Archive for the ‘games’ Tag

Hello DC: Saturday Morning Afternoon Adams Morgan   1 comment

view from Coffee and Crumbs

view from Coffee and Crumbs

I’m sitting in Coffee and Crumbs, a tea house off 18 th street somewhere near Adams Morgan. I’m looking outside a half-open door, watching people and cars flash by in blurs of dark color. On my head, are a new pair of cheap stereo headphones I just purchased from a CD game exchange. I’m wearing a black polo shirt, and stretchy gray pants. I wonder if I look like the typical 21st century floater. Floating from place to place, with my headphones on my head to dull my senses, my nice shirt and pants to make me feel good, watching life go by.
Its been a very interesting last couple of weeks in the good old Nation’s capitol. I’ve found myself feeling completely different about my environment. After coming from New York, people always asked me, “Which is better? New York, or Washington DC.” To this question, I give the same answer. “They are different.”
I went to New York for the day yesterday, and immediately I felt a surge of energy course through my body. I was walking faster, I felt generally more alive and well, and everything seemed faster, and more exciting. I even felt more attractive. I tried to pinpoint the reasons for this.
I caught a late bus out of DC at 11:30 p.m. I reached New York at 3:45 a.m. It was cold, and I got slightly lost in Chinatown. After I found a subway heading uptown, I learned that those trains, (the F uptown) were not running from September 5th, through October 26th. I ended up hailing a cab and heading up towards Union Square, where I had spent the last 3 ½ months before returning to DC.

I spent the morning shuffling around in my Aunt’s apartment, grabbing a few things that I had left behind when I came to DC. I watched a few episodes of Entourage, the Chris Rock comedy special Kill the Messenger and slept for an hour or two. I didn’t do anything, but I felt intensely invigorated. Maybe it was the fact that outside, were stores, nicely dressed people walking about, and the noise of the city that never sleeps. Maybe it was the fact that even though New York whipped my ass like most newbie’s, I had enough good memories there to have a nice sense of the place. Maybe I liked the high buildings, the claustrophobic atmosphere and the noise.
I was only in New York until 8 p.m. I would have left sooner if there hadn’t been intense congestion, which delayed the trip by over two hours. By 12 midnight, I was back in Washington D.C. Then, the contrast was obvious.
As soon as I returned to DC, I felt slower, more subdued. I got a sensation of space and darkness. It was quiet, emptier and less energetic. I caught a cab in Chinatown and went home. I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered how long the “New York effect” would last. Could I hold on to that feeling of internal power that comes with walking through New York’s streets? Could I feel a little bit brighter and happier in Washington D.C?
By 1 a.m I had made it to Wonderland, a bar I like to frequent. There, I had one beer and stood up watching people dance. I’ve noticed one thing ever since I returned from New York. I don’t talk to anyone. Most places I go, I stand up, have one beer or sip on water (if its available), then leave. I left the bar at 1:35.
Therein lies the New York Washington DC contrast for me I think. New York made me feel good, but it was a social nightmare of the highest degree. Imagine a land filled with gorgeous progressive women who are 100% dedicated to putting their careers ahead of relationships. Then imagine a similar place, where the women are less attractive but equally dedicated to career first.
Some people would say those are two nightmares, but who knows? I don’t necessarily feel powerless. I think, like DC, I sometimes feel spacious, empty and dark, filled with little gaps and winding places that few feet ever trod.
In New York, I felt that the atmosphere was sometimes like a huge block of ice that I couldn’t break. Around me it seemed people were screaming at me, “Give us ice! Give us ice!”, but all I had in my hand was a plastic spoon. I couldn’t chip the ice.
DC in a way feels similar at times. The block of ice is smaller, and depending on what day it is, I have a plastic spoon, and other days I have an ice pick. As it stands, I think all I have in my cabinet are a series of huge, plastic, spoons.
But DC also feels like an old bedroom. Every tactile sensation in this room sparks a memory good or bad. Walking down this street triggers a memory of you laughing with your boy, kissing your girl, or raging with anger.
But the past, the present and the future are all inherently inescapable things. I woke up this morning, staring at the ceiling. It was cold in the room, and I sat down to meditate. The silence around me was thunderous and I had to get out, to get away.

So what’s the lesser of two evils? A temporary taste of fleeting self-power (as in New York), or that calm (albeit subdued) sense of self that comes with a startling familiarity? I have no answer. No tengo idea. Wakarimasen.
So here I am, sitting at Crumbs and Coffee on 18th street, typing this stuff up, looking outside, watching the world float by in a blur of color. While sipping on green tea.

