Sunday, December 31, 2006
New Things Completed: 184
(so I didn’t do 365 new things like I set out to, but 184 New Things is still pretty respectable!) (also, I’m sure I did at least a couple dozen new things that I never got around to writing about)
Number of Posts About Poop: 10
(I’m sure there were more than 10, but as I quickly skimmed through all 347 posts just now, the word “poop” only popped out at me 10 times)
Number of Posts About Pee: 4
(I’m not nearly as obsessed with talking about my pee habits as I am with talking about my poop habits, so I’m kinda surprised this figure is as high as it is)
Number of Posts About Hair, More Specifically My Hair: 15
(what’s up with that? why am I so obsessed with hair?)
Number of Posts About Billy Zabka, More Specifically My Penis: 2
(however, the number of “Billy Zabka” google searches that brought people to my blog was probably in the dozens) (sorry Real Billy Zabka)
Number of Posts About Scott Caan, Jennifer Aniston, and/or Hands: 6
(ah, halcyon days)
Number of Times I Participated in Chad Darnell’s 12 of 12 Posts: 5
(sorry, Chad, I wanted to keep participating, but the last few 12th days of the month kinda got away from me)
Number of Posts About Dates I’ve Been On: 4
Number of Those Dates Which Occurred In This Calendar Year: 1
Number of Times I Left My Phone Number For Hot Waiters This Year: 1
Number of Times Hot Waiters Called The Number I Left For Them: 0
Number of People Who Pretended to Be BusBoys Wanting to Date Me: 2
(geeez, these statistics just took a turn) (I need to date more in 2007) (wanna go on a date?) (anyone?) (Bueller?)
Number of Posts With Lists In Them: 58
(I love lists) (does this post qualify as a list?)
Number of Posts About Google: 5
(I feel like I must have counted wrong and missed some google posts, because I thought I was more obsessed with google than 5 posts would indicate)
Number of Posts About Shows On MTV: 22
(no wonder I get so many MTV related google hits)
Number of Posts In Which I Talk About My Love For Michael J. Fox: 9
(I heart MJF forever)
Number of Posts About How Excited I Am To Do Stomach Crunches: 1
Number of Times I’ve done Stomach Crunches Since Writing About How Excited I Was To Do Stomach Crunches: 0
(I need to get in the habit of doing cardio before I worry about stomach crunches again)
Number of times the Erik Makes a Banana video has been viewed on YouTube: 569
Number of snarky comments left by strangers, re: the “Erik Makes a Banana” video: 1
(and my reply to that snarky stranger is, "yeah, so what?)
Number of Blog Posts Written: 347
(almost a post a day!) (not bad!)
Total Number of Comments Posted: 5,986
Number of Posts That Have Over 100 Comments: 7
Number of Posts That Have Over 200 Comments: 2
Most Amount of Comments On One Post: 244
Number of Comments Written By Me: too many to count
Number of Posts That Have ZERO Comments On Them: 1
(if you can find the one post with no comments and leave the first comment, you win a prize) (I don’t know what the prize will be just yet, but I promise it’ll be good)
Friday, December 29, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Okay, I was really vague just now with the whole "when I was a kid" thing, implying that I'm talking about my elementary school years, but I pretty much only listened to Weird Al through junior high school too.
I remember the first few times I hung out with my stepgrandmother Joanne (or Granny Joanny, as we like to call her) (calling her "granny" is funny because she's really young) (like, my mom's age, or thereabouts)--this was before she was my granny, this was when she and my grandfather were still dating--Joanne and I would talk about music, and she was really hip and listened to people like Madonna and Michael Jackson (this was back when he was hip and good), and I wanted her to think I was hip too, so I pretended that I knew all of the bands that she was talking about, but in reality I pretty much only knew Weird Al. (I was such a dork that I didn't even honestly know the songs that Weird Al was spoofing) (when I finally started listening to other music, I can't even tell you how many "ah ha!" moments I had when I'd be like: Oh, it's really I Love Rock'n'Roll! And wow, it's My Sharona! And ha, Like a Virgin!) (I still can't listen to a lot of those songs without mumbling under my breath the Weird Al lyrics) (which my brain thinks of as the "real" lyrics to all of those songs)
And then I remember going to a party at the beginning of my freshman year of high school at my friend Lanie's house, and she put on the first Violent Femmes album and it was like a religious experience because (a) the album was amazing and (b) I'd finally grown out of Weird Al.
But I never really grew out of Weird Al. I just pushed him over to another part of my brain so that I could start taking in all of the music that I had been ignoring. (And now I can actually have real conversations with Granny J about Nirvana, Outkast, or whatever.) But sometimes, that part of my brain where my love for Weird Al lives, that part of my brain needs to be fed, and so, tonight, I'm taking him in.
As Weird Al would sing: "Never gonna stop, eat it up, such a tasty snack, I always eat too much, and throw up, but I'll soon be back, for my, my, my bologna."
(Obviously, bologna is a metaphor for Weird Al in the above quote.)
One of my stepdad's friends brought over her seven-year-old granddaughter to meet Gia, because said seven-year-old granddaughter is terrified of dogs and she wanted to introduce the little girl to a nice one. But the little girl was so terrified that she just stood there, rigid, and (I wasn't there, but this is how I interpret the moment) Gia was freaked out by the little girl's fear and she nipped at the girl's leg because, like, why are you freaking out and standing there rigid like that??? (that's Gia's dog dialogue in my imagination)
Gia barely bit her. Blood was not drawn. It was all totally superficial. The girl was fine. (I'm not trying to justify a little girl being bitten--it's just that she honestly, truly was fine.) Her grandmother took her to the park for several hours and they played and the girl was cool.
But then the girl's overprotective mother (do you like how I've made the mother the villain of this story by calling her "overprotective"?) (but she is the villain of the story) (ugggg) found out about "the incident" and freaked out (SO freaked out) and accused us (not being hyperbolic here) of giving her daughter rabies (even though Gia got her rabies vaccine three months ago and we have the paperwork) and then the overprotective mother took her daughter to the emergency room (see! overprotective), where the doctors told her there was nothing to worry about, the skin had not even been broken, this mother was wasting their time. (Okay, they probably didn't say the thing about the mother wasting their time, but I bet they were thinking it!) Doctors are obligated to report all dog bites and so they reported Gia to Animal Control and I spent all last night tossing and turning (and grinding my teeth) (I still have a headached from the teeth grinding) (I don't usually grind my teeth, just when I'm really upset about something) (and I'm usually pretty mellow, I usually don't let things upset me too much, I usually let it go in time for bed) (but I couldn't let this go and I grinded) worrying that Animal Control was going to take my dog away.
Thankfully, that didn't happen. (Do you make wishes whenever you look at a digital clock that says 1:11, 2:22, 3:33, and so forth? Because whenever I see a clock with uniform numbers, I always make a wish, and I wished for Animal Control not to take Gia away at 11:11 p.m. last night, as well as at 2:22 a.m. this morning, and then again at 5:55 a.m.) (I told you I was up all night--I really was.) (Wishing on clocks works.) When the Animal Control woman came over, she could not have been nicer. She fell in love with Gia. Gia fell in love with her. (I think the latter love was because the woman smelled like lots of dogs and Gia wanted to eat her pants.)
And now Gia's totally a fucking criminal dog. She's on house arrest for the next ten days. Which is crazy because she's the sweetest dog ever (again, I'm not belittling the fact that she bit this girl, but I think she was trying to help the girl snap out of her fear) (and I understand that biting someone who's afraid of you isn't the way you get someone to not be afraid of you, but Gia's a dog for crying out loud), but at least she's not at the pound, and I'll be able to sleep tonight.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Not that it ever really got wound up. It was pretty much relaxing and mellow through and through. We exchanged gifts, we hung out in our pajamas, we ate, we hung out in our pajamas some more, we ate some more, we played video games, we watched the entire third season of Arrested Development, and we laughed and laughed and laughed. My stomach hurts now, and I think it's a combination of all of the eating (so many sugar plums) and all of the laughing (I think that Charlize Theron's stint on AD is the best acting she's ever done--there's, like, five things going on within each line of dialogue she has) (she's crazy good).
My brothers and my stepmom have all gone to bed and now I'm sitting here listening to Ani DiFranco on my ipod and getting ready to go to sleep myself.
Ani has the most soothing voice. I don't know why I don't listen to her more.
I want it to snow in Los Angeles. Just maybe one day next week. Hell, we've fucked up our atmosphere so much, global warming and all, we've gotta be due for a random day of snow in the city, right?
