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The musings of me

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Joy. Just pure joy. I'm sitting here in my living room (I decided not to go out because I honestly don't want to deal with crazy crowds) and I'm just savoring the moment.



I am so proud of this team, and I'll never forget this moment. E-A-G-L-E-S!!!


32 Candles

Okay, so tonight I celebrated my 32nd birthday with my niece who just turned 23. (She was born the day before my 9th birthday- I on December 7th and she on December 6th.) My family has been doing joint birthdays for us forever. This year, we were having it at Red Robin. So it's me, my mom, 2 sisters, 2 brother-in-laws, 3 nieces, and 2 nephews. One sister (the one with the daughter turning 23) and her entire family is basically on a vegan diet.


So me and my mom show up late, which is strike 1. I thought we were supposed to be there at 6:30, but it was apparently 5:30. Then my vegan sister bitches about my mom bringing an ice cream cake, which is strike 2, because she got this custom ordered vegan cake. I knew that would happen, so I asked my mom to get me just a small ice cream cake that would just be for me and maybe her and my non-vegan sister, and that would be it. She didn't listen to me, and instead got a larger cake that could serve 8-10 people and had my niece's name put on it along with mine. (Which I told my mom repeatedly before that the niece wouldn't eat because she's vegan.) Then my mom, who is braindead with social cues, decides to make jokes about my Vegan Sister's lifestyle, which again brought out her pouty face. Strike 3 happened when my mom didn't finish her cake, and the nephew that is on the Vegan Diet threw a hissyfit because his mother wouldn't allow him to eat the cake. The sister then just picked up a bottle of ketchup and squirted it on the leftover ice cream cake. She basically seemed to be starring daggers at me and Mom as we left.


I was pissed because so much of this could have been avoided if my mom had actually listened to me when I told her that she only needed to get a 4 person cake. The only reason why I asked was because I knew that otherwise I'd have to have the niece's vegan cake, and I wanted my own little non-vegan cake. I'm also just pissed that this stuff always seems to be a big fucking issue whenever we have family get-togethers, to the point where my mom actually hosted a secret Thanksgiving dinner not on actual Thanksgiving and didn't invite my Vegan sister and her family to. The problem is that her son (he's about to turn 5) throws all these little hissyfits about not getting to eat non-vegan food whenever we have get-togethers. Like tonight he kept staring at the Caravel ice cake in its box and then he tried pouncing on the leftovers of my mom's slice of the ice cream cake. So therefore the Vegan sister continually tries getting us to not bring non-vegan food to family events.


I kind of wish I had done what I did last year and just celebrated my birthday by taking up a train to Philadelphia and hanging out around Center City for an afternoon. FAR less stressful.


But yeah. I just feel pissed. Honestly, I didn't even give a shit about getting a cake. I'm just tired of feeling like I have to kow-tow to my sister's vegan diet at every single fucking turn, to the point of her trying to rope me into eating a cake I don't want to eat because it's "for everyone." That's why I tried having another cake brought in that would have just been for me.


And I just get tired of my mom not listening to me. She insisted on getting this bigger cake, that I knew was mostly going to go waste, and then snapped at me when I pointed that out to her. Then she admitted after we got home that I was right, and she should have gotten the smaller cake.


Anyway. Yeah, I don't think I want to do this kind of thing anymore, if it means having to go through THAT again. I'm 32 anyway- I really don't need birthday cakes and the candles and all that anymore. I won't have my next milestone birthday for another 3 years.

I think for 33 I might just go to Philly or Baltimore or DC or something. Who the fuck knows? What I do know is that I don't want a repeat of THAT shitshow.

For my actual 32nd birthday I quietly had a celebration wacky wheat beer at Stewart's Brewing Company and then saw the Disaster Artist at Regal People's Plaza. That was nice. I'll just hold on to that. The next night, I met up with my friend Shana at Brio Tuscan Grill and had a few drinks before going to the holiday party at the theater. That was fun, too. I even got a handmade card from a few of the managers.


Last night I went on the Wilmington Halloween Bar Loop, for my 4th year doing it. It was a really good time- I flew solo again and dropped about 59 dollars total on Uber. (My belief has always been paying 50 to 100 dollars on a cab ride is much, much cheaper than a DUI.)


I hit up Chelsea Tavern, Ernest and Scott Taproom, a Mexican bar, Trolley Tap House, Catherine Rooney's, and Trolley Oyster House. The Loop is no longer utilizing the buses as a free shuttle, so I decided not to hit up the Firestone Roasting House on the Riverfront like I did last year.


