Tuesday, November 29, 2005

3 Random Rants

Does anyone really care what's in your away message? I didn't think so. Wow, you have a paper due this week? Me too! What a coincidince! I would never think that someone else in college is doing work, just like me! We can now relate on a level that goes beyond the mere "friendship" realm and into this new, deeper level about how we bitch about work that EVERYONE has to do. Also, if you're away, do you really need to prompt me to call your cell phone? Without it, my god, I would never think to go any further than iming until you came back, and never think about calling you on a mobile phone that you carry around anywhere. Thanks for the heads up.

The worst is the itinerary. Today I have this, this, and this, and then X and I are going to ____ before ( ). OMG so busy! I don't care, stupid. You're not there, I get it, that's what the message is for. Personally, I throw up lyrics or movie quotes or other things because you know I'm not there, so what's the point in me telling you I'm not? When I die I'll have someone put a post-it note on my coffin that says "Totally dead rite now, don't call the cell, it's dead, LIKE ME lololol kbye4eva."

I also think away message reading is cathartic, as I know there are about 5 or so screen names I keep on my buddy list not beecause I like the person, but because they make me so fucking angry. You'll check their info and their away messages just to scoff, ridicule, and smile before carrying on with the rest of your day. I know I'm not the only one, and if I am...you're all fucking liars.

Moving on...why are politicians like possible 2008 Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton going after the video game industry? Let's ignore things like a ballooning defecit, a regretable war, welfare, mass hunger, and let's focus on selling violent video games to kids. What's next, you're going to make a bold fucking stance against rape? And the WORST part about all of this is that she has absolutely no idea what the hell she is talking about. Large chains have already instituted measures to keep games with a Mature (17 and up) rating from being bought by little kids - hell, they carded me once, and I am tall with gruff facial growth that could only be sported by a man's man's man.

Also, here's a fun fact: the average age of a video game player? 22 years old. That's a fact, jack. But does anyone know this? No, because we all conjure up the image of all of the little kiddies in front of their NESes being adorable and maleable by society. All of those kids grew up and they're STILL playing games, and are the lion's share of 'gamers!' My favorite is that they call Stubbs the Zombie, a game where you're (guess what?) a zombie, a cannibalism game.

Joe Lieberman, a former VP candidate, says, "It's just the worst kind of message to kids...they can be dangerous to your child's health." The worst message? Yes, kids, don't be a fictional horror character, it could be a bad influence! Who doesn't know what a fucking ZOMBIE is?!?! The things have been around since the 1950s, and that's probably a conservative estimation, and everyone knows that it's undead and eats brains. How ANYONE can think this is detrimental to a child is beyond me. What, is Li'l Jimmy gonna get thrown out of kindy-garten for trying to gnaw through Chris's head? If that's the case, then yes, but I assume that would only happen in an environment where they're already where bike helmets so they are protected.

Finally today, cell phones have become more and more 'tricked out' with weird shit that you don't really need. My cell phone has a keyboard for god's sake! Some phones can play songs downloaded from iTunes (why?), a 3.0 megapixel camera built in, and the ability to surf the web. But why hasn't anyone thought to fix the primary reason for having a phone: being able to talk on it? China is so advanced with their cell phone technology you can get signal anywhere. ANYWHERE. Have you ever heard of Tibet? Yeah, go there and make a call crystal clear, but go to suburban New Jersey and you're better off making one of those tin can phones.

I can't believe I can take a better picture with my phone than my actual camera, but can't make a call from my own room sometimes. This is a vast conspiracy, and it won't stop here. You just wait and see when there is the lukewarm refridgerator can download movies and no one will even care about their spoiled food. These phone people are geniuses! Maybe I can get a toaster that can't make toast, but can make a fucking phone call.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Introspective nonsense

It's time to kick up the coldplay folks because it's time for Michael P. to get introspective and contemplative just hours after the end of Thanksgiving. The turkey and sides have already been processed and I'm starving again, and after seeing Rent with Haley (my girlfriend...although I'm sure that's redundant to all of you) I just started to think. Oh, and the movie kinda sucks because Chris Columbus is the worst director ever and shouldn't be allowed by a camera ever again, the boring fuck with clicheed shots (oh my god something that isn't expected is happening let's do the first dutch angle/move the camera askew show in the entire flick to make it jarring and dumb looking because Mimi is dying!!! Fucking douchebag).

