Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Glee" does not fill me with glee

I'm really trying to like you, Glee, seriously I am. But something isn't quite right. Which is odd, considering I'm pretty much the target audience: a hip twentysomething with an a cappella past.

Watching Glee for me is like going on a date with a guy whom you think is going to be your soulmate. And then halfway through the salad course, you realize he's not as interesting as you thought. Everything looks right, but for some reason, there's no chemistry.

Glee is very slick -- Fox obviously put a lot of money into it and releasing the premiere at the end of last season was a genius move. I was convinced I loved the show before I'd ever seen it. The cast is good and some of the writing is clever. But there's something smug about the whole presentation -- the show thinks it's a hit but it hasn't really earned it yet, in my opinion. The episodes I've seen have all been just ok. Which is fine -- it usually takes a show about half a season to really find its rhythm. I just think it's annoying that Fox is pretending like it's perfect already and the BEST SHOW EVER.

I detect a bit of an identity crisis: Glee can't quite decide how over-the-top/campy/surreal it wants to be. Some of the characters seem real and some are complete caricatures. And I don't see yet how they are going to keep the premise going for more than one season. Clearly, this season is all about Glee Club getting to, and presumably winning, the oft-mentioned regional championships. But what about next season? And the focus is so split between the adult characters and the high schoolers that I'm not sure whom I'm supposed to be rooting for, other than not arch villain Sue Sylvester, played by the admittedly hilarious Jane Lynch.

I'm not giving up on Glee yet...but I do want it to start living up to its hype. Also, I'd really like it if they would stop making all the songs sound so produced and professional. I know we're not supposed to be in the world of realism, but since all of the actors are doing their own singing, it would be nice to be able to hear what they would sound like, were they actually in a vocal group together (as opposed to a recording studio).

As a little bonus, I'm including a video here of the kind of show choir that possibly inspired the creators of Glee. Behold the crazy intensity of Attach
é, from Clinton, MS. These kids are in it to win it! If you enjoy this video, I highly recommend you check out some of the others posted on YouTube. The "Dream On/I Dreamed A Dream" medley is particularly inspiring.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A little Sunday playlist

It's Sunday and I should be devoting my day to my mountains of homework, but instead I'm blogging. Go fig.

I'm a big fan of covers, on my bed and in music. A good cover, in my opinion, is one that improves upon the original song or at least brings something new to it. It is my dream to one day form a cover band that performs covers of famous covers. This band will be called Duvet. Some of my favorite covers include:

When You Were Mine, as covered by Tegan and Sara
Beautiful, as covered by Clem Snide
Umbrella, as covered by Scott Simons
Hurt, as covered by Johnny Cash
5. You Know I'm No Good, as covered by Arctic Monkeys
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, as covered by Amy Winehouse
7. Melt With You, as covered by Nouvelle Vague
8. Que Sera Sera, as covered by Pink Martini
9. Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps, as covered by Cake
Careless Whisper, as covered by Rufus Wainwright and Ben Folds

If you also are avoiding your homework, I encourage you to, as Buckwheat would say, take a wisten!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall cold

Ladies and gentlemen, it's true: I have been felled by the fall cold that strikes many a weak-immuned person.

As thoroughly documented on this blog, my immune system is a total asshole. I have the Bernie Madoff of immune systems. And given the erratic temperatures in Boston lately, it should come as no surprise that I woke up this morning with the telltale scratchy throat and achy sinuses. I look like hell and I feel like crap. Or wait, maybe I look like crap and I feel like hell?

Beyond the obvious culprits (weather, white blood cells that don't do their frickin' jobs), someone or something else must be to blame. In between sneezes, I compiled this list of suspects:

1) Sneezing chick who sat next to me on the T last week (you know who you are)

2) Any of my undergrad students at the Emerson writing center, because let's face it, dorms are cesspools of disease

3) The Republican party

4) My cat, Maude

Ok, so some of these are more likely than others, but still, it's smart to cast the net wide in any initial scapegoat search. When I find out whose responsible for my nasty cold, THEY WILL PAY.

