Friday, March 30, 2007

A Victory Nearly 28 Years in the Making

I bite my fingernails. I have been doing it as long as I can remember. I don't just bite them, I also pick at them with my other fingers. Since I was a small child, my hands have looked shredded, beaten up, and raw.

When I had nothing left to pick at or bite, I started in on my toenails. Gross, yes I know, but I picked at them too. Not nearly to the extent of my hands, but a bad habit nonetheless.

I've never been able to stop. I don't know that its a nervous habit, or because I'm stressed, or if I have a manual fixation... maybe some of all of the above. My parents used to yell at me for it for years. When I was eight, they offered me a Nintendo NES system if I could show them a hand with five full fingernails. I managed to grow two. I got the NES anyway. I'm a brat.

My grandmother used to smack my hands every time she saw me biting or picking. I couldn't make myself stop, even though I knew she was disappointed in me.

About two weeks ago, I found a bottle of "nail strengthener" in a friend's medicine cabin. Clear nail polish essentially... not sure what makes it "strengthen" nails. So I used it... a couple more times later that week, reapplied the polish.

Last week, I removed the polish... I found myself rubbing the edges of my fingers, playing with the edge of the nails, snagging them on the seams of clothing and fabric.

Today, I clipped my nails... for the first time since I can remember. It may not last, I may start biting again this afternoon, but its a still a victory.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Quintessentially DC Items?

Last year, when I went to Austin, one my friends down there pulled together gift bags that represented things that were unique to Texas, such as Lone Star beer, Mesquite BBQ chips, buttons that said "Everything is Bigger in Texas", etc...

So one of my good friends has a crew coming into town next weekend, and I suggested she do the same thing for their time in DC. But now we need to pull together a goodie bag of DC stuff... sample ideas include Utz Crab Chips, Washington landmark refrigerator magnets, but we need more good ideas.

Since I'm a native to the area, I'm actually a bit uncertain what some of things we have here are, that the rest of the country may not have.

Any thoughts? Anything you crave when you first return to DC from your respective homes?? All ideas are appreciated...

Monday, March 19, 2007

What's the Frequency, Kenneth?

So I'm watching the replay of last week's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction this afternoon. And the final induction of the day is REM. And before each band is presented, they show a video montage of highlight's of the band's career.

This montage contains clips from their entire career, from the Athens, Georgia days of Radio Free Europe, to Stand, to Out of Time, Monster, and Automatic for the People, to the new albums of the last couple years since Bill Berry left the band. And as I watched the montage, all I could think of was "Damn, why do I always forget how much I love this band?"

At any rate, I dont know how that happens... I have 12 or 13 of their cds, yet when people ask me what I listen to, I never mention them among my first choices. And I didn't 10 years ago... but they were there then, and they're there now. So here's to longevity, and here's to Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry too.

So enjoy this clip from the induction...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Belated Thoughts on Yesterday's "Holiday"

So as many of you in the blogosphere have pointed out, March 14th is Steak and BJ Day, or Valentine's Day for men.

While I can't remark on whether I celebrated it properly, I will say that it sparked an interesting conversation with a friend on what if Hallmark sold cards to honor the occasion.

Sample copy for cards:

(from a guy)
Roses are Red,
I like my steak rare...
You better go down on me
After we play truth or dare...

or these from girls:

You're a good man,
I'm not a tease...
I'll make you your dinner,
Then get down on my knees...


I'm not a slut,
I’m not a ho…
I’ll cook you a steak,
And perform fellatio!


I'm from the south,
Yes I do have a twang...
Its why I'm good in the kitchen,
And better on your wang.


All the snow is melted…
Spring has come on like a fever…
Tonights all about YOU….
So don’t worry about my beaver.


I love barbecue,
And corn on the cob,
So after dinner,
I'll slobber your knob...

Feel free to send in your submissions/ideas. Maybe we can write Hallmark for next year! :-)

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Return to My Southern Roots?

Previously in my blog I've discussed my white trash tendencies, but I want to briefly discuss one of my biggest pet peeves about living in the DC metro area. I grew up here, I love it, but it drives me crazy that frequently we are subjected to national advertising for products and retail outlets that we do not have here in DC.

Two of the key ad campaigns that I feel neglected by are Sonic and Buffalo Wild Wings... For those that don't know, Sonic is the single greatest fast food "restaurant" in America today. From their "drive-in" slots where the food is brought to your car, to the Sonic Blast ice cream concoctions, to the tater tots as a side dish; Sonic is a slice of heaven. Alas, its only available in the southern U.S.

Buffalo Wild Wings (or BW3) is a staple of most college towns across the south and midwest. The perfect sports bar, with a variety of flatscreens and projection TVs showing every sport imaginable, plus the availability of NTN trivia. Not to mention a menu with every fried chicken product you can dream of, with a choice of 16 flavors of sauce, from sweet to spicy...

So after venting to friends for months about the travesty of being subjected to Sonic advertising without getting my tots, I decided it was time to step up to the plate. I looked up the closest Sonic to DC. Fredericksburg, VA... I smell a road trip! Bonus points were added when I learned the Fred also featured a BW3...

Yep... so yesterday was the big day. Gathered a couple friends, jumped on the highway, and one hour later pulled into charming, downtown Fredericksburg, VA. Turns out most of the Fred is taken up by a giant mall/shopping complex called Central Park. BW3 was found among one strip of the complex.

1:45 pm... Pulled up a table, started watching the ACC Championship game, ordered some wings... life is good.

3:30pm... Eating more wings and fried mushrooms, on my 2nd 23 ounce beer, watching the Big Ten title game, playing online poker.

