Wednesday, March 23, 2011

anatomy of an alcoholic

My roommate/landlord is an alcoholic. He is a 38-year-old male. He has no steady employment, but according to him, makes more than ever "consulting." No word yet on what or who he consults. I never see him leave the house anymore, so I'm confused as to when he's doing this consulting. Anyway, that's not the point. It's started to adversely affect my living situation. It's nothing serious, he's not violent so far, but it makes me nervous and uncomfortable and unwilling to stay in any part of the house that he is occupying for more than 34 seconds.

Please enjoy the following 100% scientific and accurate charts I've prepared to document his typical day so you can better understand what I'm dealing with here.

figure 1: how his time is spent while awake

figure 2: most common activities while drunk

**This pie slice would be drastically larger if I stayed in the same room as him for longer than 34 seconds.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

why I take a roll of toilet paper with me to the movie theater

I'm a movie-cryer. It's sort of a problem. I cry at movies that I'm pretty sure no one involved in the making of the movie intended for it to be a crying movie. I cried at Star Trek for pete's sake. I almost said "for crying out loud" instead of "for pete's sake" but that seemed too ironic and cutesy. Who the hell is pete though? I'm not happy with either of these expressions. Anyways, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, my unnecessary histrionics. I even cried at Iron Man 2.

Not really on that last one. I really hope you didn't believe that of me, I'd probably be mentally impaired if that was true. But I'm not kidding about the volume and range of movies I cry at. I cry at movies that I don't even care about, that I know are stupid. Hold on, my alcoholic roommates are raising my anger level to homicidal- I need to relocate.

There, that's better. For no reason other than boredom and a personal resolution to blog more often than once every other month, I've organized any crying movies I could think of into lists (not comprehensive) of light to moderate to severe based on how long/hysterically I cried while watching. Consider my self-respect left at the door.

light: Just tearing up or only a few silent tears running down my right cheek. The only kind of movie crying that I have any hope of concealing from the person sitting next to me in the theater who will think I'm deranged if I don't.
"Lord of the Rings"
"Star Wars"
"Finding Nemo"
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"
"Tuck Everlasting"

moderate: crying at a controlled volume for less than ten minutes
"A Walk to Remember"
"Charlotte's Web"
"Pay It Forward"
"Pan's Labyrinth"

severe: Crying for ten minutes or more, sometimes up to an half hour after the movie has ended at a level of hystericity (not a word) appropriate for someone who has just witnessed their entire family being murdered by Voldemort. This is not a pretty cry, people.
"Big Fish"
"The Time Traveler's Wife"
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"Moulin Rouge"
"The Lion King"

in its own category: this movie exceeded all other previous and subsequent crying levels because I cried FOUR SEPARATE times and continued to sit in the theater for five minutes during the credits and sob while hugging my parents

Are you ready?



That's right, a goddamn Pixar movie. Why those sadistic Disney bastards love killing off immediate family members in almost every feature film is a topic for another blog post, but I will never watch that movie again.

Honorary literary mention: The sixth Harry Potter book (not the movie) when SPOILER ALERT Dumbledore dies. I cried for about two hours and even had to call my mom who was out of town at 1 a.m. to help me calm down. The best part of this story is that I initially refused to tell her why I was calling her crying at 1 a.m. because she hadn't read the Harry Potter books yet and I didn't want to ruin it for her.

As an afterthought I added a fourth list: popular movies I refuse to watch because I know I will end up hysterical
"The Green Mile"
"Schindler's List"
"The Pursuit of Happyness"
"Million Dollar Baby"
"Sophie's Choice"
"Saving Private Ryan"

I have two questions about these lists.

1. Should I be worried about what this says about me psychologically and emotionally?

2. Why are so many of these children's movies?!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

read this if you remotely care for electro pop

You know that feeling when something is so amazing and brings you so much joy that you just want to climb to the top of the nearest mountain and shout to the world that you've found love?That's how I feel about these songs. Unlike the latest Britney Spears product placement-laden video, I just cannot get tired of these songs; they're a revelation.

I saved the best for first: "Byrds of Prey" by Bertie Blackman. Fabulously fantastic. I haven't been so obsessed with a song since I first heard La Roux. Must be listened to with good headphones at least once.

"Audacity of Huge" by Simian Mobile Disco featuring Chris Keating. It wasn't love at first listen. In fact, at first I thought it was Eurotrash techno. But after a couple times, I started really hearing the words and was struck with the sheer coolness of this song.

Passion Pit- "Little Secrets." I'm speechless. MTV2 describes it as "Indie Disco," and I don't think I could do any better than that. I might venture to compare them to an amped-up MGMT.