You never know the full effect you have on people, and you almost never know the effect that others have on you. Today was Thanksgiving, and it was the annual football game where classes that have graduated come together for a big ole' awkward lovefest (much like what I talked about below). I told people both in high school and out that I'd be coming, but after a late night and little sleep...I hit the snooze button. Thinking nothing of it, I texted Haley and told her I wasn't coming, figuring she was the only one who would even mind. Over the course of the day an im or two came and a call was phoned in asking about my whereabouts.

This certainly is not a popularity contest (3 people - wow) but I never thought missing a football game could get a person upset enough to voice their displeasure at me about it. Hell, a kid who isn't even in the high school imed me and asked why I wasn't at the play, and that he was confused as to why I wasn't there. Coldly, I've told my folks that it's because I've moved on, left this town behind, and it can go fuck itself with the nearest Woodcliff Lake. Now, I see that through living here for 19 years, I left some sort of a mark, be it large or small, on some people. There is an imprint that I left and even seeing me for a tiny bit of time would make it feel like the old days, or the good times, or just because hey, I'm a snazzy kinda guy.

That's all self-serving, I know, but I realized this because of the mark left on me by my friends. I contended that the only reason I came back to Park Ridge was for Haley - not family or friends or my dog, as Kevin had suggested. Almost reluctantly I return to the same room with the same walls that I grew up alongside of, simply because I get to see the one person that makes me happiest. I trudge through a dinner with my family and sometimes ignore my friends completely, because they haven't changed and things are still the same as they always were and it's horse shit. I've moved on - why haven't they?

I talk to Blood and he tells me about a party at the Rogers, the old stomping grounds, what was the idealized setting for my last point literally materializing in front of my face. I have to go, if for nothing else then to revel in the fact that I'm right. My friends, however, don't read this fucking thing (very supportive, huh?) and don't understand how important that party full of awkwardness is. Jassim said, "it's just I don't like...people." All I wanted to do was yell "WELL THAT'S THE FUCKING POINT LETS' GO!!!" We instead, however, crammed into my car and drove to some weird part of our town and smoked up.

We didn't do anything really. We sat and talked and smoked before going to Wendy's. It's so stereotypical, and stupid, and childish, and sophomoric...but I got to hear Russell say the most ridiculous shit, have Heller outright lie again, have Blood throw tennis balls at me for no good reason from the backseat and then blame Heller (and get away with it) while Meyer and Jassim ran commentary. I needed that experience more than I could imagine.

There isn't a lot of time to fuck around on this planet. Maybe this is the movie with about 18009823 people having HIV or AIDS talking, or just from experience. There are moments that come and go in our lifetime that could be so minute but mean so much. A girl in front of Haley and I at the movie was apparently "hitting on me" because she ate a Twizzlers in a somewhat seductive manner that I didn't even see. It was enough, though, to make Haley a tad upset. Later on during the movie, a simple head-tap and a smile made everything ok.

The big actions effect you just as much. From countless numbers of people dying, be it too early or otherwise, to the simple act of housing. What can you say when your house is knocked down for a new one, a better one, a bigger one that you can share with a new family...but you knock down a part of your Mom as well? It's wood and plaster and it's absolutely nothing; it's thanksgiving dinners and kisses and everything. All it is is a place to live, all it will ever be is the center of almost every memory, and it's going to go down....

