Wednesday, October 31, 2007

3 November 2007 - Speedy Delivery

It has only taken four and a half months, but the weather has finally warmed up in Auckland. Even though I still carry around my umbrella in my backpack (gotta be prepared for flash floods), I can confidently and pragmatically parade down the street in sunglasses and a t-shirt.
But most importantly...for the first time since I've been down here I've been able to wear shorts. Yes, I can finally bust the plum smugglers out of my wardrobe and flaunt my oddly-youthful calves. Yes, it has been far too long since my legs have been allowed to breathe. I've sported my favorite pair of jeans so much over the past semester that I've worn unfortunately placed holes into the back pocket and crotchal regions. So now I get to rotate in my khaki shorts and stop exposing my boxer shorts to anyone walking behind me.

This all ties together with my dream summer job: UPS delivery guy.

I mean, what could possibly be cooler than getting paid to wear shorts to work? What could be cooler? Plus, you get to hand deliver packages to all kinds of interesting people. You've got Christmas presents, gift baskets, drugs hidden in teddy bears.
There's a bit of a stigma about shooting the messenger. But the UPS guy is never a barer of bad news, only big boxes. He's like Santa Claus...only without the borderline breaking and entering and questionable relationship with midgets.
And most importantly, you never know how many lonely, desperate housewives you might find on your route. Yep, if TV has taught me anything, it's that women who look like Eva Longoria are never satisfied with their husbands and are always on the prowl for some skyrockets in flight. Hell, I'd even lower my standards if I had to drop off a package to Felicity Huffman.

So maybe instead of looking for PA work this next break, I should just submit my resume and flawless parking record to the good folks at UPS. Getting paid to wear shorts...what a country!

Death to the infidels,
-MGD

P.S. I've noticed that over the past two days, there has been a 200% increase in hits on my blog. According to the people at statcounter.com attribute this to searching for "Dan Coscino" on google and stumbling upon my post dedicated to freeing Earl Hickey. Well, in hopes that my web traffic continues to hit record highs, I will now be referencing DAN COSCINO in every subsequent post.

1 November 2007 - Mamas, don't let your babies forget to log out of their Skype accounts

Halloween has come and gone, and despite the fact that I missed out on what has always been a legendary weekend at CMC, I feel like I ended up okay.

And seeing as we can all learn something from this occasion, I'll start with the end of the night. I come back to my room around 2am-ish (Big life lesson here: Nothing good ever happens after 2AM. True story.) and I log on to Skype just for the hell of it. And sure enough, one of my friends (who will remain nameless, *cough*Ben Fawkes) was still on. So I drop a line and start rambling about my night...
When I get stopped by a surprising female voice on the other end. Sure enough, the guy's mother back in Brooklyn had logged onto his Skype account on a whim. Luckily she stopped me when she did, otherwise I might have made some homoerotic insinuations about his time in Prague. Either way, I had a fun chat with Ellen (first name basis now) and I learned an important lesson:
If you ever use AIM or Skype at home, don't save your login information. It can only end badly if your parents decide to masquerade as you.

But isn't that what Halloween is all about? Getting the chance to be someone else. The ability to transform for a single night and live free of the laws of logic? You get to step away from sense and reason with a "What happens on Halloween stays in Halloween" attitude. Well, a lack of reason reared its ugly head on All Hallow's Eve since despite my studly Tom Cruise get-up, I still didn't get the girl.

It's all a part of my study abroad education. And since I'm not getting anything out of the classroom, I guess that the bars are becoming my true lecture halls. Last night the lesson plan was about "Linguistics."
Yes, I'm aware that women constantly live like it's opposite day in the Bizarro World. "Yes" means "no." "I'm fine" means "There's a problem." "Kobe, please stop!" means "I'm asking for it." But I also thought that a 2am phone call asking "What are you doing right now?" was a pretty universal tell-tale sign. But then you learn that Jack Johnson had it right: Maybe pretty much always means no.
So it goes.

But you know what? Who really cares? I walked back through Downtown Auckland with my buddies, and I was wearing nothing but a white dress shirt and my underwear. I mean, that's a key indicator of a good night. Plus, I got back in time to watch the season 5 premiere of Nip/Tuck*.

And I also had time to look ahead to next year. I feel like I've tackled and perfected the Tom Cruise look, so in 12 months, keep your eyes out for my McDreamy costume. I've already got the hair. I'll get the 5 o'clock shadow going, wear a lab coat over a red cashmere sweater, and maybe find a stethoscope on eBay. And I am currently accepting applications for a homophobic black guy to be my wingman.

At the same time, I did turn into someone else on Halloween night. And hopefully this wasn't a one time metamorphosis. Typically, I'd come back and write a depressing, Doug Funnie "Dear Journal, Patty still won't bone me" entry with sad bastard music playing in the background.
Instead, I pulled myself up by the bootstraps, listened to Van Morrison and took solace in that mantra that every Dodger fan knows by heart: Maybe next year.

Because it's just one night, and just one girl. And just like Don Henley I'm already gone. No need to obess about losing 7 straight to the Rockies down the stretch. There's Joe Torre in the future. And only 95 more days until LOST.

Death to the infidels,
-MGD

*And a quick word about that. Since when did Nip/Tuck turn into The Devil Wears Prada? We really don't need a five minute montage of Sean and Christian trying on different outfits before hitting up the club scene. I want more episodes where they separate siamese twins and then Christian celebrates by banging the mother/daughter combo. Oh well. 21 more episodes to piss off the moral majority.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

31 October 2007 - Has high blood pressure got a hold on me or is this the way that I'm supposed to feel?

I now have indisputable visual evidence that the universe is in full support of my addictions.

I'm sitting at my laptop, alternatingly bitter over the fact that the new episode of Weeds isn't online and that I can't find the new Stereophonics album on iTunes. I'm all set to type out some depressing, moody, Ben Folds-inspired post about how you can't petition the Lord with prayer...when KNOCK KNOCK.
Now, not too many people knock on my door. My room's at the very end of the hall and the leg work arouses more phone calls than half-marathon knocks. So who the hell could be at the door, waiting to blow my house down?
Odds are it's someone who has the wrong room # or one of my roommate's bizarre Malaysian yakuza cohorts.
But instead, it was a group of three borderline-attractive girls with odd, cylindrical backpacks. Yeah, it was a safe bet they were part of the new religious cult dedicated to Stan Lee, but at this point of ennui you'll do anything for something different.
No, they weren't a cult. No, they weren't hookers. No, they didn't have the wrong address.
They were part of the RED BULL MARKETING TEAM and were handing out free cans.

And let me tell you, brothers and sisters, for the first time in my life I am truly alive! I have been to the mountaintop and I was baptized in the caffeine and taurine rivers and I am born to love again, a brand new man.

I haven't touched the stuff in well over 9 months. But that first sip was like an old friend giving me a hug. "I've missed you," said Red Bull as I got progressively more and more jacked. I'd forgotten what it's like to ride the snake and take a ride on the back of the blue bus. My eyes are open wide, my hands are twitching and my heart is beating harder than a 14 year old who just discovered himself.
Suddenly, life isn't so bad anymore. I have the energy to actually sit down and finish up my screenplay. I think I'll start studying for my next final (even though it isn't for another 6 days). And I might clean my room while I'm at it.
And if I have enough energy before my buzz crashes, I might run down to the supermarket and pick up my next fix.

All this thanks to a fateful knock on my door and an angel holding a tall little can. They say that Red Bull gives you wings, but I swear that this girl already had a pair. If that isn't divine intervention, I don't know what is. I'd chalk this up to The Secret, except that I wasn't imagining Red Bull at the time.
I've been having problems believing in a higher power...until now. Praise the Bull!


Death to the infidels,
MGD

30 October 2007 - Try now, we can only lose. And our love become a funeral pyre.

And now for something completely different: a Davisonian diatribe on love.
And like everything else that I have ever written, I'm deferring the first line to another writer.