Hello DC: Shorts Party in Adams Morgan   Leave a comment

I’m standing outside Asylum, a bar in the heart of Adams Morgan. I’m trying to pull up my pants to make shorts, because I’ve found a nice little party. I can see in the window the movement of lots of bodies; the windows is thick with sweat and I can hear the echo of indie music.
I see a guy I know, Mick and he gives me a one over before I go to the bouncer. The bouncer is a man with a gentle face—he could have been a hobbit any of the Lord of the Rings movies—and he has a long head of wavy, semi-straight hair. I could see him sitting on this stool thirty years ago, with a beard to accompany the hair, smiling at people with those fairy tale eyes.
Its been a slow night. Thursdays are like that sometimes (at least in DC), and I just came from Saint Ex where I was hanging with a few friends of mine. Since I’ve returned to DC a little cloud has been growing over my head. I’m not sure what it is. Part of me thinks it latent memories popping up and leaping to the forefront of my conscious mind, but I have a theory that involves pretending to be a superhero and eating lots of potatoes that might get rid of it.
Saint Ex is on 14th street and I walked the four block stretch to hit Adams Morgan, where I had no real intentions. Anyone worth their salt knows that Thursday night in Washington DC is much more happening during the lovely summer months. Now the nights are getting cooler and congress is in session, so all the happy-go-lucky Capitol hill people have to go easy on the booze and coke for a bit and actually process reality.
So, I’m ready to go into this shorts party. Intially the bouncer said “I think those pants of his are too tight to roll up into shorts.” I disagreed. After a little effort, my biker/hipster black pants became glorified shorts. They grabbed at my knees like a gleefully obese child, but they worked. I would only need them to walk in. I hand the bouncer my ID, and I’m in.
I’m hit with a wave of heat and a thick smell. This smell is common to almost every bar I’ve been in with lots of people dancing inside. Its like a slice of salami that’s been left in a plastic Tupperware case for a few hours mixed with beer suds. Depending on the night, and the number of people in attendance, this scent can be mild, or downright disgusting. Tonight, the smell is at code yellow: Tolerable.
The party is definitely indie for DC. That or a lot of college people are out and about. The first girl I see is wearing what appears to be her boyfriend’s t-shirt and her eyes are glazed with the veil of inebriation. To my left, two tall shirtless guy with beach bodies dance with bottles of champagne in their hands, sipping while doing a very Euro-gay movement to the rhythm. They aren’t the only shirtless ones.
Two more guys, dancing on a large leather couch with its back resting on a wall covered in mirrors are grinding like the women in front of them are tossing dollars bills their way. One is wearing swim trunks half the size of the doozy that Daniel Craig wore in Casino Royale, and the other guy seems like he’s tripping on drugs, because he’s look at the ceiling, rubbing his thigh and dancing in a way that suggest the ceiling is a woman he’s trying to bed and this is his only chance at getting laid.
Within seconds of doing this sweep of the room, a girl yanks my tie (I’m wearing my customary t-shirt and tie) and pulls me to her left (my right) as she walks by. I chuckle, but she really has a tight grip on the thing. She reaches back—I think to grab my hand—but she misses by a mile and just slightly touches my crotch. Then, just like she appeared, she disappears into the sweaty throng of dancers.
I stand where I am for a moment. The music is good, the vibe isnt’ bad, but I’m not feeling like letting loose. The cloud is still following me, sprinkling me with bits of rain like that unfortunate Carebear that was always depressed. Now THAT guy had issues. Imagine living in a happy cherubic land where you can get doped up on “good feelings” by rubbing your stomach and saying “CARE BEAR STARE!” and you are the one schmuck that gets stuck with a rain cloud that follows you everywhere? I wouldnt’ be surprised in that carebear had an E true Hollywood story involving prositutes, latent homosexuality and some connection to Kevin Bacon.
A bunch of guys that look like the perfect entourage for a low-key rapper are in the back. They seem drunk, and they are doing wild things, like tossing the balls from a ball pool located near the window into the crowd, and spraying Champagne and beer on everyone. This action startles me at first. People spraying the bubbly for no reason usually pisses people off, gets girls made about their hair being wet and kills the party. But not tonight.
These guys sprayed at least four bottles of Champagne all over the people immediately beside them and no one stopped dancing. It was like a strange sexual display, with people getting sprayed on and cheering by guys wearing dark glasses with huge, lecherous grins.
At this point, the shirtless guys have all united on the leather couch and are all dancing with bottles in their hands. The last time I’ve seen a display like this was at South Beach, where a friend and I happened to a see a purple box way in the distance as we walked down the beach on Spring Break a few years back. As we got closer to this purple box, it was actually a large structure. From this structure was music. Pulsing, pumping, trance music. I got excited because I was thinking “Beach party, yeah!” and as neared the thing we saw hands in the air, heard people cheering and I got even more excited. We walked past a port-a-potty where a long line of guys were waiting to pee. But then, not only were guys waiting to pee, but there were guys everywhere. In fact, there were NO girls to be seen. The purple box was a gay party.
At this gay party, every man was hairless and had a body that Brad Pitt would envy. It was a garish display of the Miami gay scene and also a reflection of what working out can really do for a guy. Either way, seeing those four shirtless guys on that couch, looking over a mixed crowd dancing and being sprayed with champagne was, somewhat awkward, but oddly familiar.
As good as the music was, I didn’t feel like dancing. I entertained light conversation with a few people and then left. Maybe I was tired from working out earlier in the evening, or maybe trying to figure out the narrative of a new book I’m working on is taking up more mental energy that I realize. Whatever it is, next time there’s a shorts party going on. I’m wearing shorts, and I just might end up shirtless.

