Friday, June 24, 2005

Yesterday around 5 pm

Behind me and across the street lies the first cemetery in Rockport, Ma. where Richard Tarr’s body was laid to rest in 1732; honored to be the first citizen of the town to take permanent residence, albeit six feet under.

In front of me the Atlantic Ocean stretches out as far as I can see presumably ending as it hits Europe, only my eyes aren’t that good to make out the land once called “the old country.”

I am lucky enough to be somewhere in between.

The trip to Rockport was a last minute decision as I was content to remain at home, sending out resume's in the - what has become almost futile - hope that perhaps someone will hire me. I would have the internet, cable television, the Jonathan Lethem novel I just started reading, and the back porch to enjoy the perfect clear blue sunny day. 70’s (Fahrenheit) and not at all humid, a rare occurrence in New England. Perhaps I’d even mow the lawn if inspiration struck. Perhaps not.

My mother, having finished the school year the day prior (teaching at a local Jewish Junior High) decided to celebrate her first day of summer vacation by stopping off in Lexington (home to “the Shot heard round the world” - you can’t throw a stone in Massachusetts without hitting something of historical value) for an hour on her way traveling north up route 128 to the final destination of Rockport, MA. Though I was slow to acquiesce to join her, I relented - mostly due to the realization that I hadn’t been out of the house for almost a week.

Earlier. I walked around a small part of the town with my mother falling into most gift shops we passed. After that we decided to split up. She enjoys window shopping and sneaking into peoples back yards (“just to see how they decorate”) whereas I don’t have money to shop and the thrill of trespassing no longer does anything for me.

Now. Children play on the rocks jetting out from the left most border of the beach into the ocean, all acting as if they were the first to discover this “remote” part of America. A boy, no more than 17 years of age, decked out in the hippest heavy metal beach attire scales the highest rock. Perhaps to impress the waifish 16 year old girl trailing at his heels. They are the only two visitors wearing combat boots to the beach.

The town itself is picturesque, in the very sense that I felt I was walking through a picture as I navigated my way back to the car and this beach. It is every quaint New England coastal town you’ve seen on countless postcards. From the salty early colonial blue, gray, and white houses to the small over priced tourist shops (here spelled shoppes), art galleries and clothing boutiques. Not to mention the countless hole in the wall clam and lobster (spelled proudly and phonetically “Lobstah”) joints that litter the side streets. In the middle of the street leading up the docks and gift shops a street light rests; a scale model of a white New England lighthouse. I wonder if in the evenings the light revolves warning residents to avoid this part of town lest they crash head first into an out cropping of tourists.

It is so pristine in its portrayal of itself as a charming slice of nostalgic Americana I can’t help but feel I don’t belong. As if my very presence here lessens the aesthetic (and somewhat kitschy) value of this town. I am an outsider, alien to the quiet charm loudly echoing through the streets. I feel like a walking imposition on the residents forced to ply their trade from the tourists each summer. A tourist is someone loved for their money, but hated for needing their money, and I have no money to spend. So I am worse, I am just someone taking up space.

There is of course no outward hostility towards me, as all of my discomfort here is in my head and not actually on the streets themselves (or with the citizenry). But as I look at a town whose current appeal lies closer with Disney World than otherwise I think that Richard Parr, were he still alive, would be sitting next to me (he’d have to be sitting, a man his age and still alive wouldn’t be able to stand) feeling the same sort of detachment and alienation in his home town as I do. We might not have much to talk about, him being an early Puritan settler the likes of whom are responsible for current blue laws, and me, a liberal Jew the likes of whom support gay marriage and countless other vices not permitted by the puritans. Even through our differences I would like to think we’d agree that neither of us felt comfortable here. The town he knew and helped found would be so changed as to only be recognized making money from a false sense of nostalgia. Though as uncomfortable as he might feel he would have a leg up on me, swelled with a pride I do not have. Pride stemming from the simple truth that his decedents (if not exactly by blood then by citizenship) have kept his town thriving and healthy, and that his legacy lives on.

I’m just a bad tourist and have no excuse. So I close my eyes, trying to be like the 5 year old who excitedly giggles with joy every time she drops a stone into the water, and let everything go, just to enjoy myself. I think Richard would want it that way.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Shameless self promotion

Because if I don't pimp my writing no one will, check out my review of the new film Batman Begins here for The Noyse online magazine.

