.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Chasing The American Dream

November 30, 2004



Last of a three-part series upon seeing the movie, Garden State.

"I didn't loyk that movie at awll." "Me eitha." I laughed as I overheard this conversation while the closing credits rolled to the sounds of Frou Frou. I thought to myself, I wonder why? You guys didn't get any of the precious subtleties and humor whatsoever! What the hell did you expect?

I went to see Garden State again last week. I was drawn to it; I had to see it again for the third time. Don't worry, they're not showing it anymore so I'm saved. When I walked in, I figured I'd be the only soul in theater number seven. There was barely anyone in the theater the last time I saw GS the previous week, and the movie had been out for over three months. So I walked in to theater #7 expecting to have the house to myself; boy was I wrong! It seemed I would be sharing the theater with the local Jewish convalescence home; the joint was filled with old people. I sat next to and in front of two sets of elderly Jewish women who were yapping about how little they knew about the movie. The Activities Director dude made some announcements for the folks, thanked them for coming, and handed out some pamphlets. My 'friends' next to me passed me one. I laughed. The pamphlet read, "Buy one, get one free something-or-other."

I took a pad and pen into the theater because I wanted to jot down some notes on the soundtrack songs played as they related to the specific scenes. I'm glad I did because I ended up jotting down notes for this post. Anyway, I recalled that the movie contained lots of scenes with subtle humor. I love that kind where the humor's there, but you gotta be paying attention to it. It's not one of those Robin Williams, slap you in the face, can't miss humor-type movies. Perhaps that the oldies should have stuck to that type of movie because they sure didn't get this one. The pattern started right off the bat.

The first scene in the movie, "Largeman" (Zach Braff) is awaken by his father with the news that his mother died. He ambles to the bathroom and opens the medicine chest. The whole chest is filled with prescription pill bottles. Seemingly hundreds of them, and there was nothing else in the chest. I think I was the only person in the theater who laughed.

In the next scene, the audience realizes that 'Large' is late for work and is frantically driving like a madman to get there. When he gets out of his car, he notices a gas nozzle is still in his gas tank and the hose has been ripped away. He just looks at it curiously and simply tosses it in the garbage. If you're keeping score at home, it's 2 laughs for me, 0 for the rest of the audience.

Next scene. Large is washing his face in the airport bathroom. As he walks out, the automatic sink faucets turn on in tandem right down the line like the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. 3 to 0. At this point, I'm a little weirded out because I'm the only one laughing. It was at this point when I started to take notes. I jotted down my top baker's dozen subtle moments of humor. Obviously, a lot of these are "you had to be there" moments so bear with me.

Number 4 (pictured). After his mother's funeral, the family gathers at the Largeman home. Large's aunt is speaking to him in a thick Jewish accent. She explains that before his 'mutha' died, she had redone the hallway bathroom with a very nice pattern. She then tells Large she has made a shirt for him with the exact pattern used in the hallway bathroom. The next scene cuts to Large wearing the patterned shirt, standing by the hallway bathroom, completely blended into the wallpaper, wearing this incredulous look on his face.

Number 5. Large attends a wild sex, drugs, and rock & roll party with his boyhood friends. He is awaken by the steps of a strange knight in shiny, clanky armor. The audience then sees the word "Balls" has been scrawled on the unsuspecting Large's forehead. 5 to 0.

Number 6. Large goes to see a doctor about some acute headaches he's been getting. He walks into the doctor's office which is absolutely plastered wall-to-wall with plaques and awards. The camera slowly pans the wall and then up to the ceiling which also has a plaque or two on it.

Number 7. The doctor gives Large and MRI. We see Large slowly being transported into the apparatus. The camera does a slo-mo zoom until we can see Large's frontal shirtless body which is entirely covered with X-Rated graffiti similar to the "Balls" graffiti he had on his forehead.

Number 8. Large has met the wonderful Samantha (Natalie Portman). He agrees to take her home on his scooter, but tells her he needs to stop at his millionaire friend Jessie's (Armando Riesco) house. She agrees but says she doesn't want to stay long. She and Large agree that when she tugs on her ear, it means she's ready to go. Jessie has made millions by inventing silent Velcro. Velcro without the scraping sound. Jessie has no ambition and doesn't do much with his life. The scene cuts to the Jessie's house where he has a flaming arrow to which he shoots straight up into the sky. In a weird sort of dodgeball-type game, the gang scrambles to get out of the way of the falling, flaming arrow. After seeing the gang stagger around to avoid the arrow, the arrow comes crashing down and lands about a foot away from Samantha. She looks at Large with a horrified face and tugs her ear.