Not only does this woman have a cold, she is also suffering from severe 80s hair

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oedipus, with vegetables

The semester just started and I'm already overwhelmed and sleep-deprived. In my playwriting workshop, we read Sophocles' s incest classic
Oedipus the King this week and while I hopefully made some smart-sounding comments in class, all I can cobble together right now is:

1. Iocasta (Oed's mom/wife) was a cougar

2. This is funny

Once again, I struggle to remember what life was like before YouTube.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Look, ma, I'm a published poet!

A month or so ago, I
blogged about beginning to send out my poems to literary journals and magazines and I have a happy update. While I have, as expected, received rejections, I've also gotten a number of acceptances, much to my surprise and delight.

A trestina (mini sestina), "Sisters," is in issue #9 of nibble
Twin sonnets, "Wunderkind," will appear in The Raintown Review
An ode, "Ode to Virtues," will appear in nthWORD
A sonnet, "Ineffable," and villanelle, "The Bridegroom," will appear in The Road Not Taken

Just wanted to share the good news....according to Duotrope's Digest, a site which allows you to track submissions and responses, my acceptance rate is 14.29 %. Yee-haw!

Monday, September 14, 2009

So You Think You Don't Like Poetry

Yes, it's that time again -- time for you to fall in love with a new poem. This one is exquisite.


by Michael Donaghy

Dearest, note how these two are alike:

This harpsicord pavane by Purcell

And the racer's twelve-speed bike.

The machinery of grace is always simple.

This chrome trapezoid, one wheel connected

To another of concentric gears,

Which Ptolemy dreamt of and Schwinn perfected,

Is gone. The cyclist, not the cycle, steers.

And in the playing, Purcell's chords are played away.

So this talk, or touch if I were there,

Should work its effortless gadgetry of love,

Like Dante's heaven, and melt into the air.

If it doesn't, of course, I've fallen. So much is chance,
So much agility, desire, and feverish care,

As bicyclists and harpsicordists prove

Who only by moving can balance,

Only by balancing move.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Do you practice aggressive belly button hygiene?"

That's a question I never expected to be asked. And yet last night, in the Tufts Medical Center ER, I found myself answering it.

"Um, I mean, I try to keep it clean and rinse it in the shower, is that what you mean?"

"Do you ever....stick anything down it? Like a paperclip? To try to dig out lint?"


But let me back up. I guess I should first explain that people in my family take weird trips to the emergency room all the time. Two summers ago, my 23-year-old brother somehow got pericarditis (an infection of the tissue lining the heart, less serious than it sounds) in Paris (hey, that has a catchy sound to it..."pericarditis in Paris"). This past week, my mom's cat scratched her in the face and she had to go to the hospital to get stitches. And of course, who could forget my adventures with Frances the kidney stone.

So I was not that surprised that after a quick visit to my doctor due to some unexplained upper abdominal discomfort in my navel region, she told me I should go get it checked out ASAP at the hospital, where she predicted I would get an CT scan to rule out appendicitis.

The first doctor of many to examine me last night, after asking if I'd ever pierced my belly button, concluded that she'd "never seen anything like it before." I will spare you the details, because they're gross, but I will say that there was pus and it was freaky. Really, is there anything more horrible than pus?

So she went and got doctor #2, who asked the unusual question about belly button hygiene. Apparently, pus oozing out of your navel is a common side effect to shoving random objects down there. Who'd have thought?

After I convinced him that I had not, in fact, been prodding myself with any office supplies, he said I had to get a CT to see how far the infection had spread. Luckily, it turns out, my infection is "superficial." Not as in vapid, but as in just beneath the surface of my skin and easy to treat with antibiotics. Whew.

But strange, right? Have you ever heard of a belly button infection?

The ER on a Friday night was quite a lively place. My visit lasted just over nine hours and I saw three different doctors and a handful of nurses. I felt grateful, though -- the guy next to me had to get a spinal tap. And I had to listen to it. On the way out, around 2:00 a.m., they brought in a belligerent drunk guy who loudly told everyone in the hospital waiting room to line up and suck his you-know-what.

