Friday, December 30, 2005

Familiar Terrain

Taking the rest of the year off in order to have some fresh things to blog about. However, if you're interested, I suggest you read Matty's blog. He's been quite prolific lately.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hey Blogclassers (and others)

Bill and I have been talking about getting together soon. We want you all to be there. Suggestions?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My Movie Week

This week I've seen more movies at the cinema than I have in the past few months, and I must say that up until today I was sorely disappointed. Nothing I had seen impressed me on any level. I was ready to write an angry tryst about how terrible Hollywood has become.

Yesterday I went to see Memoirs of a Geisha, and while the movie is gorgeous, it had absolutely no direction. It was a beautiful ship with no ruddder. What I think bothered me was that Memoirs of a Geisha could have been a great film. It just wasn't.

Same with Fun with Dick and Jane, which I saw Christmas Day. It had some really hilarious Jim Carrey moments in it. But the movie is bogged down with poorly thought out satire and the concept fizzles out way too quickly.

Of course, you know my feelings about The Family Stone. Rachel, honey, I'm still waiting on your email. I can separate your work with who you really are.

So when I went to see The Producers today, figuring my bad movie streak would continue. Most things I'd read about suggested it wasn't going to be good. The expectations were low.

But I loved it. I enjoyed every single campy, ridiculous and over the top moment in the movie. It was fun for the sake of fun, and with no pretentions.

Reviewers are looking at it through the wrong lens. The movie shouldn't be compared to the other Producers movie, or its stage counterpart. Let it live on its own. The Producers best reminded me of a zany 1930s or 40s musical. Nothing about the movie is subtle, and I appreciated that. I didn't want subtle when there are songs such as "Keep it Gay."

I think my most pleasant surprise was Will Ferrell. I actually wanted more Ferrell, which is rare. Usually I'm exhausted by his attempts to constantly make the audience laugh. In this case, I thought he was great.

Go see it, and don't think too hard. Yes, it's overacted and totally overblown at times. But that's where all the fun is.

Sidenote: Matty, yesterday you wrote me a comment discussing all this fictional stuff. What's the harm in fantastizing a little about some real celebrities? Of course, most of us know where to draw the line.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Tire Woes

While running errands this morning, I was distraught to find one of my rear tires totally flat. I'd been having trouble with the tire for weeks, and I was planning on bringing it in anyways, so today was as good as any. Fortunately for me, I had a good book on me and was ready to sit down and hang for awhile, smelling the wonderful rubber at Town Fair Tire.

It's fascinating to watch the different type of people who wait for the work to be done on the car. Rationally, it will take at least an hour to do any type of work on your car, so you may as well settle in. Some people, however, don't seem to be as comfortable chilling out and waiting.

Of course, I'm speaking of the person who gets up every five minutes for a status check, as if the folks at TFT don't have anything better to do. This person wanders around, walking beneath the tire stacks, a look of complete helplessness lingering on his or her face. I secretly wish a tire stack would fall, but only to scare them into submission. Wishing people harm is never a good thing.

Then there was the person who needed to sit uncomfortably close to me despite the fact that there was a dearth of chairs. Somehow he or she managed to sit in the chair so as to maximize the invasion of my personal space. This person snapped their gum loudly, sighing every couple of minutes and getting up to walk outside. That was a lot of fun for me.

The loud talker is the person who talks on the phone, complaining to everyone he or she knows how ridiculously long it takes to get a tire fixed. I feel bad for the person on the other end who has to listen to this. We all know how long it takes, you don't need to remind us.

Of course, there's the rest of us who have accepted our fate. I'm reading a book, happy as couldbe, while the person across from me seems quite content to watch the gameshow. We are those stolid soldiers who know how to deal with this averse situation. Just grin and pretend like it's all good. You'll be back to your normal life very soon.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Hey There Lonely Guy

Now why didn't I think of this. Oh wait, because I'm not that pathetic.


I'm In Love (Again)

Dear Rachel McAdams,

I love you. Now I know, many times on this blog I have proclaimed my love for others, but this time I feel like you are the one. Seriously. Since I first saw you in Mean Girls, I knew you were the one for me. You and I can go places. But baby, to be completely honest with you, your new movie is a dud. If it weren't for you being in the movie, I would have fallen asleep.

I can see why my friend Elin liked The Family Stone (sort of). It definitely has its moments. The movie is tone deaf though, completely unaware of what sort of mood it wants the audience in. From one moment the audience witnesses crazy family comedy, with people food fighting, running around and slipping on things. The next moment, it becomes sappy family drama without any noticeable transition. Everyone is happy, no wait we are sad, we hate Meredith, we love Meredith. Can we just settle on something please?

I was actually angry at the movie for so falsely attempting to drag emotions out of me. It is widely known that I am an emotional person, and do indeed cry in movies. That does not mean a movie should do its best to make me cry. It all felt like someone was storyboarding the movie, saying "okay, here's where I want to audience to feel sad and cry." Nothing felt genuine.

Plus, as I noted to my friend Kim the librarian, the movie would have been a great miniseries. However, since the filmmakers decided to cram so much into the 2 hour movie, they actually ended up succeeding at nothing. No characters (aside from perhaps Owen Wilson's) become real, or even pseudo-real. Very little time is taken for character development and that made me absolutely not care. Of course, there's always Rachel to think about.

So honey, I'm really sorry I had to say all this about your new movie. You are radiant, and fantastic in it. A true beauty. One day, I know things will work out between us. Drop me an email, so we can figure out where we are going.

All my love,

Brett Evans

Sunday, December 25, 2005


I am unqualified to comment about Christmas and joy and all that good stuff. However, there are some excellent essayists and bloggers who are. Enjoy:

Salon has a hilarious essay about mixed faiths on Christmas.

Colin has an interesting Christmas essay on the Courant website.

Follow Matty D's fun adventures through the holidays.

Wil Wheaton (yes that one) has an interesting take on the real War on Christmas.

Okay, this is just bizarre.

For now, I'm off for a traditional Jewish Christmas. I've got the Chinese food place on speed dial and am dressing to go to the movies. Or maybe I'll just show up in my pajamas. Either way, those of you celebrating have a Merry Christmas.

Yes, I realize that it is also technically Chanukah, but as I pointed out before, it's a holiday for children. There really isn't much significance to it.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

People I Am Thankful For

My Mother and Stepfather, who keep a guiding hand in my life, but thankfully leave me alone when they realize I need to figure things out for myself. They have become more like my friends than my parents at this point.

My uncle Peter, who has taken his brother's place and become something of my father. He always teaches me valuable lessons about being an adult while taking me out for a good time. Peter will never be dad, but he's as close as I need.

My older brother Mark, who will always be my best friend, even when he is 3000 miles away. Mark and I can stay on the phone for hours talking about nothing and loving it. I miss you man.

Ryan, who has done an amazing job of bringing me out of my shell. I've been out more in the past two months than I have been in the three years since started teaching. His humor and willingness to do crazy things is amazing.

Steve, who is my thoughtful mentor and good friend. He always is there to listen to my insane rantings and laugh hysterically. I look forward to every day because I know I'll get to see Steve.

Kerri, who always listens and provides kind words. We share something that I can't quite identify, but I know is special. She is also a great friend.

Amanda, whose personality and friendship has helped me get through some rough times. She always puts others before herself, which is a noble and rare quality in our society.

Dave, who is like a brother to me. Our humor and personalities mesh so well that I can't believe we weren't from the same womb. I miss spending every day with you.

All my other friends from work, who I can't say enough about. You are all special to me in your own way and I value your friendships. I don't want to accidentally leave someone off the list, so I'm hoping this statement will cover all of you. You know who you are.

My blogclass people, who are always willing to give me advice and warm feelings. I expected to learn about blogging and memes, but I ended up learning so much more from all of you. Hopefully soon we will be able to get together again.

My friend who is not quite a friend right now, but hopefully will be in the future. There is no point to malice, no point to judge others or feel hate. Those qualities create bad feelings in ourselves. I do not wish to have them. We should talk...

Anyone who knows me personally, but who I accidentally left off this list. If you know me, you probably get a daily dose of me being sentimental anyways. So you know how I feel and shouldn't feel snubbed. If you do, come and find me.

To all of you I know, and those of you I don't, I hope you find every bit of happiness that you deserve, not just in this holiday season but in life. Every one of you is a good person who emanates joy and love. I am lucky to be around such wonderful people.

Friday, December 23, 2005


I would place last night in the win category for several reasons, most of which had nothing to do with the date. As I discussed yesterday, last night I went out with an extremely pretty girl that I met from speed dating. She wanted to go to Crush, which is the bar where the famous weatherman incident happened. I agreed given that it would be an easy segue into that story.

So I went to the date remembering two small things about this woman:

She was a really pretty blonde.

On our five minute date, we discussed literature.

Crush has enormous round couches, which are hip and fun, except when you're trying to have a casual conversation with someone. Then it feels like you're on some sort of really bad morning talk show. There are very few places to rest your hands, and you cock your head towards the person in a desperate attempt to maintain eye contact. I will not be dating there again.

