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Monthly Archives: February 2008

And now, the semi-regular post where I help my friends who have stuff to pimp out. Not that this website directly contributes to it, but both efforts seem to be doing well, so why not continue to help out with all this exposure? Okay, it’s more like a guilt/superstition thing:

This week, see “talented” performers at a gong show, judged by marginally more talented performers and a drunken, rowdy audience. It’s another Dana event, which means I can sorta kinda promise you sketchiness.

If you’d rather win prizes the lazy way, Twenty Feet Productions is still giving away one trip to Hawaii, donated by a patron of the arts, in a raffle and using the rest of the money and using all the proceeds to help put on their sure to be talked about fourth season. Either way, whether you’re supporting theater for the people or supporting a mai tai, you’re a winner.

Right now my buddies are at a bar in Manhattan getting their karaoke on. Instead of joining them in singing an off-key tune and drinking adult beverages, I decided to stay here tonight, go to bed soon, and get up early to hit the gym.

A far cry from last week’s antics, to be sure.

And really, why? What am I trying to prove? I know I’m not an alcoholic in the true sense of the word, I can give the drink up when necessary, or when I desire. I don’t feel as if I really need it tonight, nor have I needed it since Saturday night/Sunday morning. I know it doesn’t make me better than my friends, who, while they may have a little more flexibility in their working hours than I, will probably be still able to carry out their employment responsibilities.

I know it won’t make me be more alert or a better worker, quite frankly, the ennui has gootten to the point where I am falling asleep doing my duties on a full night’s rest. Chances are I’m missing out on a great story, or even a great post if I change the names and places to protect the not-all-that-innocent. Honestly, the sleep, I assure you, will not even be all that good.

So why am I denying myself?

I don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that tonight it suddenly got so cold I swear I saw two hobos frozen in blocks of ice before my eyes on Metropolitan Avenue under the BQE. More likely, maybe I’m finally learning that just because I can stay out and throw down with the best of them all time every time means I should. That I may, at my advanced age, be finally learing the value of rising early and accomplishing something by getting my heart rate up and my muscles strong over at the gym. That I finally understand the value of disclipline, and what it really takes to make it in this world is the ability to know when to put the toys aside and get to the serious business of self-improvement and self-actualization. That one cannot realize one’s potential until that person learns to finally put aside their limitations.

Nah, it was just really freakin’ cold and windy. So freakin’ windy you could swear the spirit of William F. Buckley Jr. was prattling on with a bunch of ten-dollar words about limited government, and so cold you could swear that your face was beginning to resemble Tom Coughlin’s in this year’s NFC Championship Game. An arctic wind from the Great White North will give you tons more discipline any day of the week than a Oprah-approved, Dr. Phil-penned self-help book, let me tell you. When’s spring get here?

If you are at one of those “organic” markets to get your hands on some sushi or free-range chicken salad, remember that it doesn’t mean you also have to pick up much needed toiletries there. You can wait to get stuff at the 99-cent stores, or you can wait till you get to a part of the city not secretly controlled by the green hipster mafia and get sundries there.

Don’t be like a certain alcohol-themed blogger who went into a place looking for sushi-to-go and walked out with ten dollar Kiss My Face Active Athletic Shower Gel. Ten dollars! What a rip! What kind of sucker picks shower gel without seeing how much it costs? Sure, it’s natural and was not tested on animals, but it costs 10 dollars! But it’s got muscle relaxant! That’s swell. The three-dollar Dial Body Wash had plenty of moisturizing to keep my skin from getting dry.

If you’re asking “Why don’t you be a man and get a bar of soap,” let me tell you this: If you want to lather up with something that feels like sandpaper and smells like monkey ass, knock yourself out. If you want a real bar of soap in Billyburg, hit the bodega or take the G down to Fulton Street and get thee to the Target.

So I guess the moral is, always see how much stuff costs before you buy it. But you should know that already. So remember kids: when in the ‘Burg, if you’re not down with overpaying for body wash, wait. Or else you’ll be out ten dollars for “aromatherapeutic” muscle-relaxing soap. If my skin starts to itch, somebody’s going to pay….

The more you know….

If you have the pleasure of remembering my previous incarnation, from time to time, you’ll recall that I would share the depths of my narcissism with you, the readers. It’s a side I show publicly very rarely, and because I need an outlet for times like these when I fret about the state of my body, or my haircut, or the occasional stray nose hair.