The worst part? Not the CT scan itself, but the disgusting "smoothie" I had to drink beforehand to make my insides more photogenic. It was just your basic creamy vanilla/barium sulfate blend. Jamba Juice should really take note.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My summer, in pictures

Labor Day has passed, which means in my mind, summer's officially over. I left New York today like I always leave it -- broke and in need of a haircut. I'm back in Beantown, trying to get back into an academic mindset.

Before that happens, though, I thought it would be fun to recap my summer photographically -- it resembled a traditional summer vacation in that I didn't work full-time, traveled a bunch (to exotic locales like Colorado and New Jersey), and, despite all the rain, even made it to the beach a few times. So long, summer 2009! Thanks for all the memories.

small town 4th of July parade in Orleans, MA

my first Jewish wedding

hiking in Telluride, CO

winning a game of Scrabble against a very good player

free ticket to see Britney motherfucking Spears

weekend on Fire Island, in the company of writers I admire (not pictured, obviously)

seeing West Side Story on Broadway

trip to the Bronx Zoo

Friday, September 4, 2009

Crime doesn't pay

In just a few days, I'll be heading back to Allston. It's been a great six weeks and a good, long summer in general but I'm looking forward to settling back into my school routine. And I have missed my neighborhood and its (admittedly ghetto) charm.

A fellow Allstonian was kind enough to send me a link to today's
Allston-Brighton police log. Here are some highlights of all the action I've been missing:

Cormac Mullen, 21, of 16 Dighton St., Brighton, was arrested Aug. 24 for allegedly stealing American flags from the World War II, Vietnam and Korean War memorials in front of the Brighton Police station at 301 Washington St.

When police asked Mullen why he stole the flags, he reportedly said that he was “stupid.” Police arrested Mullen and charged him with larceny.


Two police officers were sent to the hospital and three individuals were arrested after an Aug. 30 party at 16 Wadsworth St., Allston.

Police responding to neighbors’ complaints about loud noise at 3:53 a.m. reportedly met resistance from the female resident of that address. When police asked her to quiet the partygoers, she reportedly told police “I don’t have to do anything you say. I’m a law student.”


Police arrested an Allston man Aug. 28 after he assaulted patrons of Allston Food and Spirits with a silver-colored meat cleaver. Mayaner Reyes, 19, of 69 Empire St., had been harassing customers outside the store for most of the evening, according to the store manager.

A store clerk called police shortly after 9 p.m., after Reyes allegedly threatened an Allston woman with his cleaver, saying “Get me some beer, or I’ll kill your ass.”

Police conducting a search for the suspect found Reyes visibly intoxicated in his apartment, his meat cleaver in the kitchen sink. Police arrested Reyes and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon.


Azine Kouyoumdjian, 53, of 39 Silver Hill Lane, Waltham, was arrested Aug. 30 after allegedly stealing $231 of produce from Shaw’s Market at 370 Western Ave., Brighton. Kouyoumdjian was charged with shoplifting.

Initial thoughts:

$231 of produce? That's a LOT of produce. I mean, a tomato costs like sixty cents.

It's ironic that a law student would think she didn't actually have to, you know, obey the law.

Do people other than butchers really own meat cleavers?

Man, I can't wait to get home.

Remember McGruff?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Now that's what I call hospitality!

My friend Diana just moved to a new apartment and found a note from the previous tenant in, of all places, her dishwasher. The text of the note is as follows:

Dear new tenant,
The guy next door doesn’t know I’m doing this, but he is in #7. He is super nice and really sexy. But the best part about him is his huge cock. He has a really big dick that I am going to miss a lot. I wanted to let the next lucky girl who moves in here to know just what you have waiting for you next door. Knock on his door and introduce yourself to him! I’m telling you his big dick is amazing!

Good luck with it!



I especially like how "Melissa" doesn't feel compelled to share the well-endowed guy's name, either because she doesn't know it or doesn't think it's relevant. It's also possible that the gentleman in #7 planted the note himself...for obvious reasons. Regardless, I find it hilarious and (wait for it) ballsy.