Tuesday, November 25, 2003


Name: Arye Dworken
City of Residence: New York City, New York
Place of Birth: Portland, Maine
Occupation: Writer/Music Journalist
Favorite My So Called Lilfe Episode: "Other People's Mothers"
Religion: Jewish
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Green
Height: 5'8 (I swear)
Weight: 138 lbs.
Arm Wrestler: I am not.
Political Affiliation: Hold up. Who's going to take care of my parking tickets?

Obsession: Bidding on eBay for vintage t-shirts
Favorite Books: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, The Last Samarai by Helen DeWitt, Why Did I Ever by Mary Robison, Them by Jon Ronson, Naked Pictures of Famous People by Jon Stewart and some cliche classics that you and I have both never really read.

Favortite Movies: 12 Monkeys, Fight Club, Batman, Diner, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Amelie, ET, Kicking & Screaming, Reality Bites, The Adventures of Baron Munchausan, Unbreakable, the Royal Tennenbaums.

Favorite Van Halen Album: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Favorite Jackson: Tito
Drink of Choice: Water
Weakness: Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, kryptonite, Audrey Tautou.

What I Am Like: central air-conditioning. Cool and costly.
What I Ate For Breakfast: Fruity Pebbles and coffee. But techinically, I drank the coffee.
Worst Rush Song: Honestly, this is impossible to answer because there has never been a bad Rush song.
Favorite Music: U2, Radiohead, the Wrens, Clem Snide, Rush, Elton John, the Pixies, Pavement, Van Halen, Outkast, Spoon, Belle & Sebastian, Wilco, Sunny Day Real Estate, Sloan, Grandaddy, the Zombies, Death Cab for Cutie, Cheap Trick, ELO, Bee Gees, Billy Joel, Sigur Ros, Peter Gabriel, Pernice Brothers, Neil Finn, Crowded House, Extreme etc, etc.

Biggest Disappointment Ever: the other two Matrix movies
Pop Star I Would Most Likely Date: Mandy Moore, hold me.
What People Wonder: Why I wear a wristband.
I Am Not: Pregnant with your baby.
Last Time I Had Macaroni & Cheese: God, I can't even remember.
Favorite Karaoke Song: "The One" by Elton John.
Freckles Are Cute: Oh, indeed.
Swim: Why, as a matter of fact, I do.
Last Time I Got A Haircut: March.
Pop Star I Would Most Like To Be: Justin. Was there even a doubt?
Favorite Paranoia: I always think that rappers are saying "Jews" instead of "jewels."
The Car I Drive: 2001 Mercury Sable LS.

What I Want From You: curduroy jeans, bakes apple pies, dimples/freckles, Shannyn Sossamon, righteousness, a soft but frequent laugh, the ability to edit, a massive fan of music, can't comprehend the appeal of Tobey McGuire, refers to a movie as "a movie" not "a film" or "the cinema," likes George over Paul or John, thinks that bringing sincerity back is essential, a soft hint of a scent, ocean-like eyes, plays guitar, writes songs about me, Blockbuster nights, knowledge of menus by heart, won't say "dawg" or doesn't mind when referred to as "dude," Flint over Duke, encouraging, the "r" word, owns a nice sized apartment (this is negotiable), sneakers over heels, central air-conditioning, favorite holiday is Hanukah, hates kryptonite, buys something when it reminds her of me, knows how to make a convincing "that's so thoughtful of you" face, has no jail record, knows how to sew, has an Entertainment Weekly subscription, a cell phone that doesn't begin with the digits 347, a large heart (not the band. Not the organ. But the ability to display sincere emotion. But that being said, if she had the band and the organ...then that's ok too)

And there it is. Cut and paste, my young ones and find me this woman. Godspeed.

Monday, November 24, 2003


As a joke, my friends and I went onto a dating site and posted profiles for ourselves. It was a contest of sorts in a time of boredom. After posting, we would then wait and see who would get the most responses and of course, we would give one another updates as to how succesful our online crooning could lure unsuspecting sincere onlinedaters (shouldn't it be one word by now?).

Other than the above, I have never really visited dating sites or have taken the notion of cyber-romancing serisously. I have too many hang-ups to trust it. I am too pessimistic that it could ever work. And as often as you hear this, it truly is just not my thing.

But I need to take two things into consideration: the prospect of writing a profile is fun. I love thinking about my favorite movies, what I like to do, my turn-offs (wait...am I Playmate?) and most importantly, the small feat of summarizing what kind of person I am. Secondly, I cannot ignore the fact that I am still single. Can you believe it? I know, I know...yes, it is a good thing you're sitting....Why, you ask. Dunno. I'm probably too caught up in the fantastical Hollywood-like image of romance to accept the practical version of it in real life. But I digress; that's for another time....