 I stuck to a reasonable 6 drinks. My tolerance level is vastly reduced and I didn't feel like puking. I went as a Blue Barracuda from Legends of the Hidden Temple, which was fun. I did not think anybody would remember that show, but I got a shit ton of compliments from people that night about my costume. Two people even took a picture of me. One really cool moment happened when I found another guy dressed up as a Blue Barracuda. We joked about being each other's missing teammates, and people complimented us on being total randos that just happened to be teammates. LOL.


It was a fun night. Definitely better than last year, when absolutely only one person got that I was Dustin from Stranger Things, and I broke my phone when I dropped it at the Trolley Square Oyster House. I was lucky enough that I was able to hail a taxi, but yeah, it wasn't nice having to replace my phone.


I don't really do the party thing anymore, but it's fun to go back to your old party boy self every once in awhile.




On Monday, August 21st I got to see the solar eclipse. In my area, it was about 77 percent coverage, so just a partial one, but still incredible to watch. I got off work around 1:17, and drove over to the Glasgow County Park on Route 40. There's a little running hill where I went to the top and watched it with about 20 or so people. It was pretty cool- absolutely amazing to watch the sun turn into a little tangerine slice.


Definitely won't forget it, for sure.


In this episode of React, the elders of the show react to photos taken of them when they were young.


I thought it was pretty touching, especially the guy who realized that all of the friends that were with him in the mountaintop photo were all passed on.


And it was interesting watching them react to their 30's/40's photos and about how much energy they had...there's something I think is pretty cool about these particular decade's of one's life, and it kind of felt like they concurred to that theory I had. And it made me think, "Hey, I might not be 21 anymore, but I've still got some great decades ahead of me."


I do a lot of interaction with older people in my life due to my volunteer work with the local history museum. I really do get such a kick out of hearing where they've been and what they've done in life- my favorite volunteer was a man in his late 80's/early 90's who was a local artist and also fought in World War II.


It's also fun to picture what older people were like when they were young- some people have such a zest for life that it's really easy to picture them young, and some just seem eternally grumpy.


Anyway...that's pretty cool of FineBros to give the elders a platform on a space that tends to skew pretty young. As much as I like Smosh or Jenna Marbles, it's nice to see people over a certain age sharing their viewpoints and stories on YouTube.


Freaky shit.


Officer Shot, Killed at Convenience Store in Bear, DE


This stuff happens, but there's something surreal about this one for me because I am very familiar with the store. I used to walk there all the time when I was a kid because I lived like a 10-minute walk there back then. I also pretty much always get my gas from that WaWa- I'm usually at that store at least once a week or two weeks.


This very pro-NRA conservative type posted a video about witnessing the shooting:




I can't even imagine how I'd react in that kind of situation.


Wow, it's been awhile since I updated. I usually don't go that long with this blog. Hmm.


Winter was alright; early spring has been as well. My life has a general pattern right now- work, watching YouTube videos a lot, strolling Netflix, using my employee pass at the movies. On the weekends I have off, I usually will go into the city of Wilmington to catch either a play or a movie at either Theater N or Penn Cinema on the Riverfront. Possibly a beer or two every weekly or bi-weekly.


It's a big cry from my heady days as a young college student, but eh, it kind of works for me. I find lately that I really enjoying being solitary, and not having to expend the energy to be Fun Loveable College Slacker Party Boy anymore. (I can still be that guy every once in a blue moon, but I feel a lot more relaxed now.)


I do think a lot about where I'm going to go next. I've spent almost 2 years at this crummy (but ultimately easy and sometimes even fun) job being a movie concessionaire. Funny that Day 3 I was ready to quit; now here I am two years later at the same place. It's soul-crushing at times, but hey, a boy's got to eat, right?


I don't know what or where or how I'm going to go to that next place. I've gotten pretty comfortable treading water, and it all still kind of works for me.


The 5th anniversary of my grad school graduation is in May. Crazy, right? Thankfully, I did do volunteer work to keep my degree relevant, but I do wonder if I might wind up getting a certificate or something and doing something else. I have to see where things go. I find I don't feel a rush to get there.


In my late 20's, I was so full of anxiety about making things happen and breaking into my field. (I think that's why I had my breakdown when my internship fell apart 3 years ago.) I felt like I was on some kind of timeline.


At my early 30's, I just kind of feel...cool. I guess. Things will happen when they happen. Life has a funny way of dragging you into where you need to go and what you need to do.


