Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Writing Style and Thanksgiving in Cali

I've been writing HIGA (Here I Go Again) for over 3 years and I'm very surprised how it turned out. The site started here and evolved from boring stories about what I did on any random day to its current, more interesting form. I've developed nicknames for almost 50 people and due to most people's increasing comfort with this forum, I no longer need most of those nicknames.

A year ago, I switched from livejournal to blogger and its made my life slightly easier (I no longer need to type in HTML). HIGA also added The Glossary, which I continually update when I write something "interesting."

We here at HIGA call out what's stupid, get excited for what's really stupid, write about what really annoys people, funny stories, crazy vacations, obnoxious thoughts and basically anything that my HIGA editors deem interesting. We also answer fun questions, but that's seemed to have died a slow death. (new Steiny only entry coming soon)

HIGA takes pride in being chivalrous and honorable. This week, HIGA was presented with a particularly interesting ethics dilemma: While coming home around 11pm one weeknight, my doorman pulled me aside and asked if he could borrow $200 until he got his xmas tips and could pay me back. I reactionarily asked why he bet on the Giants on Monday (never bet on your favorite team, its a double loss when the team loses and kinda sucks), but he stated that he was going through a divorce and that his car had a lot of tickets that his soon to be ex didn't pay. What would you do? Would you have lent him the money? Would you have lied and said you didn't have it? It was quite an awkward situation. I did want to help, he is a nice guy, but I couldn't have my doorman owing me anything, that would create a never ending awkward situation. Anyway, we at HIGA sat down and thought about it for 30 minutes before walking back down to the doorman. I did end up giving him the money, but I told him it wasn't a loan, it was a gift. If he wanted to repay me, that's fine, if not, no big deal, consider it his holiday bonus. I couldn't have him owing me, and who knows if he'd ever pay me back. I didn't want to put that burdon on him, or have it be awkward for either of us. I do expect him to pay me back when he gets around 10K in cash from the people in our building this month.

I bring up this ethics question because as I sat watching Grey's Anatomy last night, all I could think about was how UNethical each character is. George with balls is the best character. The girls are all liars and whores. I don't understand why girls like watching these shows, similar to Sex IN/ALL OVER the City, the women are just horrible horrible people.

What's Stupid:
I'm fascinated by the Urban Dictionary.

What's Really Stupid:
For some reason, Brittany Spears seems to be the "ethical one." Now she's stupid and dirty and whatnot, but she claims that in order to avoid being blackmailed by her sex tape, she's going to give it away for free. Go Brit! We at HIGA fully support the free release of that tape. My safe deposit box at the bank is waiting for its copy.

Speaking of celebrities, I don't get why the word celebrity comes from celebrate. They are humorous, idiots, that happen to be hot and famous. I think we should call them idiotites or fameites. I don't know anyone who celebrates these people.

What Really Annoys People:
Does anyone ever "press 5 to page this person?" There has to be a way to turn this feature off. The only people who get pages are doctors and drug dealers and they have real pagers, not phones that get pages. I average about 1 voice mail per day, or 5 seconds wasted per day, or 6 hours over the last 10 years listening to someone ask if I wanted to page my friend who can already see my number come up on his caller ID.

What HIGA determines is interesting:
I found an awesome hot chocolate place on my block at work. That makes me so happy considering all the lunch places around me suck. I wasn't going to get an HC, but someone before me ordered it and I asked the cashier if it was any good and she pored me a lil of the extra. Made me warm inside.

Obnoxious Thoughts:
I'm really not planning on living past 60. Is there something wrong with that?
I'm going to start TIVOing Duck Tales, yea, I miss that show...maybe Alvin and the Chipmunks too. I hope they're still on somewhere, sometime.

Crazy Vacations:
San Fran Weekend:
I traveled via air for the 3rd weekend out of 4 to San Fran for our annually Thanksgiving retreat. Technically, its not annual since last year we didn't go and the prior year we went on Christmas (because we went to Israel for Thanksgiving).

Thursday we had pasta because we celebrate Thanksgiving on Friday in this family. My cousins' parents are divorced so the kids go to the dad on Thanksgiving and to the mom on Friday. Makes life easier...and friends and well, everone can normally come. Lotsa drinking, lotsa silly convo's. I took a few videos. I'm not going to post them but you can get them all from my youtube video user area.

