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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Saturday, March 31, 2007

I'm headed to Florida to visit my dad for a week. It's the first time in my whole life that I've ever spent a week alone with him. It's also the first time that I've been anywhere that I've felt like the potential for awkward stories is greater than the retired Jew population. Expressed mathematically here:

# of potential awkward stories > # Florida's retired Jew population

Take that Pythagoras.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Making This Town Hotter Since 1981

Today I got cat called twice while walking my dog, once from a man in a heating/air conditioning van and once from someone on a church bus(?!). Apparently the sultry combination of "t-shirt" and "pants" fares well in this town. Play on playa.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Host is to monster movies what 28 Days Later is to zombie flicks. They both win the Nobel Prize in Badassery in my book.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Devil Is In the Details

Contrary to what this site would indicate, I don't actually enjoy talking about myself. I enjoy talking about almost anything else, but talking about me, in a real-life context where you can't go back and hit delete, gives me this uncomfortable hyperaware feeling, like I'm fighting not to say something awkward or uncool, and midway through the conversation, I begin to fear that I'm not actually talking to the other person, but rather talking at them, inundating them with mundane stories or too much information or too little information or something they didn't bargain for when the conversation began. (In the same way that you probably didn't bargain for that awesome run-on sentence when you began reading this post. That's what I like to call a Syntax Surprise).

Last night I went out with a friend who has two older brothers that are both med students. We met at a bar with all of their other med school friends and I realized that in a group of, say, 10 people, I was the ONLY person that wasn't in residency to be a doctor. That's cool. I love asking people weird questions about the body and having an entourage of nearly certified body specialists for a night is a total geekgasm.

Everything was going great until they started asking me what I do and in realizing that I don't do anything nearly as badass as taking apart eyes or reconstructing limbs, I forgot absolutely everything interesting I've ever done in my life. All of it...gone...along with my ability to speak in polysyllabic words and construct sentences that didn't involve the word 'dude.' Giving this weird deer-in-the-headlights look, I simply said "I write about things...like, you know...stuff."

At that point, my brain sort of went AWOL and all I could hear was this constant message of:


When asked about what kind of 'stuff,' I involuntarily shrugged my shoulders in a kind of "What's it to you?" teenager-from-the-mid-90's-who-subsists-on-a-diet-of-Pearl-Jam-and-poor-hygene type way and said "I write about stuff, like, any kind of stuff...stuff like, you know, the air guitar and levelized tuition plans." It's not the statement is untrue. I cover a wide array of education and fringe arts-related subjects and have covered both topics in the past, but the way those totally random phrases rolled off my tongue last night, you'd think that the invisible instrument/college payment plan reporter was as common as saying "yeah, I'm in HR." What's worse than the annoyingly specific answer I gave was the fact that I followed it up with this bizarrely friendly shoulder shrug/smile combo as if to say, you know us fake musician/higher ed finance journalists. We are a dime a dozen aren't we?

The strangest part was that I KNEW all of this would be simultaneously retarded and pretentious-sounding as it was coming out of my mouth, but whatever part of the brain actually stops those things from being said out loud wasn't functioning at all last night, perhaps too involved with telling me to pull it together than to actually figure out how to pull it together. Walking to our second bar destination of the night, I asked one of the would-be doctors what branch of medicine he plans to go into to. He thought about it for a moment and said, "Well, I'd really like to study the Reticuloendothelial systems because I'm interested in secondary lymphoid structures, but then again, so is everyone else." I smiled to myself before replying, "Yeah dude, I know exactly what you mean."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Quote of the Day

"The only reason wallets get stolen is because they look so much like wallets. This one, however, is carefully disguised."

I'm going to have to add "cleverness on the internet" to my list of turn-ons right alongside "book geek" and "has [mostly] real teeth.*"

* Acceptable number negotiable.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

It Doesn't Matter Whether You're White, Black, or Sasquatch Even. As Long As You Follow Your Dream, No Matter How Crazy or Against the Law It Is

A merit badge in awesomeitude to whoever knows what the title references.

Last week I went to New York to visit my best gal pal who currently resides with a bunch of other ridiculously fun people in the center of an enormous explosion of a city. I go to New York fairly frequently and every time I'm about to leave Richmond, someone, a friend or relative or once a complete stranger says something along the lines of "be careful of the freaks" or "people are craaaaaaaaazy in New York." I have news friends - people are craaaaaaaaazy in Virginia, it's just hidden in suburban neighborhoods and backwoods towns. Take, for example, this house:

That is a house that I pass on the drive to my grandmother's. In that house you can both get your taxes done and purchase a gun AT THE SAME TIME. My favorite part of that house is that there's a giant sign out front that features an animal one might use a rifle to shoot, wielding a rifle of its own in a sort of balls to the wall come-purchase-a-firearm-and-just-try-and-shoot-me-motherfucker-while-
your-home-business-expenses-get-itemized stance. See:

* Note: It took A LOT of restraint to leave the 'right to bear arms' joke out of that last paragraph. Seriously, it was a lot.

