Matty McFly is many things but a quitter is not one of them. I needed some time away from writing after the end of last semester. Doc Brown came knocking at my door with his white hair gently swaying in the breeze as his Delorean rests idling on my front lawn. Thanks Doc, I just planted those rosebushes and now they are lodged in your front grill. What was I talking about? Ah YES! Like Batman and Superman before me, I have returned! I knew my writing break had run its course when I missed logging hours upon hours in front of my laptop with a cocktail within reaching distance. Now, I have so much to update you folks on! I imagine most of you follow my social media and know what I'm up to but I'll give some highlights and try to keep it interesting.
First off, you may notice I am no longer using Wordpress for my blog, I have my own damn website! I hope the power doesn't go to my head (it might). My good friend and former lover, Mallorie built it for me and I can't wait to make it sing. Six months off the blog grind, it's hard to know where to start. We sadly have not spoken since early January and it feels so very much has happened since then.
Let's talk about school since it's the most important part of my life currently, that and having fun. The first week of each semester we have a residency at either the Boston or the LA campus. This particular semester (last one) had us in sunny Los Angeles! Only it rained pretty much everyday. Perhaps it was payback from California for me abandoning her so quickly and dismissively when I attempted to "move" but who knows. Before the LA residency I decided to spend a long weekend in Las Vegas with my boy Shane. I did some drunk gambling and discovered an Elvira slot machine where her boobs jiggle when you spin the reels. Needless to say, I pumped multiple 20's into this magic box and the only thing that I got was a tingle in my pants. I've spent more and gotten less, in Vegas no less. That's a tale (or many tales) for another day.
I got to LA on a Sunday, my boy Ben scooped me up and brought me to my new home for the next week. If you've never seen it, the LA campus of Emerson College is a real sight to see. It looks like an secret lair of a bond villain, but more over the top.
Most of us were staying in the dorms and I must say this was something new to me. I never lived in the dorms during undergrad so I was excited and somewhat horrified. I'm really particular about my living space/where I sleep and a dorm clashes with all those things. Alas drinking with classmates and doing weird shit late at night sounded amazing. I could prattle on about this week for about 20 pages because it was the most creatively stimulating week of my life and my brain nearly exploded. The classrooms all overlooked the Hollywood sign (massively inspiring and somewhat cliche), my teachers are all mad geniuses (as are my classmates). I even had the honor to work with the multiple Emmy winning writer and creator of the show "Transparent" Jill Soloway. It was an honor and incredibly overwhelming but I survived. She (Jill) even pushed me while pantomiming verb usage in scene descriptions, 'twas an honor. Beyond filling my brain with bottomless screenwriting knowledge we also had some fun nights.
My classmates are insanely intelligent, creative, interesting and a blast to hang out with. Drinking and smoking with them while we mock classroom situations, people, and misfired story ideas. It was heaven. I'm droning on I think, okay I'm almost done. This semester was the most writing i've done in my entire life and at the zero hour I had to double my expected work load. This semester we were tasked with writing a TV pilot and the class was divided into comedy and drama. I was of course with my comedy people and with 2 weeks to go my script got darker and I was forced to make my 35 page sitcom turn into a 65 page drama. I could have gone the easy road and kept it a comedy but I wanted to serve the story so I sacrificed myself on the alter of creative anguish. Worked overtime all week at the day job, stayed up till 3am every night writing and got it done. I managed to squeak out two A's at the end of the semester (one was an A-). That means after my first year of grad school, I'm a straight A student. My family, friends and old teachers would be and were shocked. School kicks back off in about 2 weeks so I need to reignite the writing part of the brain. This summer has been mostly the drinking and poker part of the brain. Also fun and of course chatting with dames, the more muses the better.
With school done and in the books (all dem A's baby!), I decided to put writing down for a while because I was burnt out. Which sucks because I wanted to submit to some writing competitions but old lazy ass Matt dropped that ball. Sometimes the punk rock slacker side of me overpowers my logical-studious-ambitious side and balls are dropped. Those balls are cut in half, filled with ice, (oxford comma for the shorties) and used as unconventional cocktail chalices. With writing on the shelf I had more time to play poker and I would never see this as a bad thing. I adore poker and like writing it is both beautifully rewarding and tragically painful, hence the drinking. I strung together some really good wins and managed to sock away some money and then life happened.
I finally had a savings account that wasn't laughably pathetic and bills paid up. Then I had to put over 2k into fixing my car, pay almost another 2k to tuition and then proceeded to lose 9 out of 10 poker sessions. reversals of fortune are common in my life but that's true for all of us so I rolled with it and learned to be broke again. Cheap beer, eating my parent's food whenever I can and selling useless things on Ebay to get the bills paid with some left over to have fun. Balling on a budget has always been my strong suit. Luckily my boundless personality and massive heart (modest Matthew) has lead me to make some incredible friends whom I would kill and die for, in that order. Those friends have some cool jobs and great connections which have granted me access to some very dope shit. My roommate and one of my closest friends, Keegan, his sister is a mucky muck for the largest music festivals in New York City. With these connections I was afforded the privilege to go to Boston Calling in VIP fashion on the house. I took Friday off from work and got whole weekend of dope music and comedy like; Tegan and Sara, Pete Holmes, Danny Brown, Francis and the Lights, Tool, Eugene Merman, Weezer and the whole reason I went to Boston Calling, Run the motherfucking Jewels! Killer Mike and El-P are my favoite rappers at this point in my life and their live show is absolutely incredible.
