Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Meeting People in Somerville

or Cambridge or Boston...is impossible. They are afraid of you. They protect their drinks by placing napkins over them when they leave the bar to smoke or go to the bathroom. In the event that they are drinking their beer through a straw, like a fucking retard, they force the straw through the napkin over their pint glass to make clear the point that they will be back and that you are not to talk to them. If you do talk to them, you won't get anywhere. They may be pretty and educated and drinking, but they don't want to talk to you...or anyone. Everyone tries their hardest to be an island, their own island, separate from their friends and anyone they may not know. Boston is the greatest collection of ambitious, capable, and useless people I have seen to date. (New New Yorkers, by comparison, are mostly useless.)

Meanwhile, if you need anything else to do, there are fresh work emails available 24 hours a day from a not-24-hours-a-day business, so that if you ever need a distraction from your surroundings or yourself, there is always a task to be completed, someone else's need to be fulfilled, something to do.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Crazy Girls

One of my female friends often says that "bitches are crazy." And they are. There are father issues (not enough fathers), father issues (too many fathers), personal space issues, limitless attention-craving, multiple personalities, the need for endless vigilance against the threat of withheld sex, cheating, poorly managed finances, etc etc.

The path of least resistance is the path of no resistance. Singledom ho!


Monday, December 17, 2007

Not sleeping...

I am
*posting photos
*watching cop shows
*answering stupid, but occasionally intriguing, OKCupid questions
*answering work email
*practicing guitar

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Saturday Nights at the Cantab Lounge

I've drunkenly described the Cantab Lounge in Central Square as a "Noah's Ark of humanity," where on a weekend night you'll see one of every type of human imaginable, except for college students (thankfully, the whole 21-plus thing tends to keep them away). You'll see the crazy African-American lady in an Indian headdress with Bluetooth headset. You'll see two short, gray-topped men in black sport coats--the identical twins who play bass and drums in the Fatback Band. You'll hear many heavy townie accents, and you'll usually see quasi-hipsters embarrassing themselves.

Walking into the upstairs bar, you're greeted by off-color cream, blue, and green everything--almost the exact same colors my grandparents painted the basement kitchen of their tiny Queens bungalow. You'll see paintings of halfnaked women and brewer's memorabilia straight from the mid-70s, the period that almost all of the songs in the set will be taken from.

When the band strikes its first note around 10, all the old people hit the floor. Diane Blue, the lead singer/harp player, is usually just showing up with her coffee (the bassist ably handles vocals for a bit). As the scene heats up and the youth arrive, many old people leave around 11 to pass out or mate drunkenly. Then the paradoxes or ironies or coincidences truly begin.

You're in an amusingly decayed, musty warp zone where musically, it's 1975, young and old and black and white dance together, and pretty, apparently single girls amass at the back corner bar too nervous to hit the floor until that third or fourth drink. A feeling builds--excitement? pleasure? enjoyment? Which fits best? The band never runs out of covers. The funky old dude on the strat never hits a bad note; in fact, he actually shreds. Shreds. Sax and harmonica work together to churn out thick melodies that keep asses shaking and mouths smiling.

I always wonder: did I accomplish enough on this visit? Should I have stayed until they kick you out at 2? Should I have flicked my introvert/extrovert switch and spoken to people (girls) I don't know? When will I have the opportunity to go again? It's like being at a high school dance where everything is right and everything is sound and everyone is grown up and they almost know how to be happy, almost.

As a serious realist (which many interpret as "pessimist"), the Cantab gives me hope. To see the musical and sexual and even just observational possibilities amassing is a treat worth the $5 cover charge. The whole atmosphere is like your mother's most loveably flawed dinner recipe: you're not sure whether all the ingredients make sense, but it's home.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Being Young is Easy (By Yourself)

I just had the greatest date, with myself. It involved about 14 miles of biking, the Edward Hopper exhibit at the MFA, the Ingrid Michaelson/Jenny Owen Youngs "anti-folk" double-bill at the Paradise Lounge, and a scallion pancake in Brookline.

First, I decided to finally see whether the Hopper hype was worth it. Left at 7:03 for the 8pm showing and made it there in only 30 minutes flat. Shame on the MFA for not having a single bike rack. World-class my ass.

I give you my notes from the exhibit, unaltered and uncensored:

"b. 1882
sold 1 painting 1st 41 yrs

[The Lonely House, '23]

illus/printmaker until '41


shards of past--surrounded by extremely rich-looking people--their offspring give them away

wall words continually use "vernacular" and "middleclass" interchangeably...could you do that once?

'John Sloan's lusty nudes were the working-class counterparts to Hopper's more withdrawn middle-class women'???

Screen in NY Movie="gray, not silver, gray," from something I wrote



I started thinking about grind and how Hopper ground and I wanted to write new grind. In the guestbook, at the end of the exhibit, I wrote:

[Name:] RB 7/25/7
[Comments:] GRIND.

They didn't have any little magnets of "Sun in an Empty Room," because it was a suicidal painting, so I didn't buy any magnets. I retrieved my bike from a parking meter post.

Close enough to the Paradise Lounge, I figured I would at least check out the show DB had let me know about: Jenny Own Youngs with Ingrid Michaelson opening. The girl:boy ratio was about 15:1, no joke, so I just hung out with a Maker's. Jenny was an excellent musician, but her performance seemed unfortunatley anticlimactic after the POP! of Ingrid Michaelson and Allie Moss. At the show neared its end, I left and got a scallion pancake across the street in Brookline, after reading a very decent Weekly Dig article on scallion pancakes between sets.

When I returned to the Boston side of Comm Ave, all was dead and the musicians were loading up their autos. I wanted to talk to Allie Moss but she was on her cellphone. She looked at me as I unlocked my bike and then I biked BU Bridge/Memorial Drive/Harvard Sq/Porter Sq/North Cambridge/Teele/home with no lights and didn't get killed and now I'm typing this shit because, as everyone says at work, "I feel compelled to."

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