So I sit down and tell her the weatherman story, and she laughs because it is a genuinely funny story. I embellish it, using my hands to convey just how angry I acted. At some point I told her I must have looked like King Kong with the way I was flailing my arms. Timely comedy is a talent.
I'm surprised to learn that she remembers way more about me than I remember about her. She remembers that my parents live in Florida and my brother lives in Texas. She knows where I work and live and the last really good book I read. I think she remembers what my tax return was last year.

I talk a lot.

So I'm sitting there talking to this really pretty woman at a bar that neither of us are particularly comfortable in. She admits she's more of an Arch Street Tavern person. I agree wholeheartedly. Arch Street is the best.

The date was great, there was a lot to talk about and a lot of laughter. I felt a great connection with her, which is the same way I felt on our quick 5 minute date. This woman was fantastic.

All of this is unfortunate because as Matty D commented yesterday "I thought everyone at speed dating was at least 10 years your senior." I had selective amnesia and completely forgot how old this woman was. My guess, which is supported by R-Dogg, is that she's probably 35 or 36. That's a great age, but probably not the best for casual dating. I've always liked older women far more than younger women. No games, no weird messages or signals. Just honest and open relationships.

The good thing is that I'll email her today and if she doesn't get back to me I know it's probably not me. I mean it is me, but only that she's put off by how much younger I am. Which is why I'm counting this date as a victory. It makes me realize that I am indeed good at dating.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Okay, I have an awful confession to make. Last week I went on a whole rant about speed dating and how I'd basically found the entire event useless except to talk to people. Well guess what? I'm going on a date with a girl I met that night. How do you spell hypocrite?

And I bought a new sweater for it, which means I'm nervous

And I'm nervous, which means I care.

And I care, which means I'm going to screw it up.

Which means that you'll be reading about it in tomorrow's blog.

That is all....

Did I Mess Up?

Well sort of. Yesterday I was called out by Bora for not writing a paper for blogclass. There was a twinge of guilt there, considering he's been so kind to me. I was already feeling guilty over it beforehand. Then an email from the big guy shows up, asking me in a very nice way why I didn't write a paper. He seemed disappointed. The guilt exploded into a hundred shards of glass, each piercing my sensitive heart.

Okay, that's a lie, but maybe also not so much.

There are many reasons why I failed to write a paper and none of them had to do with the fact that I'm lazy. Indeed, those who know how often I write should realize that nothing could be further from the truth. I love writing, and term papers are no exception. But in this case, I just couldn't do it.

The first reason was that I was burned out about analyzing blogging. There's an old story about how Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle were sitting in the bullpen at the all-star game. Ted plied Mickey with all this information about hitting; proper stance, shoulder rotation and so on. After the game, Mickey claims he couldn't swing properly for like a month. That's how I was feeling, like I'd lost my swing. After the fateful night where my blog was deconstructed and put back together, I'd just had enough. I didn't want anything to do with analyzing the medium anymore. Sorry.

The second reason was that I made a choice between blogging and writing my term paper and I chose blogging. My energies are best spent writing about pretty girls eating sushi with me at 3am and speed dating. I made a decision, and I must live with.

Then there's the life I must live in order to maintain my blog. More on that later...

So, I'm sorry if people were upset that I didn't write a paper. I didn't, but I'll continue to blog and entertain, while continually discovering interesting things about myself. Hope to see you out there.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

On the Frontlines

It's been 354 days since the start of the "War on Christmas" and there is still no end in sight. Shock troops from ultra-liberal communist hippies have been carpet bombing the North Pole with manifestos on diversity. Santa's elves have been firing back with enormous candy cane cannons that are capable of shooting out 1000 candy canes per second. The awful pluralistic menace has retaliated by playing the phrase "happy holidays" out of enormous speakers mounted on the bodies of mutinous reindeer.

The casualties are mounting on both sides, but nobody is relenting. On the ground, there's an elf with a candy cane embedded in his skull. The sugary goodness is seeping out of his eyes. It's awful. The word is that Santa is at this moment working on a bomb that will turn an entire city into fruitcake. He says that is only his "nuclear option" though.

Meanwhile terrorist gingerbread men have been invading Wal-Mart, demanding the employees' wish the customers a "Merry Christmas." They are pressing their elf-made Christmas Tree double barred sawed off popcorn ball guns into the cashiers' sides.

Word has it that last night Frosty the Snowman triumphed over Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in an epic battle to the death. Initially, Rudolph began to evaporate Frosty with his powerful nose. Melting quickly, Frosty was almost out of options. But in a last ditch effort, Frosty reached into his snowy abdomen, pulling out an enormous icicle. He had prepared for just such an occasion. With a look of ferocity and desperation in his dark coal eyes, Frosty threw the icy weapon of death. It pierced Rudolph's nose, causing it to explode in a hail of glitter. The reindeer fell to the ground twitching violently. Frosty slid to the broken Rudolph, took off his carrot nose, and stabbed the dying reindeer repeatedly in the heart.

Frosty was last seen heading towards the headquarters of wearing Rudolph's head as a hat. His own magic hat was perched atop Rudolph's antlers. He was muttering something about Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey and how "celebrity couples never stay together."

We are getting further reports that Frosty is unhappy with Christmas over the lack of interest over his old Christmas cartoon specials. Recently a letter was received from an anonymous source telling the creators of A Christmas Story to look out. The letter ended by suggesting that Will Ferrell should also watch his back, but said because "he's just not that damn funny anymore..."

Special Thanks to Billy Mahoney who helped me write this.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Regarding my Caulfieldesque Adventures

Over the past few days I've heard several of my friend say the same thing in response to stories I tell them. The phrase is "dude, you are so Holden Caulfield." But they are all phonies, so it doesn't bother me either way. Anyone know where the ducks have gone and where I can get a nice red hunting cap?

A Reason to Stop Blogging?

Increasingly I've had this conversation with old friends that I've been trying to catch up with:

"So the other day I was (insert beginning of interesting story)..."

"Yeah Brett, I know."

"I told you this story already?"

"Nope, I read it on your blog."

Is my blog making me less interesting in person?

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Award for the Most Read Into Slogan

Goes to this woman, who clearly is analyzing something way deeper then it should have been.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Like all interesting stories, this one starts at the end. I'm sitting on the Q train at 4:30 in the morning telling a crack addict about the night I'd had. She felt sorry for me.

Yesterday I drove to Brooklyn to see my family and participate in a birthday celebration for my uncle. The evening was well planned out, and I was expecting very little to happen in the way of unusual. My family can be very straight and narrow.

The dinner at my cousin's house went as planned. Holiday gifts were passed out and pleasantries exchanged. All of the men filled our required roles of staring at the Giants game and grunting. A good time was had by all.

Around 9:30, my Uncle told me we'd be going to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in Manhattan. Dizzy's is a hip jazz place where the best New York musicians come to play. My Uncle knew the director, so we would get in without a problem. We drove to Manhattan, eager to hear some good jazz.

Before going into the club, we decided to drink Red Eyes, a mix of espresso and coffee. I'm usually only on my game if I've had some serious caffeine in me. My uncle downed his quickly while I nursed mine, hoping it would carry me through the night. Little did I know it would need to carry me through the next morning as well.

At 10:30, we went to Dizzy's, where a hot jazz trio was jamming. My uncle's friends were there, and I was sorely disappointed that most of them were retirement age. I don't know what I was expecting, but I was hoping for a few girls near my age. Nevertheless, the music was really good and so I ordered an Apple Martini and tapped my feet. Everything was going as planned.

After the first set, the bar was cleared out. We were allowed to stay because we were guests of the manager. I continued to drink my martini and talk to the older ladies. The second set began and the crowd was visibly younger. I was pleased to see many attractive ladies in the crowd.

I kept catching the eye of a gorgeous woman who I later found out was a friend of one of the women my uncle brought. She came over to me and we were introduced. Flirtations proceeded well. Drinks were ordered and life was great. She had this delightful southern accent that tickled my ears. The way she said that "the apple martini tasted like candy" was particularly great. I was wondering what I had done to attract such a pretty girl.

The jazz band was hot. After 1am, some famous New York jazz players began drifting in. At one point Wynton Marsalis came in and jammed for a bit. I offered to buy him a drink at the bar, but he just smiled and looked at the beautiful girl hanging off my arm. Manhattan can be so cool.

Cut to 3am, we are sitting in a sushi restaurant on 88th street. My uncle has long since packed it in and gone back to Brooklyn. He whispered in my ear that he'd leave the door open should I need to come back. The girl and I were feeding each other sushi. This was a bad idea. Sushi makes me sick. So does too much alcohol and long subway rides. The math isn't too complicated.

At 4am, I brought her back home where she kissed and hugged me, telling me to feel better. I was left on 45th street, every bodily function needing to be taken care of. The Port Authority has bathrooms, but only the ladies bathroom was open. Societal decrees get thrown out the window when you're desperate in the early hours of dawn.