Here are the pictures

Saw Borat on Saturday. Was ok, not great, not terrible, but funny, short, and kinda stupid. He didn't really make anyone look dumb but 2 frat guys and himself. I wanna see 007 much more.

On Saturday night we had appetizers at Stephs apartment, then dinner for 13 at an Itialian joint then saw a show. Afterwords, Steph, Sperry, and I went out in the Marina to a karoke bar so that I could catch up w/my friend Tara, who I met at a training session in Dallas 3.5 years ago. I know, I keep intouch w/everyone, but she is in my market (does bank loans too).

The coincidence behind this is that in my original post, the one referenced above, I mention someone named Jee Hae, who I also met during training in Dallas. I think she was in the Atlanta office. I have a feeling that this article and that article are the only two times I've ever mentioned somene from that trip.

I finally got to bed around 4am which means I did my sleep 2x in 24 hours thing on Sunday (4am West Coast Sat night is 7am Sunday morning in NY is 24 hours before I have to wake up 2 days later).

Continental Airlines food is terrible. I'm getting the kosher meal next time. I wouldn't even touch the microwaved ground beef sandwich with cheese on it. Same thing both ways. And of course, The Devil Wears Prada was the movie on the way to Cali (3 of my last 4 flights).

Monday, November 13, 2006

Thinking About Puerto Rico

Thinking about Puerto Rico:

I think gambling without my dad is a bad idea. I (and the rest of my family, Steiny included) just don't win without him around. I think 10 people lost $1,900 the first night of gambling.

I think a few of us almost died 5 times on this trip. Once, we put 11 people in an elevator near the ground floor and it went down 1/2 a floor and we had to climb up 4 feet when the door was wedged open to get out (with the risk of getting sliced in half, thanks for that story Steiny). Once, we got into an elevator at 10, it went down and got stuck, we wedged the door open around 6 and jumped out once it moved to that floor (yes, it was moving w/the door open). Once, I thought the manager at Denny's was going to kill us. Once, there were sharks in the ocean while we were on jet skis. Once, we went under a bridge that was about 4 feet high and any big swell could have but us into the roof of the bridge.

I think of the 43 hours i spent in Puerto Rico, 4 of them were at Denny's from 2-4ish each night. That's about 10%.

I think there were 3 Davids, 2 Robs and 2 Scotts. I think I spent 5 minutes trying to remember everyone's names but I could only get 11 out of 12. Then I realized I forgot to count myself.

I think we sprayed about 1.5 bottles of whipped cream during our time at Denny's.

I don't think I understand why we were not asked to leave.

Since all 11 guys kept asking me to call her, and get her to come out with us, and they all need to be schooled on talking to girls, (yea, even you Rob). I think this is the text message conversation I had with the waitress from Saturday night:

  • 3:38 am - Ben Calls and leaves message.
  • 3:52 am - Kelly: In bed. Glad to hear ur having a good time. Ur Spanish is very good. If its ok with you I'll call you tomorrow.
  • 4:54 am - Ben: We missed you. Sleep well. Talk to you later.
  • 2:39 pm - Ben: We are just hanging at the beach today. Join? Back to NY tonight. You will have to come visit. Send me your email and I'll send you pictures from dinner.
  • 2:55 pm - Kelly: Great day for the beach! Can't join. Have to do stuff and then work. My best friend lives in NY so we'll meet up next time I go. E-mail is xxxPRlover@yahoo Keep in touch. Safe trip!
  • 5:05 pm - Ben: Great! Tell your friend to call me too
  • 5:56 pm - Kelly: Funny!
I think each of the waitresses at our table got around a $100 tip because I think we spent over $500 on alcohol including over $370 on Southern Comfort. (Click the picture below to enlarge)

I think my coworker suggested buying The Devil Wears Prada to read on vacation and I think I'm quite happy I did NOT buy it considering it was the movie on the plane in BOTH directions.

I think all the cabs in Puerto Rico are vans, and I think that made getting around surprisingly easy with 12 people.

I think I like Puerto Rico more than Miami. It's easy, cheep, friendly, warmer and definitely not as snobby.

I think Steiny is a very good decision maker and I think that's good for my baby sister, too.

I think David and Daniella would have sat next to each other in homeroom.

I think I got home around 3am last night.