Number 9. The gang is sitting around talking. Jessie is trying to think of the author's name who wrote 'Brave New World.' He thinks he's figured it out and says proudly, "Huxtable. That's it. Aldous Huxtable."

Number 10. Large is at Sam's house watching a video of Sam ice skating in a performance when she was younger. After the video, Large and Sam's mom and adopted brother give her an ovation. All of a sudden the lights go out in the house. After a brief moment of confusion, Titembay the brother, claps once again and the lights come back on. Ah, the family has the dreaded 'clapper.' Everybody sing with me, "Clap on, clap off."

Number 11. The gang is over at Jessie the millionaire's house going for a swim. Everyone jumps in the pool except for Large who's hesitant. The gang questions Large whether or not he can swim. He says, "Of course I can swim." The scene then cuts to Large doing a sad doggie paddle across the pool.

Number 12. After the pool, the gang is sitting on the furniture-less floor getting warm in front of a huge fireplace. Large's friend Mark (Peter Saarsgaard) asks the Jessie the millionaire, "How 'bout some fucking chairs, man?" Jessie responds with, "I bought a chair once. Didn't like it." Large asks, "Where is it?" Jessie points at the fireplace and says, "It's keeping us warm."

Number 13. My favorite. Remember #5 above? Yeah, underneath the suit of armor is a young kid who slept with Mark's drunken mother. During that scene, Mark clearly disapproves of this young dude and they trade insults before Mark says, "Get the fuck outta my house." Fast forward to the latter part of the movie. Mark and Large are arguing. It's Large's last day in town before he has to leave and he wanted to spend it alone with Sam. Mark insisted on taking a road trip of sorts. After suffering through a wild goose chase seemingly going nowhere, Large loses his cool and they argue. Sam interjects and says Large is, "her knight in shining armor." Large says to her, "Don't mention knights around Mark, it's a sore subject." To which Mark thinks a second and responds with, "I'm gonna kill that motherfucker." Large then delivers the classic line, "Pun intended?" I totally lose it in my chair.
Final score? Todd 13, audience 0. Isn't any wonder why we all often have such differing opinions as we walk out of the movie theatres discussing the movie? Sure, maybe we disagree on the depth and breadth of the characters and the quality of the acting. But sometimes, apparently, we don't even 'see' the same movie. Now, THAT'S funny!

November 28, 2004


I’ve had some unusual ‘streaks’ in my life. For you "Seinfeld" fans, remember the episode with the Chocolate Babka? Yeah, Jerry has this streak of something like 15 years without having thrown up. His streak ends when he eats a black and white cookie from the Babka bakery. I related to that episode because at the time, I had an amazing streak of 29 years without throwing up. The streak ended after a nauseous subway train ride home from a Buffalo Sabres hockey playoff game. I told my ‘ex’ I was not feeling good. The train ride lasted 20 minutes. Somehow, I managed to hold off until the second I got off the train, and then I lost it. 29 years down the drain.

This may be hard to fathom, but I had another streak broken recently. I had gone seven years without going to see a single non-kids movie. The last movie I had seen as in ’97 when I saw “As Good As It Gets.” Personally, I thought that movie was overrated. Ex-wifey and I never saw another movie together after that sans the Disney flix. Amazing, isn’t it? That was one of our problems, but I’m not going there just yet. Prior to having our son, I was one of those people who saw most every movie that came out. I’ve missed it. Heck, probably half of my conversational/spoken word (not to mention my writing) is based on movie quotes.

I knew the movie streak would end this year. I wanted to see a really good movie, and I wanted to see it with someone rather than seeing it alone. The streak did end. I saw a really bad movie (IMO) with a girl I met from JDate. The movie was called "The Forgotten." I wish I could, but it will always be *remembered* for being the streak breaker.

The next movie I saw was “Garden State,” and you know how much I loved that movie. Today, I saw another fantastic movie called "Sideways." Great effort. Paul Giamatti starred as a writer-wannabe. Can you guess why I liked it? Go see it. It was amazing. I love the feeling and euphoria of walking out of the theater after seeing a great movie. The itch is back, and I can’t wait to scratch it again.

