Saturday, July 28, 2007

"Monster" Loving....


Yes, the moment I've been waiting for since the arrival of DVDs finally occurred on Tuesday, April 27, when I purchased the two-disc 20th Anniversary Edition of "Monster Squad."

Feel free to go "huh?" at any moment now.

You wouldn't be the first people to scratch their heads when I drop this title. In fact, I must have gone up to at least a good 200 people that I know (gosh! I know a lot of people!! Who knew?!) and told them in this giggly, giddy voice, "FREAKIN' MONSTER SQUAD, MAN!!!! IT'S COMING OUT TODAY!!!" This was met with eye roll after eye roll or "What the fuck is that?!?!"

Hey, one man's obscure 80's bomb is another man's cult classic. And I, fair readers, am a proud member of the cult that is "Monster Squad." Hey, some people have their "Goonies," (and don't get me wrong...I love me some fuckin' "Goonies") but some of us have "Squad."

Essentially, the movie is about a group of monster-obsessed kids who find themselves in over their heads when the--Dum, dum, DUMMMMM!!!--Forces of Evil (i.e. Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Mummy, and The Gill Man) come to their town and wreak havoc. Cheesy right? WRONG!! This movie, co-written by Shane Black (screenwriter of "Lethal Weapon" and "The Last Boyscout") and directed by Fred Dekker, is pretty rough and tough for being a PG-13 movie from the '80s. The creature make-up was done by the brilliant Stan Winston ("Predator," "Terminator," "Edward Scissorhands," etc.) and the awesome, rousing score is by Bruce Broughton ("Dances with Wolves").

Anyway, this disc is pretty much a "Squad" lover's wet dream. The fact that the movie itself is finally on DVD--with two separate audio commentaries from cast and crew--is amazing enough! That it has a whole second disc with a feature-length retrospective/making of documentary, deleted scenes, original trailers puts me on a whole new plane of nostalgic euphoria.

So, Thursday night, I made myself a drink, stuck the DVD into the player, plopped myself backward onto the couch, and watched the film. I have to admit, though, that I was afraid I was going to hate it, this time. I was. I was truly terrified that when I watched it for the first time in 18-19 years, I was going to feel embarrassed and depressed when I discovered that it was just another craptastic '80s movie.

Thank G-d, that those fears were unfounded.

By the movie's end, I was hugging myself, in tears. I mean, yeah, it's a fucking monster movie, right? I know, I'm a cheese ball. But I just remembered the power it had over me in my youth and how happy and energized it use to make me feel whenever I would put on the cable-recorded BETA (lol!) copy we had. [BLOGGER'S NOTE: One thing I noticed is how it seemed like such a longer movie when I was eight or nine. The movie has a fairly short running time of 86 minutes. It's so funny how time seems to stretch everything out when you're young. Like, riding the car on a family trip seems to take forever when you're little and now it's like--BAM!!--you're there] As I watched it, I shouted out lines ("I'm in the goddamn club, aren't I?") at the TV as the characters recited them in the movie. It was like my own private midnight movie and I loved every second of it.

And that was before I even watched the joy-gasmic documentary about the movie!!!

That's what I love about the DVD format. They can do so much with movies that are all but forgotten. Now, I can expose this terrific flick to anyone and everyone who has yet to see it. For that, I am truly jumping for joy. Well, okay, maybe not jumping...but frolicking (yes, you read that right--I said "frolicking") about in my apartment. The act of jumping causes me to wheeze like a motherfucker.

Anyways, go. Buy it. Now. It's only $14.99. You'll have a blast!!

I guess all I need now is a two-disc special edition of "Fright Night" ("YOU'RE SO COOL, BREWSTER, AH-HAHAHA!!!!") and I'll officially be the happiest man alive...

...and "Adventures in Babysitting"...

...and maybe, just maybe, "Howard the Duck."


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hal vs. Hal

The only thing I can say to warn you about this entry is the following: Buckle up!! It's gonna be a bumpy ride!!

Lately, I've found myself becoming more cynical and angry and emotional than I've ever been. And this is coming from a guy who is always on. Normally, I'm this big ball of hyper kinetic energy; a walking, talking shot of pure adrenaline to the system. Lately, though, I just don't have any energy. I've taken up this what's the use? mentality that seems to be concerning some while causing others to flee in droves.