Hello DC, old friend.   Leave a comment

I’m sitting in Tryst, a cool little tea/café place in the warm, sweaty bosom of Adams Morgan.
I’ve always fantasized about having a sweet little laptop to bring to this place; this place with its hidden speakers playing random selections from groups like The Who and the Fuguees, while occasionally glancing at the semi-yuppie crowd eating expensive brownies and gulping down green tea.
I’ve achieved this goal, but the sense of victory is lukewarm. I’ve been using my sleek little Macbook pro for a while—multiple countries of use not withstanding—and coming to Tryst with it doesn’t feel like an incredible achievement, but hey, I’ve done it.
Being back in DC is like stepping into the shade when twilight falls over the earth. Okay, maybe not that dramatic. There’s a sense in me of extreme familiarity with my surroundings. Outside, a cool, gentlemanly breeze blows in a way that makes me feel like I’m being caressed by a thousand hands. There was no one on the street when I walked around earlier, so the wind felt like mine and mine alone.
Compared to the savage, endless pace of New York, DC is like a breath of chocolate Fresh air. Already I’ve “run into” several people I know, within the span of 24 hours. A few walks here and there, and I hear “Marcus!”. Today I spent two hours with my tall Serbian friend, watching her laugh as we chat about old times. (Old times being six months prior). She saw me walking on the road, and with cute pink ipod and olive skin in tow, followed me to Tryst.
On a phone conversation with my father, I said” New York is rapid, rapacious and filled with a convalescence of high-energy individuals living in a contiguous environment.”
Oh okay, I didn’t say that, but I did use the word “contiguous” at some point.  Maybe I feel relaxed in DC because I have no more trappings here. Maybe I feel relaxed because a warehouse of memories are contained within the borders of this tiny city. Nasty, sexual memories, memories of brutal physical pain, quiet, internal agony and thick, viscous depression. I’ve run the gamut here, and my mind and body know it.
When you are familiar with a place, your mind extends in all directions. You can’t get lost. You can only get robbed. I can walk for hours and know exactly where I am, not question what side street is this, I know the price of that, and “let’s not go to that place because I might run into so-and-so”. You know the deal.
But it seems, this reunion of Jamaican and American city has some pyrrhic undertones. I feel I am truly saying goodbye to this place. In more ways that one. I used to be somewhat afraid of coming back to the city.  The memories I’ve had here roam the spectrum pretty well, but my last few months here before my departure to Europe (and many a drunken night) were filled with a kind of emotional despair the likes of which I don’t’ want to experience any time soon.
Coming here, I’m reminded of my maturity and how this place has solidly contributed to it. I remember giving the wrong kinds of girls a nice letter, the wrong girls thoughtful gifts, being unintentionally mean to an old person on the bus and promising never to do it again. I remember almost fighting a bouncer and glad I didn’t. I remember tearing a ligament in my knee, and spending ungodly hours in pain. I remember some of my cute girlfriends—they feel like old, dusty photos—and I remember people who have flickered in and out of my life, like how holograms look in science fiction movies.
But this isn’t some huge goodbye to the chocolate city. I’m sure I might return here if I have good reason to. But I have more reasons not to return.
This is a city of schools, non profits and people with politically inclined careers. For the mad artists like myself, who feed on visions of purple candy and being famous for “drawing and designing stuff”, this isn’t the place for me.
Either way, this isn’t some bard’s goodbye, or some classic like Ode to joy. This is me sitting in a little café, writing in the dim light, on my sleek, shiny (and relatively new) laptop.
Hello again DC. May you send forth your maidens, so that I may defile them.

Like the shadows, dear Brutus….   Leave a comment

A man with tight plaid pants on shakes his ass to the groove of break beats. Behind him, a girl with long braids mimics his moves, aligning herself to his gyrations without ever touching him. I’m seeing this out of the corner of my eye, and as I stand in front of a shadowy column in The Darkroom, a club on the Lower EastSide, I find myself wishing I was somewhere else.

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New York is many things. For some is spark of opportunity. Hidden between the folds of the highly contiguous buildings, packed streets and bright lights is a glimmer of hope. Hope of a dream of making it, doing what thousands (or more correctly hundreds of thousands have done in the past) which is make it big.
I’m not sure if I have these visions of grandeur. The pace of New York is getting to me. I thought girls in DC were flaky, but New York takes flaky o the Nth degree. I live in a world were people don’t answer their phones, sent stilted text messages to convey a point and only seem to want to say hello if they happen to see you online in Gchat.

.Quite disturbing.
Tonight, I floated between a few bars. I watched TV at this bar where the bartender, who is normally quite friendly, gives me a perfunctory hello. I’ve been going there for almost ten weeks and I sent her an e-mail, but something about me bothers her I’m guessing.

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On nights like these I feel like the shadows themselves. I stand in the darkest corner, watching bodies float by like wraiths. Voices are obscured by loud music, and they all coalesce and sound like the humming of bees overlayed by whatever the DJ decides to play. Its all good and well to enjoy the night life, (I for one, go out mostly because I am bored), but its becoming increasingly pointless. I’ve found myself in various parts of the world doing this same activity; walking around, talking to people, listening to music, sipping on a nameless beer brewed in a factory I’ll never visit… and its becoming meaningless.

