I had a great email exchange with a bad ass New Yorker last night that got me thinking about some things. Most notably the whole Alpha/Beta-Notch v. Relationship saga. Once it was in my brain I couldn’t really stop mulling it over. I don’t think all of this is as linear as I’d like it to be, but so what? Make of this mess what you will.
The first thing to understand before I dive in to this is that this guy is a friend, and I do not have any issue whatsoever with what he says or the game that he preaches. In fact, I think he’s dead on accurate with a great deal of his beliefs. He has an understanding of this ever changing Battle of the Sexes world we live in, and I think most people could learn a thing or two (or ten) from him. I mention this only because it seems like people want to divide the world into two camps and those two camps must be in complete conflict over every aspect of the dating world. Those camps are; Notch Collectors v. Monogamists.
Now, I reject this notion. Completely. I also reject that when I was home with my exFiance on a Saturday night making dinner and getting ready to watch 2 netflix (one chick flick and one horror movie) that I was any less of an Alpha than the Alpha at the bar who was wondering if the hottie he was chatting up wanted her eggs scrambled or fertlized in the morning. (All props to 200 Cigarettes, I know)
Here’s the way I see the world.
I dig Monogamy. I prefer it. I don’t need OR want to collect notches, but I’m pretty certain that I’ll be adding more as my life progresses. Having said that, I am not desperate enough to commit to any woman after a few dates and say that we are “exclusive” and I’m damn sure not wife hunting. I don’t bend to the will of just anyone, but as she earns a bigger place in my life I will compromise. Not sell out. Not cease being me. Compromise.
The idea of the Alpha/Beta male is something with which I do, indeed, agree. I have seen many, many men lead around by their noses because a woman was willing to sleep with him…once she did, that was it. Different clothes (not always bad, admittedly) different “likes”, different friends, and just a different person entirely…yeah, seen it. I have also, however, seen just as many women who starve themselves, dumb themselves down, and perform sex acts they don’t really want to do, all in the interest of hooking and keeping a man.
Call me crazy, but I see very little difference between those two things.
Honestly, I don’t want any part of either. I won’t be that guy (and you won’t like trying to make me in to him) and I will NOT date that girl. I wouldn’t say that I never have because that would be a lie. There was a time when INPY was…well…very different. I had to kill that INPY and replace him with this one because living the life he wanted was exhausting and empty. Getting engaged was NOT that point at which it changed. It was long, long before that. Getting engaged was the RESULT of that change.
And, if you think that getting ditched has made me regret those changes or made me wish I could go back and not do it?
You clearly don’t get it.
As for the Guru of Game and why I agree with him?
Look, men and women are different. We need different things. The game and why it works (and it does work, let there be NO doubt about it) is all about tapping in to those needs and differences to achieve a desired result.
However, those some principals can also be applied to have a happy, healthy relationship. They can. “Paying attention to certain details and ignoring others to get a blow job” can and does translate to “remember when your GF says something to you that is important and comment on it later and don’t get caught up in all of the emotional highs and lows will get you all the freedom to be yourself in your relationship.”
If you want to have a one night stand? Pretend to listen to her. Make her think she’s got your attention, but let her know that you could walk.
If you want to be happy and supported in your realtionships, listen to her…do NOT pretend. Listen to her. But don’t be at her beck and call and act like you’d die paint her toenails. Don’t be a slave. Be a MAN, but be a man that remembers and cares about the details of her life. I mean, if you can’t do that…what the fuck are you doing with her anyhow?
Now me? I’m a romantic. I fucking hate to admit this sometimes because it inevitably leads to that look…you know that look. That “you’re a Beta” look…and that is some seriously absurd shit. But c’mon, you know it. Everyone “knows” it. But INPY is hear to tell you that it just ain’t true. Just because I’m a romantic does NOT mean that I’m thinking about our future on our first date. HELL NO. You’ve got to earn the romantic in me. Earn it. It’s NOT just given to anyone and it’s not given away lightly. And just because I’m a romantic that digs monogamy doesn’t mean that the idea of adding nothces that I know aren’t anything more than notches is out of the question. Get serious. We all do it. This is what I mean by rejecting the idea that you’re completely one or the other. That’s lame and weak. And really? It’s the tactic of scared people and scared people to me are Betas.
Then again, that’s just me talkin’.
But the deal is like this for me; if you make me feel like I’m the only man in the world I’m going to make you feel like you’re the only woman in the world. It doesn’t mean we have each other on a chain (well, sometimes, but that’s different) but it does mean that we meet each other’s needs. I’m a man, I need space. I need a life outside of “us”. And I need you to not make me fight you tooth and nail for that and to allow me to be a man. And be feminine for me, not a pushover, but feminine. You want to fight me on every detail to earn my respect because you’re my equal and that’s how it’s done? You just lost it. I do that with the guys. With you I want it to be different. I don’t want a pushover, but I damn sure am not interested in dating the guy that wanted my starting slot on the basketball team. I want a woman. A strong woman who knows how to work with me.
