Monday, June 26, 2006

Passing Week

While out with my boys in Vegas, I realized that some of my boys are clueless when it comes to acceptable dressing, even more clueless than myself. Using advanced reasoning, I deduced that the guys who'd been with their significant girls for a while are stuck in the fashion period in which they met that girl. Dan's been with his girl for almost 7 years I think. Thus, he still dresses like a freshman in college, and when I mentioned to him that pleated pants went out of style with MC Hammer, he was quite surprised. Josh, having been with Tali since senior year, or 5 years, was sure I wasn't going to get into a club in jeans. Sandman (who only brought jeans) had to sit Josh down and explain to him something to the effect of "Jeans are the new black pants." Don't even get me started on the 23 year old who'd been married since he was 20...hopeless...and that's saying something coming from me. Sandman seems to be the exception to the rule, having been with his girl since HIGH SCHOOL! His exception is that A) he's still not engaged/married and B) She's in fashion, and wouldn't let him out of the house w/o knowing what he was doing.

I'm not sure if the Taxi map writers are realizing this, but Murray Hill is moving south. It's getting very close to encroaching on 23rd street. Tonic, a new, crazy, overdone, MH bar just opened up on the south side of 29th street. I can't imagine any girl going in there after 11pm, the place was 3 stories, totally sweaty and totally mobbed with people I don't think I'd like. (puke) That, combined with Vertigo on 26th, has pushed the limits a little to much for my liking. I'm not sure what I can do about preserving the Kips Bay buffer zone I used to enjoy between Gramercy and MH, but I need to research.

Similar to my favorite lunch spots getting shut down, my favorite websites are being blocked at work. The superficial, any blog, any email service, all gone. As I find new interesting sites to read, I'm worried that if I click their links too much, IT will find out and take them away. Sometimes it feels like the IT dept has a personal vendetta against me. Anyway, Blogmaverick has become one of my new favorite sites, I hope its still there in the morning.

Its quite ironic how topical the sports guy can be sometimes. His quote from Friday was dead on. "By Game 6, Avery Johnson looked tighter than a married guy in Vegas who
was afraid to get a lap dance at someone else's bachelor party" Yea, we had one of those guys in our group.

I was a hot date at a wedding last night. I don't really like dancing, or don't feel comfortable doing it, or maybe I feel comfortable and don't care what others think, but I know I look like an idiot. That said, it was a wedding, and at a wedding, (as I phrased it 5-7x Sat night) you gotta take one for the team. If nobody dances at a wedding, its going to suck, and I won't let that happen on my watch. Luckily, my date had the same thoughts, and we danced most of the night.
There may be a reason why parve sounds just like barf when there is loud music playing in the background. Yea, I was not impressed with the non dairy deserts. Obviously, that didn't stop me from eating/trying all of them at 2:15 am when desert was served...yea, you read that correctly, 2:15 AM! (Dinner was served at 1:04am)

Prior to this wedding, I spent about 3 hours fixing my Tuxedo. I was smart enough to buy a tux almost 2 years ago, knowing I'd have plenty of weddings to go to over the next 5 years. I found a bargain basement tux store, many of you remember the story of the tailor setting me up with his daughter, and walked out with an adjustable waist tux, just incase I kept growing as fast as I'd been growing around the belly. Well...after 2 years, the elastics were frayed and not working, I'd yet to grow, and so I decided to transform my adjustable tux into a fitted one. Quite a few people thought this was a feminine act. I'm here to describe why you are wrong. (aka, why this isn't knitting, or anything of the sort). It was a project, it was hands on, and it was problem solving. I was constructing, building, attaching, improvising and making executive decisions and thus, I was proud of my accomplishments. As circumstance would dictate, it only took me 4 hours to get barf like non dairy ice cream all over it.

The wedding was a blast though; I guess I do enjoy dancing...though having my college roommate there did help make the party a bit more fun. I need to hang w/him more.

West coast people just love bragging that they are 5 years ahead of the east coast. I don't get it. They profess to get all of the trends first, and have all of the luxuries before we do. However, I'll never hear an east coaster say this, even after visiting LA or SF. To me, it sounds like an inferiority complex. And lets see how great they are when our President ships half of CA's inhabitants back to Mexico. If they're so far ahead, how come their bagels still stink. We had Hot & Crusty everything bagels on the table Saturday morning and my cousin insisted on toasting her bagel. I told her that when bagels sucked on the east coast 80 years ago, or were stale, toasting was acceptable but that toasting a hot, fresh bagel is not proper form and anyone who's 5 years ahead should know that.

From now on, anytime someone says that the west coast is 5 years ahead, I'm going to pretend that person is from the future. I can imagine our exchanges will go something like this.