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Tonight I met an English girl who is a designer for Urban outfitters. This brings the number of English women I’ve met since I’ve been in New York to probably fifty. She seems nice enough, telling me that “North England has the nicest people.” But I have no way to verify that. I have no sexual interest in her, even though she is cute. On nights like these I might say hello to certain girls to answer a pressing question. She didn’t look like an American (I thought her outfit looked ‘Mod’ style, and I was correct, but some would say it’s a lucky guess) so, I asked her. Therein lies the rub, dear Brutus.. or should I say Hamlet.

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Sometimes I talk to break the monotony of my thoughts. At some point I was punching notes into my Ipod about what to write. Beside me, while I was doing this, a girl bounced into a tall fellow, spilling some of his drink on her arm. Of course, the guy she was with (quite wrongly) took offense to this most egregious circumstance and proceeded to confront the tall guy. What made this scene funny was the fact that the guy was French, and spoke broken English. The girl was fine, the guy didn’t spill much beer on the girl to begin with, but the French guy started going on off about something involving his “girlfriend and his sister” which I didn’t understand. Maybe he meant to say “lover” and got the words mixed up. Either way, the tall fellow laughed, patted the French guy on the shoulder and walked back to his friends, who were both a good three inches taller than he was. But you guessed it, the French guy returned, filled with the indignation that has been put on so many television screens in my lifetime. No fight broke out, but a part of me wished the French man would produce a glove, and slap the tall guy in the face, shouting, “Sur incompetent Americaaan!”
Sadly, my life isn’t that interesting. I knew tonight was a lame night because I didn’t even eat my ritual slice of pizza. New York, New York. Oh how I love this love and hate relationship I share with the big apple.
Tomorrow I’ll probably wake up blearly eyed, feeling better about my situation. I’ll forge on towards bigger and better things, or find myself in another shady bar in some other part of the city, standing  as always in the shadows, watching life pass me by. Or maybe I won’t do that. I might be jogging down park avenue, looking at the opulence around me, and find myself thinking about the past. Screaming to myself, “What the fuck did I do wrong?”

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I’ve completely changed. I can’t even play video games anymore to interest myself. TV is boring and I find myself wanting to be far, far away. Maybe I was meant to be a world traveler, one of those guys who grows a thick beard and roams the earth, leaving mostly children in his wake. Maybe that’s my destiny. Who knows.
Yesterday I watched Forrest Gump for what must be the tenth time, and I found myself almost tearing up at certain scenes. The first time I watched the movie, I didn’t really know what love was, nor did I have a strong grasp on the concept of death. Now, watching it after losing people in love and death multiple times, the move seemed completely fresh. I knew exactly how he felt when he was running. I’ve had my ‘Jenny’ on the mind too, and I’ve watched someone close to me die, seeing their life fade away in a few choked breaths while people around them screamed as if the resonance of their voices would trap the soul into the broken body.

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I like the fact that even a simple man like Forrest Gump can find love, and find a wife. Since I’ve been in New York, I’m truly convinced that American television perpetuates the ideal of extreme beauty being the most desirable attribute of a mate (male or female)  is wrong. Real life shows you that most people are average, and like average people. Above average is scary, a frightening visage of something you can’t compare to. Run with the average joe and you are safe. Go with the smart intellectual, and things get fuzzy.

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Either way, if we live in a world where Forrest Gump can get laid, then there is hope for anyone isn’t there? Who knows. Like I said before, I’m a fly on the wall. I stand in the shadows, watching people go by, hoping a big fucking swatter doesn’t mess with my flow.
Hah. Fly on the wall….

The Constantly Contiguous Conflict   2 comments

I’m listening to Christina Aguilera’s “Hurt” over my office’s Itunes shared network. I’m not sure if this is a sign of depression, of the slow recession of my testes into my stomach. But I’m sure it means something.

Yesterday I watched Home Alone 2: Lost In New York for what was probably the 18th time in my life. I watched it for two reasons. One, I’ve never watched the movie IN New York, (which is pretty cool in itself) and secondly, I wanted to revisit that nice, quiet place we like to call our childhood.

The trappings of adult life are really all people say its cracked up to be. Flaky people, taxes, sexual frustration, shattered dreams, bad fast food and being hit by automobiles. Its all there folks, scattered amidst the chaos of what we like to call “daily life”.

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Time itself seems to be flying. This year is shooting faster than a premature ejaculate in bed with Megan Fox.

.Events from a few weeks ago seem like years ago, and the events of a few months ago feel like a world away. I’ve sat on a street side in Berlin saying to myself, “Did I really mess with that chick? And read some Pulitzer prize winning literature on her bedside table the next morning? “
Sadly, no one can answer that question but me. But I don’t’ think I’m depressed. Or even lonely for that matter. My mental state is a mixture of uncertainty and the sense of impending doom that comes with realizing not only am I (again) in a densely populated city trying to “find” myself, but it looks like we are possibly headed to World war 3.

