Taking Comfort in a Comforter

Friday, July 20, 2012 | 3 Comment(s)

Back in college i had the coolest friggin bedspread of all time.  It was this retro style 70's comforter that featured the entire range of safari and zoo animals.  It was multi-colored, but faded in that way that gave it the look and feel of a shag rug.  Actually, i don't think it was a retro comforter, i think it was more a comforter made in the 70's.  If a Brooklyn hipster were to see this comforter in a thrift store, I believe they would have the same insane impulse that kids on the street felt for Air Jordan's back in the 80's.  aka.  they'd cut you for it (hipsters would probably only cut you in line, of course, since they are by-and-large humungous pussies).

This comforter has been in our family for years.  I think it was probably one of my parent's comforters as a kid.  I'm almost positive that my brother had it on his childhood bed at some point.  It was that awesome.  I mean, who doesn't want to sleep in a multi-colored menagerie of animal love?  the answer to that question, of course, is "most female humans."

Thankfully, i went to Wesleyan University, back when it was full of hippies instead of hipsters.  (the fact that i just wrote a sentence that includes me in college and the words "back when", does make me want to stab myself in the leg, chest, and neck; but i digress.)  I mention this about the hippies (ahem, us hippies), because in a most preppy or rigid college environments -- lets say UVA or BYU -- i firmly believe having this bedspread would have saved me the walk to health services to get condoms.  This comforter was bright, loud, and animal-filled enough that any girl who wakes up thinking about what her "outfit" is going to be that day would never take said outfit off in the general proximity of my bed.   

But hippie girls are special.  And i mean that.  The wonderful women i encountered in college saw the comfort, company, and craziness of those magical two-dimensional animals and hopped right in to join in the Seuss-like adventure (aka. making out and dry humping.)  Thank goodness.  I really didn't want to graduate college a virgin. 

Here's the thing.  The day I did graduate college, I drove myself (and said comforter) directly to my awaiting apartment in Downtown Brooklyn (not Park Slope, not Williamsburg, more Fulton Mall -- we lived above a T-mobile kiosk/store).  And, as i adjusted to my new digs (um. NYC, June, 2001 -- yes, more readjusting was soon to follow), I threw my furry friends back on my bed, and readied myself for the flow of sophisticated and modern New York women that I was sure were heading to our apartment as I was still trying to find the perfect for the Pikachu pillow my best friend had given me (even i knew it had to go under the bed).  

There were a few problems with my plan.  One, I mostly met Harvard girls my first few months in the city (2 of my roommates had gone there).  Once you've spent 5 or 6 years with the pot-smoking, adventure hiking, crude joke making, perfect women of Wesleyan, adjusting to the Harvard social scene is a bit of a stretch.  They weren't bitches, mind you (well, not all of them), they were largely unbelievably well mannered.  My humor, however, just didn't play.   I would tell a poop joke, and they would still be waiting for the punch-line through the deafening silence.  Awkward.

The second problem is that after about 6 months in the city (got a bartendering job, WTC buildings fell, lost said job, took a road trip, got a new job at a substance abuse center doing psyc research), I finally was there to see a woman's reaction to my amazing comforter.  

The look was a combination of laughter and terror.  If i were to guess, I would say her mind said something along these lines:  "Holy shit is that his comforter . . . ahhh, look at all those animals . . . is this guy 14? . . . . wait . . . is this guy some kinda weird pedophile crazy person who is going to want me to play mommy/baby sex games or something . . . . is he gonna eat me? . . . he's a funny guy and all . . . but . . . i am NOT getting naked near that thing."

Funny thing.  When i turned from her expression of semi-horror, back to my bedspread, i saw it too.  Twenty-three is too old for a cartoon bedcovering (if you are planning to be sexually active . . . . ever). 