I thought of that old joke: this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, my brother's crazy. He thinks he's a chicken." And the doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" The guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs." Well, I guess that's pretty much how I feel about relationships. They're totally irrational and crazy and absurd. But, I guess we keep going through it because most of us...need the eggs.
-Woody Allen


Over the past trillion years (2,500 if you listen to Kansas), God has played some cruel jokes on humanity. He filled the evil tree of knowledge with the enticing red, juicy apples as opposed to rutabegas or poison oak. He gave allegedly-celibate priests the authority to dictate our sexual mores. Then he decided to give Bo Jackson the greatest recorded athletic ability...except for a bad left hip.
But out of all, His cruelest joke has to be the fact that we, as humans, don't just want to find love...we're genetically and hormonally driven to find a mate. Our very basic DNA tells us to procreate and find someone with whom to spend time. The laws of nature compell us to embark on a path that will undeniably lead us to pain, suffering, heartbreak, near insanity, and an inevitable goodbye. And there's nothing we can do about it.
You might think it overly cynical of me to say that all love is doomed to failure; that today love is nothing but an excuse for Hallmark and See's to boost their first quarter revenue. But for a second, close your eyes. Picture everyone you've ever been attracted to. Now out of that no doubt gorgeous field, how many of them ever worked out? How many were happy departures? If you could do it over again, how many wouldn't you change?
Bingo.
Whether it be after one night in Cabo or three years shacked up, 99.9% of all relationships will fail. And if we've learned anything from Glenn Close and Michael Douglas, there's no such thing as an amicable break-up. Unless, of course, you find that elusive "one." But how many "ones" can there be out there? How many soulmates are there for each of us? And I mean real, Platonically conceived, Yuri and Lara, Tony and Maria, Rick and Ilsa, out of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world-kind of soulmates...not someone you delude yourself into believing you love for the sake of simulated, artificial satisfaction.
I don't want to sound like a skeptic or a cynic about love. If anything, I'm as hopeless as the next guy (unless the next guy is Michael Bublé). But I've just come to realize that statistics are against us. If you're ever at Vegas and you have to bet on if a couple will stay together, don't take the over. And I'm not just talking about the K-Fed inflated divorce rate. I'm taking into account every one night stand, every childhood first crush, every date, every chance that two people take to stop being alone...and the majority of all of which will end in disaster.

Some say that love makes us do foolish things. Wrong. Love is definitely foolish, but it's because we're fools to even be in the relationship to begin with. Because we know that we're probably going to end up another tally mark in the L column. It's like playing the lottery or the slot machines. Only instead of giving up $1 to play, it's time, energy, money, devotion, the possibility that your dignity will end up in the garbage disposal, and the trepidation that like a thief in the night, they'll run away with your heart. Yup. Makes Cesar's Palace look like middle school casino night.

The big, clichéd enemy of relationships is (say it with me, people) "a fear of commitment." But it isn't commitment we're afraid of. We're not afraid of actually opening up to another human being. It's not because we constantly wonder if we could do better. And it's not even about settling down and salting the earth where our wild oats were once sown.
It's the undeniable fact that by "committing," we're putting ourselves in a position where failure is the silent, third party in the relationship. You've effectively loaded the remaining 5 chambers in Russian Roulette. You have two options: you can either be lonely by yourself and have no win or loss...or you can run the risk of being lonely with someone else, and understand that you've failed. You're jumping off a bridge with no bungy cord. And the odds of surviving the fall are probably better than finding true love.

But there's a new breed of love that I've encountered that defies every logical convention I have just enumerated, and that is the study abroad romance: the true long distance relationship.
It's a 5 month long one night stand. No commitment. No anniversary gifts. But plenty of closure.
And I suppose that's why these study abroad romances have flourished amongst my American friends in Auckland (with the notable exception of YT). They have the staying power of a henna tattoo and probably nothing profound is going to emanate...but there is an exit strategy in sight.
It's because they know that no matter how serious they get, nothing's going to last longer than four months (or one month in the case of that one chick I know who recently decided that her long distance boyfriend back home didn't work for her and went on the warpath as though the government declared a semen embargo and she has to stockpile for Y2K).
And that's why it works. That's what all of our failed romances lack: closure.

Yet when you get back from abroad, the real world hits you with its continuous stretches of time where "Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends." The real world where the odds are one in 6 billion against you that you'll end up happily ever after with the Nat King Cole soundtrack and dramatic fade out at your first kiss.

So where the hell am I going with this? Am I saying that love is pointless? Am I saying that there's no rhyme or reason why we should keep trying? Am I saying that in the face of inevitable disappointment we should logically just stop driving down the heartbreak expressway?
Exactly.

And that's why we play the game. Because on any given Saturday night, you just might find your other half.


So as always, I remain off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush.
MGD


PostScript: Consider this a rough draft that I wrote down in about thirty minutes. With a little work, this jumbled, nihilistic yet eventually hopeful amalgamation could actually become a decent piece...and hopefully one that doesn't simply retread Annie Hall. Stay tuned, my droogs.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

29 October 2007 - Gold in them hills and it's waiting for me there

This weekend marked one of my typical (and apparently bi-weekly) mid-mid life crises. Yup. I seem to go through more crises than DC Comics does each summer when they realize that Marvel is outselling them 2 to 1 and their books need a shot of adrenaline. God, I need to stop sounding like a fanboy.

But yeah, every so often I'll wake up at 2am in the morning and ask myself the $64,000 question: where the hell am I going after I graduate? I mean, for the love of Pete, I plan on going into a field where "intelligence" and "talent" mean nothing as opposed to practicality and connectedness.
So it seems like I'm only using the present to worry about the future.
I mean, Michelangelo painted the Sistine ceiling at 33. David Lynch directed Eraserhead at 31. Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 26. And Dwight Howard was drafted #1 at the tender age of 18. At 20, I'm getting to the point where I actually have to worry. And although it looks like my days of leading the NBA in offensive rebounds has passed me by, I still have to compete with the likes of Welles and Lynch.

Classic parental advice tells me to take a deep breath and just enjoy the ride. There's no reason to wish my life away. They tell me to take my time, since it won't be long now till I drag my feet to slow the circles down.

So I try this. I try to focus on today (since as Sammy Haggar once ranted, "tomorrow may not never come.") and not worry about what's going to happen. The future shouldn't be my concern. I just have to seize the carp and stop this damn kvitching.

And then the past starts to destroy the present.
It kills me that every idea I come up with, well, has already been done. I'm not sure where to draw the line between inspiration and plagiarism. I'll come up with a new superhero...and find that Alan Moore already wrote it. I'll come up with a strange new twist...and Chuck Pahlaniuk already used it. First day of screenwriting class we were greeting with Robert Masello's treatise on sharing ideas: Some people hold theirs close to the vest. But let me assure you, someone else in the world already has it, so don't think yourself so special.

It might be that I'm in good company with other writers or maybe I was exposed to so many different sources as a child that it's only expected that some of these ideas will pop up again.
Most recently, I had a concept written out for the next great "LOST"-type drama. It was about a detective named Noah who was able to solve crimes since he had multiple personality disorder. But not in your classic Tyler Durden sense. It was as though he had 13 different people inside his head, each with a different career and life experience. And they would talk to him and guide him on his path.
And at the end of season one, it would be revealed that he wasn't crazy: there were actually people inside his brain. They were fugitives on the run and somehow got hidden inside Noah's head so that they could eventually make their way back home. *Insert Noah's Arc comparison*
Yes, there's the obvious Charlie Kaufman/Malkovich influence. But then I read about a Harlan Ellison penned episode of "The Outer Limits" from 1964. Entitled "Demon with a Glass Hand," where the final reveal is that the protagonist robot (Robert Culp) carried inside his abdomen a digital copy of the entire human race. And when the horrible plague that had destroyed humanity was cured, he would be able to revive them.
Yup, kind of the same idea. And this is Harlan Ellison we're talking about, the same guy who sued James Cameron because "Terminator" was a little too similar to one of his short stories (They settled out of court for six figures, I should add).

Are there no new ideas? Are we doomed to repeat and trod through the same sludge until through divine intervention, our primate brains can come up with a new concept and then throw our typewriters to the sky in sheer Kubrickian glory?

But hey, tomorrow's Monday Night Football and after Donald Driver gets held out of the endzone and I'm ensured a fantasy W, I'm sure that I'll stop worrying about all of this.


Song you should download for the day:
Love is only a feeling - The Darkness
A completely overlooked gem from "Permission to Land," the album that featured the more popular "I Believe in a Thing Called Love." This one brings back memories of 1970s ballads by Boston or the Steve Miller Band...only, you know...for straight people.


Death to the infidels,
MGD

Saturday, October 27, 2007

27 October 2007 - It was always burning since the world's been turning

You may have noticed (probably not) that I haven't mentioned the disaster area that is Southern California. This is partially because it's such a sensitive subject that hits close to home both literally and figuratively. A couple of my compatriots here in New Zealand have had their families evacuated in the past week and have no idea if there's even a home waiting for them when the semester ends.

But mainly, I've been on a crusade to douse the fire with the silent treatment. I honestly feel that by giving the fire all of our attention, we're letting it win. Every time a front page story runs in the papers, it grows. Every time Geraldo Rivera risks life and limb to get his scoop, the blazes flare up (and hopefully will engulf Geraldo). The media is feeding the fire with all the awareness.

My plan? Just stop paying attention and POOF it's gone! Facing a problem head on can take years of reconciliation and therapy to get over. But if you just forget that it ever happened, you're instantly relieved and ready to get on with your daily life. Just imagine that the fire is a terrorist: we can't give them the satisfaction of disrupting our lives. Instead of reading the paper or watching the news, just ignore the and pretend like it's not there...like mountain lions or the Holocaust.
If you just turn a blind eye and ignore the problem...Mission Accomplished.

It's like if you have a newborn baby that's bawling through the night. You can choose to coddle and rock him back to sleep, or you can shun the little bastard and let him cry it out. So let's stop spoiling the blaze and turn him into a latch-key fire that will be better suited for chestnut roasting.