Okay, this was just a quick check-in--now it's time for bed, time for sleep.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
We’re going to play board games as soon as soon as the football game is over, and we’ll also watch A Christmas Story on TBS. (I watched It’s A Wonderful Life the other night, so I already got my George Bailey fix.) All in all, it’s a nice, mellow Christmas eve with some of my favorite people (my brothers really are some of the coolest people in the world) (and, of course, my stepmom rocks). Also, I just heard some really exciting news from one of my best friends—she and her boyfriend got engaged. I won’t say who I’m talking about in case she wants to tell people herself, but it’s an awesome, happy day.
As a pseudo-Jew who celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas, happy holidays (whichever ones you might celebrate) to you and all of your loved ones!
Okay, and, while I'm waiting for the football game to end and the board games to begin...
As we get ready to welcome 2007, I'd like to take a quick look back at 2006, with a YEAR IN REVIEW.
I got this idea from BonBon. The instructions on her blog were as follows: “Take The First Line From The First Post Of Each Month Of 2006. That's Your Year In Review.”
JANUARY 2006: I have decided that 2006 will be "my year of new things."
FEBRUARY 2006: I have never worn a skin-tight lime green spandex superhero costume.
MARCH 2006: That's right. I rock. I roll. I rock'n'roll. I rule.
APRIL 2006: So, if you read the comments on my blog, you know my NBFF Bonnie.
MAY 2006: My freshman roommate was a guy named Tomo. By all accounts, he’s a really good guy. I wouldn’t know. I never met him.
JUNE 2006: So, like, I'm supposed to wake up in six hours to go substitute for a kindergarten class and I'm simply not tired, even though I know I'm going to be really mad at myself in six hours when I have to wake up and then I'm going to be even madder at myself the rest of the day while I'm trying to keep track of a bunch of five-year-olds, and teach them how to spell words like "frog" and "dog," but it's really hard for me to get to sleep before 1-ish.
JULY 2006: New Thing #108: I've been to the driving range before, and I've played mini-golf, but I've never actually been on a full-fledged golf course before. Now I have.
AUGUST 2006: "Captain Planet's hair is made of trees and his body's made of the ocean."
SEPTEMBER 2006: 1. I am so dirty right now.
OCTOBER 2006: Yesterday, I spent five hours volunteering at my friend Christina's church fundraiser.
NOVEMBER 2006: Yesterday, I was talking to some students about The Scarlet Letter--we were talking about Point of View, and the difference between third person and first person--and I actually asked the students: "How do you think the book would have been different if Nathaniel Hawthorne had written it in the first person? From Scarlet's point of view?"
DECEMBER 2006: 1. To those of you who expressed interest in the Sophie's Choice book club (are you all reading?), I have to admit that I haven't started the book yet.
(Wow, reading over the first sentences of each month like that? Sounds like I had a really boring year. But it wasn't boring. At all. We had a time, didn't we? Oh, yeah--we had a time.)
We made an 11-second videotape of today's nose hair plucking moment, just for the hell of it. (Bizarre, I know.) We used my phone to make the video, so it's not great quality or anything. And it's not that illuminating, but hey, it's only 11 seconds long. Here 'tis:
Saturday, December 23, 2006
It's simple, it's sweet. It's:
Five Things You Didn't Know About Me
(1.) I worked at Barnes and Noble for two summers during college, and while it was an okay job (I loved being surrounded by books), the pay was kinda crappy (they promoted me to "section supervisor" without a pay raise, which they could get away with because "section supervisor" wasn't a real position and I was apparently stupid--what it meant was that I had two other employees who I had to boss around, but we were, like, all making the same amount of money, and there was this weird dynamic of "why do I suddenly have all of this extra responsibility and nothing to show for it?") and they once made me "keep an eye on" a customer who was masturbating in the cooking section because they couldn't kick him out of the store "unless he's exposing himself--so watch until he does" (those were my manager's exact words) and so, (I still haven't gotten to the "thing you don't know about me" part), anyway, after I stopped working at Barnes and Noble, I kinda felt like they owed me, and, well, I'd always fantasized about living a life of crime (not in a bad way, more in a robbing-banks-looks-fun-in-the-movies type of way), so I tried my hand at shoplifting. For the thrill of it, mostly--I didn't honestly have a beef against Barnes and Noble. (I stole a book about the Dali Lama and several magazines.) (And that was the extent of my life of crime.)
(2.) (okay, this next thing I'm gonna say is maybe something you know about me if you know me IRL, but it's definitely something I've never blogged about and so I figure it's fair game) (and besides, it's a poop story and we all know how much I love talking about poop) (but if your eyes just glazed over and you were like, "uh-oh, not another poop story," just give this one a moment of your time because it's a good one.) When I was fifteen-years-old, I played the kid in a production of On Golden Pond at this tiny little theater in Fullerton. And when I say "tiny little" I'm not being redundant; it was a very small theater space. The theater's seating capacity was forty. And there were only two small bathrooms, unisex, located in the theater's lobby. Which meant that the actors used the same bathrooms as the audience, and we'd have to make sure to use the facilities as soon as we got to the theater because once audience members started arriving, we were basically trapped in the dressing room (the single dressing room, mind you, that all of the actors shared) until we got our call for places. All of us actors were hanging out in the dressing room, getting ready, when I suddenly had to poop, pronto. It was about 7:30 and the audience would start to arrive soon, but I had to go. This would not wait. So I excused myself from the dressing room and went to poop in the tiny little theater's tiny little bathroom.
It was a massive poop. An earth-shattering poop. Total hugeness. When I finished, I looked down into the toilet bowl and I couldn't help but be slightly in awe. That came out of me, I thought to myself. It was so big that it filled the bowl. And I'm not talking chunks of poop or lots of little swirlies or anything; I'm talking one huge ginormous solid twelve-inch-long ginormous piece of shit.
Moment of admiration complete, I grabbed the toilet handle and flushed. And then...nothing. I tried the flusher again, and again...nothing. Um, whoa. What am I supposed to do? On one hand, I can't ask anyone for help because I'm fifteen-years-old and gawky and not quite comfortable in my own skin (yet) to ask someone else for help in poop related matters. On the other hand, I can't just leave this big giant piece of poop here and go back into the dressing room and pretend I don't know anything about the big giant piece of poop because everyone involved with this tiny little theater is currently in the dressing room and they all know that I've left to go to the bathroom, so if the poop stays here then they'll know it's mine, without a doubt.
I try the flusher again, and again, and again, but I'm stuck. This poop is not going to go down. I'm starting to freak out.
By now it's 7:40 and I can't hear anyone in the lobby, so for now the coast outside is clear, but the calm is not going to last for long. We've got about twenty people coming to tonight's performance and they should start arriving any second. The poop must disappear. How the frig am I going to get it gone? I have a plan...
I poke my head out of the bathroom into the lobby. It's empty. I calmly walk over to the coffee counter they've set up and I grab one of the extra-large styrofoam cups they've set out. I walk back into the bathroom with the styrofoam cup, scoop the large piece of poop into the cup (it was so big that the poop stuck out the top of the cup several inches). I cover the top of the poop--the part of the poop that was sticking out of the top of the cup--with a wad of toilet paper, I walk through the theater's lobby with the styrofoam cup of poop in my hands, I walk around to the side of the building, and I throw the poop, styrofoam cup and all, into a bush...just as I hear someone saying "hey, Erik," and turn to see my director approaching. I don't know if she saw me throw the poop, but audience members are beginning to arrive and the director shoos me back into the theater, quick. Poop crisis averted.
So that's my poop in a styrofoam cup story.
(3.) My toes are double jointed and I can move most of them individually (try it, it's not as easy as it sounds--usually when you move one toe, several other toes just automatically move with it, but not on my foot, fuckers!) (I got really toe proficient after watching the Daniel Day-Lewis flick My Left Foot) (for several months following, I was obsessed with training my feet to be as cool as Daniel Day-Lewis' character's feet--opening doors with them, trying to write with them, etc. And I got pretty good at it.
(4.) I only own two pairs of socks. (And that's including the two pairs of socks I received today from my Aunts Jill and Lori, for Christmas, with the new pair of "meeting shoes" they gave me.) (Very comfy shoes.) (Technically, I'm in possession of about two other pairs of socks, but they don't actually belong to me--I borrowed them from my stepdad.) (Okay, "stole" them from him.) (But that's the extent of my life of crime.) (And now I can return his socks and embrace socks of my own.)
(5.) (I'm starting to get so sleepy that I'm typing random words that don't make any sense.) (I honestly can't even remember what the first four examples of things you don't know about me were.) (Anyway, here's #5.) When I'm substitute teaching, I usually eat lunch alone in my room or I go out to get lunch because the teachers in the Teacher's Lounge are too clicky and I don't feel like I belong and it makes me feel like I'm a dork in junior high school again. (Awww, so sad.)