I'm thankful for everything I have. I'm thankful for my parents, one of whom decided that they would out me as a spoiled brat in front of my extended family during dinner. I'm thankful that they spoil me and wish I wouldn't have the stigma of being a spoiled little bitch (I'm also thankful for my many dvds and cds and any other form of shiney plastic I own and love so dear). I'm thankful for my friends who by doing nothing have grounded me and made me realize that I'm growing up too soon already, and there is no need to speed up the process. I'm thankful for Kevin's post because as stupid as my dog is, I did miss her. I'm so thankful that people read this and complement me about it, because I'll never say I want attention, but fuck do I crave it. Thanks to everyone who reads this and can stomach my bitching, selfishness, etc. because I need a place to escape and vent, and you help a lot.

I'd do the thankful for the girlfriend, but, I already have one of those posts and I'm not libel to do that shit again. That's done in private. With 3 locked doors. And a sound proof room.

Hope your thanksgiving was great. If you have any interesting stories or comments by all means leave a comment. Leave your name too, Meg, because I know who reads this thing and signing it "ridger" ain't gonna cut it.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Oh, growing up

It's cute to see all the little kiddies putting up messages in their profiles and aways about how close it is until Thanksgiving break. Then, everyone can run back to their hometown, in many cases back to Park Ridge. I'm very sorry to say, the town you left is not the town you're returning to.

Everyone expects to come back to their hometown on their first big break freshman year to have big parties, see all the kids they used to see back in the day, and get back some form of normalcy that has been in their lives for, sometimes, 13 or so years. They all expect to come back like conquering heroes: we escaped, and now I'm back, and look at me!

The sad truth? No one cares.

I don't mean that in a way to make it seem like the Freshman class in college isn't special or anything. It's not my class is hot shit anymore, either. There is a certain maturation point that, when exceeded, makes the trip home almost worthless. Towns run on the kids that are in high school, who are moving and growing and learning; they are the ones that grind the gears. We got spit out, and we're enjoying the 4 year grace period before real life starts. We're stuck in neutral in the town's eyes, somewhere between kids and adults.

It's not just the townies either. You'll go home and you'll go to that party, the one that was just like freshman year of high school. And sophmore year. And junior and senior year. God, you'll think how great it is to have the old gang back together, how ecstatic you'll be when you get to party with the same people you've known and have partied with what seems like your whole life! And then reality hits: this isn't the same party.

Everyone grows up in college in different ways, different levels, different atmospheres. Pardon me for being scientific, but it's Darwin-esque: take the same specie and put it in different pools, you'll get all kinds of different fish. It's just the way things work. Go to that party and realize half the people there you really had nothing in common with. Go to that party and find out that maybe the glory days weren't so glorious as you remember. Fuck, wait, you remember hating these same parties. As a matter of fact, you're doing the same shit you were doing when you were a senior in high school and you'd look forward and say, "when college comes, we're gonna have crazy parties back home!" Then look around.

Same party, same faces, all-new people.

When you're at the big party, find someone who you saw at all the parties but never really talked to outside (what I deemed the "party friend," who much like the "school friend" you don't talk to unless you are in that environment). The conversation will go as follows:
Hey what's up?
Oh nothing much, ya know chilling. You?
Yeah, yeah the same.
How's school going?
Oh it's going great.
Yeah how's it going for you?
It's pretty awesome at

And then you'll hit this horrible, awful pause where you'll both realize "holy shit, I have nothing more to say to this person." It could be the same kid who sat next to you in every class every year since 6th grade on, and it doesn't matter. You'll hit the rut, and then you'll both split off to find someone else and you'll go through the same process with them. Maybe some old in-jokes will come out ("remember that time...." and "") and you'll be clutching your alcoholic beverage and slamming it down to try and remember (or forget this) and sucking that pipe like you've been underwater and this is the first breath you've gotten for a minute.

Don't worry, we all go through it.

I was talking to Johnny Lange, and after the conversation we said above, we had a chat about how only that comes across. Of course school is great, it's college, and it's frankly better there than Park Ridge, how we don't really see anyone from back home anymore, how it's changed, etc. Remember when we were idealistic and we knew we were all going to last as friends? We'd come back from wherever and we always knew we had Park Ridge, or your respective town. Suddenly, you go back, and while nothing has changed, everything has. It's an incredibly unique and strange feeling.