Typically I'd put together some kind of politically incorrect playlist of "Best Fire Songs" or "Fire: The San Diego County tribute playlist." But not in a time of crisis. No, rathly I'll subtly allude to the tunes in later posts.
But in the meanwhile, let's just turn our heads with regards to major news outlets. The fire's just reaching out for attention, so let's stop humoring him and start shunning.

But I suppose there's a silver lining to the clouds...that aren't providing any rain to the Malibu area. And that is that after I heard about the fires, I immediately thought about my favorite episode of The Office and kept watching it over and over again.
(Two silver linings, actually. Despite the devastation in Malibu, Mel Gibson's Church of the Holy Family is still standing. Suck on that, blue staters!)

So although I'm embarking on a policy of radio silence, I couldn't deprive you of my favorite clip of all time. Well..I should say "my favorite clip that doesn't feature Pam."



Death to the infidels,
MGD

Thursday, October 25, 2007

26 October 2007 - R.I.P. Jin Soo Kwon

Well, technically he's still alive. But start warming up the smoke monster, because Jin is as good as dead as soon as Season 4 starts up in February.
That's right, my droogs. The LOST curse has struck again, as Daniel Dae Kim was arrested on Thursday for a DUI.

First there was Ana Lucia (thank god that whackjob got fired when she did. I mean, did anyone really want to see her hook up with Jack? What the hell were you thinking, Abrams?). Then there was Libby. Then *tear* Mr. Eko.
When are these actors going to learn? If you're going to drink and drive, make sure that you're not a cast member on Lost.
I mean, think about all of the other famous drunk drivers who are still employed: Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, the Cincinnati Bengals, and (further proof that there is no God) Ted Kennedy.
As Dr. Cox once so eloquently put it: You can't show up to work when you're hammered. You're not airline pilots.

Although there's a slight chance that the powers that be will spare him, we can safely start to speculate as to how Jin'll bite the dust. Now that we know that the castaways actually get off the island, there are so many more creative ways to kill Jin. He could get sniped, mugged, eaten by a polar bear that escaped from the NYC zoo. He could OD, get food poisoning, avian flu, freak gasoline fight accident, have his heart ripped out by Val Kilmer, etc.
Or maybe he'll get knocked off in an utterly ironic DWI accident involving an oxycontin addicted Jack Shephard.


But luckily we have the time to appreciate all the fun times we had with him. Even though this is only text, imagine that this is one of those "Survivor" cross-fade montages during the finale where the remaining contestants remark on their departed competitors as though it were their wake.

"Michah! Sawyah! Othahs....Othahs..."
That time that Ana-Lucia trapped him in a pit...
And then he figured out that he was going to be a father...
And he had to wear those handcuffs for the entire first season...
That time he got shot on the raft...
And all the loveable moments when he butchered the English language.

I suppose the only good that can come of this is that Sun will subsequently get written out of the show. And while we're at it, fingers crossed that Michael Emerson gets pulled over next week. I'm really tired of his creepy stares and unnecessarily cryptic dialogue (that makes me believe that the writing staff is making the show up on the fly).

Death to the infidels,
MGD

25 October 2007 - I'm not sure what his appeal is, but he deserves better

Superman has kryptonite. Mike Tyson has Buster Douglas. Vince Young has grammar. We all have our weaknesses. But mine is a little bit more embarassing than any of the aforementioned (apart from VY's hatred of the present tense): dumb romantic comedies.

Yes, it's not something that I like to admit and it's a vice probably better suited for the Probie or Sean Garrity, but I just like to sit down for an hour and a half, turn my brain off and watch two people fall in love. And apart from the Hanks/Ryan classics (which were ruined for me after Meg ditched Dennis Quaid for Cinderella Man), there is one thread that links all of my favorites:
Hugh Grant.

I mean, just look at the guy. When he's not getting arrested for picking up hookers on Sunset (here's a better shot of the man), he's the epitome of the 90 minute romance. He's got "endearingly befuddled" down to an art form, he's also got perfect comedic timing and if you've ever seen him interviewed on Conan or Leno, you realize that he's the sort of guy you want as your drinking buddy.

But this evening, while enjoying a double scoop of Hokey Pokey and Macchiato gelato and discussing the finer points of "Notting Hill," I came to a striking conclusion on which I will probably write my senior thesis:
In all of his movies, Hugh Grant always ends up with a girl who is hardly a prize.
What exactly do I mean by this? When the curtain falls, he never finds the perfect Ms. Right. It's always a flawed, neurotic woman who is hardly deserving of Hugh Grant.
You need more evidence? Well let's break it down.

1) Four Weddings and a Funeral - Andie MacDowell. Sure she's adorably Southern and looks great in L'Oreal products, but in 'Four Weddings,' she was flighty, didn't want to get married, and slept around far too much to be desirable.
2) Nine Months - A very pregnant, very hormonal Julianne Moore. Ok, not so bad. But they weren't even married and they had a kid together. Why don't public schools teach abstinence anymore?
3) Notting Hill - Yes, he hooks up with America's sweetheart, Julia Roberts. But remember, in the movie she was a frankly obnoxious movie star who was cheating on her husband, Arec Bardwin. That's enough to say "Pass."
4) Mickey Blue Eyes - Jeanne Tripplehorn. And her father's a mafia don. Next.
5) Bridget Jones 1 & 2 - Oh my lord. Even though Colin Firth bites the bullet in the end, Hugh was this close to dating Renee Zellweger: the anti-erection. She's like King Midas in that everything she touches turns flacid. And this was the zaftig, Rubenesque Zellweger who was supposed to be more Britishy. You dodged a big one there, buddy.
6) About a Boy - Rachel Wveiszzz or however the hell you spell it. Like Julianne Moore, definitely a catch. But she also had a son who was the most obnoxious kid on the earth. I mean, this kid was more ill-behaved than Arthur Spooner on a sugar high.
7) Two Weeks Notice - Sandra Bullock, who thanks to makeup looks like a derelict vagrant who should be pickpocketing watches for Fagin. And she was an environmentalist lawyer. Gag.
8) Love Actually - He's the freaking Prime Minister and he settles for a pudgy, foul mouthed, British version of Monica Lewinski. JFK dates Marilyn and the PM is a chubby chaser.
9) Music and Lyrics - Drew Barrymore plays a neurotic lyricist with commitment issues. Meh. Could do worse.

So out of these nine movies, I'll give him a score of 3 and a half. That's a failing grade in any class, and this is Hugh Grant we're talking about. This man is supposed to walk into a bar, snap his fingers like the Fonz and end up with a Giselle on each arm. And these are the MOVIES we're talking about. They're supposed to have happy endings. Sure, these women are happy since they end up with Hugh Grant, but what about him? He ends up being Shallow Hal for no apparent reason.
So what does this say for us normal men? Subtract three from your typical scale and you might just end up relatively, Prozac-ily content.

Death to the infidels,
MGD

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

24 October 2007 - The one where Max becomes a bleeding heart pinko commie flag-burning baby-killing Chomsky-reading Clinton-fellating liberal

Perhaps it's been the past decade of left wing private schooling. Maybe it's the fact that my fall semester of "Hugo Chavez presents: Film 101" has been dominated by lectures dedicated to: Feminist and Queer film theory, why we shouldn't buy any Apple products, how Stalin helped the development of film stock, and why we should only see independent films.
(Sidebar- I think that Ari Gold put it best with regards to indy films: "Have you ever been on an indy set, Vinny? Do you know how hard it is to bang an extra on an apple box?")
Or maybe Al Gore's message has finally gotten through to me, thanks to the Nobel prize he received thanks to "old Europe’s envy and hatred of the America that refuses to flagellate itself and defer to the supposed superior wisdom and cultural sophistication of an exhausted civilization."
Either way, it's high time that I start caring about the issues. This is the dawn of a new, socially conscious era in my life. There are too many issues out there to simply turn our heads and look the other way. AIDS. Gangbangers. Violent videogames. The threat of a privatized social security. We need to band together and do our part by adopting as many Ghanese children as possible. And when they turn 16, we'll buy them all hybrid cars and maybe they'll form a soccer team (because football has become waaaaay too mainstream).
The following clip gives you a good idea as to my Joliean devotion to the underpriveleged. And I urge you to think about it, think think about it.



On an unrelated note, it also appears that Don Mattingly is set to become the new manager of the Bronx Bombers. I've got no problem with Donnie Baseball...just as long as he cuts those sideburns.

Death to the infidels,
MGD

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

23 October 2007 - Yup. Getting drunk at the old flower shop

Today I cannot continue spilling my blueprints for future tycoonery, since I have been stricken by what can only be described as "Sexual Innuendo Overload" (Sidebar: In your endo).
The source of which is an online conversation with a friend of mine that occurred last night between the hours of 1am and 2am Auckland time.
The subject of said discourse is Ben's recent problem with his "ethernet cord," but we all know what that euphemism is.

