The Boyfriend of the Week

August 18, 2006

Above: Two people who have never been in my kitchen.

Ever feel like your life is just one giant looping video of a clown car comedy routine? That every time you try to take a step forward, you are promptly stopped in your tracks by a little red jalopy that screeches up in front of you and then spills an amazing cavalcade of oddities out its passenger side door and into your path? This is how I've been feeling lately. I'm not entirely sure where I'm taking this analogy, except to say that in the last fourteen days, an amazing array of clownish problems have tumbled out in front of me every time I've tried to get the latest Boyfriend write-up posted on the site, and, as a result, this write-up is both a write-up and NOT a write-up, all at the same time. It is a write-up-non-write-up about two guys who have nothing in common whatsoever, except for the fact they have both been invading my brain lately (but not my kitchen), and yet I'm not at all interested in doing anything about that in terms of this site this week. Except, of course, that I am.

Bear with me -- this will all make sense by the end, I swear. Or else it won't. I guess it'll all depend on how long you've been a reader of this site, and how well you understand me when I'm making no sense whatsoever.

But now, the clowns.

First clown: let's call him Crashy the Domain Clown. Some of you may have seen the occasional notices on my site in the last two weeks about my domain email being down. . . AGAIN. This was because of an ongoing conflict between Comcast (my email/web host) and Dotster (my domain host) that, as near as I can tell, has been going a little something like this:

Comcast: You stink, so we're blocking all your servers for “abuse.”

Dotster: Cut it out! Mooooooommmmmmm!

Comcast: I KNEW you were going to tell Mom on me. You're so immature!

Dotster: I know you are, but what am I?

Comcast: Shut up!

Dotster: I don't shut up, I grow up, and when I look at you, I throw up!

Comcast: Moooooooommmmm! Dotster's in my room again!

Wait, wait -- that's either a transcript of the conflict between Comcast and Dotster, or a transcript of an actual fight I had with my twin sister when we were five. Oh hell, SAME DIFFERENCE.

In any case, my plan to leave Dotster in a huff -- a move that would've likely resulted in my site being down for a bit while I transitioned -- was ultimately foiled when I finally got one of their support representatives on the phone and he turned out to be an extremely charming geek the likes of which I have not encountered since I first discovered Marshall on Alias. I was helpless to resist his mesmerizing Nerdspeak, and by the end of the conversation, had transitioned from my original plan to say things like this: “This is YOUR responsibility! I'm paying YOU to manage this stuff for me! FIX THIS OR I'M OUT OF HERE,” into saying things like this: “Gosh, I can't believe Comcast can do that to you guys. Surely there's some legal steps you can take? Those corporate bastards! Hey [bats virtual eyelashes], you don't happen to live around Seattle do you. . .?”

Yeah, I know. I'm impossible.

So, anyway, there was a Boyfriend posting delay due to the fact I thought I might be switcheroo-ing a few things and that the site might go down for a day or two. Why bother putting something up if I'm just going to have to move it around again in twenty-four hours, I thought to myself? Might as well set it aside for a few more days and see how this thing pans out.

But just as all the domain stuff was in the process of geeky resolution, the second clown came tumbling out of the car going all “Whoopdie yahoo nyuk nyuk nyuk!”

Well, actually, it sounded a bit more like this: swish thwap bang CRAP! We'll call this one Tumbly the Clown.

Short version of the story: I dropped my Zen Micro MP3 player -- a prized possession -- and broke it.

Long version of the story: And not even really just “dropped” it, but actually yanked it violently out of its case (accidentally, natch'), bringing it thwapping hard-core right onto the edge of the piano bench, all the while yelling, “Noooooooooo!” in slo-mo as it then bounced off the bench, swooped right at a sixty-degree angle, and then abruptly stopped, flipped over, and nose-dived straight down at ninety knots onto the hardwood floors below. Psssssssshhhhheeeeeeeeeewwwwwwww thump.

You know in Wile E. Coyote cartoons when the bridge collapses underneath him and he hovers there for a sec, then looks down, lifts a sign that says "Oops!" and falls to his umpteeth death? Yeah: obey gravity -- it's the LAW. Well, this is precisely what happened to my MP3 player, except for the part about the "OOPS!" sign. However, had "OOPS!" signage actually appeared, followed by my MP3 player exploding into dust, like a Buffy the Vampire Slayer vamp after it's been staked, I would not have been surprised AT ALL.

