Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In the Garage

Could it have been true?
My friend, Mike, sent me a link. I was incredibly stoked.
Bomb the Music Industry! was planning on playing the Blue Album and Pinkerton, by Weezer, in their entirety at a house show.
I was hurt when I found out I did not make the list for the first show on Saturday, October 9th, but I found bliss when I heard I made the list for the 10th. Sure, I would have to leave right from my cousin's wedding, but for such an event, it had to be worth the energy.

I remember the first time I was exposed to Weezer. I was in fourth grade and in one of our music classes (more like music appreciation), some of the fifth graders had mentioned this song, Buddy Holly, that they heard on the radio. They got the tape and played it for us in class.
I remember loving that song, absolutely loving every last note. As I began to understand the lyrics, I found a kindred spirit in the character of the song- I wanted that life, the sappy life epitomized by the video, taking place in "Happy Days." That video alone would have gotten me to fall head over heels for the song. So many days after school were spent watching the trials and tribulations of Richie and Fonzie on my babysitter's television, that the visual version of the song struck a chord.

Fast forward to high school tech crew: the Blue Album was a constant soundtrack to our life in the crew room. I became enamored with the rest of the Blue Album, using Napster to acquire my favorite tracks. I am not sure when I actually bought the album, but I know I did. At some point during this era, during my wading into the shallow end of punk rock, I heard about the elusive Pinkerton. It may have been years later, but walking around 7th Avenue in Park Slope, I stopped into my favorite music store and found it- a copy of Pinkerton. I snatched it up, and listened to it over and over. It was not until years later that I really grasped the album- that it clicked with me. It still pains me that I do not have my original copy, thanks to a careless UPS delivery man who lost all my CDs in my move to Buffalo.

I drifted away from Weezer. Mediocre releases followed by ones that just did not click with me made me shirk the band. I moved all but these two albums off my hard drive. I would spin them occasionally, letting those memories of my youth waft through my ears. By now, I was doing laps in the punk rock pool- there was so much music out there, I barely had time to revisit those stepping stones. But BTMI!'s announcement brought all these memories rushing back.

It was a two hour drive back from the wedding to my parent's house in Brooklyn with my sister in the back seat and her boyfriend riding shotgun. Two hours in traffic and sun glare. Two hours of trying to figure out the directions and mulling over whether or not I should go to the show or trudge back to my home to get some much needed shut eye. Needless to say, I made the right decision.

The drive there was easy, although I did breeze by the house a few times. I made my way in and waited patiently for my friends to arrive. I spoke with Jeff from BTMI! for a few minutes before meandering around the house, realizing that at one point I wanted to live in such a collective. Man, was I wrong.

A little after nine, they took the stage, under a kludge mock up of Weezer's classic flying W. From the raw explosion of "My Name is Jonas", the crowd erupted. Like any good show, there was a massive release of pent up stress and anger. Every participant expelled the anger from their body and was full of pure joy. For me, this concert was about experiencing those memories all over again- of feeling like an outsider, only I was finally doing it in a place where I was comfortable. I grabbed strangers and hugged them. I shouted the lyrics into their face.
"No One Else" was filled with so much fire and emotion. "The Wold Has Turned And Left Me Here," a song I identified with for so long, nearly brought me to tears. If I had a few more beers in me, it would have done just that.
And then came "Buddy Holly." It was bliss. Pure bliss.
BTMI! played them all, giving an absolutely truthful representation of the Blue Album. The angst and isolation was all there. But it wasn't directed at us. If anyone, it was directed at the world out there- in the cool Brooklyn night. Inside, we were the ones that belonged.

The crowd had thinned for the Pinkerton set, and I did not know all the lyrics, but I sang and danced and yelled all the same. Hearing it live gave me a whole new appreciation for the album. The pure rage of that album filtered through my head, and now I know why I should have been even more excited to find a copy, and am not even more distraught that I only have the digital essence. "Tired of Sex" kicked things off and the crowd, though diminished, never let up.

I am forever thankful I was able to make this show. Bomb the Music Industry! captured everything wonderful about those albums and gave it back to the world in the way they were meant to be heard, not in arenas.

Bomb the Music Industry! - Buddy Holly from If You Make It on Vimeo.

That's me, grinning like the happy kid I was, in the lower right hand corner.

Later dudes,

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

No idea

I was walking out of an appointment on Tuesday, and passed by a restaurant with big glass windows. I usually go past it, glance in, see if I see anyone I know. Occasionally I'll see an old student and wave hello.

This time, however, was different.

I'm strolling by, headphones in, and this cute girl waves at me. She looks like she could be a student, so I wave back. She suddenly looks awkward, so I ask through the glass, mouthing the words "Do I know you?," and she just keeps giggling.

I'm unsure what's going on, so I double back and head inside. I see her, face to face, and ask "Do I know you?"

She giggles, and mumbles "No" and then runs away.

These things really happen to me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


So I'm on jDate, partially because work keeps me from having a social life and partially because it is way easier to get rejected online than face getting shot down in real life.
I had been speaking with a woman for a few days who seemed awesome, but kept alluding to a secret. When she told me that she was seeing someone, but that it wasn't going well, I put that in the secret column.
So we chat, and things are going well (to me at least) and then she asks me, as a former sex educator (gotta love Grad School Assistantships) how would I advise someone with an STD to have a healthy sexual relationship. I assume it's for a friend she had told me she was helping.
I say something to the effect of safe sex and an understanding partner. I then also say that personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable sleeping with someone with Herpes or HIV. She replies:

"I guess this is goodbye."

Before I can really fully process what I'm writing to her or what she wrote back, she goes:

"You won't even get to know me" and then cuts off contact.

The thing is, I felt bad. I didn't like that. As I see, I got to know her: she kept two important pieces of information from me (relationship status AND sexual health). At this point in my life, I'm not looking to date, I'm looking to meet someone for something a little more long term, so I want someone I can sleep with safely. Is that so much to ask? I am taking steps to protect myself and any potential future partners. But no, in this scenario, I am cast as a villain.

As if internet dating isn't hard enough. Seriously, I am sick of women writing "please be 5'9"." Seriously? I mean, I understand- I'd rather have someone tell me up front than hide her reservations about my size from me and let them out in small bursts culminating in a ten minute dumping via phone, but it still stings.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I am exhausted.
I love my job.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Good and the Bad

The Good: Meeting fun people who seem interesting on the jDate.
The Bad: Having a work schedule that will prevent me from seeing any of them before Labor Day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm on a boat

The Vegan Who Ate My Face

Sometimes I just feel like I have to write.
Or rather, I want to write because I want to feel important. I rarely have anything important to say, but putting it all out there into the anonymous world of the internet somehow makes me feel important. I am a speck, but I am a totally kick ass speck.
The past few months have been...interesting. I had a relationship with Mystery Girl. Mystery Girl was great, but circumstances made it difficult for the relationship to continue.
Also, I came to terms with my height a long time ago- get over it world.
One of my friends recommended that I remove my height from my online dating profile, stating that she thought the reason I was having problems making that initial point of contact was that some of these people are "shallow" and can't look past my height.
Even if that's the case, I'm 5'4", and I have been for years. My height helped to make me who I am today (try being the short kid in grade school...not fun). I'm not going to hide that.

Separately, I went to a concert- Bomb the Music Industry! to be specific. I met up with friends and had a great time in general, and a woman there was, as the kids say, all up on me. It culminated in her assaulting me with he mouth during the headliner's set for the sloppiest make out I have had in a long while. It made me feel like an idiot college kid again. Unlike that idiot kid though, I got her number and we met up later.

We had everything in common except we were terrible for each other.

Also she's a vegan and I am not. For someone who enjoys cooking (me), this is a pretty awkward situation.

"Hi honey, I made chicken."
"Grilled Cheese?"
"I made raw spinach?"

This is a fake conversation.

Regardless, it was an awkward date seeing as she did not remember much about eating my face at the concert.

I'm feeling weird, though. After listening to Frank Turner non-stop and going to see "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" (P.S. Go see this movie right fucking now. Are you back? Good!) something has switched inside my head/heart combo. I am not fully sure what the hell happened, but I'm sure I'll write about it here in overly dramatic fashion.
I don't know how to explain it, but I feel young at heart again, like, before I had my heart ripped out the first time.

Later dudes,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gorram I love this song.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Because I needed to see that this morning.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The only constant in my life has been me, and I fear I need to change.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I hate making mistakes at work.
What I hate even more is the feeling that I have to somehow prove to my boss that I'm not going to mess up in the future, as if justifying my place in the workforce.
I need to get over myself.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


In the past twelve hours I have slammed my shoulder into a door knob and cracked my big toe nail on a cabinet.
I am such a winner.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Menzingers

Full disclosure: I love this band.
My first encounter with the Menzingers was during 2006 or 2007- my first year in grad school. I was in a bad place- new city, few friends, just been dumped, and my supervisor and I did not get along very well. Combine this with the fact that I did not have a car, getting away from where I worked/lived/educated myself was a daunting proposition.
I did the best I could- I probably could have done better. One of my escapes at work, however, was the computer, where I would play various internet radio stations to carry me away from the shit that was my day. One such station was punkradiocast- a Canadian station that played a good (if repetitive) mix of songs and exposed me to a ton of artists (including the Copyrights and American Steel). One day, a song I later discovered to be "Sir, Yes Sir" came on and I was hooked, instantly. Only I had no clue what the name of the song or artist was, listening through Windows Media Player as I had to at work. I would go home every night, searching the depths of Google for any hint to the lyrics I remembered. Eventually, after months of searching, one virus laden site had the name of the song, the band, and the album.
The Menzingers...A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology
I got my hands on the album some time later, and just devoured it whole. I loved every second that graced my ears. "A Lesson" leaves you winded, exhausted, and beat up- you have just come out of a Fight Club brawl with a smile on your bloodied face.
Over time I got involved in a message board that shared my love for the Mezingers. When their EP, "Hold on Dodge" came out, we all had a collective smile of pure joy. The same punchers attitude permeated the album, but in a far more mature way. When the single for the new album came out, we fawned over the acoustic tracks.
I have managed to see this band twice now, and both times, they absolutely blew me away. The first time, at a punk house in Bushwhick...words cannot describe. Within one song, both vocalist mics were broken and I was showered in beer. I was yelling, screaming, climbing over people singing along to every lyric. After, I shared whiskey with the vocalist, Greg.
I saw them again a few weeks later at a bar in Williamsburg. They went on first. There was not mashing of bodies against each other this time, not until my friend jumped on my back, nearly knocking me into the band. The set was just as energetic, peppered with tracks from their impending release.
Afterward, we shared pizza and beer with Greg during the second band (who were horrendous). I even managed to embarrass the vocalist at the end of the show, proclaiming my distaste for the second band...standing not one foot from her. Oops.
Yesterday, the Menzingers released "Chamberlain Waits" digitally. This album kicked my ass in a totally different way the "A Lesson." Rather than a brawl, this was an artistic beatdown from the likes of Jet Li. I was floored, and continue to be, listening to the album six times in 16 hours.
Catchy and passionate, this album does not disappoint. If you feel any disillusionment at all with the current state of things, do yourself a favor and pick up their discography, and yell along in cathartic bliss.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Every Thug Needs a Lady

I had a date this weekend. It was not a bad date, but my heart was not into the event. I was tired and upset- I had lost power the night before at a storm. Well, not me, but my apartment and place of work did, and I was looking at the prospect of living with my parents for a few days. So as I type this, I am sitting in a coffee shop a block and a half from my parents' in Brooklyn. I wish I could find a place like this in Westchester (although I could deal without the singing infants, but thankfully, I have headphones).
I saw Alkaline Trio on Friday, and while I really enjoyed seeing them, the show was just, well, pretty average. Do not get me wrong, I loved seeing this band finally- I have been listening to them for years, but the venue was nothing special. Also, with a band like Trio, with their ten albums worth of material, then they are no doubt not going to play everyone's favorite songs. They hit some of mine, but I really wished they had hit a few more. Oh well.
The low point of the evening was when this woman, obviously intoxicated, was flirting with me. I was not going to do anything untoward with her, but I would have liked to have gotten her number before her friend whisked her away. A yoga instructor. Who lived in Westchester. Who seemed impressed with my job.
Gotta move faster Alex, gotta move faster.
I did manage to see Cursive, finally, and damn, I do not know why I stopped listening to them. These guys kicked so much ass. Tim, the lead singer, just, well, gave himself over to the show, and it really looked like he left it all out there on stage. Good for him.
So back to the date on Sunday. A jDate, of course- although my first one in four months. She picked the place, and it was a nice lunch. Recovering from a cold and trying to figure out my plans for the next day in the back of my mind, my effort was misaligned. That being said, we did not click well. She was smart, valued education and helping people, and had great taste in movies and television shows. Oh, and she was absolutely beautiful.
So why did it not work?
Maybe because my mind was somewhere else, or maybe because we just did not have that spark. Perhaps it was because the date was on her home turf- someplace she was familiar with and comfortable, setting me on edge. It could be that I was just intimidated by her, which has been known to happen.
Is this dating? I do not know. I spent my teenage years without dating because I was an awkward and immature teenager. In college, no one really dated- people just got together. Now, I have to learn how to date while also trying to meet people. It certainly is an adventure, as my log of awkward dates continues to grow (and only a small percent are awkward because of something I do).
Makes me really wish I got that woman's number.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Victory Gin

My friend's wife murdered their daughter. There's no way around it- this is something that happened and has shaped the past two weeks of my life and will change everything going forward. I am putting it out there, not because I want to bring you down, but because it's something tragic that happened, that I was close to, that is affecting how I am feeling.

I have been making mistakes at work recently. I hate it, not because they are mistakes but because they are items I shouldn't be missing. I have no one to blame but myself, but I need to learn how to just accept them and move on. I love my job, I love my career, but I cannot let these things dominate my life.
My dad says, work to live, not live to work. I thought I was lucky, that I had found a place where my life and work could meld in a joyous way. While this has happened, I wouldn't call it joyous. The friend I mentioned, is also my coworker; his daughter a student.
Two of the people that reached out to me after the tragedy were Magic players. These are people who I share a game with, but reached out, not for advice on the game, but to console me. My life and work, they are inseparable, for now.
I feel, sometimes, that I never really get away. I live where I work- I have a phone that I carry with me all the time. I am constantly tethered to my desk. I finally got away, and went home for a few days and it was glorious.

I sat in traffic, anxious about missing the show. Drew told me I would have to get there early to make sure I got a spot in the loft. The commute had other ideas. Somehow, after the wrong turns and red lights (with a little help from Dad), I made it to the venue and promptly whiskey myself inside. I was person number seven.
The bands all kicked ass. The place was packed. I could not believe how much fun I had, and how I longed for such an event in Westchester. When one band laid into NoFX's "Linoleum" I launched myself into the pit, and barely left for the Menzingers set.
Let me tell you- I was a mess. Tank top and jeans, my Reeboks a dungy shade of gray from the bottoms of shoes and spilled beer. Coated in a layer of my sweat, a layer of sweat from everyone else, plus a fine mist of beer shower. The place was a whirling dervish of joy, and I long to feel that again.

I walked around my old haunt on Saturday, just happy to be able to walk around town. I went to a bar and had a delicious beer, and finally heard good music on the juke. The Ramones sang to me before the siren song of the Dillinger Four made me long to return. After a night out with my sister, I drove home on Sunday.

And now? Now I search everywhere nearby for something with character. I'm from Brooklyn, dammit, and everything here lacks soul. I want a coffee shop, not a Starbucks. I want to know that this bar plays Johnny Cash and that one plays the Ramones- I don't want them all to play Dave Matthews.
New York might be unique, but please, there must be people here that do not want the same old cookie cutter life, over and over.
I miss the city- I long for the smell of exhaust and the bustle of streets. I can't walk anywhere up here.

My life- it's not bad. I just miss my home town. Thankfully, it's only an hour away.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I hate making mistake. I'm a fucking perfectionist about certain things in life, like my job. I have made a bunch of mistakes recently- none that will get me canned or anything, but things that add up. Most are relatively minor and easily corrected- a few have been bigger, and more difficult to correct. I have gotten better at not taking these things personally, but still, I really despise fucking up.
For years, I have partially defined myself by what I do. In college, I was a student and a techie. For a brief time I was able to be a person, social, and get out there. Then I was a grad student and worker, and now I'm a professional. When I make a mistake, sometimes I feel like it cuts to the core. This also happens in my Magic writing, but I have gotten better about letting that stuff slide off my back.
I guess part of this stems from how fucking hard it is to define yourself in this day an age. Yes, identity is as fleeting as it is firm- you are only what you claim to be if you put forth the effort. I have a lot of experience trying to define myself for dating websites and job applications, but what do I say?
I'm Jewish?
I'm passionate?
I listen to punk rock?
I'm fucking awesome?
That's part of the reason I have this blog- to try and figure out what I am. I am a self proclaimed nerd, but even that doesn't say everything about me. In this world where we're all just trying to find a connection, I think we a re best defined by our roles in our relationships with others. This is one of the reasons why I miss living in Brooklyn- it was easy for me to go out and find the comfort zones of identity. Here, I have to brave new ground and do it all over again. It's fin, but tiring. After a day of work, I don't always have the energy to go out to the bar and be a social person. I made it out today and had a Heineken Light, at the behest and suggestion of my sister (a smart one).
Thursdays are not the best days at my local watering hole, especially to meet people.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Friday night was unremarkable. Like so many others, I was working, although this time my stomach was rather upset. I had to sneak off to the secret bathroom in the Castle a few times to make use of the hidden toilet-no lights in this place- like a scene from a bad Jason movie.
Anyway, it is a night like so many others- watching the clock, counting down the minutes until I get to go home.
And then my Junior year roommate walks in.
I had not spoken to this man in nearly five years- we parted on less than amicable terms. We were both arrogant kids at the time, only he had a girlfriend and would frequently fight with her loudly and with consequences. He once put his head into my wall, leaving a dent. I was no prince either, being rather loud about my distaste for him.
It was like the odd couple, only with two short people angry at each other.
So he's there, and we have the awkward hello. I can only imagine what's going through his head, since he's there as a guest of a first year student.
I don't see him the rest of the night, but find a facebook message from him today. None of this sits right with me. I mean, I am all for making amends, but that's not what irks me.
I think I'm jealous of the man.
I work at a place where the people I come into contact with the most, the students, are off limits socially (as they should be- I am not complaining about this at all). But not to him...someone my own age. He's free to date whomever he pleases. That rubs me the wrong way a little.
But at the same time, what scares me is I know the developmental cycle for most traditional aged college students, and, well, it feels just off. 25 and 18 does not seem like such a huge difference, but one person is just starting college, and the other has been out for nearly three years.
I dunno; maybe it's just jealously.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wake me when you learn to be cool

I got my hands on the new Motion City Soundtrack album, and it made me fall in love with being a nerd. Again.
No, that's not quite right. Rather, I feel like their music describes how I view myself when I talk about being a nerd. The character they craft for their music is one who lacks confidence at times, but is wholly engaged with the subculture he/she inhabits. Someone trying to improve their individual self, while not shirking uniqueness yet trying fitting into the world at large.
I signed up for jDate again, but have such mixed feelings about the entire process. I mean, in the past year most of my dates have come from this site, and I like to think I have learned a lot, but I cannot get over this nagging feeling that sites like these are actively bad for the world. I mean, I am all for meeting that special someone, but have we really created a world where the best way to do that is online? Also, chatting via instant message is annoying when people get up to do something and neglect to tell you, so sometimes you're just chatting and saying a bunch while they're off in the bathroom, and come back to your frantic wall of text, trying to keep them interested in your boring life.
I mean, there are positive attributes. You actually get to talk to the person before meeting them in the flesh to see if you mesh well, and you do not have to attract someone across a crowded bar (although I am a dashing fellow).
But something is missing. I am not entirely sure what it is since my one relationship ever started when a woman walked up to me and we started discussing who was a bigger nerd.
More than anything else, though, the site breaks down the lives of people into words, and that is just so difficult. I have read so many profiles about women who love to travel, and I wonder: what does that really mean? Do you want to see other parts of the world or is there just nothing going on for you right now?
Who knows.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I love google

When you Google ridiculous, this pops up

You're welcome