My first purchase with my first paycheck from my first "real job" (as i considered it back then) was made at a NYC Bed, Bath, & Beyond Megastore.  I got the most grown-upy thing i could actually see myself sleeping under (IT HAD TASSLES!!!).  Secretly, while i understood that this change needed to be made, I still thought (think) that the animal comforter was the crème de la crème of my sleepy-time snuggles.   At the time, I probably thought this concession is what it meant to be an adult. 

I'm happy to say that I slept under that comforter for the next decade or so.  The tassels eventually ripped off and were replaced by the open-socket joints of fabric calling out to there lost fringe.  The soft white underside became a more splotchy beige-colored minefield of grime that even dry-cleaning couldn't restore to neutral.  My wife made me get rid of it a few years ago after declaring it unfit for humans.  I did as she said.  And that, is closer to what it means to be an adult. 

One Mattitiyahu to rule them All

Sunday, July 15, 2012 | 0 Comment(s)

Now I'm sure there are people out there . . . good solid wholesome people . . .  who started a blog because they just need to write, and not because of some level of narcissism.  

Nope.  I change my mind.  If you need to write, you can write in your room, on your room, in a book, with a cook, in a nook . . . i think you get me.  To blog, means to open this writing up to "the outside world."  That means feedback.   it also means you love yourself a little.  im sorry.  it does.

i love myself more than a little.  admittedly.  i love you all more than a little too, so, that makes me slightly less annoying. 

All this is to say that googling myself this afternoon (first name only . . . . like Madonna), was not entirely, or even partially, out of character.  I discovered 2 incredible things that id like to share with you today.

#1. I am the most important, influential, popular, and best Mattitiyahu on the entire earth!

This is big big news.  If you google my first name, THIS BLOG pops up #1 (and #2!).  Not only that but the #4 entry is my twitter handle and #10 is something i wrote about my name on a tumblr feed (i honestly don't know if that last sentence makes sense as I still don't completely understand the scope and limitations of Tumblr).  Most of the other entries are about jewish shit.  I dominate the top 10.  dominate.  If google doesn't define one's importance and self worth, what does?

I am the one Mattitiyahu to rule them all.  Until, of course, I catch on with the "mainstream," and then they'll be a 'Mattitiyahu-boom' generation.  and, with such a fantastic name on their side, one of those Mattitiyahu's are bound to eventually pass me in the google ranks.  But that is generations from now.  This looks to be a long reign.

Editors Note: If this happens to be your first time reading the blog, don't fret.  I'm not this gigantic of an ass-hat all the time.  Just on special occasions such as today.  Read on, it gets better.  

#2: On Page 2 of googles search results for "mattitiyahu" you see a collection of words put together in a way you'd never imagine they ever would be:

Mattitiyahu Zimbler | Woman and Ladies Corner
So, yah.  I was pretty intrigued myself, as you can imagine.  Nobody puts mattitiyahu in the ladies corner!  Or, more realistically, i was wondering which piece of my research this website was drawing from. The article seems like its written by a high functioning google translate robot.  This would be semi-acceptable if there lack of literacy didn't turn my "quotes" into the ramblings of an insane meth addict.  to wit. 

According to research conducted by Mattitiyahu Zimbler, senior researcher from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, we tend to lie to a stranger, when introduced via e-mail or instant messaging, compared to now meet in person. “It’s bizarre that people can lie. But, surprisingly, turns out people tend to lie more time online,” said Zimbler.

Problems in this paragraph alone:
1.  i am not THE senior researcher at UMASS, i am A senior research.  though i have no idea what that means either.
2.  none of this is english.  if i try to add the words to make it english, the words only reflect a shadow of the findings.  (which in this case were, briefly, that when we are meeting a new person we tend to lie the most over email, then IM, then in person.)
3. I did not say any version of that quote.  I know this because it ISN'T bizarre that we lie.  We lie almost constantly.  It's not even always a bad thing.  And even if you think i'm wrong about this (which im not ;)), it is how I feel, and thus I wouldn't have said something else to the press.
4. I do not talk like a caricature of a dumb person in a movie about the wild west.  "People tend to lie more time online" "then somes of people like to make poopie poop by waterfall."  Don't misquote me and certainly don't dumb me down with your of effort and overall laziness in not proofreading (or more likely even copy and pasting).