Your’e a woman, you need to know that the space I need has nothing to do with you. And you need to know that you’re being heard. And respected, and cherished. Not treated like a princess and kid gloved, but that I want you more than I want an undefined “something else” out there. I can’t be a girlfriend, but i can be a confidant. It’s up to ME to be that, and to do it well. If I get all…well…beta, and try and be Mr. Sensitive Pony Tail Man (Thank you Singles) for you, you are going to see that I’m not being masculine, that I’m feminizing myself for you and that’s going to bleed in to all kinds of things. But if I can listen to you, be strong for you when you need it AND let my defense down and be well, gentle, for you when you need it? You’re going to feel like you’re in…like you’re not always banging your head against my walls. And that’s going to let you feel safe enough to be feminine without feeling like you’re compromising that strength that you and your mother and your grandmother worked for.
And I dig that strong part of you. Just like I dig that soft side of you.
I think I’m probably rambling now…I mean, look, don’t listen to me. CLEARLY I am not the man to take relationship advice on…I mean, Hookers and Liars and Cold Feet, OH MY! But I hate seeing this Battle of the Sexes go from a game show to an armed conflict. I don’t have answers, I just have this big mess of ideas.
But if we can be what I’m doing a crappy job of explaining for each other, why the hell wouldn’t I make dinners and send flowers? Why wouldn’t I rent a B&B in the middle of nowhere for us to drink wine and curl up by a fireplace and let you just unload all of your stress? Or buy you the dress that I want you to wear to dinner and that movie you want to see?
If we do that, why would you care if I went out with the boys? Why wouldn’t you be in to being tied up and talking dirty and things you would think are “slutty” but with me are OK? Why wouldn’t you come to a Yankees game and do shots with me at the Yankees bar across the street and eat hot dogs?
I think we’re overcomplicating all of this. Then again, like I said; I really am the wrong guy to take advice from on this whole thing.
It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to actually put any of my thougths to digital pen and paper. That’s mostly because I haven’t really had a thought worth a damn since last week. But, here is a brief synopsis of my 3 Day Weekend…which was a bit more eventful than I originally thought it would be.
Saturday: Up at 8 and working from home. The first, oh, hour or so I was a bitter, bitter INPY. “Stupid fucking (Insert name of govt. agency here) get your own stupid fucking people to do this stupid fucking presentation grumble grumble curse word curse word”…
Then I got rolling. And I mean, rolling. Pacing my apartment giving this imaginary presentation to imaginary stakeholders. Hand gestures, vocal inflections…the whole thing. I’m not a “do it on the night” kind of actor. Oh no folks. I work that shit out. When you see me present, everything I do has been rehearsed a thousand times. By early afternoon, however, I poured a G&T. Now, the funny thing about this is that you have to realize; in the back of my mind I was thinking that I would call exFiance later that day. So, I’m sipping my G&T, practicing my presentation, and thinking about that phone call.
But 4:00? The presentation? Not so much.
Saturday Late Afternoon; My favorite S. American Jew and I had a meeting to discuss important blogger business with the Guru of Game. We got down to business, I got down to more G&T’s, and by the time it was all said and done…well…I was feeling no pain.
And I was NOT calling exFiance.
Saturday Night; INPY and his guitar. Bonding. It was great. SO GREAT. I was doin’ it Hank Williams style, yo. DRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRUNK and writin’. Testifyin’. Lettin’ it OUT. I am convinced that I have forgotten and least 2 Grammy Winners in my life.
…and then I got contacted by someone that…well…how do I say this?
You know there are things that happen that you just can’t believe are happening. You know, like being blindsided where you look at the people involved and you say “Are you fucking kidding me?” and your first inclination is to toss them both out the window of a very high building but you then realize that you will NOT do well in prison so you instead give the double bird FUCK YOU and flee the scene?
OK, well, I got the “let me explain” Saturday night.
So, me, G&T, bad songwriting (Oh it was CLASSIC…I’ll recap what I can recall later) and then POW.
But I listened, and it made sense. Actually, I listened. Then I yelled. Then I listened. Then I yelled some more. It was like that, yo. It was chaulk full of “You cannot be FUCKING SERIOUS” and “I don’t even want to fucking hear your voice” at first, and then mellowed in to a nice “Why the fuck would you think that’s OK” and “what am I supposed to think?”…
But it ended pretty well.
Sunday: Finishing touches on the presentation, which bythe way I am giving in just about 2.5 hours. It rocks. I’m just that good. Then a BBQ excursion with some friends which was very, very hip. The kind of thing where you look around and think “MAN I’m a lucky fucker…I’ve got some really cool friends”. I also wrote another song for a friend who is terrified of thunder and lightning. It goes;
Shut up bitch, shut up bitch,
It’s just a little thunder and lightning
Shut up bitch, shut up bitch
it really isn’t all tht FRIGHTENING!
OK, you MIGHT have had to have been there. This was sung with TOTAL affection. Once home, soaked from the rain and shivering from the AC, it was to the couch with On Demand and bad movies.
Not a god damned thing.
