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.

Wednesday, May 31

Moving: Episode One


Friday morning I take the train to Long Island to pick up my parents SUV (they hate “the environment”) along with some “boxes,” because in the “planning stages” of my move I considered boxes to be exotic items, specific only to certain regions of Long Island and not to be found in Manhattan. This all falls under the main tenet of my moving philosophy, which was “As soon as I have a car I have everything I need. The entire process after this will be a breeze.”

Over the course of the weekend, I will revise my philosophy to include the same epiphany about “Once all the clothes are packed . . .,” “Once the kitchen is cleaned out . . .,” “Once the washing machine is moved . . .,” and “Once the big furniture is donated . . .,” and so on and so on, all of which illuminates one prevalent theme: my capability for self-deception rivals that of a manic-depressive.

I drive back to Manhattan enjoying the ride, specifically the fact that the solo car ride (a rarity for me) is the last bastion of a man who cannot sing but loves to think he can, because even if someone should happen to overhear your awful rendition of “Rebellion (Lies)” you’re driving at 70mph and the chance he will attempt to mock you is slim, even slimmer when you hold a pistol up against the window. Little did I know, though, that this would be the last enjoyable thing in my life for 48 hours.

Once I get to my apartment, my mood shifts from casual optimism to sheer panic as I pack up the six or so “boxes” I procured on Long Island in a matter of minutes. (FACT: Books seem smaller and lighter when packed neatly in a bookcase.) What ensues is one of the most effed up moving jobs in the history of moving jobs, dating back to the Egyptian pyramids. Pack, transport, unpack, repeat, pack, transport, unpack, repeat – also known as “the most inefficient method of achieving anything.” I’ve seen six year olds on a beach come up with better ways to transport sea shells than this.

After the second trip, I am wasted. I’m walking these boxes down three flights in my building and up to the fifth floor in The Girlfriend’s building. (FACT: Walking up stairs is harder than walking down stairs, unless you are a bear.) As I drive back to my apartment for a third round, the sun is setting, both literally in the sky and figuratively in my soul. As I take the last step of the last trip into The Girlfriend’s apartment that night, I collapse amidst a pile of mess (NOTE: I plan on writing a poem entitled “I Collapse Amidst A Pile Of Mess,” so no one steal it.)

I immediately take off my clothes, at which The Girlfriend seductively growls, “You stink.” I plod towards the shower and even though The Girlfriend’s apartment has negative water pressure (it actually sucks water off you) I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a shower more, except for that time I was seduced by a Russian classmate in college who ended up buying me a beeper. (Her buying me a beeper has nothing to do with her seducing me, but I include it in every reference I ever make to her because I find few things more funny than the fact that a) she bought me a beeper, and b) when I was in college people used beepers.)

After the shower The Girlfriend and I set to work organizing the mess so we could at least get to the important places like bed and the refrigerator. And just as I am about to settle in for the night with a few projects and some prescription pain medication, the buzzer rings. It is a guy from Craigslist who is buying a piece of The Girlfriend’s furniture, a bar with a stainless steel countertop from her kitchen.

Aaaaand SCENE:

Me, shirtless, reckless hair and wily beard as a result of stress and neglect. TG, still hasn’t showered, smelling poorly. I run to put on a shirt before he opens the door. I happen to grab a neon orange t-shirt – the same color t-shirt TG is wearing. Craigslist Guy opens the door to us standing there smiling. He is dressed to the nines as though going directly to a club after taking our table. He did not however factor in the fifth floor walk-up, hence he is dripping sweat. Pleasantries are exchanged and merchandise is inspected. We pick it up here.

Craigslist Guy: “Wow, you two have matching shirts on.”

Me: “Ha, yeah. You know, we like to coordinate.”

TG: (dirty, stressed out, twitching as she feverishly cleans out the drawers of the bar, which she neglected to do before hand) “HA, yeah. No.”

CG: “I don’t know what Craigslist etiquette is, but I only brought a check. I could run to an ATM if you want?”

TG: “I’d prefer cash.”

CG and I set to flipping the table over and unscrewing the legs as the absurdity of the scene reaches Kafkaesque proportions. It is agreed that I will carry the legs, TG will carry the stool and CG will carry the table top, the heaviest part.

CG: “Craigslist is so funny, isn’t it? You walk into people’s homes and buy their furniture.”

Me: “Yeah, and it’s not all weirdos either, you know? I mean you seem normal, and we consider ourselves pretty normal . . .” (FORESHADOWING ALERT)

We walk out the apartment door and begin down the stairs with CG in the lead, me behind him and TG bringing up the rear. I have the four table legs bundled under my arm. No further than five steps down, one of the table legs slips from my grip. In my effort to catch it, I actually bat it through the air towards CG below me.

TG: “HOLY OH MY GOD JESUS OH NO.”

The table leg, with a heavy steel screw protruding from one end, misses CG’s head by inches, crashing down into a wall below him.

Me: “OH MY GOD ARE YOU OK?”

CG: (wide eyed and obviously scared) “Yeah, I’m . . . yeah.”

We continue down the stairs in relative silence and when we reach the street CG goes off to find an ATM.

TG: “He’s not coming back is he.”

Me: “I wouldn’t.”

Several minutes later he returns with cash. We make the transaction and help him hail a cab. The minute the cab pulls away I realize that we forgot to give him the drawers that went along with the unit. TG calls him and he says not to worry, that he will get them at some point in the future. Not unsurprisingly, we still haven’t heard from him.

AND THAT CONCLUDES EPISODE ONE! Stay tuned for Episode Two where, in the midst of everything, we get a family portrait taken!

Tuesday, May 30

Moving: Prologue


This has nothing to do with my move, but is worth mentioning. While I was on the subway this afternoon I was standing off to the side of a pleasant looking middle-aged woman who was sitting down reading a magazine. When we reached 14th Street, the doors opened and a flood of people came in. Among them was a girl in her late 20’s who was, what’s the right word?, chubby. Not fat, not large, just a normal looking girl carrying around some chub. She prepares to sidle up next to me when suddenly the woman sitting down stands up, taps the girl on the shoulder and says, “Here, you take my seat,” and ushers her over.

Obviously this woman, meaning well, thought the chubby girl was pregnant. Also obvious was the intense physical effort I exerted to prevent myself from throwing up in my mouth out of sheer embarrassment. This poor girl, minding her own business, wearing a polo shirt from Old Navy and her iPod shuffle on a cord around her neck, is suddenly thrust into what I can only imagine is one of the most mortifying, sobering experiences any woman can ever endure. I don’t think there even exists a male equivalent. What could it possibly be? Someone approaching you offering a “Gender Reassignment Surgery Recipient Support Group” pamphlet? Actually, yeah, someone offering you a “Gender Reassignment Surgery Recipient Support Group” pamphlet would probably do it.

I’m Done Moving


I’m not ready to talk about the past four days yet. Looking back, it is a blur of sweat, blood, pain, screaming, loathing and driving. I made no less than four genuine deals with the Lord trading my eternal soul for, among other things, an iced coffee and the ability to levitate. I’ve already been asked to move out twice, once by The Girlfriend and once by the crazy lady on the third floor who “didn’t recognize me” and thinks “the building is getting crowded.” I’m still dehydrated, and there is a circular patch of dirt on the bottom of my foot that won’t come off. I can only assume it is tattooed in from the pressure of climbing stair after stair after stair. Or it’s ringworm. And if it is, I don’t really care at this point. All I know is that there is a path hewn from boxes and furniture between the bed and the bathroom, and right now those are the only two places I really need to be. I’m going to spend the rest of the day piecing my indomitable spirit back together, at least to the point where I can laugh about the incident where I literally almost killed a guy from Craigslist with a table leg.

Friday, May 26

I’m Moving Today

Right now I should be “packing,” which everyone tells me is the first step in the moving process. For some reason, I haven’t been able to convince myself that this “packing” will take much longer than half an hour when I finally get around to doing it. So up until right now, I’ve been planning on how to pack, but not actually “packing.”

It turns out all along I was just lazy. Who knew?














Unfortunately I can’t stop watching “The Cosby Show.” First the one where he makes the atomic chili and now the one where he’s trying to fix the tiles in the shower and they keep popping off. HIGH COMEDY.

But hey, at least it’s not going to start raining in five minutes. And at least Desmond Dekker is still alive.

Thursday, May 25

Adventures In Things The Girlfriend Doesn’t Want Me To Bring Into Her Home, Volume 3


When I got it: About a year after I moved into my first apartment, although it has been in the family for an estimated eight years.

How it came into my possession: My mother and aunt had the print made by pasting a picture of my grandfather’s face on an old Dewar’s ad. After I moved into my first apartment and realized I owned nothing besides a bed and a TV, I scoured my parents basement for free things to call my own, finding this amidst a heap of family relics. This is also how I procured my set of muffin tins, which I have neglected to use even once to this day.

Why I like it: It memorializes this infamous story, an event emblematic of my grandfather’s legacy as a carouser and funnyman:

As a way to keep busy after his retirement, my grandfather, who used to own a restaurant, would tend bar at a country club on the weekends. One Sunday a young, attractive woman approaches him and orders a screaming orgasm. My grandfather, more accustomed to martinis and manhattans, has no idea what she is talking about but remains unflustered, looks up the recipe and makes her the drink. Some time later, as the woman and her husband are leaving the bar, my grandfather catches her eye and she is passing by, nods his head and asks, “Did you enjoy your orgasm?”

Why she hates it: My guess is because she doesn’t appreciate the inherent humor of looking into my grandfather’s face everyday and equating it with a sex act. But who knows, she’s weird about things like that.

Your thoughts: MY GRANDFATHER IS A HERO . . . A SEXUAL HERO.

Adventures In Things The Girlfriend Doesn’t Want Me To Bring Into Her Home, Volume 2


When I got them: Once a year for the past two years. But the journey started long before that . . .

How they came into my possession: I won them. Ripped them from the hands of competitors over the course of two long football seasons. I could go into it more than that, could tell you the extended “how” including picking up a guy named Tom Brady (YOU MAY HAVE HEARD FO HIM) or a no-name workhorse receiver known as Hines Ward (SUPERBOWL MVP, HMM?). But I’ll just leave it at “I won them.” [more solemnly] “I won them.”

Why I like them: For so many reasons, not the least of which being that drafting Ladanian Tomlinson his rookie year in the 12th round of my keeper league may prove to be one of my life’s greatest accomplishments. Long after I die, I want my grandchildren, and everyone else’s grandchildren, to know what I accomplished – how I sat in front of my computer pouring over football players’ stats longer and harder than any man with a job and a girlfriend should.

Why she hates them: I’m sure there’s a list of about 75 reasons, but I’ll take the top 3:

1. They are a constant reminder of how every October I become a worse boyfriend, one prone to telephone conversations at work such as

TG: “Hey how are you?”

Me: (frantic) “I can’t talk, I’m really busy.”

TG: “You’re reading football stories, aren’t you.”

2. They are ugly. (I don’t think it’s real wood.)

3. There’s no telling how many plaques I may win over the course of my lifetime (40?). If I’m allowed to display these two, where does it end? (Hint: It ends with our child having its crib in “the trophy room.”)

Your thoughts: THANKS FOR ALL THE SUPPORT GUYS, IT'S HEARTWARMING. REALLY.

Wednesday, May 24

Adventures In Things The Girlfriend Doesn’t Want Me To Bring Into Her Home, Volume 1


When I got it: A few weeks after I moved into my first real apartment about six years ago. The sign looked awesome hung up on the bathroom wall, which I painted a crimson red. What didn’t look awesome was the crimson red residue in the tile grout on the floor from when I spilled half a can of paint. However, the sign came in handy as a cheerful distraction for all female guests who thought it was blood.

How it came into my possession: My mother bought it, mailing it to me with one of her signature notes: “Isn’t it cool?!”

Why I like it: I believe bathrooms need decoration too. But not decoration like drapes and Warhol prints, but decoration that says “Have fun in here!” It’s a proven fact that humans use their bathrooms EVERY DAY. So why not make it as enjoyable as possible? Plus it reminds me of a simpler time, when cowboys paid a quarter (which is a great price, by the way) to bathe once a month.

Why she hates it: She says it’s kitschy. And sure, it is a little kitschy to charge guests 25¢ to use your bathtub, especially when we don’t even pay for the water. I suppose the 25¢ should cover the soap, so charging extra for that is even more kitschy. But the important thing is, I don’t think I know what the word “kitschy” means.

Your thoughts: OVERWHELMINGLY IN FAVOR OF ME

Four Bad Reasons To Name Your Child ‘Bluebell Madonna’


Geri Halliwell, on why she chose the name “Bluebell Madonna’ for her new daughter:

1. "As I walked around the park in the last few weeks of pregnancy, I seemed to see bluebells [a type of flower] everywhere."

Also a good reason to name your child “squirrel” or “rollerblader”

2. "Scarlett was a name I loved, as Scarlett O'Hara was my fictional heroine. I seemed to recall she had a daughter who was called Blue. I thought that was cute – and Bluebell was even cuter.”

Huh?

3. "There's a good reason I picked Madonna as a middle name, too. No one else has that name, apart from the Virgin Madonna and the singer, who I love."

That is a completely false statement.

4. “It sounds like a sex position Cosmopolitan magazine would label “The NEW Sex Position for Spring!” I imagine it would involve someone hanging from a door jamb and a few pillows for support.”

(Ed. Note: That last one was mine.)

Monday, May 22

Did I Mention I’m Moving?


If you’ve been paying attention to anything I’ve been saying for the past two weeks you know two things: 1. My mom knows what a chode1. is, and 2. At the end of the month I’m moving. It’s been a difficult few weeks leading up to the event, what with the refrigerator crapping out on me and the Slutty Colorist (her official nickname, which is not racist – she works in a hair salon) screwing me over (my last email to her read: “Good luck with the job and everything, but with all due respect if I ever need my tips frosted or some awesome highlights, I’ll probably go with someone else.”) But it all worked out and now the only thing left is for me to actually pack up my crap and move, the last remaining detail being “Where to?”

Let’s do it this way – THE TOP 5 PLACES I AM NOT MOVING:

1. Harlem
2. Vancouver
3. Los Angeles
4. Any state where NASCAR rates higher than football
5. Into my girlfriend’s apartment

And now, THE ITEM ON THE ABOVE LIST ABOUT WHICH I AM LYING:

5.

Yes, I’m moving in with The Girlfriend. Into the same apartment. Where both she and I will live. Together. Sharing a toilet.

And it’s not that I’m scared or apprehensive or anything. I’m actually really excited. It’s just that everyone around me seems to be panicking about it. When I told a friend of mine, he responded with, “Wow, really? That’s an interesting choice,” as though I had just told him Rod Stewart was my favorite male singer of all time. Even my mom gets nervous when we talk about it, as though there is a cosmic balance dependant on The Girlfriend and I not failing at this, or as if she knows a deep secret regarding the whole situation, like The Girlfriend is really my cousin, although I hope if that were the case she would have put a stop to things much earlier than this.

The thing is, The Girlfriend and I tried this once before a few years ago, to mixed results. And by “mixed results” I mean “we nearly killed one another, but ended up not.” But we were young and I was in a particularly confusing “post-graduation” place. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, I wasn’t happy with my job and there was a general sense of uneasiness everyday where the first question I would ask myself every morning while stepping into the shower was “What the hell am I doing?” (Note that absolutely nothing is different now except for the fact that I accept my circumstances and can afford the better liquor which really does reduce the effects of a hangover, and I take a multivitamin with ginseng. Plus there’s only so much introspection a person can handle. About two years ago it got to the point where when it came time to look inside myself for answers I would instead make a sandwich and watch an episode of “Law & Order”, and you wouldn’t believe the turn things took for the better after that.) So we moved into separate apartments, fought like hell cats and came out on the other side better people and better “talkers” and better at doing that thing where you have the look on your face like you’re screaming but really you’re just “talking sternly to get your point across without yelling, because that’s counter productive, but obviously I’m yelling.”

And while I know that this time will absolutely be different, and I mean different better, not different more efficient at inflicting pain on one another, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few obstacles and conflicts to resolve. Such as:

My OCD vs. her “I don’t care”

Sometimes when I go to visit The Girlfriend and she has run out to the store, she leaves me notes that read “DON’T MESS THE PLACE UP!” as I look out over a sea of clothing on the floor, at least 18 empty water bottles strewn about, an iron in the middle of the living room floor and so many dirty dishes in the sink that I once had to drink juice out of a Tupperware because I couldn’t even find a glass.

Me? I’m not a fanatic, but I’m an “a place for everything” kind of guy. And if there isn’t a place for it, I’ll build a place for it. And if you leave the kitchen cabinets open I’ll close your head in them. You know, that kind of guy.

Her up at 5:00 every morning vs. me literally nauseous at the thought

The Girlfriend gets up every morning and runs five miles. It’s the sort of thing I had only heard about people doing before I met her, and I assumed that they did it because they were cancer survivors who worked extra hard in life like Lance Armstrong. It’s a choice she makes that I have to admit I will never understand, and while I was at first nervous at the thought of being woken up every morning at 5:00, a good friend put a positive twist on it: “Just think of it as having the bed to yourself for two whole hours after that.”

Her healthy eating vs. my love of cookies

I want no part of a home absent of desserts. To me, it’s part of life. It’s a nightly reward for having survived another day. In The Girlfriend’s apartment, the best it gets is Eddy’s Slow Churned Light iced cream, which I feel compelled to admit is as good as the commercials say it is. But that’s by no means enough of a variety for me. We have talked about segregated food stashes, so she isn’t tempted by mine. But I just feel with all the progress our ancestors have made, it would be irresponsible to not practice integration, tolerance and compromise, like maybe a carrot cake.

My love of TV vs. her love of “talking”

Yes, sometimes while I am watching TV I think, “This really is a waste of my time, I’m a smart guy I should really be doing something more –“ and then the show comes back from commercial and I go back into my happy, catatonic state.

The Girlfriend, she doesn’t really watch TV. She likes to have “conversations” and “discussions,” which I guess is alright, but I always figured that’s what the weekends were for. The good thing is that when we are watching TV in bed, if I can successfully ignore her for five straight minutes she will immediately fall asleep. Seriously, she has a resting pulse of 58. She’s constantly on the verge of sleep.

(I swear, we do have some things in common. Really.)

Her wanting a Jon Secada CD for her birthday vs. me thinking it would be awesome to see Jon Secada and Bruce Springsteen in a fist fight

Our tastes in music aren’t all that different, but every so often a Bonnie Raitt song will come on or one of the Adam Ant songs she has purchased off iTunes and in the past I could just threaten to leave but not when I’m living there. Now, I will have to go in the bathroom and run the shower for three minutes and thirty-six seconds.

Her needing a comforter and flannel sheets every night vs. me dying of heat stroke

An actual quote from The Girlfriend: “You know how in the old days they would put hot bricks wrapped in cloth at the foot of the bed to stay warm? Why’d we ever stop doing that?”

Yes, sometimes I feel bad that sometimes she has to wear a hat to bed, but while she can continually add clothes to stay warm there are only so many articles of clothing I can remove to keep my core temperature from hitting triple digits. Will it create some problems? Yes. Will those problems include “too much sex”? No, I don’t believe they will.

Her taste in decorating vs. my good taste in decorating

I’m not saying she has bad taste, I’m just saying I have good taste and we’re different. But this will be a whole separate post, because I can’t possibly describe the convergence of my “Bath 25¢ – Soap Extra” sign with her purple beaded, 5 x 7 picture frame in less than 1,000 words. It just wouldn’t be fair to either of us, but mostly me because this is my blog and my opinions are really the only ones that matter.

_____________________________
1.
Does anyone have experience with writing Wikipedia entries? Because this one is in need of some serious clarification, if not an addendum at the very least.

Fun With Commas

Lead item on the Yahoo news page:

Congressman Caught on Tape, Documents Say

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Allegedly scamming a Virginia businesswoman could prove to be a major mistake for a Democratic congressman from New Orleans.

How I read it:

Congressman Caught on Tape, Documents Say

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Allegedly, scamming a Virginia businesswoman could prove to be a major mistake for a Democratic congressman from New Orleans.

Yeah, well duh. (Or “Yeah well, duh”?)

Friday, May 19

I Can’t Believe I Ever Would Have Thought This Was Sexy

















































Britney Spears, crying at a restaurant while wearing a white apron shirt, black bra and pink thong. Don’t get me wrong, I find girls crying in black bras and pink thongs super hot. Always have. But at this point, I’m pretty sure I would rather hang out with the clearly stoned toddler off to the side than with Britney Spears. And if you had told me two years ago that in two years I would rather hang out with a stoned toddler than Britney Spears, well I would have laughed and laughed. Then I probably would have become very intrigued, because there is a certain novel absurdity to hanging out with a stoned toddler.

(Pictures via the always profound WWTDD)

Reason #7 Why Men Are Superior Beings


After abandoning my previous philosophy of only renting my apartment to girls who write normal sounding emails, this time I went simply on a first-contact, first-serve basis. In this case it was a guy, and while I normally like to keep my contact with anonymous guys to a bare minimum (enjoyable pun), this time I said fuck it (and another!) and welcomed him into my home.

He walked in, shook my hand, looked around for a few seconds and said, “I’ll take it.” It was like he was deciding whether or not to watch an episode of ‘Sex and the City,” reasoning that maybe Samantha would take her dress off, but then quickly realizing that it wasn’t worth it.

This guy is my new hero. At least until my old hero, Bugs Bunny, starts working again.

Thursday, May 18

Once Again, The Sluttiest Dresser Proves Unreliable

I should have seen it coming. It was like a long courtship with the girl in the micro-mini at the bar who just keeps ordering drinks and putting her hand on your chest when you make a joke and you keep thinking, “This is too good to be true,” until the end of the night when she vomits in the men’s room and her friend carries her home. Only instead of a bar, it’s my apartment. And instead of ordering drinks and putting her hand on my chest, it’s telling me she can’t wait to take over my lease and offering to buy my unwanted furniture. And instead of vomiting and stumbling home, she “got recruited for this amazing colorist job” (the fuck?) which might or might not have her moving to Los Angeles.

I’m not bitter because she wants to chase her dream of coloring people’s hair in Los Angeles. I’m bitter because chasing her dream to color people’s hair in Los Angeles means I have one week to find someone to take my apartment. What’s next, a perky blond rolling in, falling in love with the place, and then, mere hours before coming in to sign the lease, being recruited by the World Health Organization to cure bird flu?

I’m also bitter because coloring people’s hair in Los Angles is a stupid dream, and now some kid in Rochester won’t grow up to invent the artificial brain, because everyone knows there are only a limited number of dreams to go around.

UPDATE: After a brief conversation with a friend, I was reminded that I have this girl’s entire background history, leading to this email exchange:

Me: “The best part? Me having an extensive amount of background information on her, including her current address and cell phone number. Actually, that might be the bad part, because this email will turn up as evidence at the hearing.”

John: “Screw that. We just found our activity for late night on Saturday after we're drunk for James' birthday. ‘WHO WANTS TO PLAY HARASSMENT!?!?!’”

Me: “Yeah, as long as it's not my cell phone (because she knows the number) then ALL RULES ARE OFF! Except for actually threatening her life, which I think is definitely illegal, although we have already established, through jerry, what you can accomplish with the power of suggestion.”

Note – Jerry, whose gay tattoos are mentioned here, was a guy we occasionally hung out with until he decided to remain friends with a girl who cheated (severely) on our buddy. After that, we prank called him from Maui posing as a fortune teller, warning him of a bleak future including a fire of some sort. Without the applicable New York statutes open in front of me, I’m reluctant to say more than that.

UPDATE 2: Before I even had time to post the update that she called back and said that she was not moving to Los Angeles and, in fact, she DID want the apartment, I get an email from her saying that, in really fact, she’s not taking the apartment because she’s not moving anymore. The really good news is that any violence towards her from the point on can be considered self-defense.

Judge: “How does the defendant plead?”

Me: “Not guilty by reason of she was causing me an aneurysm and this was the only way to stop her.”

Judge: “Beating her with a rock was the only way to stop her?”

Me: “Yes, she was quite resistant, and my fist wasn’t having the effect I was hoping.”

UPDATE 3: My first response to a new craigslist ad:

“How are you^^
looking for studio.
I'd like to make appoinment for viewing.
My name is lee.
phone no. xxx-xxxx
thank you.”

Help.

Wednesday, May 17

Five Tips For Great Email Subjects To Seduce Others

In response to yesterday’s post about True.com’s lame advice, I respond with my own lame advice.

1. Make the person feel as though they are included in a special bond with you

e.g. “I need your help with a dog murder”

The Girlfriend once sent me an email with this as the subject. And what is more intimate than being implicated in a murder with someone?

2. Be direct with the person about how you feel

e.g. “Why you’re driving me insane lately”

Another email from The Girlfriend. I felt a distinct closeness after I read it, like there was no one else in the world who was driving her as insane as I was; so insane, in fact, that she needed to put it out there, boldly and without reservation.

3. For my money’s worth (along with most copy editors) nothing beats good wordplay

e.g. “KY? Because I like it.”

I have used this one, to varied results. The key is to know a little about who you’re writing to, such as whether or not they would be offended by something like suggesting you use a personal lubricant with them.

4. A thing or phrase that has nothing to do with anything

e.g. “Shoestring licorice”

Back in 1997, before emoticons, when the internet was still a curious place, a girl I had a high school crush on (who was older than me and went off to college) used this as the subject in an email. Some time later, I was riding my bike through our small town when I saw her riding her bike going the opposite direction on the other side of the road. She didn’t notice me as I tried to flag her down, and in my haste to cross the street and get to her I was almost hit by a car and ended up running into a tree branch. That was the last time I ever saw her, but I still remember that email.

5. “hey, [insert nickname]”

For girls, try something cute or complimentary. For guys, try something smart-assy.

e.g. (various subjects I have used with The Girlfriend)

“hey, smart”
“hey, slappy”
“hey, quacky”
“hey, toothy”
“hey, hot stuff”
“hey, big shot”
“hey, daily water soluble fiber”
“hey, smarty pants”
“hey, stinky”
“hey, see through problems”

I suggest coming up with your own as certain, more specific examples may not apply.

BONUS

Three pick-up lines for guys to use at a bar, because we all know girls don’t use pick-up lines they use low cut shirts and eye makeup.

1. “I would offer to buy you a drink, but you seem drunk enough.” If she’s not drunk, everyone has a good laugh. If she is you know you’ve chosen wisely.

2. “You remind me of [ambiguously attractive celebrity].”

No girl believes it when you say that they remind you of Jennifer Aniston or Scarlet Johanson. But if you take it down a notch and say, “You remind me of that girl, what’s her name, the one from Saved By The Bell when they were working at the beach club.” Then everyone says, “Oh yeah, I remember her,” and then the girl says, “Really? Her?” And you say, “Yeah, I used to have a huge crush on her.” And then she says, “But isn’t she like 40 now? And she’s on that show with the fat husband, right?” and you say, “Whatever, you look nothing like her, wanna go to my place?”

3. Follow a girl when she goes outside to smoke. Once she lights up, lean over and say, “I know like three people that have died of cancer. It’d be awful if you died.” It covers all the bases: it shows that you are concerned about her welfare, that you would be sad if anything bad happened to her, and, most importantly, the fact that you’re already looking into the future you hope to have with her shows you are ready to make a commitment. It’s really foolproof.

Tuesday, May 16

Love Advice From True.com


You’ve seen the advertisements, the ones with breasts and the slogan FIND TRUE LOVE*, but did you know that True.com also has handy advice for online dating? In case you were ever having trouble coming up with good subject lines for emails to people you want to see naked, True.com offers the article entitled “6 Surefire Subject Lines.”

“You’ve done your quick search, and sproing! There’s the picture. That girl’s hot enough to melt butter. That guy’s steamy enough to be the designated no-shirt guy on a reality series.


Or maybe you’ve done more research – browsed your compatibles, read the profiles and found somebody who’s a good pairing for you.


Time to send an email. But how are you going to stand out from the crowd?

First of all, sproing?

Second, is it obvious that this site is having trouble reconciling their advertising with their message? If I made a movie called “True.com: The Movie,” the lead role would be played by a schizophrenic writer who, while writing these articles, is haunted by a horny devil on one shoulder and an optimistic angel on the other. Then, in an ironic twist, she would meet the love of her life on True.com who would leave her not when he found out about her illness but when he learned that her antipsychotic medication would make her gain weight. So she would go off her meds and try to win him back by following him around and killing everyone who rejected him on True.com. It would be a romantic comedy.

Anyway, the article continues:

TRUE surveyed active members to get their most successful email subject lines. The main rules are:


The more personalized the email, the more response you’re likely to get. The more canned it seems, the less likely you’ll hear back.


People respond well to humor. You don’t have to be funny, but keep it light, at least at first. If you’re still angry from your last relationship, emails are not the place to vent.

I don’t know about that last one. I always thought that going with a subject line like “Re: my last girlfriend was a stinking slut” told the girl that you were serious about finding a relationship. But what do I know. Apparently these six suggestions are the way to go:

Want to know a secret?


Nobody can resist a secret. Were you ever left out when your friends were telling secrets when you were a kid? Weren’t you dying to know? This one’s a winner.

What they fail to mention is that you actually have to follow that up with a secret. Otherwise your email will say:

To: sexyambercrombiemodel
From: Tom
Re: Want to know a secret?

So how’s it going? What do you do for a living? Loved your profile. I’m totally into exercising too.

• You’ll never guess what happened after my last email!


This works best when followed by a sentence that personalizes it for the recipient. The first sentence of the email could read "…I didn’t get to meet you. I’m glad I get to now."

She’ll never guess that you didn’t get to meet her? Because she’s blind and has no way of knowing when you’re in her house?

• You’ll swear by me, not at me!


Members we surveyed reported humor as their best technique for getting email opened. However what you find funny might not make somebody else laugh, so run it past a friend first. You have to funny, not whiny and not obnoxious.

I once sent an email to a Jewish girl with the subject line “Don’t pass me over.” I’m 100% serious. And 100% seriously, she did not reply.

• We have something in common.


The best approach is to personalize the email with details out of the member’s profile. This shows that you cared enough to read the profile and make an effort. A weaker version of this is to say that the thing you have in common is your desire to meet someone online, and then to talk quite frankly about your experience doing this. Most people appreciate honesty. Another version of this is: "We have a friend in common – each other" (which, strictly speaking, isn’t a logical statement, but when you’re trying to start a conversation, who’s counting?)

I wish everyone reading this could be here with me right now, at my desk, laughing with me after I read that. “. . . which, strictly speaking, isn’t a logical statement . . .” There’s nothing I can say that could make that any funnier.

• Your screen name rhymes with ______________!


For instance, if someone’s screen name is Paulb, you might say "your screen name rhymes with date me" or if your screen name was TrueDish, you might says "your screen name rhymes with my wish." An alternate version of this is to say something off the wall, but engaging, for names that have no rhymes like "your screen name reminds me of my second grade teacher." And in the email … "Were you Mrs. ScaryOrange at Pearson Elementary in 1985?" And then go on to be funny.

To: Belligerent Intellectual
From: sexyambercrombiemodel
Re: Your screen name rhymes with indigent homosexual!

Were you the indigent homosexual I gave money to on the subway this morning? Call me!

• Adventures in dating.


Tell what those adventures could be, but don’t be pornographic.

Adventures like “We could go to Brooklyn for dinner”? Or adventures like “I know we just met over the internet, but doesn’t white water rafting sound fun”? Or maybe adventures like “Either one of us could be psychotic and a killer, but still we’re going to give this a shot because this is the only way I can meet people while working ten hours a day and being that the advertisements show smoking hot women, this seems like a great place to start, and that, in itself, is a pretty big adventure . . . plus I want to meet your hoo-ha”?

_______________________________________
* It’s like starting a charity to raise awareness for skin cancer, and in the advertisements for the charity you show tanned teenagers laying out on a beach smoking cigarettes with a slogan across the top like “Be Cool – Don’t Get Cancer.”

Monday, May 15

Google Image Search Result For “I Did Nothing Today.”


Seems about right. Except for one thing.

WHERE ARE THIS DOG’S LEGS?!

And if I wasn’t so inexplicably lazy today I would have photoshopped a thought blurb in that read, “Go ahead, take your pictures. Have a good laugh. If I still had my legs, I would kill you.”

Friday, May 12

Office Conversations, Non-Playoff Basketball And O.J. Simpson Being Funny


I can’t think of anything more painful than listening to attorneys discuss hypothetical legal situations for the fun of it, starting each sentence with,” Right . . .” before going off on a tangent in the other direction, back and forth saying the same thing seven different ways.

Lawyer 1: “Right, well you can’t include the interest.”

Lawyer 2: “Right, well you could include the interest if it was outlined in the agreement.”

Lawyer 1: “Right, well if the interest is included in the agreement you can factor that in.”

Lawyer 2: “Right, but if there’s no provision for the interest you can’t take that into consideration.”

It got to the point where I had to get up from my desk and go to the bathroom. I even cried a little at the urinal, which is even more awkward than it sounds.

T[he] J[ewiest] J[ew] just peaked his head into my office and asked me how he could tell if the water in the electric kettle was really boiled (?!).

TJJ: “How can I tell if it worked, because the last time I tried it was iced cold.”

Me: (twisting a letter opener into my thigh) “You could open the lid and see if it’s steaming.”

TJJ: “Good idea.” (said while walking down the hallway after leaving halfway through my reply)

100 Oil-Coated Penguins Dead in Argentina!!!

Some headlines need exclamation points. This is absolutely one of them.

Last Sunday my friend Scott convinced me and some other friends to join him in a basketball game for a rec league he joined. Apparently the other four members of his team couldn’t make the game, so we were the official substitutes. His pitch was, “Oh, we won’t win. But it’ll be fun.”

Now, I’m not bad at basketball by any means, but by no means am I good. Also, I’m not what many people consider “tall.” Also, I haven’t played any sort of organized basketball since I was about 20, and even then the term “organized” should be taken only to mean that everyone was wearing sneakers.

On top of that, we got the time of the game wrong, so we showed up 45 minutes late, meaning we basically put our game shirts on and started playing. On top of that, the smallest game shirt size available was XL, meaning that we looked like children, albeit children with hair on our faces. ON TOP OF THAT, the other team was made up mostly of tall black guys.

What ensued was a sporting comedy for the ages. Scott described it thusly:

There are two things I can liken it to:


1) We were like the team that plays the Harlem Globetrotters. A bunch of white guy trying really hard while the other team is spinning the ball on their fingers, using trampolines and pulling down the referee's shorts.


2) The old Saturday Night Live commercial for Bad Idea jeans. Scene: a bunch of white guys stretching before a basketball game saying things like “I know the affair is over but I'm going to tell my wife anyway and I know I should have used protection but when is the next time I'm going to Haiti?” And then they challenge these huge black guys to a game of basketball.

O.J. Simpson’s quote from The Kentucky Derby on why he bet on a horse named Lawyer Ron: “I love lawyers, I know all about lawyers. If there was a Lawyer Johnnie, Lord knows, I'd put my house on it.” Also, O.J. apparently has a new TV show coming out called “Juiced” in which he pulls Candid Camera-like pranks on people. In one scene he tries to sell the infamous white Bronco he used to flee police before his arrest to an unsuspecting woman, telling her, “It was good for me it helped me get away.”

I’m not positive, but if I killed two people I don’t think I would have the balls to joke about it to the media. I mean, I see what he’s trying to do – he figures that it makes him look more innocent to make jokes about it. You know, like that time I broke my mom’s favorite vase, and when she asked me who did it I said, “I don’t know it wasn’t me. But we’ll need some inVASive surgery to put it back together.” Same concept, but instead of “breaking a vase” substitute “slashing a throat.” Oh wait, but then the pun won’t work.

Thursday, May 11

It Came With A Note That Said “Cute, Huh?”


It’s no secret that my mom reads this, made evident by the phone calls I get from her after writing a post including terms such as “hand job” and “chode” where she says things like, “Your post was interesting today . . .” or “What’s a chode?” (I urge everyone, if you can ever get a parent to ask you that question, do it. It’s beyond hilarious, plus it takes your relationship to that next level when you can share the word chode.)

Also no secret is that my mom supports everything I do. I could tell her I’ve chosen to become homeless, and she would hem and haw at first but eventually she would relent and take me shopping for everything I would need. When I told her I wanted to play hockey, she became the head of the Mothers Guild for the team. When I told her I wanted to major in English and eventually go to law school, she sent me books with notes saying “Thought you would like this.” When I decided I wasn’t going to attend law school, and loathed the idea of going back to school at all, she would fax articles cut from the newspaper to me at work about low interest student loans for graduate school and exciting educational opportunities, which isn’t so much support in the traditional sense but I knew she was thinking of me.

And then I started this blog, and she has read every post, commented on a few and even made her friends read a few, although she’s not that current on linking specific posts in emails, so while she may only want to send this cute little post to her friend, she sends them the basic link to my blog meaning that a few days later, when they click on it, this is the post at the top of the page.

Mom: “No, no, scroll down past the pictures of the teenage girls.”

Nothing, though, can come close to this t-shirt I received in the mail yesterday. Custom made from some website (how she found it, I’ll never know), it’s the epitome of the love a mother may have for her son. What this shirt says to me is “If I ever need money, or shelter, or bone marrow, my mother will be there for me.”

Unfortunately it also says “Blah.” I’m sure you couldn’t customize the phrase “check out my blog,” but still it seems pretty boring, doesn’t it? Not funny, not fierce, not even insulting or a thinly veiled reference to underground drug culture. Just “check out my blog.” So while you can bet that sometime in the near future I will find a way to get behind a Channel 4 newscaster while wearing this shirt, here are a few alternate slogans, just for future reference.



































































































































Wednesday, May 10

Chase Bank Thinks They Know Me


I finally caved to the convenience of banking with JPMorgan Chase – Where The Right Relationship (and not having to walk more than one block to an ATM) Is EverythingTM. With their recent installment of a Chase ATM in every single Duane Reade drugstore in Manhattan, they have firmly established themselves as THE bank for anyone who hates carrying their body weight around with their legs. PLUS, they sent me a ridiculous advertisement in the mail to get $100(!) just for opening a checking account with them. No fees, no minimum balances, nothing. Just give them some of your money and they give you a hundred dollars. Now I know why the girl in the Chase commercial is so excited and so confident that she’s going to make it after all.

But there was one problem. Apparently, they don’t automatically order checks for you when you open an account. I was given a book of about 20 temporary checks, which is fine because I’ve managed to electronify myself to the point where I write one check per month – my rent. Everything else can be taken care of online. So took my temporary checkbook and was satisfied with that.

Then I realized that with my new checking account, I would have to change all the account information for my online payments as well as my ING Direct savings account, which works by transferring money from your checking account through their website. However, in order to set up the link between your checking account and their website, you have to send them a voided check. No, you can’t just read them the numbers over the phone because, as the nice lady at ING Direct told me, “then anyone could link up their account and steal all your money.” Good enough for me.

No big deal, I thought. I’ll just send them one of these temporary checks I have. Then I opened the checkbook for the first time. Apparently, Chase likes to give their customers options for decorative checks that match their personality. Here are my two choices.

Daffy Duck in a dandy pose amidst piles of gold bullion, or (go ahead, take a closer look) WINNIE THE POOH riding in a BOAT with Christopher Robin towards a TREE where PIGLET awaits their arrival. Somehow I was given the “My First Bank Account” temporary checkbook. Only I’m not 12. So really it’s more like my own little way of telling the world, “I’m retarded.”

Tuesday, May 9

Global Politics: WTF?


Iran President Says Democracy Has Failed

“Iran's president declared in a letter to President Bush that democracy had failed worldwide and lamented "an ever-increasing global hatred" of the U.S. government. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice swiftly rejected the letter, saying it didn't resolve questions about Tehran's suspect nuclear program.”

A letter? Is this really how global politics works, like trying to dispute a charge on my bank card? Like the president of Iran sat down with his council and said, “Get the U.S. on the phone, I want to tell them that democracy has failed,” and someone in the council stands up and says, “Actually, you’re going to have to write it in a letter, on your letterhead.”

And then our Secretary of State “rejects” the letter via public announcement? Am I the only one who finds this absolutely absurd? Why didn’t they just get on a conference call and say:

AT&T Conference Call Coordinator: “Ms. Rice are you there?”

Condoleezza: “Yes.”

AT&T Conference Call Coordinator: “President Ahmadinejad are you there?”

Mahmoud: “Yes.”

AT&T Conference Call Coordinator: “All parties are on the line, thank you for using AT&T.”

Mahmoud: “Democracy has failed.”

Condoleezza: “No it hasn’t.”

Mahmoud: “Yes it has.”

Condoleezza: “No it hasn’t.”

Mahmoud: “You’re stupid.”

Condoleezza: You’re stupid.”

(click)

Same effect. No need for letters or public announcements. Just like this time in grade school that I tried to tell Rebecca Ocassio that I liked her friend Tanya and was over her friend Dawn, but she said to write her a note. So I did, but then Dawn saw the note and got mad and wrote me a note saying that there’s no way I could like Tanya because she didn’t even wear lip gloss. So I wrote a note back saying that she did too wear lip gloss, you just couldn’t see it very well, and that Dawn should stop being a bee itch.

And the moral of the story? I should have just gone to Tanya and told her that I like-liked her. Would have saved everyone the trouble.