Anyway, by some dumb mistake, I'm stuck watching a musical called Once at the DuPont Theater in Wilmington more than I planned on seeing it. I meant to get the Saturday matinee, but I accidentally bought the Sunday matinee. I then bought the Saturday matinee ticket and hoped I could get someone to buy the Sunday matinee ticket off me for twenty dollars off, but no dice.


It kind of sucks because I was planning on going to the season opening of the museum I volunteer with, but if I blow this off, I'm throwing 63 credit card dollars down the drain.


So yeah, it looks like I'll be seeing Once twice. ;-)


Well, the 2016 Thanksgiving weekend is upon us...I guess my biggest "Thanks" is for the fact that I'm in generally decent health and I'm still gainfully employed, even if I'm not making too much.


I pretty much worked on Thanksgiving morning, and then I went over to my Vegan Sister's house for a Vegan Thanksgiving. It wasn't too bad. Then today my mother and I cooked dinner for my other sister, who brought her family over. We were able to facetime with my sister and niece who live in California. It was fun and generally low-key.


Right now I'm listening to some mid-90's music ("Crazy Life" by Toad the Wet Sprockett) and just thinking about the Thanksgivings when we were all kids (or just barely out of that) and we all basically lived together. Twenty years ago, back in '95 or '96, we all (me, my mom, my 3 sisters, my oldest niece, and a verging-on-ex husband of my oldest sister's) lived in this townhouse. I remember it being pretty fun- the turkey refused to cook because it was frozen, but we sat around and had fun and watched Winona Ryder "Little Women's" and played Monopoly after dinner. That was such a huge thing for us.


I miss that- everyone's kind of scattered off into their own thing and own lives now, and beyond that, Sister 1 and Sister 2 aren't talking over some dumb-ass issue I'm not going to get into, and we basically had this split Thanksgiving because of it. And my mom's 70 now and I'm realizing more than ever that I probably won't get decades more of memories with her, and some day making Thanksgiving dinner with her is going to be a memory that I'll have to hold on to and cherish because she won't be here. Maybe before my 30's are out.


But yeah, I miss those Holidays. I really do. I guess you just miss childhood in general, but I think back in that time, we had managed to come back together after the absolute hell that my dad had put us through. He was gone, we were all living together, my oldest sister was doing fun things like taking us to the zoo or the movies while the Smashing Pumpkins or the Goo-Goo Dolls played on her car stereo, and there wasn't all these adult concerns and adult worries and adult squabblings. A great Christmas present (I think mine for that year was a Goosebumps ice cream machine) and everything in the world was perfect for a moment. I don't get those moments any more.


Of course, things weren't perfect and I'm definitely looking through things with rose-tinted glasses (my mom's gambling addiction was still there, we could barely afford that townhouse, those 3 sisters still fought quite a lot, and the oldest sister was basically on the verge of dumping her first husband), but I still wish I could spend a moment back in Thanksgiving 1995/6.


What are some of your happiest Holiday season memories from your life?


So over 40 million people decided to hand over control of the country to a racist, homophobic, sexist xenophobe who starred on a realty show.


I fucking blame the DNC for failing to connect Hilary with the voters.


Just disgusted. Completely and totally disgusted. I think I'm done with caring about politics. May God help us through these next four years. Or actually, may god help Trump when the working class straight white males who voted for him realize that he isn't actually going to bring back manufacturing jobs.


Stranger Things

I finally broke down and got Netflix so I could watch Stranger Things, which is kind of like an homage to 1970's/1980's sci-fi teen fantasy movies/books. It's about a nerdy group of middle school friends in small town America 1983, when one of the group goes mysteriously missing.


Some big nostalgia factor- aside from being set in '83, it's also got 80's teen stars Matthew Modine and Winona Ryder. Winona especially turns in quite the performance as a single mom slowly but surely coming apart at the seams as the horror of realizing her son has gone missing.


I'm on the 4th episode currently- it's been pretty true to the early 1980's setting other than some anachronisms, like playing "Hazy Shade of Winter", a 1987 song, or someone calling another person a "douchebag", which is more late 90's slang. I'm pretty thrilled by that- nothing's more annoying than watching a period piece where they completely bungle the setting and don't get it right, like 'The Carrie Diaries". But yeah, watching the show, they really get that "First-Term Reagan America" ennui right, with the girls in the prairie blouses and long tartan skirts and the guys in tight jeans and pattern/colored polo shirts and the way the cars/houses look. Still lots of traces of the 70's, but slowly fading out.


The soundtrack has been pretty fun- they played one of my favorite songs...the melancholy



Anyone else watching it?


University of Delaware has something we call Alumni Weekend, where hordes of former Blue Hens come back and visit campus to relive their past, including and up to staying in the dorms.