The Q train was as empty as I expected at 3:15. I plunked myself down on a seat feeling disparaged. The rather nice crack addict sat next to me, asking if I would please by her a soda. Instead I inundated her with everything that had happened to me that night and some things that hadn't. The ride was long but I was thankful for the company. Her advice was that when I woke up in the morning, I should find Jesus. I politely told her I would and hoped she would get clean real soon. She smiled, took off her shoes and began rubbing her feet.

At 5am, I stepped off the train and dragged myself 10 blocks to my uncle's apartment. The doorman stared at me curiously before saying "Oh, you must be Brett. I've been expecting you."

Thanks Uncle Peter and happy 60th birthday.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Away For a Bit

I'm taking the weekend off to visit my uncle in Brooklyn. It's his big 40th (60th) birthday, and I don't want to miss it. I'm sure he'll be bringing us to some exotic jazz club where he'll break young ladies' hearts. He's good like that.

Of course, I'm now terrified because the senate has stalled the USA Patriot ACT. Clearly the restoration of our civil liberties is a sign to the terrorists that we are weak. But then, you can always count on our good old president to completely ignore the law and do whatever he wants anyways. I'm out.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Please, please read Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. It is a wonderful tale of how we all connect to one another and the desire to feel intimate with another person. It is one of those novels that will change your viewpoint on society and how we relate to one another. If you were ever thinking you needed a new book to read, this is it.

But do not play the audiobook in your car. Driving down Main Street in Manchester, I was literally bawling in my car listening to one of the final, heavy scenes. People were staring at me, wondering if I was okay. I wasn't. I walked into work, my eyes puffy, cheeks glistening, realizing just how important we are to each other.

It was a pretty weird day.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Go Single Guy, Date! Date!

There are times in my life when I discover something interesting about myself because of a situation I'm put in. Such is speed dating, and the strange influence it had on me. I learned a lot about myself last night, and maybe something I didn't want to know.

The other day, a colleague of mine asked me if I would want to speed date with her. She said the woman running it desperately needed guys. I turned her down, thinking that at my age I didn't need speed dating. However, I realized that if I went to speed dating, it could be an interesting blogging experience. So I asked you and overwhelmingly people said they wanted me to do it.

Yesterday, I was still reluctant to go. After reading that the event cost 40 dollars, I was against the idea altogether. I was going to back out. But my colleague cornered me, telling me they absolutely needed single men. She put me on the phone with the person who ran it. I saw a unique opportunity.

"Hi Brett. I'm told you're a single guy."

"Last time I checked."

(awkward pause)

"Um, so anyways, would you like to come?"

"Yeah, you see, it's the holidays, and forty dollars is a lot of money. If you waived the fee, I would go."

"I can't waive the fee, but how about thirty dollars."






"Okay, fine, I'll do it for fifteen, but only because it barely covers the costs of appetizers and alcohol."

"Can I bring my friend R-dogg for the same price?"

"Deal. But you can't tell anyone."

"Who would I tell?"

So apparently I was speed dating, but I was doing it wholesale, which appealed to the New York City Jew in me. I do love a bargain.

There's a lot of caution in the air as R-dogg and I walk into the bar around 6pm. I've showered and changed into something a little less formal while he has come directly from work sporting a nice looking suit. His manner suggests that he is only here for moral support, but I can tell he's as curious as I am.

Nametags are furnished, instructions given, hard alcohol ordered. I sat down at a table, which had a sign on it that read "Have you exhausted all the internet dating sites?" I panicked. The other day I wrote a diatribe against internet dating. Was speed dating for people who have already tried internet dating and failed?

R-dogg was looking around the room, hoping to see someone he was interested in. Our eyes met and in a moment of immense truth (horror), we both realized that we were by far the youngest people there by at least ten years. Sometimes you can feel that exact moment when hope tears itself out of your mind and dies a quick death on the floor. I hadn't even realized that there was any hope until the moment it left me.

But I'm a fighter, and also a talker. So I decided to be pleasant and jovial regardless of who the person was. My friend Kim the librarian had warned me that being mean was a sure sign of karma beating the hell out of me later on in life. I reached down inside myself and grabbed the social Brett. He was dragged out kicking and screaming.

In retrospect, I feel kind of bad. My coping mechanism for dealing with uncomfortable situations is to let whatever the hell is on my mind to crash out of my mouth. The format for speed dating is that a guy sits at a table and every five minutes the women rotate. So after introductions and handshaking, I began just talking. Those who know me realize that when I begin ranting you either better settle in or feign illness, because I don't stop. So the common speed date went something like this.

"Hi, I'm Julia."

"Hi, I'm Brett."

"Oh, so what do you do Brett?"

"Well...(insert heavily caffeinated Brett rant here.) Anyways, what about yourself?"

"Oh, uh, well..."
Ding, time to move ladies.

There were a lot of blank stares and polite "good lucks."

I learned very little about the women, but I'm sure they learned a lot about me. Almost certainly too much. I bet they've probably set up a support group for those women to recover after having to deal with me for five minutes. That's how intense I can be sometimes.

One of the more interesting things was the Journal Inquirer reporter who showed up to interview people. My hypermind began saying the strangest things about dating and interconnectedness with people. I think I quoted Marcel Proust and Plato. The actual article that comes out of it will be interesting to see. If she uses any of my quotes, she'll have to seriously format.

The evening ended with R-dogg and I meeting Kim and Langarang at another bar. Fortunately by then my energy level was sapped, so my friends didn't bear the brunt of my insane diatribes. Luckily, we spent the rest of the evening watching white collar business people badly dancing. Elaine Benes would have been so proud.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


My friend The Jones, wrote this really fantastic post about how everyone is insecure. He sites a mutual friend, who at first glance seems completely comfortable with himself. But if you go deeper he has the same fears and anxieties that we all of. He's worried people will not like him despite how handsome and good looking he is.

My thought is to just stop caring about crap like that, but it's easier said than done. We all have to get up in the morning and look at ourselves in the mirror. Some days we like what we see, others we don't. That's the way life is, and rather than pretend like it's not there, we must embrace insecurity. We must grab our anxieties, understand they are there and wrestle them to the ground. Some days we will be pinned, others we will beat the shit out of them and walk away, leaving behind a bloody mass of worry.

I'm done ignoring all my doubts and fears. Sometimes I think jamming them into my subconscious makes them worse. They pop up and out of nowhere I become depressed. If I face them and deal with them, I feel as if I can control them.

We'll see how that works out tonight at speed dating. Remember people, I'm doing it for you.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I'm Done

This quote from USA Today about internet dating says it all:

"The Internet is for broken people," [Steve] Levine philosophizes. "You meet another broken person, and if you're lucky, you're not broken in the same places and can prop each other up."

Which has been completely my past experience with internet dating. I've always found the other person messed up in some vague, uncomfortable way. The amount of times I've been proposed to within a month by a girl whom I met over the internet is staggering.

I think there's a serious disconnect on the internet between a preconceived view of the person, and the actual person. In some cases the person exceeds your expectations, but in most cases they don't and you get let down. That first date is often very uncomfortable, leading to absolutely nothing. and a general waste of time.

Plus, I think the reason why I have found internet dating so appealing in the past is that it's easy. I'm sometimes fairly lazy, so I'm attracted to something that requires very little work. But I think my new personality just doesn't gel with it. I would now much rather go out, bump into somebody and find them compelling for whatever reason.

So I'm out, done, finished with internet dating. If you're interested in meeting me, you have to find me in person. Sorry to disappoint all you ladies out there who have dreams of emailing me in order to start some torrid love affair, but it's just not going to happen. You must come to those famous places I hang and introduce yourself in person.

My head is totally not squeezing through the door in the morning.

Myers-Briggs Again

We were sitting at the Arch Street Tavern last week, talking about our Myers-Briggs profiles when Colin looked at me and started to say, "you're an E..." I very rudely interrupted him, proclaiming that I have never been an Extrovert. I am an INFP, and I will always be one. Except, the introspective part of me became curious and I decided to take a Myers-Briggs analysis. The results were shocking.

My Myers-Briggs has changed dramatically. I'm apparently an ENFJ, which makes sense considering my choice of professions. So now I'm at another McLuhanesque set or circumstances. That guy always seems to be popping up.

Way back in high school when I chose to become a teacher, I was an introverted, shy guy. In college I shaped the tools that allowed me to become an educator, and somehow or other those tools have shaped me into a completely different personality. So Colin, nice work with your flawless assessment.

And I couldn't be happier.

Monday, December 12, 2005


A colleague of mine offered me this enticing offer:

"Hi Brett - my neighbor started a new business of that 5 minute dating thing... Her first one is for young uns (well, she writes under 45, but I think most of them are in their 30's) - and you're the only young single guy I know. Do you have any friends that would be interested in this? It's at Black eyed Sallys this Wednesday night."

To which I replied "How old do you think I am?" (I'm 25)

My initial reaction was that even if I was old enough, I wouldn't want to go. I still have fantasies of magically meeting someone without even trying. Not saying this is a bad thing, but I just can't do it. Except I've been thinking about doing it merely to blog about it. Which opens up a whole new issue about blogging. If I go to it simply to blog it, will it then not be genuine? So I'm asking you, my fantastic audience, what you think. Leave no stone unturned.