What surprised me is that after all that drama, the thing just sat there on the floor looking pretty. . . well. . . pretty fine. This sounds good, but as it turns out, it wasn't good at all. You know why? That racing feeling of victory -- that "Holy crap, did I just send my MP3 player into a double-back-flip off a piano bench corner only to have it emerge victoriously intact from the depths of my living room floor? My god, is today actually my lucky day? Is it possible? Here, here, quick, turn it on, turn it on, surely it's okay, it LOOKS okay."

Followed by that crushing blow, made all the more crushing by the fact there was that little ray of hope it had to smoosh like an ant in the sugar bowl first. Said crushing blow came in the form of a very, VERY bad noise emerging from the back of the player when I attempted to boot it up. It's that grinding noise you hear when the hard drive in your desktop computer has committed seppuku, only, of course, coming from an MP3 player, this sound is on a somewhat more mouse-sized scale. Nevertheless, there was no mistaking that sound. There would be no bouncing back from this bounce. I knew it was all over. I HAD KILLED MY FAVORITE ELECTRONIC GADGET IN THE WORLD.

God, where in the hell was I going with this story? Oh, oh, oh, wait. I was going here: Andrew McCarthy.

Because, of course, there could be no delay in replacing that dead MP3 player, and if I'm gonna do it, I might as well do it RIGHT. Which is how I ended up with a 30GB iPod weekend before last. Note: that means my MP3 player now has a bigger hard drive than my laptop by FIVE GIGS. I think Apple does this on purpose, to encourage us not only to upgrade our MP3 players, but to follow those upgrades with upgrades to our laptops, because, really, it's pointless to have an MP3 player that is bigger than your computer, because that's five gigs worth of, yes, JOHN HUGHES MOVIES, that I will not be able to load onto my iPod and keep at an arm's distance at all times.

Yes, it's true, the first thing I put on my iPod, after loading it back up with every album the Pixies ever recorded, of course, was the prom scene from Pretty in Pink, which I have now watched roughly 16,000 times in fourteen days. And every time I watch it, I think the same thing: Why in the heck were we all madly in love with Andrew McCarthy when this movie came out? He has the wussiest hair of all time! And James Spader -- hello! Right there looking awesome, as per usual!

Nevertheless, regardless of the non-logic of it all, when Blaine (a major appliance, not a name!) tells Andie that he loves her, “always,” and then Ducky throws himself on his sword, I can't help it -- I want to chase Andrew McCarthy out to the wet parking lot and smooch him too. And this, my friends, was the next thing that officially distracted me from finishing up the Boyfriend write-up for this week.

We'll call this one Eighties the Clown.

For about a week, I was a woman possessed by overwhelming feelings of passion for 80's actors with wussy hair and stupid clothes. I could not get enough of Andrew McCarthy. Which is not to say I went TOTALLY insane -- I did not, for example, run right out and rent either Weekend at Bernie's or Mannequin. However, I did use iTunes (woo!) to download the Monk episode from last season featuring Andrew all grown up, and I just generally sat around for a few days alternating between the prom scene in P in P, and the other scene I love -- the one in which Andie confronts Blaine in the school hallway and hits him a bunch in the shoulder yelling "You're ashamed to be seen with me," as James Spader hangs back smirking in the stairwell. I love that scene. Angst rules.

Anyway, I had just started to reign my McCarthyism back in line and buckle down on the other Boyfriend write-up when I made yet another horrendous mistake. A mistake that represents clown four: Stupid-Delete-Key the Clown.

You see, after loading up my puny laptop with iTunes, quite possibly the most ridiculously gigantic program of all time, especially when you start putting John Hughes movies into its library, my computer started to get kind of sluggish. It took, I kid you not, EIGHTY-FIVE WHOLE SECONDS to boot up, which in 2006 technology-time is roughly equivalent to. . .times four, carry the one. . . yeah, 37.2 years. So, what did I do? I started deleting stuff I didn't need to have on there. Old programs, old files, and, unfortunately, one new file that I thought I'd backed up on my web server and hadn't. Yep, you guessed it -- the file containing the text for the Boyfriend write-up I had in the works.

Starting from scratch was just too daunting a prospect, especially when clown five showed up at the door. I'll dub this one Bleachy the Clown. You see, for a couple of years now, I've been patiently waiting for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season five DVDs to drop below $25 on and as soon as I saw that they had, I had to order them and then watch them all. In three days. Those of you who are familiar with the series may be able to guess quickly why that was the first season I wanted to own, especially when I tell you the second season I wanted to own was season six.

Figured it out yet?

Okay, I'll spell it out for you: S-P-I-K-E K-I-S-S-I-N-G S-C-E-N-E-S.