BF: Well, earlier in the semester I was watching something in bed
MD: Cinemax?
BF: And I tried to pull the ethernet cord closer to me
BF: And I pulled the laptop and the ethernet cord came out
MD: No way!
BF: and it went all over the place
BF: And so now the little springy things that are supposed to hold them in came out
BF: And so it doesn’t stay in that well

Normally, I'm able to say "That's what she said" and move on with my erudite pursuits. But for the past 23 and a half hours, I can't stop giggling like Beavis and Butthead. I mean, when the innuendo concentration exceeds four per line, I shut down. I can't think, I can't walk straight and I can't contribute anything to society, just like Brad Lidge after getting rocked by Pujols in the NLCS.
This sort of sophomoric coma normally wears off after a day, so I'm going to be fine in the time it takes to watch the new Californication.


I'd give a Dave Barry/24 minute by minute recap of Heroes, except that it's impossible since I fast forwarded through most of it. While I'm loving the new black family on "Curb," I could care less about Monica, the fast food waitress with bad grammar who can mimic actions. Ali Larter isn't hot enough to care about. And if we've learned one thing from this week's episode, it's that Veronica Mars still can't act.
I'm also at that point where I'm positive as to the direction the show's taking and I have to wait another 5 weeks until Heroes catches up. Spoiler alert, I'm pretty sure that Hiro's hero Takezo Kensei is the one who's killing the George Takeis of the world. And the secret scroll that Ando found is probably going to reveal this knowledge...one minute too late.
You heard it here first.


And on the hair cut front, I still haven't made an appointment down here. But I figure that if I buy a headband and white shorts, I can pull off this look for Halloween:

Death to the infidels,
MGD

Monday, October 22, 2007

22 October 2007 - Ideas so money that they don't even know it

I'd gladly put together a pyramid scheme, but I don't think that would work. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for pyramids. They're the most spectacular monuments ever built by man, so why shouldn't we use them as a business model?
The problem is that these are progressive "modern times," and it's basically illegal to enslave that many Jews, so I need to go in a different direction.

Genius money-making idea #1: The resurgence of the boy band. It's been at least 5 years since the last, truly great castrati quintet topped the pop charts. So I think we have to scour the orphanages around the globe like Lt. L.T. Smash and put together the next great boy band. And if successful, our members will assuredly have enough money to buy their way into the Russian space program.

GMMI #2: Create the Facebook group "For every person that joins, you owe me a dollar."

GMMI #3: Invent a deadly strain of a disease, manufacture the cure, then unleash the virus in a metropolis and hold the nation ransom. Although, I think that Braniac and Lex Luthor used this same tactic in an issue of JLA. But unlike these supervillains, I've got something going for me: there's no Superman in the real world. But just in case, I'm investing in some Kryptonite laced AXE.

GMMI #4: Kryptonite laced AXE body spray.

GMMI #5: Root Beer Float in a Can
So many times while I'm jetsetting around the globe, I wish I had in my possession a good old root beer float. But it takes so much effort to find a glass and then scoop out the ice cream and then make sure taht the root beer doesn't foam over.
My solution? A cola can with a layer of ice cream at the bottom. So as soon as you pop the top, it rises up to the top and starts to mix with the root beer. It's fast, it's refreshing, it's sponsored by both A&W and Dreyer's, and it's only $1.99 a can.


And as I always end these posts: if you steal any of these ideas, I will hunt you down and obliterate you.

Death to the infidels,
MGD

Saturday, October 20, 2007

21 October 2007 - Let's rob Mick Yagger!

I've got about three more weeks down in NZ...and only four exams. Not a very serious workload. Traditionally, I'd use this time for completely meaningless purposes, like compiling a list of the top songs to listen to on a rainy day (which for the record includes: Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head, Riders on the Storm, Have You Ever Seen the Rain, When the Levee Breaks, The Rainbow Connection, Red Rain, Thunder Rolls, It's Raining Men) or actually trying to figure out the ending to Lost.
But this month will be different. Why? Because for the first time in my life I have a motivation. Or I should say, a motivation that doesn't involve putting in a last second bid to snipe some sweet comics on eBay. Those auctions get intense, I tell you what.

Some use their children or politicians or athletes, but I live vicariously through television (which would explain the four pairs of cut-offs in my closet, why I intend on having my own entourage, and why before I jump into bed with a girl I announce "The following takes place between 11pm and 12am. Events occur in real time").
Two seasons ago, after a Limewire-induced marathon of House, Grey's, Scrubs, and Nip/Tuck (not to mention Dr 90210), I decided to go pre-Med and become the next great plastic surgeon sex symbol.
And then I started watching Boston Legal and reruns of The Practice, and law school came a calling.
But Fall 2007 is the season of the CEO. Big Shots. Cashmere Mafia. Dirty Sexy Money. Lipstick Jungle. Gossip Girl. All of these shows feature people who have really really ridiculously big bank accounts. They all lead that fast paced lifestyle made up of Park Avenue parties, multiple mistreses, AMEX black cards, Dylan McDermott, etc.
And what have a learned from these shows?
I need to be one of these neo-yuppie scumbags.

Somehow or another, I need to get rich. I doubt that the screenwriting thing is going to pay off anytime soon. I think that I missed my window of opportunity for male modelling. And it may be too late to make my Allan Houston return to the NBA. So I'm looking for my way to get rich quick. Basically, I need to find my million dollar baby...only without the mercy killing.

So over the next few days, I'm going to be outlining all of my genius concepts. And remember, you were at the ground level. Well, not in an investment, profit sharing, "I bought Xerox in the '70s" kind of way. But you know what I'm getting at.


Death to the infidels,
MGD

20 October 2007 - No real theme or title to this one

Seeing as I crossed off 1/20th of my "Before 30" list in only a month and a half, I've decided to add a couple more items to the list. You know, just to give myself a little bit of a challenge.
21. Play "Heart and Soul" with my feet on a giant keyboard. (Robert Loggia optional)
22. Wield a blow torch.


Also, Warner Brothers has given me yet another reason to love Christmas in the new trailer for "Fred Claus." I mean, normally I love the presents, 7 pound 2 ounce Baby Jesus, and eggnog. But now we get Vince Vaughn and his inimitable "Oh, I'm incapable of loving another person. Oh wait, no I'm not" brand of comedy.


Although I think a better tagline for this movie would be "Fred Claus: giving midget actors hope for employment."
-MGD

Friday, October 19, 2007

19 October 2007 - The One Where Max makes like JFK and answers to the Pope

On Tuesday, it was Greenpeace. On Wednesday, it was an art history student who wanted more classes taught on sculpture. But on Friday, these petition carrying scumbags took it to the next, biblical level.

It was an atypically sunny afternoon in Auckland as I sat down in the student commons with my plate of fried rice and sweet & sour chicken. I had some interesting reading material in my hand (my recently returned paper on "Singin' in the Rain," which looked as though it had been graded by a third grader...a third grader who marked me off for not citing and referencing a line from Yeats and for using quotation marks as opposed to italics for titles...needless to say, a totally retarded third grader who's probably going to be held back a year).

So with my notes and chinese in hand, I sat down for what would hopefully be a relaxing lunch hour. That's when Auckland's answer to Lenny and George eyed me and walked over to my bench. Too arcane a reference? Okay, how about Lenny and Squiggy? Fine. Lenny and Carl. Except that Carl was your typical Asian male with low self esteem (but you don't tell him that since he probably knows karate) and Lenny looked like a young Hugh Jackman (which probably should have told me to walk in the other direction).
They asked me if I'd like to take a survey regarding student life. Figuring that my study abroad data would serve as an outlier and screw up their graphs, I obliged.

Max: I've got no problem with surveys, just as long as you don't want to me sign any petitions, donate money or join a cult.
Lenny: Ummm....
(Sidebar: As Creed Bratton has recently pointed out, it's more fun to be a follower in a cult, but the leader makes more money).

So he starts asking me the obligatory Q's and I give the obligatory A's. Name, Major, Year, How much I bench, etc.
Then I look ahead in the survey and see the dreaded question #4 (the question that cares): On a scale of 1 to 10, how highly do you value a personal relationship with God?
Now, many religions have attempted to corrupt me. Two summers ago the Jehovah's Witnesses found me in Hood River, Oregon. When I was walking through the LAX terminal this July, the Branch Dividians wanted to give me some literature. And then there's the ever-present spectre of Scientology.

Yep. I could have easily walked off at this point, but it was the last day of classes and after a lecture on Far From Heaven, I was in need of entertainment. I let Lenny and Carl continue.
Q: How do you picture God?
A: Well, some see him as Barry Gibb sitting on a cloud. But I see God rather as a kind of a Force. It surrounds us, penetrates us, binds the galaxy together. And as evidenced in the difference between the Old and New Testaments, it is clear that God has both a light and a dark side. But we have to make sure that we are in tune with the light side and it stays strong with us.