And that's "Five Things You Didn't Know About Me." Since Communicatrix mentioned that a meme isn't officially a meme unless you tag someone at the end of it, I'd like to tag:
Jesse, Kyle, BonBon, Urp, Aimie, Steve, Joe Chandler, and the Time Magazine Person of the Year: YOU.
Friday, December 22, 2006
We even started a "club." It's called The Nose Hair Club--Steffani's the President and I'm the Vice President (even though Steffani didn't pluck any nose hairs, she still gets to be President) (because she's a ten-year-old tyrant) (but I'm not bitter or anything) and we've agreed to meet for at least five minutes at every family gathering.
Flash forward to today. My mom's whole side of the family gathered at Grandpa and Granny J's house to celebrate ye olde holidaes, and Steff told me to meet her in the upstairs bedroom for an official meeting of "the club," and so I went up into the upstairs bedroom and then suddenly several people filed into the room: (1) my cousin Jessica, (2) her friend Aida, (3) and my cousin Matt's girlfriend Brittany. They informed me that Steffani had recruited them for "the club." None of them were really sure what the club was, though. Oh, no.
"It's the nose hair club," I tell them.
They're like, "um, what?"
So then Steffani comes into the room and she's like, "okay, Erik: pluck."
We're in it, now, I though to myself. Now, I'd rather just pluck my nose hairs with Steffani (who won't judge my nose hair pluckiness) and Urp (who might judge my plucking, but we used to sleep in bunkbeds together, so whatever), but here I was with Jessica, Aida, and Brittany, all of whom I love and respect (well, okay, I just met Brittany, but she seems cool), and all of whom are like: "you're going to what your nose hairs for us?"
"Pluck them," I shrugged. Sheepish.
"Twenty nose hairs," Steffani ordered.
And I did it. I plucked twenty nose hairs for them.
And they were all so completely disgusted. And then we adjourned the meeting. And now I'm totally, like, the nose hair guy at Christmas. But whatever.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I'm planning on having a bit of a movie-going blitz over the course of the next few weeks so that I can get my numbers up at least into the modestly respectable forties. I haven't seen most of the Oscar-bait movies yet, so hopefully I'll be in for some good times at the cinema.
(Does anyone say "I'm going to the cinema" anymore? We should start saying "cinema" more often instead of just saying "movies.") ("Cinema" is just a much cooler word.)
Since I like lists, here's a quick list of the twenty-seven movies I saw at the movie theater in 2006. In no particular order:
- 3 Needles
- The Departed
- The Devil Wears Prada
- For Your Consideration
- Friends With Money
- Grandma's Boy
- Half Nelson
- John Tucker Must Die
- Last Holiday
- The Last Kiss
- Little Children
- Little Miss Sunshine
- Man of the Year
- The Omen
- The Pursuit of Happyness
- The Queen
- Something New
- Step Up
- Stick It
- Superman Returns
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
- Tristan & Isolde
- World Trade Center
Movies high on my Must See List: (some are still in theaters and some are long gone and I'm mad that I missed my chance to see them on the big screen)
Babel, Brick, Casino Royale, Children of Men, The Covenant, The History Boys, Marie Antoinette, Notes on a Scandal, Shortbus, Snakes On a Plane (it was a victim of my own hype I guess...by the time it came out, I guess I wasn't clamoring to see it like I'd been months earlier), Stranger Than Fiction, United 93, We Are Marshall
Jan 1, 2007 Addendum: I saw a few more movies over the holidays:
28. Casino Royale
29. Night At The Museum
30. Rocky Balboa
31. We Are Marshall
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
STUDENT: Has anyone ever told you you look like...
ME: Jeff Goldblum?
ME: Who then?
STUDENT: That guy from the Verizon Wireless "Can You Hear Me Now?" commercials.
Honestly, I fast forward through all of my commercials, or I mute, so I wasn't completely sure who he was talking about. I definitely didn't have an image in my head. So I did some googling and found a photo:
First of all, I'm at school and google is semi-blocked on the computer system here, which means I can make searches but I can't click on the searches, and so I can only see thumbnail pictures of the Verizon Wireless guy. And the funny thing about only being able to see thumbnail pictures of him is that, as far as I can tell, everyone looks like this guy. I mean, I see that we both wear glasses and I happen to be wearing a similar jacket today (because, as I said in a previous post, it's freaking cold), but otherwise I don't see any similarities.
2. (sometimes I enjoy saying things like I'm Britney Spears) (because doesn't "it's hella cold, y'all" sound exactly like Britney Spears talking?) (I mean, I honestly can't imagine anyone saying that sentence IRL except for Britney Spears) (because "hella" is a NorCal word and "y'all" is more Southern, but they're both very Britney) (it always amazing me how dumb she sounds on talk shows) (because, frequently exposed vagina aside, she's obviously smart) (okay, i realize that "obviously" and "smart" aren't the first two words you would combine when describing Britney Spears, but it's true, she has an amazing business savvy, and if she didn't then she wouldn't be such a big popstar) (you know what i mean, y'all?) (but, despite her obvious smartness, she talks really stupid) (how did this blogpost suddenly get hijacked by random Britney Spears ramblings?) (sorry about that) (i think it's because it's so hella cold right now, i can't think straight) (oh, and if you write the word "spears" several times in a paragraph, it stops looking like a word) (oh, and I should have written "random ramblings about Britney Spears" rather than "random Britney Spears ramblings" because "random Britney Spears ramblings" makes it sound like Britney's doing the actual rambling, but maybe it's so cold in this room that I'm going crazy and Britney's, like, taking over my brain or something) (that's a really scary thought) (so cold!)
3. I know it's ridiculous for someone in Southern California to complain about the cold, but when I woke up this morning there was ice on the front lawn.
4. Given, it wasn't a lot of ice. I tried to take a picture of it, but couldn't get a good angle that really showed off the ice as much as I wanted it to show off the ice. (i.e. a picture that would make the ice look as foreboding as it felt.)
5. I don't think I've ever begun a sentence with the word "given" before just now.
6. Anyway, back to the cold, I'm teaching today and the thermostat is broken and freezing cold air is blowing into the room and if I don't have pneumonia by the end of the day, I'll be pleasantly surprised. I think it's negative 300 degrees in here.
7. I have to poop so badly right now. Not in a "I'm cramping up and this could be bad" way, more in a "I can feel a solid piece of poop in my intestines and it's uncomfortable" way.
8. Maybe my bowels will freeze and then I won't feel the poop urge as strongly as I'm feeling it right now.
9. I'm sorry if this post just got really disgusting. First it was hijacked by Britney Spears and then it was hijacked by poop. Sorry, sorry, sorry. It's just really fucking cold.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
And the thing is, it's epic. It's, like, Shakespearean. That's what I kept saying to myself, over and over again:"This shit is Shakespearean." All of the drama surrounding this one make-it-or-break-it day (in the eyes of your peers, at least). All of the pathos, the hubris. All of the intrigue and lies and hopes and dreams and fears. Oh, and the dressed! The cars!
In this one episode, all of the kids knew that there was going to be a surprise performer at the party and everyone was hoping it was going to be Eminem, and they were literally going ga-ga in anticipation ("Actually, I heard it's going to be Beyonce"), and then when the surprise performer came out onstage, it was...some dude no one had ever heard of. And in a split second, the birthday girl went from "I'm on Cloud 9" to "My World Is Over." Oh my god, and she cried like nobody's business. But then this guy she really liked asked her to dance and the world was right again. (Whenever I hear the phrase "guy she really liked," I can't help but think of that great moment in the pilot episode of My So-Called Life, when the English teacher says to the class, "how would you describe Anne Frank?" And then Angela mutters under her breath, "lucky," and the teacher looks at her, so upset, and says ""Is that supposed to be funny, Angela? How on earth could you make a statement like that? Hmm? Anne Frank perished in a concentration camp. Anne Frank is a tragic figure. How could Anne Frank be lucky?" And then Angela explains: "I don't know. Because she was trapped in an attic for three years with this guy she really liked?") (SUCH great dialogue) (And Angela Chase is one of the best teen characters in the history of television ever) (I was about to get all listy and do a Top Ten Best Teen Characters on TV, but I don't know if I can winnow a list like that down to ten right now) (because Angela Chase is definitely Number One on the list, hands down, and I won't listen to anyone who says otherwise, but if you think about it, I'd want to put every single teen character from MSCL on that list) (but if I did that, then we'd be all: (1) Angela Chase, (2) Rayanne Graff, (3) Brian Krakow, (4) Ricky Vasquez, (5) Jordan Catalano, and then we'd probably leave Sharon off the list, and we'd only have five slots left.) (And if we only had five slots left, we'd immediately start giving slots to Freaks and Geeks like (6) Lindsay Weir, (7) Sam Weir, (8) Nick Andopolis, (9) Neal Schweiber, and (10) Bill Haverchuck, and then I'd be upset because we already had our top ten and freaking Kim Kelly and Daniel Desario from Freaks and Geeks hadn't made the list, nor had Darlene Conner, or Kevin Arnold, or Winnie Cooper, or even Paul Pfeiffer! And don't even get me started on Degrassi characters.)
