Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Candy Girl

Diablo Cody was on Letterman the other night. She wrote a book, "Candy Girl," which is about her life as a stripper for a year. I never read her infamous blog "The Pussy Ranch," but did enjoy her book. David Letterman asked her what made her leave her job in advertising and try stripping. She responded, "I was sitting around bored at my desk and I thought, 'I'd rather be naked.'" I like people like that. These are the people that realize life is meant to be an adventure. There's so much more to life than just going to school, getting a job, rising up the corporate ladder while raising a family. While those things are all fine, you're missing so much if that's all you do. I hate sitting at my desk all day and I would rather be naked. But I have lived quite an adventurous life. I'm just in a holding pattern at the moment. I don't feel like I've missed out on anything.

What I really liked about Diablo's interview was when Dave asked why she chose to strip at the seediest places. She responded with something like, "it's too dull to go to 'Gentleman's Clubs'. If you're going to do it then do it hard." That's gutsy. I always enjoyed visiting seedy places just for the novelty of it(okay, maybe "enjoyed" was the wrong word choice). Before Sera and I left NYC for good we purchased the "Sex Guide to NY" and visited as many bizarre and seedy places as we could find. It wasn't because we were into that type of thing, but because those places were unusual. And we probably weren't going to find these places anywhere else. Some places we visited more than once because they were so bizarre that they were kind of fun, and some we left after 15 minutes because we felt uncomfortable. But we're glad we went. It's like that old cliche, "I'd rather look back on my life and say, 'I wish I had never done that instead of I wish I had done that.'"

Diablo seemed very composed during her interview and I was impressed by it. And I have to applaud someone who finished college and was climbing up a career ladder but had enough sense to realize it wasn't for her. You should do whatever makes you happy. It's sad to see people stuck in a hum-drum life who think they can't get out.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Missing NYC

I'm starting to miss things about New York. I've been in Orlando for almost 3 years now--where the hell has the time gone? I don't miss the overcrowded streets and subways or the rotten attitudes of New York. But I do miss the characters. And by this I mean the drug addicts, sex workers and other fuck-ups who try to blend into everyday life. I don't mean the street junkies and prostitutes. I spent several years working in some of the world's top law firms in NYC. I had a supervisor addicted to heroin who also sold himself for extra cash on occasion. I worked with several other druggies as well. Many co-workers didn't have a bank account--they kept what little money they had under their mattress. I knew several paranoid people who were convinced the government was watching them and that aliens had blended into our environment.

In Orlando I work with the dullest people in the US. No one here cares about LIFE. It's all about their homes and yards. One needs to be surrounded by people from all levels of life to be comfortable. You need those doing better than you as well as those doing worse. And New York was definitely that. I felt I belonged there. I didn't own any property and was a bit lost in life, but I wasn't a drug addict or forced to sell myself for money. I felt good about myself. Here in Orlando I feel totally lost and depressed. Sure I'd love to own a home, but never before have I felt so much pressure to buy one. Everyone here owns a home. No one here seems to have any problems. I have a better job than some(for now) and am ten times better at it than the other guy who works with me, but he owns a home. I have to remind myself that I chose the road less taken. Sera and I had money for a home a few years back, but instead opted to travel the world. It was my dream, and Sera wanted to fulfill it with me. No one here has ever left the US, much less Florida. I could have a home and stability, but I never would have traveled. Hopefully I can still own a home one day, but it's harder to travel in the Third World when you're older.

By the way--I had an odd dream the other night. A girl I must have slept with years ago showed up with a baby girl that apparently was mine. She named the baby Francine. I didn't like the name, preferred something like Alexis, and was upset that she named the child without even asking me. What the fuck kind of dream is that?

Monday, March 13, 2006

More books and films

I finished Doug Coupland's "Hey, Nostradamus" the other day. The beginning was great, the middle a bit slow, and then the last half really caught fire and I couldn't put it down. As much as I like Coupland's work, there is a problem with his editors. I've never seen so many typos and grammatical mistakes as I have in ALL his books that I've read.