"Allein Allein"- Polarkreis 18. Yes, it's a German band, and the title translates to "Alone Alone." The message is rather depressing if you stop to think about it, but I don't because I can't get over how hauntingly lovely this song is.

Hot Chip- "Take It In." I strongly recommend listening to this one on the ol' headphones too. A much more pensive, piercing Hot Chip than you may have already heard in "Ready for the Floor" or "Over and Over."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

World peace might be closer than we think

Have you heard of the show Little Mosque on the Prairie? It's a Canadian sitcom with Muslims comprising several of the main characters.

I thought it might be interesting so I started watching it tonight. It's not. I'm pleased to report it's just as mediocre and ho-hum as Two and a Half Men and The King of Queens (insert Charlie Sheen joke here?). Just like when I try to watch those shows, I felt the urge to stick needles in my eyes, because at least that would be more lively.

Why does this make me so happy? Truly, having their own worthless sitcom has to be a sign of Western culture's acceptance of Muslims. The fact that the show is so unremarkable gives me great hope for our society. If Western attitude toward Muslims and Middle Easterners was really that poor, this show either would not get made at all, or it would have to be much, much better in terms of writing, acting, and originality in order to make a bold social commentary to initiate a change in popular attitude.* Especially since these lowest common denominator shows, to quote Ricky Gervais, pander to the exact demographic that I would most expect to be racist against Arabs, Muslims, or anyone with brown skin not part of the black category. Can peaceful relations between the West and the Middle East really be that far away? (Yes, yes they can. Thank you, George W. Bush)

By now I've said at least eight offensive things against people from all walks of life. I thought about editing myself for a second, but then I remembered that this is my opinion blog, and neither of us come here because I am a paragon of diplomacy.

*At this point I am realizing I underestimated how difficult it would be to write coherent sentences at 4 a.m., even though I've been working nights this week and haven't been able to fall asleep much before 5 a.m. for the past three nights anyway. I just needed to get that out.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Questions I Am Tired of Being Asked: 5th ed. If you're from Cleveland and not Mormon, what are you doing in Utah county**?

Answer: I grew up Mormon. I went to BYU. It was cheap, and I had a full tuition scholarship my freshman year, which sounded a lot better than the other $40,000/year schools I got into that only gave me $6,000 or $10,000 scholarships. In retrospect, this was a mistake. I should have gone to Ohio State or some other cheaper state school, but I was a snob. I thought you couldn't get a respectable education at a place like that. Stupid.

Anyway, since my parents are quite liberal on the scale of Mormonity and raised me to think for myself, I was extremely unhappy at BYU. Everything about how the school was run, many of my fellow students, and most of my professors (with a couple very notable exceptions) dumped me into a spiral of depression and anguish.

When I finally found the self-respect and courage to leave, I had no idea what my next move would be. I was dating a rich guy, had just turned 21, and was having fun with my job, my friends, and my newly legal ID. Eventually I decided to simply transfer to the nearby Utah Valley University to finish my degree. I wouldn't have to move, I knew the area really well, and things were going well at work and with my friends, so why leave?

I now regret this decision as well. Although I actually LOVED Utah Valley University*** and don't regret transferring there from BYU for one split second, I was still unhappy for my last year or so in Utah. Things started to turn sour with people at work, several of my closest friends had moved away, and I was more aware than ever of the slim dating/socializing prospects and my distaste for the general populace of Utah County. It's hard to fit in when the cool kids all go to church every Sunday, love to talk about how awesome the church is, don't drink, don't want to go out, and don't date outside their faith.

As stated below, I've since gotten out of Utah, so now I can complain about it freely without having some dunderhead shout at me, "If you hate Utah so much, then don't live here!" Believe me pal, given a do-over, we would not be having this conversation right now. I could turn this into a long diatribe about Mormons and Utah culture (it's like a different country! And not one of the fun, touristy ones in Western Europe!) but, predictably, I no longer feel the need to vent now that I'm no longer surrounded by the great charade. And hasn't it all been said already elsewhere? Every ex-Mormon already knows the reasons the Mormon church and Utah are ridiculous, and most still-clinging-to-the-iron-rod Mormons don't want to hear it.

**I currently live in Colorado, but I still get asked this question retrospectively.

***Seriously. This is when I realized you're going to get a good education out of ANY school if that is your intention. UVU is a state school with an awful reputation, and yet my professors there were wonderful, passionate, and realistic (and criminally underpaid). I still got tons of personal attention despite it being a 30,000+ student school (I realize this has largely to do with my major. A business major would probably feel differently).