Friday, November 30, 2007

Enough about FAIL

KDHL makes an astute observation about why I can never fall asleep before 2 am:

KDHL (12:34pm)
you dont have blood in your veins, just medium roast


4 cups of coffee a day isn't _that_ much...right? RIGHT???? ANSWER ME!!!!


Thanks for the nice comments, everyone. And the movie suggestions. And the Wet Hot American Summer quote. And the enigmatic and confusing preemptive welcome back to Marion House. <3

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Brief pause / respite

So I started writing journal entries for the first time ever, really. I've done it here and there throughout my time as a student and pseudo-wannabe-writer guy, but I've made a serious move to start writing something every day. Right now, they're just thoughts on shit that's weighing me down, which seems good cuz there's a lot of FAIL going on right now.

I think one of two things could happen - one, I get consumed by that writing and feel like I don't have time to do anything else, i.e. work on stories that I've pulled out of the vault (more on that at a later juncture) or write here. Or two, writing in a journal every day catapults my writing to never-before-seen levels and I start having a prodigious output, the likes of which my vast and expansive readership of four people has never seen before.

I don't really know at this point. Could go either way, I s'pose.

Other than that, Turkey Day was pretty good, and my trip reminded me once again how grateful I am to not be living in Massachusetts (specifically Northboro/Southboro). It also reminded me that I should really try to spend more time with my parents. As my mom took me to the train station to come back here, she simply said, "Where were you?" I know what she meant. Sorry, Mom. It has nothing to do with you, promise. It's that damn town.

I'm also really quite looking forward to my upcoming Denver/Aspen two week blowout extravaganza. There are many things that excite me about it, but mostly I'm just pumped to see the guys and the Hotel Marion again, to be amongst good bars, good food, good beer, and, most importantly, good people. I still stand by the assertion I made in July that that house is one of my favorite places in the world - and that's not just the chilled beer from the kegerator talking.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ahh, the fake pressure of a blog...

Amazingly, there are still people who read this tripe. I <3 you all.

So what's new here? It's getting wayyyy colder (I wore my big fuzzy jacket for the first time today), work has been totally bonkers ("wild and woolly," my director calls it), John and the rest of Team Fun were here for the Fun Jihad and Samkinggrr threw up a lot (so did everyone else except John, the bastard), and I'm looking to scratch a musical itch again.

You know what I mean? Like, when you know you want to listen to something, but you can't figure out what it might be? I liken it to when you have an itch in the back of your throat that you can't scratch, no matter how many times you cough or drink water or hock something up or stick sharp metallic objects down there. It's like that.

So, I'm looking for a little audience participation here, since evidently no one but KDHL cares what I have to say about Nawlins.

So, I'm going to steal a page out of the game book that KDHL and I have been using for a little while - it also reminds me of High Fidelity, which I'm obviously soooo on board for.

So, the idea here sprang from the question "If you could have lunch with five people today, who would they be?" The idea here, I think, is that you choose five famous people you want to have lunch with. One of my favorite categories recently was "What five people would be in your movie, and what kind of movie would it be?" My answers weren't very good because I didn't think through it too much, but KDHL had some good ones. I don't want to give it up, but I want to hear what you guys want.

So, you're finally making your dream indie film that you wrote and are directing, and you get your choice of actors. Who do you grab, and what's your movie like?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


So I'm back in Philly. Every time I travel, I hope that it will itch something inside that keeps wanting to travel, that it will make me appreciate coming back here to my "home" more, that I will have a deeper understanding of why I stay here. Instead, almost every time I go to another city I can't help but feel like I need to get outta Dodge as soon as I can. Luckily the past year has provided me with ample opportunity to do just that. From May of this year until the end of the December, I will have spent as much time in other places as I've spent here - about three and a half months. And every time I visit someplace new, I'm filled with an almost maniacal urge to cut off all ties with Philly and move there.

And yet, here I am.

New Orleans was a fantastic trip. I can't say enough great things about the city and about the people I met there. It was educational, sad, fun, busy, anger-inducing and calming all at the same time. KDHL and all her friends were amazing, and I could totally see myself there sometime in the future helping them in their myriad worthy causes. It's an incredible time for activists in that city right now because there are so many opportunities to make such a huge difference. As I've heard someone say, the country doesn't need more activists in San Francisco right now - as far as I can tell, New Orleans needs them as bad as anyone.