To My Beloved Yahoo Launchcast

Dear Yahoo Launchcast,

Let me begin by saying that you are wonderful. You help get me through those rocky days when all I have is music to guide me. Since you entered my life, there has been a great deal of joy. Life with you has been terrific.

Which is why writing this letter is so hard. In the beginning of our relationship, I felt you knew me so well. You would play the exact songs I wanted without any hesitation. There were those glorious days where you would follow a great Journey song with a brilliant Coldplay song, nailing my mood perfectly. I felt as if you knew me better than I knew myself.

But lately, things have been a little off between the two of us. I know you felt it because you started playing some Al Green this morning in an effort to apologize. Relationships sometimes go through phases where someone has trouble relating to another person, and maybe that is what is happening to us. I'm just not sure anymore.

For example, there was last week when you started playing pop tart music. I thought you knew I hated that crap. Keep music by Hillary Duff and Lindsay Lohan away from me. I thought you knew I wanted more soulful, emotional music. So I told you such. Our fight began there.

Now the incident where you called me gay was absolutely unnecessary. I have nothing against homosexuals, indeed I've said many times that I found my gay friend's romantic lives easier than my own. But when you started playing disco and showtunes over and over, I got really angry. Please don't assume anything about me.

Please, for the sake of our children, and by children I mean my computer speakers, stop all this fussing and let us continue on with our lives. We had such happy times together and we can continue our wonderful romance. If you don't stop, I'll be forced to move on to another streaming radio station. But it will never be the same.

All My Eardrums,
Brett Evans

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Just a Thought...

Those of you blogclassers still in the Hartford region, I wouldn't be adverse to meeting at the Bistro on Thursday just to hang. My whole Thursday routine has been messed up. Bill?


Kim and I decided to drive up to the Holyoke mall in the heaviest part of the snowstorm on Friday, which was fun because it was an adventure. When we got there, I walked up to the dead sea salts kiosk because I wanted to see the fierce reaction the female attendant had to my hands. I'd also heard dead sea salts are really good for psoriasis. After her funny near faint and polite apologies for my condition, we decided to test the salts. Full of bravado, I allowed her to literally pour salt into all the cracks and cuts I had on my hands. I stood shaking there for a minute and let her talk about how great the product was before finally crying out "okay, but take it the hell off!" She immediately poured water over it. My face red, my hands on fire, I stumbled away from the booth, pretending to shrug off the pain. Kim put her arm around me to make sure I was okay before chastising me for having the stupid idea. I'm willing to try nearly anything (regardless of how dumb) at this point to make my hands feel better. Maybe next time I'll put my hands in a vat of baby alligators because I hear that alligators still don't get psoriasis.

Woke Up this Morning...

...and realized that blog class was over. All of a sudden life didn't seem as colorful.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Hartford Shenanigans

Last night was one of those evenings that can never be recreated. The series of bizarre circumstances are just too hard to capture. However, I'll do my best to convey what happened.

R-dogg and I started the night at the Arch Street Tavern. I was really impressed with the place when I went there with the blog class. It's a chill place that doesn't succumb to all those terrible Hartford bar issues, such as lack of parking or overcrowding. So we decided to have a drink there.

The evening was kind of sad as we just sat staring into our beers. Hartford was dead. We were about to call it a night when our friend A-list showed up. She infused a new sense of need to go out in us.

After discussing our options for the night, R-dogg decided we could walk over to the new Hartford Marriot and have a drink at the bar there. My curiosity got the best of me, and so the three of us walked in the freezing cold to the Marriot.

Inside the hotel is a bar called Crush, which is kind of a hip martini bar. A-list described the vibe as a "swinger's club" and I promptly looked for the bucket to leave my keys. No such luck though.

We were sitting on one of their oversized couches, when R-dogg noticed one of the patrons was a local Hartford weatherman. I wasn't really too interested in that until I observed the skeevy way this dude was hitting on girls at least half his age. Unfortunately he neither had the looks or personality of Bill, so I was watching a local Hartford celebrity consistently getting shot down. It was a cold night.

For some reason, A-list thought it would be cool to have the weatherman come over and hit on her. She banished R-dogg and I to do our own flirting, which we did and sat alone pretending to be lonely. It's amazing what a woman can convey with mere body language.

As I was talking to a pretty blonde woman at the bar, I noticed the weatherman had slid his way over to A-list and was chatting her up. Being the consummate performer that she was, A-list was keeping the novelty going. The girl I was talking to noticed what I was looking at and wanted to know if A-list was my friend. I said she was, to which pretty blonde girl replied "you've got to go save her."

I'm no hero, and even if I were, A-list is one of the most self-reliant people I know. She can certainly take care of herself. So I had no intention of going over there and busting her spot. But the pretty blonde girl was insistent, even to the point of grabbing my arm and pulling me in to whisper "he's a total creep who hits on all of us." After that, I was sold on helping A-list, but I wanted to take it to the next level. R-dogg and I decided we needed to fuck with him.

I'm usually a very passive person. Normally I would let something like this go, but I was kind of buzzing and feeling empowered. So R-dogg and I decided I would need to play a role. In this case, I was the extremely jealous boyfriend who was an asshole. R-dogg's job was to catch it on video.

I strode over to where A-list and the weathercreep were seated and promptly slammed my fist on the table. I looked at her and said "I want to leave right now. I'm sick of this crap!" The corners of A-list's mouth perked, so I knew she was on board with my plan. She began looking meek and said "I guess" and began apologizing to weathercreepy. I took a beer bottle and slammed it down on the table, careful not to break it. There was no reason to get kicked out of there. To his credit, he got up, said goodbye and left. I later discovered that he had actually left the bar entirely, probably because of how scary I'd been acting.

A-list walked with me to the bar, where she thanked the girl who had suggested I bust the weatherman's spot. We sat down for another drink, but really the high point of the evening had been reached. After being invited to a party later today, we rolled out of the bar. As we were leaving, I burst out laughing, hugging my body as if it would fall apart. A-list and R-dogg burst as well, and all we could do was laugh.

A little bit later, A-list showed me a business card that the weatherman had given her. It was a fancy card that had his picture on it, his home number and a slogan that read "The Art of Weather." Nice.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Blogging Off

We had our last class last night, and I'm still trying to focus my thoughts about it. I've had some great memories about it, but I think my favorite was last night when Bill decided to try and pick up the waitress for me. That's a good friend.

It didn't work out all that well when I got into the picture. She came over to me, hugged me and whispered in my ear how she loved english majors, to which I explained Garrison Keillor's opinion of english majors (we are only good for picking up women). She laughed, kind of a stilted confused laugh. I was going to get her number when Bill jumped in and gave her my blog address instead. No offense to him, but last night I calculated a .018% chance that she would actually read it. If you're reading this, click on the email me button on the right to prove me (and science) wrong.

Bill, Joal and I decided to stick around in case I hadn't blown my chance, but also because we wanted to continue drinking. So after our sad goodbyes with everyone (which I'm still sad about), we sat down, where Joal and I promptly learned way too much about Bill.

This is like the third time I've learned way too much about Bill.

Men swap war stories about women (lies) over alcohol, and we were no different. When the pretty waitress came by, Bill told her we were talking about women (including herself) we'd known. I'm pretty sure it took her about half an hour to return to our table.

Later on, I asked her how many guys hit on her daily. She estimated it was somewhere in the fifties, but was willing to admit Bill had a uniqueness that was all his own. Agreed.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I've Been Blog Sampled

I couldn't ask for a better person having done it, but I'm jealous his posting was reacted to far more than my initial one. Oh well...

Here's the Thing...

Snow is inherently good because it gives me a much needed day off. However, snow can be tricky as well. I don't want to get stuck in my apartment all day, with very little human contact. I'd much rather hang out with my friends and enjoy the day. Just enough snow to get out and have a nice snow day is good, but too much snow is bad bad bad. I'd almost rather be in school than get snowed in.


Security Measures

Officials keep citing this incident yesterday as a sign that our new security measures are working. In what way does gunning a mentally ill man down on a tarmac prove that we are safer? Apparently our new way of finding explosives on people is if they explicitly tell us about them while screaming down the aisle of an airplane. It's a good system.


About a month ago, Bill was blithering about how college students don't seem to be activists anymore. Apparently his cries were heard when Ann Coulter showed up at Uconn to give a speech. The students came out in the freezing weather to protest her speech. Good for them and their willingness to stand up for a cause.

Of course, I was sitting in a cozy pub watching all of it unfold on television. Eating dinner with some friends, I watched as Coulter claimed they were violating her free speech. She said that these "college idiots" at this "idiot college" don't understand what's going on. How dare they violate her free speech!

Which is kind of ridiculous because in a sense they are actually practicing their free speech by protesting her speech. However, her line of reasoning was that since she was being paid to be there, so she had more of a right to speak. Which I guess is true, except for the fact that, according to R-dogg, a UConn alumni, the College Republicans violated student government rules by paying her nearly double what the rules specify they are allowed to pay for a speaker. But they swept the rules aside in order to bring her in, so maybe the students were protesting against the fiscal irresponsibility of the student government. Probably not though.