So, below you will find my very own version of an online dating profile. Call it the Bring Back Sincerity Dating Service, membership: one. You can cut and paste it into an email and send it off to all the people on your email lists asking them, are you this person? Do you qualify for the BBS Seal Of Approval?

After I have sorted through the millions of responses, the results will be announced live on this website. Welcome to my very own Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie. Begin rolling.....


Friday, November 21, 2003


The Kaddish is a very unusual prayer.

Not because of the content. As far as the words are concerned, it's pretty typical; praising G-d's awesomeness and his power, etc, etc. But what makes it so strange is the fact that only mourners say it. A person immersed in grief is forced to recognize a greater presence besides himself and His greatness.
Moreover, the mourner says it three times a day.
And night.
Each with it's own respective prayer services. It's a massive responsibility. Being somewhere three times a day, every day is unfathomable for most. Including myself. But I had to do it. Obviously not of choice.

This week, I was just informed that the daunting responsibility in my father's honor is almost over. The eerieness of that upcoming and inevitable conclusion is, on the one hand, a relief, but on the other hand, surreal in its purest form.

As the year of my mourning concludes, I find myself forgetting what life was like with my father in it. As horrible as that may sound--expressing it makes me wince--he has become a memory to me. An image. Pictures in a photo album. A scent on a sweatshirt he once wore. The adjusted mirrors in a car he would drive me in. He existed, I know. I have so many wonderful and unbelievable memories of him but that being said, he is not here. And he has not been for almost 11 months.

Kaddish served as a daily reminder of how much I owed him for what he sacrificed for me. In the grand scheme of things, it seems pretty insignificant to be somewhere every day, three times a day for 11 months. Which is why, when I miss saying the Kaddish I feel completely horrible. Like a bad son. My father had not missed anything other than me when I was not around.

Now that my recitation of this prayer is drawing to an end, I grow increasingly nervous about our relationship. How will my mind work when I do not have the regular reminder? I see the Kaddish almost as a phone call to the afterlife. Granted, the conversation is always the same but it is a conversation nonetheless.

And what does it mean when people say that your life will get back to normal? What is this "normal" that they refer to? Ironically, it's that concept of "normal" that I am most hesitant in experiencing. While some may embrace the freedom of...freedom, going anywhere at any time without the time constraints of prayer scheduling, it makes me increasingly nervous. Honestly, I've never completely bought into the whole "absence makes the heart grow fonder"-philosophy. I've always questioned the accuracy of that line. It would seem more appropriate to me if that saying had stipulated that, yes, you will miss the person when they will inevitably return. You yearn for their comeback but what happens if that day never comes? Does the heart grow fonder or does the heart forget how that fondness felt in the first place?

I have not told my mother yet about the cessation of my Kaddish recital. I feel embarrassed about it as if I could never compete (not that it is any way a competition) with her level of mourning. Now that the Kaddish is almost complete, it is almost a symbolic of my moving on and healing. And is that fair when she has still so much to deal with besides the emptiness of a house once full of so much love?

Strangely enough, I had a dream the other night about my father. While my dreams are usually frantic, vibrant, and random, this one had a particular calmness about it. We were having coffee (my father, while alive, never really drank coffee). I can't remember certain specifics but I do remember my feeling of guilt for living a regular life while he was not in it. We spoke about the minutiae, small talk. We caught up. I told him I missed him so much.

I then asked him about the Kaddish and if it meant anything to him [This is not a coincidence. I once read in a college psychology book that the things you think about most usually reveal their prominence in your dream state]. He told me it did. It was the Kaddish, he told me, that he waited all day for. This was his opportunity to hear me as if I had picked up the phone to call him.

Now that I am awake, I wonder how we will continue to communicate after my Kaddish is over.

I have two more weeks to figure that out.

Sunday, November 16, 2003


MY SON and I were walking in the ominous halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We were there to observe paintings. And so we did.

Moments later, as we stared at a painting of a heavy Colonial-era woman sitting on a horse, we discovered an elderly couple standing before it and discussing something rather feverishly.

My son then turned to me, apparently quite disturbed by the seniors in debate, and innocently said "old people sure are loud."

- Mary Whinston, Vermont

AS A NATIVE New Yorker I find that nothing surprises me anymore.

But on that note, while I was walking down Broadway in Midtown Manhattan, a random man approached me in what seemed to be nothing but a raincoat. He said that he had been locked out of his house while doing the laundry (including the clothes he was wearing that day) and now had nothing to wear other than the raincoat he was dressed in. He was quite distressed as people kept mistaking him as a flasher.

"Oh my," I said. "How could I help you out of this horrible predicament?"

He then told me that all I would have to do is break the window of his apartment for him and then he would be able to retrieve some clothes. I was shocked that this man who was so down on his luck, in such a terrible scenario, needed so little of me.

And so I broke that window. With great pride, mind you.

Hours later I saw the police outside that apartment building with the man being escorted into a police car wearing the same raincoat but this time he had more on with his newly adorned handcuffs!!!

New York, what a city!

- Jim Sheppard, Queens, NY

Overheard on the bus going cross-town on 86th between two adorable middle school children:

"So what if I killed somebody? Like you're so innocent yourself."

- Janice Keller, NY, NY

I AM an illegal immigrant living in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and my living conditions are cramped and uncomfortable. I cannot afford the rent in larger apartments so on occasion I head uptown to the Upper East Side and pretend I own a massive five bedroom with a maid, butler and door man.

It is my ultimate fantasy to be an Upper East Sider and I always get great pleasure from this little daydream.

Then on one miraculous day, while I was staring up at a particularly beautiful building on Park Ave, a window opened and a man peered out. He was looking at me.

"I have seen you here quite often," he said to me.

"Yes," I said back. "I like to look up at the building and pretend I live in them. It is a fantasy of mine."

"Oh," the man said back. "I bet it sucks to be poor."

And you know what? He was right.

- Yuan Yoltezic, NY, NY

I WORSHIP Satan. Satan is our Lord.

- John Meadows, Florida

EVERY morning on my way to work, I would stop at our local bakery for a wonderful, scrumptious blueberry muffin. I would savor every second of my final taste of freedom before I entered the building in which I compromise my integrity every day.

On this particular morning, though, I stopped at my favorite bakery for my traditional muffin and found the bakery was closed for business. The sign had read "our store is closed because the a**hole Bloomberg has raised the rent in this whole entire city making businesses like ours impossible to survive."

And all I could remember was thinking just how horrible this was. I mean, where would I get my blueberry muffin on the way to work?

- Valerie Goldenberger, NY

OVERHEARD on the L Subway platform, two hipsters conversing while waiting for an on-coming train:

"Man, trains are, like, so tedious. Wouldn't it be cool if we could fly?"

"Yeah. Do my pants look vintage enough?"

-Jenny Tranger

Tuesday, November 11, 2003


TheAdwiz: dude
TheAdwiz: belle & sebastian sucked
TheAdwiz: hard
lincolnsnuts: whatever.
TheAdwiz: i just got home from them
TheAdwiz: and they bore me
TheAdwiz: and i was thinking about you
lincolnsnuts: that's nice
TheAdwiz: and all the critics who really liked the album
TheAdwiz: and it really frustrated me
TheAdwiz: bec i dont get it
lincolnsnuts: i will explain it to you, as i see it:
TheAdwiz: please do
TheAdwiz: cuz its killing me
lincolnsnuts: this was once told to me about my band, and in part, it is what i like about the new b&s:
lincolnsnuts: so many indie rock bands are all about what they *don't* do.
lincolnsnuts: they don't do reverb. or guitar solos. or love songs. or funny songs. et cetera.
lincolnsnuts: the reason why this album is a turning point
lincolnsnuts: is because, in a way, b&s started out as one of those bands.
lincolnsnuts: but over time, they have gotten increasingly loopy.
lincolnsnuts: and at this point, there is almost nothing they won't do.
lincolnsnuts: and not in that pretentious radiohead way, either.
TheAdwiz: i hear ya
lincolnsnuts: more in terms of just a raw love of music.
TheAdwiz: but you cant give them credit
TheAdwiz: for just doing something different
lincolnsnuts: no, of course not.
TheAdwiz: something different has to be good
lincolnsnuts: i think the songs on this record are great.
lincolnsnuts: "you don't send me"
TheAdwiz: and this album--yes, it is different---but its very spotty like a cheetah
lincolnsnuts: "step into my office, baby"
lincolnsnuts: the last one is amazing.
TheAdwiz: "you dont send me" truly disturbs me
TheAdwiz: like truly
lincolnsnuts: why?
TheAdwiz: whats the point of it
lincolnsnuts: is it giving you gay feelings?
TheAdwiz: to write a bee gees song?
lincolnsnuts: give in to those gay feelings.
lincolnsnuts: step off of your high horse.
TheAdwiz: it has nothing to do with it
TheAdwiz: honest
TheAdwiz: you know that
TheAdwiz: i will love many things that is unpopular
lincolnsnuts: "it's gay puerto rican parade day! you can finally be yourself!"
lincolnsnuts: this is what belle and sebastian are telling us.
lincolnsnuts: and they are right.
lincolnsnuts: they are so right.
TheAdwiz: alls im saying is that the crowd at tonights show encapsulates why i am over with them
TheAdwiz: they were all the goofiest people i have ever seen
TheAdwiz: silly
lincolnsnuts: you can't blame a band for their crowd.
TheAdwiz: silly people
TheAdwiz: yes, i can bec the new album is goofy and silly
lincolnsnuts: plus, dude, not for nothing, they are just like you.
TheAdwiz: and sarah does not come close to isobel's voice
lincolnsnuts: isobel had to go.
lincolnsnuts: everyone knew that.
TheAdwiz: knew what
lincolnsnuts: that isobel had to go.
TheAdwiz: why did isobel have to go
lincolnsnuts: she was a diva, twee as hell and a dime a dozen.
lincolnsnuts: meow!
lincolnsnuts: go to any marine research show and you can go home with any number of isobels.
lincolnsnuts: THE KID IS HOT TONIGHT!
TheAdwiz: Haha. Ok now please explain to me why stevie gets to write songs
lincolnsnuts: stevie has come a looooong way.
TheAdwiz: UCH
TheAdwiz: did you get the promo?
TheAdwiz: with "travellin' light?"
lincolnsnuts: no, i bought it.
lincolnsnuts: that's right. i bought it.
TheAdwiz: because that song is atrocious
TheAdwiz: and they played it tonight
lincolnsnuts: good.
lincolnsnuts: i now very much want to hear this song.
TheAdwiz: look, they played ONE SONG off of If Youre Feeling Sinister
TheAdwiz: and two off of arab strap
lincolnsnuts: that is fine with me.
TheAdwiz: and two off of tigermilk
TheAdwiz: and im thinking
TheAdwiz: what the eff
TheAdwiz: you think i want to hear the whole new album
TheAdwiz: yes, the whole new album
TheAdwiz: you bastards
lincolnsnuts: they are a working band, dude. they have to move on.
TheAdwiz: how dare you!
TheAdwiz: no, they need to support the crowd that made them what they are
TheAdwiz: that nurtured them
lincolnsnuts: either fly into the mystery or don't.
TheAdwiz: enough of this eccentric quirkiness
TheAdwiz: oh look at B&S - they only do press conferences at mets games
lincolnsnuts: you know what i think?
lincolnsnuts: i think you are jealous of belle and sebastian.
TheAdwiz: hahahhahHAHHAHAH
TheAdwiz: hows that
lincolnsnuts: i am serious.
lincolnsnuts: all this nonsense you are dropping. it is awkward playa-hating and you know it.
TheAdwiz: it is not playa-hating
lincolnsnuts: it is.
TheAdwiz: look i love interpol
TheAdwiz: i think the strokes are ok
TheAdwiz: not great
TheAdwiz: i hate ryan adams but i liked him
TheAdwiz: a lot
TheAdwiz: but now hes a jerk
TheAdwiz: i think mandy moore is fab
lincolnsnuts: but interpol never does things that you wish that you had thought of.
TheAdwiz: and good for liz phair but no thanks you
lincolnsnuts: or ryan adams. or whoever.
TheAdwiz: im not sure what you mean
TheAdwiz: that im not recording music?
lincolnsnuts: what all these other people you just mentioned, what they have in common is that, sad to say, none of them are particularly intelligent.
lincolnsnuts: intelligence resonates with you.
lincolnsnuts: b&s are the smartest gang going.
TheAdwiz: hmmmmm
TheAdwiz: go on
lincolnsnuts: that makes you crazy with frusteration.
TheAdwiz: bec why?
TheAdwiz: i know why
lincolnsnuts: i don't know, dude.
TheAdwiz: but why do you think
TheAdwiz: bec they let me down
lincolnsnuts: wrong:
TheAdwiz: they recorded an album that refuses to be liked by the lilkes of me
TheAdwiz: i have tried
lincolnsnuts: you have not yet caught up with them.
TheAdwiz: you liked it and youre usually all the cred i needed. whats happened?
lincolnsnuts: you will.
TheAdwiz: joey
TheAdwiz: c'mon
lincolnsnuts: just walk away from it for a while.
TheAdwiz: i havent caught up with them?!?
TheAdwiz: this isnt can or kraftwerk
lincolnsnuts: go listen to some early bee-gees.
TheAdwiz: this is B&S
TheAdwiz: i love early bee gees
TheAdwiz: and late bee gees
lincolnsnuts: go check out some chanson.
TheAdwiz: but not Belle and Bee gees
lincolnsnuts: arye, here is what i am telling you.
lincolnsnuts: give in to those gay feelings.
TheAdwiz: hahahah
TheAdwiz: its not that
TheAdwiz: honest
lincolnsnuts: buy a white shag rug from urban outfitters and lay on it with the steve miller band on your headphones.
TheAdwiz: ewwww
TheAdwiz: im allergic
lincolnsnuts: release yourself into the musical cosmos.
TheAdwiz: to steve miller, that is
lincolnsnuts: fly like an eagle.
lincolnsnuts: to the sea.
lincolnsnuts: time
lincolnsnuts: keeps on slippin'
TheAdwiz: you honestly like the album?
lincolnsnuts: slippin'
lincolnsnuts: slippin'
TheAdwiz: honestly
lincolnsnuts: into the future. yes.
TheAdwiz: name a stand out song
lincolnsnuts: i just named three.
lincolnsnuts: and i didn't even mention "i'm a cuckoo"
TheAdwiz: "lord anthony"?
lincolnsnuts: which is fantastic
TheAdwiz: "dear catasrtophe?"
lincolnsnuts: all of it, great.
TheAdwiz: "piazza" is very acceptable
TheAdwiz: "im a cuckoo" hurts
TheAdwiz: like a blow to the knee caps
lincolnsnuts: you're insane.
lincolnsnuts: the thin lizzy reference is brilliant.
TheAdwiz: oh yeah
TheAdwiz: whoops
lincolnsnuts: and the song is a knockout.
TheAdwiz: getting mixed up
TheAdwiz: i like it
TheAdwiz: its "stay loose" i was thinking of
lincolnsnuts: get your story straight.
TheAdwiz: can i use this conversation as a review of the new album?
lincolnsnuts: sure. go nuts.
TheAdwiz: awesome

Monday, November 10, 2003


Angelina Jolie once tore Jay Leno a new chin.

One late night, when Letterman was a repeat, I saw Ms. Croft verbally attack Jay Leno on Late Night and it was beautiful. It was like watching a Fox TV program called "When Incestous Celebrities Attack Talk Show Hosts." Jolie pulled out a piece of paper and began to read a list of jokes that Leno had made throughout the years about her, her brother and her ex-husband, Billy Bob Thorton. Leno squirmed, he apologized, he did not know what to say that could make things better. But best of all, Leno was sweating like a Bubbi in a suana. Pleasure, thine name is an Embarrased Leno.

For some strange reason, I have always resented Leno, the way he sits smugly in his chair with a celebrity to his side, the way he rushes said famous person's sentences just so he could deliver his one-liner. Leno is so self-involved that he forgets to turn off his egocentrity when there is another person to focus on. It reminds me of the scene in "Being John Malkovich" when John Malkovich imagines everyone in the restaurant looks like him. People see what they want to see. Jay probably wants to see himself. As Def Leppard asked, Jay, when you make love do you look in the mirror. I'm thinking the answer is "yes," Jay. And you're a sicko.

The one thing that has baffled me about Leno most of all is how he retains his popularity (he even beats Letterman in the ratings) despite his obvious awkwardness. His constant babbling is evidently due to his discomfort with interviewing others. Personally, I don't want to hear his chin anymore. I mean, don't you get tired of hearing that one friend always talks about him or herself? Granted that friend surrounds him or herself in good company (like you) but nobody likes being an extra in an movie (especially when they actually have a movie to promote).

Ellen Degeneres is the anti-Leno. Out of all the times I have had the privelage to watch her show (job? what job?), she has impressed me with her attentiveness and her sincerity. She has most importantly made me laugh. Like chat-room-LOL-laughing. Her unpretentiousness and her down-to-earth personality is charming and disarming (and I rhymed). Because of the special treatment, her celebrities obviously enjoy being on the show. In fact, it seems like everyone on the show is having fun. Man, I want to have fun. Bummer.

Ellen, I know you are a lesbian. I understand your decision and respect it. I don't need your un-manicured hand in marriage...just have me on the show. Seriously. I could be funny. I can riff. I can be cute, adorable, viable to the 25-50 house wife market ( I can cook!).

Heck, I could be your co-host. Your Ed. Your Andy. Think about it. I want to have fun. I also want to be the anti-Leno. Make it happen.

C'mon. I'm listed.