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World wars, those are things I don’t like to think about. That involves interrupted food supplies, no more traveling over seas, shoddy internet, and more Hollywood movies based on wars.
I was sitting on a rooftop on early Sunday morning discussing what I’ve labeled the “contiguous plight” with a few cool people I’ve been hangin with. My friend explained it in a few words. “In such a densely populated area, “ she bega. “With so many people pushing to be the best at everything, a lot of people are thinking short term.” I nodded. “People are saying to themselves, I’ll be here for maybe a year, two years tops, and then I’m out. I don’t need any relationships, I don’t need anything more than the occasional hookup. So its not easy to find people who are rooted in New York, who have a vested interest in a future in the city.”
I agreed with that statement. But that wasn’t just NY. It sounded like DC all over again. If Chicago is the city of Angels, DC is the city of flakes. An overwhelming number of the people in DC aren’t from Dc, and will be in the city for only a few years. Its all short-term, high-ambition drivel that keeps on churnin.
Does me knowing this make it easier to integrate elsewhere? I say nay. Like most people I desire the basic things. Food, a good movie and a girlfriend with enough of a sleazy side to keep my attention from week to week (with the occasional introspective thought tossed in the mix for good measure).

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But honestly, at the end of the day that’s what we want folks. A wife that will bang us mentally and physically, a few kids to live vicariously through and a house big enough to house all of you and your egos.
It’s a bit sad when all I have to look forward to is the release of the upcoming will-be-megahit, Dark Knight.
In the last few weeks I’ve been tempted to write some very juicy blogs involving a few cute foreigners. Australians gilrs, English girls, Irish women and the occasional Bostonian.

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But at the end of the day its me sitting here typing away for what? A strange document of my social activities? I don’t know. Let’s hope Batman can tingle my spine make me chase after my dreams too.

.Don’t call me Marcus, you can call me Bruce.

Germany: Day 3 Yes, Germans are tall people   3 comments

 

Ladies and gentlemen, I can check a goal off my life list.

 

Last night I partied in a few German clubs, and danced to house music. I must have be sixteen when I first thought of doing this, so i’m happy to say that i’ve been able to achieve this goal… a measley ten years later.

I participated in something called a “Pub Crawl”, which essentially gives you access to a lot of clubs, and bars for the price tag of 12 euros. A person who lives in the city (with nothing to do on a Friday night apparently) takes dozens of tourists looking to “see Berlin” on a hit-parade of popular bars and clubs. I took this experience with a grain of salt. The crawl gives you access to people to talk to and places to go, but I was a little annoyed with the usual antics of the Americans and Canadians I was hanging with.

No offense to Americans, but there have been two nights that I raised my eyebrow since i’ve been in Europe. The first was in France, when I went to an Irish bar for about an hour and felt like I was in Washington D.C again, and promptly left. The second was last night (or this morning if you are being technical). The nature of “American culture” is fascinating. Any large group of Americans has a lot of hooting and hollering and people trying to get VERY VERY drunk. Also 99% of the crowd was wearing plain t-shirts and shorts. I was the most dressed up person in a crowd of at least 60.

That aside, it wasn’t that bad. After all, I don’t hate Americans, and I live in the country! haha.

Some cool moments were dancing to minimalist music in a place called “Rudubar” this is near some street called “Brugerstalle” (Burgerstra-see). Our guides walked with back packs full of alcohol and gave it to us after every bar stop. So I bought drinks at pretty much every bar, then had shots after each bar… needless to say, I got a little drunk. 

I’m staying by this hostel near a train station called Johannowitzburke, and I brought my bike I rented the whole way. IT was another character in the night, me and my bike. Lots of fun.I met a lot of girls but most of them were traveling in pairs, large groups, or leaving the next day. 

Boo!

All in all it was a good experience. I had trouble talking to German girls in the club. I actually got “the hand” from a girl who was dancing directly in front of me! I’ve never gotten “the hand” from a girl EVER. But this is Germany… I guess a little bit of coldness is expected. All I said was “halo.” 

The night ended at this place called “The Matrix” which is the first place i’ve seen with large, white bouncers. Forgive me, but every bar i’ve been to in the states has  massive black bouncers. This place had true German stock. When I was walking into the club, I started entering the wrong way. The bouncer barked at me in German and lightly (trust me, lightly) shoved me in the right direction. I floated to the side like a sheet of paper. I didn’t want to know what happened to people who pissed those bouncers off.

Inside was like any other club, except a lot of the people were tall and blonde. This I found strange, because walking around Germany I haven’t seen many “very” blonde people, but people are definitely taller here. Standing at 6’1 I’m not really at much of an advantage here. 

So… I think I had one more drink that place, danced on some pole with a few girls and then headed home. I was TIRED… I wasn’t sure if it was riding around all day on the bike, or some post-France lag that’s affecting me. In the club I didn’t even make an attempt to chat to any of the german girls. I couldnt’ bother. I had a nice shirt on, that said “I’D FCUK ME”, but for the entire night, the shirt seemed to amuse (and attract) more men than women. I didn’t care. I was in Germany baby!

 

At some point I grabbed my bike and took the train back to Johannowitzburke. I turned on the light and whizzed home. The dude staying in the bed beside me is from Japan, and i swear, I was speaking to him in perfect Japanese for a few minutes before I crashed and fell into dreamland. I don’t know why I speak better Japanese when i’m drunk, but it doesn’t matter. I drunk Skype dialed the girl of my dreams and left her a voice message. 

One day I will laugh and say, ” I drunk Skyped this chick once!” to which another drunk person will say, “Dude, you drunk Skyped someone? Awesome!” 

Here’s to Saturday night in Germany.

