The Daily Dump

A place where everyone (me) is welcomed to express their opinions openly and honestly. I encourage free thinking, free wheeling, off-the-cuff banter and monetary donations.

Friday, July 29

My Reaction To The Thought Of Having To Post More Pictures

I’m literally sweating here, and it’s not just the heat. Blogger’s new photo uploading feature has beaten me down like a mule. And, seeing as how I’m working from home, I can ‘leave” whenever I want. Right? So I’m clocking out for the day.

The bottom line on the work-from-home-experiment experiment? I wouldn’t mind doing this more often. I had a good time. I hope everyone had a good time, including these people, even though I have no clue who they are.

Most Curious Band

Yes, that's a racoon.

Most Unfortunate Background

Best New Take On An Old Acronym

Picture Least Likely To End Up in My Parents' Photo Album

Most Frivolous Lawsuit

The Girlfriend got this the second night there. Looks like a case for the attorneys on the hit new reality TV show "The Law Firm."

Best Ass


Best Revival Of An Old Joke

The Girlfriend imitating our friend Scott’s mammoth Nextel phone, screaming, “Scott! Scott, I’m on my big phone!” Top Five moment for The Girlfriend right there.

Most Obvious Sign That You’re Getting Older

After a long night of partying, we traded in the champagne for some non-fat milk.

And Now I'm Back Again

Back again and finally being productive. In the last hour I’ve: 1) smoothed things over with The Girlfriend concerning the “Becker” incident (nothing a Jamba Juice couldn’t fix); 2) washed all the dishes in my sink; and 3) poured myself a glass of iced tea – which isn’t so much a chore as a refreshing beverage, which has provided me with my first “thing that’s better about the office”: air conditioning.

But I digress. Time to get back to my “work” and start posting New Orleans pictures. And then, eventually, get to those two phone calls I needed to make for my actual job. The one that, for some reason beyond all economically responsible logic, pays me money.

The real question is: how much work can I get done with “MacGyver on in the background? Hopefully it’s one of the eposides where he just gets a kid off drugs or saves a national park from polluters; because once he starts building things, I can’t tear myself away.

God I Love TiVo

Just about to leave to go visit The Girlfriend and what comes on TV but the best episode of “The Cosby Show” ever – the one where Theo “rents” a room in his own house and everyone else in the family plays a different role in the charade. Absolutely genius. Looks like the half hour after I get back will be about as productive as the past three hours.

Good thing I’m not a stay at home dad. The kid would have to learn to feed itself by age 1.

Not As Easy As I Thought

Quarter to one and my checklist of things to get done still has nothing checked off. Now I have to finally take a shower and go to midtown to ty to smooth out this "Becker" thing with The Girlfriend, whose identity I inadvertantly revealed in a previous post apparently. This is going to be worse than the time I used her face scrub to exfoliate my feet.

I've done more work during this day off than I did the past three days in the office combined.

Hold On . . .

So Ted Hanson's show "Becker" is on right after Dawson's Creek. Inevitably, I accidentially watched the first few minutes. To my shock and dismay, there were actually not one, but TWO funny jokes. And how come no one told me the guy from Swingers was in this? Not that that really makes a difference, but I was kind of wondeing what happened to him.

OK, I wasn't really wondering what happened to him, but I'm just looking for an excuse to keep on typing so I have an excuse to leave this show on in the background. Is is possible I like "Becker?" There's even two hot girls in the show. I'm in trouble.

Goddamn you, Ted Danson. Goddamn you.

I Love Home. Home, Home, Home.

I’m loving this. 11:40, haven’t showered yet, and the options before me are this:

1. Do the dishes.
2. Clean the apartment.
3. Watch a movie.
4. Go up to the roof and lounge in a beach chair.

I’m reeeeally leaning towards the last option. As soon as I’m done watching this episode of “Dawson’s Creek.” It’s an episode from the last season, and I’m pretty confident that no one will argue the point that, of all the teen shows that ran just a little too long, “Dawson’s Creek” did it the best. Great new characters (Eddie the dim-witted barkeep who, much likes a pigeon, needs t constantly move his head in order to communicate; Natasha, the slut actress who breaks Dawson’s naïve heart; and Pacey’s asshole, so-yuppie-even-yuppies-hate-him boss in what can only be described as a Home Shopping Network stock brokerage firm.)

What’s more, years from now we’ll look back on this and think three things:

- Katie Holmes could have been something really great.
- Dawson not being cast as Scooby-Doo in the movie remakes is one of the cinematic tragedies of my lifetime.
- Pacey was more a more enviable character than both Zach Morris and Dylan McKay.

I have no doubt about any of these things. In fact, in light of watching this, I’m going to have to devote about 2000 words to this at some point, I don’t see how I can’t. (I will also start selling “It’s OK to like Dawson’s Creek” buttons through my website.)

A quick “work” update:

I’ve done nothing yet.

But I’m about to, I swear. In fact, I’ll post my first New Orleans picture. Right after I check my email and get a snack.

The Great Work-From-Home Experiment

Reason #146 why it’s good to work in a small business: When all three of your bosses are going to be away on Friday, they just close up shop.

Meaning that I am home today, free to do nothing of any real significance from my couch instead of from an uncomfortable desk chair. The Girlfriend has lent me her laptop for the day because, fung shui novice that I am, my desktop computer faces away from the television. And my back to the TV is no way to spend a Friday off.

I’ve decided to conduct an experiment today: The “what would it be like to work from home?” experiment. I have precisely two things to get done for actual work work, both of which require me to make phone calls that will last between two and four minutes, total. Haven’t started that yet. Otherwise, I plan on posting a lot. My goal is to post all the pictures fit to be seen by people I don’t know, along with witty, hilarious accompanying textual reference.

Also, I plan on posting updates as to what other tantalizing things I do over the course of the day. Such as: I just woke up about 15 minutes ago and turned on the TV to find an Elvis Presley movie called Clambake on. Sure enough, five minutes after in he breaks into a song as eight surfer/gypsy girls dance out of various doors to help Elvis finish sanding down and priming his speedboat. One line of the song is:

You get the sandpaper / You get the pails / You get the hammer baby / You get the nails / You get the paint / you get the brush / Sweetie gonna give it that special touch.

And another:

Glaxonyanitomic phosphate, it’s the latest scoop / But that’s alright girls, you can call it goop.

Then, after dancing around the boat, they’re done and Elvis lines up the girls and kisses each of them, one of which, I have to say, is extremely hot for 1967.

I think I need coffee if I’m going to continue watching this. More to come after breakfast.

Wednesday, July 27

Louisiana - The South of the South (Part II)

The Girlfriend has a real knack for conforming to her surroundings whenever we go away somewhere. For example, when we were in London a few months ago, coming home from an after hours club she impressed our cab driver with her British accent, screaming at him, “Do I sound British to you? Crikey!”

Which is precisely I was more than a little nervous taking her to New Orleans, a city known for heavy drinking, public displays of nudity and a bustling harbor industry.

In order to understand what we were faced with, and to understand what The Girlfriend and I look for in a good vacation city, here it is: The Daily Dump’s First Official City Review: New Orleans.

