In which I cast into the past and snag a barracuda

So last weekend and early this week was a whirlwind of online dating drama, but things have since mellowed, which is cool only it doesn’t provide much in the way of fodder for this here blog.

To remedy that allow me to turn back the clock, to when I first started online dating, signing up pretty much on a whim and plopping down a whole year’s subscription on eHarmony — why not just a six months, or only three even, just to test the waters? Why? Ah, well. Matters not now. Nothing to be done about it.

This particular cast into the past lands us firmly at the end of October, just before Halloween, the most Generation X of all the holidays in my humble but masterfully astute opinion — do not question my author-a-tie! In fact, it was exactly the 30th of the month, when I was first matched with the first woman I would ever date via any online service — I was on yahoo singles (or whatever it is) briefly during my separation but had no luck with it, unlike my ex but that’s a whole other gripe. Anyhoo… back to my online first, the woman who popped my online dating cherry. Let’s call her, oh, say ….Lydia.

Lydia was anything but a tatooed lady — trust me I had ample access and time to investigate — but she was very cool all the same. Or so I thought. What snagged me was how much we had in common in terms of movies and a penchant for reading and TV. Also, she was quite witty, at least at first. Plenty of witty banter  via eHarmony email, which Lydia suggested we abandoned for regular email since being eHarmony wasn’t very, in her words, “work friendly,” by which I now understand her to mean that she was at least slightly embarrassed to be utilizing. I wonder, is she still? Meh. Hardly matters now, does it.

What followed was a barrage of emails, at first, and then chatting via gmail chat. The more we communicated the more we seemed to click. Finally, Lydia suggested we meet. I was all for that. I suggested either Royal Oak or Ferndale as there is much to do  in both places. She put the kibosh on both. “No Royal Oak. No Ferndale,” she insisted. Fine by me although I was more than a bit curious as to why. What was wrong with these places? I supposed I would find out in time. Instead, we met at a bar in Troy, little neighborhood place. We had  drink and talked, and were comfortable enough to order some food. We talked some more. And it seemed to me that the more we talked the more we seemed to click. I was excited to hit it off with someone so quickly. I had been more than tad skeptical of the whole process, and not willing to get my hopes up. But I was wrong. This chick was cool.

And then… Well, apparently for our second date I was not nearly Johnny-on-the-spot enough for her likingI was chastized via chat for not asking her out in the right way, in the right time. Would we have ever gone out had she not suggested it? Fuck if I knew. I was instructed that I needed to ask her out early in the week so that she could properly plan her week and weekends. And fuck me if I didn’t agree. Anyone I told this too insisted it was a red flag. And I did not deny it but for some reason I ignored the warnings.

So we went out on a few more dates through November, leading up to her birthday, for which I decided to get her something. Nothing serious, something fun. I got her days of the week underpants because we both liked the movie “When Harry Met Sally”. I did not expect her to ever even wear them. Also, I got her Reese’s Peanutbutter Cups because chocolate and peanutbutter are her favorite. And a little convertible Hot Wheels car because we’d had a joke — she’d asked me what I was getting her for her bday, and I said, nothing big, just a car. She requested a convertible. There was also a card and a collection of short stories that I hoped she might like, “Bad Behavior”, by Mary Gaitskill. She seemed to like the gifts all around.

Things progressed into December and we actually spent part of Christmas Day together. I introduced her to my brother and his partner. They seemed to like her. My birthday came up and she got me two seasons of SCRUBS on DVD. And we made plans to spend New Year’s Eve together, which we did. I made her dinner, homemade pasta and meatballs, a salad, some wine, a dessert. By New Year’s Day she was done with me. It was clear. She just wouldn’t or couldn’t say it. And for some reason I hung around. Still not sure why.

There were plenty of other red flags and drama and gipes I’d love to expound upon. But I’ll get into those next time. I’m tired.

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GenX Brit TV

I have been obsessively watching and re-watching this BBC tv show entitled Green Wing, which I stumbled across on hulu.com.Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Brit GenX TV“, posted with vodpod

It is an absurdest send up of hospital-based soap operas. Kind of like a British version of Scrubs, covering much of the same ground, except without the Scrubs signature “fantasy sequences.” Green Wing’s absurd element are played off as real, which in some ways makes them even funnier. Both shows are adept at mixing affecting (or is it effecting?) drama with hilarious and often over-the-top humor. Scrubs has more pop-culture references but Green Wing clearly had more leeway with language — the F-bomb gets dropped regularly, plus words like cock and cunt and all those cool Brit curses, like bloody and bollocks etc. In any case, if you’re a fan of Scrubs you may enjoy Green Wing as well.

Green Wing ran for only two seasons, like The Office, with 9 episodes each season, the very last episode running and hour and half. And it was an award winning show apparently, that was much praised. Of course, had it been an American TV show it would have been extended several more season, probably until it got old and stale, even though actors would be making obscene amounts of money per episode. I kind of like this form of programing. It allows for more ideas to get developed, and keeps shows from getting stale and turning into little more than advertising delivery devices. Although, I can’t but wish that there was more to Green Wing. But then you know you’ve done some right when viewers want more. Good fiction is the same way.

Also like Scrubs, Green Wing is definitely a GenX show. I don’t know if the whole GenX thing is even a topic of interest over there in Britian, but just watch on episode and you’ll see what I mean.