Watch out for falling heavy cliches.

Goldfish only grow to how big their tank is. We were all sharing time in the same little bowl, were tossed out into an aquarium and expect to fit back in that little bowl again with no problems. All we have left are memories of false-greatness and of times we'll never have back. Here we are, people who identify with a town that can't identify with them anymore. Every class becomes a red-headed step-child every June, another group to be shipped off, ready for the taking by the people outside The Bubble.

This is the first time that we realize time doesn't stop for us. Inversely, it speeds us on, and as we comment about how fast it is going we don't realize that all of the talk about it just reels us in faster. One day we'll all be in a bar drinking and just be thinking, "wait, what the fuck happened?" Welcome to the start of this wonderful process. It only gets better from here.

Here's my little ps: This of course doesn't go for everyone. I'm sure someone will read this and say that I'm just a pessimist, and I'll get people who say I'm right on. I'll get people who say they have so many close friends from back home, and I'll....well that's my entire reader base. But I'd assume people would say that they have no friends from back home and can't conceive having any. There are still a group of people from back home that I talk to on a regular basis, but that number is quickly dwindling.... This is what I've noticed, and I don't think I'm the only one...but I think I'm one of the few to actually voice it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mailbag! (or: Failure at making a Mailbag! post)

Well, I got a little cocky, that's all.

I thought I could have enough readers (like 10) and have broad enough of a topic of "people you hate" but I guess that wasn't so good. Or maybe all 3 readers read it and responded, including my pal Anonymous. Anyway, I'm still getting different original thoughts together, so why not burn off a post with what I got from my faithful readers.

First up, from Pam:
The guy who keeps his blinker on, well after he has switched lanes on the highway. Why does this happen? Can't he hear the little clicky noise or see the blinker light flashing in front of him? No, of course not. He has to make the other drivers suffer, have them wonder, "Is he really going to switch lanes? Did he forget he had the blinker on? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!"

I hate that guy.

I like how you tied in the point of the column there, Pam. Don't worry, I hate that asshole, too.

This has baffled me since I was old enough to understand what that weird clicky sound was in the first place. Maybe they like to be really early when they use their blinker? I was behind one woman who put it on and then a half mile later (I checked, trust me) and THEN made the right. I appreciated their heads up a minute before the turn came - I felt properly prepared to slightly break and blow by honking and giving that old clickity-clack bitch the finger.

Strangely, I saw something in Boston that trumpted that guy by miles. Before I start, I know, I know, bad drivers in Mass? Trust me, I'm as shocked as you are. This douche was driving with his hazards on, but not on the side of the road, but right in the middle of Commonwealth Ave (for out of towners - major road with 3 lanes that is a clusterfuck at various points on the roads that were based on the paths used by WAGONS BEING PULLED BY HORSES). This sets up an interesting dilema - this car lets you know it can go right, left, or straight, but what's it going to do? It's like a game show, except you can very easily be killed by guessing incorrectly! ...so it's like a Japanese game show. I should sell the rights to that idea....

Next, we have ole' Anonymous:
this group of fat bottomed girls that walk right in front of you once you entered one of these construction passerelles. Its always when you're in a hurry and there's no way out and you must suffer the slow pace stayin behind bcause you cannot be rude and say "yo ass is blocking the sidewalk, move it bitch". Also those people that wander in the mall when you, you have a target and its at the other side of the mall. you must go through all these obstacles, push all these people that have nothing else in life to do but to walk in the mall looking for things to buy they just dont know what, say excuse me 1000 times...one of these days im going to shout i have a bomb with me and they'll all let me through, yes it'll be a fine day! Cool blog by the way!