(I don't even remember what I was talking about before I started talking about TV teens.) (Oh, right, non-fictional tv teens.)
Oh, and speaking of Sweet Sixteens, I don't remember my sixteenth birthday at all. I figure we must have done something--I mean, I definitely had a party--but I can't remember any specifics. Is this early Alzheimers?
TEENAGE GIRL: What do we know about Shakespeare?
TEENAGE BOY: He was married and he had three kids and then his wife found out he was gay.
TEENAGE GIRL: Really?
TEENAGE BOY: Yeah.
TEENAGE GIRL: That's, like, my worst nightmare. Being in love with a guy and then finding out he's gay.
I identify more with the girl's attitude, which is why it frustrates me that she's giving me the cold shoulder, because I feel her pain. (A teacher can never get away with saying that they feel a students pain, though, because no student is ever going to believe that anyone who ever experienced detention would ever give it away.) I only ever had real detention once. It was in seventh grade. I remember the moment vividly because I felt like the detention had been issued to me unjustly and there's a part of me, somewhere, some recess of my brain, that is still thirteen and still incensed. We were supposed to be reading quietly and the girl who was sitting next to me asked me what I was reading and then I told her and then the teacher snapped at us, "no talking! That's detention!" And I was like, "what the fuck?" Only I didn't say "what the fuck" because I was a really good student, which was why getting detention for saying the name of my book to someone seemed like a great injustice to me at the time. Of course, I was thirteen, so a lot of things seemed like great injustices, but still.
I remember we had detention in the library and it didn't really feel like The Breakfast Club, but I really wanted it to, so I kinda willed my detention experience to be as Breakfast Clubby as possible. (Like, I sat there wishing that life was cooler than it really was.) Still, no one threatened me with any horns, no one escaped into the gymnasium, and no one hid in between a girl's legs and looked at their panties, so it wasn't quite what I was hoping detention would be.
Not that I wanted to hide between a girl's legs and look at her panties or anything, I'm just saying I wanted a Breakfast Club experience.
You're like, "what's the Patterson Brother Beard-Off?" Well, I'll tell ya:
My three brothers and I have decided to have a contest to see (1) who can grow the fullest beard and (2) who can go the longest without shaving. We think it'll be funny when we're all lookin' like cavemen. I had a really big full beard earlier this year, so I kinda set the bar, and since I'm eight years older than the second oldest Patterson brother, (Josh is 21, Matt is 20, and Mike is 18) I don't think anyone's going to be able to beat me in the "fullness" category (except our dad could, but he's not a Brother, so he's disqualified), and therefore I'm only officially competing in the "how long can you go without shaving" category. Technically, I've already disqualified because I had to shave for work this morning, but I'm going to plead with my brothers to let me start officially today, with a two day penalty.
I'll keep y'all updated on how the Patterson Brother Beard-Off is going. At the very least, we should all be warm for winter.
In non-beard related news, today I'm subbing for the same class that I subbed for on Friday, which is cool because I like this class, but I gave detention to two kids who ditched the last ten minutes of fourth period on Friday, and so I'm not looking forward to fourth period because now I'm the substitute who gave those two kids detention. But they ditched! What was I supposed to do? I hate that they ditched and that I gave them detention and that now I'm going to be hated. Ug, ug, ug. (Look, I'm already talking like a caveman, the Patterson Brother Beard-Off is working.)
Monday, December 18, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
I'm not saying any of this to diss our current entertainment journalists (I have a subscription to US Magazine and I totally read Star at the grocery store checkout stand), I'm just trying to paint a picture of the type of entertainment journalist Joe was: he wrote for magazines like Life and Look and he would spend quality time with his interview subjects. He spent an entire weekend talking to Lucille Ball...he spent many afternoons at John Wayne's home in Orange County...he spent a long drunken night with Debbie Reynolds, talking about all of her husbands and romantic dalliances long after he'd run out of cassette tape. (About a month ago, Joe was in Laughlin and he noticed that Debbie Reynolds was performing in the hotel he was staying at. He decided to leave her a note asking if she wanted to get dinner--even though it had been several decades since they'd seen each other and he wasn't sure if she'd remember him. A few hours later, she left him a message, giving her regrets for not being available for dinner, and telling him she was happy to hear he was still kickin' around--"we've both survived all of these years!")
Joe recently found a box of old photographs, including a photo that was taken on the set of one of Paul Newman's movies. I think the photo's kinda cool, so I'm posting it. Here:
That's my stepdad with the white hair in the center of the photo. I don't know who he's talking to. And then, of course, that's Paul Newman doing the leg exercises. He looks lost in thought. I wonder what he's thinking about. The leg exercises seem to be the last thing on his mind, like, they're the easiest thing in the world. I would say he was showing off, only no one's even paying him any attention and you can't really show off if no one's watching you. (But maybe I'm just jealous because I'm so not in Paul Newman shape and could probably only do this exercise for a fraction of the time that Paul Newman was doing it before and after this photograph was taken.) (He was probably sitting like that for hours, just chillin', going through lines in his head.)
I have no idea what movie set this photo was taken on. Joe doesn't remember. (Though he thinks it was taken at Universal.) (If anyone wants to be a detective and figure out what movie set this photo was taken on, that would be pretty cool.) (I realize I haven't given y'all very many clues, but at least I've narrowed things down with the Universal Pictures detail.)
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Yeah. I'm fucking serious. They call me Jeff freaking Goldblum. As in, "Jeff Goldblum's our sub today!" Or, simply, "Mr. Goldblum!" Or "Hey Jeff Goldblum, how are the dinosaurs?"
See, they were all starting to realize how annoyed I would get every day when they'd say (every day): "Do you know who you look like?" and I'd roll my eyes and grumble "yes," and then they'd say it ("Jeff Goldblum") in case I didn't really know who I looked like (to them, at least), and so they decided to be teenagers and just call me "Jeff Goldblum" every time they saw me, and so then I decided not to give them the annoyed reaction they were looking for and to embrace the name, figuring that if they didn't get a reaction they'd get tired of calling me "Jeff Goldblum" and the name would die a natural death. But that hasn't happened yet. So now I'm stuck with the name.
And it's eating me alive.
So, if you see me in the halls and you call me "Jeff Goldblum," yes I'll respond, and no I won't roll my eyes, but you're killing me inside. Just, fyi.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Peter Boyle just died of heart disease at the (very young, in my opinion) age of 71. Very sad. You can read a pretty informative (John Lennon was the best man at his wedding!) obit HERE.
(By the by, character actors had better watch out for awhile, because character actors die in threes.)
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
this is the second time i've written about eyebrow dandruff, which is kinda lame and probably boring. sorry.
…until about twenty minutes ago when some eyebrow dandruff fell into my eye and wedged itself into that place between my eyeball and my bottom lid (is there a name for that spot, or does it just fall within the all-encompassing “it’s in my eye”?) and I cannot freaking blink the stupid eyebrow dandruff out (though I’ve been trying for twenty minutes) (it was a big chunk of druff) and now I’m sitting here afraid that for the rest of my life I will feel this minor irritation inside my lid and I'll be the guy who's always, like, muttering under his breath “damned fucking eyebrow dandruff” and people will always be like "what did that guy just mutter?" and then I'll have to always be like "nothing, it's just this damned fucking eyebrow dandruff. Anyway..."
New Thing #182: Gia sat on my lap for the first time.
I know that might not seem significant, but we rescued Gia (the rescue woman found her roaming the streets of Los Angeles, scared and frail and skin and bones) and I'm pretty sure that she was beaten by her previous owners (when we got her, she was very skittish) and she doesn't like to be held. At all. She hates it. Which doesn't mean she isn't loving--she always wants to be with people, but she'd prefer to sit on the ground where she can see you than to actually sit right next to your or on your lap. I grew up with a dachshund who was a major lapdog, so I've been wishing Gia would feel comfortable enough to, if not sit on my lap, then at least sit next to me on the couch. But for the last three months, no go. Until yesterday...she climbed up into my lap and just sat there for, like, ten minutes. I was shocked. And it made me so happy that, even though it took three months, she's starting to feel safe here.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Somebody nominate this woman for an Emmy. Come on--I double dog dare you, Academy.