For the record; I never did call exFiance. Somehow I feel like it’s going to be a drain that I’m just in no way shape form or fashion ready to deal with and quite honestly, I dig my headspace and don’t want to mess with it.
My presentation? Bangin’. I’m now looking forward to giving it. I’m tellin’ ya, it’s going to be a friggin’ masterpiece. There might be tears. Most likely applause. Kind of like when Ralphie gets the A+++++++++ on his Red Rider BB Gun Essay. For rizzle.
My screaming, shouting, go fuck yourself, why would and how could you blow out? Best thing that could have happened. SOMETIMES confrontation is a good thing. I like to hit things right on the head. Not always the best approach, but this time it did the trick.
OH! And that drunken ditty I was writing on Saturday? From what I can make of the notes I took…
My drunken fingers
They seem to linger
on this out of tune E string
I just might break it
It just won’t take it
and I wouldn’t change a thing
Cuz when it’s broken
It’s left unspoken
and you pour another drink.
I am a drunken genius. I love drunk songwriting. The key though, is to record it so you can listen to it when you sober up. That way if it’s good (which it SO rarely is) you haven’t lost it in a haze of chords you can’t. quite. recall…
And if it’s bad (which is SO often is) it’s wildy entertaining. These lyrics cracked me up.
Of course, the E string did indeed break and I did indeed pour another drink. And then I also kept playing with 5 strings because honestly? At that point there was just NO WAY that I was going to get a new string on to that guitar.
And that, kids, was my long weekend.
I took a quick spin out to Arlington yesterday to set up a Happy Hour for my employees. Now, I know what you’re thinking; “God DAMN INPY, do you do anything BUT set up and attend Happy Hours?!”
Honestly? No. This is it.
Anyhow, this brief reprieve from my day afforded me some nice, mid-day quiet time. During this “I’m working, really I swear” afternoon I grabbed an iced green tea and sat to ponder some of the more pressing issues of the day that were gnawing at my cranium…
The Designated Hitter? Nice innovation or terrible idea?
Seven String Guitars? Same questions.
Who in the name of GOD is making Dane Cook famous?
And, the most important…
Why is it that there are so many aspects of some of my ex’s (OK, ONE of my ex’s) that I can recall clear as day…and some of my ex’s (OK most) I can’t remember seemingly big details?
All of this started because there is one ex, from way back in the day (I’m not feeling creative today, so we’ll just call her J) who told me that she has caught some passing references to her that I’ve made on these very pages. She went on to describe what it makes her feel like when she reads them…kind of a Pollyanna picture that involved sun dresses and fried chicken. (It was funnier when she said it)
When she said this, I immediately remembered this blue dress that she used to wear…and then I remembered that she used to call me “bub”…and then the way that her long thin fingers used to fit in mine…and the way she could shake it like only a suburban white girl could to James Brown (I couldn’t describe this to you if you gave me an hour) at the first “HEY” out of the speakers.
And a million other details….
The point is that when it comes to her, I remember it all. Including how magnificently I fucked her over. Which is another story. (One that I wrote and tried like hell to make sense of…and edited and rewrote and it’s just not there for the telling…not yet) But there are a million details I can recall without going in to a temple rubbing sothisisalzheimer’s melt down.
I can tell you how terrible her handwriting is from the letters she sent me EVERY DAY while I was in the Army…
Or how her eyes would narrow and her mouth would tighten up and pull her lips thin and she’d say “Watch it, Mister” when I would make a comment about the Sox…oh yeah, she was a Sox fan….
Or the full on belly laugh with a repeated hitch that watching MST3K would bring out of her at midnight on her couch…
Or the way she would shrug her shoulders when she was cooking, as if to say “you and I BOTH know that this is not going to end well, so why not”…
But for the LIFE of me…the woman that I dated right after her? I can’t remember her middle name. Nor her parents names. Or damn near anything else except for the fact that she started fucking one of my friends, broke up with me, and he moved in to our apartment right after that. (THAT part, I recall in technicolor. Thanks.)
I can’t remember what Alyssa’s (the psycho Italian) tattoo said, or even what language it was in…
But i can remeber that J had a little lizard that she named Pepe on her lower back.
To just come right out and say it, there’s a story that I am not willing to tell just yet, but it’s been a constant in my life since I was 14. It’s her. J. She’s been there, in one way or another for just over 20 years now. I can’t shake it, and though there was a time I’d have given anything Anything ANYTHING to do so…well, that time is gone. Long gone. There can’t be a blog about ME without there being the story of HER. And it’s coming…in all of it’s “Oh my GOD INPY how young and dumb were you” glory, it’s coming.
She isn’t the one that got away. Rather, she was the one that I threw away. So full of myself and slightly (maybe more than slightly) fucked up that I thought for sure I didn’t need to be tied down…it just had to be that there were bigger and better things out there than the girl next door for a rockstar like ME, right?! And I can still hear her saying “you’re throwing everything away” when I told her I didn’t want to be with her anymore in a parked car behind the pizza place in downtown Hopkinton…and I can still hear me saying “I never wanted to be anybody’s everything.”