Ann Coulter is indeed a hateful bitch who instead of fighting with intelligence, just prefers to call people stupid. She's like the opinionated brat on the playground who gets angry when someone tries to argue back. All she can do is call people names and claim they are liberals, which is indeed what we call ourselves.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Waiting Game II

Yes, it's freaking happening again. Twice in a week, the possibility of a snow day is being dangled over my head. I'm sick of this crap! Last year we had these definitive answers. Huge storms came barrelling through the state, everyone nearly positive when we were getting out of school. But thus far it's been jittery weathermen commenting on the possibility of snow. I'm promising myself I wont become obsessed with the data, or the reports and just pretend like Friday is normal and be surprised when I drive into school and it's closed.

Probably not though.


There are things I'm both happy and sad about as class ends. I'm happy I got to know Bill so well, but sad that I didn't figure out how great coffee was with him until last week. Happy that Chris and I got to spend another class together, but sad because it means that we only have a couple more to go. I'm both sad and happy that our class came together in such a collective way and created our own community. It's nice to feel close to people, but now that we have to leave our community behind it's also pretty saddening.

We had some great times- Elin standing next to me at the Tap and trying to help me pick up a girl, laughing while Colin made some hilarious remark, the way Marc cynically balanced out the class from my own blogging fanaticism. I feel lucky that there was a class willing to listen while I went on my bizarre and often off-topic rants. Lots of other people just roll their eyes and nod at me.

I know many of you will continue to blog and I will keep reading them. I feel as if I have found a blogger kindred spirit in Eric, who I will anxiously read while he posts all his crazy links and audioblogs. My hope is that Holly will continue dispensing wonderful and encouraging advice that I will listen to and probably not use, but still take to heart. Hey I still need to make my own mistakes. I like the way Erin sits quietly for most of the class and then will dispense a comment that is perfectly genius and better than any of my crazy tangents. Patty always laughs at my jokes, even when they are horrifyingly bad.

With Joe, I feel like I'm sitting in a beat cafe in San Francisco discussing the way the world works, which is fantastic. Joal, being the elder statesmen of blogging, often puts me in my place when I have some ludicrous idea of blogging. I'll miss all of you.

Yeah, I'm getting kind of sappy so I'll just leave you with one single thought. Every morning I wake up and crawl my way over to the computer in order to read your blogs. I look forward to leaving comments on your blogs and the comments you leave on mine. This blogging class has been an experience that can never be duplicated.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Holy Crap!

Rich found my first ever blog while I was still in high school. You rock man:

Feb. 12, 1998: The ecstasy that kills

As I enter Staples High School, I usually watch for one thing. That thing is my love. When I don’t see her in the hallway, I know that it is safe to proceed to class. You see I am in love with someone who simply does not love me back.
Love is tough. I think men go through it slightly different then women. For men (at least for me) we always need to be around the person we are in love with. This makes us feel better. Your heart flips around until you feel like your heart could just pop out at any moment. I feel this way every time I see my love. The passion that bounds up inside me is so overwhelming, that I have problems performing normal functions. I will see her in a hallway and immediately my legs will freeze and I will find myself staring at her, while my feet quickly take me to where she is. This is not something I can control, or for that matter have enough will to control. I was in the 4 building (the arts building) yesterday, and me and my friend DS were leaving school. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted her and briskly turned around and stared at her. My heart was pumping and my mind was racing and for some reason I was paralyzed. I found that I couldn’t stop looking at her. It wasn’t even her beauty that I was enamored by, it was her interaction with other people. DS spotted this and validated his understand by saying "take as long as you like, Brett." It’s good to have a friend that understands. After about 40 seconds of silent staring, I finally gained the will to move on and speedily love the hallway. The amount of anxiety that was coursing through my veins was enormous and when I finally go to my car, I sat down and cleared my head before finally driving away with my friend.
The scenario above happens roughly every day, usually twice a day. It is something I love and hate at the same time. I love watching her as she interacts with other students. I take joy in everything she does. Every movement, every quirk, everything. I torture myself by watching her, but for some reason my eyes can’t leave. It is truly an ecstasy that kills.
Further notes: I got into college yesterday

Yes, I would love to give you advice Brett

So what has changed? Apparently not much, especially since Colin has identified me as a new emo blogger. This initial blog was the true emo blog. I've chosen not to edit a single word. Dude, I was so creepy back then...

The Award for the Strangest Workout Device is...

This ginormous wonder.

Know Thyself!

There was a secret pleasure this morning in waking up to discover that there was absolutely no snow. Nothing, nada, sorry maybe next time. Life goes on as planned and we all grumpily make our way into our lives. Of course I have lots of work to do and really need the day off, but once again it's the whole balancing act of the world. Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn't. We only know the difference by disappointments like today.

Sorry for a second there I thought I was using my old blog template.

In one of many postings this week, Colin brought up the Myers-Briggs personality inventory. It's a fascinating way of determining what type of person you are so that you can, um, so that you can, um, know what type of person you are. Isn't that sort of information great?

In our culture we spend far too much time assessing who we are. It's an obsession. How exactly does that help us in any way. I've known for a long time that I am a quiet introvert, but that doesn't help me in any way. In fact, that knowledge actually damages me in a fashion. By knowing what personality type I am, I may begin typecasting myself in situations. I need to act in a certain way because it says so. How would I ever grow?

We must cast off these personality inventories and just be ourselves. Not what the Myers-Briggs tells us is ourselves, but what we feel inside. According to it, I am an ISFP, quiet, contemplative, always willing to avoid conflicts. But there is something different in me that cries out to be different, to be an extrovert who makes other people happy with my warmth and good humor. Why should I be pigeon-holed when I can be so much more?

Sorry for those of you who were counting on a snow day. In truth I actually like being at work because it's better than my cold and lonely apartment. I blame myself.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Death of Wiki

Let it be known that upon this date, the Wiki phenomenon has officially been deemed in American culture as untrustworthy. For while us technorats know Wikipedia and its other progenitors as holy, those casual technophobes are reading John Seigenthaler's article and accepting it as fact. The evidence of this death is that someone who wasn't even aware of Wikipedia until this morning proclaimed it as evil. The article appeared in the Hartford Courant this morning, and I can only imagine countless other news organizations.

Which leads me to believe that Wikipedia will begin its inevitable descent and eventually die. In order for a site of information to be useful, its users must trust it. The article has planted the seed of deception on Wikipedia.


Wake Me up When December Ends

I know millions of people have the same problem. Nobody seems to enjoy the holidays- everyone complains about how hard they are. But really most people are only playfully bummed out about the holidays, not really facing sheer and total anxiety. They claim they are very stressed during it, but I suspect most look forward to them.

For me, not so much.

Which is to say for the single guy in his 20's who has absolutely no family around where he lives and doesn't like traveling to see people. This past Thanksgiving I told everyone I was making turkey, mashed potatoes and stuff, which wasn't a lie since Lean Cuisine happens to make a dinner like that. It was microwave fresh.

People always ask me if I want to visit their families. Aside from a very nice offer from a friend, I always am put off by this suggestion. Why the hell would I want to come to your house, where I know no one but you, and feel awkward? I'd rather put party hats on my cats and sing Christmas carols, which is weird since I'm Jewish. I think I might actually spend the time this year teaching them how to spin dreidels. But they might get as bored with it as I was when I was a child. In the adult world, we call the dreidel game craps.

Being Jewish adds an entirely different level of anxiety to the holidays. Like many non-Christian cultures, we are frustratingly forced into celebrations. Jewish people have many great holidays including Purim, Rosh Hashanah and Passover, where our rationale for celebrations are valid. Yet we always get sucked into the holiday season with Chanukah, a holiday that resides in meaning just above our tree planting holiday. It's kind of embarrassing- oh your savior was born on Christmas, well we had oil that lasted eight days rather than two. That's got to be worth something, right?

Recently I wrote a blog discussing the sour points of holiday gift giving, and in that blog I was willing to concede that this gift giving season is necessary for the economy. As it turns out, my concession was unnecessary. Just yesterday I read an article in the Hartford Courant by Dan Haar about how the holiday season does not make us spend more. Indeed, Haar makes the fantastic point that we often hold off on making big purchases until the holidays, spending less during the rest of the year. So therefore the holidays are messing up the economy by forcing this one time only spending spree where it's make or break for retailers. If we spread out our spending, retailers would probably be doing a heck of a lot better. There would also be a lot less panicking and anxiety.

It's cold, my skin has become pale and splotchy, resembling a poorly constructed candy cane, and the lack of sun makes me sad. So why exactly is this "the most wonderful time of the year?"

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Waiting Game

It's time to obsess about the impending snow coming on Tuesday. At multiple points in the next 24 hours, I will check weather sites. My mind will waver between the good and bad points of a snow day, but rationally a snow day in December is almost always win-win. The snow days in March are the dangerous ones...

So Pissed

All I got for my Bar Mitzvah was the Cantor singing a crappy song that went:
"Brett, you're changing on this beautiful day/You're one in a million/And now you're on your way." Okay, stop laughing for a sec and listen. No seriously. Ouch, stop that!