I think here are some pictures from the weekend

Jordan Doing a Little Salsa w/a "Salsa Teacher" at Denny's

Other Things I've Been Thinking About:

I Think Rutgers has Sold Its Soul. I think by bringing in a high profile coach and big time recruits, Rutgers is not headed the right direction, and has sold out to its alumni and the pressures of being in a big division 1 conference. This year, Rutgers paid millions to its football staff, increasing the football budget while cutting over 800 academic courses, dropping several sports from Division 1 status, and suspending financial support to others including crew, fencing, swimming and tennis. These programs combined represent only twice Greg Schiano’s income. ($875K guaranteed this year). I think publicity is nice, yet I fear Rutgers will no longer be looked at a strong academic institution and my degree will be less valuable. I wonder how many of those football players go to class, how many have SAT scores above the school’s average and how many have other kids doing their homework (yes, this happens). I'd bet there are some players who can't even write coherent sentences and have tutors struggling to edit their essays by attempting merely to put their words in the correct order. Actually, I know that last portion is true. Big football is fun, but not good for a colonial, academic, institution. I think I'd like to know what This Group has to say about it, too bad they are gone. Also here. and here.

I think Rutgers, in totality, has spent between $200-$300M on being in the Big East (even Football loses money every year). Boosters are so happy when a top recruit scores an 800 or 810 on the SAT's b/c then Miami won't take them but Rutgers will.

I think there is some validity to the EBITDA theory. The theory states that 2 people who both know what EBITDA is can't date. I don't think I've ever dated a girl who did.

I think its nuts that I'm going on 4 trips in 6 weekends right after I read an article that traveling often shortens your life.

I think I spent $800 each of the last 2 weekend and I don't think I can afford that.

I think my plane luck is starting to change for the worse. Or maybe American Airlines luck is different from Continental. On Continental, I'm just always sitting next to old, fat, ugly people. On Jetblue coming home from Florida, I think it was the ugliest and fattest. But now, on the way to Puerto Rico, my flight was delayed 2 hours. On the way home, the same thing. I think being a little sick didn't help either because it was hot and I was dehydrated on the way out, since we were ON THE AIRPLANE for the whole delay. I think the flight was like an El Al flight to Israel: Baby's screaming for hours, major complaining to flight attendants, the captain lying to us about being on a line when there were no planes within 1/2 a mile, 8 people across in the rows. Luckily, I don't think there was any smoking or puking.

I think I don't have enough time for life because I've been too busy living.

Friday, November 10, 2006

FL Wedding / RU / PR

Last weekend I had an awesome wedding down in Florida. The whole weekend cost me around $1,000, and a day off of work but it was well worth it. Friday night I got in and grabbed a drink w/my friend Jamie and her boy. Saturday evening was the rehearsal dinner, to which the whole wedding was invited to. Sunday I had lunch w/my old RU roommate Jessalynn and then Sunday night was the wedding. A really really nice wedding. A really nice short service. Monday morning there was a huge brunch in the hotel with omelet stations and whatnot. Sat at the pool all day Sunday and Monday just hanging out.

Here are some pictures. Since the wedding was of a former co worker of mine, I really only knew 2 people. Another former co worker and a girl who I went out w/a few times that's in love w/me. But who isn't, right?

I went to the Rutgers football game last night all the way down in central NJ. The atmosphere was electric and I didn't sit for the whole game. Here are some pictures and below are links to a few videos that I took

Rutgers Alumni Going Crazy and Singing

Rutgers Kids Getting Kicked Off The Field Because The Game Wasn't Over

Rutgers Kids Running on the Field as the Game Ended

Tonight, its off to Puerto Rico for a bachelor party...I know...rough life I've got. I'll try to do some real "thinking" this weekend.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Stuff

The legalize marijuana senate candidate in NJ got 11,400 votes. Think about how much you must like marijuana to vote for this guy. A) you have to not really care about the election because NJ was a close race, B) you have to not smoke, in order to register to vote months before the election, C) you have to remember to vote, whether baked or not and D) you have to remember to vote for the right person. I think its amazing 11,400 people were able to do this for the sole reason of supporting the MJ guy. I mean, he took 4th place.

