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Showing posts from October, 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? …

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 you…

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 s…

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 …

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 le…

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 …

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 w…

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 int…

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…

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 Beavi…

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 un…

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…

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

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? …

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 ho…

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 foll…

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 t…

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 sh…

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 t…

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…

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 c…

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 d…

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 Psyche…

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 …

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 …

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 open…

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 goin…