Let's continue. Next paragraph/sentence:

And, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, the more a person is communicating with the same person, the more lies.  

No fucking shit Einstein.  Wow. you're saying the more opportunities we have to lie, the more we lie!  How come this breakthrough is only being reported in this online mag.?  Shouldn't this be on the new york times . . . . no.  its friggin obvious.  and this non-point has almost no connection to the study they are citing it coming from.  Yet, in this article, it's its own stand alone paragraph.  My final quote:

“The longer form of the message, the more is also a lie. Therefore, among the various media used to communicate online, e-mail is the best form of lie. Compared to speak directly when you meet, when writing e-mails you may feel more free to lie about your feelings, “said Zimbler again.

Best case scenario you all view the lines above as a sort of 'word jumble' that you have to unscramble to unlock the hidden meaning.

The article continues on and give colleague Dana Carney the same lack of editorial facial treatment.  I don't know Dr. Carney that well, but i do know that she is a woman.  I point this out only bbecause the article seems to think otherwise saying that “'Meanwhile, the farther we are with it, the easier we make decisions in a rational way and cool,' he added. "

Not good work lady ashot.  Not good work at all.

So website  I'm calling you out.  I would have written on your comments section, but they were "closed".  And your site doesn't even seem to have an about us or info page. Who are you lady a-shot?  And did i tease you when we were kids?

ps.  if ladyashot turns out to be some grass roots aid organization in some foreign country in desperate need that is exploring how to use the web et al., I automatically rescind and retract my criticism and apologize for being an ass twice in one post.

Even Cow-Dog's Get the Blues

Thursday, July 12, 2012 | 3 Comment(s)

*written yesterday with no internet*

Today i woke up and i read a magazine.  that's all i've done so far. i did read an entire magazine cover-to-cover mind you, which actually takes a few hours-- but still -- that's it. 

It takes this kind of exaggerated slow down of a day to prove to myself that i am on vacation.  I first have to test the relaxation waters by dipping my entire body into a hammock for 5 hours to see if anyone will ask me to do something or call so-and-so.  If no one does, I know it's safe to come out of my hyper-vigilant mind, and have a vacation.

I did, however, miss the dogs today.   You remember Grover and Falcor (pictured below).  While Falcor has grown to "almost Grover size," he remains a puppy on the inside.  It is alternating cutedorable and imgonnakillthatfucker.  But the week before we set off for our island adventure, Falcor started to really get into a cute-groove. 

See, we've had this chicken (pictured below) that has decided to live at our house.  More specifically, this chicken, whom our neighbors named Steve (ironically i hope), has decided to roost in the space between my wife's Subaru's front windsheild and the engine.  And i gotta hand it to Steve.  It's a pretty sweet place to set up camp.  Elevated, 360 view, and there IS kinda a notch in the car where she sat, as if it were designed for a chicken to sit.  

I did not mention any of these feelings to my wife.  She, understandably, was not as Rock-em-Sock-em Robots excited about Steve's chosen sleeping bag.  The problem was that Steve is obviously someone's chicken, because she's totally cool with humans.   As in, you can't shoo Steve off a car hood.  (Turns out you could pick her up and place her down elsewhere.  And she could get herself right back up on that car.)  One time, Grover decided to shoo Steve off the Subaru.   Turns out, when a 60 pound pitbull jumps up on a car hood next to a chicken -- that chicken hauls ass.  My wife was even LESS pleased by all of this, understandably once again.  The only reason Flacor hasn't lept up there yet (and let me tell you -- this pup can flat out sky!  Pictured below casing Steve from inside the house  -- he not only jumps up on that slick table-- but he sticks the landing [most of the time]). 

