100 Days of Misery Project: Chunk Seven

#100daysofmisery #day61 : The dog treats that look and smell exactly like Slim Jims do not taste anything at all like Slim Jims.

#100daysofmisery #day62 : When I was about fifteen, I purchased a ring at the Methuen mall, strung it on a chain and took to wearing it around my neck. Yes, Yes, I was emulating Frodo Baggins, I’m sure some of you did similarly humiliating crap at a similar age. Okay, maybe not as humiliating. That summer at camp, a very pretty girl (child of a very famous father, now reasonably famous in her own right) asked me if it was a token from a girlfriend. I told her, no, I had bought the ring myself. She said, so, what, you’re, like, dating yourself? I could have told her the truth, but in that very instant the scales fell from my eyes and I was fully exposed to the grandiosity of my pretension. As if I would have been on anyone’s short list to carry the One Ring to Mount Doom. I couldn’t have carried it to the Seven-Eleven if I’d been on my way there to get a Slurpee. Yes, I said, yes, I wear this wring because I am dating myself.

#100daysofmisery #day63 : Several years ago, a show I directed (and wrote some of and acted in) was reviewed by veteran arts and entertainment reporter Joyce Kulhawik. She said the play would have been offensive if it wasn’t so downright stupid, which made my Bride cry. On the same broadcast she reviewed Macaulay Culkin in the film version of “The Nutcracker.” She said his dancing was wooden and that he wore too much make-up. I think Culkin got the worst of it, particularly as he wasn’t a ballet dancer, didn’t cast himself and almost cetainly did not apply his own make-up, whereas my decisions were all my own. On a positive note, I have always found the word ‘nutcracker’ to be hilarious.

#100daysofmisery #day64 : Through an odd chain of events too complicated to detail (well, not really, I just don’t feel like it) I once stood behind a curtain while George Lucas, Wolfgang Puck and my boss strolled at a brisk clip down a hallway and passed just a few feet from me. In that instant I realized that if I timed it just right and hurled myself out at knee level in front of them, I would probably be all over the Internet next morning. I let the moment pass. Life is a scarf knitted from the yarn of regret far too long for even Tom Baker to find practical.

#100daysofmisery #day65 : No matter how far into summer, no matter how hot a day it is, if I convince my family to go to the beach for a sunset picnic the temperature there will be fifty to seventy degrees colder and the wind will be so strong flying beach sand will strip the hairs off your arms. So if you are planning to go to the beach, you should probably call and ask me not to.

#100daysofmisery #day66 : I don’t want to think of myself as the kind of person who pays much attention to the number of ‘likes’ their posts get, but that is exactly what I have become. I count them. I compare them. I’m not agonizing over them yet, but clearly that’s where this is going. #day65 got eleven ‘likes’. Eleven. That’s pathetic. #day62 got fifty ‘likes’. Fifty is a much bigger number than eleven. It’s thirty-nine bigger! Does that mean people don’t like it when I write about the beach? Should I write more about nerd culture, adolescent pomposity or Lord of the Rings specifically? I need the pay off, I need the ‘likes’, I am jonesing for ‘likes’, which leads to the inescapable conclusion that I am becoming a ‘likes’ whore. What kind of person is a ‘likes’ whore? Do you ‘like’ that? I don’t think like it. I hope you like it.

#100daysofmisery #day67 : I am devoted to Xfinity On Demand because it allows me to watch my shows when I have time as opposed to when a given program is scheduled. This is a new freedom I embrace. Unfortunately, they play the same ads every commercial break, which I consider to be, no hyperbole, an abomination. You cannot fast forward through the commercials because “Fast Forward and other functionalities may be disabled” when using On Demand. I place a high value on Fast Forward, but I am more concerned about my ‘other functionalities’ because I do not know what they are. What if they are referring to my kidneys? I need those. And yet I put up with anxious uncertainty and quadruple doses of ads for lemonade flavored beer because I want to watch my shows ‘On Demand’. This is how fascism begins.

#100daysofmisery #day68 : Is there a word for feeling nostalgia for a thing or time you hated when it was happening? ‘Cause I hate the Bee Gees. Straight up hate them. I’ll tell anyone. I particularly hated them during the spring and summer of 1978 when apparently there was an FCC ruling that only songs from the Saturday Night Fever sound track could have any air time whatsoever. I hated their high voices, I hated their blindingly white clothes, I hated their monstrous lyrics. “Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother”? Seriously? “More than a woman”? What does that mean? Does she have an extra limb? And yet all I need to hear is that two bar instrumental introduction and I can see Travolta’s damn legs strutting down the sidewalk just like he’ll never end up making ‘’Battlefield Earth” or mangling Idina Menzel’s name when it’s the only damn thing he has to say all night and he’s a friggin’ PROFESSIONAL ACTOR and I feel all gooey about a past I pretty much didn’t have. I find myself feeling as if I liked those songs, which I categorically did not, but I still feel as if I must have. Except for “How deep is your love”. That song awfulness transcends all psychological phenomena.

#100daysofmisery #day69 : Both my parents are Jews, but not practicing. The sum total of my cultural/religious knowledge came from Woody Allen movies and “Fiddler on the Roof”. On my thirteenth birthday, my paternal grandfather told me that in no culture would a boy who left his pajamas on the floor when he got dressed for the day be considered a man.

#100daysofmisery #day70 : When I was a little kid, we had gerbils. I loved them, but my oldest cousin who was spending the summer with us, couldn’t stand them. Their nocturnal wheel antics kept him awake at night and he claimed he was literally loosing his mind. One day I came home from school to find the gerbil cage empty. There was a teeny little note in the cage that said in teeny little print “We just could not go on living like this”. My cousin denied any knowledge or culpability and claimed to feel emotionally abused that I would blame him for what was a documented suicide. My entire family found the whole thing somewhat hilarious. That’s bad, right?

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