CA Person: "That shirt is hella-cool!"
Ben: "That shirt is what kind of cool?"
CA Person: "Hella cool."
Ben: "Well that's hella-annoying."
CA Person: "We all talk like that in cali now, the east coast is 5 years behind, so you'll get it soon."
Ben: "We're 5 years behind? Ok, so who's the President in Cali now? Do you know who won the next election already? Do the Mets win the World Series in the next 5 years? Come on future boy, you're 5 years ahead, help a guy out with some stock picks, it's only 2006 here on the east coast, tell me what happens in 2009, don't you know this stuff?"
CA Person: "You're hella-annoying, too."
Ben: "Go fuck yourself."


The worst 30 seconds of my day take place in my elevator. Its unairconditioned and sweltering when its 70 outside. Whatever shirt / pants I'm wearing, they are stuck to my arms / legs when I exit. If only I were wearing pleates!

Today was my grandma's 90th birthday party. Many of you have met her, some of you have listened to her (Click here to listen to a new one), and most of you have heard about her. She's more amazing than I can hope to be, and she's got more friends at 90 than I have or ever will have. Its pretty remarkable. As has been the tradition for the last 15 years, her 10 grandchildren (now 16 with 2 marriages and 4 great grandchildren) wrote a song for her. Here's what we wrote, to the tune of YMCA (Don't ask me to sing):

Grandma, born in 1916,
She’s got three kids, Stephen, Susie, Sherry,
And 10 grandkids, 4 great grandchildren too,
We all came-to-part-ty with you.

Grandma, you’ve accomplished so much,
It’s impressive; you’re really something to watch,
Mentor teacher, and you’ve traveled the globe,
And we love com-ing to the club.

(BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM)

(It’s time for us to say…..)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, (we’re here to celebrate)
IT’S YOUR SPECIAL DAY,
YOU ARE 90 YEARS OLD; YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE TOLD,
YOU’RE THE BEST GRANDMA IN THE WORLD.

Stephen, he’s the oldest son,
He and Elaine, they produced four great sons,
They’re accountants, lawyers, and businessmen,
Jake, Josh, Ja-son, and Jon-a-than,

Michelle, joined with Jake and had three,
They are Sophie, Olivia and Chloe,
Jon and Jason, they must like to study
And then Josh lives by the be-each,

(BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM)

(CHORUS)

Susan, she’s the next of the three,
She’s got three kids, and she has an MD,
Jenny, Sperry, and Steh-ephanie,
They all live-in-sun-ny- Cali

Jenny, going towards MBA,
And, Steffie, she’s into Real Estate,
And Sperry, soccer superstar,
Susan could not ask for mo-ore.

(BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM)

(CHORUS)

Sherry, really needed an A,
She met Doron, who was her TA,
They have three kids, and got married one May,
Now she saves lives and loves New York,

Elana, married Ariel,
Had Atara, who is super and swell,
Our big sports fan, is our CFA Ben,
Dan’s engaged and works in fashion.

(BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM)

(CHORUS)

Grandma, is amazing at bridge,
Plays piano, always keeps a full fridge,
In our family, Grandma runs the show,
She’s the reason we are here now.

Grandma, happy birthday to you,
We all love you; everyone in this crew,
Our performance, is to show you we care,
And that we will always be there.

(BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM)

(CHORUS)

I wrote about 3 of the above stanza's. Unfortunately, much of the juicy, dirty topics I wanted to talk about got vetoed and edited out. For instance, the "Ben" line went something like "And Ben's, got no one, oh well." Slightly depressing, kinda silly, kinda insulting, but true, oh well. As depressing as it may be that my siblings are happily on their way to fulfilling "stage 3 and 4," I continue sit in virtual limbo in "stage 2. " At least I can take comfort that in 5 years, I'll still know what to wear out to clubs in Vegas, while I happily gloat to my brother in laws and my friends saying "you guys are dressed like you're 5 years behind." I just hope they don't start asking me about the future.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Update

I know alot of you have been asking about my friend who was sick most of last year. She finished up 14 months of chemo in April and was looking forward to finishing up her last bit of law school and taking the bar in February. Unfortunately, she's relapsed and is back in the hospital. I'm not sure if she needs more platelets. As you can read, she's surprisingly upbeat about the whole thing. Anyway, this is the email she sent to us:

Dear Family and Friends:

Well, I thought I was done writing these updates, but it's not over yet. I am back in the hospital this week. I hadn't been feeling well and I knew something was wrong. I was having muscle aches that kept me up all night and got worse and I also became increasingly off balanced which prompted me to go to urgent care at the hospital. I was pretty much walking like a drunk!