I wound up spending a nice afternoon with a couple that I knew in passing at UD, Johanna and Chris. Johanna was an R.A. with my friend Stephen, and we wound up connecting at his memorial two years ago. Jo and Chris live in Queens, and had ridden the bus down here. This was their first time at Alumni Weekend. (They were class of 2009, a year ahead of me.)


I met them at a gaming store. We hit Duck Donuts, then sampled beer at Growler's, and then made a trek over to the shuttered Dickinson Hall, where she and Steve were R.A.'s at. Along the way, we talked about our lives- where we've been, where we want to go, and all the angst in between. Jo also has the angst of getting a master's degree and realizing that she can't use it. (She's switched over to education- I believe she was originally trying to do media.) Chris is an urban planner, which is something I've been interested in. And we're all in a shitload of student loan debt, which Jo is about to add more to as she's going back to school for an education degree.


I also talked to them about all the changes in Newark, which have been pretty numerous as building after building gets knocked down in order to create yet more student housing apartments with retail (that often goes unused) on the first floor

is getting pretty different from the Newark of today.


When we got to Dickinson Hall, I told them about how I used to process my grieving process by standing outside this dorm, and just remembering. Then we all just talked about the memories we had of this place. Pretty crazy to think of all of the thousands and thousands of people that lived in that complex for over 40 years. All these stories that we'll never know took place within those walls, and the whole thing is going to be gone soon. Depressing, but that place gave me some great memories, even though I never lived there.


Then we walked over to Elkton Rd. (or South Main Street), then went up Amstel, then cut through the Ewing Kirkbride Complex to get back to Main Street. We sat down on the brick borders surrounding Kirkbride to share our memories of the Kirkbride Jesus Guy, a c

and how we're all going to hell.


I wound up having dinner at Homegrown with them and another couple...it was nice. Seriously nice. I love my buddies at work, but I really, really needed conversation with people my own age who understand my Millennial angst bullshit.


We part ways after a second trip to Duck Donuts, and I felt really good.


There's some really dumb shit going on in my life (the worry about bills, the worry about my future, my lack of a car of my own), but it was nice to remember that excited young college kid that I once was, and how much fun that period in my life brought me. Not to say that there wasn't plenty of angst to go around during my early 20's, but there was so much to experience then.


It also just felt nice to talk to people that *get* what it's like to have gone through college and then ended up in a menial job, and struggling with the thought of going back to school to try and get a more marketable degree. Not to mention being able to talk about my grieving of Stephen, because as I've said, all of my mutual friends with him left the area, and I didn't really get to be around his memorial two years ago.


Anyway, it was a nice day and made me happy.


I found a documentary on the Bay City Rollers, a Scottish boy band that skyrocketed to fame during the mid-1970's, and then crashed spectacularly when the ride was over. Look them up- they were a total train-wreck. Anyway, here's a tune from them:



Fluffy 70's stuff...so much fun. I used to party at a college house, and somehow there was a poster of the Bay City rollers there. In 2008. I have no clue how, but I thought was kind of neat. I wonder if it was a poster that people just kept up over the years, until it had become ironic. Didn't know they weren't actually a one-hit wonder, because it seems like Saturday Night is all that is remembered.


Three of the former members have reunited, and it's kind of cool to see all these people in their 50's and 60's re-living their 70's youth. Time hasn't been the kindest to the guys, but you know what? More power to them. I hope they're having a ball with this.


Do you remember the band? Did you ever try wearing tartan plaid to show your appreciation for them?


Alright, this is my offer for Music Monday...a nice little uptempto pop rock song about nostalgia and the beauty of youth:
Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams


A snippet of this is currently playing on the advertisement screen at my work; I think as part of some classic 80's playlist. I started singing along to it, and my co-worker Devan, who's this funny sarcastic Mormon, looked at me and said, "Well, you can actually remember 1969, can't you?"


Ooh, burn. I flipped him off. Then, I started laughing hysterically, and thought about all the times I'd say stuff like that to Adam when he was 30-ish and I was 23-ish, similarly to the current age gap between Devan and I. Only I'm on the wrong side of it now. LOL.
But yeah, I was like, "This song was a big hit the year I was born so I feel an affinity for it," and he was like, "Well, I have a brother who was born in 1989." Nobody there knew the song, and I realized it's because 80's nights and 80's parties just aren't really a thing like they were back when I was 21. And MTV/VH1 aren't airing retrospective 80's music videos anymore like they did when I was growing up.
Anyway, it made me laugh and it made me think, "Wow, karma is a BITCH."