They just nodded and wrote down the gist. These didn't seem like crazed zealots, so I decided to ease back and take their next couple questions seriously. I told them that I was born and raised Catholic and that my belief probably originally stemmed from my upbringing but became confirmed as I became aware of what I was actually worshipping.
My new Jesus friends admitted that they didn't know much about Catholicism. But were willing to learn. And then they busted out the question that took away what little respect I had for them.
"I know that you're Catholic, but have you ever given any thought to Christianity?"
"But Lenny," I responded, "Catholics are Christians."
I guess that they thought that I worshipped Cathol, the alien savior who, in the year 2098, will transport me in a giant, celestial spaceship to the planet Blisstonia.
Carl wasn't sure about my assertion. "Are you sure? I thought Catholics had a different Lord."
"White guy with long hair, a beard and a 12 man entourage? Same guy, hermano."
"Do you have the same Bible?"
"Don't be silly, I don't have seven wives. Of course I have the same Bible. Everything from 'In the Beginning' to 'The End.'"

Now don't get me wrong, I've dropped out of Sunday School more often than Lindsay Lohan walks out of rehab. But I was still able to put on a clinic that would make St. Peter himself say "Daaaaaamn, playa!" I laid it on the line for them: Virgin Mary, Saints, JP2, Sacraments, the Crusades, Transubstantiation, the Inquisition, Altar Boys, Confession, Bono. Had these guys not been on the warpath, I probably would have converted them my own way.

So before these two could try to make some kind of convincing, 95 theses argument about why I should take religious advice from a former Hitler-youth, I told them that I had class in 5 minutes (I lied) and wished them good luck (I lied again).

And isn't that what the Catholic Church is all about? Evading questions with lies?
Praise Christ.

-MGD
That's what she said of the day:
Re: an underthrown pass in flag football
"Damn, I didn't expect it to be that short."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

17 October 2007 - All the little chicks with the crimson lips yell...

If all goes as it should (which a guy named Murphy says it won't), we're looking at a Cleveland/Colorado World Series. It's the sort of obscure matchup that makes baseball fans drool and conventional fans will shrug and ask "When does the NBA come back?"

But this is just another example of why John Q. Public has no idea what he's talk about and should be stricken of his first amendment rights. Why should they care about a 7 game set with Cleveland and Colorado?
1. The last time that the Cleveland Indians were this close to the series, Pedro Cerrano was whiffing at breaking pitches and Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn was having problems with his control.
2. Some are calling it RockToberfest, which has become my second favorite Toberfest, just behind Scotchtoberfest (although according to Armen Tanzarian, there's no such thing).
3. We're going to see at least two games played in Mile High Stadium. What does this mean? For those of you with no clue how elevation works, being 5280 feet above sea level acts like a corked bat. So unlike pitcher's parks (a.k.a. No Homers club) we're going to watch Matt Holiday sock a god-awful number of dingers.
4. CC Sabathia. Just say that name and try to be sad. And then remember that he's 6'7" and 275lbs. It's like if Santa were black and had a 97mph fastball.
5. The Rocks have won 20 of their last 21 games. I mean, that's a stat line reserved for the Harlem Globetrotters or Denny Crane.
6. The milky voice of Joe Buck.
7. The Schrutian idiocy of Tim McCarver.
8. As opposed to last year's disaster of a World Series, Jeff Weaver will be nowhere near the field of play.

And if those 6 reasons aren't enough, then you obviously aren't a baseball fan. Which subsequently means that you hate America. So you can take your pinko sympathies elsewhere and stop reading right now. Otherwise I'll send Rick Monday to beat some patriotism into you.



Meanwhile, on the "Heroes" front, I for one am sad to see Nathan Petrelli shave off his playoff beard. I think that he pulled off the Ted Kasinski/Rob Brind'Amour look pretty well.
Mad props to Monica for busting out Rey Mysterio Jr's 619.
Also, I was ready to call it quits after the writing staff killed off George Takei. But they've redeemed themselves by casting Lt. Uhura herself, Nichelle Nichols, in the role of Micah's grandmother. Just bring in Leonard Nimoy and Walter Koenig for cameos and the show will become absolutely Shat-rageous.

Keep on rocking in the free world, my droogs.
-MGD

Friday, October 12, 2007

16 October 2007 - Beware the drum circle

I was accosted today not once, but twice by the greatest parasites the world has even known: Greenpeace. They were parked around every entrance to Albert Park with their tie-dyed shirts, hacky sacks and burning flags. They were passing around petitions to save the whales or assassinate George W or find a constitutional right to clean bong water. Or maybe they were asking for donations to help fight global warming or to send to Al-Qaeda.
Either way, I wanted nothing to do with these damn hippies so the first time the hippie walked up to me, I did the "fake cell phone" excuse. I thought I was out of the woods, but then I decided to pass back through the park. Yup. Genius move on my part, because Greenpeace had set up their own embassy in the middle of Albert Park.
So instead of just saying "Not today" or "Best of luck" or just ignoring them, I took a page out of my father's book and went on a rant.
"I'm not signing your petition for the following four reasons. 1) I vote Republican. 2) Both of my parents drive SUVs. 3) Global Warming is a myth on par with Odin and unicorns. and 4) Al Gore deserved his Nobel peace prize like Elvis deserved his black belt."
For a second I thought about finishing with the patented Dr. Cox shoulder bump, but that might have sent the cadaverous Hippie into the next hemisphere.

I should also mention that I have added a new link to the bar to your right ------>
Katherine Spada, having added the 'Ganza to her own links page, has requested a little quid quo bro, and I have judged her offering to be acceptable. Check out her page. She's been referred to as a female version of myself, so if you're a fan of constant Arrested references, it may just be your cup of tea.


7:15pm on November 10th.
What is "When my flight leaves for LAX?"

-MGD
Max Davison is a Junior at Claremont McKenna College, majoring in Halo 2 and Entourage. He's in the sky tonight. There he can keep by your side, watching the wide world writhe. He'll be coming home next year.

Monday, October 08, 2007

12 October 2007 - King of the Jig

So I'm not really big into the clubbing scene. Unless it involves seals and pissing off PETA, I'm probably out of my element. Yup. I know it's hard to believe, but I don't like to dance. Shocked, shocked that there is gambling in this establishment, I'm sure.

No, I wasn’t raised in the little town from Footloose. I wasn’t taught at a young age that dancing was evil, only to be rescued by Kevin Bacon in his Olivia Newton-John ankle warmers. No, I wasn’t strapped into one of those Clockwork Orange chairs and forced to watch 24 hours of Ricky Martin concert footage and Patrick Swayze movies while having my testicles zapped repeatedly. Oddly enough, I hear that the Mormon Church now uses the exact same process to cure gays.

No, I think that the culpability flow chart for my dislike of dance reads a lot like the genealogy of the kid on the porch from "Deliverance." First off, I'm white. Secondly, I'm not the most easy going guy you're going to meet. I probably would fit in a lot better in Pleasantville, but until Barney Fife delivers a magic remote, I'm stuck with you magnificent sons of bitches.

Everything I learned about dancing, I learned from Will Smith. Elbows six inches from the waist, arms at 90 degrees. This is home. And never do the white man's overbite. Because women equate dancing with sex.

But when I eventually just go out onto the dance floor and flail around like Bruce Springsteen in “Dancing in the Dark” or Joe Carter rounding first base, I run the risk of being mistaken for having an epilepsy and having the bartender run out and hold my shoulders to the ground.

So seeing as I can't meet women by showing off my sweet Elaine Benes dance moves, I've come up with some more inventive strategies. These involve busting out my improv and acting skills. My personal favorite guises include:
1) Paying some guys to carry around cameras and then pretend that I'm on the Real World
2) Off duty Firefighter
3) I'm an actor researching a role
4) I'm an undercover cop working outside the law
5) Burt Reynolds is my father

Because when women think that you're on MTV or related to the Bandit, they could care less that your go-to dance move is the Foxtrot that you learned in 6th grade Cotillion. God bless you, Turd Furguson.

Cubs win! Cubs win!
-MGD
Max Davison is a Junior at Claremont McKenna College. He recently starting listening to the Monkees again since he learned that AIDS was originally contracted from the animal, not the band.

11 October 2007 - What to watch during the four months until LOST comes back.

Now, normally I don't like to push or solicit anything in my posts. Actually, that's a bold faced lie. If I had my way, everyone reading this would be sitting on their bean bag chairs in their Vernon Davis jerseys, watching Bowfinger and rocking out to the Marshall Tucker Band.
But that's all due to my witty, subliminal tactics. This time, I'm going to be a bit more superliminal in recommending which new Fall TV shows you should/shouldn't be watching.

SHOULD
1. Pushing Daisies, ABC, 8pm on Wednesdays. It's like if Amelie were a weekly TV show. Only instead of Audrey Tautou, it's about a pie baker who can bring people back from the dead with a single touch. But if he touches them again, they go back to being worm food. This becomes problematic when he accidentally resurrects his childhood love, played by Anna Friel. (Cue Max's sighing and Scrubs-like fantasy where they're living together in Maui).
Long story short, the show is quirky, it's shot just like a Jean-Pierre Jeunet film, and last episode featured Kristin Chenoweth singing "Hopelessly Devoted to You." WATCH THIS SHOW.