I've been in the hospital all week and have officially relapsed. It's leukemia again, but this time they found it in my spinal fluid (I had a spinal tap on tuesday) and the fluid around my brain (spinal fluid is made in the brain and travels down around the spine). This means I will need radiation to my brain to eradicate any leukemia in the brain tissue and chemotherapy to the area in the brain where the fluid is made and down the spine. I've already started chemo and radiation as an in-patient and luckily will be able to continue as an out-patient next week.

I have three tattoos on my head to make sure I get radiated in the correct areas (and of course one of the dots is in between my eyebrows! - but looks like a freckle and could be covered with make up if necessary). After radiation I will be getting a port on the top of my head in order to put chemo directly into the resorvior where the spinal fluid is created.

After this is taken care of, I will receive one dose of chemo like I was getting the first time around (the doctor hasn't decided what kind or when - it all depends on how this treatment goes) and then a few months after that I will be getting a stem cell transplant (which is the same as a bone marrow transplant, but the language used is stem cell). They recommend getting first cousins tested only. If family is going to be a match, it will most likely be a first cousin. We are also searching the national data-base of donors. Someone from the hospital should be coming to talk to us about this soon.

On the brighter side, my spinal fluid is clear, there are no masses - which means we caught this early. This treatment shouldn't take as long as my last leukemia treatment either. The worst side effect of radiation they said was fatigue - puh! been there, done that. And my blood counts are normal and they don't forsee needing any transfusions during this treatment.

So I have a long bunch of months ahead and I'll be putting off my law career AGAIN. That's the update for now and I'll be keeping you all in the loop.


If you want to donate platelets or blood, my friend may, and other people definitely can use them, so email me, let me know and I'll tell you how. ben_steger@yahoo.com

Monday, June 19, 2006

Vegas

It was 105 degrees each day in Vegas, obv the weather down there is an excuse for girls to forget their bras.

In fact, we hung out with a 19 year old who forgot her dress, and just wore the slip or lingerie underneath.

100 girls in one night aint bad...but it'll make your ass sore.

I woke up for work today 23 hours after I went to bed Saturday night

The next time I'm craving attention, I'm wearing a tie.

I only gambled for 3 hours all weekend...just too much else to do...like hit the pool at the Venetian.

I actually won money playing poker. $10 on the flight there, $25 in the room, $15 on the flight home. I rock airplane poker.

Day drinking 2 days in a row, then going out until 5am is poor planning.

You know you're in trouble when the "pizza boy" leaves the club at 2 b/c he's exhausted but at 5am is standing at the craps table just outside the clubs exit.

Dan'll be fine as a dad...esp since bringing him baby gifts to freak him out didn't exactly work.

Knowing someone who owns a restaurant in Vegas is quite helpful. By quite, I mean Unbelievable. Skipping every line at every club was so awesome, even if we had to pay cover.

Pool football turned into a blood bath, literally. Our knees, our toes, bloody.

Obviously, the best music at the clubs was when they did the Jersey shore music montage. They had bon jovi, and Van Halen and all the guys and the place went nuts. I just can't get away. Even the cheesy band at the pool was playing Livin On a Prayer.

With finance guys, we talk in finance code. With sports broadcasters, its baseball analogies. Nothing wrong with dropping the minor leaguers for some players with a proven track record.

The gardens are always greener...always.

The problem with paying for the rooms with cash is that you end up with $2,000 in cash in your wallet that you didn't earn, and really feel like spending.

I def paid off...but I didn't hit the trifecta (why isn't trifecta in spell check? Who writes these dictionaries?).

Surprising that Scotty didn't pay off, but he's got pressure.

Since I was the last person to leave...I picked up 2 rings, 2 bathing suits, an undershirt, a pair of sneakers and a phone charger..score.

I'm going to be adding to this as I slowly remember things...obv I can't tell any of you what really happened.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Twelve TITIT

I think I've been craving ice cream more than is humanly possible this summer. Wow, I need more now.

I think I've definitely out grown Bob Marley. Every time he pops onto my Ipod...skip.

I think leaving a change of clothes is no longer necessary, now that I don't live in Hoboken. I think leaving a belt there is very necessary, as I forgot to put a belt on 2x last week.

I think Grandma (click the link) turned 90 on Sunday and I think that means she was born in 1916! I think her party next Sunday will be so much fun b/c I think she's still got more friends than me.

I think THIS is a good way to explain to my mom why I drink so much beer, maybe I should take her HINT and quit my job.

I think the swiss miss is seriously guarded, and that is seriously intriguing.