The Climate: Being below sea level is a truly unique experience. Often, when walking out the front door of the hotel, it would feel as though you were walking into a swamp. A swamp full of drunk southerners.

Not that it was all that unpleasant. Both The Girlfriend and I are aficionados of sun and hot weather. Still, though, on more than one occasion we were driven to retreating to the hotel after consuming inordinately large meals, as I convinced The Girlfriend that our bodies were overheating due to all the energy being used to aid in the digestion process.

The Girlfriend thought this was a load of shit, but she played along because, I could tell, she wanted to go back to our hotel’s rooftop pool as much as I did.

Also, the weight of the air lends to an ominous feeling when walking around the drunken crowds on Bourbon Street. Just this constant feeling that something bad or gross is going to happen, that someone is going to start a fight with you or throw up near you or a saggy boob is going to touch your arm.

The Culture: Like I said before, New Orleans is a city unlike any other in the United States, built on a strong foundation of cultural and historical significance and an economy of filthy, pornish voyeurism.

There is the Garden District, which is home to some of the oldest estate houses in all of Louisiana, the Mighty Mississippi, with it’s shores marked on both sides with battlegrounds from the Civil War, and Bourbon Street, where you can find such establishments as Big Daddy’s, Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club and The “Men Who Look Like Woman” Club (I can only assume that’s the name, because the establishment is marked only by a sign that says, "Men Who Look Like Women.”)

What’s more, New Orleans is home to some of the best, if not the best, jazz establishments in the U.S. From Preservation Hall, a “family friendly” establishment where no smoking or drinking is allowed and everyone crams in to undecorated rooms with wood benches to hear classic jazz, to the north end of the French Quarter, where you can buy drugs, have your car stolen and hear some intense jazz all in a half-hour span.

Or, back on Bourbon Street, you can hear some of the loudest bass pounding out the most overplayed rock and hip hop anthems of our generation – producing conversations like this one The Girlfriend and I had on Saturday morning:

Me: “Why do I have “Sweet Child of Mine” in my head? Did we hear that song last night?”
The Girlfriend: “Probably.”

Then there’s the up-and-coming art scene, with, on certain streets, more galleries and coffee houses than hurricane bars.

But, above all, there is “Beads For Boobs.” If you had to list on defining characteristic of New Orleans, it would have to be that, on any given drunken night, a woman can lift up her shirt and, subsequentially, be showered with brightly colored plastic beads, which she will then wear on her neck and cherish as though the beads beheld any real value other than the 25 cents paid for them or the small slice of dignity sacrificed in procuring them.

All in all, you can say that, culturally speaking, New Orleans is a city feeding off dichotomy. It’s not a trashy party town, it’s the home of Jazz; it’s not all about beads and boobs, it’s got substantial historical and value; they don’t just hose the vommit off the streets at the end of the night, it’s the home of creole and cajun cuisine! Well, they do hose the vommit off the streets at the end of the night, but you see what I’m getting at.

The People: Oh the people.

The thing about New Orleans is, it’s such a tourist city that I couldn’t even make a guess at how many locals I came across on any given day. 10? 20 maybe? I know the 300 lb women with the Mickey Mouse t-shirts were not locals. I know the men with the high top sneakers, jean shorts and cowboy hats on were not locals. And I also know that anyone who looked remotely like me was not a local.

So really, what we’re talking about when we talk about “the people of New Orleans” is the type of person who is drawn to New Orleans. And, really, that’s everyone, precisely because it has something for everyone (and nudity).

But if I had to list a few of my favorites (and trust me, I do) they would be the following:

The Drunk Bellman (way too old to be a bellboy). Asked us a minimum of three times where we were from and a minimum of five times how long we were in town. Every time we answered it was like news to him. If he has a brain tumor that adversely affects his short term memory, I regret writing this. But I’m pretty confident he was just drunk.

The 3 For 1 Drink Guy. Genius bar on Bourbon Street served three for one beers all night long. You buy one, they give you three. That simple.

So, when Marissa and I first go up to the bar, there is an guy sitting on a stool by himself. Apparently, he had just ordered one beer, was given three, and didn’t want the other two – so he gave them to The Girlfriend and me. Flash forward a half an hour later and The Girlfriend and I buy another round. The Girlfriend suggests that it would be nice to give our third beer to the guy who gave us his extra two originally. We walk over to him and The Girlfriend hands him the beer. His is shocked, then confused. The Girlfriend explains that we’re returning the favor for the drinks he gave us. Still confused. She says that he bought one beer, was given three, and gave the extra two to us. Still nothing. Finally, he makes pretend to understand what we’re saying and thanks us.

A few minutes later, while we’re standing near the door, the guy quickly walks past us outside, not acknowledging us, presumably due to the fact that he would soon be vomiting.

The Token Homeless Guy. Too many years ago to count without getting depressed, my friend BJ and I went to New Orleans, among other places, for spring break. While we were walking around the French Quarter one day, a homeless guy came up to BJ and this interaction happened:

Homeless Guy: “I bet I can tell you where you got those shoes.”
BJ: “OK, where?”
Homeless Guy: “What size are they?”
BJ: “I don’t know. 9’s?”
Homeless Guy: “You got them on your feet!”

Suddenly, the Homeless Guy throws a wad of shoe polish on BJ’s shoe and starts polishing it. BJ is confused and angry. The Homeless Man finishes, barely wiping up the polish and holds out his hand. BJ looks at him. Homeless Man says, “What, you not gonna pay a man for polishing your shoes?” Nevermind that he only polished one shoe and it wasn’t really polished so much as had crap wiped on it, but BJ gave him a few dollars and we parted ways. (Later that afternoon, this the same guy came up to BJ and this conversation occurred:

Homeless Guy: “Hey buddy, got a smoke?”
BJ: “Hey man, how’s it going?”
Homeless Guy: “Yeah, got a smoke?”
BJ: “Dude, you just polished my shoe like two hours ago. You don’t remember me?”
Homeless Guy: “Oh right! Got a smoke?”

My point in recalling this? On Sunday night, while The Girlfriend and I were walking down from a restaurant to The House of Blues for the Ray Lamontagne concert, a homeless guy stops us and asks if we have any spare change. I tell him I don’t have any and keep on walking. As I’m walking away, I hear him saw behind me, “I bet I can tell you where you got those shoes!”

Was it the same guy? Or is this a common New Orleans routine? Regardless, I was wearing flip flops and I didn’t want to ruin the fond memory with a glob of shoe polish in between my toes. So I’ll never know.

Body Odor Woman at A&P. I would say this is self-explanatory, but only insofar as a crippling, mind-numbing stench can be considered self-explanatory. I can’t even begin to fathom the places that this smell came from, although my first guess would be “hell” and my second guess would definitely not be “the shower.” She stood behind us on line for the register, and had we not needed, literally NEEDED, the water w were holding so badly, I would have fled. Instead, The Girlfriend and I discretely pulled oral hygiene products off the shelf next to us and sniffed them.

Woman In Bikini Top, Aged 75, Man In Lime Green Spandex Short Shorts, Aged 80 – On Bourbon Street. Now that’s self-explanatory.