Friday, December 08, 2006
I love me some Anderson Cooper (a lot), but he was subbing for Regis on Live with Regis and Kelly this morning and he acted like he didn't know what the word "couture" meant, and I just didn't buy it. I mean, I don't really know exactly what couture means either, but I know that it refers to expensive one-of-a-kind clothing, and I'm sure Anderson at least knows that much. I mean, dude gets around. Still, he was really charming. He talked about "low hanging cherries." I'm not going to say anymore about that, I'm just going to leave the context to your imagination. But Coop said the phrase "low hanging cherries" several times and it was kind of pornish.
I taught two playwriting workshops at my alma mater high school this morning, and I'm going to count that as a New Thing because I haven't written any New Thing posts in a long time and I freaking need to log in at least a couple more New Things before the end of the year. So, let's count it as New Thing #181. The kids were a lot of fun (oh, and thank you to those of you who sent me writing exercises to use with them). At the beginning of one of the workshops, we brainstormed themes and someone shouted out the word "scrotums," so we ended up with several little plays about scrotums, which was quite charming. (Speaking of low hanging cherries.)
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Long Awkward Pose
You have to clink the link and watch all of the videos. It's brilliant. The blog is quite simply videos of people who think they're posing for photographs but are actually just holding really awkward poses for this woman (her name's Katie Dippold and she's a genius) who's videotaping them.
It's my new favorite thing. I love it. I wanna marry it. I wanna register at Ikea and later adopt asian babies with it. Okay, but actually, seriously: I really wanna start tricking people into posing long and awkwardly and submit my videos to Long Awkward Pose. (She takes submissions!)
So watch the freak out, next time I try to take a picture of you. I might be Long Awkward Posing you. (Of course, the likelihood of me Long Awkward Posing you would be much greater if I actually owned a camera with a video function.) (If you ever catch me trying to Long Awkward Pose you with a disposable camera from Rite-Aid, please politely say "nice try, bud" and move away from the camera.) (Because I'm not against the idea of fake Long Awkward Posing you--after all, even without a video record of the moment, it might still be a fun moment, the longer and more awkwarder the better.)
I was going to try to write a really long and awkward blog entry so I could justify titling it "Long Awkward Post," but I'm not sure if that's going to happen or not.
But let's see, maybe it's time for a list (I haven't written a list in a long time) (I'll try to stay on theme and only mention potentially awkward subjects):
1. I didn't have time to shower this morning.
2. So I'm substitute teaching and I feel really grungy.
3. However, (fortunately), I don't smell, because I plastered on the deodorant.
4. At least I think I don't smell.
5. But who knows.
6. Oh, and to add to the non-showered look, my shirt (which is happily clean) is really wrinkled.
7. And my hair is doing whack things. Majorly whack things. Like, I walked by some reflective glass (not a mirror, mind you--just some glass that was giving off mad reflection) and I saw myself and I stopped--yes, my reflection literally caused me to stop in my tracks--and I was like, "seriously?" (When I said "seriously," it should be noted that I was talking to my hair.) (Because, like I said, it's seriously out of whack and all partially Kramerish and sticking everywhere while also being kinda matted down at the same time.) (The combined effect of crazy Kramer and mutely matted makes it really obvious that I didn't shower this morning.) (Because showered hair could not possibly do this.)
8. The alliteration in the second to last sentence of #7 makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit, but I'm leaving it because that which feels awkward must stay in this "Long Awkward Post" if this post ever has any hope of being either long or awkward.
9. I'm totally into midgets right now.
10. Midgets isn't the correct term at all anymore, I did my research and the correct term is actually "little people," but I figured I should start off with the awkward term, and then get PC.
11. But I seriously am totally into little people. Oh gosh, here goes. Here's the thing:
12. On Friday night, my good friend Stephanie took me to Mabou Mine's "Dollhouse" at UCLA Live (a late birthday present). We both loved the play, and I'm so happy I got to see it, and you should go see it too (Kyle, I know you had problems with the play, and you thought it was kinda Lynchian, but maybe that's why I loved it so much) (cuz I love me some Lunch) (okay, that was honestly supposed to read "cuz I love me some Lynch" but "cuz I love me some Lunch" is such a better sentence for so many reasons. First off, it's unexpected; and secondly, it's true; and thirdly, now I'm really hungry.) (I feel like I've been blogging hungry a lot lately.) (Not that I've been blogging a lot lately, but when I've blogged it's been on an empty stomach, and i wonder if that affects quality.)
13. Back to "Dollhouse," it's running through this weekend and there were lots of empty seats on Friday night, so you can probably still get tickets. It's an adaptation of Ibsen's "A Doll's House," natch, and one of the conceits of the production is that all of the female characters are played by very tall women (over 6 feet tall) and all of the male characters are played by short men (around 3 feet tall), and the visual pun of the height differences was fun to watch (the women were constantly forced to walk on their knees and crouch down and crawl around in order to find some sort of equal footing with the shorter men of higher stature). As Stephanie and I were walking back to our cars after the play, we had a lot to talk about--we found the production funny, moving, and excitingly theatrical, (if you want to read more about the production, you can go here).
14. But one thing I didn't tell Stephanie as we were walking back to our cars was that I found the production sexy. Really very sexy. The lead actor who played Torvold was charming and hot and I cannot stop thinking about about him. More specifically, I cannot stop thinking about having sex with him.
15. On Saturday night, I went to see my cousin Matt in a play at his high school (he was the lead and he was awesome) and after the play a gaggle of people went back to my aunt and uncle's house, and I was sitting in the kitchenette area with my Aunt Jill and my Cousin Ilene and a friend of the family known as Jill from Canada, and I was talking about my new thing for little people, and we noticed that my other aunt and uncle had a computer in the kitchenette area, and Jill from Canada and I decided to look up midget dot com, and suddenly all of this porn popped onto the screen. Midget porn. And we both started screaming because (1) we were in a kitchen with all of these random people from the high school who'd come back to the house after the play (fortunately no one else saw what was on the screen) and (2) my aunt and uncle's computer was suddenly showing us midget porn! We quickly closed all of the screens and deleted the computer history and the cookies and then ran out of the room to get as far away from the computer as possible, and we didn't tell my aunt and uncle that their computer had gotten kinda porny (though now that I'm blogging about it, they're destined to find out) (sorry!)
16. I would say it's more of a fascination than an obsession, but, regardless, I'm definitely open to dating a little person.
17. Just putting that out there.
18. Is this post long and awkward yet?
19. I was teaching an AP English class, we were talking about Hamlet, and we were actually having a really interesting discussion. The kids were making great points, I was making great points, I felt like a real teacher, it was awesome. And then, in a really quiet moment, my cell phone, which I'd forgotten to put on silent, started to ring. The thing you have to know about my cell phone, though, is that I have different ring tones for different people, and Jessica was calling me, which meant that "Hedwig's Theme" from Harry Potter started to play. And the thing about "Hedwig's Theme" from Harry Potter is that is sounds really ethereal and not at all like a cell phone ring, so all of the students started to look around the room, like, when did we all transport into the middle of one of the Harry Potter movies? And then I grabbed my cell phone from my pocket to silence it and the jig was up and when everyone realized that I had a Harry Potter ring tone, I had completely lost all semblance of authority and there was no way we were ever going to get back into that thoughtful discussion of Hamlet. Hell, no. From that point on, all anyone wanted to talk to me about was Harry Potter. (The ironic thing is that I like Harry Potter, but I'm not obsessed by any means--Jessica's the one who's obsessed, that's why it's her personal ring tone on my phone.)
20. I just thought I'd share that Harry Potter ring tone story because it was embarrassing.
21. Other ring tones on my phone include (but are not limited to):
(a) Sweet Child of Mine by Guns 'N Roses
(b) Hey Ya by Outkast
(c) Roses by Outkast
(d) Goonies are the Best by Cyndi Lauper
22. I don't think this post is as long as I wanted it to be, but I have to do some actual teaching (my students have been reading silently) and the most awkward way to end this post would be to just go ahead and end it, so.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
First, here's the description of the mincemeat donut from Krispy Kreme's donut:
"Our featured doughnut is a yeast raised doughnut shell, filled with delicious mincemeat, topped with white icing and a sugar holly leaf -- sure to add to your festive cheer."
Okay, after I read that description, I looked up mincemeat and went through a bit of a definition rabbit hole, because the definition of mincemeat I found was essentially "suet" and then I had to look up what "suet" was, and found out, via wikipedia, that "Suet is raw beef or mutton fat, especially the hard fat found around the loins and kidneys."
