Friday, March 30, 2007

The Power of the Internet

As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. And those of us who use the internet do wield at least some power.
As I posted earlier I received a cease and desist notice. At first I thought it was over the top but then, upon reading the post in question, I realized that they actually had a good reason to be pissed. (I posted a full name and the possibly less than legal activities that they may or may not have engaged in). This person may be applying for jobs, have a child who does google searches, or just may not want their name posted in a public forum and I have to say that isn't a lot to ask. I forget that as much as I assume that the only people that read these recollections and thoughts may be friends or friends of friends it is still available for everyone or anyone to read and there is a certain responsibility that goes along with that. I will be combing through my past posts and changing or deleting names if I feel it is warranted.
Lesson learned. Welcome to the internet.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Cease and Desist!

I just received a cease and desist request via MySpace because I used someone's name in a story on one of my blogs. Goddamn those google searches:

It has come to my attention that you have been releasing to the public false and slanderous statements about me.
Cease, desist, and remove your slanderous public statements or legal civil action will begin.
(name withheld 3/29/07)

Yikes! Will do, good sir. (or madam, if you wish to truly remain anonymous).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hiatus Over!

I have taken a longer than expected hiatus from this blog to recuperate after my 30 day challenge and to work on my sketch show at UCB which went up on Monday, allowing me to breathe a relief-filled sigh and return to the comfort of my online journal.

A quick plug is in order before I get to a story:

I highly encourage you to check out the Most Awkward Boy in the World series of video shorts made by my friends Chris Gethard and Zach Woods. They are each less than a minute long, are high-larious and star a bunch of my friends being completely insane, which as far as I am concerned, is a great combination. One of my favorites is below, and you can check out a bunch more at their Youtube page under Cutman films.

Stories about Camp

I went to two sleepaway camps when I was a kid. And I fucking hated it. I grew up in the city and spending that much time in the wilderness was not even remotely appealing. The first camp I went to was Lenox Hill -- I was asked not to return after punching a girl in the face which then set off her asthma and sent her to the hospital. I am not sure why they didn't expel me immediately. I was really really difficult -- I remember refusing to take showers and crying a lot. I did not go back to Lenox Hill.

The second one was called Camp Incarnation, also known as "ECCC" which stood for Episcopal Camp and Conference Center. It was in Connecticut and in retrospect, it was a really terrible camp. I attended it for three years. My best friend, Alex Coveleski, went there and LOVED it. She was, and is to this day, a real outdoor nature buff kind of girl. So my parents figured that if she loved it, I would to. MISTAKE.

The camp was divided into different areas, separated by age. I don't remember what the boys' sections were called (Dave Thunder went to this camp so he can chime in if he ever reads this) , but the girl's sections were "Woodlands" which were for 10-11 year olds, Highlands for 12 year olds, and Winds for 13 year olds. After that you went to Pioneer Village, known as "PV" which was essentially full time outdoor camping, which sounds like a nightmare. How they duped parents into shelling out a bunch of bread so that kids could fend for themselves outdoors for 1-2 months is beyond me.

Many of my memories came from dining hall. The food here was so terrible it was amazing. The secret to making the food remotely tolerable was literally putting ketchup on everything: chicken, fish, eggs, etc. My parents said that one year on parent's day they overheard the following conversation by two of fellow campers: "Wow, that soup at lunch was terrrible." The second girl responded "That wasn't soup, that was meatloaf." My parents thougth that this was hysterical and kept sending me to hell camp. (Welcome to my parents' sense of humour). We also sang songs at meals including "Sardines and Pork and Beans", and the Bumblebee Tuna theme song (which had a mime-like dance attached to it that I still know to this day).

Once per session we had to go an "overnight" which meant real camping out in the woods. I hated these more than anything. I am a mosquito magnet and would usually have a hundred bites by morning, plus peeing in the woods and eating burnt food was not my idea of a good time. I was already a complete whiner through these sessions, but usually at least one legitimately horrible thing would happen to me on these trips: one year they were carrying a pot of boiled water to make hot chocolate and someone tripped and the hot water went all over my legs causing minor burns. Another year as we hiked back to camp I complained of feeling dizzy and nauseous. The counselors didn't believe me and forced me to march another two miles or so in the hot sun until we got back to camp. I collapsed on the floor of our tent and another camper dragged me to the infirmary where I was informed that I had a 104 degree favor and was completely dehydrated. I then spent three days in the unairconditioned infirmary in the blazing heat.