The story-line follows Dr. Caroline Todd (the female, British version of the bumbling but lovable J.D from Scrubs) as she begins her new post at the hospital in question. But this show is rarely if ever about medicine or hospital work, unlike Scrubs, which actually strives to get the medical aspects correct. And Caroline quickly finds her affections toggling between Mac, the young talented surgeon with the a lion’s main of blonde hair, and Guy, the brash anesthestist, who can be equally charming and repuslive. The love story is credible if predictable. But what really makes the show is the cast of supporting characters, whose story lines are no less interesting, and often even more hilarious, especially the spastic Senior Cunsultant Radiologits, Dr. Alan Staythem. Mark Heap who plays the stuttering, sputtering, spastic Alan is incredible. And some of the sex scene played between him and the Joanna Claw character or some of the funniest I ever seen portrayed anywhere.

Much of my argument for Green Wing being a GenX show is instinctive. It just feels like one. It has an Xer sensibility. Particularly in that it is mainly about a group of friends, and not a family as most tradition sitcoms are. The humor is often of the caustic, sarcastig insulting variety, and contains an inherent underlying sense of affection for the object of the jibes.

I could not ascertain the creator Victoria Pile’s age but I’d be willing to guess that she falls within or very near the GenX age range. The actress who plays the main character, Dr. Caroline Todd, certainly is. Tamsin  Greig is 42, born in 1967, same as me. Also:

Julian-Rhind Tutt (great name btw) who plays Mac, was born in 1966

Stephan Mangan, who plays Guy, was born in 1972

Michelle Gomez, who plays Sue White, one of the most insanely hilarious portrayals of a clearly unstable person, was born in 1968

Etc.

If I could buy this show on DVD I would, but it isn’t availble (yet only I hope) on region 1 format, which the U.S. falls into. I’m hoping in the near future it will be.

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, I’d be a booze hound if I could. But instead I’m just a movie junkie

A friend from college, who is going through his own trying times right now, although they are of a different sort than my own, his being of the lost job variety — Yikes! — were talking recently, and he said that he was glad that he didn’t have a taste for alcohol (beyond the occasional glass of wine at a social function, I’d imagine) otherwise he might be in big trouble, easily turning into a booze hound. I shared this sentiment. There have been times in my life, including my current state or disillusionment, that have made me seriously consider just the romantic, albeit destructive notion of simply drinking myself into oblivion. Problem is I just don’t have it in me to drink like that. Never did. I had friends in high school who certainly did, and at least two of them are recovering alcoholics now. It wasn’t just that I was (am) a super light weight,  able catch a buzz on less than two beer, likely to get wrecked on little more than a six pack. I’m not sure I had to stomach capacity. Hell, I can’t even finish a glass of Coke when I go out to eat.

No. Instead of booze, my friend and I both seek solace and refuge in movies. He keeps as many 10 different movies on hand at any given time so that if he is so inclined he’ll just start watching, one flick after another, and not stop until he passes out, i.e. falls asleep. My habit, on the other hands, is slightly different. I tend to latch onto certain movies and/or TV shows now that they’re on DVD and watch the same one over and over again. I’ve done this in the past too. And I can never predict which movies/TV shows I’ll latch onto. For example, this holiday season I watched the Elf and A Christmas Story, over and over again, every day. Well, I didn’t exactly watch them. I’d listen to them online while I worked. I have that kind of job, in which I sit at a computer for the better part of 8 hours each day. Although I’ve begun to think that the nature of job may have something to do with my blues these days, and in the recent past. Looking back, I’m certain that I was depressed for the better part of year, perhaps longer. And, at least in part, that lead to estrangement from my wife. [sigh]

Anyhoo…these days I seem to have developed an attachment for the movie Good Will Hunting. I’ve always liked this movie. As my friend from college described it, Good Will Hunting is an example of solid, straight forward storytelling without and self-consciously obvious tricks or cleverness. Personally, I think that has much to do with the director, Gus Van Sant. Anyway, I keep watching it over and over again. In fact, it is playing right now as I tap out this post.

A TV show that I’ve been watching a lot: SCRUBS. I’ve always found this show to be appealing. I suppose because it seems to drip with GenX ethos. But also it is refreshing and quirky, utilizing a single-camera technique, not film on a sound stage with a studio audience, and the fantsy sequences are brilliantly done. Also, whereas in most cases, a voiceover usually ruins a TV show or movie, this one seems to work somehow. For whatever reason, it works, at least for me.

Still, I worry that I watch TV too much, that I use it to anesthetize myself. I believe that is what I did for the past year or more before my separation, because I was depressed. I think a lot of people do this, to one degree or another. I believe that I saw my father do this most of his life — the man watched a lot of TV, and I believe there was something profoundly unhappy about him. But then he was from The Silent Generation, and it was characteristic for the members of this cohort to simply not talk about their problems. That was my dad all over.

My point is, I  don’t want to rot in front of the TV. And it seems that I’ve taken a step in that direction, by getting on some meds, specifically Wellburtin, which was recommended to me by a Dr, mainly because it has rather opposite effects compared to Zoloft, which I ‘ve taken before. Where the Zoloft can act as kind of a sedative, often making your sleepy, Wellbutrin acts as more of stimulant. Seems I’ve alreayd expereince said effects this weekend, after only taking the med for two days. Perhaps it is just psychological but I felt much more energetic, and I did not have but one small sample cup of coffe this weekend. Usually, it’s the first thing I do in the morning, and then again in the afternoon sometimes, and often at night too. But that was not the case this weekend. And it was a good weekend too.