierence in growing things. horticulture, is quite possibly an art. those artists, who grow the grapes, and make an amount of wine to be called delicious, they deserve special racognition. here's to you guys.

at the wave pool the other day, i left my keys on the driver's side door. and henceforth locked them into my car. another careless mistake in the same vein as leaving my lights on. this event marks notch number four into the dialed triple a genre, and the score is now tied between leaving my lights on and locking my keys inside the vehicle. it's a serious game, dangerous and serious. who will win? it comes down, in the end, to whatever stupidity i feel like being involved in that day.

last night at the bar. the hofbrau, located in the luxourious and wealthy east end canonsburg. east end has been home to some of the greats over the past few years. these selective few, they are awaiting admission into the rock n roll hame of fame. these elite, they are waiting for their stars on that street in hollywood, that highlights the stars. the hofbrau, the center of the heart of canonburg. the streets connecting to it, they are arteries. deeply clogged arteries that require economic properity and renewed interest to continue flowing blood at perfect level. the horbrau was a bar i would never go into by myself, or with a group of people for that matter. in any case, i went last night. external forces were acting on my and strange and mysterious ways. despite myths and legends that still haunt the woods of canonsburg the hofbrau was a fairly ordinary bar. the patrons were different, but the bar resembled the classic slapshots of dormont. sitting there i felt out of place, but at the same time i felt at home. 

there's a pool table at the hofbrau. my brother, friend, colleuage, and associate, and our wacky neighbor Alan were playing the table. working their balls in magical ways. after a few games of who fucked who first, a former co-worker of all of ours came into the bar. placing fifty cents on the side of the table, she signaled that she would want to play next. name changed for legal reasons, we shall call her female #1. her shirt was worn slighty above the top of the jeans. strange how the 360 degree piece of skin can draw so much eye, and banter. strange how every time she was cueing on my side of the table, the universe would suddenly become euphoric. strange how i still remember that, 24 hours later and sober now. but not that strange at all. first place girls are everywhere. always drawing my attention from the road i should be watching. or the ice cream cone i should be eating.

poor, poor ryan connelly. perhaps his first time to stage. perhaps his first time delivering material, in front of a live studio audicence. poor, poor ryan connelly. at an amateur stand-up contest, ryan connelly was the first to stage. among the nice contestants, ryan went on first. the weight of the entire evening in his hands, ryan forgot his material. ryan couldn't remember the even slightest inkling of his observations. he puttered at the microphone. stumbling for his words. 

a second viewing of 28 weeks later, revealed some overly novice acting. but what can one expect from a horror film. most of the budget is spent on make-up and with a meager stock pile of money, acting is usually the least of a horror films worries. 28 weeks later is of course a sequel to the intensely popular 28 days later. the two compared are very different films. recently deceased cannibals have been a favorite genre of mine for as long as i can remember. night of the living dead(remake) was the first i can remember seeing. from there i went down of road of return of the living dead 2, dawn of the dead, day of the dead, return of the living dead, return of the living dead part  3, land of the dead, 28 days later, dawn of the dead,  shaun of the dead, grindhouse, 28 weeks later. plus an even or odd number of less popular  zombie films. perhaps its the post-devestation, or the struggle for survival, the valuable insight on the human condition or dilema, however i love zombie movies. 

the casino opened this week. ha, and on the same day west virginia counties began passing laws to allow card games. wheeling is expected to have them as early as labor day. pennsylvanians feeble minded plan to draw more interest and money to the state has been outwitted by the back woods bumpkins of w.v. i can't help but think of scooby doo. west virginia serves as scooby doo, and pennsylvania acts as a random masked man dressed up as some creature. we would have gotten away with it, if it hadn't been for those darn west virginians. 

in any case, scott and i sleazed our way down there, to get first hand expierience in the post modern pennsylvania life. many were worried that crime and drugs would come to western pa, if we allowed such triffel machines in our precious corner of the world. i saw no crime while i was there. there were however one dozen grade a, pastuerized cop vehicles sprawled all along race track road. waiting for some depressed, and broke drunk to pick a fight with the wrong cocktail waitress. every police guy in the building had one hand firmly placed on their night stick, their other gently stroking their man sized manhood. excited masturbation is all they would see this night. forty dollars, folded neatly into twenties were in my wallet. ready to win, win big. casinos are truly the meaning of america. the possibilty of winning. i don't understand why there needs to be any laws prohibiting or allowing them. the outlawing of gambling is outlawing our entire way of life. 