5:15pm... More wings, watching NASCAR, playing NTN trivia.

6:15pm... Watching NCAA tourney selection show, more poker.

7:00pm... Did someone say its time for Sonic?

7:30pm... Pull into my drive-in window, 2 burger meals (w/ tots), 1 chili dog meal (w/tots), and one Oreo Sonic Freeze.*

8:30pm... Still at Sonic, dessert time... 1 Cherry Slush, 1 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Sonic Freeze.

9:30pm... Home safe and sound... with a slight belly ache, but a very happy heart!

* - Note: Not all food was consumed by PRSlave, remember I had friends in the car too. ;)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Ain't No Guilt Like Jewish Mother Guilt...

So last night a friend took me to see a play. I'm a pretty big theatre buff, and I'm generally willing to try new things, so when she suggested a very small play I had never heard of, I was willing to take a shot.

This won't be a theatre review, so I'll refrain from naming the play or playwright (if you're desperate to know, email me). The show was mostly a series of flashbacks of the life of a middle-aged male, whose mother (Jewish) had done an unbelievable number on him. And by unbelievable number, I mean everything from trying to forbid him to leave for college after his bags were packed (she didn't think he was "mature enough" to be on his own) to asking him not to get married at his rehearsal dinner (she couldn't be all alone) to uncoverable physical interaction where it was just blurry enough whether she wanted her oldest son to replace the husband who beat her and left her.

Heavy stuff, and admittedly, this playwright worked to overload it just a bit to hammer his point home. Subtlety was an artform this play did not possess. But since I got out of the show, its had me thinking about my own Jewish mother, as well as others I've had the opportunity to see.

I readily admit that there is something about the Jewish maternal influence, that makes the use of guilt and manipulation a requirement in their lives. Particularly when it comes to their first born sons; the "Golden Child", the "Perfect Boy", the "Lamb of Her Loins" (tm last night's play). Somehow they always manage to make their compliments come across as a slight, their approval come through as hedged... The ability to turn from pride to disdain within the same conversation or even the same sentence is unmatched in the rest of society.

My own mother, despite my moderate successes - both personal and career, still holds the randomest things against me. While my professional life may have yet to reach "stellar" status, I have worked for major companies, won a variety of awards, etc... yet she always finds a way to point out that I could have moved to the Midwest after college and rocked the airwaves as a radio DJ. She KNOWS I didn't want to go there for that position, but still thinks I made a mistake and likes to remind me as such.

Historically, I've dated many more non-Jews than Jews. Its not that I have a specific type, but just circumstantially has seemed to work out that way. So no matter who I've dated the last few years, and how great they treat me, she still manages to bring up the one girl from sophomore year of college who I dated from two months, and was yes, Jewish... again despite the fact that she KNOWS this girl cheated on me by sleeping with her ex. And that would be preferable how???

I still don't know what her goal is by pointing these types of things out to me, but for whatever reason, she continues to do it. And I've seen it with my grandmothers to my parents, and to friends as well... Jewish mothers have it down cold. Some may say all mothers do, but I think there's a built-in chromosome that allows Jewish moms to take it to a higher place.

Any Jews or Goyim out there want to share their thoughts?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Dawson Leery, Future Domestic Violator

So as previously mentioned on this blog, my current employment situation has provided me an abundance of free time. I've fallen into quite a tv routine, with the launching point being the 9am episode of Dawson's Creek on TBS. While watching the high school traumas of Capeside, Massachusetts all over again, I've come to a shocking realization...

Dawson Leery will grow up into a man who beats women.

When I was younger, watching the show the first time around, I remember often comparing myself to Dawson. It was so easy to understand how the beautiful girl could drive him crazy, and eat away at his very soul. Torture that overdone can only be felt by a hormonal pubescent male. I had a female friend that I was sure was the great love of my life, and she just wanted to be friends. The world was against me. I was Dawson Leery...

But then the plot changed... the rebel, the dorky, misunderstood best friend had a shot. Pacey Witter, the reluctant hero. He was everything I was, awkward, well-meaning, fighting to get out of the background. You couldn't help but root for him, as he made his play for the lovely Joey. I found myself abandoning my prior identity and relating to Pacey. As their love triangle evolved and regressed, my loyalties switched, and I began to resent Joey for her inability to let Dawson go.

But that's neither here nor there... the title of this post is the key. While watching these episodes all over again, we've now reached the part of the series where Pacey has declared his feelings for Joey, but her loyalty to Dawson keeps her from giving in (for now, I know she changes her mind later).

Dawson's response to his friend's betrayal is a range of every overblown, melodramatic tool in the 16 year-old boy's arsenal; yelling, guilt trips, devious schemes to embarrass your rival, pouting to yourself, spreading malicious gossip to poison friends... everything but physical violence against those he feels have offended him.

And that's why he'll grow to beat women. He's exhausting every possible emotional recourse, and because he is sooooooo tortured inside about it all, he's using up all the emotional outlet he has before he's really ready to. The human body only has a finite reserve of melodrama for use of the course of its life, and Dawson has finished his off far too early.

At one point in today's episode, Pacey begs Dawson to hit him, just to get it over with, but of course Dawson pussies out. Had he just thrown that one punch, it might all have been saved, but instead, once he becomes a real adult his future of wife-beating is in the cards. All he'll have left to express anger, will be violence.

In 15 years, when James Van Der Beek is a bald, out-of-work actor with a paunch over his jeans, and Dawson's Creek, The Later Years comes on as a tv movie... you watch, it will be Sheriff Pacey Witter arresting him for assault and battery. Just some food for thought...