God those are haunting words the second you find out how truly awe-inspiringly beautiful it is to be just that to someone. And it only took me the cash equivalent of putting several therapist’s kids through good colleges for me to figure it out. I’m talking the Emersons and Dukes of the world…not the SW Idaho States.
And from the place that I sit now, she looks completely different. J is not romanticized. She is not washed clean of any fault or foible by the powers of time. She is, quite simply, the best person I’ve ever known, despite the fact that I know she’s not perfect. What she meant for me, what she did for me, and what she does for me even now by being my friend from a thousand miles away…there are no words. It was a redeeming day for me when I heard from her for the first time. No joke, no understatement. It was like feeling someone take their boot off my chest after years of being pinned to the floor. But you see, the thing is; I was wearing the boot. Funny how that works, isn’t it?
I wouldn’t be nearly close to as together as I am were it not for her, her love, and her family. I can’t imagine what I’d have become if you took that one piece of my life out. I don’t want to think about it, to be perfectly honest. I don’t think it ends well.
I am blessed, charmed, and so, so lucky to have her in my life now in any capacity whatsoever. I used to physically ache to have her back, but now I am thrilled in the knowledge that she is my friend. When you let go of your ego and you swallow your pride and you say to someone (and I’ve said this before) that you’re sorry (cuz there’s NO statute of limitations on an apology.) which I did with her, and you are met with …well, friendship? It’s not a let down, folks. And if you think it is, then you need to go back and re-read the first seven words of the third line in this paragraph.
Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Got it now? Good. If I can do it, ANYONE can do it.
Someday I’ll figure out how to tell that story…the story that only a few of my friends know and that kid brother says (in his best parody of me) canonized me as St. INPY; Patron St of Bad Decision Makers. But until that time comes, as I sit and think about the DH (hate it) Seven Strings (hate them more) and Dane Cook (hate him the fucking MOST) I realize that I have always been a lucky bastard.
Even if I have never, ever been able to hold down a relationship worth a god damn, at the very least I had one with someone like J, and she still thinks to email me and takes my phone calls.
Lucky, lucky bastard I tell you.
ADDENDUM: In a dose of Karmic Irony I have been informed that today is indeed (and I almost wish I was making this up) J’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Beautiful.
I gotta tell you…and not to toot our own horn or anything, but this Nice Guy’s Happy Hour thing? Little secret, just between us? It rocked. It did. I was a little nervous when I got the list of all the people who were choosing NOT to come. I mean, SAY WHAT?! And you know who you are…and from me you get a Fredo. A big fat fucking Fredo.
You’re dead to me.
OK, maybe not DEAD, but it will take a So Co and Lime to get back in my good graces. Maybe more depending on how good your excuse is for not coming…
But, let’s talk about who DID come…
There’s a full (or as full as we can hope to make it when we’re, you know, greeting and drinking and mingling and drinking…and yeah) list of attendees on my partner in HH Hosting’s site. And you know what? It was well worth the amount of shots, drinks, and beers I bought as part of our bribe to get you to come out and party with us. The consensus was that there had never been that many new people at any one HH. And that makes me feel all warm and tingly inside. Really, thank you…and you…and you too.
I got to meet most of the new people and see some of my favorites and friends. So I had a great time and I feel pretty good about saying that a great time was had by all. I am proud to say that no bloggers OR ping pong balls were injured during the course of this night, but many, many shot glasses met their untimely demise. There were many new friends (and a little love) made (not by me, yo…you know who you are…and you had SO better come back) and I am relatively sure that if we keep this up…this “Invite a Blogger” approach…that we will be having the first HH of 2008 in the Convention Center. And I’m down with that.
Some quick take aways?
Blue may not be your color, darlin’, but you wear it well.
It did my heart good to see you with a smile on your face.
For a while I thought it was just going to be you and me when no one else had shown up!
There are others that I know I’m forgetting, but that’s all I’ve got time for today…I’ll make it up to you at the next HH, which I think we’ll be doing sometime early next month. We’ll see. I’d like to do something big…ginormous…I dunno. Send your suggestions…for real. I want to know what you want to do next. I’m all making your weekends brighter kids.
And to those of you Fredos that missed this one…I still love ya. Just not as much as before.
I remember it quite clearly, the day they came back in to my life. ExFiance and I were hanging out watching VH1 Classic and trying to figure out our plans for the day. We were sitting on the couch kind of tangled up in each other when I heard it and sat up just quick enough to actually jar her into spilling some of her wine.
That intro…the synth on the “Violin” setting…
Holy SHIT I love this song!
HELL YES I DO!
“It’s ummm…this is ASIA. You love an Asia song?” She said it as though she were saying “you like root canals?”
OK, look youngin’, first; I LOVE Asia. LOVE. THEM. And second, you love that “I Saw the Sign” song so you have nothin’ to say on the subject of fromage-y music, k?”
Ahhh Asia. From the first time that I heard “Only Time Will Tell” in 1983 I was all done. It was on this thing called MTV, which was a channel of the same name as the “MTV” the kids are watching today, only back then they played videos to the music that bands and artists were releasing. It was really cool. I digress.