The Human League were an 80's British synthpop band, best known for their 1982 monster hit, "Don't You Want Me." They had some other, lesser-known songs, including this top 10 hit from 1983:



Man, Phil Oakley rocked the hell out of the 80's androgynous look. And this is just a song that would be fun as hell to dance to.


The thing of note about them is that the two female back-up singers/dancers were just ordinary teenaged girls that Phil found dancing at a night club, and asked him to join a band.


Any of you guys remember this now-obscure oldie?


Hey, did anyone get a chance to check out the movie trailer for Richard Linklater's newest film,

? It's set during the opening weekend of the 1980-1981 school year at a Texas college, and follows a freshmen pitcher as he adjusts to life as a member of college baseball.


I was able to catch a screening of the movie last Friday. (It's pretty limited release.) It was a pretty fun ride, and we get to see them go through all these different party scenes as the story goes on- disco, country western, punk, and New Wave alternative- really cool to watch. I thought they did a great job with depicting the year 1980- right between the mellowed, relaxed vibes of the Stagflation 1970's, and the bright, preppy Reagonomic 1980's.


I really encourage people to catch this one. It's such a delightful little time machine.


I thought with the start of baseball season going, the baseball fans here might get a kick out of an article that Detroit Tigers player Daniel Norris wrote, about what the sport means to him. He's best known as the guy who lives in his van during his off-season.


"More Than Just the Man in the Van" by Daniel Norris


I'm a sucker for free spirits who don't really go for the conventional life, and I really like this guy. I'm not a baseball fan, but he's a pretty cool guy. And so self-assured at 22! I hope he keeps marching to the beat of his own drum.


I wrote this story awhile back, but decided to revise it and clean it up a little. Tell me what you guys think!


I have this friend, Greg. One day, he talked to me about a curious encounter with someone that still gives him the creeps.
When Greg was a young boy in his teens, he went to high school in the South. Greg had this friend Barry. Barry was this really hot guy, so much so that, "The sidewalks just sizzled under his feet." As a popular guy, Barry would throw parties that all kinds of people went to. This was how Greg got to know David.


David was a cute guy with long blond hair that came just off his shoulders. David seemed nice enough, but was also led pretty easily by other people. He was friends with Barry, so Greg would see him a lot socially at various parties that were being thrown at various houses. Both David and Greg had long hair. According to Greg, having long hair back then meant you were into smoking pot, or you were at least sympathetic to those that did. Greg didn't smoke at that particular time (he had a couple years earlier), but David did, and they both had a few things in common that led to small talk while they partied. Nothing too heavy or serious. Greg just remembers David would bale out of the parties at one point to take care of some business, whatever that was. He never seemed to stay late, and always excused himself to leave for something.


Hanging out with David was always pretty normal and followed that same pattern- small talk about life, David lighting up a joint while Greg drank, and then David leaving for whatever it was that he did. Except one night during a lull in conversation, Greg noticed David staring at him intensely.


You know that instinct thing? Well, Greg described the feeling as being there. He had that feeling once before- Greg was hitching a ride, and the guy who picked him up kept talking about going to a party. The whole thing kept getting weirder and weirder, so he excused himself when they hit a stoplight.


That feeling was back in full force when Greg noticed David staring at him. It gave him the creeps, and that's when Greg decided that it would be for the best that he didn't get too close to David.


Anyway, Greg didn't spend his summers in Houston, where he lived at the time. Instead, he spent them in Portland with his godfather. So late one summer up in Portland, who does Greg see on his t.v. but his casual party buddy, David Owen Brooks. He and another teenager, Elmer Wayne Henley, had assisted a local Houston man named Dean Corll in raping and murdering up to two dozen young boys over the past couple years. Their M.O. was to invite boys over to a "party", overpower them, chain them to a board, and torture them before killing them.


One night in August 1973, Elmer Wayne Henley finally put an end to it and shot Dean Corll, and everything unraveled after that as they helped the police begin to dig up the bodies. It made national news, and every night another detail, another victim was revealed. They mostly buried their victims under a boat shed, or in various beaches around the area. Forty years later, they're still trying to identify victims, and it's believed that the true victim count is much higher than 28.


Before you ask, Barry wasn't a victim, and Greg never met Corll or Henley. Brooks insisted that he only watched the murders but never participated. Didn't help him that much- he's still serving time in jail, likely for the rest of his life.


Greg said of this this period of his life, "In some ways, it's better to not be drop-dead attractive. Any more attention from the guy, I coulda been in that boat shed."