Anyhoo -- im getting side tracked.  All of this is to say that the past week has been a bunch of laughs and snuggles and fuzzy smiles.  And i miss them.  So i thought i'd write about them being shitheads to make myself feel better.  Enjoy. 

Grover is a cow dog.  hang an utter on that boy and he could get mistaken for a smiling calf (we plan to test this theory during  an upcoming Halloween).  he also is pretty chill like a cow.  loves to sleep, loves to eat, big brown eyes.  he's a real good dog.  But even real good dogs have bad days. 
im in my hiding place below the window and porch. Dad, you can't see me.
This particular bad day my wife and i decided to go to a celebratory meal at our favorite restaurant Chez Albert (really we call every visit a celebration, cause it feels that way).   We had wined (and old-fashioned) and dined each other and were literally laughing like those couples do in the movies when they open their front door (filmed from the inside) laughing and carrying on mid-sentence only to be interrupted by a robbery, a dead body, a gunman-- you get me.  Well, wifey and I swing open our door mid laugh to be interrupted by . . . . a cute, semi-ashamed looking puppy wagging his tail.  Oh hi grover  . . .hi hi cutey dog  . . .your such a . . . .

"BAD DOG!!!," comes shouting from the interior room.  It is the wife, and she is not pleased.   Grover has torn open the garbage, filled with moldy strawberries and bagels, and proceed to cut at or rip open everything that bag contained.  Then it got a little scarier.  A bottle of my anti-depressants laid chewed open on the floor.  Crap.  Crap crap crap.  I knew the bottle wa almost empty, but with 6 pills laying on the floor, i couldn't be sure exactly how many there were.  Thankfully, i do know that they taste like crap.  If you stuck one in your mouth, even for a second, i tastes like a combination of chalk and lemon zest sucking the moisture from you. 

But what the hell do i know from dogs and anti-depressants.  Apparently Grover was having a REALLY bad day.  I never thought it would come to this though.  I called the  24-hour vet clinic, and they directed me to the Animal version of the Poison Control Center.  You know, the place where you call if your 7 year old son consumed 40 some vitamin pills when you were on the phone (sorry mom).  We called the animal version.  The first thing you hear is that for any consultation it will cost you $45.  Period.  To offset the cost of them existing.  I was a bit stunned by this, but considering i was worried that something was going to explode my first pet from the inside a la Aliens, i stayed on the line.  I mean, they are pet people. Pet people are good people.

The first thing the women says as she comes on the line is that they will have to charge me the 45 dollars.  (this kinda pisses me off) I say ok.  She asks what the problem is.  I tell her my dog has ingested X amount-ish of drug X.  She says -- im serious.  She says, "Ok, i'm going to type this into my database to see if you should be taking your animal to the vet clinic or not, but before that can i please have the credit card number that you'll be using to pay the $45 fee. 

That is not being good people.  That's not even being a very good animal person.  Before I check to see if every minute is currently crucial to your animals survival, what was the 3 digit security code on the back of your card.  Fuck them.  That's total bullshit.  I realize now, after the panic of my impending dog's death receded, that i probably could have gotten comparable (but less expensive) advice from the internet.   Maybe that's what they are capitalizing on.  Or perhaps they are geniusly trying to replace your worry about your animals survival with fury towards them.  Mission complete. 

The same day our neighbor reported that Falcor at a roadkill chipmunk on their walk. 
frog dog
The next morning, i had this note waiting for me from the ball and chain. 
full monty = pee'd and poop'd

(if your eye's aren't good this is what the note says:  Both full Monty @10am.  Fed.  Some one threw up on the new bed @6:30am and I somehow pried a whole dead rabbit out of Falcor's mouth.  So that happened.  Going to gym <3 E)
So i miss those guys.   But only 98% of the time.
family nap (falcor is reading between wife and grover)