my first eleven dollars is blown real quick, with a blue moon, a heinken, and a cold shot of citron. the remaining twenty nine is lost among the hungry slots. ready for their first truly blood thirsty appetite. and these beast will not stop taking your money, even after they've mugged and raped you, they still thirst for more penetrating your entire soul, and causing some to take the great final plunge from a commercialized, xbox filthy planet to the big beyond below. on a lighter note, scott did leave the casino with more than he brought in. that bastard. i recommend going to anyone who is not currently perscribed to any mao inhibitors. 

the big finish to that fun time, was scott's acquisition of the attractive female bartenders number. now among the list of the many such phone numbers, the future of course in air. her name for legal reasons will also be omitted. only now known as female #2

fanatastic four 2. slightly better than the original, but still hasty on the eyes. tonight brought back memories of nancy callahan. the pole dancing alba from sin city. jessica is my one true love. and bill pullman is my dad. bill paxton my even less popular uncle. next up of course the much anticipated live free or die hard. i'm a bruce willis wannabe. he's is seriously the man. a diverse portfolio of work, and a pretty cool dude in general.

from here on out, everything's going be ok. i can feel like everything that needed to fall into place has fallen. the casino has great carpet, a dump truck load of movies are coming out this summer. the pools are open and the out door barbeque pits are fired up. it's certainly not happiness or fulfillment, but summer break students are getting all the nourishment they need for this year.
comments: Your opinion matters to me.

two things on my mind... [22 May 2007|06:53pm]

lately, i've been feeling a certain sort of way. on saturday night, as i was getting ready to leave work, i was asked by my boss to stay a little. i told him i could not, because i had plans. truth was, at the moment, i had none. my plan was to go home and be as lazy as i possibly could for two days. so i did not stay. and i knew they were mad. and i imagine there were things said about my approach to work. but this is of course the reason i departed my old job. i wanted to work less, and i felt an itchy desire to have more bradley time. as i was driving home however, i felt guilty, as i normally would. i was on overtime and passed up $12 an hour to work for a few more hours. 

so saturday night ended up being a slighty drunk one. steve freaking d who i haven't seen in a long time graduated w an j saturday. so we all drunk up a little bit and watch bizarre, BIZARRE porn. plus corey came down and we played the halo 3 beta. halo 3, by the way, is the most highly anticipated event of my entire freaking life. sadly. but not really that sad.

sunday came around, and i was still thinking about atria's. i guess really i felt like i abandoned them. i left them there to die. but thats not the case. i try and remind myself where i'm at right now, and what i want. but old habits are certainly hard to break. 

i went into my dads later that night for dinner. we talked a bit. something i noticed lately is that i have the hardest time talking to my father. about anything. it's something i noticed last summer. my mother and i talk fine, and i can continue a conversation with her forever, but whenever i talk to my dad it's like i lost all my thoughts. nothing comes to mind. he always asks me about things, and i seriously have no way to answer the question. and i end every comment or answer, with "i don't know."

in any case, he informed me of my financial situation. since i have started school, i have always thought that i need to save, save, save. i worked all those hours before, to save, save, save. but when he threw the number out there, i realized that atria's was no longer any concern of mine. even if i was fired today, i would be ok for months, maybe even a year, without having to work. i'm not saying that i don't intend to work, but i felt somewhat liberated by the information. 

scott called while i was in at my dads. he bought fear and loathing in las vegas last week, and has been begging me to watch it with him. i tried once last week, and fell asleep on it. he asked me if i was on my way home. i said not at the moment. he said hurry cause he was going to buy rolling papers. i asked what for, and he just said come home soon.

so i get home, and he has a joint rolled and ready to smoke sitting on the coffee table. he tells me that watching the movie is "totally better" when stoned. i obliged. what the hell was my initial thought. 

we smoked it down, and used a pair of pliers as a clip for the end. (very humourous). he told me he was really fucked up, but i felt little to nothing of the supposed "high"

he announced he wished he had a bowl. it would be so much easier to smoke from. he asked if we had any aluminum foil. but the foil was spent. it had been used one night to cover up a piece of chicken i had made. luckily however, the night before i had baked muffins. and it just so happened that the muffin wrappers were made with aluminum foil. so we rolled it up and made a make shift bowl out of the aluminum foil. 