November 27, 2004


For the most part, the sexes have taken sides regarding my picture post. Females hate it, males laugh at it. Like I said, had I done the research on the guys, the post could have been written unisex. Guy or girl is not really the issue to sarcastic me. IMHO, I just question why ANYONE would post the types of pictures I mentioned. But I'm just one guy with one opinion...
Posted by Hello

November 26, 2004


Part two of a three-part series upon seeing the movie, “Garden State.”

I guess I could have called this post, ‘PROFILES IN COURAGE’ since my current JDate profile reflects this post. I think it scared off most everyone, but that’s cool. After all, it only takes one person, right? “The City” in this case is me. What is the key to me? What numbers must you press on the ATM machine to access my relationship code? Difficult questions to answer, for sure. Rhetorical questions because I’ve been asking myself these questions and wondering what the hell the answers are? So far, I’ve only been able to answer by turning the questions around and asking, “What isn’t or has not been the key to the city,” based on my return to the dating world this year.

I’m unhappy answering this way because it brings in a lot of negativity. I’d rather look at it from a happy, peppy point-of-view. My dates, emails, IMs, phone calls, etc. have, for the most part, lacked SOMETHING. Something is missing. I’ve had some nice times, made some friends {made some enemies, too}, but I look over at the proverbial wall and the cord is still unplugged. No electricity.

But I got some much needed help. I think I found the answer. It’s an oxymoronic answer which is fitting for me. The answer is simply complicated. Those of you who didn’t see the movie, “Garden State,” will have to sit this one out. I’ve seen it twice now. There are many, many favorite moments, but my most favorite, in all respects, holds the answer to my Sphinx riddle.

Background. Remember the scene where Andrew “Large” Largeman (Zach Braf) is at the doctor’s office and the blind lady’s seeing-eye dog Arthur is humping Large’s leg? Yeah, and this cute girl “Sam” (Natalie Portman) comes over to help him out? Right, so after the dog finally goes away, the two strike up a conversation. Sam is babbling about everything and anything, and Large just wants to hurry up and fill out his medical forms. Sam’s wearing some headphones, and Large finally asks her what she’s listening to? OK. The stage is set. Now here’s where you have to set your VCRs (if anyone still owns them) to record because here’s where the key is turned and unlocks The City. I’ll tell you when to hit “record.”

Sam answers by saying, “The Shins, ever hear of them?” Large says, “No.” So Sam takes off her headphones, hands them to Large and delivers the classic line, “Here listen to this one song, it’ll change your life, I swear.” RECORD! Large slips on the headphones and begins to listen to this a-maze-ing song called “New Slang.” Large’s smile and facial expressions say it all. He looks over at smiling Sam who has this truly genuine look of, “See I told ya!” As the camera pans back and forth to Large and Sam, both smiling big, with this unbelievably great song playing in the background, you can tell, without a word being spoken, that Sam has the key to Large’s city and perhaps, vise versa. I cried. My Garden State-of-mind, remember? I think I cried 1) mainly out of happiness because that scene was such a wonderfully refreshing and cool moment between two unique people, and 2) a bit out of sadness and emptiness because it’s a moment that I hope to share with someone holding my key. You can STOP recording now.

So you see, the answer to my question is simple. The key is the connection. Sam and Large made this, I’ll use this my friend SK’s term again, a-maze-ing connection. That feeling of, “Oh my god, this person is incredible. Be still my heart!” I call it “in the zone.” Sam sort of describes this zone of focus as being “in it.” Those two shared many more “in it” moments, but the one I relate to in terms of the connection is when Large is standing on this huge construction crane on top of a rock quarry looking down into ‘an abyss’ of sorts, and he lets out this huge bellow into the abyss. With the beautiful Simon & Garfunkel song “The Only Living Boy in New York” playing in the background, Sam and Large’s friend Mark (Peter Saarsgaard) join him on the crane and all three scream into the depths of the abyss. Sam and Large look at each other, I mean really look into each other’s eyes, and then kiss for the first time. The music, the moment, the connection. Sam and Large have truly found each other. More tears.

So? The connection is made, the key is turned, and the city is open. Easy, right? Not so fast, my friends. The complicated part is how do two people like Sam and Large arrive at ‘the connection’ moment? How do you plug that cord into the wall? For me, the connection I’m looking for is the love, passion, KNOWLEDGE, and appreciation of great music like The Shins and S&G, the love of great movies like Garden State, the passion for life that Sam has, being young, acting young, and looking young.

