Tag Archives: dating

Rob Reviews: Don Jon

JGL as  juice-head in "Don Jon".

JGL plays a juice-head in “Don Jon”.

As some of you may have noticed, I like to review movies or books that I find to be interesting or thought-provoking.  In keeping with the origins of this blog, I also like to review “guy books”  or “guy movies”. In this entry, I will review the latter…

A few weekends back, I chose to finally sit down and watch Don Jon .  Don Jon, the writing/directorial debut of Joseph Gordon Levitt ended up being a mixed bag.  I remember the ads for this movie as it was  being released theatrically.  They made it looked like a straight-up fratire-style comedy.  I expected this to be a bawdy “guy movie”.  In the beginning it was, only  to turn into something much different.

JGL (as The Auteur calls him) plays John, a stereotypical Italian-American “juice head” in the tradition of John Travolta’s Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever.  He loves his clothes, his car, his apartment, his family and his church.   On the surface John is a Lothario, bedding women left and right and is definitely the alpha-male of his entourage.  However behind closed doors, John is a closet porn addict.  In fact, he admits to liking porn better than actual sex –  much to the chagrin of his in-movie girlfriend Barbara – played by Scarlett Johansson.

At this point, I expected John to spend the rest of the movie trying to win back Barbara in typical romcom fashion, but the story takes a few different turns.  At Barbara’s behest, John returns to college.  There, he meets Esther (Julianne Moore).  John and Esther have some May-September chemistry that ultimately turns physical.  Their tryst is therapeutic for both of them:   Esther comes to terms with her own personal losses; John ultimately learn the difference between casual sex and making love, thereby enabling him to pursue deeper more meaningful relationships.

The movie’s ending is anti-climactic.  We never see John find Ms. Right, or even a Ms. Maybe for that matter.   Ultimately, Don Jon is a slice-of-life personal narrative.  It isn’t happily ever after tale  it was portrayed as in commercials.  It simply tells the story of a young man and an experience that made him a better person.  It was one of those unusual experiences where advertisers sell us one story and the filmmakers tell us a better one.

coming clean

As I type this tonight, I am in South Carolina, so that I can pick up The Kid tomorrow for his Christmas visit.  The Old Man and I made the drive down last night.  The weather was about as good as we could have possibly hoped for – especially given the time of year.  

Jabba and I were exchanging e-mails earlier today – making arrangements for tomorrow’s “exchange”.  I think she assumed that The Auteur had made the trip down with me.  In one of her e-mails, she went on a rant about being uncomfortable with the idea of The Kid staying in a hotel room with a stranger.  By “stranger” I assume Jabba meant a person who was a stranger to her; because The Kid and The Auteur obviously know each other.  It was odd. She never came out and said anything about The Auteur directly.  she had voiced her feelings about The Kid being around “my girlfriend” but made no specific mention of The Auteur in today’s e-mail.

It’s been strange.  I know that – at least – since my trip to Myrtle Beach in September, Jabba has been aware of The Auteur. Obviously she doesn’t know how serious we are, or that we’ve been living together – let alone for how long.  But it occurred to me today that the time has come for full disclosure. The proverbial dust is finally settling.  Our divorce is within days of being finalized.  We are at a point where we no longer owe each other anything emotionally. But Jabba does need to know how serious The Auteur and I are.  She has to understand that if The Kid is going to be with me, than he is also going to be around The Auteur.  And in order to do that, Jabba and The Auteur will, inevitably, have to meet someday.  And that is going to have to happen sooner rather than later.

Ideally, this is a conversation that I would rather have face-to-face than via e-mail, but given our current living situations, that is not realistic.  I must admit that even thinking about giving Jabba the rundown has felt extremely liberating; not unlike when I finally made the decision to de-friend her from on Facebook.

…and into the fire?

natural-gas-flameThis is the second part of a two-part entry.  When I originally wrote part one, I had a decidedly different article in mind for part two.  Given today’s events, it seemed entirely appropriate to re-visit this entry.  Click HERE to read part one.

The Auteur and I were up late last night and in turn, slept in late today.  When i first checked my e-mail today I saw an e-mail from my attorney’s office.  The attachments on said e-mail included the final settlement to my divorce proceedings.

