The Secret and Relatable Lives of Dorks.

3 10 2013

la-et-still-from-the-secret-lives-of-dorks-20130926A film that references Jason Todd being voted to death (Batman #427-428) by readers, Superboy-Prime “punching” people back to life, and the arguably d-list Marvel Comics character, Night Nurse?

Yes, my fellow dorks, such a majestic thing exists!

This past weekend, Buffalo’s Amherst Theatre held a one-night-only screening of The Secret Lives of Dorks, a high school social outcast comedy penned by Western New York native, Nicholas Brandt.

While some of the “dork”-related references may leap (tall buildings in a single bound… sorry, I had to) over the heads of general audience members, the common plight amongst several of the characters shouldn’t. Those awkward first moments during courtship and the nightmarish scenarios that you fear would play out during a first date are something that all of us can relate to, both teenagers and adults alike.

Granted, most of us haven’t been completely mortified by farting and accidentally feeling up a date in front of his/her parents, but to say that you didn’t fear some equally debasing moment would take place would be a blatant lie. While the bulk of dating misshaps befall the teenage Payton (Gaelan Connell) and Samantha (Vanessa Marano a.k.a. Valerie Cherish’s step-daughter, Francesca), the adults are well-represented by Ms. Stewart (Jennifer Tilly) who relies on relationship advice from Mike Ditka’s self-help videos in order to woo Payton’s father and football aficionado, Bronko (Jim Belushi).

The Secret Lives of Dorks is smart, well-written, lighthearted, and witty. That, coupled with the relatability factor, make the film an overall fun and enjoyable experience. The movie poster states that “dorks are in right now.” It’s true… we are. We’re everywhere… and, in a way, everyone.

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The Wild Cherry to my Coca-Cola.

19 11 2012

Slurpees after the Amanda Palmer show. It has kind of become our “thing” ever since the end of summer when we lended a helping hand during the closing of Diskovery.

Mine was Coca-Cola. Always Coca-Cola ever since my best friend and I used to ride our bikes to the neighborhood 7-Eleven during the summer of 7th grade.

Shaun: Do you think it would taste gross if I threw in some Wild Cherry to the Coca-Cola?

Will: Why would it? It’s Cherry Coke.

Shaun: True. Even if the proportions are off, I can’t see it being all that bad.

(Later in the car)

Shaun: You’re right. This is really good.

Will: I think your life was like that Coca-Cola Slurpee before you met me. Good but kind of mellow and safe. I’m the Wild Cherry that’s been added to your Coca-Cola.

Shaun: You’re my cherry stem.

Will: You can tie me in a knot with your tongue.

Shaun: I have no problem being your Audrey Horne. “I’m Audrey Horne and I get what I want!”





A History Told in Pops and Crackles.

16 04 2012
Adrienne Frost

Adrienne Frost

psy*com*e*try noun: divination of facts concerning an object or its owner through contact with or proximity to the object.

Adrienne Frost: deceased mutant villainess and older sibling to the X-Men’s Emma Frost. Psychometric.

A favorite pastime for most kids (at least for this kid) is imagining what kind of superpowers you would choose to have should you have the opportunity to live out your favorite comic book storylines. Of course, the obvious abilities come to mind… flight, invulnerability, super-strength. Telepathy and other mind-based powers were usually thrown by the wayside. Why pretend you can probe someone’s mind when you can run around with your friends and make believe you’re soaring through the clouds or landing earth-shattering punches at the bad guys?

As someone who always preferred spending more time in the library than the gymnasium when I was young (okay, and still to this day), I’ve always been drawn to the characters whose powers required brains over brawn.

Recently, Will gave me an original pressing of the Breakfast at Tiffany’s soundtrack. He has a wonderful knack for giving the perfect gift (it’s one of the many things that I love about him and it’s also a skill that I hope to one day master). The outer sleeve was worn around the edges and had a piece of blue tape holding part of it together. The inner sleeve was yellowed with age and had that distinct basementy smell that typically accompanies vintage records.

One of the great things about receiving a gift like this is that not only are you receiving the gift but also the history that comes along with it.

Adrienne Frost had the mutant ability of psychometry. She could touch an object and immediately know the object’s history, its previous owners, events that occurred around the object, and the possible future of the object. This would be one of those “brains over brawn” powers that I mentioned being intrigued by.

What mental snapshots would Adrienne see when holding this well-loved record?

Every pop and crackle that the record makes under the needle on the turntable is another piece of its history. Another story to tell.

A middle-aged college professor in the 1960s (think Colin Firth in A Single Man) sitting in his library, swirling brandy in a glass, cardigan sleeves rolled up with Sylvia Plath in hand and Henry Mancini’s Moon River swelling up from the turntable while rain pats down on the window from outside. When it’s not the college professor, it’s a teenage girl, probably named Betty Jean (or something of the sort), laying on her bed, gossiping into her princess phone with her best friend about going steady with the captain of the football team… the record sitting amongst a pile of LPs on the plush bedroom carpet of her family’s suburban home.

It’s been bought and sold, traded and swapped numerous times. It has seen the inside of more than one flea market and been pawed at by bargain hunters at garage sales. Now we have the opportunity to add our own history with another layer of pops and crackles.