I think the next time I go to a baseball game, I'm going to boo them all. They are all cheaters, all taking performing enhancing drugs, and if you don't think so, I think you're a fool. Look a Jason Giambi, he sucked for the 3 months he was clean, decided that his career was over if he did, or if he didn't and got huge again. If you think he's clean, I think you're a fool. I'm now a huge Barry Bonds fan. It's not Barry's fault the firm he got his drugs from was run by a bunch of idiots who didn't shred papers and kept names on their home computers. Think how many smart people run smart companies that are supplying everyone else, if you don't think there are 100 other BALCO's around, I think you're a fool. If you think Lance Armstrong didn't cheat, I think you're a fool. It doesn't mean he doesn't deserve all of his trophies and isn't the best cyclist in the world, because all of his competitors are cheaters too. They are just upset that he dopes better than anyone else. I think Jason Whitlock summed up the situation well HERE

I think my favorite two restaurants that I eat lunch at are now closed. Popeye's' building is getting renovated and Pizza Paradise merged with the place across the street. So not happy.

I think I'm really hoping Barbaro survives his leg surgery. If he does, he'll spend the rest of his life, sleeping, eating, and getting females pregnant. Is there a better life than being a retired stud horse? I think not.

I think I had a crazy dream last week. I was swimming, so I put my wallet in my bag. When I got to my bag, the wallet was empty, and all my credit cards were missing. All of a sudden, I got a call on my phone from Visa saying that my card was being used and that they were canceling it and sending me a new one. So I decided to call 411 to get the numbers for Mastercard and whatnot to cancel them too. I think the first time I called, I talked to a guy, who kept giving me shit and said I wasn't being courteous enough and I was yelling and sounded stressed and should take a nap. I hung up and called again and some girl answered and she did basically the same thing. She wouldn't listen to me, and couldn't find a number for mastercard and said that maybe it didn't exist. So I ran back to the pool area and told my friends and they were all laughing b/c it was them on the phone and they had my stuff and were just playing a trick on me. My friends in my dreams are jerks, and I don't think I couldn't tell you which friends were actually in the dream.

I think this weekend in Vegas is going to be nuts. Dan had the decency to send me not 1, but 2 archived "Sports Guy" articles on Vegas, and thus I killed an hour of work. I think these two paragraphs from him sum it up pretty well:

I don't care how old you get ... there isn't a better internet moment then receiving that first e-mail with "Vegas?" in the subject heading. It's right up there with "Calvin Murphy had 14 kids?!?!?!?!?!?!?!" and "Paris Hilton MPEG -- not safe for work!" Puts a hop in your step for the rest of the day. (I read that Paris line over and I think over and laugh every time)

For me, it isn't even about Vegas as much anymore. When you hit your (2)0's, your friends settle in different cities, get hitched, pump out a kid, start working 50-to-60 hours a week ... you look up one day and realize you haven't seen three of your closest buddies in 15 months. Vegas becomes the great equalizer. There's always that first glorious stretch with everyone sitting at the same blackjack table, throwing down drinks, cracking worn-out jokes and busting chops, when you realize that nothing has changed. Thank God.


I think these are the things that surprise people and I don't know why b/c they don't surprise me:

Celebrities: It's not like we're in Iowa people, or even New Jersey. We live in New York. Half of all celebrities live here. I saw Harrison Ford in my office building, I see Alec or Alex Baldwin 3 or 4 times a year and I've definitely bumped into 3 OC kids and 2 Entourage kids. Its really not that surprising, and for me, not that exciting. I just don't get why all girls and some guys go nuts...act like you actually are from NY b/c its just not a big deal.

Crazy People: I'd say I see a crazy person either A) on my walk to the subway, B) on my subway car or C) at some other random point during the day. I'd almost be more surprised if I didn't see a crazy person or two one day. So, next time I'm walking with you, you don't need to pull my jacket with an insane passion just so I don't miss that homeless person peeing on that bush, or that guy talking to his dog like its his child (yea, those people are crazy too). I mean, I prob gave that homeless guy $0.50 last week, just not a big deal.

Bumping into People: There are x good bars in my area NY, and I know y different groups of friends that go out. So, the chance that I bump into one of those groups of friends while at one of those bars is actually quite high. The reason to be surprised should be based on WHO you bump into, not the fact that you DID bump into someone. Chances are, you were going to bump into someone, so no need to call me at 4 am to tell me that you bumped into someone...unless you are telling me about WHO you bumped into, its just not a big deal.

Sunburns / Peeling Skin: Everyone has it, everyone does it, some people like it, some people don't. To me, talking about it (which I've done) is kinda like talking about the weather (which you all know I dislike). "OMG, look at my arms, so gross, OMG look at my face, its so red" Seriously, its just not a big deal.