That's scary. I'll take the subway seat next to the homeless guy drinking his own urine from a child's Strawberry Shortcake canteen over the den of taxes and artillery any day of the week.

For me, the great (and terrifying) thing about New York is that all of the city's freakiness is completely on display at all times. Only interested in music that incorporates 1980's game boys? There's an entire festival for you. Want to eat some decent-ish Pan-Asian cuisine while being spanked with a riding crop by a drag queen dressed as Cher? That happened to my dinner date once when I was eating here (luckily I was only serenaded, not spanked). New York is like a great big version of the one kid from your high school who wasn't ashamed of his preoccupation with - choose the one applies to your experiences here - Dungeons and Dragons/Renaissance fairs/catsup/the swing dance club/anime/healing crystals - and everyone else just has to accept that and move on.

My love for the outward freak flag was put to the test last weekend when, while shaking the junx in my proverbial trunx in a New York night club, an older man - say early 40's - came up to me, started stroking the back of my head, and whispered in my ear "I'm David. I teach middle school in Queens. When you wear your hair in pig tails like that, it makes you look like a teenager. I like that."


The only thing creepier than what the guy actually said was the fact that he smiled what appeared to be a genuinely friendly smile afterwards and extended his hand as if to say hey, I'm just a regular old pedaphile that works in a school system. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance.

3 days, 2 nightmares, and numerous flashbacks to David's oily whisper-monologue later, the creepiness factor had given way to a curiosity factor and I began to think about how it takes, what my father once described as "nuts the size of Rhode fucking Island," to freely admit that you're into one of the most socially unacceptable practices in the Western world. After recounting the whole episode to my mother - who, after two divorces is incredibly jaded of men - she simply gave me a defeated shrug and said in an alarmingly complacent voice "at least he knows who he is." And she's unsettlingly right. At the end of the day, there is something to be said for a person who knows who he is, what he wants, and is honest and confident enough to admit it even if those things are morally reprehensible and viscerally disgusting. On the flight home, an article in the newspaper reminded me that tax season, a dreaded time of year for freelancers, is quickly approaching and suddenly the thought of filing with a gun totin, vigilante bearccountant in backwoods Virginia didn't seem so crazy after all.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Your Daily Dose of Crazy

Thanks Washington Post!

Friday, March 16, 2007


There are days when I hate Richmond and then there are days when I receive things like this:

* Click for larger view, it's so very worth it.

See you on March 21st chumps.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Time Out!

I'm in it! Or at least a sketchy picture of me is (featured to the right of my good friend Stevehog). A while back, I went to Chicago to visit a few kids who have a terminal case of Awesomeitis. While there, we did any number of amazing things including a visit to an encased meats emporium (swoon!) as well as a city-wide treasure hunt through Ravenchase Adventures. Of the five people that were on our treasure hunting team, I'm pretty sure I contributed the least. In fact, the only contributions I can remember at all were freely giving my map-holding skillz (featured in photo) and forcing our team to adopt the name Ciphrus Hill which, in all fairness, may be the greatest mystery/adventure-themed pun ever written*. Also, I spotted an incredibly large turd in a garage. I mean it was seriously the size of your forearm and while I don't think that finding that treasure got our team any further along in the official hunt, it did make us all (ok, fine, just me) stop and think about what we were really looking for all along. Cheerio team Ciphrus Hill.

* Sidenote - The second greatest has to belong to my (Indian) friend Saurabh who once went to a Halloween party as Hindiana Jones.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What Freddie Mercury Intended

I was having a fairly dreary return-to-the-grindstone day at work until the entire student body of the all girls Catholic high school behind my apartment walked out onto their front lawn and began singing. Right this very second I'm listening to literally hundreds of the most crushably skinny girls I've ever seen belt out an almost cruelly ironic rendition of Fat Bottom Girls. This is what it must feel like to get a high five from God.

Conversations From Today

Me: Hey New York, I'm in the mood for some dance-theatre goodness. I don't know, maybe something whimsical like...um...a fairy tale or something but let's step it up a notch, really push the old envelope. Could you throw some music by Styx and maybe some live on-stage vaginal penetration? Because I am seriously in the mood to see that tonight.

New York: Gotcha covered.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Notes From New York

Yesterday Leah and I toured CNN studios. Even though it's the second time I've done that, seeing Anderson Cooper's desk still made me feel like this. It was a maximum voltage nerdgasm. In other news, I've listened to a lot of Hole and The Distillers today and I could really stand to put on a short skirt and play an electric guitar from atop of someone's car while things explode in the background. I have no idea where I'm headed tonight, but I kind of hope it involves bourbon and a fist fight.