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I haven't been going out during the week much lately, a function of several things going on in my life, mostly that I just enjoy saving up my time, money and energy for the weekends. A few weeks ago was an exception, though, with South by Southwest in town and a few films showing at the festival that I really wanted to see.

One of them was Bob Odenkirk's movie, a really great and surprising film called Melvin Goes to Dinner.

I invited Adrian to come with me since he's an even bigger Mr. Show fan than I am and I knew he'd kick himself if he didn't get a chance to see Bob Odenkirk. He had some writing to do, but I talked him into going anyway. We agreed to meet at the theater; I had a SXSW badge to get in early, but he'd have to buy a ticket and wait in line. It's a big theater, so we weren't worried about him being able to attend. I just needed to get in there and save a seat.

That part worked out just fine. I ran into him at the Wendy's near the Paramount Theatre, got inside and got us two seats in the middle toward the back.

This is the opposite of the smelling experience I had.

The theater got packed quickly. I had people sitting all around me in a few minutes. I put my overstuffed SXSW canvas bag in the seat next to me. I waited. Just as Adrian showed up on the aisle to the right of me, a guy on the aisle to the left of me asked if the seats next to me were taken. There was the one with the bag in it and another one next to that.

My brain kind of seized as I tried to deal with both parties, but I waved to Adrian that the seat was waiting while with my other hand trying to let the stranger know that there was another seat next to that if he wanted it.

The stranger: Tall, sandy red-headed, wearing what looked like a mix between the fashion motifs of Scooby Doo's Shaggy and some sort of soccer team. His hair, in fact, was huge and fro-like, much like that American soccer player who was popular for about four minutes. He could have been Justin Guirani's rock-music-loving brother.

Soccer Justin starts inching his way down the aisle, squeezing between people's knees and the seats in front of them. The Paramount is a lovely theater, but the seating is a little compact. Adrian, for reasons I still don't know a few weeks later, sees me, waves and then turns around and heads right back up toward the rear of the theater. To get something to drink? To go to the bathroom? For some air? I have no idea, and have no time to consider it because I have to save this seat for Adrian and let Soccer Justin have the seat on the other side of it.

Soccer Justin deciphers my hand signals and staccato words: "Here, um, Adrian, over, went to the lobby, seat, my bag, he'll be back in a minute."

Justin just nods and sits down. And suddenly, the world goes ugly.

A funk. No, that's not right. A fucking FUNK hits my nose like a blue racquetball, assaulting me in a way that is simply not decent. The stench was overpowering and foul, unspeakable. And I knew where it was coming from.

Damn you, Soccer Justin. Damn you and your stinky soccer practice.

I'm there writhing in my seat, praying for Adrian to come back quickly, even as I'm aware that when he sits down he'll be twice as close to the smell and may not even agree to be the funk buffer. I turn my head around to a boisterous group of young people behind me, trying to signal with rapid movement of my eyebrows and blinks of my eyes that I am not the one producing this smell that they must obviously have smelled by now and are probably discussing every time their voices fall below what I can hear. How can I tell them that, for funk's sake, it's not ME! It's Soccer Justin!

Soccer Justin smells like a goddamned sewer. A sewer that's been covered within by nutria feces, mixed with rotted leaves, smeared with three-month-old Big Mac secret sauce. Good GOD it smells. You fucking smelly fucking person goddamn fucking B.O. KING! Fuck you, Soccer Justin! Go back to your smelly fifth circle of Odor Hell! Die! Maybe you'll smell better decomposed!

But, of course, I don't want to say it out loud because I am not a rude person.

So instead I suffer, and make furtive little noises signaling my B.O. innocence to those around me. Soccer Justin sits alone, perhaps wondering for the millionth time why nobody wanted to come to the movies with him. I would feel bad for him, but the neurons required to fire in my brain for sympathy have been beta-blocked by Massive Odor Overload adrenaline.

It is about this point that Adrian comes down the aisle again. He finds me in my row and starts making his way down, excusing himself, squeezing in, and finally sitting between me and Soccer Justin.

Adrian, his expression changing not at all, leans over to me and says quietly, "Damn, man, is the guy next to me ripe, or what?"



I'm gonna take a break from here in a few weeks (probably after my birthday just to give myself some sort of cut-off date) for reasons that I'm sure will pass. Partly it's that I'm gonna be in full-scale rehearsal mode for our new May LCP show.

But the bigger reason is that over the last few months I've gotten less and less enjoyment from doing these entries. Mostly, I've felt rushed and inadequate and flustered by something I used to enjoy spending many hours a week doing. That saddens me a bit, but I think it also means there's a lot of other stuff going on in my life right now (good stuff, I can assure you) that just seems a lot more important right now.

It's got nothing to do with the war or the economy or how boring the Oscars were Sunday night, although all of those things have cast a general pall over everything and things just don't seem that fun lately, you know? Is it just me or do quite a lot of things just seem like a drag these days? I think perhaps the country is suffering from a universal low-grade depression (higher grade if you live in a big city). Terribly Happy has brought me a lot of joy and laughs, but over the last month or two, it just doesn't feel fun for me at the moment. I could say the same thing about video games, breaking the speed limit, instant messaging and the entire concept of an online journaling community. I really admire the people who are still doing their thing out there, the ones who are still bright and witty, entertaining and funny, even in the face of the international shitstorm that's been kicked up.

I'm just not feeling it right now. But like I said, I'm sure those feelings will return.



I've discovered that I really like hummus. After eating it here and there, I bought my first actual tin of hummus.

It tastes... hummussy.

I'm sure this, like many other quickly-acquired penchants for new foods, will pass as well.


Big pimpin'

Still no new recaps. I'm at the point in my vacation where I'm actually starting to miss Smallville again.

A review I did of Dreamcatcher. I said before that I thought the novel was terrible, but that the movie had the potential to be quite good. I was tragically wrong about the second part.

Also did a short review of the 8 Mile DVD. It's not much, but hey, it helps pay the bills.

And this is good for a few (nervous) laughs.


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