What the heck, Mom and Dad? You couldn't have afforded something more like this. Even if it was a crappy song, it would have still been neat to have Aerosmith and Fiddy (or his 90's analog) sing it.

New Template

Add your cruel and heartless comments regarding my new template here...

How Matty Helps and Hurts Me

Last night, Matty wrote in response to my apologies blog:
"I agree with Colin. No apologies needed. In fact, have you seen the Milwaukee Light commercials where the guy not acting like a guy (calling his wife in the middle of a poker hand or playing with a poodle while his buddies are checking out a car engine) gets crushed by the beer can while the announcer says, "Real men should act like real men."? Your apology borders on this type of behavior. You just had an old fashioned in-class disagreement. It made for a lively class. I've had worse arguments with my 3rd graders, man!

As for your blog style, start by finding something that will stop crashing my browser. After that, go into your closet and examine your clothing. Find the 3 colors that you wear the most and start there for a color scheme. It'll likely reflect you more than what you have now."

First of all Matty, thanks for the tip on changing the blog template. I was seriously wavering on what I was going to choose for my new blog template and when I woke up and saw your comment, I went with the colors of the sweater I'm presently wearing. Seriously. Sorry about all the crashed browsers that I've been causing lately. I think it was a residual side effect of removing the navbar.

Down to the Milwaukee Light comment. Do people really misunderstand me this much? I sit in class and huff and puff while my blog is being discussed, constantly banging my head on the beautiful Trinity College desks. During class, my face literally went through its own artistic periods. I'm an overreacter, and an extremely sensitive individual. As such, my blog will reflect this. Also, I always embellish things when I'm telling stories for the sake of the story. This is definitely me performing, but it's also my personality, so I regard it as genuine.

Plus, I was buzzing on some serious coffee and conversation with Bill. During that time I learned so much about Bill's love life I could probably write a book. That is, if Bill didn't already have one in the works. That man is quite the charmer. I'm seriously considering tag teaming for women with him at The Half Door. Or maybe just the Trinity Bistro. Either way, it'll be an experience.

One of the major problems I'm beginning to have with my newfound self-expression is that I do often get misunderstood. People that know me well identify my tone of voice as "sarcastic as hell." Friends are surprised when I become serious for a minute in order to express myself. It doesn't happen too often, so don't expect it to on the blog. With that, I'll leave you wondering how much of me is really a wet tongue pressing against a cold cheek.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Fake Dates and Capote

Last night I went on a fake date with Kim the Librarian. Prior to the "date" we decided we were going to hang out and just take any tension off having a real date. Neither of us are really going to be into really dating for awhile.

The way I knew it was a fake date was that after work I went home and promptly fell asleep on my couch with my cat, who balanced himself precariously on one of my knees. I slept until around 6:30, when Kim called to remind me we were going out and to meet her at 7. Normally my pre-date ritual is very elaborate, with me making sure every part of my body smells good and look good. In this case I threw on the clothes I'd worn to work and did some gentle frebrezing. Smelling like febreze is always the best way to snag the ladies.

I met Kim around 7ish and we drove through the awesome snow gale last night to Northampton, where we dined on some excellent Thai food. For some reason I ate like I was on a real date (which is kind of girly) but I suspect that had more to do with the pizza I'd eaten at happy hour with R-dogg and Listy. As cultured and sophisticated as I pretend to be, I will always prefer a good pizza over Thai.

After eating, Kim and I went to see the new film Capote, which Kim described as "extremely disturbing" and which I described merely as "disturbing." Maybe those differences of opinion are why we will never truly date. I just can't get past that kind of thing.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is brilliant as the immensely troubled Truman Capote. He completely encapsulates the man in a way that most actors can only dream of. There was never a moment when I thought I was watching Philip Seymour Hoffman, but knew I was watching a perfect representation of Capote.

What disturbed me so much about the film was the easy way in which Capote used his irrascible charm to manipulate people. It's clear the man was excellent at developing strong relationships with people, but ended up using those strong bonds as a means to his own ends. I can't help thinking how he could have handled the situation regarding In Cold Blood entirely different and not destroyed himself and others.

The problem was that the film had no cathartic moment for me, and even Kim said that she only felt a bit of schadenfrende when the epilogue mentioned Capote never finished another book. She said "he deserved it, the asshole." I didn't get as emotionally attached to anyone in the film.

Of course, Catherine Keener's portrayal of Harper Lee was also amazing and shouldn't be overshadowed. I knew how Capote became immensely jealous of Lee when she became famous, but I never knew the extent of it. As an English scholar, I was fascinated with the interplay between the two of them.

So a good night in general. I need to do these fake dates more often. If only they could include fake other things as well...

Friday, December 02, 2005

How Men Communicate About Sports

"Hey, did you hear?"
"Uh, yeah I did."
"Sucks, right?"
"Yeah, sure does."
"I'm telling ya man, they're gonna be bad next year."
"I know."

I think he was talking about Tom Gordon's jump from the Yankees to the Phillies, but who really knows?


Sometimes in our culture, we overreact to ridiculous degrees. Dude, next time someone says "what's up" to you (particularly a police officer), the agreed upon culturally acceptable response is "nothing." That way you can say something to somebody without actually saying anything.


I feel this morning as if I need to apologize to Marc. Quite frankly it occurred to me that I very harshly struck back at your perfectly valid ideas. You make some excellent points about blogging and how it could just be a passing fancy.

But in fairness, I tried to warn you before class. I walked directly up to you and offered a truce. You acted as if you weren't even sure what I was talking about. Prior to class I was worried that we would end up fighting and I wanted to make sure that didn't happen. I suspect Colin thought the same thing and slotted the conversation about Swarm Theory as close to 9oclock as possible. Still, tempers flared and for that I feel remorseful.

The problem is, you aren't picking on something that is an interesting academic idea, like we would normally be studying at Trinity. Instead, you're picking on something that over the recent months has become inexplicably close to my heart. Blogging is a personal, emotional and thoughtful experience for me. So when you bash blogging and talk about your own disdain for it, I can't help fighting back. It's as if you are attacking a part of me.

Blogging is not a wasteful endeavor. In my mind it is a discovery of self through pure unfiltered language. Blogging is a direct reflection of personality by demonstrating what a person chooses to write (or leave out) on a blog. There are no editors and in that sense what the blogger chooses to edit reflects on his or her own traits. So, respectfully, I appreciate your ideas. I just wish that your indictment of blogging was less personal to me. Sorry.

Now it's time to take a look at my template and figure out what's wrong with it. The class was right to lampoon it-It just doesn't fit with my personality. What type of template says boisterous, sensitive and smart at the same time?

Update: I changed my blog template earlier in the week in response to several things in my life, including the fact that I was feeling rejected. My friend Chris speculated that my unconscious rationale for it was that I needed to be placid at the time. So inherently, while it may have been incorrect, even my changing of the blog template reflected something of my personality at the time. Interesting, no?

Every Time

This video never fails to make me smile or laugh. I was feeling a bit moribund this morning, but it perked me right up. The simplicity of it is remarkable.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching says "Since the world points up beauty as such/There is ugliness too/If goodness is taken as goodness/Wickedness enters as well" which essentially means that goodness and badness balance each other out in the world. There can be no good without bad because we wouldn't ever know the difference.

Which made me go on this enormous rant in class about how the bad parts of life are necessary. We were discussing Lois Lowry's The Giver and I was talking about how if you remove all pain from society, you will also remove all pleasure. After my ridiculous lecture, one person looked at me and just said "dude, that's pretty heavy." I think he got it.

This meditation made me consider my own situation. I often gripe about how I am far too emotional about things and thus experience moments of intense pain when I get hurt. But it seems true that if things are balanced, I am making a cosmic trade by also experiencing great moments of joy as well. So I really think that my own pain is helping me by allowing me to experience moments that are fantastic. And even though I sometimes beg to be a less emotional person, I think the alternative would be worse. I'd rather suffer through terrible moments of loss to experience great moments, instead of being a heartless person who feels neither. With that, I am comforted.


When I'm feeling distraught, I don't like reading in depth, intricate literature. Instead, I need to go for the humorous and zany works every time. So, as I was a little depressed this week (no worries blogging class, that cloud has long passed) I picked up a Terry Pratchett book and was immediately taken in by the rich world he has created in the Discworld series.

Pratchett's Discworld series is a sardonic take on the fantasy genre. In each book (and there are a ridiculous amount of them), Pratchett lampoons other fantasy conventions. The irony is that throughout the series Pratchett has created a unique and fantastic world that is better than anything other fantasy writers have created. His own satire has become a living world with an amazing amount of depth. I read Terry Pratchett to laugh, but often times I find myself moved and engaged in the story he has created.

Everybody should read Terry Pratchett if only for the "brain candy" experience that he provides. Pick up any of the Discworld books and you will be surprised at how easy they are to get into and how hard they are to put down. Give your mind a break, go for the funny.