In 1983, I was 10, almost 11. I was raised on two VERY different worlds of music, but music was a constant in our house. My dad? He was a Stones, Zeppelin, Cream, Dylan kinda guy. My Mom? Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, Joan Baez, Billy Joel, and once in a very unfortunate incident, the Bay City Rollers. The sounds I grew up on were diverse…the first song I knew all the words to? Hey Jude. The first album that I loved? Disraeli Gears. But the first song that I found on my own and flat out could not stop hearing was “Only Time Will Tell”. It was so friggin’ sad and the tones were just such pure ear candy to my little head….what can I say? I loved it.
I remember the Old Man buying me the album (Yes kids, the ALBUM) and saying “Steve Howe? He’s in Yes! This MUST be great.” We got home and I OH so gently pulled off the cellophane and CAAAREFULLY removed the album and handed it to my dad and he put it on the turntable and
There it was. Oh the sweet sweet sound of that guitar on The Heat Of The Moment (which Cartman RUINED for me, by the way) flooding the room while my dad was making hot dogs and drinking a Budweiser in the kitchen. This is like yesterday to me. I can still remember staring at the artwork on the album cover and thinking “this is the COOLEST THING EV-AH!!!” (bc I still had my New England accent at that point) while the Old Man made a pained face because CLEARLY, this ain’t Yes.
But they DID have mad chops, yo…I mean, John Wetton? He was going to front King Crimson! Geoff Downs was in Yes and the Buggles…you know who the Buggles are right? Carl Palmer? That dude played in ELP. I mean, c’mon! He’s the friggin’ “P”…and Steve Howe was the MAN in Yes, before Trevor Rabin took over and made them the “Owner of a Lonely Heart” Yes. (Which was, I believe, the next album that I bought…90125)
And just so you know, I all but cried when I learned that you had to 18 to win the MTV “Asia in Asia” contest, wherein the winner (and a guest) are flown to Tokyo to see the band on their world tour to support the MONSTER #1 album…
For real, yo. I wanted to cry b/c in my 10 year old mind, I was DESTINED to see this.
Instead of entering the clearly ageist contest, I wore that record out. My parents to this DAY cannot hear it without cringing a little.
So imagine my surprise when i learned recently that Asia…not the bastardized 1/4 of the band playing for beer money Asia…but ALL OF ASIA is touring. And, not just touring…coming to the Birchmere! I was aghast…this means that this year, I am finally going to see the Police (all hail the genius that is the Police) and in a smaller venue I will get to see a childhood fav of mine, too?!
But hold up…the Police want like $100+ per ticket, and you know what? Fuck it. Yes please. I’ll pay whatever you want Mr.’s Sting, Summers, and Copeland. You are royalty. You are the Police. Play Roxanne and Can’t Stand Losin’ You and I will give you as much of my hard earned cash as you’d like…
However, you can imagine my surprise when I went to the Birchmere website and discovered that Asia wants…
Are you ready for this….
Dear Asia; have you lost your fucking MIND? $60?! FOR ONE TICKET? And that doesn’t include an open bar? I mean, WHAT? Yeah, I get that you are cashing in on nostalgia and there aren’t many paydays left for the guy that was GOING to front King Crimson and the Video Killed the Radio Star dude, but get fucking serious!
$60?! Hold ON a minute. You’ve got 2 good albums, and only the first one is good straight through. The second one only has like 2 good songs…and that third album is just crrrrrrrrrrrrrap! After that it’s like…yeah. All downhill. That environmental song from the early 90′s? Who’ll Stop the Rain? First off, that’s a Creedence song title, and that’s just not nice. And don’t tell me you don’t know it, either, Mr Asia Guys. Oh wait, you called yours “Who WILL Stop the Rain”. How clever. But moreso, what the hell was that?
How about THIS; you PROMISE me that you’re going to play your hits, NOT force-feed me ANYTHING off of your inevitable “new album”, AND that you’ll play “Video Killed the Radio Star” and I’ll pay $40. If you’ll come out with me after the gig? $50. And if I get a shot of So Co and Lime whenI show up and a hot dog like my old man used to make while telling me that your old bands were better?
THEN you can have my $60.
Oh, and it’s Happy Hour day, kids. Get yourselves a good lunch so that you can soak up the drinks tonight. (That’s my PSA for the day…because I really do care) And if you’re new, find either myself or LMNtal for your first drink. We can’t wait to meet you!
I am now off to find that video of Cartman singing Heat of the Moment to congress. THAT was worth $60.
OK, I got tagged…TAGGED DAMNIT! And it’s kind of like a “man, you just gotta do it”…
So the deal is your 5 Favorite restaurants in DC, and why you love ‘em. Now, I am NOT a food snob, so I’m not going to sit here and tell you the 5 Zagat rated places that are sure to make you get off in your pants right at the table like you were a 14 year old on your first hot date.
No no. Here are the places I like the most for many different reasons. IF you want to know what I think are the BEST DC places, I’ve got a very different list. These are the places I’ve gone the most and enjoy the most, all for very different reasons, as they stand right now.