The Food:

An open letter to My Heart:

I am sorry. It was tasty at the time, and, perhaps due to all the beer, I wasn’t thinking clearly when I ate it all. I hope you can find it in your . . . you, to forgive me.


p.s. I particularly regret the pork spare ribs for brunch.

Louisiana – The South of the South (Interrupted)

Well, I was planning on posting the second installment of The Trip To New Orleans In Four Parts last night, but instead I got drunk and couldn’t tear myself away from The Notebook.

I fully expect to lose some readers over this one.

The revised timetable for the second posting of The Trip To New Orleans In Four Parts will be: this afternoon. Unless I start mixing some mojitos and find Terms of Endearment on cable.

While I have you here, can I just vent a little about The Notebook? Cheesy romance movie, yes; but I defy you to start watching it and not finish watching it. It’s just engrossing enough to make you say, “I’ve invested this much time, why not finish?” Kind of like college.

Anyway, here’s my problem (other than the fact that I’m a 16 year old girl): In the annals of Hollywood, there are plenty of movies that follow the formula: girl and boy get together, girl and boy break up, girl starts dating someone new, boy begs and pleads and does everything possible to, eventually, win girl back. (I can’t think of any right now because I haven’t had coffee yet, but you know they are out there.)

BUT, how many movies do you see where the couple breaks up, the BOY meets someone new, and then the girl does anything and everything to win him back? Maybe, I can think of a few movies where the couple breaks up and then the girl tries to win the guy back, but I can’t think of any where the boy gets a new girlfriend, and then the girl has to win him back. IN FACT! the only movie I can think of where this scenario is even remotely hinted at is My Best Friend’s Wedding, and in the end it’s Julia Roberts who decides that she doesn’t need the old flame anymore and is emboldened in her feminine individuality and independence in her decision. And that movie needed a gay man to get by! AND, I STILL can’t watch that movie without getting Dermot Mulroney and Rupert Everett confused every time only one of them is on the screen. I mean, really, did the casting director NOT notice that they could be friggin twins?!

Sorry. I’m getting worked up about this. Anyway . . .

And you know why we have this formulaic inequality? Two reasons: 1. Because a guy breaking up with a girl makes him an asshole while a girl breaking up with a guy makes her smart; and, 2. The cinematic powers-that-be cater to a female romantic comedy audience, who want to be empowered by their feminine ability to keep men on emotional leashes.

For once, though, I would love to have a movie where the guy is the in the right, and he meets a new girl that is a great girl, and the old girl has to reexamine her priorities and her life and, in the end, stand outside his window and serenade him with “Power of Love” (only changing “I am the man who will fight…” to “I am the woman who will fight…” and choosing a song written after 1985 instead.)

Turns out I’m still drunk. I’ll be back later.

Saturday, July 23

Louisiana – The South of the South (Part I)

Let’s just say that The Girlfriend is having no trouble fitting in in The Big Easy. (She’s the one licking the penis, not the one wearing it. Obviously.)

Thursday, July 21

Leaving on a Jet Blue Plane

In one of my better birthday present ideas for The Girlfriend (No, I didn’t think at the time that body wash was a bad present), she and I will be leaving for New Orleans tomorrow where we will be swimming in our hotel’s rooftop pool, baring our breasts for beads and seeing Ray Lamontagne at the House of Blues. I’ll be sure to keep track of all the fun and illegal-in-the-state-of-New York events and give a less than full recounting when I get back.

Two quick highlights from the Philharmonic in Central Park trip on Tuesday night:

Pete commenting to James that he must have spent $15 on the prosciutto he brought, James telling Pete he’s correct, and the rest of us launching into a completely overdrawn, five minute rant/sketch comedy about “Pete the Meat Appraiser” going around town telling people how much their meat is worth. Absolutely classic.

And then,

During the firework show at the end, a large, white firework (the ones that hang in the air a little like a weeping willow) goes off and this takes place:

Random guy on blanket next to us: “Oh, that’s my favorite firework.”
Matt (under his breath): “Come on man, that’s your favorite one?”


For a weekly round-up, I think we’ll go with this:

The Long Awaited First Ever Top Five List: Top 5 Tragic Death in Cinema.

I have narrowed down the field by the following criteria.

– No gangster movies. One, they’re awful people and you shouldn’t feel bad when one of them dies, and two everyone dies anyway. (Honorable mention to Joe Pesci in Goodfellas for the surprise factor and Sonny in A Bronx Tale, because he just had some classic lines.)

No animals. It’s just a given that animals dying is sadder than people dying. People don’t have fur. (If they were included, though, Hooch from Turner and Hooch would be the hands down winner. Although more than one of my friends has admitted that he has proudly cried at the end of All Dogs Go to Heaven. Simply put, dogs should never die. My friend BJ took it a step further in telling us about when his dog Missy died: “I cried in Fordham church and told God to his son's face that if Missy wasn’t in heaven then I wouldn't go.” Like I said . . . it’s sadder.)

No movies based on true stories. It’s always more tragic when you know that it actually happened. Like when you’re watching a movie trailer and thinking, “Hmm, that looks good,” and then the voice over says, “Based on a true story,” and you get the chills. (Case IN Point: “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I can handle it when it’s a family that’s down on their luck, like their house was swept away in a raging flood – but give me a guy who’s raising three kids after his wife was killed in a car accident and I lose it.)

No more Tom Hanks movies. It’s a proven fact – people don’t like to see Tom Hanks die, or, for that matter, anyone around him die. In fact, I could do a Top Five Tragic Deaths in Tom Hanks Movies:

1. Hooch, Turner and Hooch.
2. Tom Hanks, Saving Private Ryan.
3. Tom Hanks, Philadelphia.
4. Tom Hanks, Road to Perdition.
5. Jenny, Forrest Gump.

– No movies I haven’t seen. Self-explanatory.

First, the short listed movies that didn’t make the cut:

Gladiator. Not Russell Crowe’s death, but the death of his wife and child. The alternating scenes of Crowe riding his horse to his home, knowing that soldiers are on their way to kill his family, and the scenes of the soldiers arriving and riding over the family are heart-wrenching. And he finally reaches home to find them hanging from a tree.

Life is Beautiful. Utterly tragic, but almost disqualified due to the “no true stories” rule. Not that this really happened, but the Holocaust itself is the prevailing tragedy here.

My Girl. Don’t laugh – it’s romantic, it’s poignant, and it’s terribly sad. But didn’t make the list because I’m 25 years old.

American History X. He was never really a good kid who made all the right choices, but he was turning himself around, and that was right when he was cut down. The most tragic part? The overwhelming feeling that evil doesn’t always lose, and redemption isn’t always possible.

Shawshank Redemption. Brooks is released from prison as an old man, his crime a distant memory, but with no future. Narrated perfectly and touchingly, you really feel like the remainder of his life outside of prison is not worth living, and that the only mark he has left on anything is the carving of “Brooks was here” before he hangs himself.

And now the list.

#5 Seven. An odd choice, I know, but it had to be on the list for the following reasons: 1. Gwyneth Paltrow is hot; 2. You never see it coming, you can’t convince me that you did; and 3. Brad Pitt became a not just an honorary member of, but a spokesperson for the Hall of Fame of Bad Acting Scenes with his “What’s in the box?!” routine.