Over the last few weeks before the midterms, voters were told that if the election turns on issues of who can better protect the country, they -- voters -- preferred the GOP, even though pre-election polls varied on which party was more trusted on the issue, but, in any case, made clear that the GOP had lost its huge advantage that had turned previous elections. They were reminded -- repeatedly -- that the White House accused John Kerry of insulting the troops, when, in fact -- and the media made this far less clear -- Kerry, who was not even running for office, had botched a joke about President Bush's ineptitude in Iraq. The media continually stated that Kerry's comments would have a huge impact on the election. They were told by the media that Mark Foley's alleged predation on underage pages and the House leadership's alleged coverup were no different from President Clinton's sexual relationship with an adult. In an election season in which Republicans unleashed scurrilous attack ads, as well as alleged voter suppression tricks, voters were told that the Democrats were also guilty of such tactics, although, even as the media made the assertion, they were unable to produce examples of comparable Democratic "dirty tricks." Finally, on the eve of the election, voters were told that weekend polls showed that the Republicans were on a roll and had all but closed the gap on the Democrats' advantage in the generic ballot. But in making the declaration, the media ignored more recent polls that demonstrated the opposite.

And, yet, voters apparently defied the media's pronouncements, at least enough of them to give Democrats control of the House.

I'm pretty happy people saw through all these media lies. (Dems are terrorists, Kerry will have impact, Dems are connected to Abramoff, Dems are running dirty campaign, GOP has momentum, GOP strong on security, GOP strong on fiscal policy, Osama wants Dems to win)

I missed most of the election returns because I was at dinner with a friend. The way I see it, whether watching or not, it won't really change the results. Unlike a sporting event, which could be argued "why watch" for the same reason, the election results have no real excitement, no great plays, no surprises. I'm convinced people watch this stuff just because it has a winner and a loser.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Write? Why not

Is there a correlation to me people not commenting as much and me writing on here? Maybe.
Is there a correlation to me dating someone and me writing on here? Probably Not.
Is there a correlation to me having a new job and me writing on here? I don't see why.
Is there a correlation to me playing too much volleyball and me writing in here? Most likely.

The new job is stressful. I'm not really going to talk about it and I'm not really at liberty to talk about my stresses, let alone write about them publicly. That's a good way to get fired. Feel free to ask me personally if you care.

Halloween was a little crazy. I dressed up as Clark Kent...as most of you know from my character profiles...he's a pretty good match for me. Slightly reserved on the outside with a chivalrous streak, and superhero like qualities on the inside. Here are some pictures from Halloween. Friday bars were crazy and Saturday I went to a few ridiculous house parties. There were some great costumes: Double Dare girls with poles on their helmets, Gold diggers (girls dressed in gold with gold miners hats on), and girls dressed as American Gladiators (form fitting and athletic, so hot).

Mark Cuban emailed me this morning. Last night I read THIS ARTICLE. So I wrote him quickly just saying "Is this true? I'm a Knicks fan and its totally disappointing. I love your passion." He quickly responded, "Stay tuned :). I promise to make it entertaining - M." I really enjoy READING HIS BLOG, daily. His major topics include A) Basketball and his Dallas Mavericks B) The internet (where he made all his money) and C) Business in general. He's a smart man, a businessman, an entrepreneur and a dreamer.

I played volleyball on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. Next week, its just Monday and Thursday. I really enjoy it but it does take up lotsa my life. I also got a blister on the new skin which was under a blister that peeled last week. If I lose that piece of skin too, there may not be anything underneath. I'll keep the pictures to myself.

I'm having major Good Will Hunting flashes in my life. The whole "had to go see about a girl" idea. I would totally skip some huge major event in my life to go meet someone I don't even know. That's just stupid and scary. In the movie, however, the circumstances surrounded a big grand gesture. The dilemma I see has to do with recognition. If I made some grand gesture, then I'd have to publicize it somehow, diminishing its value and being seen as a bragger...and I hate hate hate talking about myself like that.

As an aside, these two paragraphs have nothing to do with "if the past tense of rewind is rewinded or rewound."

How do you do something big, something good, something special and not want recognition for it? I really wish I was - I don’t' even know the right word - actualized enough to do that. If I do something good, like donating platelets per se, I want everyone to know about it. When I make an online donation, I put my name out there and when I do anything fun and interesting, I want to brag about it. How does someone overcome that? How does someone get to the point where they are ok with doing something for themselves, and the world, w/o telling others about it. I'd like to be there eventually. A girl, a job, a family might help. Just thinking out loud.

I'm off to Florida this weekend. My former co-worker is getting married and he's having a lil destination wedding in Boca. He's from Maryland, she's from Pittsburgh, but her grandparents live down there, and pretty much own Pittsburgh, so here we all come. I'm spending $600 on just getting there and staying there. My boy said not to get a gift, but seriously. At least I'll get to see Jaime and Jessalynn.