Please Tell Me This is a Joke


Thanks to Dave for showing me this...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Emergence (Blogclass)

Ever since I saw the word emergence on Colin's blog, I've been thinking about how much of blogging is really about the emergence of a personality. I'm not really sure what that phrase I just wrote means, but that's sort of the point. Often when I blog, I don't know where I'm going and I just let my mind carry me. My unconscious mind does most of the driving.

So while our topic this week isn't nailed down, I think that's exactly the point of the blogosphere. There is no set format, no common amount of rules that any blogger must follow. There are attempts to setup rules of blogging, but they often end up being failures or kind of creepy. A blogger should log when they feel like writing, click on that happy little green post button and just run with whatever their mind is thinking. This method of blogging will essentially create a valid representation of the blogger. Planned and well thought out blogs are just another form of journalism. Who wants more of that?

Truthfully, I'm more fascinated with what comes to people's mind spontaneously and in the moment. Lots of times I'll read an article on Slate or Salon and have the immediate compulsion to respond to it. I wont sit around James Wolcott style and plan out a deep and interesting response. I'll just write what I'm feeling at the time and hope it's good.

I suppose what I'm suggesting is that blogs could very easily be an effective representation of personality. Reading through my blog, I know immediately what was on my mind at the time I wrote something. I have actually become closer to myself through blogging. Even without being intentionally metacognitive, my blog has made me think about myself more then ever.

Of course the credit for this idea really comes from Elin and this article which made me think that we define ourselves by our blogs, even if it's unintentional. Elin writes "So while I admire my colleagues like Brett and Bill who are so free with the details of their lives on their blogs, it ain't me." Exactly.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Spiffed the Place Up a Bit...

Yeah, I was sick of my blog looking like everyone elses, so I made a few changes. I will be tweaking it a bit, so I would appreciate advice regarding the look and feel. Thanks!
Update: Yeah, that first one was kind of a disaster. This one seems a lot better...

Is Credit Damaging Our Society?

In this holiday season, I'd like to consider what the idea of credit and credit cards means to us. The idea of credit is a solid one, you can have all those things you want and not pay for them until later. Right now you may not have the money, but someday you could. Those credit cards will be paid off one day when you come into a good amount of money. So spend now and deal with it later.

Except the credit philosophy is creating this "Veruca Salt" mentality of wanting things immediately. We can't simply wait for the time when we are able to afford thing. We always want more and sink deeper into debt. Televisions, video game systems and new cars are what's valued.

I have dreams. I want bigger things for myself. But those bigger things aren't necessarily material. I want a nice place to live in with a family that loves me. I want to succeed at things I'm good at. I want to always try, even if I know that I may not succeed. I want these things because something inside wants to be a good person.

I recently used my credit card for a purchase that I consider important. It wasn't for a new computer, rims for my car, a PSP or new clothing. I bought a ticket to see my brother, who I only see about two weeks out of the year. That is more important than anything I could imagine owning.

I see people with everything and nothing at the exact same time. They own all sorts of fancy hosues, nice cars, new cell phones and a dirth of other things. Credit cards make our society want and have these things like never before, but they also make us value the wrong things. They also put our country into economical danger with overspending and people who can't pay off even the minimums on their cards. Where will we end up if this continues?

For a rebuttal to my argument, please consider this article from

Blogging Class

Check this article out. Make sure you scroll down to the "Practice What You Teach" section. A particularly interesting section is where Highberg discusses being trolled when mentioning something about his personal life. His blog is also pretty cool and relevant to our topic on personal issues in blogs.

Good Idea...for Democrats

Bushs' plan to help his fellow GOPers is a great idea. Indeed there is nothing like a president who is at the lowest approval rating of any modern president, to spur a candidate. I think next they should ship in Tom Delay to give a motivational speech about ethics. Catch some of that Delay magic that seems to be going around. While we're at it, let's bring Arnold in to discuss the value of special elections.

Seriously, are these people just too polite to tell George thanks but no thanks? GOP candidates looking to be elected should be shuffling away from W as quickly as possible. But by all means, please continue helping your fellow candidates George. It can only help my fellow Democrats next year.

Personal (Actually For Blogclass)

Personal voice in blogs is a hotly debated item of late. Where does a blogger draw the line on becoming personal? It is true that a reader can more easily relate to a writer that's sharing personal things about their life, but clearly some readers might shy away from a writer who gets too personal. Reading a person's most inner thoughts and secrets, while satisfying a voyeuristic compulsion, is inherently awkward and weird. A reader might become fascinated with a very personal blog for a little while, but they also may begin feeling as if they are getting too close and back off. We all need space.

I'm forced to admit that this entire week I've been seriously toeing the line. Keeping up with my blog, most of you have been reading about my trials and tribulations with dating a certain female dark sith lord. I've been kind of bad about keeping the personal away from my blog.

Except, well, I'm not sure if I crossed the line entirely. There were times when I was tempted to write a posting ala Sarah Green but found that prospect entirely creepy. I did write something expressing my own deep personal feelings about whatever it was that happened. It's safely being kept in ashes somewhere at the bottom of a dumpster.

The idea is to balance on the line like Heather does. At Dooce, Heather gets personal enough to relate to, while never going into that uncomfortable zone where the reader feels they are getting too close. She is an excellent model of what a personal blog should be.

Being autobiographical does not mean you need to get deep and personal. Indeed, several semesters ago in a memoir class, we discussed how a writers uses many lenses to discuss how his or her life. So to does a blogger have lenses and filters at his or her disposal. Some bloggers have heavy filters, preferring to keep themselves entirely out of their writing. These blogs are failures because a casual reader has way too many impersonal outlets of media. An alternative form of media like blogging shouldn't bother trying to emulate the impersonal mainstream media.

Of course Colin, Irene is entirely correct that your column and the way you write inherently defines you in a personal way. I look at this column, which is about another person entirely, and see your emotional voice shining through. Okay, maybe I'm, just trying to bump my grade back up to a reasonable level. Still, it's a good column that helps prove my point that a good columnist and blogger will keep a necessary equilibrium between personal and impersonal.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Why I Haven't Updated My Blog Novel in Awhile

I was commissioned by work to write a murder mystery script based on the idea. I turned in a rough draft of the script last Tuesday and just found out it was accepted for publication. Now comes the arduous task of revising the heck out of the thing. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Further Weekend Shenanigans

Sometimes I go out with my friends to unique places in order to be more pluralistic about life. In this case, a group of us decided on Friday night to go to a drag show in Hartford. Now that's something that can be blogged about.

Many hijinks ensued, including my friends forcing me to get read by a psychic tarot card drag queen who kept telling me how adorable I was. Yeah, I know, it's the way I smile in that innocent schoolboy way. I just can't help it.

She (he?) did give me some serious gems about my life:

My boyfriend is mad at me, and I need to deal with it immediately otherwise he will find a new man.

My mom is furious with me about a financial situation relating to me being a child. She also wears her hair in a bun, is really short and has a birthmark on her face.

I wear my emotions on my sleeve (you don't need tarot cards to figure that out).

I have a long lost brother who lives out of the country. He's probably tall, dark and handsome and when I find him I need to bring him over to talk to the tarot card reader.

She also at one point looked at me and asked "what the hell is wrong with you?" but gave no explanation as to why she asked that. Several things popped into my head, but I didn't feel like passing them on.

Afterwards, we had the prerequisite diner experience in which I ate far too much and then proceeded to feel sick for most of the night. Now that's classy.

Life's Lessons (Or Something Sad)

I have some posting to do today, so I'll just begin with the hard one first. After yesterday's vague and ominous post, many of you who know me personally began sweetly calling and IMing to see what had happened. The truth of the matter is that sometimes things don't work out for reasons that are kind of vague and can't be explained. All I'm really sure of is that at some point LV decided that something wasn't working for her, and rather than force herself to continue dating she decided to end it. She called herself a coward for having done it.

She isn't a coward. What she did was very brave, and although it may hurt me, it was the right thing to do. I knew that things weren't right because when she stayed over I spent half the night awake wondering what I was doing. It was just way too awkward.

My brother, with all his sage wisdom, helped me come to this realization yesterday when we talked on the telephone. He told me about how I had abruptly broken off things with people when I didn't feel they were right and I responded by saying I at least gave the person a chance to see if it was right. He coughed a second, inhaled through his nose and said "yeah, but you were miserable the entire time you were giving them a chance."

Which ended up in one of those "oh" moments, and instantly vanquished the sadness I was feeling. He was right- I've always hung on to relationships too long hoping they'll sort themselves out, which is kind of cowardly itself. I hardly ever have the courage to break up with someone when I knew it wasn't going to last. Instead I let the relationsip linger and the person ends up getting hurt that much more.

LV, don't ever think what you did was wrong. You saved both of us a heck of a lot of heartache. And while I'll miss the way you laugh and hold my hand and stuff, there's always someone else who can do that. Ta!

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Earlier, I was kind of broken hearted (which happens) and upset, which helped fuel my post. My friends did a really good job distracting me and making me feel better, but it was my older brother who stepped in and fixed it. Even 3000 miles away, you can still manage to solve my problems. Thanks Mark...