Monday, June 20, 2005

I have no ideas of my own

Image stolen from Warren Ellis's website and posted again here only because I think it's so damn funny.

Friday, June 10, 2005


I plan on writing one of those really good, funny, soul searching posts that has some sort of actual context to the world around us. I plan on it, but instead I mess around on the computer.

Anyway, favorite blog at the moment (as it changes often as more posts are posted on all the blogs I check): High-Centered & colourphobic Check it out if you dare.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


I am the most awkard man alive!!!!!!

Once again

I just watched the incredibles on DVD, good movie. What thrilled me even more was one of the little extras, a video essay by Sarah Vowell (voice of Violet and also one of my favorite writers!) So, yeah, I'm bit obsessed, and I can't help it. The way I figure though, she is a much better person to idolize than some stupid pop star or wanna be activist actor (Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, I'm pointing at you). I don't think I'd be star struck if I bumped into, say... John Malkovitch on the street (which I have, literally, didn't know it was him, a bit embaressing really) but if I saw her in the street I would be totally tongue tied.

But I can never really talk about her to anyone because no one really knows who she is (except for dorks like me, and I don't hang out with dorks like me, I hang out with a compeltely different set up dorks). So here I am, just iterating my undying love for Sarah Vowell.

I'd like to say it's the last time but I can't be sure, I still haven't read her newest book. Once I do, I'm sure I'll post once more just to say how great she is.

But I'm not obsessed, at least not in any sort of crazy way.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Less than a good idea

I haven't really had anything interesting to write about recently, yet I am always compelled to write. Thus, to spare anyone who might be reading this from my pointless prose I give you:

Yes, your eyes do not deceive you, those men are bathing in 42,000 pints of beer. It is a luxury afforded them by The Starkenber Beer Myth, a resort near Starkenberger castle in the Tyrol region of Austria. A bath only an alcoholic would enjoy, as I can't imagine anyone else who prefers smelling of warm beer. Add some cigarette smoke in the ventilation system and it would make for a nice excuse to the significant other.

"You smell horrid. Have you been out drinking in the middle of the day?"
"Don't be silly dear, I just took a bath. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the airport. That plane won't fly itself you know."

Moving up from Austria into Germany. Ahh Germany, I think I had family there once, they weren't from there though. This is going back about 65, 70 years. They took an over booked train ride, and oddly were never heard from again. Anyway, when I think Germany I think piety, which is why this doesn't surprise me at all.

A doll has been issued in honor of Pope Benedict XVI and is being sold in Germany for a mere 93£. Clearly it's worth it, the likeness alone is astounding. It doesn't look at all like they took a cabbage patch doll and dressed it in white, added a cheap gold cross necklace and a white yarmulke you can get free at most bar-mitzvahs. I applaud them for their hard work and piety, no cheesy exploitation of our holy-men here.

NEW EDIT(thanks to Peter David) 12:14pm
Why am I adding to this post instead of giving this bit it's own post? There are two reasons. 1) I think it fits best in this one and 2) because I said so, that's why. Either way, the world is filled with stupid people with too much money on their hands. Case in point:

For those of you familiar with the TV series Lost you'll recognize those as the evil numbers on the show. For those of you that don't, well, I just told you what they were so now you know. Whether you knew off the bat what the numbers were or not, the fact is this piece of toast is currently going for over $5000 on Ebay, and there's still two days left to bid! If you don't believe me, the image will link you to the ebay posting. If this really sells, who knows, I have some bridges (here and here) I can part with - at the right price of course.
END EDIT 12:25pm

And finally, I am a comic book nerd who was one credit shy of receiving a media theory minor in college. As such it's always fun to find out that big time movie directors like Bryan Singer can be just a big fanboy, awkward dork as I am. He is my new hero. To fully understand why, check out his behind the scenes of the new Superman movie currently being filmed video blog, but specifically, "Episode 7: The Call". Watch it and try not to fall in love with the man. I dare you.

Uhh... carry on then....

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Amichai the mountain man

I haven't shaved in over three weeks nor have I got my hair cut in almost 9 months. I also haven't showered since yesterday or changed my clothes. I'm slowly turning into that weird neighbor whose lawn you warn your kids to stay off of. This has got to change.

I shall sleep, and tommorrow (technically later today) after I wake I shall shower, shave, tie my hair back in a bandana and spend the rest of the day outside being a person again.

A bike ride is immenent in my future.