Luigi’s I have had more great dinners with friends in this place than I can even remember. It’s Italian comfort food done right. Not great, but damned good. I’ve gone in with large groups of people and been treated like we were blowing a grand. I dig it. I dig it alot. You can find far better Italian, but that’s not the point.
Aditi The world is full of knock offs of the originals…of the good stuff. Bastardized version of something great are everywhere…and the real deal is hard to find. Like the Blues. You don’t hear many Johnny Langs but JESUS you can’t turn around and not hear John Mayer. But I digress. I LOVE Indian food. Aditi is the real deal. It’s John Lee Hooker. Simple, fantastic, and classic. I love this place.
Georgia Brown’s Three words. Write them down and remember them when you walk in…
Fried. Green. Tomatoes.
Tonic The food? Better than you would ever believe when you walk in…for real. The owners are cool and the atmosphere is hip whether you just want a beer, a burger, brunch, or just a good meal. You can’t lose, really. Oh, and when exFiance and I got engaged, they gave us Champagne and a toast. Nice people, really.
Wait…maybe my karma there is shot.
And lastly, the Mad Hatter. Shut up and wait a second!
This is for no reasons other than the following;
1) EVERYONE that works there is a baseball fan. Danny digs the Twins. Darren is a Tigers guy. Chris the bouncer and Jess the bartender? Sox fans. Tre and Seth, the resident Texans? Astros and Rangers, respectively. They ALL know their baseball, and they subscribe to the Baseball package. Whatever game you wanna watch, it’s on and this is the place to watch it. Everyone there can call for the suicide squeeze at the right time, knows the difference between a 2 and 4 seam fastball, and can (and WILL) talk shit about your team. There is nothing like a playoff game in the Hatter. Nothing.
2) Good stiff drinks. Especially if you’re watching and talking baseball. They tend to have vapors coming off of them if you’re rooting for one of their teams, too.
By the way, this is where ARod Bingo was conceived.
I don’t go after 9 on Friday and Saturdays because that ain’t my scene. But this is the place to catch a big day game or a weeknight must see match up. Oh, and the burgers? Perfect for watching a baseball game.
And now I have to tag 5? I just can’t do it…if anyone WANTS to tell me their favs, please do. But I can’t do the chain letter thing. But I would like to hear your favorite (NOT “best”…YOUR favorite) places to blow your money on food and/or drink.
Fire away, and thanks Heather. Let me know the best places to eat in London. (So friggin’ jealous.) And she tags me and she’s not even coming to the HH. Can ya stand it? I get homework, she’s not coming despite the bribe.
First, the PSA
OK bloggers, serial commenters, stalkers, wanna-bloggers, and everyone else; it’s just 2 more days until the Nice Guys Happy Hour. Were you a Nice Guy or Gal? Did you invite a new blogger to expand the crowd and (let’s be honest, the bigger reason) get yourself a free cocktail? No?
Well what the hell? C’mon…reach out to that sex instructor who writes the blog with the great pictures you’ve been “reading” for years now…you saw her post last week…her Scandinavian Tantric Sex God just left her and she’s lonely. What are you waiting for? Invite her! That guy you’ve been reading who just can’t seem to catch a break since he and his GF split up and she got the dog and now he wants a new one…he needs an invite! Even that weird girl that writes about quilting…she’s probably not nearly as odd as you’d think. (Plus, it’s a safe bet she doesn’t have plans)
The point is that there are bloggers out there that just do NOT know how much fun it is to hang with this crowd…they are waiting for your for you to say “hey Blogger…whatcha doin’ Friday!”
Jesus I feel like a televangelist.
Didn’t one just bite it?
I cashed in my 401K and I am ready to buy new people shots.
Now, if you aren’t a Nice Guy (and let’s be frank here some of you are just mean, baby…but I dig that about you) the truth be told I don’t give a damn. Just get yourself there.
Moving right along.
Now, the Post
One thing I desperately miss about New England? 4 Seasons. Today, it’s starting to feel fucking muggy outside…and for those of you who have never lived somewhere with 4 distinct seasons let me clue you in; Spring ain’t muggy.
Spring is the time of year when your hormone levels quadruple b/c it’s just so perfectly gorgeous outside. The chill is out of the air and it’s warm enough to show some skin during the day. But it cools off at night and makes you give her your sweater and snuggle up juuust a little closer. Spring is all about play…foreplay. It gets you turned on because its just-warm-enough breezes stir the soul, relax the mind, (and the inhibitions) and moves the heart to say “let’s party”…
Spring is when you don’t go in the water, but you find yourself drinking a beer by the water. It’s about new possibilities. Second chances. Rebirth. Renewal.
Spring is like that post confessional high that we Catholics get when we’ve spilled our guts to the guy on the other side of the phone booth. It’s a fresh breath of air with a clean conscience and mind.