I think I’d more easily find this connection if I subtracted 10 from my age. My problem, I’ve noticed, is that women my age have very good intentions. They want a nice, normal guy to settle down with and have all the normal things you’d want in a relationship. Sure I want that too, but I don’t listen to Michael Bolton or Celine Dion much. I’m tired of seeing romantic comedy movie previews with Richard Gere. I’ve seen Staind, Evanescence, Live, and Gavin DeGraw in concert this year. Most, if not all, of the women I described have never even heard of any of this music. Garden State was different. I’m different. Maybe too much so. You may say I’m vain and have some nerve since I’m pushing 43. Maybe you think I'm just trying to hang onto youth? I really believe that I live, act, and judgmentally speaking look young. I’m not saying you have to be 29. You can be 40 for all I care, but if you indeed look, act, and live young then I could give a shiite how old you are. I wish more women felt that way, but I think they just see a number (42) and figure I’m too old, and the game is over before it can ever begin. And so the chase continues.

As my pal Forrest Gump one said, “That’s all I have to say about that.” Stay tuned for part three of this Garden State trilogy. I noticed something peculiar and, to me, humorous while I watched the movie…

November 24, 2004


Merci beaucoup. Muchas gracias. Grazie. Domo arigato. Doh je. Toda raba. Spasibo. Danke. Thank you very much. Turkey Day is upon us once again. A day where each of us, in our own way, actually makes the effort to say thanks for the wonderful life each of us has. 2003 was the worst year of my life. My New Year’s Resolution was to simply make 2004 a better year. It began with promise. A new job, a new city, a new beginning of sorts. But for many reasons, which if you hang around here long enough you’ll understand, 2004 has topped 2003. I bottomed out, oh six months or so ago, but I’ve since ‘found’ myself as you’ll see in upcoming posts. And for that, I am very, very thankful. Like I’ve stated previously, it’s good to recognize and be thankful for the precious lives we live. I’m really looking forward to 2005. I’m gonna kick some serious ass. But I guess I’ll save that post for NYE.

I love this time of year. From now until the Monday after New Year’s Day, when people have to go back to work, we seemingly undergo a ‘Grinchian’ transformation. How could we ever forget that moment when The Grinch finally ‘gets it.’ His ugly, frowny, Mick Jagger-looking face slowly turns upside-down into this huge glowing smile, an energy aura all around him, his heart growing 10-odd sizes.

Don’t you notice that people this time of year are all wearing Grinch smiles, being happy, festive, courteous (sans the fights for the latest toy of the year or the Seinfeldian Chocolate Babka), etc.? We all let one extra car in ahead of us, we tip servers more, we honor the hard-working mailman, paperboy, or garbage man. Signs fill main streets with wishes of “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holidays.” Colorful lights and cool decorations line our neighborhoods. Charlie Brown’sLinus and Lucy” Christmas song floods the radio airwaves. Shiny, happy people.

Isn’t the euphoria awesome? It’s a shame it can’t last, isn’t it? Yeah, inevitably the saddest day of the year is that first day of work in the New Year. Reality sets in. You’re not happy to be at work, and you yell at the first person who has the nerve to dial your extension at 8:30 in the morning. We’re Grinches once again. What are we gonna do to change this? What if we all said to ourselves, “I’m gonna see how long I can keep this streak of happiness going. How long can I go before I lose it? Maybe I can make it to February?” Hmmm, I dunno. Anyone have some ideas?

In the meantime, Happy Holidays everyone.


Silly and boring subject, but I think one of life’s most miserable experiences is going to the dentist. I guess it started back when I was a kid. I had bad brushing habits, ate lots of candy, and never flossed. This lead to three years of braces. Three years of being called ‘metal mouth,’ ‘rubberband man,’ and ‘tinsel teeth.’ I feared going to the dentist or orthodontist because I…geez pardon me, I’m cracking up at David Letterman. Some lady is throwing turkeys off a building rooftop into a huge bucket of gravy. SPUH-LASH! There goes a deli platter. Too much. So anyway, I remember one appointment I had where the dental hygienist (DH) read me the riot act about my no flossing, bad brushing, bad gums, yada, yada, yada. She was steamed and took it out on my mouth. She hacked me up with that dreaded scraper-thing, and my mouth bled and hurt like a SOB. She was a beeotch, but she taught me a lesson. I made a promise to myself that from that day on, I would become very militant about my dental regimen.