Tetris, Piano Style

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Surprise!

For me, acting surprised is the hardest thing in the world. I'll get something for my birthday, exactly what I always wanted, and I'll have problems cracking a genuine smile. Maybe things rarely surprise me, maybe I have issues showing surprise, but since everyone's always telling me they have no clue what I'm thinking, here are some things that surprise me

Things That Surprise Me:

Really Stupid Arguments: Not that this needs an explanation, but for example, I was arguing which kind of beach is better, one with fine sand, or one with more granular sand. I mean, are there dumber arguments...obviously the finer sand gets stuck to your body more easily, and is harder to get off, thus is dirtier!

The Hidden Body: I'll go on a few dates with a girl and just assume by her clothing that she's a normal extra 10 lb girl. Then I'll put my hand on her back, or waist, and its like "Damn, you've got a sick body under that baggy clothing!" Def one of my favorite surprises.

Work Analness: Sometimes, I think my bosses decide to complain about things because they are bosses, and thus have power. I really don't understand why they nitpick, or reiterate things they say over and over. I'm totally surprised every time my boss says something that so closely resembles something the writers almost put into the first half of Office Space.

People Who Are Clueless: So many people just don't have a clue. They're space cadets, or they live on daddy's money, or they like talk like this ya know or the worst thing that ever happened to them all week was that they had to wait 7 minutes before they could get a cab and almost missed the previews to the movie. Seriously people, we live in a world here with real things and real people and when I see one of you, I'm shocked you probably grew up in a similar town as me.

The Crazy Dream: I'll be back at summer camp, having a conversation about my kids with some girl I rarely talked to from elementary school. Those totally random dreams just creep up on you sometimes, and if I can remember them, I can't stop smiling about how freaking strange it was. Kinda like "Where the hell did that come from? My brain? I don't think so."

Really Bad Food: I eat good food, and average food all the time. I'm not really used to really bad food, and when I get it, I'm shocked. I don't know what to do. Usually, I continue eating, esp when its lunch food at work, but seriously, how hard is it to make good food? (no seriously, I don't know, I never cook)

Real Problem Solving: I know I wrote 1 line on this last week, but problem solving is quite pleasantly surprising. I'm not talking about games magazine, or riddles (which are fun too), but real life situations. For example, when you're putting up a shelf, and you're in a guy's apartment, and you need to see if its level, obviously they don't have a level, so use a ping pong ball, which they most definitely have, and see if it rolls left or right. That kinda thinking just surprises me about me, about the resoursfulness of the human which most other species don't have. Maybe its a feeling of self fulfillment, that you thought of something totally original on your own, but it feels like a surprise to me!

You're not you: I'll be talking to a girl online, someone I'm set up with through grandma, or a friend or through freindster or whatever, and we'll exchange pictures...and then I go and meet her. She introduces herself and looks nothing like the person in the pictures. It's like "hi where's (insert name)? and can I hang out with her? I hate when people don't look like I'm picturing them.

Next week - Things that don't surprise me, and things that piss me off that people get surprised about.

In Honor of the World Cup Next Week - This Surprised Me

Friday, June 02, 2006

Idiot Boy? #2

The adventures of Idoit Boy continued this week. He was seen at a few bars, in a few emails and def on IM.

Idiot Boy almost did some illegal things today. And Idiot Boy was almost excited to do them.

Idiot Boy's anxious about a girl and has pretty much told everyone about this. Idiot Boy should know better b/c Idiot Boy knows that those girls are the ones that never ever work out for him.

Idiot Boy's insistance on talking about his propencity for her will most definately scare her away faster than a speeding bullet, that's what Idiot Boy does.

Idiot Boy feels like he's been inappropriate w/some people, and can't go back, and he feels awkard about it. Idiot boy just wanted to hang out, but feels that even just hanging out was uncomfortable and idiot boy is always comfortable.

Idiot Boy purchased a new pad this week so he could remember things. Idiot Boy's new pad is too big to carry around.

Idiot Boy almost made a bad financial decision, thank god Idiot Boy has a good financial advisor.

Idiot Boy's mother and sister went to My Sharona's wedding in Cali this weekend. Idiot Boy didn't even ask about it when he saw them.

Idiot Boy also forgot to call his mother about being evacuated from his office, Idiot Boy should know that it was important for her to hear about it from him, intead of reading about it.

And lastly...
Since when do people sing "Happy anniversary to you"? I think thats just pushing it in terms of the Happy "@#$&%#@" to you song.

Next Week - I Hate Benny: