It’s Not Where You Start: Angry Inch

Originally published on It’s Not Where You Start.

Did I ever tell you about the zine my friend Jennifer and I published in high school?

Don’t get too excited. We only produced two issues. We were freshmen and saw ourselves as outsiders, so it felt like producing a zine was the right thing to do. Plus, my parents owned a xerox machine (to facilitate my dad’s small tax-accounting practice) so it was super easy.

The only issue was that neither of us had ever actually seen a zine. We had read about them in Newsweek and had a general idea of what they were (edgy, xeroxed… um… creative?). So we recruited a bunch of our friends to write, pseudonymously, fired up Print Shop, and had a go.

We named our zine “Monty’s Monthly Cycle.” We came up with a really contrived framing story about a transsexual person whose sex change operation got botched, resulting in a monthly bleeding… to cope with which, he produced a zine. Or something like that. I don’t have a copy handy.

Imagine my surprise when, a half-dozen years later, I saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch!

Anyway, our plan to create the zine had a few flaws. One, we didn’t know how to distribute it, especially if we wanted to stay anonymous. We left a few copies around school and stuck inside our favorite books in the public library. Of course, this was before any of us had internet email accounts, so we didn’t really have a way to get feedback from readers, assuming anyone read it. And besides our friends who were already contributing… was there anyone who wanted to read our stuff?

So it wasn’t really a surprise to any of us that we lost interest after the second issue. Instead, I went on to take over the real school newspaper, and eventually find my way onto the internet.

But the zine established a pattern in my life that still persists. I get interested in something that’s kind of cool or edgy. But I’m not really cool or edgy enough to do it right. But I can kind of act the part. But when I get inside of whatever it is, I realize that it’s not necessarily all that cool in and of itself anyway. So then I figure out how to do the thing I actually want to be doing instead of the cool, edgy version.

And this, my friends, is how I came to be the editor of JewishBoston.com. :)

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It’s Not Where You Start: Sail Away

Originally published on It’s Not Where You Start.

As I assessed my luggage and determined that I had, in fact, packed everything I’d need for four nights in Vegas (and then some), I looked at Benjamin and said, “I feel like the heroine of some cheesey romantic comedy.”

Here I was, the first day of Operation: Move On, slinging my adorable leather carry-on over my shoulder and heading off for relaxation, escape, and adventure. How very Julia Roberts of me.

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It’s Not Where You Start: I’ve Been to a Marvelous Party

Originally posted on It’s Not Where You Start.

(Apparently it’s Noel Coward week on this blog. It’s taken all my effort to avoid the obligatory “Why Do the Wrong People Travel” post, if only because that’s too easy.)

It turns out that an extended weekend in Vegas may have been exactly what I needed, and I am grateful to my brother for making it happen.

I had reason to be nervous, as I mentioned earlier in the week. My brother and I have a mostly positive relationship these days, but that wasn’t always the case. When we have fought in the last few years, it’s generally been when our parents are around. On the other hand, we tend to do best when we visit on his turf. There’s no question that this weekend, while physically at Planet Hollywood, was spiritually all his turf. It didn’t hurt that I spent time with my parents, and time with my brother, but little time with all four of us together.

About sixty guests descended on Vegas for the affair — aunts, uncles cousins; my brother’s friends from high school and college; colleagues past and present from across the entertainment industry; and more than a few of his clients, a mix of actors you’d recognize as “oh, that guy” and some younger talent who, if you have kids of Nickelodian age, you’d be clamoring to get your picture taken with.
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It’s Not Where You Start: Singing in the Bathtub

Originally published on It’s Not Where You Start.

I love to bathe.

Please don’t misunderstand. I am not obsessively-compulsively concerned with hygiene. Not do I get some sort of perverse thrill from the shower or bathtub. But I love the experience of being surrounded by fresh water combined with the pampering bath products can provide.
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It’s Not Where You Start: Cornet Man

Originally published on It’s Not Where You Start.

Outside of the relationship that I am currently trying to get over repair sort out understand, I haven’t really had serious relationships. That is, I’ve never dated anyone long enough for the relationships to coalesce into anything resembling depth. But looking back, I have several people with whom I had long-term, ongoing… arrangements… and I have grouped them in my mind as my retroactive exes.

My retroactive exes are a group of five or so guys from various parts of my life that I didn’t “date” for a variety of reasons — we were too young and in the closet, or I was too hung up on one thing or another, or… well, you get the idea. But each was someone I cared about and who helped create the person I’ve become. So I consider them retroactive exes, which means I get all the benefits of having exes — great memories, a history to reflect on — with none of the downside — namely, we never really had to break up.

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It’s Not Where You Start: Being Alive

Originally posted on It’s Not Where You Start.

Tonight I met with my ex for our first post-breakup conversation. You’ll note I’m actually calling him my ex now. This is what we call progress. At the very least, I think after tonight I won’t need to process that relationship in the pages of this blog, at least for the near future.

But in an attempt to put some closure on this, I want to reflect on how I’ve grown in the eight months we were together (and the nearly one month we’ve been apart). This was my first “real” relationship, the first one that had length and depth and mutual acknowledgement of its status as a relationship while it was ongoing.

And breaking up is hard. It’s particularly hard when, from my perspective, things were going great, although after our talk tonight I can begin to understand the way he feels means that breaking up is the right thing to do. I don’t think I’m very good at breaking up (although I don’t think I’m doing a terrible job at it, all things considered). However, this year I learned that I am surprisingly good at being in a relationship.

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It’s Not Where You Start: Sunday

Originally published on It’s Not Where You Start.

This morning, I had brunch.

For many of you out there in internetland, this is not a bold statement. It’s Sunday morning, and if you’re not the church-going type, you probably had brunch as well.

Wait a sec… do people who attend church forego brunch? Or is brunch what happens after church? My goodness, if I had to give up brunch for Jesus, I could never be Christian!

Except, I had given up brunch for my religion. For the last eight years, I’ve steadily taught religious school on Sunday mornings (first at a synagogue, and later at our community Hebrew High School). This made brunch something akin to barbequeing and windsurfing, i.e., a summertime activity.

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