Thursday, September 30, 2010


At the risk of sounding ridiculous, I'm still going to say this: Growing up is hard. You spend four years, if you were fortunate like me, in a rather carefree environment, one that was stressful, but still welcomed with arms wide open. Then you leave, on your own terms (if you're lucky) and you have the next four years. These, needless to say, are quiet different than the last. No course schedule, no meal cards, no health insurance, and not even a place to live without returning to your nest.

So you get a job. You have to, unless you have a source of outside funding (pretty fortunate if you do) and you take the first job that comes your way, regardless if it has anything to do with your education/ training, and most importantly (and sadly), anything to do with what you want. And then you work. And you work some more. And you realize that all the moments in your life when you thought you were tired, you weren't. You realize "time" is an actual thing, and she, my friend, is a slippery mother fucker. You realize any plan you had, any road you wanted to follow, and dare I say dream, were thoughts, not tangible items, and thoughts, unfortunately, can be forgotten.

It's easy to forget things when you're tired. It's easy to feel like you've become a person based on choices you weren't ready to make.

But there are two things I continually remind myself to push through it all, and, once again, at the risk of sounding ridiculous, I'm still going to say it: Be kind, and keep your chin up. I really think that's all you can do.

My favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut. He has a quote that goes something like this:

"We are on earth to fart around and don’t let anybody tell you different.”

And here's a quote from Kurt Vonnegut's son - Mark (there's been a lot of Marks in my life, and they've all played an interesting role).

"We’re here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is."

I love quotes. I love words. I love thoughts. I'm feeling very sentimental right now, but I just want to tell you all that there's more out there than this; I promise, and it's beautiful.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Brett, you've got it going on...

Today on the subway I saw this man, and let me tell you, this is a good man. He is a musician/ actor whose work I've been a fan of for quite sometime.

Anyway, I was sitting when he entered the train, and in order for me to get a clear view of him, I began leaning to my side, much farther than I should have been leaning. Much too far, and I didn't even notice when my head was right in front of a woman's crotch, positioned in a way that was deserving of any sound sexual harassment case. So I pulled away, fast, losing sight of my celebrity spotting. I was motionless, and the woman stared down at me. She could have said a lot of things, but she only said THIS.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Double Knot

Have you ever gotten really close to a stranger's feet? It can be quiet an experience.

Today on the subway I bent down to tie my shoes. It was very crowded, so in the midst of my double knot I noticed three sets of feet, all wearing sandals or flip flops. Now, I don't look at feet too often; I just don't find them very interesting. But let me tell you, these strangers' feet were pretty wild! I could go on, but my desire to articulate the curves of bunions and shades of hangnails most likely does not appeal to you. But I still think it's funny! Not feet, but that there's so many features we don't ever notice/ get to see about each other. I mean, you could work with someone for thirty years but never see their feet! I think that's kind of crazy. But I guess maybe were not meant to see them. I guess there's a lot of things about each other we're not meant to see.


Sometimes when I have my photograph taken, I like to be thinking of a specific thought, so later on when the picture is developed (or digitized, I guess), I can stare at it and know exactly what I was thinking in that moment of time.

I had a wonderful weekend. Wish I had taken a few pictures.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Stop Making Sense

Today I had a five minute conversation without understanding a single word the other person was saying.

I was in a Food Emporium for lunch when a middle aged woman sat by my side. She smiled, and since she seemed harmless enough, I naturally smiled back.

Then she spoke in gibberish. I slowly leaned forward.

"Excuse me?" I said, and she continued her slurred words, now using hand gestures to emphasize her sounds.

"Oh," I said. "I'm sorry."

She spoke with confidence, pausing between the occasional sentence, allowing me to respond just like any other normal conversation would work.

"Hm," I said, and I wondered if she was using a foreign language, and if so why she would continue speaking when I clearly could not understand her.

"Okay," I said, and I wondered if she was crazy, a reasonable enough assumption. But if she was, she was still very calm and well mannered, like a friendly old lady talking about her cats. So I looked from side to side, put my elbows on the table, and let her continue, nodding my head and occasionally adding an encouraging sigh.

Now I wasn't making fun of this woman. Really, I wasn't. I just believed she had something important to say, and I wanted to give her the chance to express it, whatever it was. So I did, well worth it, and five minutes later she smiled and walked away.

I had a salad for lunch. It was very bland. In fact, the whole day would have been very bland if it wasn't for this woman.

So thanks.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Old Man

I was just riding in an elevator with an old man. He was staring down at his visitor's pass, which had a black and white photo of his face, adding wrinkles to his already wrinkly skin.

He sighed, as if he couldn't believe what he was seeing.

Then I sighed.

It must be a funny fleeing; not being able to believe your own face.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tree Hugger

I have a tough time with greetings and goodbyes. This has nothing to do with emotions, mind you, but more of what I should be doing physically.

As I see it, there's three standard go-to's when you're meeting someone: handshake, hug, or kiss on the cheek. Idenifying which one is appropriate to use is the part I'm a bit faulty at, considering you really only have a few seconds to commit to your "welcome choice" before it's all said and done. This leads to a lot of nose crashes and me changing from handshake motion, to hug motion, then back to handshake motion in the two second time span before I embrace someone.

It's just no good.

I myself am a hugger; or at least that's what I'm striving to be.