I don't think Greg gives himself enough credit though- I think Greg had strong "instinct", whatever that is, and that David likely knew that about him, which is why he never targeted him.


In any event, Greg was lucky as hell that he was never invited to a private party with that particular trio of people. Thank god David was never more than his casual acquaintance.


Awhile back, I wrote a story about a scary occurrence that happened to my friend Jack. You can read about that here.


Anyway, the story has been read by Unit 522, a YouTuber who specializes in reading creepy stories. He did it in a collaboration with HauntingStories. Check it out here: (the story starts at the 5:24 mark)



I think he did a great job with it. Such a crazy, creepy tale.


So, this Yelp employee named Talia Jane complained about her salary on a blog post. Then she got fired. Stefanie Williams, a writer and fellow Millennial with about 5 extra years of life experience, ripped into her with this invective.


To add on to this dogpile, a Gen Xer with 7 years of extra life experience ripped on Stefanie Williams for her own sense of entitlement and jumping to conclusions about someone's life. Here it is:


36-year Old Gen Xer DESTROYS 29-Year Old Millennial Who "Ripped" A 25-Year Old Former Yelp Employee by Sara Lynn Michener


It's an interesting debate- what is a living wage, and why do so many people who are college-educated and employee with big companies having to struggle with making ends meet?


Should companies have the responsibility to pay their entry-level workers enough money to live in cities that have cost-of-living?


Another question I have- what happens to San Francisco (and other cities like it) if young people can even afford to live there?


The classic John Hughes film Pretty in Pink is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, and I got to see a revival of it on the big screen last week. It's not as good as The Breakfast Club, but the soundtrack just can't be denied. Anyway, some of my favorite tunes from that film:




"Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" by the Smiths


As for my personal thoughts on the movie...it's weird, but I actually feel like I got more out of it when I re-watched it. I think the characters could have been much better written (Blaine and the school Mean Girl Benny were especially cardboard cut-outs), but I loved all the wonderful little nods to 1980's New Wave culture (which was going to fade out pretty soon after the mid-80's), and who can't help but root for Molly Ringwald's character? I feel like her character arc was about not staying complacent, either with letting the rich kids treat her like crap or with her father's refusal to move on with his life. It kind of felt like, at this point where she's almost at the finish line, there are things that Andie needs to confront about herself and the people around her before she can really move on to that next stage of her life. Now that 18/19 is pretty far behind me, I can appreciate that aspect of them movie more than I did when high school was a recent memory, I think.


I also think I appreciate Iona more...I'm closer to her age now than I am to Andie's age, and I got her speech about prom and the envy you can sometimes have of someone that age. I feel like I "got" that character more than I did when I watched this movie as a teenager or a little kid. (TBS used to run it pretty consistently.)


Of course, it's mainly about getting with the cute guy, but whatever. I do think it's funny that they basically had to reshoot the ending because nobody realized while they were filming the movie that Andie and Duckie had the chemistry of a brother and a sister, not a couple that doesn't realize they're a couple just yet. Apparently Molly had really, really wanted Robert Downey Jr. in the part of Duckie, and believed she could have had that chemistry with him, but just couldn't have mustered up that chemistry with Jon Cryer.
The movie was basically remade a year later with the genders flipped and called Some Kind of Wonderful. I honestly can't stand that movie, except that Eric Stoltz had hit peak attractiveness at that point and he and Mary Stuart Masterson had really wonderful chemistry together.


Anyway, did anyone else get a chance to catch the revival?


The trailer for Me Before You just dropped...it's pretty good. If you're not familiar with the story, it's based on a book written by JoJo Moyes. It focuses on a young woman from a small town who becomes a hired caregiver to a recently-disabled man. It stars Emilia Clarke (Games of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games). Here's the trailer:



I read the book once for a library book club...it was a pretty engrossing read. The set-up seems like an insipid romantic dramedy, but it manages to be much better than that. Punched me to the gut, I'll say.


In a time when high student loans and a shaky economy have made it harder for borrowers to pay them off, some Millennials have found a solution...flee to Europe and never live in the U.S. again! The article below talks about the young Americans who are making their life overseas in the hopes of being free of their student loans.


Meet the Americans Who Moved To Europe to Bail on their Students Loans


Honestly, it's a definite fantasy of mine...escaping my student loans. I have fantasized about faking my own death, and then moving to Canada to live a debt-free life as a bohemian actor named Justin Baroque in Toronto. I also have dreams of traveling back in time to 2005, and convincing Young Jeremy that it's not really worth it to live on campus at a 4-year college, and that he'd be better off going to community college and living at home for two years before transferring to UD.