Cheers mate!

 

Cannes day 3: Welcome to the real world   Leave a comment

Cannes day three.

 

 

I’m sitting somewhere in between the first floor of the main Palais, and the Riviera. These are sections of the massive Palais des Festival, which is where all the magic happens. To say Cannes is chaotic would be a lie, its more like a storm of chimps on red bull in suits trying to buy and sell films. Not that any of these people look like chimps, but the place is pretty wild.

I just left the Debussy theatre, one of many areas to screen films at Cannes. I watched Hunger, a tale of the hunger strike enacted by prison-bound activist Bobby Sands, in 1981. It took me a few minutes to realize I was actually watching a film at the Cannes Film Festival. There I was, sitting amidst the peers of the industry, taking in a film.

The way industry people take these films seriously, there was a cacophony of coughing as the film started, as people with small colds coughed out the last of their irritable viruses. When the movie started, there was pin-drop silence. For the entire movie. At the end the coughing started at again.

Personally, I was very tired. In my last blog I mentioned going out the night before and celebrity watching. Then I came home, fiddled with the internet a bit and then got some sleep to wake up at 8 a.m so I could sort out some issues I was having. So in the movie at some point, I dozed off. But I saw 95% of the film. I can scratch off a life goal of mine today:

“Applauded at the end of a Cannes film screening with rest of audience.”

That sounds pretty simple, but the logistics of getting into this place were maddening. I might go into the details of the accreditation process in another blog, but trust me. I had to jump through hoops and drop some serious euros to get where I am right now, and I don’t even feel ready.

Early this morning, when I walked into the Palais for the first time, I grabbed a few copies of magazines that are available to everyone in the area. There are thousands of copies of the Hollywood Reporter, Moving pictures and various other magazines. When I slipped a few of them into my bag, I said, “Dammit. I’m really in it.”

Days ago I was a student on the verge of graduating. My worries involved ironing my graduation gown, packing for this trip to France and worrying about how much my feet hurt when I shop for new shoes. Here, I am officially a professional. I don’t have time to worry that much. All the people here are trying to do the exact same thing. Get ahead. I’m surrounded by thousands of talented, super driven people from dozens of countries with literally thousands of different agendas.

 

Cannes is a Market based festival. Essentially people come here to promote, buy or sell films. Or they come here to promote, buy or sell themselves (not necessarily in that order :p) . So it is a rat race of the most powerful kind. Workshops run abound in Cannes, companies are EVERYWHERE and its non-stop. So a person can juggle visiting companies, catching a screening here and there and maybe catching a party at night. I’ve been told a good strategy is to head to some of the more exclusive hotels and hang out in the lobby and chat to people. This is a business. A relentless one.

 

So therein lies the question? How do I market myself as a writer? Are writers truly in demand, or are hot scripts in demand? When I received my badge, I got a cool little gray bag with ‘Cannes 2008’ all over it. Inside was information on the festival and market participants. The market participant book is twice the size of the Bible. This book had the information of participants in the festival. (and I thought looking into the face of eternal hellfire was daunting). So, I have to organize. I have to go through the periodicals(magazines, etc) and figure out which companies would like my product. I have a comedic script that I want to pitch, but get this. In my Graduation week (as madness ensued and I had no time to sleep) I didn’t adequately prepare some things for my trip. As it stands, when you don’t carry certain things with you to a foreign country, you have to buy them in that country, and man are the prices different. I’m leaking Euros.

 

The plan has to get juggled. Not only do I feel like I have to dress sharp (in Jamaica we say “Bush”) to seem like a true professional, but I have to do it every day. I’m not sure I have that many dress shirts :p. Either way, the battle begins. Tiny Jamaican writer, versus huge, well established international festival. I may not have a movie, or be able to get into the exclusive parties, but I have my little script. May I pitch it well!

On a side note, I bought a SIM card today from a phone store. The guys were not helpful at all. They spoke no English, the phone card’s instructions were in English, and I’m sure I don’t even know how to recharge the bloody card… but I had to get it. Its already getting impossible to link up with members from my program, much less contact people I will be meeting throughout the festival. Investment is key in these things. Don’t scrimp on those comfy black shoes you wanted to wear because they were slightly out of your budget, and get more dress shirts! Self-promotion baby!

Plus tard, ladies and gentlemen, Bush every day!

Cannes Day 2: Pictures with Celebs   5 comments

Julianne Moore. Mischa Barton. Gillian Anderson.

What do they all have in common with me? Well, I’m in pictures with all of them. Before you go running to your friends and saying that Marcus is a celeb, think again. I experienced the first taste of the paparazzi vibe.

A few of us from the program were idle at the hotel, sitting in the lobby. After chatting for  a bit about which movie was better, The Village or Lady in the Water, we decided to try and head to a party near the Palais. Apparently, the popular house group Justice was playing at this exclusive party on the waterfront. A friend of mine Chris, received an armband that gets him into all the parties during the week, courtesy of the William Morris agency. A few other people decided to head out to see if they could go to the party as well. IF not, we’d have a nice scenic walk in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

 

So we walk the three mile stretch from our Hotel to the Palais, stopping occassionaly to see how Caroline is doing. Caroline is wearing three inch heels and needless to say, heels are evil. After another twenty minutes or so we reach one party. The music is pumping and bouncers wearing tuxedos are standing guard by a small walk way that leads into a series of white tents. The music doesn’t sound like house, and we walk further up.