And then I was like, KRISPY KREME LONDON HAS A DONUT MADE OUT OF RAW BEEF OR MUTTON FAT TOPPED WITH WHITE ICING AND A SUGAR HOLLY LEAF????
And that totally freaked me out, but it also made me kinda want to fly to London immediately and try one of these disgusting donuts because I've never heard of anything so weird.
But then I did a little more research and found another definition ("Mincemeat was originally a conglomeration of bits of meat, dried fruit and spices, created as an alternative to smoking or drying for preservation, a variant form of sausage") with a caveat: "Mincemeat containing actual meat has become less common over the years."
So, the mincemeat donut at Krispy Kreme London is most likely made out of raisins, spices, and apples. But there aren't any ingrediants listed on the website, so knowing the British, I'd say it's probably a 50/50 chance here that the donuts have actual raw meat in them.
But I really want to know now and I'm fucking craving a donut, mincemeat or otherwise.
Oh, and in non-related news, I'm obsessed with little people right now, (as in midgets, but that's not the PC word anymore), but that's another post for another day.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
2. I cannot get over how great Dexter is. If you're not watching Dexter, then you can't really start now--there are only two episodes left and so much has happened that you'd be missing out on all of the gut-wrenching intricacies--so you should wait until it comes out on DVD, or until Showtime reruns the series. Last week I blogged about how great Michael C. Hall is, but now I want to say how much I love Jennifer Carpenter as Dexter's sister Deb. She is so freaking great.
3. Speaking of Jennifers I Love, I miss Jennifer Grey's nose.
4. I'm teaching a couple of beginning playwriting workshops at my alma mater high school this week. My old drama teacher is thrilled to have me teaching her current crop of kids. It should be fun. I've taught a few playwriting workshops before, but its been a while and I want to do some new exercises with these kids, so if any writers out there have any writing suggestion exercises, I'd appreciate it.
5. Speaking of my alma mater, I never wrote about my 10-year Reunion. It was totally surreal, but I had a good time. If anyone's had a sex change, they didn't come to the reunion--hopefully they'll come to the 20, because every 20th reunion is supposed to have at least one person who's been through a sex change, otherwise it isn't really a 20th reunion, right? I don't really have anything juicy to report back about my reunion, other than the fact that I'm glad I spent an hour before the reunion going over pictures in my year book (basically taking a refresher course so I'd be able to match faces to names and vice versa) because it definitely helped.
Monday, November 27, 2006
(so here it is)
(oh, and to be honest, I haven't really done much with the photo project for several years--i used to take several photos a week, but now it's more like a couple a year)
My Armpit, or Why I Owe Parker Posey An Apology
Ewan MacGregor and I did it. We did it together way back in 1998. I've done it with Roberto Benigni, and with Vincent Gallo, and with the guy who played Giles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and then this one time, in a drunken stupor, I did it with both members of Tenacious D, at the same time, one of them on either side of me.
Occasionally, I do get turned down. This one time, I met Forrest Whitaker at the Dresden Room, and when I propositioned him, he almost spat his drink in my face and then he told me: "Not even if we were the last two people on earth, not even if I knew no one else was ever gonna find out about it, not even if there was never going to be another chance for either one of us to ever have any physical connection with another human being ever again, never-ever-never would I smell your armpit."
Let me explain.
About ten years ago, I went to Disneyland with a group of friends. We had breakfast with Mickey, we took pictures; we rode the teacups, we took pictures; we watched the parade, we took pictures. Your typical day at Disneyland. But then when I got my roll of photos developed, I noticed that in one of the group pictures, my friend John had his nose in my armpit. Apparently, just as the rest of us were saying "cheese," John was smelling some. He must have leaned into my armpit to see if the offending odor was coming from me, and that's when the picture was taken and The Armpit Project was born.
The first photo was an accident. But I thought it was funny, so I started staging the photos, collecting them. And then, bit by bit, it became an obsession.
Most of my friends and family have done it. It's like my armpit is this great equalizer. It's a place where my divorced parents can get along. A place where my radical lesbian cousin and my conservative Christian aunt can see eye to eye. A place where there is no war, pestilence, or disease--only love and, okay, body odor.
As far as strangers go, the general rule of thumb is, if they're drunk, they'll do it, and if they're not drunk, they'll do it. They just might need a little coaxing. There's this woman, Anita, who I met at Zuma beach about seven years ago, and ever since she posed for the project I've run into her, like, a dozen times. And she never remembers me. I'm always like, "Hey, Anita!" And she's like, "who are you?" And then I'm like, "I'm the guy whose armpit you smelled that one time." And then she instantly remembers me and we get on like gangbusters. All we really have in common is my armpit, but it's enough.
Now, before I go any further, I want to clarify: the Armpit Project is in no way sexual. It's not about sex at all--if that's what you're thinking. It's what Toni Collette was thinking when I asked her to do it. "Is this one of those things?" she asked me. "One of what things?" "You know," she said, but I honestly didn't. She looked me straight in the eye and finally said the word: "Is this a, you know--a fetish?" "Oh, no," I told her. "That's too bad," Toni told me, "because I have a fetish, and if I go in there, I might not ever come out." Toni Collette actually said this to me. And then she smelled my armpit more hardcore than anyone has ever smelled my armpit. It was awesome.
Then, the day after Toni Collette smelled my armpit so righteously, I got cocky.
I was in New York City. I'd been there for about a week, and during that week, I had seen Parker Posey, randomly, on the street, a couple of times. I knew she was in a Broadway show. I hadn't seen the show, but I'd seen the billboard, and I love Parker Posey, and since I'd seen her on the street, a couple of times, I figured that must mean something, because you don't ever randomly see people on the street in New York City, so I decided to take it as a sign that Parker Posey was supposed to pose for my Project. Yes, I stalked Parker Posey, and I owe her an apology.
Here's what happened: I had randomly seen her on the street a few days earlier arriving at the theater, so I knew she got there about an hour before curtain.
Now it was Saturday, and there was a two o'clock matinee, so I got to the theater at noon, just to be safe. As I stood there, waiting, I noticed a paparazzi guy also standing near the stage door, but I didn't say hello to him, because paparazzi guys are scumbags who ambush people with their cameras and I'm an artist who asks people to pose for a photo project. There's a difference.
I wait for awhile, in front of the stage door, and then, suddenly, I see this woman roller-blading down the street and I realize it's her. It's Parker Posey. Whom we'll refer to as the artist I'm pursuing rather than the woman I'm stalking. She's roller-blading right at me. Okay, I'm ready. She's getting closer, barely slowing down, reaching out for the door handle, so she can go inside, uninterrupted, and, I don't know, maybe mentally prepare for the performance she's gonna give in an hour. She's barreling forward. But I'm standing between her and the stage door. I'm blocking her way. She skids to a stop and then she looks at me, like, what? I don't have much time. I ask her if she'll pose for a photo. With me. She says, "sure." Very nice, but obviously in a hurry. Then I ask her if she wouldn't mind smelling my armpit in the photo. Just like that, I just put it out there. Figuring it wouldn't faze her. She's Parker Posey. And then she looks at me like she's not sure if she heard me right. So I say it again: "would you smell my armpit?" And then her face turns white and her body tightens and she says, "no, no, no," fervently, adamantly, "no." And then I say, "oh, okay," not sure how to react. And then she looks at me with these big, frightened eyes, and she says: "You do not understand the things that people ask me to do--no, I'm sorry, but no."
And then I feel terrible. Because she's Parker Posey. The Party Girl. Who I love. And I suppose, because of the fuck-it-all attitude that she conveys on the screen, people feel comfortable approaching her and asking her to do a lot of really crazy shit. Like smell their armpit for a photo project.
But, see, the Armpit Project is supposed to be this funny, weird, care-free thing. That's all it's supposed to be. I could try to explain the psychology of it. I could try to find some meaning in it. But the truth is: I went to Disneyland this one time, I got some photos back, and my friend John was smelling my armpit in one of them. And I thought that was funny. And then it just became this thing. And the more people do it, the funnier I think it gets. The one thing it's not supposed to be is malicious. It's not supposed to hurt anyone.
But suddenly, standing out on the sidewalk in front of a stage door in New York City, I realized that I had hurt Parker Posey. "You do not understand the things that people ask me to do." It's such a horrible sentence because it really gives you a lot of room to imagine a lot of really horrible things.
I should have apologized right then and there. I should have just apologized to her and let her through the stage door. But I didn't want her to think I was some weirdo like the other people who've asked her to do creepy things. So I tried to salvage the situation. I kept going. I pushed. I persisted.