It took a while but I guess it’s paid off. Today, I actually got a compliment from both the DH and the dentist. They both said I have great teeth and gums and that I obviously take care of them. I think that’s one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever gotten. I told them about how that DH scared the Shiite out of me way back when, and that even today, I get the Willies when they break out that scraper. I don’t think I’ll ever overcome my fear of that miniature Friday the 13th, Jason Vorhees-looking weapon, but I no longer fear the wielder of it.

November 23, 2004


Part one of a three-part series upon seeing the movie, “Garden State.”

I finally saw the movie “Garden State” recently. I couldn’t find a date once again (I know I know, recurring theme), so I just went alone. I’m slowly re-learning how to do things alone, and perhaps more importantly, be comfortable doing so. As for the movie, I didn’t know much about it going in I’d heard it was about a group of young people trying to figure out life (the big abyss) and that the movie contained lots of great music. Definitely sounded like a “Todd” movie.

I cried. And cried some more. It’s funny, but I never cried at any movie or TV show or anything before the divorce. You could sit me down in front of the worst tear-jerkers and I wouldn’t cry. Love Story, Terms of Endearment, Dr. Mark Greene dying on E.R., Beaches? Wasn’t that a sad one? Oh, there are a million others. C’mon help me. Well, you get the idea.

But then I took a 180-degree turn. Life was rough. I missed my son, fell in love twice, got rejected twice, my job sucked, I was traveling 5 days a week and was never home. I was a basket case. All that added up to crying. I cried at everything I saw. Typical example. Remember the last episode of Friends? I cried. Ross and Rachel back together. Cry, cry, cry. Even movies I’d seen a zillion times like "The Shawshank Redemption,” I cried. Even stupid movies like “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” I cried. My sister told me I had some form of depression. She was right.

The doctor said I had a mild case of depression and gave me a mild medication (Lexapro). Five months later, life’s back under control. I’m much happier than I was when I was married. My attitude is different. I’m more positive, spontaneous, carefree, artistic, happy, daring, spiritual, and the like. My nerdy accountant-type personality is still my foundation, but I’ve managed to blossom after all these years. I feel I’m a much better, more complete person now.

And I’m not crying at "The Shawshank Redemption” anymore. Still, emotional settings tug at my heartstrings. The “Garden State” relationship between Zach Braff (Andrew Largeman) and Natalie Portman (Samantha) brought tears to my eyes. They were so beautiful together. So I cried. And I’m not even embarrassed anymore. What do I care if people look at me and laugh? That’s not important. What IS important, is that the movie made me realize that yes, I HAVE changed. Changed for the better, and that I will have this great Garden State-of-mind to accompany me for the rest of my life.

November 22, 2004


Remember the opening words to The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper? Right, “It was 20 years ago today.” Well shamefully as it is for me to admit, it had been about that long since I’d spent any significant time on a college campus. After failing to secure a date, I went solo to see a Dashboard Confessional concert on the Florida Atlantic University campus.

Old vibes and déjà vu cast upon me quickly. It was not like I felt old being amongst an auditorium filled with collegians whose average age was 20 at best. No, that wasn’t it. I look young (I think) for my age (42). People I’ve never met have guessed I was anywhere between 28 and 38. So it wasn’t me that felt old, but it was that they, the masses, looked sooooo young! Some of them were clearly just out of high school. Baby faces. Oh sure, there were a few ‘oldies,’ but this was a college event. It even had opening announcements from the Student Body President and another from the President of the geek, err, Greek Society of something-or-other.

The concert was great. A solo acoustic performance by Chris Carrabba, the lead singer for Dashboard who was a local Boca boy who made good and became a rock star. But to me, I was more fascinated by people watching. I learned what was in fashion with the college crowd. For the girls, it was low-rider hip hugger jeans with a sash-type belt and a short tank top, no bra, which left little to the imagination. I sat there in my seat laughing to myself. Sometimes I couldn’t contain it, but I didn’t care. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life seen that much cleavage in a 3-hour time span.
And flip flops are definitely IN. Guys and girls. The guys don’t have any real style. Jeans and a tee shirt, the usual fare. I guess that look never goes outta style. I did notice two things about the guys though. Baseball caps worn slightly to the side seemed to be in vogue. And the brush cut seemed to be giving way to the mop-top crop which sucks for me because my brush cut no longer has the ability to sustain a mop-top ‘dew.