 

What is amazing about this area so far is the quality of the women. Yes people can say that the way  a woma n looks is relative, but the average woman here is slim, well toned/tanned and very well dressed. Its like the cutest/hottest girls were tossed into a basket and dumped into the ocean near Cannes, where they fought to get to shore in a sweaty mass of lotion and hair gel. The women I’m seeing are pretty attractive, but I’m not really excited by the number of attractive women around me. This is an area heavily populated with millionaires and important people. For now, I’m content just watch them go by. In the way a Lion with a full stomach watches a gazelle graze a few feet away.

 

We reach the Justice party and people are floored left and right. The man at the door is a tall, well tanned French man who looks like a 1982 Calvin Klein model. He takes one look at a person in our group, a tall guy named Ryan (who is wearing a sharp sports, jacket dress shirt, fitted jeans, designer shoes and glasses ) and says. “No, se impossible’ “.

Chris, who has the exclusive armbad, is shut down as well. To be fair, Chris was wearing a plaid shirt and a straw hat. Everyone going into the part was dripping in Gucci and all sorts of designer garb. Then somewhere to our left, we hear some commotion. Bodies were running to and fro and lights were flashing everywhere. A celeb was sighted!

 

We took a few steps to see what the fuss was about. A tall, modelesque looking woman surrounded by people with cameras walked by. “Who is that?” I asked. “That’s Mischa Barton.” A guy named Sebastian replies. “What show is she on?” I ask again. Caroline replies this time. “She’s on the OC.” Chris laughs. “Man, that’s wack! The OC isn’t even a real show!”

 

I watch her walk by, in a resplendent gray dress and she heads into a movie theatre outfitted with an Indiana Jones motif for the upcoming movie premiere. We talk as a group for a second, when in the corner of my eye, I see a flash of red hair and what appears to be a familiar face.

“Is that Gillian Anderson?” I say. “The x-files chick?”

Sure enough it was. “Let’s get a picture with her!” Chris says. We trot over to where she is, and I’m suddenly standing right beside her as the cameras start flashing. I smile with my arms folded, Chris shows the peace sign. The photographers keep shouting, “Liz!Liz!” (we don’t know why) and soon Chris starts saying “Liz! Liz!” as well.

 

We repeat this process when Julianne Moore comes out of the party. I squeeze in past a few photographers and stand almost directly beside her.  As the cameras flash, I smile and Chris gives the peace sign. I realize that I’ll most likely never see these pictures. These could be going to magazines all over the world, but it is a funny exercise. Julianne Moore looks the way she always does; pale and ageless.

We take pictures with a famous French guy “La Rouche” I think his name is, and a couple who people are snapping but I don’t recognize. We miss a photo opportunity with a cute Japanese actress wearing a traditional kimono and massive setas. After that we talk about the industry for a while. I’m chatting with a cool guy I met named Danny, who wants to be  director.

“This is what we want to be a part of eh?” I ask.

“This is fake, man. BS.” He says.

We dissect the issues surrounding the festival, the nature of film and talk about goals of success. At the end of the day, I’m not worried. At present I am nobody, but I’m at one of the biggest festivals in the world regardless. I might be on the outside looking in, but in a way, I’ve taken the first steps towards something. We take a cab back home and get this, the cab is a 2008 Mercedes SUV.

I reach back to the hotel, give Danny 3 euros for my share of the trip and see two more guys from the program chilling in the lobby. They’ve spent the evening chatting with two French girls and they seem to be very happy.  I have to wake up in a few hours to head to the Festival to deal with a few house keeping issues. Tomorrow is a new day.

 

Plutar!

Life 4 Inches at a Time [PreBday Thawts]   Leave a comment

Today is Wednesday, March 19, 2008.
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Last year on this very day, I was in Barcelona, probably sipping on a cafe con leche. I spent my 25th birthday in Europe, far away from almost everything and everyone I knew.
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Today, I’m sitting in my room, staring blankly at my computer screen. Naturally, this leads one to reflect. I’m not sure what to speak about honestly, but I feel like with any blog a person needs to say something before they usher themselves into another age bracket?Maybe I could talk about love, growth, the economy or probably Global Warming. Who knows. I have no poignant thoughts on the brain of late.
Maybe I’ll blog about nothing in particular, and write a little poem that reflects my state of mind.
One thing I realize about this blog thing, its pretty challenging at times. This thing is supposed to be a sort of online diary, a forum where anyone can hop onto your page and read what you’ve been up to. Much of what I’ve been up to, I don’t want to say.Maybe I’m too shy, or a little too reserved when I think of who might be reading these blogs. Does it really matter if I say whatever is on my mind? The most hits i’ve received in a day are 120. Can my life really be affected if an extra 120 people know a few tidbits about someone they will probably never meet?

Who knows.

I’ve toyed with the idea of writing another blog, the one were I can REALLY speak my mind. Rant if you will. Talk about my life’s frustrations, things that are approaching that sometimes keep me awake, disturbing adult behavior, unrequited love, the works.