Today I came to the conclusion that my abdominal region will just never be all it can be. Oh, it shows moments of progress, but it’ll never be as good as some people think it could. And I’m not crushed or utterly disappointed by it; that’s just the way things will be.

There are two solid reasons for this: First, I have always had a bit of an accordion-like stomach. It protrudes slightly even in the best of times and is highly expandable. It’s an asset if you’re a physical comic; my impersonation of Demi Moore’s classic Vanity Fair cover

The mother of all covers

is, after a deep breath, always good for lots and lots of laughs. But it keeps your abs from looking shredded. At that point the only way to prove that your core is rock solid is to take punches to the stomach. Not really feeling that, you know?

The other problem is that I like beer. And when I drink it, I tend to drink it in mass quantities. When you combine that with my midsection’s expansion capabilities, if the shirt comes off at an inopportune time, well, I’m going to look like I have a spare tire instead of the tightly coiled midsection I possessed before I first said the words, “Blue Point Toasted Lager, please.”

I’ve been trying to think of ways around that, but none of them are palatable. First, I’m not ordering wine at a bar. That is unacceptable. As Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy would say, “I’m a man!” A man who whines about the state of his gut, but still. “Sideways” did not make it okay for single men to ask “Hey barkeep, got any good chardonnay?”

I could go all liquor all the time, but liquor seems to often lead to frequent questionable hookup decisions. Not good.

(wait…)

So now, it’s strictly liquor for Well Whiskey Friday!* After all, they call it a beer gut, not a “gin-and-tonic” gut! Right? Yeah!

*exceptions will be made for: free beer events, when it is after three a.m. and I am trying to stretch out my budget, if that’s what’s left in the fridge, if I win one in a bet, bought for me by any cougars who care to make my acquaintance….

So three of my friends are about to move in to a totally awesome new building. Newly built, it’s got amenities like these. Okay, it’ll look even more god-damn AWESOME once the weather warms up, there’s water in the pool, and there’s meat on the grill. Well, if they’re not all pretending to be vegetarian to impress members of the opposite sex. (I kid!)

Understandably, they can’t stop talking about the new place, and you know what, bully for them! To get to a place in your life where you can afford a ridiculous apartment practically begging for coke-and-booze fueled orgies means you’ve made it! Makes me want to cry tears of joy for them if my atrophied tear ducts will allow it.  

Of course, it’s not all Champale and Worcestershire sauce in the world of double-dog dazzling luxury apartment buildings. They’ve had some unwanted tenants stop by, things may have gotten a little bit behind schedule, and there were some issues with the labor. No matter, it’s almost kinda close to ready to open, and my friends will be moving in soon. Good times and questionable decisions await.

But what I am really looking forward to is the gambling! I can smell the prop bets already! Over/under on what day is the cable guy actually going to show up? First person to spill a glass of wine? First nonresidents to have sex? First noise complaint! Over/under on just how much they are going to have to tip the doorman they will wear out by Christmastime!

Ah, the possibilities. Living in an apartment regularly featured on Curbed may only cost you $4,000/per month. Not living there but getting to watch the bawdy comedy gold that is guaranteed to ensue: priceless.

Watching George Clooney tonight (okay, now I just totally lied in the title of my last post) and how much he seems to be respected by his peers and how he seems to do anything he wants in Hollywood to the point where he can joke about Batman and Robin, he seems to be the man these days. And one of my favorite cliches that is uttered about a guy who is rolling like a top dog is, “It’s ___________’s world, and the rest of us are just paying the rent.”

Inspired by that phrase, I now give you the Landlord Rankings: The people in the world right now who have everything going their way, are rolling, and seemingly, can’t be stopped. We’ll try to have a minimum of three and a maximum of five, depending on who’s hot right now and who’s not. I’m thinking this could be a monthly feature, if all goes well (you know, more than 8 page views.)

George Clooney

1. George Clooney: He didn’t even win anything tonight and yet it is pretty apparent that barring a string of Peacemaker-style duds, he is the heir apparent to Jack Nicholson as the King of Hollywood Actors. Not the best, not the most talented, and not even the most financially successful, but just the one they all wanna be like and want to be around. He’s come a long way from those rubber nipples.