And it’s supposed to last more than a week…
And lest you think that this is all about me saying “hey the sun’s out I want to get laid”…it ain’t. What I am saying is that this time of year always feels more like New Year’s Eve to me than January. I feel absolved. Ready. Hellfuckingyes the last year sucked and there are a thousand things in any given 7 day period that feel like a kick in the teeth…but somehow, when it’s sunny and breezy and cool it all feels like, you know, it’s going to be all right.
On the other hand, Summer ain’t so bad either. Barbecue’s and baseball, houseparties on roofdecks, the beach…yeah….hell’s yeah. Bring it on. And on that note, and since Spring lasted all of 20 minutes, here’s something to make you smile…
(and if that didn’t at least make you smile and hopefully make you dance a little in your seat, I don’t know what is wrong with you)
My Kid Brother turned 30 on May 9th. It kinda freaked me out a little, to be completely honest, as it’s just not a fitting moniker for a 30 yo…KID brother. But that made me realize that he’s you know..NOT a kid anymore. As if the wife, house, 2 cars, 2 kids (third on the way) and business didn’t make a strong enough impression on me. (Never claimed I was quick, kids.)
We had a great conversation…I told him that I still remembered having to beat up that older kid who had kicked his ass when he was 8 and I was 13. I couldn’t remember his name but we could both remember what he looked like. Kid brother said “I remember the whole time he was pummeling me I was thinking about how awesome it was going to be to watch you fuck him up”.
We got to talking about how happy he is with his lot in life, which still makes me smile from ear to ear since I NEVER thought I would hear that come out of his mouth. See, Kid Brother? He was always in trouble…BIG trouble. Cop trouble. He was asked to leave the state of Massachusetts as a minor or go to Juvenile Hall. That’s how he wound up in Maine at the ripe old age of 15. Every time you turned around, Kid Brother was there saying “I didn’t do it”…which, of course meant that he had, indeed, done it. Done whatever “it” was and more, usually.
Me? I was there to bail him out. We couldn’t have been anymore different, but he was MY brother. Not your problem. MY BROTHER.
He was a punk. I was a class president. The list started right there.
The only things we had in common were that (1) we were both bad ass basketball players (2)we were both tough as nails for similar (and bad) reasons and (3) we both played guitar. Oh and (4) our parents.
Everything else was completely different.
I was determined to do everything that I could to get out of our house and get on with my life. Kid Brother was determined to lash out at anything and everything that came near him.
When we were younger you could tell we came from the same parents ONLY if you knew our parents. Because it seemed like KB got the worst of both of my parents (and their respective substances at that time) and I got the best (re: sober version) of them. He was quick to anger and into his substances and him self (like my Dad) and manipulative and with a tendency towards self martyrdom (like my mom)…and of course, completely self centered, which he got from both of them.
I was more like my sober dad, in that I kept my mouth shut and did what had to get done while smiling and laughing (and wanting to blow the place up, but I digress) and like my Mom without pills (Mother’s Little Helper cracked me up the first time I really got what it was about) in that I wanted to fix everything for everyone. I wanted to take care of everyone and make sure that the lid didn’t blow off the place. My motor never stopped running and I was CONSTANTLY doing something. For example;
I had a job that I did for an average of 20-30 hours/week.
I did 3 plays a year.
4 concerts (1/qtr) with the choir.
Peer education for kids.
Get the picture? I would run from the shower in the locker room to the auditorium for rehearsals. Before practice? I had student government meetings. And every other night I was in the drug store stacking boxes and working the cash register.
I was never home, and usually what I was home for was to make dinner for my family (Dodging fights by refusing to make eye contact) and then leave for whatever I had to do next. Then home later to make sure that they weren’t killing each other. And I mean, literally. I used to find my sister hiding in her closet or under her bed all the time. I’d coax her out with some promise of a story or a walk around the block.
I used to find my brother sneaking out at 11:00 pm or sneaking in at 3:00 am.
To bring this back to the point; Kid Brother and I were talking about how happy he was, and I said “I’m amazed you made it to 30 sometimes” That being mostly a joke. He knew that (mostly) and laughed, “me too…”
But then he said to me “it’s so much better now. I found what I’m good at and meant for”.
I told him that it made me proud. Seeing him as a husband and a dad makes me very, very proud.
“Now I have to figure out how to find that feeling.” I said, “Do they like make a pill or something? You know, like “Securitol…for that feeling of living the life you want to be living?”
He laughed knowing it was, again, mostly…and said to me in a tone of voice I don’t know that I’ve ever heard from him;
“You’ve been 30 since you were in your teens, you just gotta figure out how to be where you are without worrying about where you’re supposed to be” he said.
Which really made some things fall in to place for me. I mean, I’ll be damned. I never really thought of it that way. But it’s part of the deal, right? I mean, the kid grew up and became the best of my parents and I…well…
Let’s just say that Kid Brother went from a Jackson Pollack to a Rockwell, and I’m shaking my Etch-a-Sketch and starting over.
And that tone of voice? He sounded like an older brother.
Me, Kid Brother, and baby #1, the perfect Cameron.