I made some pretty good friends at camp. The one that I kept in touch with for years was Siobhan Oakley. She was from Australia and her dad was a diplomat who worked at the UN. She was the toast of camp due to her exotic accent and her super cute appearance. She made out with boys, which I remember being sort of shocking to my 12 year old self.

The year I met Siobhan, a girl named Katie was in our group, and I guess upon seeing Siobhan's immediate acceptance and popularity due to her accent, Katie decided to pretend she was British. We all knew she was faking and we were merciless and vicious. We would quiz her about British food and history and politics, we would ask her to repeat herself whenever she accidentally dropped her accent, and on parents' day we came dangerously close to busting her in front of her clearly American parents. In retrospect, it's clear that this was probably a split second decision that she made on the first day of camp during introductions which then completely screwed her for full month afterwards.

I am sure I wil recall more camp horror stories....This post has been long enough. It won't be another 20 days before I post again.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

And thus endeth the challenge....

Today is the end of my 30 Day Challenge. It has been an interesting road. Thanks to everyone who has read, commented, linked to and otherwise encouraged me during this experiment. I encourage you to do the same (or a shorter version) because a) it makes you write every day, b) it makes you examine your life in a completely different way, and c) your life is more interesting than you think. My favorite blogs have always been the ones that detail past or current stories from people's own lives. I will continue writing whatever random memories come to me, just not every day....

This final story reveals me at my most pathetic. Plus if future employers read this, they probably won't hire me:

When I worked at the Scrap Bar I was just a young puddle of insecurity. I partied a lot, met rock stars, and generally had a good time, but was often relegated to the role of funny friend amongst my set of gorgeous rocker chick supermodel friends. This led to some disastrous decisions on my part, since the minute any guy paid attention to me, logic and self-esteem went out the window to be replaced by stupidity and desperation for acceptance.

Enter Nick. Tall, blonde hair, blue eyes, tattoos, in a band, charming, boyish, flirty. The other elements of his lifestyle included heroin addiction, lack of job, lack of money, and lack of a place to live. I chose to see these aspects as signs of his rebellious nature. Nick loved to spend nights at my house, mainly because he was homeless. I chose to see this as his undying love for me. Plus he was in a band! What more could I want?

Things were going swimmingly until his ex-girlfriend came back to town. She was the love of his life and they had one of those tempestuous and tortured relationships that are horrendous to live through but from a distance seem romantic and passionate. I was horribly jealous. Predictably, Nick stopped turning up on my doorstep soon after. I never had really thought Nick was my boyfriend, but I still felt betrayed. I dreamed of the many ways I would make him jealous and he would realize what a horrible mistake he had made. And inevitably, one day, I walked into the bar and there he was. No girlfirend in sight. I planned to tell him what a jerk he was, but as soon as I got up to him he kissed me and asked if I wanted to get high. Within the drug culture, getting high is an excuse to bond with people around you. So I immediately trashed any version of self respect that I had floating around and said yes. I envisioned doing some drugs, going into a corner of the bar, making out, going home and confessing our undying love for one another.

Instead of hanging out, Nick led me out to the street and into a cab which quickly took us to the very sketchy corner that was 9th Street and Avenue A where he flagged down a go between -- a young, early 20s at most, Hispanic dude who led us to an apartment complex somewhere between Avenues C and D. And suddenly I was in a crack house.

Nick went off into a corner to make a buy and I was left surrounded by a bunch of emaciated men and women with pockmarked skin and rotting teeth (the beautiful hallmarks of serious drug addiction). Nick quickly returned with a pipe and it was passed around the group. When it was offered to me, I had no desire to take it but then noticed the ten sets of eyes peering at me. So...I ended up smoking crack. To impress a dude.

After it was all over, Nick and I crashed at my house. The crash from this drug is terrible. You are wired and exhausted at the same time, making it impossible to sleep. The next day I woke up and was horrified at what I had done. That was the beginning of the end....I rarely saw Nick after that. The last time I did he was on the corner of St. Marks and 2nd handing out flyers for a hair salon. Can you say winner? I completely debased myself for a guy whose last name I can't even remember now.

Ah, young love.