2. Reaper. Some time on the CW. Who cares, no one watches that network anyway.
The premise: On his 21st birthday, Sam (Bret Harrison, who played "Sam Sullivan" on the unfortunately cancelled "The Loop") discovers that his parents sold his soul to the devil, and he has to work as a satanic bounty hunter. I mean, what more do you need to know about this show? Oh, and Kevin Smith directed the pilot.
And it features Ray Wise as the Devil. You may know him as Leland Palmer on "Twin Peaks." Well, my age demographic never watched that show. So you probably recognize him as President Logan's potentially-but-not-really-fake-out-Logan-was-evil-all-along Vice President in Season 5 of 24. I mean, who better to play Satan than the man who spoiler alert killed Laura Palmer. Honestly, he's like Dr. Cox with a pitchfork.

3. Friday Night Lights. NBC, 9pm on Fridays. I know that this was on last season, but I highly doubt that anyone apart from the 3rd floor of Benson Hall actually watched it. But you've got Kyle Chandler in the lead role. But instead of getting tomorrow's newspaper today, he coaches a West Texas football team all the while his daughter is dating the backup QB (who got the starting role after the studly Jason Street gets paralyzed in the first game). Star running back Smash Williams got caught with steroids last season, and fullback Tim Riggins is an episode of "Maury" just waiting to happen. And in the season 2 premiere, the idiot 5th stringer Landry killed a man. Even though the show's demographic (High school football players/parents) are probably at actual high school football games while this airs, this doesn't mean that everyone else has to miss it.

4. Californication. Showtime, find it online or on On Demand. Fox Mulder plays a tormented LA writer trying to deal with his kinda ex-wife remarrying and the fact that he banged her soon-to-be step daughter...who's only 16. It's perverse, it's full of swearing and sex, but in the end you find yourself rooting for this sleaze bag to succeed and finally write something. If you're still having doubts, I should mention the supporting actor who plays a film director. I won't name him, but he'll stomp on your world like his name was Godzilla.

5. Damages. FX, not sure but there are only 3 shows on the whole network and they constantly rerun them.
You've got Glenn Close and Rose Byrne as cutthroat lawyers in an insider trading lawsuit against Ted Danson. Everyone is playing both sides and you can't trust anyone. Great show from minute one to minute 60. FX's Rescue Me is being sucked into the black hole that his Denis Leary's ego, but "Damages" remains untouched. Mainly since Ted Danson just wants to remain anonymous.

And an honorable mention goes to "Gossip Girl," just because if the show is successful enough, Maxim will probably run a "girls of Gossip Girl" issue, so everybody wins.

Stay away from like the plague...or a new Steve Martin family comedy
1. Private Practice, ABC, Wednesday 9pm. As enumerated here before, if this show were a fetus, I would vote for a woman's right to choose. Here's the show in a nutshel: "I'm an intelligent yet sexy big city surgeon who wants to find herself. What's that, Joe Hackett? You want to go out? I'm going to play hard to get while Taye Diggs finds new excuses to take his shirt off. I really wish McDreamy would make a guest appearance... Oh well. I'm just going to finish up this episode with a monologue that's eerily reminiscent of Sylvia Plath."
Gag. Barf. Hurl. Cut myself. NEXT.

2. Chuck, NBC, 8pm on Monday. Actually, I like "Chuck." The characters are fun, the female lead is a knockout, Adam Baldwin's appearance on network TV still gives me hope that Firefly will come back, and did I mention Yvonne Strzechowski? Hard to pronounce, but it's worth the effort. (Cue Scrubs flashback where she and Max raise their two kids, Montana and Rice). So why shouldn't you tune in to NBC before Heroes? Because the plot is far too similar to a screenplay I'm writing ('Stud McGrew: Ninja Hunter' for the uninformed), so if "Chuck" lasts for more than two years, odds are that my originality will suffer.

3. Journeyman, NBC, 9pm on Fridays. It's Quantum Leap meets Early Edition starring that guy from "Rome." 'Nuff said. I give it three weeks.

4. The Big Bang Theory, CBS Mondays, some time after Neil Patrick Harris but before Charlie Sheen.
It's about four geek rocket scientists who can't get laid. If I wanted to watch this on a weekly basis I'll just hang out at Harvey Mudd every Monday night.

and finally, 5) KID NATION. CBS Wednesdays, 8pm (taking over Jericho's spot. *shakes fist angrily*). Basically, it's like Survivor. Only without smarmy Jeff Probst. And instead of an island, it's set in a Western ghost town. And instead of attractive 20 somethings, we have CHILDREN. 40 kids, 8 to 15 years old. They're going to have to set up their own society, complete with a government, an economy, and Monkey Butlers.
Well, we know that little kids are capable of making sneakers for 3 cents an hour. But can they actually make their own civilization that isn't SimCity 2000? Unless all 40 of these kids are Walt Lloyd and can make polar bears magically appear, not gonna happen. (Sidebar: WAAAAAAAAAAAAALLTTTTTTTTT!!!!!)
And more importantly, didn't CBS learn anything from Lord of the Flies? The big kids are going to enslave the littluns and then hunt their enemies. Then they're just going to end up worshipping a pig as a god and then kill the fat kid and use his specs to start fire.
Sucks to your auntie, and sucks to this show.

This goes without saying, but you should always be catching My Name is Earl, The Office, Smallville, Weeds, Curb, South Park, How I Met Your Mother, House, Boston Legal, and WWE Monday Night Raw (Chris Jericho is coming back, people. That's more than enough to get you to watch).

-MGD
Max Davison is a Junior at Claremont McKenna College. One day he hopes to write for television and he's currently working on his first pilot. Titled "Under Gods," Zeus, Thor and Apollo decide to become mortals in order to meet women and they get an apartment together. Hilarity ensues. And if this doesn't work, there's always "Yin and Yang," which is essentially the Odd Couple but starring two Asian dudes.

10 October 2007 - The Mane

It's been almost four months since my last hair cut. And it's getting to the point where gel can't even tame my wild head of Jesus Hair.
Actually, I thank Jesus every day for my hair. Although in a sickly karmatic gesture, I lost out on "Best Hair" in our high school yearbook to the kid who simply didn't cut his for two years and decided to look like a D&D playing acid casualty who thinks that a vulva is a Swedish automobile.
But I digress.

Every so often I'll look at myself in the mirror and like Caliban finally seeing his own reflection (or Bruce Springsteen on the Streets of Philadelphia) I can't seem to recognize myself. So I'm tempted to find a barber in Auckland and just get a trim.

But there is only one person who is allowed to touch my hair, and that is my coiffure consigliare, Ernesto.
Note: photos may be altered to resemble the cast of Queer Eye.

I'm down here for another month, so I have two options. One is to risk my hair in the hands of a second rate barber, the other is to wait another 31 days and look like a Sasquatch. But looking like a yeti only lasts for four weeks. A bad hair cut can scar you for life...or at least until it grows out.
So I suppose that I'll hold out for my 2:30pm appt. with Ernesto. Maybe I'll go as Cousin Itt for Halloween. Either way, I'll be sure to put up photos.

-MGD
Max Davison is a Junior at Claremont McKenna College. When he looks back on all the crap he learned in high school, it's a wonder that he can think at all.

9 October 2007 - MGD's FAQs

Despite the fact that I try to project an aura of superiority and a 24/7 "stay the hell away from me"-vibe, people are always coming up to me on the street and asking me questions. Maybe I just have one of those knowledgable faces that inspires confidence that I know my way around town.

Some of these frequently asked questions are:
Is it hard being so awesome so much of the time?
How long do you take in the morning to ensure that your hair is so perfect?
What's the difference between doric, ionic and corinthian columns?
What are you doing in my house?

But the one that comes up most often, without a doubt, is: "What does the G stand for?"

This question opens up far too many possibilities. It's like I'm TS Garp. That could be Terribly Shy or Terrifically Sexy. There's no limit to what I can acronymize the initial into.
Sometimes I say that the Bee Gees are my uncles and it stands for "Gibb." God, wouldn't that be awesome if Barry Gibb were my uncle?

Other answers include:
Genuine
Garth
Gandalf
Gallifrey
Graft versus host
Gnarls
Goo Goo Ga Choo
Gaetti
Geico
Gee wouldn't you like to know.

But I'm finally going to demystify the legend of the G. It stands for Garcia, my mom's maiden name. You'd probably not guess it by looking at me or considering my politics, but I'm half Hispanic. Which half, you ask? The one that allows me to check the box on my college applications.
I think that my middle name is a link to the great poets and novelists that my people have given the world. There have been Garcia Lorca and Garcia Marquez. And now....Garcia Davison.

So the mystery of the "G" is finally solved, but that doesn't mean that all of my secrets are revealed. There's still the mystery of where I left my pants last Thursday night. And if anyone has any leads, don't hesitate to let me know. My passport was in the back pocket and more importantly, they're my favorite pair of jeans.