Maybe I should provide a little back-story before I go on my rant here:

One of the biggest hang-ups during these settlement negotiations – at least on my side thus far – has been a “personal loan” that Jabba had included and insisted that I pay back to her.  Now, admittedly, near the end of our marriage, there were a few bills that i asked her for assistance in paying.  These were utility payments – not credit cards or other personal bills that I had; household bills that we, as a married couple, were both getting use of.

Fast forward to Summer 2013 as we were inching toward an eventual court date.  Greenie asks me about this “personal loan”.  I explain to him that the amount Jabba and I agreed to was $583.00.  Again, I wasn’t crazy about it, but I was willing to cut my losses to move things along.  Greenie seemed surprised at the amount.  He told me that Jabba’s lawyer told her in was approximately $2000.00 – which, coincidentally, sounds to me like the amount of Jabba’s legal fees.  At this point, Greenie assured me that he would insist on paperwork to back up Jabba’s claim.

September 2013:  Our day in court.  I had planned on visiting and taking The Kid to Myrtle Beach when I received a summons to appear in court just before said visit.  The day I arrive in South Carolina, I get a call from Greenie claiming that he and Jabba’s lawyer have reached a settlement and our court appearance will now be for a final hearing.  He gives me a rough summary of the settlement over the phone.  I ask to see a copy of the settlement before going into court.  He gives me a story about how it hasn’t been written up yet, but it will be drawn up by Jabba’s lawyer.

We go into court, and I , essentially, lie under oath – telling the judge that I have read and agree to the terms of the settlement even though I have not seen the final agreement.  The judge declares the divorce to be official.  It is, literally, all over except for the paperwork.

Almost immediately upon leaving court, I begin pestering Greenie about seeing the final agreement.  He tells me that he doesn’t have it – as Jabba’s lawyer has to write up the actual language of it.

October 2013:  When I once again ask Greenie for the final agreement, he explains to me that it was sent on to the judge; but not to worry because we’ll have 10 days to review it once it comes back from him.

December 2, 2013:  I receive an a-mailed copy of the Final Order. It makes no mention of the few concessions I have asked for from Team Jabba.  Neither Greenie nor his paralegals will return my phone calls.

I am absolutely beside myself.  Jabba is about to get everything she wanted – and then some.  I’m about to get hosed.  I walked away with and am now getting nothing.  I’m not sure if I even have a leg to stand on, but I am considering filing a grievance with the state bar association for how ineffectively he has handled my divorce since day one.

I’ll save my rant on Christmas visitation for another post.

like a lion in winter


The original Lion in Winter, King Henry II

It’s only Halloween, but reality is starting to hit me:

Winter, and Christmas, are coming soon and I for one am not ready for wither of them.

The Red Sox won the 2013 World Series last night, thereby ending the baseball season.  That alone has always been a tell-tale sign that winter is upon me.

I really hate winter.  It goes back to when I was a little kid.  i used to hate winter because it meant the end of baseball season.  as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that there’s much more to it than that.  Back when I was at Eastern one winter, I nearly dropped out of school.  i had just stopped going; and then I stopped leaving the house. It was an incredibly low time for me; a sensation I didn’t have to experience once while I lived in South Carolina.

Last winter, my first in Michigan in nearly a decade, was nowhere near as bad as I expected it to be.  The weather was pretty mild, for the most part.  I was working out and I was out socializing.  School kept me busy.  Alcohol kept me numb.  Now, I’m just getting back to work, living 2 hours away from my gym, and with the exception of 2 glasses of wine on Sweetest day, i haven’t had a drink in 143 days.

but I love living with The Auteur.  i spent a few days at my parents’ house 2 weeks ago and I felt like I was just visiting.  I truly feel like I’m at home living with The Auteur; at least, as close as anything feels to home these days.

It doesn’t have to be a perfect world

As we move closer to finalizing my divorce, the STBX will hereafter be referred to as "Jabba"

As we move closer to finalizing my divorce, the STBX will hereafter be referred to as “Jabba”

I called off from working Saturday night because I wanted to go  see The Auteur.  Earlier that evening, i asked my dad if I could borrow his car and go straight out to her house after work on Sunday morning.  He gave me his usual lecture about taking advantage of the car situation –  which admittedly, I am doing – and about getting my proverbial shit together.  I get.  I do:  he’s trying to hit me with the Tough Love approach but it prompted me to make a decision:  I’m moving in with The Auteur.