I suddenly remembered that Parker Posey was in a movie called Clockwatchers with Toni Collette, and just as Parker Posey was finally making her way past me, I blurt out: "Well, Toni Collette did it."
And she stops. And she looks at me like she has confirmation: I really am some weirdo freak. And then she says, as calmly as possible: "Well, I. Am not. Toni."
And I realize that there's no going back. I've made a mess of this moment. And then, maybe because I'm still standing in front of the door, blocking her way, Parker Posey asks me if I still want to take a picture with her, "but without the armpit smelling." I say yes. We take the photo. I step away from the door. She goes into the theater. And that's it. That was our whole encounter. But after she went inside, I realized that I never apologized to her, and I really should have.
So, if you're Parker Posey, and you're reading this, I want you to know that I may not understand the things that people ask you to do, but I do understand that I was one of those people asking you to do an un-understandable thing. And for that I truly am sorry.
Maybe if we'd had time to talk, I could have told you about that one time at Disneyland, or about how I now have more than 300 photos and I plan to exhibit them at a gallery when I'm 80, and about how I'm not really a stalker--I'm a man with a photo project. That involves armpits. And maybe you would have realized that even though I might be weird, I'm not a weirdo. There's a difference.
The photo we took:
After all of the comments in the previous post about the blue shirt that I used to wear almost every day in high school (I probably didn’t wear it quite as much as I’m making out like, but I certainly got my money’s worth with the shirt) (“as I’m making out like”??? is that phrase even English?) (I think I should have written "as I'm making it out like I did," but now everything looks like gibberish), I decided to find a bunch of old high school photos of me wearing the blue shirt. I thought it would be funny to be like, “look at me! I used to wear this shirt all the freaking time--and here's proof!” Also, I thought it might be a nice segue into a post about my high school reunion.
So then I started looking through my box of photos (I stopped putting photos into photo albums in 1991, so all of my photos from the last fifteen years are just in boxes) (lots and lots of boxes) (and there’s no rhyme or reason—pictures from junior high school are mixed in with pictures from college are mixed in with pictures from last week), but I couldn’t find a single picture of me wearing that blue shirt. Which is crazy because I seriously did wear it all the time. I must have avoided cameras when I was wearing the shirt, so that no one would be able to accuse me of wearing the shirt as often as I wore it. That’s bunk, I honestly don’t know what the deal is. It should be easy to find pictures of me wearing the shirt. But alas, I can’t.
Instead I found something better. A picture of me in pseudo-drag, wearing a red dress. Since I can’t find any of the blue shirt pictures, I figured I might as well post something, and it might as well be this because (a) it’s a funny photo, and (b) check out my legs.
Ooo la la, right?
This picture was taken in the upstairs bathroom at the Actors’ Gang’s old Santa Monica space, back in the summer of 2001. I haven’t actively been involved with the Gang for several years (because I stopped acting and the place is called the, um, Actors’ Gang), but there’s still a lot of great people at the Gang—lots of people I love. The summer of 2001 was the beginning of an intense, crazy-fun period with them. I had done a few “Style” workshops in their El Centro space and then I got a call out of the blue from Cynthia Ettinger asking me to participate in a three-week Style Workshop that was, like, every day from noon until midnight (maybe I’m remembering this wrong—maybe it didn’t start until later in the day—but for now I’m just going to say that it started at noon because it certainly felt like we were there all day, every day). The Gang’s “Style” workshops consisted of spending an hour creating a Commedia Del ‘Arte inspired character, getting into costume and make-up, and then a director would sit in the front row of the theater (they were “in the chair”) and they would guide small groups of us through improvised plays, essentially. I’m not describing this well at all. Basically, we’d get up onstage in groups of about eight (I think there were about forty of us in total) and we’d take turns making entrances and exits, and then we’d evolve into improvised scenes, and I know this is going to sound hokey, but some of the theater I witnessed during those three weeks of workshop was some of the best theater I’ve ever seen.
I usually played sorta dandified male lover characters, hence the costume. (I don’t think I was trying to be a “woman” in that outfit at all—I think my character’s name was Bruce.) (Or maybe it was Sandro.) (Whichever, I was supposed to be a dude who just happened to be wearing a dress, hence the lack of cleavage.)
Oh, and the reason the woman in the photo is smelling my armpit is that this photo was taken as part of a photo project that I used to do. (I still do the photo project, it’s just been very sporadic the last few years.) I wrote an essay about the photo project, which I was going to post on the blog about nine months ago, but then I submitted it to Fresh Yarn and decided not to post it on my blog in case Fresh Yarn wanted it, but I haven’t heard from them it's been a really long time, so I’ve decided I want to finally go ahead and post the danged armpit essay. So that’ll be coming soon.
I think the photo is totally embarrassing, which is why I'm posting it here, because why have a blog if not to post your most embarrassing photos on it, right?
I assume that I'm dancing in the photo, but because I'm looking at the camera it almost looks as if I'm posing for the photo, and that's just weird, because if this photo wasn't taken mid-dance-crunch, then what the hell?
Also, I know I set up that this was going to be a photo showing off a questionable fashion choice and hairstyle, and at first I thought I was sporting a mullet in the photo, but on closer inspection I think that's actually patio furniture in the background that's tricking my eyes into seeing a mullet. If I'm not mistaken, this photo was taken a few months before My Big High School Mullet. And I suppose that the clothes are fine, except when you take into consideration the fact that I loved this shirt so much I wore it every single chance I could get. As in: I swear I wore this shirt, like, four times a week. (Jesse, back me up here--you totally recognize the shirt, right?)
Enough diddle-daddle. Here's the photo I just found in my inbox, curtesy of Lanie:
Don't you want to dance with me?
Saturday, November 25, 2006
So basically I’ve been drinking lots of water, eating chicken noodle soup, napping, and watching movies. Lots of movies. Four and a half, to be exact.
I woke up and watched The Perfect Man (starring Hilary Duff and Heather Locklear) on HBO (it was kinda creepy because there’s a long sequence where hilary is pretending to be her mother’s secret admirer, so that her mother will feel like she’s wanted, but it’s like: your mother is falling in love with YOU, hilary!) (and I’m like: grody!) (and there are all of these sequences that intercut between hilary writing love letters to her mom and then her mom reading them and falling more and more madly in love and, yeah, wow, just creepazoid) (when I was ten, I took this Acting For Commercials class, and the teacher had us standing in front of a camera and he would say things to get a reaction out of us, and I remember one of his directions to me was that “Heather Locklear just walked into the room” and I had no idea who Heather Locklear was [at the time] and so I was all “huh?” and then he said “she’s really hot” and I remember trying to act excited about a really hot woman named Heather Locklear walking into the room, but I don’t think my acting skills were that great at age ten) (anyway, I was really glad when hilary confessed to her heather that she was the secret admirer and the movie started acting like a real teenybopper romantic comedy instead of a mother-daughter love story)
And then I went out to the movies and saw Little Children (starring Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson) (I used my Writers’ Guild card to get in for free) (first time I’ve been able to do that) (hurray for awards season) (New Thing #180) (I thought Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson were both great, but the movie left me kinda cold) (and not just because I have a real, actual cold) (I thought that the use of narration had a distancing affect and it kept pulling me out of the story, instead of feeling for the characters, I was thinking about them, and I feel like the movie should have made me cry—because, hell, I am such a crybaby at the movies—but it didn’t make me cry, it just didn’t) (but I will say that Patrick Wilson deserves to be a major movie star) (and not just because he’s crazy sexy) (he’s crazy good, too)
And then I went to see For Your Consideration (um, I do not have words) (so many talented people, but the movie didn't click for me)
And then I came home and watched My Girl on HBO (you know, with Dan Akroyd, Anna Chlumsky, and Jamie Lee Curtis) and I sat here on the couch and cried and cried and cried. So good. When Macaulay Culkin dies—oh man, it just kills me.