-MGD
Max Garcia Davison is a Junior at Claremont McKenna College. He believes in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent overrated crap, that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. He believes there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. He believes in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

8 October 2007 - These All-Blacks sit in the front of the bus

Well the Niners are now 2-3 after dropping a close game (that they never should have be in to begin with) to the Ravens. Normally I'd make some kind of petty excuse about how the team isn't even trying, or the fact that they're still 2-1 against the NFC West, or that in some other parallel world in the multiverse they're 5-0.
But not today. Week 5 is different, since both Alex Smith and Vernon Davis are out with injuries. Vernon sprained his knee and Smith is down with a grade 3 shoulder separation.
I'm not proud to admit this, but for the first time since Edgar Stiles choked on nerve gas, I cried. I cried like a big, dumb homo.

And even though I can't watch the NFL or the World Series (since MLB.tv costs far too much for international clients), I had adopted the New Zealand All-Blacks as my surrogate sports team. And if you haven't seen the haka, click that link immediately 2007 is the year of the Rugby World Cup, and as opposed to the soccer world cup, I can actually stand to watch more than 10 minutes of this one without slamming my head into the coffee table in the hopes that bludgeoning myself might stop the monotony for one damn second.

(Sidebar: I've finally found the definitive, Tyler Florence's Ultimate analogy when it comes to the United States and Soccer.
It's the exact same battle between Men and Jane Austen. Think about it. In both Soccer and "Pride and Prejudice" absolutely nothing happens and nobody ever scores. And women/Europe always complain that we don't give it a chance, that we don't understand the intricacies or the subtleties. Well, we do, and we just don't want to be bored to death while Mr. Darcy kicks the ball to the midfielder and holds....holds....holds...)

They take Rugby a little bit seriously down here, and I was quickly swept up in the fever.

Prior to coming to Auckland, the only rugby experience I had was watching Jack and Aisaka play hours upon hours of Rugby '06 on XBox. But now, I'm even collecting the commemorative All-Blacks action figures that they sell at Mobil for $4 when you fill up.

The All-Blacks haven't won the world cup in 20 years, but 2007 was their year...or supposed to be, since this past Saturday in quarterfinals action in Cardiff, they went down 20-18 to the host French team. This is an All-Blacks team that ran wild through their pool like Bruce Willis with a samurai sword. And then they got halted by...France.
I'm not sure what New Zealand has to look forward to anymore. It's a pretty small country so it isn't a major player on the global scene. And it's not like Peter Jackson's going to win another Oscar anytime soon.
But the only person who I feel worse for is ME. Every team that I root for turns to crap. Remember how in Bull Durham whomever Susan Sarandon banged got called up to the Show? Well with my luck, if I were sleeping with Tim Robbins he would have stayed in Triple A his whole career. I'm her Bizarro opposite.
Ummmm, that came out very very very very wrong. I went in a very scary direction with that one, and I'd really hope that we all pretended that never happened.

So now the Niners are folding faster than Superman on laundry day, the Dodgers tanked in September, Mitt Romney's falling in the polls, and the All-Blacks lost to FRANCE. Does anyone realize the last time that France won anything? You'd have to go back to 1066 when the Normans invaded at the Battle of Hastings. I'm trying my hardest to avoid jumping on the Rockies' bandwagon, but at this point they might be my last chance to root for a winner.


Happy Birthday, Dad.

-MGD

Max Davison is a Junior at CMC. He is currently abroad in Auckland, NZ, majoring in Bungy jumping with a concentration in Steinlager. After graduation, he plans on being that guy outside of Dodger Stadium who sells peanuts for $3 a bag. He currently spends his free time counting down the years, months and days until Dakota Fanning turns 18.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

6 October 2007 - I'm just trying to be a better person. My name is Max.

I went on one of my classic Nutella/Crunchy Nut Clusters run today to FoodTown (the conveniently named supermarket down in Auckland) and my total came to $34.60. Yes, that is a lot of Nutella. It should probably last me the weekend. So I paid with two twenties and when I got my change, I found that I had received $9 in change as opposed to $5.40.
(Sidebar re: New Zealand currency. On the long list of things that took some getting used to were the $1 and $2 coins. I come from a land that couldn't handle the Sacagawea dollar let alone the JFK half dollar, so a $2 coin is just ludicrous. The paper money down here is amazingly colorful though and has a different famous Kiwi on each bill. You've got Sir Edmund Hilary on the $5, Kate Sheppard on the $10, and that little Hobbit Rudy is on the $50).
So I can only assume that the checker grabbed two $2 coins as opposed to two 20 cent pieces. By the time I figured this out, the checkstand was already closed and I was a half mile down the street.

Now, I already know that I'm going to hell. That was determined a LOOOOOOOONG time ago, probably during that scavenger hunt when I stole a Vietnam Vet's fake leg and then used it to club baby seals up in Canada. Yeah, third grade was pretty wild. But even though there's no hope of giving St. Peter a high five, I always figured that I had good karma.

I have $3.60NZD on my conscience and it's killing me. I could easily just piss it away on Power Bars and hookers, but I need to do something positive with this gift. So I've resolved to make a difference. Maybe I'll drop it in the hat of the first hobo I see down on Queen Street, or I may use it to endow a scholarship so that inner city kids can find self esteem through orthodontics.
Other ideas include:
1) Buy trash bags and pick up garbage
2) Salvation Army
3) Keep it
4) Sponsor a poor African Child
5) Keep it
6) Drop it on the street and make someone else feel lucky
7) Put it in the church collection plate
and 8) Keep it

Any other ideas are welcome, since I'm currently leaning towards #3, 5, or 8.

-MGD
Max Davison is a Junior at Claremont McKenna College, currently majoring in Entourage and Fantasy Football. He finds it kind of funny, and he finds it kind of sad that the dreams in which he's dying are the best he's ever had.

Friday, October 05, 2007

5 October 2007 - The one where Max is Halfway There. Whooooaaaaaa!

Yesterday, I decided to walk around all day with my iPod headphones on.
It's part of my ongoing transformation into an Urban Outfitters clone. You know, the idiots with their messenger bags thrown over their shoulder with their faux-vintage t-shirt over their long sleeve T and destroyed jeans, checkerboard slip on shoes, two days worth of stubble and aviators. God do I hate those people. But I decided to go "undercover" as one of those pretentious homos, you know, to walk a mile in their shoes. It's what Atticus Finch would have wanted.

Those people with their headphones on have always been a conundrum to me. They're on the short list of "things that I don't understand," along with String Theory, extended warranties, Senator Harry Reid, and the appeal of Scarlett Johansson.

So I slipped my earbuds under my Flash T-shirt, under my long sleeve T and headed out to class in my green Vans. Oddly enough, it was very comforting. My "Get Psyched" playlist set the tone for the entire walk. Life is just that much more exciting when Bon Jovi provides a soundtrack for your every step.

And then I took a step off the curb and I was honestly living on a prayer when I nearly got smashed by a Suzuki Swift. The irate driver probably started screaming at that "goddam kid with the idiot iPod not paying attention to anything," but I couldn't tell since the opening chords of "Runaway" started blaring.
This would happen another 3 times.
Conventional logic says that being deprived of your sense of hearing is a detriment to your daily life. Well I only have two words: Bu and Llshit. Thursday was the most exciting day of my life. You never know who's going to bump into you or scream at you or try to mow you down. It's like running across the freeway while hired stunt drivers pretend to hit you. Without the constant threat of being killed, there's no point to living. This is why I went bungy jumping, sky diving and told a large Bostonian man that Curt Schilling didn't really bleed on his sock and then ran in the other direction.

So while before I thought it was a sign of retard Emo kid rats, but now I realize that it's just another way of tempting fate. BAM. Max Davison stamp of approval.
Now, I just have to make that stamp...


-MGD
Max Davison is a junior at Claremont McKenna College. He was brought up on a side street. He learned how to love before he could eat. He was educated at Woodstock. And when he starts loving, he can’t stop.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

4 October 2007 - Whose God is is anyway?

The Holy Spirit really gets a raw deal in the whole Trinity configuration. I say this because the other day in Ren-AY-sance class, our oh-so-affected professor tried to convince us that Titian has painted in a vision of the Holy Ghost in one of his works. To the untrained eye, however, it just looked like a cloud. A very well lit, divine cloud.
I mean, the Holy Spirit is supposed to be a third of the most powerful being in the Universe. But instead of being treated like it, he's seen as the silent partner in the business. He's the underappreciated Mark Mulder in the Holy Big Three. If God were Captain Planet, he's the poor Brazillian kid who got stuck with "Heart" as a power as opposed to Fire or Water.
Most of this comes from the fact that we have no idea what the hell the Holy Spirit is. It was an academic grey area in Sunday School; a question that never really got answered like "What's up with birth control?" or "I thought priests were supposed to be celibate?" I mean, everyone knows who Jesus is. And everyone knows what he looks like. He's the black guy who died for our sins, of course.
And God, well, I think that when we think about "God" we see Barry Gibb sitting on top of a cloud.
But the Holy Spirit...talk about elusive. It would be easier to find Jimmy Hoffa and the Spirit. The Holy Ghost is Global Warming on a religious scale. We're not even sure if it exists, let alone what it looks like.
But unlike Al Gore's Threat of the Month Club, I have faith in the Holy Spirit. So in honor of this underappreciated Deity, I'm declaring the first Friday in October (The 5th this year) Holy Spirit Awareness Day. It gives everyone a three day weekend and hopefully the good people at Hallmark can come up with some kind of a marketable image for the guy.