I'm sitting at Starbucks, reading Colin's column this week, when I felt my foot yanked away from the base of the chair it had been resting on. I looked up from the article to see a toddler proudly carrying the chair to a table and sitting down to drink some sort of confection with her family. Immediately I was irritated at these people's lack of consideration. Who the hell brings toddlers to Starbucks on a Sunday morning when most patrons are sitting around drinking coffee and reading newspapers?

Nevertheless I sit back down and begin reading. The Courant had some interesting stuff this week, so I was rapt until the toddler walked up to me and decided to chat like we were at a single's bar in SOHO.

"Why are you alone?"
"Well, I'm waiting for this doctor friend of mine."
"Are you sick?"
"He's not that kind of doctor."
"Can I have that cookie?"
"Well, I sort of need it because I've been worried about my weight. I weighed in kind of dangerously yesterday and if I lose anymore weight, I could be in trouble. So lately I've been trying to gorge myself, but it hasn't been working. I'm not much of an eater, more of a coffee drinker and exerciser. I know this is kind of one of those weird American problems, but all throughout my life...hey, where are you going?"
"You're boring."
"I know."

My doctor friend walked in, winked at me and purchased a coffee. I continued reading my articles and my friend sat down and started talking. We talked about lots of stuff, mostly relating to boring adult things like poetry. I espoused how I was kind of upset that people were generally ignoring the academic things on my blog in favor of more personal and funny things (posts about this weekend will come soon) and he told me not to fret. Perhaps people are only commenting on the easier stuff to relate to. The girl toddler was busily playing hopscotch with the eclectic tiles on the floor. The boy was knocking over plastic mugs like he was bowling. I sighed deeply in an effort to get the parents? Attention, but no such luck. My friend snorted and we began discussing how nothing is sacred anymore.

About that time a girl on roller skates came in with her family. I nearly lost it. I felt like screaming "I just want to sit around, quietly read the newspaper and talk to my friend. Don't you people have other places to be, like family style restaurants!" But I kept my mouth shut and quietly brooded. The toddler began chasing another child around the coffee shop.

People need to learn that there are certain places for certain things. Starbucks is for relaxing and drinking a cup of coffee and maybe having the occasionally deep conversation. It is not for family time. There are lots of places to bring your family on a Sunday morning. Plus, what about the atmosphere of Starbucks says it is appropriate for young children? Sure Starbucks may make a frapuccino, which is kind of like a milkshake, but it is an adult milkshake. Do the chess boards or card tables suggest fun for kids? How about the classical music playing lightly over the speakers?

I know it's not the kid's faults. Kids will always be kids and have a massive amount of stored energy that will need to spring free. It's parents' responsibility to keep children in environments where they can express their energy in a more rewarding manner. Nothing about Starbucks is fun for a kid.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

More Funny, Less Academic

Recently, I was talking to my friend R-dogg who told me that something was seriously wrong with my blog. He didn't mean that my content was offensive or weird, he meant that my recent turn into more intellectual topics was pointing him off. As he said "reading your commentary on the Williams' poem was like being in a graduate seminar. Dude, what the fuck?" He's very good at expressing himself.

The unfortunate thing is that I find myself completely unfunny right now because I'm using my best material for dating. Dating is time consuming and kind of emotionally draining with very little rewards in the beginning. My stomach churns, my palms sweat and my heart palpitates wildly. I miss just having a girlfriend to rely on.

Sad, huh? Like I said, I use most of my funny energy while dating, so when I get home I just kind of stare at walls. Please God don't let this blog become a treatise on how much this all sucks. I am still completely a fun-loving happy person.

Life in Our 20's

"Dude, we always seem to do the same thing."
"Like what?"
"Well we go out and drink at places."
"But we always find different places to do it."
"It's making us alcoholics though."
"Yeah, but we are alcoholics who are well traveled."

Friday, November 25, 2005

On Blogcation

I need to get out of the damn apartment, so I am going on a quick vacation. I'll be back to my normal grousing, literature and abuse on Monday. Until then, I'm out.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Best Indictment of Blogging Ever



Happy White Thanksgiving to those living near me. Tjose far away, I miss you and hope to see you real soon. I hope everybody gets to spend some special time with their families.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Atop a Bookcase

Atop the Mahogany bookcase
he crouches, peering at me
with deep saline
green eyes.

What is he thinking?
I do not know, but
he cocks his smooth
neck in an
inquiring manner.

His thick legs,
molded for jumping,
tense and he springs
onto icy sheets.

Cautiously, he presses
his dark nose
against my vanilla skin.
And I wonder-

What dreams do come
from him?

Why Am I Writing?

To show my hands
which are cracked
and bitter
and broken.

To show my face
which stretches down
anchoring my eyes
toward the floor.

To show my body
which has a beauty
beaten into it
from numerous repetitions
and clatterings
on gym machines.

To show my mind
which pops and sings
and sputters and coughs
and dies.

Regarding the Debate

Okay, apparently my blogtiquette debate sparked quite an interest. Here are my concise thoughts on your thoughts:

I inherently respect a person's privacy because I've had people not respect mine. The LV explained to me that her blog is really more for her family and to keep her friends updated.

I overthink things and take statements out of context.

I will never be as confident as Papa Bill.

I'm at the beginning of a potential relationship that I like. This is rare for me, so I don't want to screw it up.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


W.C. Williams's poem "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" is a tragedy in both the greatest and least human sense. Several scholars, including Audrey T. Rogers argue that Williams is expressing anxiety about his own art being ignored. While this theory is interesting, and has precedent in other Williams's poem, most notably The Red Wheelbarrow, it is inherently flawed. For Williams is casting aside humanity altogether, suggesting we are merely a blip to nature. It is highly unlikely that Williams would be expressing his own issues about being an ignored artist while simultaneously suggesting that humans generally are ignored by nature.

What's fascinating about the poem is that Williams takes one of the most human tropes, that if you have too much pride you get burned, and twists it to suggest that none of it matters anyways. Instead of nature being a backdrop for us, we are a backdrop for nature, merely props in a sort of grand design of the world. Our deaths are expected, ignored and insignificant.

I would like to disagree with Williams, and to say that we all matter in the grand scheme of things. However, I think of the events of this year and wonder how many times we've all attempted to overcome nature, only to be thrown back by it. And I can't help but wonder if my own life will be "a splash quite unnoticed."

Okay that was kind of depressing, but worth thinking about. Maybe it doesn't have to be so depressing. If we cease to take ourselves so seriously, maybe we can live happier, more productive lives that aren't constantly wondering what the purpose of it is. If we are just another part of nature, lets be that and let everything else run its course. Why do I need to be so noticed anyways? It clearly doesn't bring happiness, but in fact creates more stress.

Blogtiquette While Dating

R-Dogg is staring at me in disbelief, his dark eyes astonished. I can see in his eyes that he doesn't understand. He shakes his hair out in that uncertain way, looking down at his guacamole and chips. We are pretending to watch football.

"So let me get this straight, she has a blog?"


"And she writes personal stuff about you on said blog."

"I think so. I'm not really sure."

"Dude, what the hell is wrong with you? This is your advantage. Advantage Brett."

"It's not fair."

"Well, why? I mean she never said you couldn't read her blog."

"Yeah, but she never said I could, and it's untrustworthy while dating. Besides, too much information can be bad."

"But you would kind of know how she feels about you."

"I kind of know now."


"Well when you wear your emotions on your sleeve the way I do, you get good at reading other people also. It's one of the small advantages of being a sensitive individual."

"So how does she feel about you?"

"She likes me, but is being cautious, like I am. I think she also doesn't want to rush into anything."

"But it would be so much easier if you just looked. She would never know."

"I would know."


"Emotions on sleeve thing. I'm not good at hiding my feelings. Plus, just because you can get away with something doesn't mean you should."

"I have an option."

"Oh boy, this should be good."

"Just hear me out- what if I read her blog and kind of filtered it out and only told you stuff I think you should know."

"R-dogg, you are a great friend, and I appreciate the fact that you would do that for me. But lets consider this theoretical framework. You read her blog, and you find out something deeply personal about me. Say, in theory she wants to break up with me. You would feel obligated to tell me?"

"Yes, I would immediately tell you."

"But temptation is a slippery slope. You may in the beginning search only for pertinent information about me, but feel compelled to read all about her. We drink a lot, so you might feel the need to tell me all about her one night."


"So how would that be any different than me reading her blog?" R-dogg exhales air quickly through his mouth. He's losing the battle and he knows it. I feel bad for him because I know he's just trying to be the sweet guy he is. But there are rules to follow.

"I guess you are right, but I just don't see why it's such a big deal."

"Well first, I have kind of an obsessive personality. I'm trying to keep things light and casual with her because I like her. She's cool and really nice and attractive and all. Every time I've rushed into situations, bad things happen. So I'm keeping myself backed off. Reading her blog would allow me to know way too much about her, and make me obsess over her."

"Kind of like you are obsessing right now?"

"Okay, you got me. But this is different, I'm making an argument about why I shouldn't be dishonest. I suppose I could be talking about any girl with a blog."

"So what are you going to do?"

"I'm going to go home, watch some television and fall asleep while reading. I may even play with Wendell a bit."