That part of me finds these people pretty cool, and with a lot of chutzpah to be able to chuck it all and live a new life somewhere else, free of the burdens of their old life. The other part of me thinks it's pretty irresponsible, and that a big part of being a grown-up is living up to your responsibilities. When you took out those loans, you said you'd pay them back.


In my case, I've focused on paying back the private student loans...haven't really touched the federal ones yet. I originally owed about 5k to Wells Fargo, spread over four loans. I'm now down to one loan totaling about $1,883. I mean, 3k is nothing, really, but I'm pretty proud of it regardless, especially given how spotty my employment has been. I'm hoping that I can get my loans forgiven a couple of decades down the line, but I'll definitely try my best to honor my commitment here.


I mean, really, it's the only commitment I have in my life. If I can't handle one, I don't think I'd be able to handle all the other ones that you're supposed to take on as a mark of adulthood (marriage, house, etc etc) so I figure it's character-building.


So, do you think it's okay for people to escape their student loans by fleeing the country? Is it something that you would do, or something you'd encourage your kids to do? Sound off below!


So, I'm stuck in this blizzard hitting the East Coast right now. I'm alone in the house, as my mother is staying at the nursing home she works at.


I've got some beef stew roasting, thoughts of brownie-making in the future, and a belief that I will likely chase some shots of rum with hard cider while I watch some movies.


Alone with my thoughts, I thought I'd go over where I'm at right now, as a newly-minted 30-nothing, and where I want to be, and the general confusion I still have.


First of all, I feel closer to myself than I have in a long time. I got hit with such devastatingly depressing things in a very short time period- unable to get a job for all of 2013, my very close friend dying at the end of 2013, the humiliation of my failed internship in summer 2014, the turmoil of the weekend where I went to my friend's memorial in August 2014, and watching a hospice get set up in my house while my mother's elderly live-in boyfriend died of cancer at the beginning of 2015. (And then watching as my mother realized that he left absolutely nothing for her and didn't do anything to help her get past it.)


That took A LOT out of me. I'm still not the happy-go-lucky, cheerful guy thrilled at all the new life experiences that I used to be, but I'm getting a lot closer to him than I was for a solid year and a half of my life. I joke around again. I'm able to be silly again. And though I still get these little grief attacks, when I get sad thinking about lost friends and lost opportunities, I'm able to get past it after a few hours as opposed to just staying in my house refusing to go out or live. I feel so much more like me than I have in a long time- a little wiser, a little more weary- but still me. It's a relief after feeling like Pod Jeremy for the past year or two.


As for my current state of life, working in a movie theater retail job kind of sucks. I'm being bossed around by teenaged managers, and when I'm cleaning up some garbage spill, I just think to myself, "I'm using my 80k education for THIS?" On the other hand, it is steady work, and I'm keeping up with my bills. It's also kind of fun, in some ways, to be around so many young people. I get a kick out of being the "old guy" to a bunch of those whippersnappers who were born in the mid/late 1990's, and I love getting to see so many movies for free. I also think it's been great "social training", because on some days you have to deal with a big mass of people and you need to make pretty quick judgements about reading their mannerisms and facial expressions in case one might be a bit testy.


I'm making some tentative plans for employment that actually fits a grown-up, but eh. I don't know. That's where my confusion is. I still really want to work in a museum, but I know that in order to do that, I need to leave Delaware. And I'm thinking a lot about what alternative plans I might be able to make.


Right now, I'm thinking about two paths- either finally deciding to go for the PhD in history and going on the professor track, or perhaps considering a career in something like urban planning, a topic that has always interested me. I don't think I can bring myself to go for another bachelor's degree- it'll be either a master degree or finally going for that PhD.


I'm just not sure yet. And I feel like I should have this figured out at 30, but I don't. I look at my old high school and college friends who are settled down, with careers and families and houses and mortgages...I don't know. Some ways I envy that, but in other ways, I'm glad that my life path is still kind of a big unknown at this point.


Sometimes I feel like a dried up, old man who is stuck in some dead-end life because of so many things that he screwed up, but other times, I feel like a young man still with a lot of his life ahead of him, even though his 20's are now in his past. A little while back, I had this really great conversation with a random stranger at the bar who basically told me, "You don't know what you want to do with your life yet, but you're young and that's okay. At 45, you won't be, but for now, you're still young and you've got a lot ahead of you."