As I've mentioned, I'm just really unhappy at the moment. It's true: I'm a wreck. In the last few weeks--hell, months--I have felt like that action hero in the movie where the earth around him is eroding and crumbling beneath his feet, revealing a river of hot, molten lava. Eventually, it's just me standing atop a sliver of rock, waiting for some sort of salvation, perhaps in the form of an outreached hand or a rope from that hovering chopper above me. But no, it's just me and the lava and the flames beneath, with no rotating blades in sight.

Ain't self-pity a bitch?

In the last couple of weeks or so, I've found myself wanting to smoke a big fatty in the most major of ways. And the thing is, it would be so easy to just talk to My Guy, slip him a fifty (or, as I use to do, a hundred) and smoke myself some motherfuckin' kind bud. And for some, it wouldn't seem like such a big deal. Hey, if ya wanna smoke some pot, go for it!! It's no biggie!! And for most people, that'd probably be spot-on. But moderation has never been my thing. And my personality, while being both lovable and sometimes larger-than-life, is a very addictive one. I can't just do a little of anything. I'm either on or off. I am a man of extremes and absolutes. Whether it be my bad habits or my bad moods, I can never be Mr. In-Between.

For the record, I am not going to smoke pot. The moment I get high again, everything that I've been working toward (writing again, getting into a relationship, finding myself, getting a better job and moving) will all be for naught. My love for ganja is fierce; enough so that it would ruin everything and render the actions that have proceeded my moment of clarity on Nov. 18 of last year (see 12:01) pointless. And that, I could not bear to have happen.

So, I'm unhappy. Life is really sucking at this point. And my problem--what my problem has always been--is that I immerse myself in the suckiness. I bathe in it and let it overtake me (think of the black Spiderman costume and you'll get the picture). Let's face the facts: I let it happen. And from there, my life gets put on hold, once again, and when I finally emerge from the wreckage, I have to start from scratch and rebuild my reputation and my life.

Happiness has never come easy for me. As I've mentioned, there have been individual moments where I've been happy, but I've never been an all-around happy camper. I'm not a happy person. But I must say, I desperately wish to be. I'm tired of walking through this life, people watching, looking at The Happy People of this world. It's my turn.

So, what do I do? Well, I fight.

This is my life!! If I can't fight for my happiness and save myself, who's going to?! Cooking, being self-sufficient and not going to mom and dads', every night, is clearly not going to cut it. Doing those things are a start, but they aren't going to make me happy. A better, more independent person? Perhaps. Happy, though? Probably not.

I know: I need to fight for my happiness is pretty vague. And I can't tell you in all honesty what I'm going to do to get me there or that I know how it's going to play out. Right now, though, the best thing I can do, whenever I'm about to shatter, is to close my eyes and concentrate on all the good things that I've got going for me in my life. It's a cliché, I know. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the concept of close your eyes and think happy thoughts is about as cliché as you can get. But for once, I'm going to roll with it.

After all the bitching, the moaning, the crying, the whining...after all this time, it finally occurred to me, today, out of nowhere: At this stage of my life, there really are no helicopters in sight.

And amidst the chaos of my internal war, my private Armageddon, the only outreached hand I can see in the distance is my own.

The fight for my life, my happiness is here. And it's mine and mine alone to fight.

Let the battle begin...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fakin' It...

If there's one thing in this that I absolutely can not stand, it's insincerity.

Throughout my seven years with the company I work at, I've come to learn that there are a lot of fake bastards in this world. And, ya know, I won't lie: I have my moments where I simply don't give two shits about how your great nephew is having his Bar Mitzvah ("Mazel Tov!!") at a hotel in Maumee or how your wife cheated on you and need a place to have revenge sex ("Oh, um, I'm very sorry to hear that, sir. But I was told that you needed a mini-fridge in your room to store medication for your Diabetes...") with some hot bitches in a hot tub with spray jets, but I'll still give you service with a smile.

Truth be told, it's not easy trying to maintain my "phone smile" at all times (riiiiiiiiiiight). Sometimes, I just want to say to them, "yeah, you're a fucking moron and you're parents should be shot for having such stupid-ass, useless, impotent offspring.

It wasn't always like this.