it worked really really good after that. i layed down on the bitch couch and we started watching the movie. things started happening, my body was both relaxed and heavy at the same time. i started eating potato chips like a nut. the movie to me seemed like every shot was made for someone who was stoned. the way the camera moved, or didn't move. the way the characters behaved and the way reality suddenly became so far away.

the chips were not enough to sastify my. i wanted honey nut cheerios. my fridge has been freezing milk lately, so i leave it in scott's room, since he has that little mini fridge. i poured the cereal and walked back to his room. i felt like i was outside myself and watching myself walk. i kept telling myself to remember these effects. i imagined a group of men asking me questions about my expierience and i was answering them out loud. to me, it seemed every second was an hour, and every hour was a second. 

i fell asleep, before finishing the movie, again. 



comments: Your opinion matters to me.

grindhouse [07 Apr 2007|03:46pm]
i would imagine, that snorting a thick line of cocaine would be very similar to watching grindhouse. this movie rocked the foundations of everything we hold dear. tarantino and rodrigiuez delivered one hell of a film experience. from the moment the first movie starts, to the final scene of the second movie, this movie delivers something awful and amazing at the same time. 
the film is of course based off the old paracinema flicks of the late 70's and early 80's. we have all seen some of them i'm sure. the idea behind these types of movies was money. all movies are about money, but big studios can afford big budgets and big name stars. paracinema flicks could do neither, so instead they would create exploitation flicks. these movies would brings very graphic material to the screen, either sex, drugs, horrific violence. most of the slasher flicks of the 80's were paracinema. the blaxaploitation flicks like blacula were all designed to turn a quick profit. the word grindhouse comes from the theatres they were played in. very cheap, cheap surroundings. think of a porno theatre today, and that's fairly comparable to a grindhouse cinema. 

both planet terror and death proof proved to be great movies. the first movie, planet terror was about a plague taking over a small town, turning people into none other than gruesome, cannablistic zombies. clear inspirations would be romero's living dead, and lucio fulci's zombi series.  a stellar cast fights off the advancing horde, with blood and guts flying in the air. tarantino makes a guest appearance as an infected rapist (very funny scene). the film is made to look old, and used. at one point in the film, a message comes up saying the theatre has misplaced a reel of the film, and a whole section of the film is cut out. the sound becomes messed up at points, and the image is occasionally shaky. this might discourage some from seeing the movie, but i assure you it only adds to the fun. rodriguez delivers a top notch film.

the second film is called death proof. this movie is one of those movie where you grind away at the layers of your teeth because of the tension and suspense. this is unsurprising considering the director, tarantino. the film centers around two groups of girls, both mid 20's. the film details there run in with stuntman mike, played by a perfectly cast kurt russell. stuntman mike has a muscle car and is a psychotic killer. he praises his car is death proof (hence the name of the movie). this movie blew me away. however some where not so happy with this one.

i read several reviews before i went, and critics agreed that planet terror was the better movie. they said tarantino's was slightly less affective. and even as we where leaving the theatre the kids behind did not understand why there was so much dialogue, and less action. this is the staple of tarantino's best work. dialogue. the opening scenes of resevoir dogs have a group of guys at a table talking about madonna, and tipping. pulp fiction opens with jules and vincent talking about the metric system, among other things. pulp fiction is hands down one of the best screenplays ever written. tarantino films are post-modern tributes to older films. reservoir dogs was based off a chinese film called city on fire. jackie brown was a tribute to the blaxaploitation movies. kill bill was an obvious tribute to the japanese and chinese wuxia films, and italian westerns. so while death proof is 70% dialogue, and 30% action some may have been disappointed, but that is exactly what i expected from a film of his. 

before both movies, several directors contributed movie trailers for fake exploitation films. rob zombie and eli roth were among some of those directors. the movie ideas that they came up with were hilarious. one film called thanksgiving is a tribute to slasher films. another called werewolve women of the ss was a tribute to the isla movies of the 70's. they were worth paying 8.75.

in any case, this movie rocked some serious ass.
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