That being said, here's the two people in my life who give the best hugs:

- My old drummer.
- My girlfriend's Uncle.

I think it's really good to have a list like this. In fact, I'd be honored to be on someone's best hugger list. For me, I'm just a bit worried I'm on the "most awkward greeter" list.

Maybe I'll stick to high fives!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Two things I would do if I was a super genius and could hack any type of computer:

1 – I would take a handful of books, change their endings, and then send them out to every Kindle-esk devise in the world.

2 – I would make every television, for one hour, play only one station – the one where it’s a close up of a fireplace burning.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Background

I think my favorite part about working in an office is seeing other people's desktop backgrounds.

So the other day I attended a large meeting where a lot of mamajama was discussed. I'm still figuring out what I'm doing at my job, so as different people talked/ asked questions/ gave presentations, I simply sat there doing my best to take the occasional note. This was pretty hard, however, not because the meeting was particularly boring, but because I kept looking at other people's laptops and iPads.

One man, dressed in a suit, who seemed "very important," had a picture of a little girl wearing a tutu on his desktop, smiling wide.

Another woman, dressed in a business dress, gave a presentation on finance (it was pretty serious stuff). When she sat back down, I noticed on her desktop was a picture from the movie Pretty Woman.

I mean, how serious can these people really be? I like that.

I myself have the above on my desktop. It's my nephew traveling through outer space.

What do you have?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy New Year

In all honestly, Rosh Hashanah only makes me think of two things:

Getting very inebriated in college, and my late Jewish Grandparents.

Funny how the brain works.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Memory

I know a man, who is very special to me, and this is his first memory.

I remember being in my crib when I was one or two years old. Now I know they say you can't remember back that far, but I can. My crib was in my parent's room, right by their bed, and I remember looking up and seeing two people, must have been my mom and my dad, and seeing these two red dots in front of their faces. One red dot for each of them just floating right by their face. I've always had this image in my mind over the years, but never understood it, so eventually I just assumed it was something I made up, until I asked my mother about it.

"Of course you saw red dots in front of us," she said. "We smoked after sex."

"Oh," I said. And that's my first memory.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Two Runners

Today I was sitting in a park and I got an idea for a story. I took out my notebook, opened her up, and tried to write with my pen. It was out of ink, completely, and no matter how hard I shook it nothing would come out.

"Fuck you," I said, and then I looked up and saw two men, dressed as if preparing for a run, standing in front of me. They must have been walking by, and of course had to be placed in hearing distance of my mini tantrum.

"Sorry," I said. "I was talking to my pen."

And they stared at me. They stared at me in a way I've never been stared at before. I really can't describe it, but it made me feel very off, and they left.

Run, boys, run.

Funny. I'll never be able to forget those stares, but for the life of me I can't remember the story I wanted to write down.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


There's a staff bathroom at my work, and it has a motion sensor light. Usually when I go in there it's dark, because it's been vacant and sans motion for however long they have the light timer set.

Anyway, what I like to do is enter the bathroom and do a quick karate move, either a front jab, uppercut, or perhaps a high kick, and then pretend "my moves" are what triggers the light to turn on, not just me entering.

So I did this just now: I opened the bathroom door, walked in, saw it was dark, and then did a kind of roundhouse move as the light flickered on. Now I've never taken karate, but I'm going to go ahead and toot my own horn and say it was a pretty good roundhouse. I was even a little out of breath afterwards. And that's when I turned and saw a faculty member standing at the entrance, holding the bathroom door open, and just staring at me. He must have been a few steps behind, now waiting to enter the bathroom, but obviously stopping due to a new staff member, me, doing a karate kick in front of him. So I just smiled, did another stretch, as if this was nothing out of the ordinary, and I headed to a urinal.

Darn it.

I couldn't see the faculty member anymore, but I heard him go into a stall and shut the door behind him. I'm not sure of it, but I'm pretty confident I heard him giggle.

Darn it.

So here's my lesson: If you're going to do a karate move in an unconventional place, either do it alone or be prepared for people to laugh, with or with out you.

After Dark Stretching

If you come to my apartment past 9pm unexpectedly, there is an 85% chance you will see me completely naked (and yes, those are tested numbers).

So over the past few weeks I've been standing in front of my kitchen window and noticing new lights pop up in new rooms filled with new neighbors.

I know nothing about these people, but regardless, when I get my mindnight snack or do some puttering, I always stop to see what they're all doing. They stay up pretty late, at least later than me, so by the time I'm watching them the lights to my apartment are off so no one is able to see me. None of them are ever doing anything particularly interesting, mind you, and I'm well aware I'm being a bit creepy by doing this, so I try not to stand there too long.

Anyway. A few nights ago I woke up around 1am and really wanted some chocolate. You know that feeling? So I got out of bed, walked down my hallway of an apartment, and opened the fridge. For some reason I also felt the need to switch on my kitchen light, turning my windows into mirrors so I was unable to see past them.


SO I ate my chocolate, had some milk, did a few stretches, and switched the light back off. And that's when I looked out of my window. In the distance I saw the shadows of my neighbors - all staring at me me. Yup. They saw me naked. They even saw me doing stretches while being naked, which is a whole different type of naked. And I didn't mind this, like I said I don't know these people, and even if I did, who really cares.

But what I do care about, or what I at least think is funny, is that people love watching. Whatever it is, we love it.

And now I'm tempted to walk around at night with the lights switched on.