Now I’m half-watching Roll Bounce as I type this, and I’m also sitting here hoping that I’ll run out of snot in the next hour before I have to go to my reunion, and that maybe I’ll somehow lose ten pounds, too, or maybe twenty, because I was hoping to have six-pack abs in time for the reunion, but I don't think I'm gonna be losing that much weight in snot (and if I do, I probably should go to the hospital, not the reunion, because ten to twenty pounds of snot would just be wrong)
Thursday, November 23, 2006
(in no particular order)
(just thirty random things)
1. My friends. (I have great fucking friends) (I don’t see them nearly enough) (smart, funny, loving people)
2. My family. (as freaky as it sometimes gets, I have a great fucking family) (though sometimes I see them too much) (that’s a lie, I just said it because it juxtaposed with the “I don’t see them nearly enough” thing I said about my friends) (the truth is: I can’t get enough of my family) (it’s a good family) (in all of its weird-ass permutations)
3. Great teachers. (I’ve been immersed in the world of teaching lately and I have a newfound respect for all of the blood, sweat and tears that really good teachers put into it) (and I’ve been lucky to have had a lot of great teachers in my day) (“in my day” makes me sound like I’m dying)
4. 24 hour coffeeshops. (there should be one on every corner) (when I rule the world, there WILL be one on every corner)
5. Cheerleaders. (I’m not being ironic here.) (I like cheerleaders.) (Honestly, I don’t know any cheerleaders personally, but I like movie cheerleaders, and all of their bitchy, poppy glory.) (The other day at school, I was talking to this girl who was wearing what I thought was a cheerleader’s uniform, and I asked her, “are you a cheerleader?” And she totally blanched, then scoffed, then blanched again: “No, I’m on the dance squad.”) (I’m all for the dance squad, but come on, let’s hear it for cheerleaders.)
6. “Imagine” by John Lennon. (The only completely perfect song ever written.)
7. Tuna fish and sweet corn sandwiches at The Curly Dog Café in Camden Town, London. (I know it sounds gross, but it’s a good combo) (for real) (and besides, as far as the sandwich wars go, I’ll always be on Team Tuna, never on Team Peanut Butter)
8. Michael J. Fox. (my love for this man is well documented)
9. The peppermint hot chocolate at Starbucks. (is it wrong for me to be thankful for something from Starbucks?) (I can’t help it, though, because the peppermint hot chocolate ridiculous) (ridiculously good, that is)
10. Juke Boxes. (And I’m not talking about the fake little juke boxes they have at places like Johnnie Rocket’s, I’m talking about real honest-to-goodness Fonzie-type juke boxes, that have their own speakers and sometimes you have to hit ‘em to make ‘em work, and you’re filled with greasy food, but suddenly nothing ever sounded as good as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and you can’t help but stand there and sway to the music.)
11. Really Good Bowel Movements. (Had one this morning.) (Enough said.)
12. Double features. (They don't do official "double features" at the movie theaters anymore [remember when they did???], but I love going to the movies on a lazy Saturday afternoon and then sneaking into a second film that isn't something I would ever normally see--i.e. it's nothing I'd ever pay to see, but since it's a lazy Saturday afternoon I might as well sneak into the new Rob Schneider movie, you know?) (The last time I tried to sneak into a second movie to make the afternoon's cinema experience a double feature was a couple of years ago. I was with Urp. We had just seen the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and I forget what we were trying to sneak into, but apparently they had a really good surveillance system at this movie theater because security followed us in. When they asked us to show them our tickets, Urp pretended that she didn't speak English. She just sat there with this look on her face, like, "huh?" while I tried to talk my way through the moment. It was classic Urp. We totally got kicked out of the movie theater.)
14. John Hughes. (I watched Sixteen Candles on HBO this morning. Such a great movie. I remember the first time I ever saw Sixteen Candles—it was when I was in the 6th grade, I was over at my friend Katies’s house down the street when Katie’s older sister Kristen [who was already in high school and way cool] turned the TV on to HBO and told us “You have to watch this. It’s educational.”) (I remember feeling like I’d just been handed keys to the castle, like I had to watch this movie for dear life if I wanted to survive high school.) (Like, this movie was imperative.) (And it was.) (And any movie with the line “I bet you a dozen floppy disks that you don’t even get tit” is a great movie.) (Also, a couple of days ago, I was watching a Scissor Sisters concert on Logo, and Ana Matronic quoted Lea Thompson's character from Some Kind of Wonderful--which is, hello, also a such a great Hughes movie--that moment at the end of the movie when Lea Thompson tells Eric Stoltz: "I'd rather be alone for the right reasons than with someone for the wrong ones." That line of dialogue totally influenced my high school dating life, i.e. even though I wasn't ready to date dudes, a part of me knew that the only reason I was dating girls was that I wanted to fit in, and that was kinda the wrong reason to date girls, and so, after Shirley and Gina, I stopped.) (What I'm saying is, John Hughes: hugely influential.)
15. The struggle. (A lot of the people I’m closest to have been dealing with a lot of heavy shit lately, and struggling—a lot. And I have to believe that the struggle is worth it and it makes us stronger and the evolution is necessary, and we’ll get through these moments that feel, right now, so hard.)
16. Penises and Vaginas. (I swear that the last phrase of the above thankful statement did not make me think of this thankful statement, but it is a nice transition.) (I'm more thankful for penises that I am for vaginas, in all honesty, but we wouldn't have penises if it weren’t for vaginas, so let's just say that I’m thankful for all genitalia.)
17. Q-Tips. (My ears produce so much wax that if it weren’t for Q-Tips I would definitely be deaf right now.)
18. Jake Gyllenhaal’s abs. (no explanation necessary)
19. Photo Booths. (I fantasize about owning my own photo booth.) (How cool would that me?) (My house would totally be the party house if I had my own photo booth.)
20. The Beatles. (so much goodness) (especially The White Album--my favorite)
21. The little old Armenian lady in Glendale who tipped me a dollar that one time. (This was years ago, when I was a senior in college, I was working as a host at Louise's Trattoria in Glendale. One of the Delivery guys called in sick and we were slammed with all of these deliveries, so they needed me to take some of the food out. I had to deliver a meal to this little old lady on the third floor of one of the apartment buildings on Jackson. I remember taking the elevator up, finding her apartment, knocking on the door. She opened the door and let me in, all smiles. I gave her the bag of food and told her what the total was and her face fell. She had cash for me, but she'd miscalculated what the total was going to be and she didn't have enough money to tip me. She was obviously upset and embarrassed and I told her not to worry about it and have a nice day, it honestly wasn't a big deal. This wasn't even my real job, I was happy to have a break from hosting in the actual restaurant. So I left her apartment and she apologized again, I got in the elevator, went down three floors, and then, as I was walking down the sidewalk back to my car, I heard someone yell out "hey!" from above. I looked back at the apartment building and this little old lady was standing at one of the third floor windows. We had eye contact, she stuck her hand out the window, and a dollar bill started floating down to me. It was like a feather, just whisp whisp whisp fluttering down. I caught it and smiled up at the woman and she smiled back down at me and then disappeared from the window. I don't even know why I just thought of that woman just now, but I always thought she was sweet for finding that dollar and not letting me get away without a tip.
22. Anderson Cooper’s smirk. (whatever you think of the guy, you have to admit that he has a really sexy smirk)
23. Rainy Days. (I hate the rain when I have a lot to do and a lot of places to be, because I hate to drive in the rain--I'm one of those people that other people are always complaining about when they say "people in Los Angeles don't know how to drive in the rain"--but when I don't have anywhere to be, I love the rain) (it's fun to stand in the rain and catch water in your mouth and just get soaking wet)
24. Regina Spektor. (Where has this woman and her music been all of my life?) (Her songs rattle around my head all the time.)
25. Tivo. (Even though I don't actually have Tivo, I have the cable company's knock-off version, but it's practically the same and it allows me to be a complete couch potatoe on my own terms, i.e. at one in the morning, and still have a life during "primetime hours") (I don't watch anything live)
26. John Irving. (Hello, A Prayer for Owen Meany)
27. Graham Greene. (if you haven't read The End of the Affair, you must)
28. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. (I had a debate about Dostoyevsky the other day with this student who was arguing that Raskolnikov should have just turned himself in and gotten it over with instead of going on and on, and I was like: "you are so dumb." Okay, I didn't really call her dumb, but I totally wanted to.)
29. The fact that I have a car that doesn't break down every day (knock on wood)
30. T.J. Wilk (too sexy for words)
31. The Real World/Road Rules Challenge (I wish this show was on every night of the week) (I forgot to watch it last week and I was so upset) (like, when I realized I'd forgotten to watch it, I literally gasped for air and cried out "no!")
32. People who give the "thank you" wave after you've let them into your lane (it's just the nice thing to do)
33. All You Can Eat Salad Bars (I love Soup Plantation) (but I go overboard)
34. Road Trips (It's been too long since I've been on one) (the last road trip I took was with Jessica, we drove from one side of the country to the other, dipping our toes in the pacific ocean at the beginning of the trip and the atlantic ocean in the middle of the trip, and then back in the pacific when we returned home) (I wish it was possible to drive to London)
36. The fact that i'm not as much of a hypochondriac as i used to be.
37. Geniuses named David (as in Lynch and Milch)
38. Both of the awesome writing groups I'm a member of (i pinch myself, i feel so lucky to be involved with so many talented writers)
39. Having the freedom to say whatever I damn well want to.
40. And, of course, my blog readers. (love y'all)