I remember when I was first hired, seven years (shoot me, please...someone!!), the HR dude who was interviewing me asked me what the phrase "customer service" meant to me. My answer: The customer is always right!

Sigh. So young. So naive.

I'm surprised my interviewer didn't throw his head back and cackle maniacally. After seven years, this is what I've learned: The customer is wrong. Always. Wrong. The customer is evil and will lie, cheat, steal, rape and pillage to get what they want out of you. And then they will spit at you for being their bitch after they've used you as far as they can. Their worst offense, though, is insincerity. My least favorite customers have always been the ones that act all pleasant as apple pie until you say "no." And once you tell them "no," they bare their fangs and eat you alive.

Truth be told, I would much rather have a guy or gal who is a dick or a bitch from start to finish as a customer. At least they're consistent and I know that no matter how much I try and amp up the neurotic, Jewish (read: self-deprecating) charm, they're going to treat me like the worthless, pathetic piece of shit I know they think I am (whew!). At least they're keeping it real!! They hate my guts. I'm absolutely indifferent about theirs. It's a rock-solid relationship, if you ask me.

The biggest irritation I have of all--and it's like an oversize, swelling hemorrhoid in my ass--is when a customer--or anyone for that matter, asks me how I'm doing and (RRRRRRAWWWRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!) continues talking without even giving me a second to give them the insincere (and let's face it, flat-out untrue) response of "I'm terrific!!!" or "Very well." It's gotten to the point where I will actually start talking over them really loudly with my answer and they'll be like, "what's that, now?" and I'll say, "well you asked me how I'm doing, so I was telling you." It's kind of fun listening to them getting flustered over the phone. They're robots and I've thrown them a bit of improv that they don't have a built-in response to. Nice!!

Look, I know they don't want to hear that I'm unhappy with my current station in life, at the moment. I mean, shit! I wouldn't wanna hear that bullshit either. How fuckin' awkward, right?!?! I'd be like, dude! You don't need a reservation! You need the help of a good psychiatric professional!! I mean, I get it. You're calling for a service that I provide you with. I give. You take. That's how it works.

But fuck, man! Would it kill you to stop for two seconds of your busy, ass-kissing, social-climbing, philandering life to let me say the following words in response to your half-hearted attempt to get to know me:

"I'm working on it. Thanks for asking."

All's I got.

Now, is there anything else I can help you with? No? Well, you have a terrific day and thank you for choosing Neurotica!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

She Has Great Tracks of Land!!

It has been asked of me by my friend Christina that I write about her boobs. Who am I to deny such a request?

Yes, Chistina...they are absolutely flawless breasts; the color of milk and honey with lovely, taut, peach-colored nipples.

Your boobies are, in a word, perfection.

In more than one word: Perfection in the flesh.

With that, I shall end this entry with a quote from master thespian, Teri Hatcher: "They're real...and they're spec-TAC-ular!!!"


As a sidenote: Tell The Boyfriend not to kill me if he reads this entry. And yes, as a matter of fact, this is the strangest blog entry I've ever written.

Only for you, dear. Only for you.

When It Rains...

So, it was one helluva week. Better yet, let's just call it Hell Week.

First off, I started the week in constant terror due to the fact that I had to go take an STD test. Yeah. Fun stuff. Woo-hoo!
Remember that gal I had meaningless sex with, a little while back? Well, despite the fact that I wore protection and because, let's face it, I'm Hal the Hypochondriac, any sensation in, well, Little Hal sounded off alarm bells in my head, leading me to the Very Reasonable Conclusion that, yep! I must have a deadly STD.

Now, I don't know if any of you guys reading this have ever had an STD swab test, but apparently...they're very painful. You've heard of shrinkage, right? Well, let me tell you, the very idea of someone sticking something up My Little Friend gives me chills to the point where It damn-near shrinks backwards to the point where I may as well have a vagina.

Well, thank G-d it wasn't anything I had to experience. Yep, on Tuesday, my doctor--after all of the hype--said to me the most beautiful five words a guy in my current position, at the time, could ever hear: "here...just pee into this." I also took an HIV/AIDS test, just to be on the safe side. With that one, they just took a vial of blood. Yay.

So, here's the deal: I know I'm fine. I may not have gotten my results back, but I know that I am going to be just...fine. But still, there's that part of me, that tiny little voice in the back of my head that says the words that can be the stuff of dreams, but usually, in my case, the stuff of nightmares: What if?

But moving on...

Then there was the case of a new medication my doc put me on to help me sleep. Well, she never mentioned that it was an anti-depressant. So, on Thursday, it kind of made me freak out. Like, seriously...freak OUT!!! I felt like I was coked out of my head. My heart was racing, as was my mind; to the point where I could barely talk.

And for a moment, everything went quiet and I started crying at my desk; not because of how I was feeling, but because I just couldn't keep it inside anymore. Keep what inside? Well, put it this way: I wish I could just function normally. I see people just living their lives and being happy and doing all kinds of wonderful things in the world and, try and try and try as I might to do just that, here I am, constantly freaking out that I might be getting sick or that I'll be alone for the rest of my life or just my constant second-guessing of every little thing that I do. Simply put: It was in that moment when I just broke down and realized that this is not the life I ever imagined for myself. So, I cried. At my desk. It didn't last but for a minute or two. But there it was.

Yeah, I know...poor, pitiful me. Hey, it's taken me a long time to own these feelings, these emotions. If you've got a motherfucking problem with them, you're reading the wrong blog. So, with that, either get on or get the hell off! Notice the defensiveness in my "voice?" Good!]

It wasn't until later that I realized that the Mt. Dew I was drinking was causing me to have some sort of a reaction. Funny how something as small as a can of soda can throw your entire universe and everything you know about it into upheaval.

So, once my crying jag came to an end, I called my doctor to see if she could just prescribe me some Lunesta. That's been pretty helpful for me in the past. I also called the lab dept. to see if my test results had come back. They hadn't and the nurse who is a bad word that rhymes with "runt" says to me, very tersely, "ahhhh, no. If they were in, we would have called you." I kid you not when I say that the bitch done hung up on me!!! Not cool.

But that's not the worst part. Later that same day, a different nurse from the doctor's office calls and leaves a voice mail telling me that the doc just left the office and won't be back until Tuesday of next week. She goes on, in this chipper voice, to tell me that they have my file and as soon as the doc gets back in on Tuesday, they'll have her look at it and decide what "course of action" to take from there. It was about at this point that I lost all color in my face and I felt faint and nearly shit and pissed myself. I would have done all of the above had it not been for the fact that I was at a picnic for work.

I frantically called the nurse's station back and spoke to the very same Tinker Bell of a nurse that left that dandy voice mail. I basically was like "what the FUCK?! 'Course of action?!' What are you talking about?! Is it bad?! I can't wait until Tuesday!! Are you nuts?!" Still very chipper, she's like, well, the doctor has to look at it and sign off on it before we can really tell you anything.

I calmed down as best as I could and finally asked, "we are talking about the tests I took on Monday, right? The STD test?" There was a brief silence and I'm like, "hello?" and she goes, "no. You called about your medication, didn't you? That you wanted to change your meds." I was like, "yeaaaaah. We're talking about two separate things, aren't we?" She responds with, "I don't know about the STD test, but once the lab is finished getting the results, they'll call you. In the meantime, there's nothing we can do about changing the meds."

I have never felt such a wave of relief wash over my body. It was almost euphoric. I hung up with the nurse and headed back toward my co-workers who were playing charades.


Look, I understand that most of my problems are all internal. I get that. I know that most of the things that I freak out about are probably small and insignificant (read: having a panic attack when my iPod briefly malfunctions) and that, for the most part, I cause my own problems, my own drama. I wish I could make all of those fears and insecurities and doubts just--POOF!!--disappear. But I can't. They are my problems, and my problems are my burden to bear. And as I've said in the past, I am trying so very hard to work through them, but sometimes, I am on my knees, powerless to them.

And then there's something else that's coming back to haunt me. It's not something that I will specifically write about in this entry. No, I'm going to hold on to it and chew for a while. I will say this, though: Because of this particular issue, I constantly have had to reinvent myself over and over and over again. I thought I had nipped it in the bud, but--I dunno--maybe I was wrong. Who knows, right? I'm sure this is coming across as very vague, but I just need to figure things out on my own for now and I know that whatever I decide, the people who matter the most will be there for me in the end.

And that--THAT!!!--is what gets me through the day or, in this case, the week.

I want to believe that this upcoming week will be better than the last. I have to believe it. It's already started off so well. I hung out with one of my favorite people and had a blast with them, the other night. This morning (er, technically, yesterday morning), I brought a friend of mine to shul and he wants to make it an every-Saturday thing and he's hoping to convert in the next little while
(WOO-HOO!! SCORE ONE FOR THE JEWS!!! WE RULE!!!). Later on, I worked for a few hours and then went to the gym and burned off 632 calories on the stairmaster. On Thursday, I'll be celebrating my mom's fifty-ACHEM!! birthday and, following that, my buddy Matteo is showing his face in town for the weekend.

And, ya know, as I am writing this paragraph, I can't help but smile and think to myself, gosh...this week might be the lift I've been looking for; some positive shit, by G-d!!

And yet, at the same time, I know that I have a lot of thinking to do. Something big is going to happen. Soon.

There's a storm coming...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Random Quote...

I like this one. I found it in the The Omaha World Herald. I think it seems to fit me quite nicely...

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
--Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

...Then again, it might be because I'm just not listening. But I'll stick with Hank's above theory for right now.

Ewwww La La

Warning: This blog entry contains sexual material that may be unsuitable for certain members of my family. Parental discretion is advised.

Wisdom has always taught us to be careful what we wish for, because we may just get it. Well, I recently got what I wished for and I think it's time for me to face the facts: I'm just not emotionally hard-wired for "no strings attached" sex.

Don't get me wrong. I like sex. I mean, it's great...if it's with someone I care about and with someone who actually gives a shit about me, but as recent evidence would suggest, I just don't think I have what it takes to--for lack of a better term at the moment--fuck.

Now, I'm no prude, but having sex with a perfect stranger with the full knowledge that a). they're really not into you and you're really not that much into them, b.) you probably won't see each other again and c.) the only reason that you're really there in the first place is because of the excessive amount of spirits imbibed--well, it just doesn't do it for me, peeps.

Unfortunately, that is pretty much exactly what happened and, I've gotta say, I don't think I've ever felt so cold and lonely afterward as I felt that night. It was all so very mechanical and uninvolving. On a scale of 1-10, ten being the most erotic, I'd probably give the experience a generous -3. This may sound really bad--and, yeah, the whole situation probably wasn't really my finest hour (okay...10 minutes!)--but I actually, um, faked it (ladies, ladies, ladies...did you truly think that you had the market cornered on that lovely bit of mischief?! Well, guess what!! You're right!! Ya do! I'll be looking forward to my Razzie nomination for Worst Male Performance, along with Pauly Shore and Carrot Top, sometime early next year! Yay.)

And what sucks is that, at the start of the evening, I kind of dug this gal. I mean, it wasn't love at first sight by any means, but I thought there was a hint of a connection and she seemed nice enough. However, as these things tend to happen, the more alcohol that was consumed, the darker the evening got.

I think what sucked the most is that when I tried to kiss her, she smushed her face in and pulled back, away from me, as if the sheer intimacy of kissing would turn her into stone or something. Maybe I've just been spoiled with my past experiences, but--and maybe this might make me sound like some naive school girl--to me, kissing has always been the best part of sex. I mean, yeah, The Big "O" (I guess) is the cherry on top, so to speak, but to me, it's always been the tender moments, the little things (giggling, whispering jokes in each others ears, looking into each others' eyes, etc.) in between that made sex so amazing.

Am I an idiot for deciding that every sexual experience in my life, from this moment forward, should be something special, like with a significant other or <GASP!!> my future wife, wherever she is, rather than screwing some bar hag or stranger? Maybe. Will this new self-imposed rule drastically lower the number of sexual partners I have in my life? Perhaps.

But so what?!

As I mentioned earlier, I like sex. But under no circumstances do I need it. If you disagree with this, I understand. Look, people--myself included--are horny bastards. Like a friend of mine explained to me, the other day...sometimes, we just need to get off! I get that--believe me I do! And if having the occasional sex romp is your thing, then by all means, do whatcha gotta do.

But what can I say?

I'm a lover...not a fucker.

And to think that I was going to write about "Transformers!"