#4 The Professional. The scene where he is killed is filmed perfectly, with the literal light at the end of the tunnel that really does make you think he’s going to make it out of the building alive. But it’s a great story of a guy who risked, and lost, his life to help a little girl (a young Natalie Portman) who, subsequently, make every grown man watching the movie question their ethical standards.

#3 Million Dollar Baby. Rags to riches girl who is on the cusp of achieving hard fought goals she never dreamed possible is cut down and faced with the fact that if she cannot fight, she doesn’t want to live. Made all the more heart-wrenching by the scenes with her family pretending to care for her when they are really trying to get her money, because to them that is all she is worth. (Note: This is the movie where The Girlfriend earned her nickname “Ice Queen” for not crying at the end, while I, of course, was a snot covered mess. Later, she tries to convince me that she is not an Ice Queen, because she cried once at a movie called “The Dog Who Stopped the War” when she was about eight years old.)

#2 Mystic River. A friend suspects his lifelong friend of killing his daughter. He kills him in revenge. Turns out he is wrong. Great character played by Sean Penn, and the scene leading up to Tim Robins being killed is so long and drawn out (mixed perfectly with scenes of Kevin Bacon discovering who really killed his daughter) that I can’t sit still while I watch it. And then Sean Penn’s stoic reaction to finding out he killed his friend for nothing just leaves you wasted.

#1 Dead Poets Society. Right in the middle of a funny, uplifting movie about a bunch of uptight kids at a boarding school who are taught to love and embrace life, one kid is driven to suicide by his overbearing parents preventing him from doing the one thing that makes him happy. Robin Williams best role ever in a movie that runs the emotional gamut of happiness and heartbreak. What’s more, I could watch this movie over and over and over and still regret it every time Neil kills himself.

And there you go. First Top Five in the books, and now I'm off to the Big Easy. I trust that if The Girlfriend and I get into any trouble with the law, I can rely on my readers (the ones located in the Americas at least) to lend a helping hand.

Tuesday, July 19

I've had a busy, busy day.

First, there was The Perfect Crap Storm.

I walk into the men’s bathroom where there are three stalls. Some asshole (literally) has parked himself in the middle stall. When it’s just you in the bathroom, there is no excuse to occupy the middle stall, unless the toilet to the right is violently overflowing and the toilet to the left is missing. You just don’t do it, it’s bad manners, plain and simple. But I digest.

In an act of defiance and gross necessity, I occupy the stall to the right of the man (if sitting down . . . if that makes a difference to anyone). Almost immediately after that, I hear another man enter the bathroom. Packed house tonight, and I’m getting cold feet. I plan on holding out a bit and seeing what transpires.

Bad idea.

The man who just walked in goes up to a urinal and, mid-stream, lets out an enormous fart. A long lasting, reverberating fart. He groans. Then, the man in middle stall lets out one of his own, hoping, I presume, that his noise would be overshadowed by the man at the urinal – bad timing, no such luck. Immediately after that, the urinal guy lets out another one, but this time a short burst of noise followed by a “Oh…”, and I hear him head towards the third stall. (At this point, I almost have tears in my eyes, not only from restraining laughter, but also from contemplating the fact that I may have just witnessed one of the funniest things in my life and I couldn’t even laugh at it.)

Now, we’re set up in this murders row, me holding in laughter and the two guys next to me trying to time their gas to coincide in some sort of foul harmony. This went on for about three minutes, with each of them initiating the noise every 15 seconds or so. It was an unbelievable thing to witness, and it got so out of hand that I had to abort and plan on coming back later.

Then, on my way to lunch:

1. I witnessed a man get hit by a car. (Not hard, just one of those where someone’s backing up and the guy had to put his hand on the bumper . . . as though that would stop the 3000lb vehicle.)

2. I saw an old Jewish man walking past a group of twenty-something corporate hookers and, after ogling them, slapping himself in the face. Hard.

3. I had my picture taken at least five times. Literally. It’s tourist’s row on wall street and I’ve stopped trying to get out of the way of pictures. Walking the 50 yards from the front of my building to Broadway is like walking down a red carpet, except after every picture people yell in different languages what I can only assume to be, “Damnit! The asshole got in my way!”

Then, I got to the deli and the first thing I did was look for my cookies (obviously) that weren’t there all of last week. Lo and behold, they are there. But they look different. Flatter, and with the M&M’s in a concentrated pool in the middle of the cookie instead of evenly spread out like before. Of course I bought one, and I’ll let you know what it was like after I eat it (in about 15 minutes).

If that wasn’t enough, the panini guy gave me the wrong panini, which I didn’t realize until I got back to my office and couldn’t figure out why I was smelling ham everywhere I went. Sure enough, I open my panini and it appears to be ham and cheddar cheese (I’m guessing? Is that even a viable combination?) So I go back to the deli and the panini guy is apologetic (that’s a good name for a blog – The Panini Guy) and not only gives me the right panini, but also tells me to keep the old one. I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing with it. I don’t ever remember adding ham and cheddar to my “wouldn’t eat it even if it was free” list, so I guess that answers my question.

Cookie Update: Definitely not the same cookie. It’s literally an imposter cookie, trying to look and taste the same, but pulling it off about as well as Bernie in Weekend at Bernie’s II. Now I’m not just sad, I’m mad. Take my cookie away from me once, shame on you. Replace my cookie with an inferior quality baked good, run.

(Note: During spell check of this, I had to add the word “panini” to the Microsoft Word dictionary. How was my firm getting along without the word panini in their dictionary? You’re trying to tell me that no one here has written about a panini in the past? Another reason to hold my co-workers in contempt.)

Quote of the Day:

BJ: “It wasn't until I stepped from the 40 degree shade to the 45 degree sunlight on the Minneola train platform that my mind suddenly focused on how dangerous the train station is. Waiting for my train several others pass by, at incredible speeds, and I am standing on the brink of a yellow rubber safety line, it’s as safe as a broken condom. And then...after sleep on the hurling machine, walking through Penn Station I see there is no difference between the danger of the platform, and the danger of being surrounded by all of these fragmented spirits marching through the underground hovel. Geez, who thought there would be such danger and drama just in a morning commute?”

Matt: “Well you guys can cry yourselves to sleep all you like, but I've been walking that line since i was a small boy begging for change and dangling my legs over the side when a train was coming just to entertain the kind folk waiting for the "hurling” machine...little did they know both of my legs were prosthetics and the look on their face as the train would destroy me from the knee cap down...well that was all the thanks i needed.... beat that.”

BJ: “I am the train, beat that, and I enjoyed crushing your legs. Besides, I wasn't asking for any such sympathy.”

Matt: “I’m not sympathizing…I’m TELLING YOU THAT MY CHILDHOOD AS A MOLE PERSON WAS SHIT!!! And I want those years back...please.”

- A typical daily email conversation.

Monday, July 18

Queens and Adultery

One of my mottos in life (one of the ones I actually believe, not one of the ones I just think sounds good) has always been “It’s not where you are, but who you’re with that matters.”