But as I sat there, I relished in the innocent feel of the auditorium. I overheard conversations about love, gossip, teachers, homework, etc. I watched couples in love hugging, holding hands, kissing. I watched the security guards break up a few fights. I listened as the crowd sang along to each song Chris sang. It was great to feel a part of that wonderfully positive, carefree atmosphere once again. I cherished every minute of it and remembered how simple my life once was, 20 years ago today.

November 21, 2004

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

I’m so amused lately by looking at these online pictures of various women on JDate. I’m sure the men do the same thing, but I haven’t done the research to confirm. How many times have you thought to yourself, “Why the hell would anyone put THAT picture in a profile?” Too many, if you ask me. I’ve boiled it down to a few themes. Sorry girls, but here is my David Letterman top 16 list (in no particular order) of the ones that immediately throw up the red flag as definite “No-No’s.”

1. Glamour shot. Ahh, the perfect photo. The best of the best. Anything else is surely gonna be downhill from here. Knowing this, why do you include other pictures which look absolutely nothing like the glamour pic? It’s like you’re looking at two totally different people and I have a real good guess which picture looks more like the real you.
2. Glamour shot + poses. Even worse than #1. You get glamour plus the phony pose. The hand under the chin. The tilt of the head. The side profile. Way too stilted for me. Give me a candid shot any day.
3. Vacation shot. “Here I am. Look at me! I’m on the French Riviera! I’m on the Italian coast. I’m cool!” Uh, no. You’re not.
4. Revealing shot. I suppose the intent of showing all that cleavage is to say, “Hey, check me out. I’m sexy. I’ve got a bod!” To me, it’s you saying you’re one of the seven dwarfs. I think his name is Sleazy. It also tells me you’re desperate. Yes, your bod’s impressive but your brains are questionable.
5. Action shot. “Here I am flying down a ski slope, or water skiing, or horseback riding. See? I’m athletic and cool and because this picture is taken so far away, you can’t even see my face!” Hey, I’m happy you’re having fun and are athletic, but the whole point of the picture is for us to actually see your face.
6. Blurry shot. This one totally boggles my mind. Why on earth would you put a blurry, fuzzy, hazy picture out there where we can’t even tell if you’re a girl or a guy? Makes absolutely no sense and shows you have none.
7. No shot. First reaction? OK, what are you hiding? You tell me in your profile that, “I don’t need a picture or please request a picture.” Obviously, you don’t get why we are all here. This may be the biggest red flag out there.
8. High school shot. This one sucks, too. You tease me and pull me in with the old high school or college picture. Then I stare at the other attached photos and wonder, if indeed, this is the same person? If so, you really seemed to have aged a good 10 years. Big-time turn-off.
9. Different hair style/color shots. I’m not sure I get this one either. You’ve got two to four pictures and your hairstyle is different in every one of them. My immediate question is, “OK, so which one are you? Which one of these do you actually look like? Are you really a blonde or brunette? Is your hair straight or curly these days.” Perhaps it shows your sense of style, but I would rather know simply what you look like TODAY!
10. Food shots. This one baffles me. Do you think it’s really attractive for me to see you with a mouthful of pizza or you chugging a beer? Two words come to mind. Trailer trash.
11. Hats & other clothes. Tony Bennett once sang something about “Rags to Riches.” Beware of these extremes. Hey you! Yeah you. The girl that’s dressed to the nines ready to attend the Academy Awards. Sure, you’re swanky and stylin'. But I think I’d rather see a dose of reality rather than what you look like one or two days out of the year. Hats? Again, stylish perhaps, and even that’s a stretch. But what’s underneath? What are you covering up? Conversely, what’s with the tattered Cinderella-type look? I think, ideally you should fall somewhere in between Rags and Riches.
12. Black & White shot. Can someone tell me what the attraction is here? Is this style supposed to make you look hotter or more fashionable or something? To me, this comes dangerously close to #1 and is often combined with #1 which makes it totally unacceptable.
13. Group shot. You know this one, right? You tell me, “That’s me over there, to the left of the fat girl and to the right of the bartender.” I scratch my head and search and say, “Uh, WHERE exactly are you?” Geez Louise, can’t you find a solo picture of yourself? I could care less about these other people.
14. Boyfriend shot. I think this one pisses me off the most. You have the friggin’ gall to put a picture out there on a dating service and you showcase your former boyfriend, husband, or whatever the hell he is? Do you really think us guys want to see your ex? Puh-leeze. This is classless and is a total turn-off. Like I said for #13, can’t you find a solo picture?
15. Boyfriend cut-out shot. Not quite as bad as #14. At least you made an effort to cut him out. But really. That half-cut out face you’re leaning on and that arm around your waist make it fairly obvious. You should really try to remove any and all remnants of your ex, OK?
16. Silly shot. I guess the intent here is to show me you’re a real goofball. A Silly girl. Hey, I’m a silly boy, too. But I think there’s a better time and place for revealing that. Frankly, looking at you sticking your tongue at me or making some contorted facial expression makes me fly right by your picture. Once again, I’m thinking, “This is the best picture you could come up with?”