Spike, he of the bleached vampire hair (hence Bleachy the Clown, ya follow? Yeah, I know, that one's not very good). Spike of the rippling abs, chiseled cheek bones, cool leather coat, arrogant demeanor, bad-ass badness. Spike of the, um, did I mention the rippling abs? I did? Well, let's mention them again just to be on the safe side. RIPPLING ABS.

Now, don't get me wrong -- I don't just love these two seasons because of Spike. I mean, in addition to the fact that Spike first crushes hard on Buffy in season five and then makes out with her a bunch in season six, there are also other things to love about these two years in the Buffyverse. Season five also features Glory, the god villain, who I enjoy so much it almost makes up for the fact you later have to sit through several episodes in which Tara is a drooling idiot. And season six, well, what can I say? Once More With Feeling, the musical episode, makes me both laugh ("Bunnies, bunnies, it must be bunnies!") and cry ("The hardest thing in this world is to live in it"). And as if that weren't reason enough, the villains in season six are a trio of nerds -- my god, I LOVE nerds! Even when they are Buffy's arch-nemesis-es. Perhaps even especially then. You remember that scene where Spike makes them do his bidding by threatening to pull the head off their Boba Fett figurine? That is just pure comedy gold, my friends. Pure. Comedy. Gold.

In any case, by the time I'd finished season five (and loaded a few episodes onto my iPod, of course), season six had arrived. And by the time those two kids finally smooched for real, I was completely reinfatuated with James Marsters. Bloody hell! I mean, for pity's sake, he's already BEEN a Boyfriend of the Week! I'm supposed to love 'em and leave 'em, not keep these little fires idling in the background waiting for a gas leak to reignite them and explode them into a massive apocalyptic crush redux! For the last week, the only thing I've been dreaming about, aside from that one night when I had that weird dream about a gorilla chasing me through my old high school, is me macking with Spike. That's just so wrong in soooo many ways.

It is also, as it turns out, not terribly conducive to the production of the planned Boyfriend write-up for this week.

See? We've come full circle. Because, you know what? I'm giving up. This week anyway. There's clearly no point in trying to force a write-up out on someone who was once invading my dreams and now is not (and that goes for both the originally planned Mystery Boyfriend and Eighties the Clown). And I also don't really want to refeature James Marsters, as that's probably not terribly interesting for you guys.

Though I will say that this time (oh, here I go anyway), I'm noticing a lot more about Marster's actual acting abilities than just his phenomenal bone structure (um, and abs -- have I mentioned the abs? Because I don't want to forget to point out THE ABS), and am extremely impressed. Man, he is the master of emotional facial expressions, that's for sure. I mean, that one scene when he's about to shoot Buffy with the rifle and she looks up and she's crying, and you see his face go from fury to sympathy in a split moment's time -- that's damn good acting, people! And it's not the only example of that I could cite. Of course, the examples of his great bones and sexy abs might be a lot more fun to cite, particularly when we start seeing so much more of them in season six. However, as this web site is supposed to be PG-13, we'd better save those conversations for after the kids have gone to bed.

So, to sum up, this week my write-up is simply intended to serve as an excuse for why there is no write-up. Go me! And also to say this again on the record, once more, with feeling: I'd smooch that Spike any ol' day of the week, even though he is a neutered vampire who cheats at kitten poker.

And also, while I'm at it, even though Blaine was a total mook in Pretty in Pink, I probably would've smooched him too. Though I never would've been caught dead in Andie's horrendously ugly prom dress. My prom dress was ugly by today's standards too, I realize, but I remember seeing that movie when it came out, and I swear everybody in the theater reeled back with an "Arraggh!!" when she first walked out in that abomination. The neck band! And those sleeve thingies! Who's brilliant design was that? Santino's?

The good news is I should be finishing up with Buffy season six over the weekend, and have no current plans to acquire copies of season seven, which stunk to high heaven save for a couple of scenes (I confess I was particularly moved by the "Can we rest now, Buffy?" scene when Spike drapes himself over a cross and lights himself on fire, but that's because, again, I like angst. And also, flames. And, by the way, the first person who emails to say I'm a dork for crying so much over a show about VAMPIRES and WITCHES and KITTEN POKER gets my virtual boot in their shins. I'm just sayin').

So, hang in there, my peoples. The next write-up ought to be coming close on this one's heels and is about somebody who is both new to the mainstream entertainment world and also extremely funny. I'm sure after I let go of this stupid Spike thing I will be able to attack my crush on New Guy with renewed gusto. Or at least some angst. Or both. Gusto-y angst. Gangst.

In other words, barring unforeseen MP3 player accidents and clown cars, we should be back on track soon.

Boyfriend-Related Links

James Marster's Official Site
Andrew McCarthy's IMDb page
Wikipedia entry about Spike
The John Hughes Files

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