Case and point (I don’t know what that phrase means, but apparently this is the correct usage):

Last summer I planned an impromptu Labor Day “party” at my parents’ house on Long Island. At the time, they were right in the middle of remodeling the house, so our “party” consisted of me and about seven of my closest friends sitting around a large dining room table in a nearly empty, plywood-floored room, that was lit by bulbs hanging from wires in the ceiling and surrounded by equally empty, disheveled rooms.

All night long we sat around that table, drinking, telling stories and taking pictures, every so often wandering out to the barbecue for another round of food. My friend BJ put it best when he said we were like a group of friends in post-World War II Italy, and our house was bombed out but we were just happy to be alive.

We did this until about 2:00 in the morning, at which time we rolled out makeshift beds on the plywood floor and called it a night. Everyone who was there agrees it was one of the most fun “parties” ever attended.

Which is why I wasn’t surprised (OK, a little surprised) at the fantastic time that was had out in Queens this past weekend. We originally planned on going to the historic Beer Garden; but upon arrival at 10:00pm we were met with a line outside that rivaled a Harry Potter book signing. So we discussed our options, let the Queens natives navigate, and ended up at an outdoor café on the corner of Ditmars and Doesn’t Really Matter Street.

Three pitchers of sangria and a few chocolate and banana crepes later, our waiter rewarded our boisterous behavior with a round of grappa on the house, which was less like throwing gasoline on the fire and more like swallowing gasoline on the sangria. After a hearty round of “OK, now I’m drunk”’s, we dispersed, everyone already saying what a fun night it had been.

So – to anyone who scoffs at the notion of going from Manhattan to Queens on a Saturday night, I have one piece of advice: Get better friends.

HOWEVER – the memorable moment of the weekend goes to dinner at an upper east side restaurant with my mother, grandmother, sister and The Girlfriend on Sunday night. Not because the food was so great, the conversation was fun and the check was picked up by my mother; but entirely because of the couple sitting at the table next to us.

The couple in question was an older man with a perfectly manicured mullet-perm and an attractive, brunette, late 20’s - very early 30’s woman. I knew something was suspect when we first sat down and I saw the woman grab the man’s hand and overheard her say, “Thank you for seeing me. I really just needed to sit down and talk face to face.” At first I thought it was just a break-up gone awry, but I was still curious about the obvious age/looks gap.

Then, after ignoring everyone else at the table for about ten minutes so I could intently listen to their conversation, I heard the fateful words: “blah, blah, blah wife blah, blah, blah.” The Girlfriend, who I didn’t know was listening too, shoots me a stunned look, mouthing the words, “But he has a perm!” It was a priceless moment (more for us than for the girl at the table, I presume).

Halfway through our meal, I was completely engrossed. I may as well have pulled my chair over and sat with my plate on my lap so I could have had a better view. Eventually, she starts crying, he gets up and goes outside to answer his cell phone (THREE TIMES) and I don’t know if I want to go give this girl a hug or slap her for being so stupid. (Although I would probably have to opt for the slapping, because the more I looked at her the more I could tell that she had a little bit of the crazy in her eye; you know, that look that says, “I’m pretty, but don’t think I won’t cut you.”) Finally, their conversation ends with this exchange:

Perm Mullet Man: “So it’s agreed, we’ll just be friends. And I’ll check in on you from time to time.”
Crazy Girl: (slightly twitching) “OK, thank you. Thank you so much.”

The best was when we left the restaurant and I alerted my mother as to what was going on at the table (her back was to them), and her reaction is a gasp of surprise and then: “Did you see he had an American Express Black card?” I don’t even know how she saw it with her back to them. I’m half convinced she smelled it. But just like my mom to get to the heart of the matter right off the bat.

All in all though, just a great dinner. Like I said, it’s all about who you’re with . . . unless it’s someone else’s husband. Then it’s about how good the psychiatrist is.

Friday, July 15

The Maine Event

One minute you’re life is so boring that you’re one the phone arguing with Time Warner Cable because you can’t get the 2-minute long “Behind the Scenes: Entourage” clip to play on HBO on Demand, the next you’re taking an Mad Max-like journey to Maine . . . again. Although this time without the kayaking – or the stopping for that matter. That’s right – on Wednesday, The Girlfriend and I did what she termed as “something no one else has ever done before in history,” (and I believe her) when we left New York City at 8:00 in the morning, drove to the upper reaches of Maine and back in the same day, getting home at 1:20am. One more time, for those of you that fell out of your chair or fainted – we drove to Maine and back in a single day.

To quote my mother: “Oh dear God.”

Mind you the trip wasn’t conceived as a fun-filled, single day getaway in a rented Dodge Stratus. It was a family emergency for the Girlfriend’s mother who was visiting us in New York, and she needed to get back to Maine as soon as possible. So The Girlfriend and I did what we had to do, taking to the road again (did I mention we had just finished driving there a few weeks ago?)

So what was it like? Not so surprisingly, it was very similar to the time we drove there a in June. Not much has changed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Maine in that time. But we did have a different car this time around, springing for the intermediate upgrade (Dodge Stratus) instead of the economy model (Dodge Neon). What are the differences? Well, here are three important ones:

1. Maryland license plates instead of New Jersey Plates, to which The Girlfriend comments: “Oh good! . . . Wait, is that better?”

2. Sirius Satellite Radio. This alone made the $10 upgrade worth it, although we lost the signal about half an hour before reaching our destination in Maine. (That’s how far up north we were – a friggin satellite couldn’t even find us. I’m convinced our international enemies don’t even know that Maine exists.)

3. The most reclining seats ever. I’m talking straight back, into a bed-like state. Made catching a couple of hours of sleep while The Girlfriend drove that much easier, although I was still woken up periodically by exclamations like, “Come on asshole, move it,” or “Whoa, that was close.” (My friend BJ and I could have used this car when we took a driving tour of the Southeast back in college for spring break. Instead, we made do with a Saturn in a Park and Ride somewhere on the Florida panhandle, with blankets pulled up over our heads and shots of codeine cough medicine to fall asleep. Good times.)

Other than that, and the occasional delirium induced conversation (“Where are we?” “Hell.” “Is there a Dunkin Donuts?”) the trip was wall to wall driving, almost 18 hours in total., with Maine being, by far, the worst state in which to drive. After a studied review, I’ve come to the conclusion that Maine has three redeemable qualities:

1. It’s motto: “Maine – the way life should be.” Slow, inexpensive, and kind of trashy. It’s cocky, but I like bravado in a state.

2. A very small, if any, police presence. It makes sense for many reasons. One, if you were a cop, would you go out patrolling the highway, where it’s a minimum of 15 miles between exists in most places, knowing that you just have to drive back at some point? Me neither. And second, getting pulled over for speeding in Maine would be like going into an empty restaurant and getting shitty service. Why would you drive people away when there’s only like 200 people there to begin with?

3. Fresh air. If you like that sort of thing.

By the time we made it home, we were both so over-tired and hyper on the surplus of caffeine flowing through our bodies, that we just sat there contemplating what we had just done. We slept a few hours and got up to go to work the next day (where I fell asleep at my desk seven times – five times more than usual). Before work, I returned the rental car, and as the attendant noted the mileage on the car he commented, “Damn, where’d you go, Florida?”