But who knows. These aren’t things someone really has to focus on are they? We are in the age where people can find out almost anything if they search hard enough. I’m just doing people a favor, and putting it out there before the masses come calling.

I can say without reservation that in my life so far I have seen some pretty ugly things. The dark side of human nature, people and events. I try to ignore these things, but I realize that when some really f-ed up stuff happens to you, it can really sit with you for a LONG time. This sometimes makes me desire to be “normal”. But what is normal anyway? I don’t think anyone is normal. Half of my relationships are destroyed by the hangups my exes have over their former boyfriends. Do the wrong thing, you become that guy, and you are gone. Caput.

Everyone has their frame centralized based on what happened to them in their life, good or bad. Who is normal? The chick with the eating disorder because she hates herself or the guy who does lines to forget about his friend that killed himself? What is normal?

Each time I hear about people dying on the news I feel nothing. Worse, when people close to me have died and I don’t know how to react. How can I? We are in this weird, desensitized world where no one generally thinks past how far they can tolerate discomfort.

I’ve also seen some amazing things. I’ve traveled, I’ve met beautiful people I care and love. I’ve seen one of the better sides of humanity, the value of family, good friendships, and priceless moments. I’ve sat on a beach in Hawaii, staring at the sunset, realizing how big the world is. I’ve heard my father tell me he loves me, looked a hurricane directly in the eye and dodged a few near death incidents. I’ve had broken bones, and a broken heart. Christ, I still have a broken heart. I’ve lived eh?

Even though i’m sitting in my room, alone and in my underwear typing this, I have to be thankful.

Yesterday I was walking home. I was feeling like a huge cloud was over my head. This happens to everyone in a major city if you don’t have that many people to interact with. Its almost like everyone is a mannequin, and you are walking by everyone in slow motion. You don’t hear any voices because you have your headphones on, drowning out the world. You don’t see any smiles, or looking into anyone’s eyes. You walk straigth ahead, like society’s runway model, unaware of anything in the periphery, all you see is that walkway that leads to the photographers.

I was feeling like this. I had just returned from walking around aimlessly for a few hours. About fifty feet in front of me, I saw a man struggling to push his wheelchair up a small ramp that lead to the sidewalk. A passerby helped him and when the man regained control of his chair, I walked past. This man–I have no idea what ailment he had–could only push the wheelchair forwards a few inches at a time. His head rested awkwardly on his chest, and he was twitching. Even so, his eyes seeemed much brighter than mine. I, the person in full control of my faculties had darker eyes.

Immediately I felt ashamed of myself. I felt the need to cry surge within me as I wondered about what I was truly thankful for. What is wrong with you? I said to myself. Even if there isn’t much going on right now, you can walk, you can talk, if you get lucky, you can get laid. You aren’t living life four inches at a time.

This emotional charge has probably lead me in a spiral of thinking about the past. I’ve been in a few car accidents, and I’ve suffered some major injuries in my lifetime. These leave me in a fluctuating state of pain, which I find annoying, but i’m not crippled. Even though I tend to limp every now and then, I can still run if I need to, and walk a few miles every other day or so.

Whoever reads this, I might dismiss this as meaningless in a day or so. Regardless of that fact, it is all i can think about right now. The time your inner voice in the loudest, is when you have nothing to say, and no one to say anything to you. Add a Spring Break time period to that, and you have a regular existential birth about to happen.

Who knows what life means. So what if I was in Barcelona last year, and this year i’ll probably be sitting in some Cafe in DC somewhere. I’m not unhappy to be alive. I don’t really have that much to complain about. I’ve realized as I get older that a few things happen:

(a) you see the bad side of people you love, and you can choose to hate them, or get over it.
(b) you will experience the death of someone close to you, sooner or later. No one escapes.
(c) you will fail a few times at things you believe you could NEVER lose at. Life teaches all.
(d) you will have at least one or two major regrets. Things you can never change. Ever.
(e) you will have the choice to call someone to say hello, or tell them you love them, but you won’t.
(f) you will either decide to focus on your career as the focus of your life, or take your own steps towards what your life will be. Either way, its fueled by the notion of death at the end of the road.
(g) you will have lots of fun if you so choose.
(h) you will realize your own meaning of life and death, sooner or later.
(i) you will be challenged to change a bad habit you have, or you will lose people very precious to you if you don’t.
(j) you will realize the words of your peers when you were a child make perfect sense.
(k) you will fear having children of your own someday.
(l) you will have a moment where you can completely change your life, or stay where you are, knowing it will keep you trapped for years to come.
(m) next year, you’ll realize these things all over again. :p

Okay that’s not some comprehensive list, but its MY list… and you are reading MY blog…so there! :p

Anyways, lately I’ve been like “screw it”. I’ll tell my thoughts within reason. I’ve been hesitant at times to write because I think certain people might read my blog, but hey, I’m not that important. I get comments from random people in different countries. The people closest to me refuse to read my blog, so I’m safe. I’m still trying to get my sister to read one of my 76 posts.

So ladies and gents, so ends the rant. Maybe there wasn’t much point to this. Tomorrow i’ll go back to my usual witty re-telling of whatever I do on my birthday. Hopefully it will involve women, drugs and alcohol.

Peace

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