Unstoppable Eli

2. Eli Manning: We’re not getting overrun with his commercials just yet, but it’s coming. But just as I was beginning to forget the level he put himself on with his performance in Super Bowl XLII, I saw quite a few bouncers wearing Eli Manning jerseys this weekend. Bouncers don’t wear quarterback jerseys unless that quarterback is The Man. Unstoppable!

Senator Obama

3. Barack Obama: No substance or record? No problem! Hillary Clinton supporters can’t believe that some guy who who was probably voting on trash pickup schedules and retail zoning restrictions in Chicago four years ago is poised to rip the Presidency (or at least the nomination) that was rightfully hers. I am sort of comically paraphrasing what Frank Rich of the New York Times wrote today: you know your campaign is down the tubes when your message essentially becomes “Hope? Inspiration? That’s for suckers! Vote for me!” and “So my speeches are boring. But they’re highly detailed!”

Wait list: John McCain would have gotten on this list for sticking it to the hard-core conservatives and radio talk show hosts by locking up the Republican nomination and for essentially turning that New York Times story about him maybe possibly boning a lobbyist into a fundraising opportunity. But until he finally unites the party with the appeal, “Come on, You Know You’re Going To Vote For Me, Where The Hell Else Are You Going?” he can’t quite make it on yet.

Okay, so I do always try to catch one segment of the Academy Awards telecast. The annual “In Memoriam” segment, where they honor those in the film industry who died over the last 12 months. (Or as I like to call it the, “Oh, Snap, They Died?” segment.) All are worthy, and I’m glad these people get their due. Sometimes it’s informative (I didn’t know that Calvin Lockhart had died. I remembered his work, and quite frankly, was shocked.) and it’s just a nice thing to do.

But I have to say this, and I hope I won’t be the only one out there who has the temerity to say it (mostly because no one reads this): How does Heath Ledger go last in the segment over Ingmar Bergman?! I’m not calling it a crime against humanity or anything, but, I mean, while Ledger’s tragedy is fresh in our minds and surely affects many of the people in the audience, Ingmar Bergman accomplished a lot more, I hate to say, than Heath Ledger. I vehemently disagree with this call. Ledger could have gone next to last with a long pause and then Ingmar Bergman should have taken us to the moment of silence.

As you can tell, I feel very strongly about this. Look, recent tragedy is tough to to deal with, but that doesn’t earn you points to leapfrog one of the most important filmmakers ever. Sorry if you’re offended, but I’m just sayin’.

  • how to lose 210 pounds in six months
  • that if you think a good bar fight is more satisfying than having an orgasm, you’re probably going to do significant jail time in many states
  • you can never know enough guys named “Manuel”
  • that you must be pretty funny if you can make a guy who doesn’t understand English laugh
  • when the Newcastle runs out, go to Brooklyn Lager
  • if you are having a record listening party, you should play the album before the free beer runs out
  • douches with synthesizers must have a lot of friends with money
  • eggs that taste like ass are still eggs and therefore, edible
  • no one ever forgets the first time they pull down a man’s pants in a crowded room
  • that people think my coat is funny
  • bad karma will always kill your “rotation”
  • there’s nothing like sweating out alcohol on an elliptical machine
  • that I’m not internationally known, but I’m known to rock the microphone.
  • that showering isn’t necessary when you’ve got good bodyspray
  • that photographs of hookers and bordellos speak to something deep within our souls, and is therefore “art”
  • Ridgewood ain’t so bad
  • Newark ain’t so bad
  • it’s all fun and games until the drunk girl with issues shows up and singlehandedly destroys the party
  • guys will take it anywhere they can get it
  • don’t be the last guy seen with two extremely drunk girls in front of a cop, because if something ever happens to them, they’ll be looking for you
  • Chase’s outrageous non-Chase ATM fees can eat a bowl of hot steaming dick
  • there’s nothing like walking in the snow
  • fake biker chicks tend to undress rather easily
  • you know it’s been a night when you need, not want, but need, those last two beers
  • hot dogs aren’t good for you, they’re just good (at 3:30 am)
  • …and that, of course, you don’t stop.

Yes, it’s time for this year’s annual Black History Month post, and talk about your black history! It’s finally time for me to take the idea of people electing a black president seriously.