I thought about replying, “I wish,” but then realized that all I could say was, “Doesn’t really matter, I’m back in New York now.”

Tuesday, July 12

What Isn't News - I Love Cookies

I've really got to get my cookie addiction under control. I was literally crestfallen when I went to the lunch place today and saw that they didn't have the cookies I usually get – again! I fear that they might not carry them anymore. I was about to ask the girl at the checkout counter, who I am pretty speaks little to no English, where the store got their cookies from. But at the last second someone came up behind me on line and, figuring the conversation would take a minimum of 20 minutes, used my better judgment. Although what great entertainment for everyone else it would have been for me to try to make the girl understand that I wanted to know where she got the cookies with the M&M’s on top from.

And, Britney is officially getting fat.

Has anyone considered that if Britney has a daughter, when the daughter is 18 Britney will only be 41, which could result in one of the hottest mother-daughter tandems of all time? Should I make pretend I read this somewhere else instead of thinking it up myself?

In other, more or less important news . . .

Elderly woman in U.S. hoards more than 300 cats

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - About 300 cats, nearly a third of them dead, were removed from an elderly woman's Virginia home after neighbors complained of a stench coming from the house, police said on Tuesday.

"Cats were coming out of the cabinets and drawers and were inside the walls. There were hundreds of them," Fairfax County Police officer Richard Henry told Reuters.

He said animal control officers removed 273 cats -- 86 of them dead -- over the weekend and slapped a condemnation order on the door of the house. The woman, her husband and daughter were told to leave.

At what point do the husband and daughter sit the woman down and say, “Honey, I think we have too many cats.” 20? 50? 100? Maybe the first time you pull the shower curtain back and there’s 8 cats in the tub? I’d say my breaking point would be when you have to start nudging the cats to see if they’re dead or just asleep. Definitely.

Speaking of crazy elderly women . . .

Granny grows tired of prostitution at age 63

BERLIN (Reuters) - A Berlin grandmother who has worked the city's diplomatic quarter as a prostitute for the last 49 years plans to retire when she turns 64 next year, according to Germany's Bild newspaper.

"I'm going to stop at 64 and retire," said Dolle, whose husband drops her off for work each night after the television evening news and who has a nine-year-old granddaughter.

Dolle said she tried to work in a popular red light district nearby recently but was chased away by younger competitors.

"What do you want here, you old whore, get lost," Dolle said they shouted at her. "What did I ever do to them?"

Wasn’t this the plot of a Flannery O’Connor story? Elderly prostitute rises above social constraints and ultimately proves to the younger hookers that menopause is just a state of mind?

In other job news . . .

U.S. workers say they waste 2 hours a day

BOSTON (Reuters) - U.S. workers say they squander over two hours a day at the workplace, with surfing the Web, socializing with co-workers and simply "spacing out" among the top time-wasting activities, according to a survey released on Monday.

Two hours a day? I waste two hours before noon.

But the good news is Bill Coleman, senior vice president at, says "There is such a thing as creative waste.” i.e. me sitting outside at a café table right now writing my blog, which, in fact, does qualify as creativity even though it has the word “dump” in the title.

Speaking of wasting time at work, here’s some news from the Oval Office.

White House: Bush Has Confidence in Rove

WASHINGTON - After two days of questions, the White House said Tuesday that President Bush continues to have confidence in Karl Rove, the presidential adviser at the center of the investigation into the leak identifying a female CIA officer. Meanwhile, prominent Democrats are calling for Rove to be fired.

Bush did not respond to a reporter's question Tuesday about whether he would fire Rove, in keeping with a June 2004 pledge to dismiss any leakers of Valerie Plame's identity.

Is there anything more frustrating as a citizen than watching all this take place in your government? Covering up evidence concerning the death of a government agent no less? I’m waiting for this press conference briefing from President Bush:

“The statements I made concerning the firing of any individual who might be a part of this scandal were premature. You know, you just never know how situations like this are going to play out. I made those statements at a time when I thought no one from my administration was involved. Huh.

I have spoken with my advisors, and they have further reiterated that I should not say anything in public without talking to them first. Thank you, and God bless America. Yee-haw.”

And finally, speaking of backstabbing and general political underhandedness . . .

On this day in 1861, during the civil war the Confederacy signs treaties with Choctaw and Chickasaw Tribes Special commissioner Albert Pike completes treaties with the members of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Tribes, giving the new Confederate States of America several allies in Indian Territory. Some members of the tribes also fought for the Confederacy.

It wasn’t until much later that we finished stealing their land and destroying the final shreds of their culture and heritage.

Also, I have no idea what this caption has to do with this picture.

Sunday, July 10

What Time Is It? 4:30?

Things I learned tonight:

1. The Upper East Side is overrun with girls who are just a little bit overweight.

2. 2:00am is the new 400am.

3. Wine is good, but scotch is good.

4. Literally anything deep fried tastes good when drunk. Anything. Bread and fry a pencil for me, and it will taste good.

5. I love a good cab driver. I mean I downright love them. A cab driver that speeds up for yellow lights, takes all the right streets – I just want to be friends with them. Like having a friend who is a good singer, having a friend who is a good cab driver. No difference.

6. Advertising cereal as solely a breakfast food was a terrible idea. Cereal is one of the greatest snacks in the world. Cookie Crisp tried to get that message across, but chickened out. Cereal is going nowhere as a breakfast.

7. Why I’m not in bed right now is beyond me.

Friday, July 8

Friday Round-Up

– I got another spam message today from “Toothpaste H. Improbably.” i would love to be in the room when these penis enlargement companies are sitting around a table thinking up email addresses. I think it’s something I could excel at.

– Am I the only one who gets the impression from the “Dunkin Donuts turbo iced coffee” commercial that there is something special in the coffee that makes it turbo? Other than caffeine? Also, am I the only one who gets the feeling that I write about Dunkin Donuts iced coffee too much?

– Yesterday I saw three women with their flies down. Three! That has to be some sort of record. It also poses an interesting question: Do I look at women’s crotched often? And if so – what of it?

– I forgot how devastating Tom Hank’s death is at the end of Saving Private Ryan. Watched it again on TV last night. the more I think about it, the more I realize that it was an underrated movie. From what I remember, it was critically acclaimed. But in retrospect, I think it deserves billing as one of the best war movies of all time, and here’s why:

1. Uniquity. The story of a mission to save one man because all of his brothers had been killed. It’s political and hardly heroic in its own right (not like Schindler’s List where the man was saving hundreds of innocent people);but still raises the moral quagmire of the value of one life, poignantly executed at the end when Ryan is looking at the gravestone and asks his wife, “Have I been a good man?”

2. Cast. Practically every soldier is a recognizable actor. No throw-aways and each one is cast with similarities between their acting persona and their character’s attitude. Tom Hanks is genius – just a school teacher who happens to be a leader at war. Not over-the-top brave, but man enough to get the job done. And any time you can get a Matt Damon type actor to play such a small part, you know you’ve got a good cast.