I do know the life I want for myself- I'd love to live in some efficiency apartment in some city, maybe a microcondo, I actually love the idea of living in something like the Arcade in Providence:



Not sure what else...I just know that I'm not really jonsing for some kind of happy suburban existence with a husband and 2 kids and a dog. Not really my bag. I want something difference...just not sure yet.


I think it's okay that I'm not sure yet, despite a lot of people who tell me that I need to have a "real job" and "real life" now that I'm 30. I'll figure it out.


I think, anyway. In the meantime, I just want to enjoy where I'm at and do what I can, in little ways, to prepare for whatever's next. I've got a whole new decade ahead of, you know?


Diner: The Musical

As a 30th birthday present to myself, I bought tickets to see the Delaware Theatre Company production of Diner, a new musical written by Sheryl Crow. It's based on a 1982 movie called Diner, which starred such young up-and-coming actors as Kevin Bacon, Tim Daly, Daniel Stern, Paul Reiser, Ellen Barkin, Steve Gutenberg, and Mickey O'Rourke. Taking place at the end of 1959, the movie/musical follows a group of friends, all in their early 20's, as they navigate through the pitfalls and concerns of young adulthood.


The musical has Broadway hopes for 2017, and it was pretty amazing to watch something like this in Delaware...I think the show's beginning needs to be tweaked, but it picks up the further you go in, and I found myself really immersed in their stories. The show is narrated by Boogie (Derek Klena), a pretty boy and tough youth who bit off more than he could chew with a bet about the Baltimore Colts. He tells us about his group of friends that meet at the local diner, and we learn about their various problems and concerns. Shrevie (Noah Weisberg) is a newlywed to Beth (Erika Henningsen), and their marriage is on rocky ground as they're finding that they have nothing to talk about. Eddie (Ari Brand), nervous about his impending wedding to Elyse (Tess Soltau), has demanded that she pass a football trivia test in order to marry her. Billy (Aaron C. Finley), the one who moved away for graduate school, learns that his one-night stand with a platonic friend Barbara (Brynn O'Malley) has resulted in a pregnancy. Modell (Ethan Slater) is the group's comic relief. Finally, Fenwick (Matthew James Thomas) is a rich boy and constant screw-up who can't seem to figure out what he wants to do in his life.


The show is based around the idea that change is just around the corner- we're at the end of 1959, so the fifties are ending. These men are at the end of their childhood/beginning of their adulthood, wrestling with universal questions about whether to settle or not settle down, what they should do for a career, and whether or not their current life path is something they still want to be taking or if a change is needed. As for women, we see the hint of Women's Liberation that was to come in the 1960's. Beth struggles with her dissatisfaction over being a housewife, and wants to work outside of their home as a dance teacher. (She also contemplates having an affair with Boogie, who she once dated.) With Barbara, we see her conflict about her pregnancy with her desire to become a t.v. news anchor, as well as Bill pressuring her to marry him. It's the end of innocence, in more ways than one throughout this show.

I think the beginning of the show lacked a little bit of energy, but it picked up, especially once the women were introduced to contrast their stories against the men. In one memorable scene, Beth watches in shocked wonder as her husband goes off on how to properly catalog her records. In a funnier scene, we watch as Elyse tries to pass her football test to get the marital green light. With Barbara, we see her try to gently but firmly explain to Bill why marriage isn't the simple solution to her being "in trouble." (To use the parlance of the time.)


The group camaraderie between the guys feels authentic, which carries the show very well. I completely believed these guys were friends, and made me think about my own youth and some of the packs I ran around in, which guys that age tend to do. (Also, the diner that I used to hang out at when I was 21/22.) Sometimes, the best thing in the world is sit down and eat disco fries and talk to your friends late at night over anything and everything, and that's a feeling that show captured well. My favorite characters were probably Boogie and Beth. Both were characters that were in a rut, and needed to change something about their life. The scene where they contemplate having an affair was pretty well-done by both actors, and the reasoning for it (Beth wanting to feel wanted, Boogie getting a plan B for a bet he needs to win) were well-communicated by the actors.


My biggest complaint of the show is that I think some of the songs need to be a bit more memorable. It's a retro pastiche of late 50's, quite a few of which are very good, but I found myself longing for at least one actual popular song from that era,

. If Footloose can do it, why can't this? I thought Modell was a pretty underdeveloped character (I guess that was kind of the point, but it almost seems pointless to have the character), and I wish I could've seen more with Billy and Barbara's characters. Also, some of the choreography was a little clunky, but that's something that can always be fine-tuned.
All in all, it was a pretty fun experience and I'm thinking about trying to see the show again. (If not this production, another one.) I really do hope this one can make its way to Broadway!

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