KDHL tells me that she only knows one person there who meant to move there. Everyone else went there for a visit or an extended stay and now they live there full time and must be getting paid by the city to recruit their friends. Believe me when I say they're doing a good job of that. When one girl I met was leaving, she asked me if I lived there. When I said no, she simply said, "Hm. Too bad. Bye!" That got a lot of knowing laughs from people around me.

Here was the daily breakdown -
Thursday - Got in in the evening and went to KDHL's house to help her move some shit. Laid low as best we could.

Friday - Went to Tulane and marveled at the splendor that is uptown. Giant mansions and stodgy white people galore. These areas were not flooded in the storm. Ate at a delicious Middle Eastern restaurant. Rode back through some neighborhoods that were somewhat affected. Saw the Constance Street Garden which KDHL has been working hard on. Met up with some of KDHL's friends at a sweet dive bar and got a little drunk. Went out into the French Quarter with the intention of making it to Frenchman Street to hear some music and get more drunk, but only got as far as "dinner" (at midnight), and then walked back through Bourbon Street. Could not stop lolzing at how ridiculous and low humans can be.

Saturday - Did a bunch of cleaning around the apartment and went to get daiquiris and visit the 7th and 9th wards, where KDHL used to work and volunteer. There is still so much devastation here that it was all I could do to get out an "oh my god" every 5 minutes. So many lives were ruined, so many people died and were hurt, so many people lost everything two years ago, and all the government can do is put levees back up that are the .same.fucking.strength. as they were before. Oh, and levees, in case you were wondering, are 12 foot high concrete walls that are _maybe_ a foot wide. They are less than 100 yards from the fields where houses used to be, where people used to live. Got a serious load of newfound respek for how fucking hard it is for these people, both those who live there and those who have come to help. I cannot even imagine doing that, and my admiration for everyone involved in the rebuilding effort will never cease.

After that, went to City Park, which was very nice and beautiful and huge. Then we went back to KDHL's house for more cleaning (I kicked the bathroom's ass) and then our 4 hour affair with red beans and rice. Didn't come out that great, but word on the street is that KDHL put some olive oil and cheese in there the other night and it was much better. So there's that. Then went out to Frenchman Street, got pretty drunk, judged peoples' clothes, got jawed at by some crazy woman, almost forgot our bikes, got kicked off the river walk, and fell asleep quite drunk. Took ridiculous pictures.

Sunday - Went out to brunch uptown, then took the afternoon to go to Lake Pontchartrain, which is really quite large (40 miles east-west, 24 miles north-south) and beautiful. It became clear at this point that NOLA had had the best weather in the history of the universe since I came down - 70s during the day, not a single cloud the whole weekend, and just a little chilly at night. That night we went to Hare Krishna dinner, which was incredible, and then spent the night playing Scrabble (homemade board and tiles!) at the coffee shop. Called it an early night and went to bed.

Monday - Got up pretty early and went to the riverwalk again, and this time didn't get kicked off. Had to hold back KDHL from jumping on a passing freight train. Went back to the Garden District and walked around the neighborhood. Saw the long-rumored girlfriend of one neighborhood douchebag. Got on the plane and came back to Philly.

I guess a more succinct way of saying all this would just be: I had a really fantastic time and can't wait to go back.

Friday, November 02, 2007

They don't pronounce all their syllables here

So I'm live blogging (gahd I hate that term) from the campus of lovely Tulane University in muggy New Orleans, Louisiana. Just pulled into town last night on a quick little extended weekend jaunt to visit the wonderfully crazy KDHL. Her apartment, in her own words, is "livable - barely" and she's not lying. She's also not paying rent because the property is owned by the organization she works for. So, given the massive leaking from every plumbing fixture, the thick coat of sheetrock and plaster dust on _everything_, the total lack of insulation, and the missing ceiling in the bathroom, she's basically squatting. It's a work in progress, though, in every sense of the word.

Given all that, I'm very happy to be here. I've never really been to the drrty drrty (besides Florida, which everyone knows doesn't count), and it seems like this will be an excellent experience in every way. It's easy to not think about the city and the devastation it felt three years ago, and it's even easier not to think about the daily struggles of living that people still face. I wanna drink it all in, get the full tour, not pull any punches and feel what these people feel. Oh also, KDHL is pretty fun.

So far, I've only seen the lower Garden District and the giant, beautiful houses on the way to Tulane through Uptown. So, as the results come in, they will be forthcoming...