During Boston Calling I was offered a ticket from my buddy, Slim to see the Boston Pops preform the orchestral music of "Jaws" while the movie played at Symphony Hall. Yes you read that correctly, JAWS with live music by one of the best orchestras on the planet. Now this is the best representation of the cross section of my personality, allow me to explain. "Jaws" is a tale of a fish out of water (pun) cop hero (Chief Brody) with demons who is teamed with a highly educated man (Matt Hooper) to conquer a beast. They fail and need the help of a true blue collar man, callused hands and gritty anti-hero (My hero, Quint) to capture said beast.
This movie paired with the high culture of the Pops is something that rings home with me. I'm a lowlife on the surface, with a BFA in film and soon an MFA in writing. I've split my time in dive bars, casinos, underground gambling establishments, women's mattresses, world famous museums, great schools, decorated teachers, accomplished mentors and other bullshit. I like to walk the line of strip club patron with high falutin wordsmith who yearns to pass his view of the world onto others to better their own lives. Are your narcissistic-douche meters pinging at a deafening level in your head as you read this? They should! The term "high falutin" actually has the word "pompous" in the definition. As you know by now folks, I can put myself on a pedestal at any time and cut myself at the knees as well. See that? I just complimented myself on being cocky AND humble! Annoying, isn't it?
Music has always been a large part of my life, it helped mold me (and countless others obviously, this isn't new territory) as a person and I love going to live shows. After Boston Calling, the very next weekend myself, Shane and Keegan headed to New York City to attend Governor's Ball. GovBall is a music festival that takes place on an island and our tickets allowed us access to VIP areas and cabanas with free food and booze. Imagine a weekend with 2 of your closest friends; incredible music, bottomless drinks, beautiful weather and the best chicken sandwiches on earth (for real, amazing). We had the pleasure of seeing Chance the Rapper, Lorde, Danny Brown, Schoolboy Q, and the fucking Wu-Tang Clan!
What else? Gone to a couple Sox games (1-1 with me in attendance) almost got into a scrap at Bleacher bar after one of the games (mouthy Cubs fan). Always a pleasure to be within the walls of Boston's most iconic temple of pain and victory. Fenway Park is a place I hope never changes (other than the beer prices, $9.50 for a Bud Light? Grow up, Fenway). I also had the pleasure of seeing "A League of Their Own" on the jumbotron! It's one of my favorite movies and always makes me cry. Dottie could GET IT! A saucy ginger who crushes at baseball? Yes, please!
Also did the North Shore Cancer Walk again this year to raise money for Team Double D in honor of our beloved lost friend, Denyse. I hate to toot my own horn (this is what posturing looks like in modesty) but I raised the most money on the team. I also went to some ska shows, got kicked out of one (Reel Big Fish) and fought off 2 bouncers. Why? No clue. Thought Brendan was in danger and was ready to battle but I think that was just the booze acting up.
The last notable thing since we last spoke was my vacation to California and Las Vegas a few weeks ago. I got to see my Benny and his lovely lady, Riquel. I almost missed my flight from Boston to LAX due to imbibing too many spirits before said flight, thanks Liz ;) In Cali I got to hang at my favorite bar, Big Deans! I spent an amazing day at Disneyland with Benny and happened to see one of my BFFs, Brittany. Disney with my favorite people?! Come on! Does life get better? Yes. Fireworks! Those were very cool but sadly they changed the Tower of Terror to a Guardians of the Galaxy ride. Which was dope as hell but I'm a sucker for nostalgia and spooky atmosphere.
Is that Mr. Brian Rubin?! it is!
Fourth of July was spent on the beach with Ben and Riquel, I got a horrible sunburn that is still fading away as we speak. Luckily me and Ben spent like 2 hours in the ocean trying to bodysurf some waves. Something about being in the ocean that calms me while making me the happiest person on earth. I was so ecstatic to spend it with one of my best friends. After Cali I went to Vegas for way too many days (five). I love Sin city but too much time there can crush a man.
I once had a slight mental break at the tail end of my professional poker career 7 years ago after about 6 weeks in Vegas. I'd rather die than do that bullshit again. With that said, I did have some great days/nights in Vegas. Did some Top Golf, played my first World Series of Poker event of my life, saw my boy Mike Finn and hung with world famous DJ, Dillion Francis. The nightclub world is new to me and I don't fully get it but being on the "inside" is much cooler. You get to be up close to the music, Finn is there and he's the greatest. The amount of impossibly hot (somewhat vapid and sycophantic) women is insane but the crew Dillion has is so cool. He himself is super nice and just wants to do his job with great people and have fun. His photographers (shoutout to the fun and talented photographer, Nick Farrar) are the coolest people ever and his manager, Mike Finn is one of my favorite people on this planet! We even had pizza delivered to us in the booth which seemed almost too good to be true. It felt like a dream but it was just flat out fun.
Almost positive Dillion actually can read.
After the trip I went to some weddings, caught some great movies (Spider-man Homecoming, Dunkirk, Baby Driver and such), went back to work and it has been pretty good, won some nights at keno and poker, had some drinks and hugged some friends. It feels great to be back to writing this again and I'm sorry this went on so long but I'm sure it's a delight to read it all. It's like hanging out with me! Love you all and thank you for reading!
Oh fuck! I forgot to mention, I moved back to Boston again! If you're in town and want to have a drink or riff about nonsense or movies, drop me a line!
Saw a Bill and Ted marathon Presented by Alex Winter (Bill), caught a screening of The Princess Bride with a Q&A with the great Cary Elwes (Westley), Saw the Aquabats with big brother Brendan, poker, Sox with Keegan, Top golf, weddings, drinks and sombrero Bruce.