3. Visually stunning, no question about it.

4. Realistic battle. For the most part (sticky bombs?) the battle is sloppy and realistic. Men throwing helmets at each other as a last resort, people running out of ammunition, hand to hand combat that involved gouging and biting instead of precision punches and kicks. If for no other scene than the one where Mellish (Adam Goldberg) is fighting the German that Tom Hanks let live earlier on in the movie, and during the struggle for the knife the German slowly presses it into Mellish’s heart while whispering, “Shhhh…” Chilling every single time I see it.

Back to my original thought, which was the tragedy of Tom Hank’s death, which got me thinking of compiling a list of Top Five Most Tragic Movie Deaths, which, in turn, got me to thinking that I should include more Top Five lists in here. So I will. At some point.

– I burnt my tongue three days ago on soup and it still hurts. How is that possible? I even remember thinking back when I originally burned it, “Oh man, I burned my tongue. Good thing a burned tongue heals by the next day.”

New story of the day:

“First one sheep jumped to its death. Then stunned Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched as nearly 1,500 others followed, each leaping off the same cliff, Turkish media reported.

In the end, 450 dead animals lay on top of one another in a billowy white pile, the Aksam newspaper said. Those who jumped later were saved as the pile got higher and the fall more cushioned, Aksam reported.”

Only in Turkey . . .

Thursday, July 7

Can't Ignore It

Obviously it’s one of those days when a humorous approach just doesn’t cut it. Even Yahoo’s most popular stories are dominated by the articles on the bombings (although the “most emailed pictures” remains a safe-haven for the absurd”).

I don’t like to get political, mostly because I prefer to discuss things that I fully understand, or at least can make pretend I fully understand, and politics has so many big words and niche terminology that it’s not easy to learn or fake. But it’s my blog and I can write what I want. When you start your own blog, you can make up things and pass them along as facts too.

I feel bad for Tony Blair. Much like the episode of MacGyver I was watching last night, where a crack addict gets his friend in trouble with his dealer when the friend was only trying to help him get clean, the U.S. really got Tony in a bit of a jam here by starting a war and asking for help. My friend James put it best, saying that Blair is “the kid that got in trouble for hanging out with the wrong crowd.”

“Let’s get everyone together, let’s feed some starving nations and clean up our dirty atmosphere, come on, we’ll meet at my place.” And then his place gets ambushed.

During his news conference, you could tell that he was shaken up. No calls to bring out the fight in everyone and let the terrorists “bring it on” because we’re ready; mostly just sadness, an emotion I appreciate in a leader even more than I appreciate steely resolve and a willingness to fight to the end. Because it shows that Tony understands that magnitude of what’s going on here.

Maybe there’s something noble and important in looking at the big picture and envisioning a peaceful future after the smoke clears, when we can look back at statistics instead of being faced with news. And maybe it takes a tough individual who isn’t afraid to lead people reluctantly down a tough path to make history when it needs to be made.

But maybe, also, the tough path is really a dead end, and not just the forty people on their way to work, but everyone you took with you down the path turns out to be an innocent victim.

Quote of the Day (to Lighten Things Up)
“I’ve never taught anything on a professional level. Teaching is for those who want others to learn, and I'm all about keeping those around me less informed.”
– Matt, when confronted with the fact that three out of our six close friends have been “teachers”

Wednesday, July 6

Here’s one I left off the list from yesterday:

Worst Way to End a Holiday Weekend

With a sinus infection.

Which is exactly how my Tuesday morning began; and today seems to be going along those lines as well. It’s akin to waking up in the morning, banging your head against the wall 10 or 15 times, and then going about your day. Ridiculous. People are trying to talk to me and it’s like Micky and Adrienne swirling around my head telling me to stay down. But no, I claw my way back up and finish that spreadsheet. For what? I should be home picking up where I left off last night with my tivo watching – another episode of “MacGyver,” followed by another viewing of The Girl Next Door, the movie that single-handedly catapulted Elisha Cuthbert into the “distant-second to The Girlfriend” place on my list formerly held by Katie “Dianetics” Holmes. Just an unbelievable performance. So believable in the roll of “the cool girl who just wants a nice guy” that it prompted this conversation between me and my friend James:

James: “I feel like under the right circumstances one of us could hook up with her if we met her out.”
Me: “Under the right circumstances one of us could totally hook up with her. Granted "the right circumstances" include the rest of us holding her down.”

But instead, I’m here, at work, listening to the echoes of phones ringing in my head long after the calls are over. I’m trying my best not to look too sick, but also not to look too healthy. There’s a delicate balance you need to maintain – the balance of appearance and actual degree of illness. You want sympathy, you want people to give you less work and, most of all, to feel bad when they do give you work. But if you take it too far, you run the risk of being “that asshole who came to work when he was sick and now might get me sick”, or worse, “that gross guy with the snot on his shirt.” You need to be clean, but not dressed in your best clothes; awake, but still slightly groggy; and, above all, you need to come off as though you are battling through your sickness for the greater good of the company and for that shred of human dignity that won’t let a little mucus get the best of you.

So, so far I’ve told one person “I feel better than I sound,” another person that “I feel worse than I look,” and one person told me “You sound awful.” At this point, I’m confused as to how sick I am. I’m inclined to let the sickness get the best of me, sneeze on my computer screen and get sent home. Who needs dignity anyway? I don’t think I’ve ever used it in the past, and even if I did I’m sure it didn’t work.

Tuesday, July 5

The Best And Worst Of The Fourth:

Worst Sand Castle Idea
Building it 50ft. away from the water, then running a 50ft. uphill channel to try to fill the moat.

Most Inconsiderate Way To Off Yourself
Jump in front of a train at Penn Station on the Friday before the Fourth of July weekend.

Worst Way To Start Your Fourth Of July Weekend
Taking the E train out to Jamaica because someone jumped in front of a train at Penn Station.

Best Indicator That The Girlfriend Is In A Bad Mood
After finally getting on a train at Jamaica, having this conversation:

The Girlfriend (commenting on a woman wearing a halter top with her jacket off her shoulders): “Why is that woman wearing her jacket half off?”
Me: “Maybe she’s just cold from the elbow down.”
The Girlfriend: “Or maybe she’s just slutty from the elbow up.”

Worst Way To Stay Out Of The Blog
Say something like, “You’d better not put that in your blog!” like my Aunt did after confiding that she had had a little too much sangria.

Best Indicator That Your Mother Is A “Young 52”
When, at your mom’s 52nd birthday party, conversation turns to the Live 8 concert and your mother comments, “You know who I really enjoyed? Linkin Park and Jay Z.”

Worst Fashion Coincidence
The Girlfriend and I packing one long-sleeve shirt a piece – matching J. Crew bright green sweaters.

Least Threatening Exclamation
“The yuppies are coming.”
Announced by James, as a group of us walked across the street to the neighbors house to catch a glimpse of the awful band playing in the backyard there.

Best Breakfast Compliment
“Those are the most beautiful eggs I’ve ever seen.”
Brendan, responding to The Girlfriend’s bragging about how nice her scrambled eggs turned out.

Most Unnecessary Announcement
“It’s no wonder you can’t poop half the time!”
– My mom, after I tell her that I refuse to eat my hamburger on a whole wheat roll.