Yeah, I’ll admit despite the fact that I have lots of white friends who are not racist, not ignorant, and not closed-minded, I thought most of them just got kicked out of where they came from for such ideas and moved to New York.  (Kidding!) Despite evidence to the contrary, I just didn’t think it was possible. I don’t know why, I guess you never want to trust “the white man” 100 percent. Unfortunately, centuries of disappointment will always make you leery of complete and total optimism when you’re black, and while I am generally not as pessimistic and as guarded as many African-Americans when it comes to race (generally hardly at all), this was the one area where I was just like, there’s no way this is happening!

And as long as there are “superdelegates” out there, I guess it still could happen. Sort of. But it wouldn’t be because of racism, it would be a simple coup by party bigwigs pledged to Hillary Clinton, which would leave many Obama supporters bitter and disappointed, and that might lead to who knows what come the fall.

I think Democrats (this is purely outsider observation, I am an independent) have been waiting for their Ronald Reagan. After, really, fourteen years or so in the wilderness as the minority party, they sense that their moment is now and a charismatic man bringing hope to lead them back is fast becoming appealing. I’m amazed how much my friends who support Obama really seem to believe in him. I am a bit older than most of these people, and at this point, I’m just happy if the president isn’t screwing up. But there’s something about wanting to believe in a leader, and Obama’s got that quality. Clinton’s also got that quality–unfortunately it belongs to Bill, and he’s ineligible.

So, while I admit to still being slightly unsure, the fact is, come November, we could have a black president. And that in itself is pretty historic. I’m not sold on him yet personally, but I’ll make that decision if he wins the primary (it’s up to you Dems to decide who you want, it’s not my business, for the most part). In the meantime, what was left of my cynicism seems to have dissipated a little bit more, which is always a good thing.

Okay, that was the good of Black History Month. Later, the bad: Flavor of Love 3.

After a long and, um, eventful President’s Day Weekend (extended by one day due to, ahem, special circumstances), we have our Random Person of the Week. It was a pretty fierce competition, but as always, someone had to emerge a clear winner.

This week’s award goes to the dufus cabdriver whose car died not even halfway into our destination. No crime against him, these things happen. But his attitude was not helpful to an already bad situation.

I asked him, “So that’s it? The car’s dead?”

Here’s how he should have responded: “Well, I’m very sorry about this. I guess the car has died. Please be careful getting out. The fare is $6.60, but I’ll understand if you’re reluctant to pay.”

Here’s how he did respond, in a stern, somewhat menacing tone: “Look, the fare is 6.60, I got you all the way here.”

Really, you made it to 3rd Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan. Aw, that’s so nice. Maybe you deserve a jerky treat and a pat on the head. We’re going to Park Slope, Brooklyn, motherfucker! That is NOWHERE near our destination! So we’re supposed to be giddy and give you a hand job for it? What the fuck is wrong with you?

Here’s how he probably hoped I’d respond: “Oh, thanks so much? We’ll just have to get out and get another cab on a cold winter’s night. But that’s okay, you made it this far. I mean, you can’t control this, right?”

My actual response: “Shut the fuck up and listen. You’ll get your money, which you don’t deserve, but you’re going shut your mouth and listen to this first. Yeah, it’s not your fault the cab died. But your tone and attitude is rude. How dare you demand money with that attitude when you did not finish the service you were supposed to provide? The only reason I’m going to give you this money is so I don’t come across this partition and punch you in your fucking face.”

I threw seven dollars at him, and we left the cab. Eventually, we got another one and made our way home.

So, for being the person that got me dangerously close to going Kermit Washington on his punk ass, he is our Random Person Of The Week. The first rule of customer service is that even something happens that is not your fault, your first priority is still the customer. Not whether or not you’re going collect seven measly dollars when you completely failed to get the job done. Oh, and you risked being beaten lie you stole something by a drunk and angry blogger who had other issues to deal with. So, congratulations, Jackass Cabdriver Who Thought Being Rude and Collecting Seven Dollars Was More Important Than Being Courteous and Thinking About His Customers, you’re our Random Person of The Week! And you made a forty cent tip, which I will never forgive myself for giving you.

Also Receiving Votes: Guy Who’s Going to Jail Next Week But Seems Like A Completely Nice Guy, Girl Who Made Eyes With Me At the Bar Until Her Man Showed Up And Then Started Again After He Went Out For A Smoke.