-MGD
Max Davison is a Junior at Claremotn McKenna College. In his spare time, he moonlights as a black private dick who’s a sex machine to all the chicks in town. He is the man who would risk his neck for his brother man. He won’t cop out when there’s danger all about. He’s a complicated man, and no one understands him but his woman. They say that this cat is one bad mother.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

3 October 2007 - I'll take Carrie Underwood for $400, Alex.

Well, my droogs, my favorite cereal in the world, Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Clusters was on sale today at the supermarket. There's no better feeling when you can buy two boxes of cereal, go through one in a single sitting and still feel as though you're packing on pounds of profit. Now if only Nutella made a breakfast cereal...


I haven't mentioned this to many people, but I took the Jeopardy College Test last Friday. Even before I made "the list," Jeopardy had always been a life goal. I'm a total Trebekkie and I'm proud of it. Probably my earliest memory is watching Jeopardy at our house in Studio City. Every single night at 7pm our TV would be tuned to ABC 7. When I look back on those days, I find it both comforting and a little embarrassing that the longest running tradition in our household revolves around a game show. Also, when looking back on Alex Trebek's facial hair, I find it really strange to see him with a moustache. He's only been clean shaven for about the past four years, but I've grown accustomed to his bare Canadian upper lip.
I mean, just look at this photo and ask yourself, Who does this guy think he is?

"I'm Keith Hernandez."

But I took the test, which was 50 questions long. Although I tried, I couldn't really keep track of every Q they asked. But I think that I answered close to about 44 correct. I had no clue which explorer discovered Albany (Hudson) or who Thesus' wife was (Andromeda). But I did know that Jimmy Smits played Bobby Simone and that Moe Syzlak is the bartender on the Simpsons. I haven't heard back from the producers, which probably means that like Dodger fans everywhere, I'll have to wait for next year.
Or maybe not. Maybe next spring, I'll be standing at the podium in my new CMC sweatshirt as Johnny Gilbert announces "A Junior from Claremont McKenna College. 5 foot 10 inches, 185 pounds of pure man. Originally from Los Angeles, CA. He is the Dancing Destroyer...the King of Sting...the Master of Disaster...The Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah...the People's Champion...the Count of Monte Fisto. MAX DAVISON."
Yep. Keep your eyes peeled for that. Sorry, I mean "What is" keep your eyes peeled for that. Gotta get into top Jeopardy form.

-MGD
Max Davison is currently abroad in Auckland, New Zealand. He was once the frontman for a little known band called the “Foregone Conclusion.” He was a lyrics man mainly, but he music came naturally. At one point, they were supported by a little outfit out of Scotland called “Texas.” He currently manages the Slough branch of Wernham-Hogg.

Monday, October 01, 2007

2 October 2007 - The one where Max springs forward and then falls back in one fluid motion

Daylight savings time is kicking my ass. New Zealand sprung forward an hour this past Sunday and my body hasn't caught up. This may have something to do with the fac that my MacBook Pro doesn't recognize this time shift and the clock is an hour behind. But I won't complain about this, mainly since DST was created for the benefit of the American farmer. And I come from a long line of Davison men who worked the land and economically exploited Mexicans.

Either way, with the extra time that I'm awake, I've started to watch TV shows that I never would were I completely cognizant. Last night, I gave "Private Practice" a shot. Basically the only reason I gave this one a shot was because Tim Daly is on the cast, and AM reruns of "Wings" was the highlight of any sick day back in elementary school.
Prognosis? If "Private Practice" were a coma patient (or maybe faking a very deep nap), the plug would have been pulled long ago. The show opened with a scene eerily reminiscent of Troy McClure introducing the Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase. Dr. Formerly Mrs McDreamy opens with a forced monologue introducing each of her fellow doctors, their motivations and her own plan for the rest of her life (slash the next 13 episodes that ABC ordered).
Even Joe Hackett isn't enough to save this terminal case of snoozedom.

The other thing that the show had against it was a crappy theme song. It was one of those nondescript Emo tunes that lulls men to sleep and makes women want to hug their pillow and put "Love Actually" on the top of their Netflix queue.
This got me thinking, and in Rob Gordon/High Fidelity fashion, I put together the list of the top 5 TV theme songs of all time.
Runners up:
Golden Girls, The Facts of Life, Chip n Dale, Rescue Rangers, Growing Pains, Mad About You, Miami Vice, Jeopardy, Laverne and Shirley, and finally NBA on NBC

5. Curb Your Enthusiasm. The bumbling, opening notes perfectly mirror the nebbishy manner in which Larry David comports himself for the next 30 minutes.

4. Happy Days. Upbeat and cheeful, just like the 50s...only, you know, not mentioning Korea or McCarthy or the Cold War. Ehhhhhhhhh!

3. The Greatest American Hero. I highly doubt that anyone reading this actually watched the show. Actually, anyone alive at the time probably never watched it, which is why it only lasted 44 episodes. But believe it or not, the theme lasts longer than the show.

2. Cheers. Don't ask me why I love this one. It's campy, cheap and really has nothing to do with the show. But dear god is it catchy as hell.


1. The Sopranos. PERFECTLY takes you away from your couch and puts you right in the middle of New Jersey. No other song can

So when I no doubt have my own hit TV show, what is my theme song going to be? Easy. Brooks and Dunn's "Brand New Man."

-MGD
Max Davison is a Junior at Claremont McKenna College. After graduating high school, he took two years off to masquerade as Chris Gaines. He finally got his act together and enrolled at CMC.

1 October 2007 - The One Where Max Lives like he was dying

Now this might sound like a slightly melodramatic overexaggeration, but over this past weekend, I faced a crossroads that changed the structure of my entire being and put me on a completely different path.

If you're still reading, I applaud you and ask you to bare with me.

Basically, I had a choice: One option meant that I would stay in Auckland and work on my 1500 word "Singin' in the Rain" paper as well as my upcoming in-class essay on Paul Gauguin.
The other involved a weekend long trip that would put me in mortal danger and annihilate the balance of my checking account.

So the choice was obvious.
And I? I took the road less traveled by and decided to drive down to Lake Taupo on Friday afternoon and put off my papers until...well...right now (and I suppose this blog gives me yet another outlet for procrastination).

So what was this mystery trip? I was going to wake up on Saturday morning and put my pants on one leg at a time. But once my pants were on, I was going to jump out of an airplane at 12,000ft and go sky diving.

Only three weeks after I made up my List, I was ready to cross off #9.
Was I scared? Not at all. But just in case something were to go wrong, I wore my lucky socks, my lucky St. Jude medal, my lucky underwear, and I even wore my white t-shirt with the BBQ stain on it for the sake of good karma.

I suited up (in a jumpsuit that looks like I'm going to knock over a bank with Clive Owen). But before you could say "This ain't no bank robbery," they called my name and I got aquainted with my instructor, Mike. He assured me that he had made over 6,000 successful jumps. I'm not sure if that's supposed to be reassuring, because it just makes it seem like he's due. You can jump as much as you want, but all it takes is one poorly packed parachute and you're fubar-ed.
Despite Mike's failure to get rid of the butterflies, I was ready to fly into the dangerzone.
I'm really glad that I went bungy jumping before sky diving. It's like swinging two bats in the on-deck circle. For bungy, you have to willingly jump off a thin platform, only suspended by a rubber band. With skydiving, you're jumping with a pro and a parachute.
This isn't to say that when we were 12K up in the air and my feet were hanging out of the plane, I wasn't a little apprehensive. The wind started blowing harder and harder as I inched my way out of the plane. Naturally, I looked down and realized that everything looked like ants from this height. In fact, you could see the west and east coasts of NZ on a clear day.
I was the first one in my group to jump, which I also think was beneficial. No added pressure. I just had to shut up and bail out like my Bud Light was on the line. And bail I did.

In the first few seconds, we started spinning upside down multiple times. I thought about screaming, but then I realized that it was impossible to make any noise when you're hurtling towards the ground at high speeds. I opened my mouth but it got filled with cold air that flapped my cheeks like a dog with his head out the car window.
At any other point in my life, I would have closed my eyes and waited for the parachute to deploy. But this time, I got a 360 degree look at the New Zealand country side. When the freefall stopped, I didn't feel relieved: I felt disappointed. It was without a doubt the greatest moment of my life. Truly, a great ride.
Without NZ, I wouldn't have a) the opportunity to do this or b) the guts to willingly propell myself out of an aircraft.



And that has made all the difference.

-MGD
Max Davison is a Junior at Claremont McKenna College. He has a voice so smooth that could make a wolverine purr and he wears suits so fine they make Sinatra look like a hobo. To put it bluntly, he is the balls.