Most Regrettable Reply
“I poop just fine, thank you!”

Best Exit From A Party
My grandfather addressing a group of us in the backyard saying, “I’m going home to get lucky,” and my grandmother replying, “I just hope she shows up on time.”

Most Appreciated Warning
“Don’t come over here.”
– Scott, isolating himself while passing gas as soon as his girlfriend leaves the party.

Worst Way To Wake Up From A Nap On The Train
With a pudgy Italian man standing in the aisle grabbing your head to balance himself.

Most Unexpected Reaction To A Birthday Present
“Vitamin C is great for menopause!”

– My mom, after receiving a gift certificate for a vitamin C facial

Most “Dad”-Like Comment
“You’re a vegetarian? Well we’ve got some chicken burgers over here . . .”

Least Necessary Clarification
“Balls . . . like men have.”
– Scott, relating a story to us concerning male genitalia.

Worst Luck With Eggplant Parmigiana
After forgetting it in the refrigerator at the last party, dropping it on the rug at this party.

Most Questionable Decision
James, looking up and down the beach, saying ”We can either go down there past those whores or down there past that family,” and us choosing the family.

Most Questionable Conclusion (But Then Again I Guess Not…)
(While I am making hamburgers)
Debbi: “Look at how perfectly round he makes them.”
Mom: “Oh, this is going to show up in the blog now.”

Friday, July 1

A Blast from the Past, Vol. II

Since I’ve already checked out for the holiday weekend, here’s the second installment of “Blast from the Past.” Herewith, a classic tale of what happens during your college years. I just hope the statute of limitations has expired.

The most absurd night in history. And by absurd, I mean bizarre. And by bizarre I mean illegal.

I don't know where to begin or end, sort of like reading an excerpt from James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake. But the sequence of events isn't so important as the quality of the criminal activity.

The characters:
John (dies after act one)
Briana (dies of embarrassment in the first scene)
Jeff (the gorilla) . . . That's not a nickname.

We leave Triad after a fundraiser (read: offsite Fordham talent show) where John and I share a scotch of a different sort – the free kind you bring with you in your flask that you drink out of cups of ice garnered at the bar through this perversion of the system: “I’ll have a beer. Oh, can you get me a glass of water? Sure. Oh, I think Brianna wants one too? Sure. Can we use this ice here? Sure, but don't leave the scoop in the bin. It's a health code violation. Oh? Yeah.” (Listen, I said it was absurd...) That's right before the hot waitress brought her dog in. (And that's not sexual innuendo either.)

We round up the posse before leaving the joint. Our express purpose is “To have an adventure.”
“Hey, where are you guys going?”
“On an adventure. Want to come?”

Jeff has a gorilla suit on (it was a fancy event, he had to wear a suit.) We have some mini bottles of liquor with us. We've stolen a cup or two. We need ice. The obvious solution: we'll go to a bodega and someone will bring a bag of ice to the counter under the guile of making a purchase. Jeff will then enter the bodega in the gorilla costume, ask for bananas, then take the ice off the counter and run. The person purchasing the ice will then act confused. “What just happened?” “A gorilla stole your ice.” We leave, confused, and fill up our glasses around the corner.

I won't go into the greatest of detail or I will be typing for the remainder of the day. But in total an estimated 7 bodegas were burgled by a gorilla last night. 40's, six packs, snacks (later on, when we got hungry) and the scenes became more elaborate: religious ceremonies worshiping the banana in the middle of the bodega, dances, violent, almost kata-like incantations for bananas; stumbling into bars and sitting down at the bar, asking for a shot of 99 bananas; trying to mate with attractive girls on the street; laying down in front of people walking down the sidewalk; swinging from trees; going into crowded restaurants asking for a table.

Later on in the night as the group dwindled to four and we became drunk and disillusioned, though highly polished in our routine, the pinnacle of the night finally happened: we went into a bodega, I put a six pack on the counter, fumbled for my id, the gorilla comes in, puts two bananas on the counter, pretends to faint slightly (this was genius) and pushes one of the bananas off the other side of the counter. The clerk bends down to pick it up and as he does, the gorilla makes a clean getaway. I stand confused. The Mexican workers are baffled. I stumble outside hands up in the air, I-can't-believe-a-gorilla-just-stole-my-beer style, when a citizen points: “He went this way!”

Suddenly, this citizen is race walking down the side street in pursuit of the gorilla. I half-heartedly oblige: “You saw him? Are you sure it was him?” (Ss though he might be mistaken....) We both run around the next corner, to the avenue, and the man, 20 feet in front of me, finds the gorilla trying to hide under a car. “Come on out, I see you there,” he says. “Come on, I know you're the gorilla that took the beer.”

“I don't have the beer,” the gorilla grunts. “I dropped it back there.”
I act mad, like a man would act if a gorilla stole his beer. “Well where? Could you be a little more specific?”
“Back there.”
“Well you show me where!”
“No, you go find it.”
“You stole it, you show me where you left it.”
“Fine, I’ll fucking show you.”

I walk back around the corner with Clark Kent in front of me, and find the beer underneath a tree. The gorilla has taken off like a furry fart in the wind. We don't bother to follow. The guy asks, “You going to bring that back?”

“Yeah, I guess I will.” We begin laughing, starting small then growing into a bellow, both of us stunned at the confrontation we just had. “Can you believe what just happened?” I ask him, laughing hysterically. He is bending over in laughter now. “Unbelievable. Un-fucking-bel......”

I take off in the opposite direction, full speed, beer in hand, Joe-citizen left, baffled.

I find the gorilla around the corner. We try to find the other two, but they're long gone, forced to cooler temperatures as the situation got hot. We resolve ourselves to ourselves and head home . . . Leaving the beer on some corner somewhere for some homeless man's delight.


Reply, from Jon

The moral of the story is that you can do anything with a gorilla suit...anything!

1. At one point in the night we climbed the stairs to smoke filled pool hall comprised of the toughest black men in the city. They see the gawky white kids and start to snicker. Then they see the gorilla and start to giggle like little girls.

2. Every victim of the deli robberies couldn't help but smile. Yes, they were being robbed but I guess it just hurts less when its a psychopath with a banana and not a psychopath with a gun.

3. Have you ever danced with a group of random Puerto Ricans on the street (not counting the Puerto Rican day parade, Scott)? Me neither or at least not until I hung out with the gorilla.

4. The thing is, gorillas aren't afraid of cabs but cabs are terribly frightened of gorillas. When the gorilla would throw himself on the hoods of moving cabs the gorilla would laugh beating his chest in orgasmic joy. The cabbie would freeze, terrified that the gorilla mistook his cab for a giant banana.

5. Come to think of it the only person who wanted to stop our fun was the white man. Every one else just laughed or yelled a couple profanities in various tongues. Our various ethnic friends knew it was sham, but the white man was scared that the gorilla just might be real. He was probably worried he didn't have enough time to dominate another ethnicity. Especially one that was so powerful with all his dance moves, fancy talk with the ladies and reckless abandonment of reason. I think this entails great sociological implications that may require more extensive research.

Could we get away with same stunts if we were a different animal?

Does anyone have a giraffe suit?