Her and I have discussed it for at least the last month or two; but talking about it, and making the decision seemed to put her mind at ease about a lot of things, and that put my mind at ease about a lot of things.

Monday would have been (was?) her and Rhino’s wedding anniversary.  He texted her in the morning, which she told me about.  Otherwise, the day went with virtually no matrimonial fanfare whatsoever, as far as I know.

I don’t feel that this decision – for the Auteur and I to live together – is an impulsive one.  Five months into my relationship with Jabba, I had bought her a ring and we had already been living together for months.  Comparatively speaking, this relationship has been a much more deliberate one.  It amazes me sometimes to think that we have only known each other for five months.  It seems like we’ve known each other for year, and not in a bad way; and yet so many things still feel so completely new.

As an outsider looking, in have to wonder, “what the hell is a separated-but-still-married-man doing even considering moving in with a separated-but-still-married-woman and her teenage daughter?”  I mean, i have every reason to believe that this could sabotage any possible visitation or custody attempts I may make at The Boy.

At the same time, being with The Auteur just feels right.  I am happiest when we are together.  I feel complete when I am with her.  This, my friends, is love.

To complicate things even more, I am scheduled to appear in court next week  one one day before the Auteur and I were planning our own trip down to South Carolina.  I’ve come to the realization that I almost certainly will not see The Boy on this trip.  Right now, I’m just hoping to see him at Thanksgiving.  I haven’t heard back from my lawyer since he sent me the court notice. I am very seriously considering firing this guy, but that’s probably not the best strategy with one week until my first court appearance.

I’m not asking for a perfect world.  The world is an imperfect place.  The Auteur and I have both been through our share of shit.  right now our lives are in an indefinite holding pattern until our divorces are completed.  I just want to be happy.  It’s like I keep saying to her: “it’s time for our happily ever after”.

What a difference one year makes

250px-1_Year_Later_BulletAs I was cutting the lawn Saturday afternoon, it occurred to me that the one year anniversary of this blog came and went with no fanfare from me whatsoever.

Saturday night was the Kenny Chesney concert, roughly one year to the day since the last show in Detroit.  6 months ago all I wanted to do was go tailgate before the show and get sauced.  Instead, i’m working tonight (Saturday night) and think bout The Auteur non-stop.  This is not a complaint, mind you.  Rather, it’s an observation on how much things have changed in the past year.

I’ve been sober for 68 days now and only in a few fleeting moments have I even been tempted to take a drink.  I feel better.  I’m still losing weight.  My relationship with the Auteur has never been better.  She tells me that I even look differently now that I’ve stopped drinking.  We are madly in love and I’m still learning the parameters if unconditional love and pure happiness.

We have the Depeche Mode concert this Thursday and a surprise birthday party for 1B one week from today.  I’m still trying to get my school schedule locked down and finish my necessary paperwork for substitute teaching.

I haven’t mentioned it before – since I haven’t written in so long – but while i was staying with The Auteur earlier this week, she took me to see her old house – the one that her STBX is renting from her.  He was out of town this week, so the Auteur was pet sitting for him.  It was nice to finally see the place – putting a concrete location to an abstract thought – but it felt like a toxic environment; not unlike going back to the STBX’s house in South Carolina.  i felt the need to get out of there as fast as I could.

When I stopped to think about it, it was all pretty surreal.  There I was, still technically a married man hanging out with my girlfriend, who herself is still technically a married woman; in a house that she owns but is renting out to her estranged husband.  All I could say to The Auteur was: “Imagine if this was the other way around and you were in the STBX’s house in South Carolina.  How would you feel?”  In the abstract, it all sounds like someone whom i never even imagined I could possibly become,

secrecy, lies, and the ugly truth

Tonight is the premiere of The Auteur’s film from the Detroit 48 hour film project. Slate, her estranged husband, will be in attendance.

I will not be.

If I am lucky, I will be working tonight.

Last night, she invited me to go get a drink with them after the premiere.  She knows damn well that I’ve been sober for the last 6 weeks.