I finished Erich Segal's "The Class" last week. It was the type of novel where I was upset to reach the end. I wanted more, more, more. I wanted to write Segal and ask him to continue writing about the characters. The story follows 5 Harvard students from their freshman orientation through to their 25th class reunion. I really felt like I got to know these characters. Only a great author can do that successfully.

I've just started reading John LeCarr's "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold." It was on Time's Top 100 so I figured what the hell. Sometimes I try to pick up Dostoevsky for some intellectual reading, but then I go for something light and quick instead. It's the same with Dickens. I've never really liked him--too verbose--but I feel I'm SUPPOSED to read it. I've read bits of "Tale of Two Cities," "Hard Times" and "Great Expectations," but never finished any of them. And whenever I try to start them up again I instead take the easy way out and go for something light and airy.

Saw "Walk The Line" this weekend on DVD. I enjoyed it. I never realized that Johnny Cash was so unique that they couldn't label his music--not quite country, not quite rock, not quite blues. It makes sense when you see that everyone from The Grateful Dead to Coldplay have covered his stuff.

My relatives leave tomorrow. I haven't been this exhausted in years. Sera almost looked in tears at dinner last night. This has really taken its toll on both of us the past week.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Concerts, Movies, etc.

I have relatives in town visiting this week. That would be a week of joy for many. It's pure stress for myself. I'm just trying to get through it all and then have my hum-drum life back again.

The Coldplay show on Sunday was good for us, not for all. People living near the Tampa Amphitheatre complained in the past about the noise levels, and so the theater removed speakers in the back. If you were sitting up front like we were, then everything was good. People in the back couldn't hear. The Tampa Amphitheater is the worst place to ever see a concert.

I find Coldplay's music to be motivational and inspirational. Very intelligent. Chris Martin came out with a bouquet of red roses for the fans a few minutes before the show began and apologized for cancelling the concert back in September. How many stars would do that?

I'm currently reading Douglas Coupland's "Hey, Nostradamus." It's intriguing. This is the third novel of his I've read. Sometimes it feels like he's recycling characters and stories, though. I wish he'd do something a bit different--sort of like Bret Easton Ellis's "American Psycho." It was such a departure from his previous works.

Don't try reading more than one book at a time. I found myself reading 3 or 4 books last week and I got nowhere with all of them.

Sera and I saw Woody Allen's "Match Point" over the weekend. Great film, but a bit too derivative of "Crimes and Misdemeanors." But definitely worth seeing. I'm quickly becoming a Scarlett Johannsen fan.

I was very happy to hear that "Crash" won Best Picture. That was the best film I've seen in years. Very powerful with lots of ironic twists.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Coldplay Pt.2

We were supposed to see Coldplay way back in Sept. in Tampa, but the show was cancelled at the last minute due to Chris Martin's illness. The show is rescheduled for tonight, after a 6 month wait. We bought these tickets last May, and it's been a 10 month wait. I remember growing up when you bought tickets for shows no more than 2 months in advance. What has changed over the years to create such a wait? We bought U-2 tickets last March for a show in Nov. Bought Paul McCartney tickets in April for a Sept. show. So many things can happen in life during such a long wait. What if you're dating someone and you break up during that 6-10 month wait? It's very feasible.

In any case, we're excited to finally see this band after such a long time. They played in Orlando last night, but we decided to just go to our rescheduled Tampa show. The Orlando arena is indoors and quite cavernous. The Tampa arena is a summer outdoor amphitheater. It's much smaller and personal, though it may be a bit chilly tonight(temps in the low 60s in the evening).

Oh--and we bought tickets to see The Go-Go's at Hard Rock at the end of the month. People laugh when I tell them how much I like the Go-Go's. I loved them in high school but never got to see them. Then when I found out years later how screwed up they really were--all the drugs and sex--it gave me even more respect for them. I mean how can you REALLY respect a bubble-gum all girl band until you dig under the surface? So after a 24 year wait I'll finally get to see them. Now if only The Bangles would play here.