First off, fat bottomed girls and construction passerelles? Btw, passerelle isn't a word (I just checked to see if I wasn't as smart as I always assumed) but I'm guessing it's one of those scaffolding-like situations. Usually I have a problem with anyone walking slowly, but chicks (and also guys) with fat asses certainly have weight, gravity, and I'm sure inertia working against them, like trying to walk on the beach holding up a sail. What pisses me off even more is when there are like 3 people walking as fast as Christopher Reeves would and they are completely impassible. Being a tall drink of water, naturally the speed of my walk is a tad faster than others, so I would understand if they couldn't keep up to my pace, but fuck, enough's enough.

Malls are a whole different culture though. Being from Jersey, the Mecca of mall culture, there have been many a time where I would be at the mall for up to 5 hours doing nothing, since there was nothing of equal or better entertainment value to try (excercise is for pussies). Therefore, I can't fully shit on people who walk slowly in the mall. There are occassions, though, when there are a gaggle of 12 year old guys who are from obviously white neighborhoods and they're acting thug and walking in the mall all slow like to look cool, and I want to beat them all with a aluminum baseball bat until they scream "PLEASE MISTER GEE GOLLY!"

I could also accomplish that by having a black man who looks like he's strapped walk by. You can't make something turn whiter unless you had a fire hose spraying white paint out of it.

Not sure about that whole bomb thing though, unless you want to be raped in jail by fat ass prisoners for the next 8-10 years. And thanks for the compliment, I could use all the self-esteem boosts possible.

And finally Maggie:
I hate alot of people but a specific example that I noticed lately.. those people in art classes, they think that since they are an art student it is necessary that they ONLY paint pictures of john lennon or jimi hendrix to prove how cool they are, its horrible. I also hate one specific boy in my math class who raises his hand every 5 seconds and kisses our 94yr old teachers ass

Art kids make me want to vomit all over them. I was faced with the possibility of going to an art school, like Emerson College, and realized why half the student body want to kill themselves (I'm sure Ali's gonna comment on this one). There was a kid named Eugene who came to talk at my tour of Emerson to give us the "student perspective." He was a 6'2" asian man who was built like Baby Huey, and could have easily have been mistaken for the football on the top of a Homecoming float. What he was wearing was equally attrocious. He had one of those red Champion sweatsuits (sweat pants and the non-hoodie sweat shirt) all one uniform color of awkwardness; clothes my dad would proudly wear. To top it all off, he had spray painted some old Adidas shoes gold, so proudly smiling behind his square glasses. "Hi, I'm Eugene," the monstrosity said, "and I love it here!"

I immediately walked out, never to return. Fuck you Eugene. If you love it at Emerson, I will surely hate it.

Wait what are we talking about?

Oh yes. Well, the College of Fine Arts boasts a whole lot of Eugene-like characters, except that for the most part they are rich, wear designer labels, but try and hide it by wearing dirty looking designer labels, showing that they are truly beatniks-worthy. I'll see 6 or so standing outside the building smoking, looking miserable, right under the "no smoking" sign to be punk ass rebels. I know they all go home and watch Pokemon: The Movie. You're not fooling me, painter boy - you're still a sissy. You were the kid who struck out in kickball and no, no we didn't forget.

Other figures that they would paint to look bad ass: Hunter S. Thompson, Jim Morrison, Jerry Garcia, and never Ringo. Never ever Ringo. George, yes, but Ringo? No.

Well that concludes the first abomination of a mailbag. Thanks to Pam for writing on her own, Anonymous for piping in, and Maggie for letting me force her to comment cause I felt embarassed as shit that I only got 2 responses. To the other 2 of you, damn you for being quiet! ...why do I sound like someone at the Nuremburg trials?

Coming up for all of you loyal readers is going to be one random piece and then my epic 3 part series on Boys and Girls, their differences, obatining one as your mate, and then keeping what is called a "relationship" happy and healthy.

All that means is you're gonna hear stories about how I've fucked up with chicks, pretty much. I'm sure you're all eager for that like it's the results to your HIV test after waking up in Brazil with 3 prostitutes and no condom in clear sight.