I am sick to death of living a lie, “living in sin” if you will.  I am tired of being a “secret boyfriend”.  I’m sick to death of having a “secret girlfriend”.

I just  want this entire day and night to pass in a flash; have the time slip through my proverbial fingers, wake up and it be Thursday already.

I’m trying so hard to be the better person, let this just slide off of me and move on, but today is the day and it’s hard to ignore right now.

dreams darker than death or night

In the darkest corners of my mind, the glass is neither half-full nor half empty; it is already broken.

In the darkest corners of my mind, the glass is neither half-full nor half empty; it is already broken.

Welcome to the start of a whole new category on your favorite blog.

I’m going to do something a little different with this post.  I’m going to shed some light on a pretty damn dark spot on my psyche.  Never let it be said that you beloved webmaster doesn’t put himself through the proverbial wringer.

I tend to think too much. In fact, I take over-analyzing things to new extremes.  I tend to visualize, or imagine if you will, conversations and confrontations before I have them.  Up to a point, I think this is a healthy thing.   It allows one to prepare for things  that may arise in a conversation.  My problem is that my mind tends to play out conversations and confrontations that, more often than not, never take place. In one sense, I find this to be very therapeutic.  It helps me to confront some of my worst fears.  The trouble is it forces me to see the worst in every situation.

Let me see if I can give some examples:

Even before we separated, I would find myself mentally playing out conversations, confrontations and arguments with the STBX.  Sometimes, things went as I expected them to; other times they actually went better than I prepared myself for.  Then of course, there have been occasions when things went far worse than I could have anticipated.

Today, The Auteur starts her annual 48 hour film contest.  Since he is now an executive producer, I’m almost positive that TP will make his presence known there entire weekend.  The Auteur still refuses to admit that TP has feelings for her – although in her own passive way she has conceded as much.  It makes me sick because he gets to have full access to this production because money talks.  Mr. Slate, her STBX, is also an executive producer, though he pretty much stays away until premiere night.  The Auteur is unwilling to admit this, but Slate is still controlling her, through his money.  That TP is now getting in on the act is just salt in my proverbial wound.

Last night, she accidentally sent me a Facebook invite to the premiere of their movie. We had already talked about this before:  she doesn’t want me to attend the premiere because she’s worried about things being weird with  Rhino in attendance and all. I understand and all, but it still hurts. I asked her last night if the Facebook invite was sent to me on accident.  After some stammering, she said yes, but then added that she never told me I couldn’t attend.

Early in our relationship, The Auteur once said that she thought I was just using her for sex.  It’s funny the way that shoes tend to end up on the opposite feet sometimes.  I’ll probably see her this weekend, per my scheduled days off at Meijer.  We would almost certainly sleep together.  But come Wednesday, I’m not going to be good enough to attend her movie premiere.  And that hurts.

When I first sat down to wrote this post yesterday, I thought that the whole TP thing bothered me the most.  At this moment, it’s definitely the Slate business.

This is all new territory for me.  And not even the darkest corners of my mind – the place that manifests my greatest fears and my worst nightmares – could have prepared me for feeling like this.

No news is bad news

Rebuilding Rob challenges the notion that "no Gnus is good gnus"

Rebuilding Rob challenges the notion that “no Gnus is good gnus”

It doesn’t matter how the old saying goes:  no news is bad news.

In the case of my impending divorce, which I was told before the first of the month was reaching a settlement, no news is definitely bad news.

In the case of this blog and my personal life Okay, I haven’t blogged much lately, but that mostly because I have actually been out living a little instead of opining here about the  bit experiences I was having that resembled a life.

At the end of last month, I accepted a job offer from Meijer.  For those who don’t know, Meijer is a big-box retailer similar to Wal-Mart with stores in the Michigan, Indiana, Ohio area.  Sure, the job sucks, the pay is dick and the hours are God-awful (midnights);  but dammit it’s a job, it’s money in my pocket and those two things are a good start.  In addition, I have very strong lead on a job with CVS, which would mean better money, physically easier work and potentially better hours.  All in all, the job front is looking better for me than it has in a long time.

The Auteur and I are doing great.  Sure we have our peaks and valleys but overall things are good.  A steady job schedule and consistent off-days has provided us with some quality “couple time”.  In fact, I’m blogging this from her house right now.  This weekend is her 48 Hour student film project – her first as a producer – and it’s weighing heavily on her mind now.  We took 1B to the Tiger game yesterday.  I stayed at her place last night, and am probably staying again tonight.

Personally, I can’t wait until the 48 is over.  Not so much the filming, but the premiere itself. As I mentioned previously, her estranged husband is billed as an executive producer (thanks to a $100 donation to the project) as is TP (the guy from this entry).  she told me about TP’s donation last week.  I didn’t take it well and that really does bother me.

Why am I so insecure in this relationship?  I was really hoping to talk to a counselor about it, but my current lack of  medical insurance would make that a very expensive endeavor; so I’m left to tackle this one alone.  I think the truth is that I’m terrified at the thought of another failed marriage and what it says about me as a person.  That, and I really love The Auteur and I don’t want to lose her.

UPDATE 7/16/10 3:22 PM

The Auteur and I had one of our many heart-to-heart conversations yesterday and the above bit about my insecurities came up in the natural flow of things.  We both acknowledged that we both have personality quirks that we are both working on improving; many of which are a result of our previous marriages.  I think it’s great that we both acknowledge these things and are both on the same page about making our relationship work.  I’ve never been in a relationship like this where discussing our hopes, anxieties, worries, and  even problems with each other has made said relationship even stronger.

uncharted territory

uncharted territory

meeting the girlfriend’s kid was definitely an “unexplored country” for me…until Sunday

Last week, the Auteur’s daughter, whom I shall affectionately refer to as “1B” said to the Auteur that she was ready to meet me. The Auteur ran this past me. I didn’t really have a problem with it. I work with kids her age (or a little older) all day for a living. Granted they inherently hate me on some level since I am their teacher; but I really wasn’t concerned with the prospect of meeting her.

I’ve never met a date/girlfriend’s kid before. Hell, there was only one other girl I ever dated who even had a kid already. But as a 39 year-old divorcee with child, that’s par for the course in the New Normal. In fact, the closest thing I can compare to meeting a s/o’s kid would be meeting a significant other’s parents for the first time.  But even meeting someone’s parents has never been an issue for me. Sure, I want them to like me; but I know that I’m a good guy. Typically I stay on my toes, watch my language and try to be engaging and I’m fine.

In my opinion, meeting a S/O’s kid is an even bigger step in a relationship than meeting her parents. It is my opinion that being a parent means that the person is unequivocally and adult just by virtue of the fact that thy are in charge of a member of the next generation. This is a view I have held since The Boy was born. To this day, i still don’t consider myself to be an adult, but I know that as a father, society see me as such; but I digress. The fact is, person’s child develops a far greater emotional attachment to the would-be boyfriend/girlfriend than said person’s parents ever do. When a kid’s parent enters a relationship with a new man/woman, that new person can be viewed as potential step-parent, a possible role model, or someone they hate for any number of personal reasons. `It is for these reasons that I say that meeting a significant other’s child(ren) is a HUGE step in any relationship; one upon which I hope most people do not tread lightly.

I met 1B this past Sunday morning when she, The Auteur and I all got breakfast.  1 B was pretty much exactly as she had been described to me by the Auteur.  She’s a very polite kid; very good mannered; VERY mature for her age in many ways.  As any kid should be, she is a living testament to her mother’s parenting ability. It pisses me off when I hear that 1B’s father has so little to do with her.  I only met her once and I can tell that 1B is a great kid.  Her father has truly lost out on the experience of raising her and being a part of her life.

It’s funny.  When I talk to the Auteur about the STBX, and her attempts of screwing me out of time with The Boy, she gets really angry.  She sees how much I want to be a part of The Boy’s life and is dumbfounded by the STBX’s attempts to keep me from him.  Seeing The Auteur react as she does gives me a sense of vindication.  There are thousands, if not millions, of single Moms who dream that their Exes or baby daddys would want to be as involved as I want to be with The Boy.

I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.  If nothing else, my relationship with The Auteur has taught me not only about the relationship I want to have going have, but also just how screwed-up things with me and the STBX truly were.

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