So, as you know, it’s T-minus 4 days and counting to the Nice Guys Happy Hour. LMNtal and I are looking forward to seeing all of you there and having yet another fabulous night with the bloggers we read and love. But you know, as he and I sat back in the Nice Guy Fortress of Solitude and waxed nostalgic about Happy Hours past, we realized something…
One of the things we both really dig about these things is meeting new bloggers. No, we’re not tired of the crowd that always comes…HELL NO! We love all y’all blogger freaks and can’t wait to have more stories to tell about another rollicking good time. But, the more the merrier, and we love meeting new bloggers who come in all shy and leave stumbling towards taxis. You look so cute when you show up…all shy and “hi I don’t know anyone…”
So here’s what we’ve decided. We’re going to bribe you.
If you are a blogger that comes to these events and you bring a new blogger with you…one that neither LMNtal or I have met; your first round is on us. A shot, beer, mixed drink, WHATEVAH! It’s on us as a “thanks for expanding the crowd” AND a “thanks for coming, newbie.”
If you are a blogger who has never come and you arrive as a free agent all by yourself, ditto. First drink is on us.
Now, no grabbing the person at the door and saying “OK, just make up a name and tell them you write a blog”….that’s not nice and really, no one likes a faker. But, if you’ve been reading a local blog and always wondered what that person is like, invite them. If you’ve got a friend that rarely leaves home but blogs regularly, bring ‘em. And if you’re reading this and always thought “that looks like fun”, then come on down. We don’t bite (well, not all of us bite and we’ll point out the ones that do) and I can’t imagine how on Earth you could manage to have a bad time at one of these. It’s the nicest group of people you can imagine and chances are anyone that you think might not be cool is probably much cooler than you would believe.
Trust me, I was the new kid not so long ago. This is a great time and you can’t lose. At worst, you get a free drink and you can bolt right after.
We look forward to seeing you there. I mean, hell…we’re bribing you to come!
I realized the other day that my own blog reminded me of a musician that I have always had a bizarre “God I love his music”/”Oh GOD I wish you’d just fucking STOP” realtionship with…I realized this because as I was rereading some old posts I was reminded of something that English Chris once said to me;
“Your life is a Chris Isaak album.”
And I thought, well, that’s not a very nice thing to say. Then of course, I realized he was on to something. And moreso if you ever watched his show….bumbling through complicated relationships that only got complicated when he started thinking about them…trying to be a good guy despite being infinitely flawed…and strumming a guitar on the porch and using metaphors and humor to let it out.
Or especially if you’ve ever (as I have many MANY times) seen him live. You expect a very solemn hereismyheart show and what you get is absolute hilarity punctuated by songs of loss and lament and left turns where you should’ve gone right.
In short, if I was a song, I’d be on a Chris Isaak album…completely evocative and totally misinterpreted. The kind of song that makes you take a deep breath and think of something buried deep inside you that you don’t talk about….and then you learn that it’s about the time that his gf wondered how she could get away with dousing him with gasoline in his sleep, and oh for the love of a match. (For real…he told that story before playing “Wicked Game” at a show in Boston…EVERYONE had tears of laughter rolling down their faces as he launched in to maybe the most haunting song of the 90′s.)
A little off base…maybe you shouldn’t laugh, but you do. In the midst of all the angst and hurt and sorrow and disonant chords and god damn turn your will to jello harmonies in minor…there is humor. There HAS to be. That’s what makes it all so sad and OH so completely I-can-relate-to-that human.
So, that got me thinking about some other blogs that I read and what they remind me of…
Arjewtino? The Bare Naked Ladies. You’re gonna laugh, occasionally you’re gonna think, but it’s all so well done that even when it’s “Chickedy China, the Chinese Chicken” goofy, the album sells. Big.
KassyK? Alanis Morisette. She’s gonna rock out, hit you with emotion, and will rarely pull punches. It’s also got a range…you just never know what you’re going to get. But it’s gonna be straight. It’s gonna be from inside, and even when she posts something off the cuff, it’s still worth checking out.
RooshV? Tom Jones. Wanna know how to get the girl? Don’t call it sexist, pussycat. It is what it is. And you might not like it, but how many pairs of panties have YOU had thrown at you? Not as many as RooshV or Tom, I’ll wager.
Virgle Kent? George Clinton and PFunk. INSANE. All over the place. A spectacle to behold. But it’s gonna hit you with da truth. Or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof….and if you were going to see a grown man in diapers on ANY of these blogs…you just know it would right here. Oh wait…there WAS a man in diapers on his site.
LMNtal; It’s been covered before; Duncan Sheik. Emotes, keeps it tight, and he’s able to capture so much nuance about the heart just by telling one story that I’m impressed just about every time I click on his link.
Speakeasy; Joni Mitchell. Lyrical fucking genius. The way she uses words and spins a story together makes me want to throw my keyboard out of pure blogger envy.
What? The Curtains; Yes. HYPER smart (none of y’all make me run to Wikipedia/Dictionary.com as much as she does) and SO well executed that it makes you want to practice (if you’re a muisician listening to Yes) or read more (if you’re a blogger trying to keep up)
So what about you? Any bloggers remind you of anything on your iPod?