So if your intent is to impress me with any of these picture themes, obviously you’ve come up far short. Why? Well like the title says, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

November 20, 2004


Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. Found my way upstairs and drank a cup. Looking up, I noticed I was late. Found my coat and grabbed my hat. Made the bus in seconds flat…”

John Lennon certainly knew what he was talking about. A day in the life, right? Too often, if we’re not careful, this is what becomes of our day-to-day life. Get up, go to work, come home, sleep. Sorta like that Bill Murray movie, "Groundhog Day." And then we get all caught up in, and complain about, the little things which, when you really get down to it, don’t really matter much. I think we, as humans, love to complain. Why? Why do we focus so much of our energy on the negative things that go on in our lives and never really comment or pay enough attention to all the good things happening right in front of our eyes?

So your burger was cooked medium-well and not medium. So it’s raining outside. So your boss is an asshole. So your date was a disaster. Traffic sucks. Cellphone reception sucks. Some asshole in front of you has 11 items in a 10 item express lane. Oh there are bigger issues, too. Work, relationships, etc. Lots to complain about.

My work sucks. Work has me on the road 95% of the time. The company I work for is unethical. I’m not a used car salesman so I struggle to fit in. My relationships or lack thereof, suck. Lately, it seems the harder I try to please people, the more I get myself into trouble. Divorce is a pain-in-the-ass. Let’s not even go there. Yeah, I have a lot to complain about. I’m guilty, but I am trying to make an effort to improve. I AM trying to invoke Ferris Bueller’s philosophy of, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

I jog two miles a day. Not because I like to, but because I’m just trying to stay fit. But now I make an effort to hear the birds sing, look at cloud formations, smell the fresh air, and smile because I’ve got my iPod on and am listening to The Shins, no one’s hassling me, and I’m keeping in shape.

But the tendency for us, I think, is to relapse and complain again. But then you get a reality check. One of your best friends calls you and tells you her 25-year-old brother is dead. His roommate found him unconscious in his bed. Gone just like that. Cause unknown. WHAM! I’ve been hit over the head with a sledgehammer. My blood rushes through me, I’m sweating, nauseous and am utterly speechless. Imagine how she feels? What do you say? What can you say, really? Her life and her parents lives, all great friends of mine, will never be the same again. Now THAT is something to bitch about. And it’s unfortunate, but it takes a tragic event such as this to make us realize that life indeed is too short and that we have much to be thankful for.

So what? It’s raining. We’ll get a little wet. Fuck it, the old man has one too many items in the express lane. Big deal. At least we’re alive and well and have the opportunity to make the best of each day and appreciate the little things rather than complain about them. Ferris was right. Let’s all try to listen to him, shall we?


OK Mary Tyler Moore fans. Remember when Lou Grant opened up his own tavern? Remember his grand opening? It was a total bomb. He tried to get his patrons to sing Alexander's Ragtime Band. Do you recall the words? Something like, "C'mon along. C'mon along. Alexander's Ragtime Band. C'mon and hear. C'mon and hear. It's the best band in the land."

I hope my grand opening doesn't bomb, and I welcome and invite you to c'mon along and 'hear' my posts. You'll find my world is filled with quotes from songs, movies, and TV Shows. To my fellow bloggers, I offer you this musical quote by Lifehouse from the song "Unknown." "I am falling into grace, to the unknown to where you are..." Try not to laugh. I'm only a beginner. Hmm, on second thought, why not complete the trio with a movie quote. Remember what Samantha said to Large in "Garden State?" She said, "If you can't laugh at yourself, life's going to seem a whole lot longer than you'd like."

P.S. Thanks Kvetch and NYNY for the inspiration and NYNY for my "Plantation" nickname!