Thursday, December 28, 2006

Life Purgatory

I'm about to enter Purgatory, Life Purgatory. I have spoken around this topic, but have never really defined it (or named it), until today. Life Purgatory takes place between the ages of 27 and 33. I believe that most single people between those ages are almost exactly the same age. There are those people who get out of college, and get on with the rest of their lives right away, and there are those people who wait a while, and then wait a while longer. I am officially joining the second group next week.

More specifically: I have a group of friends who either met their significant others during college or right after college and got married or are close to getting married. I have a second group of friends who are single, are showing no active desire to find "the one" (though they talk like they do, they don't act it) and thus will be joining me in Purgatory soon. Therefore, I don't think turning 29 or 30 is as big a deal as turning 27. At 27, you are officially out of the "did stuff while I was young" group and are destined for 6 more years of monotony before you get off your ass and succumb to societies desires (marriage, family, etc).

This whole concept surrounds the ideas of societal norms and maturity. I've talked about this concept a few times on here, specifically about male maturity, but let me refresh your memory with my common example. Who's more mature, the 33 year old guy dating the 21 year old girl or the 22 year old guy dating the 26 year old girl? The answer is simple. The 33 year old is still not serious, or just getting serious as he exits single life purgatory, the 22 year old clearly doesn't care about age, knows what he wants, even if it's someone older, wiser and more serious.

What I've learned from those already stuck in Life Purgatory is that these people only resent being stuck there because of society. They do not feel out of place, however, they do feel that society makes them think they should. Most of these people are not lost; they just know themselves and what they want…and they don’t want anything. I was talking with a friend Sunday night who stated that she's just got more important things to do than spend 5 nights a week with the same person. I understand that. Some people don't want to focus on that part of their lives until later in life. During that time period, they want to have fun, so they bounce around from person to person, from job to job, not wanting to be tied down, not wanting to settle, and not wanting to waste time. Obviously, I've deemed this drifting phenomenon, Life Purgatory.

As always, here are some things I think I've been thinking about:

I think on Monday I'll be starting my 4th week at my 3rd gym. I think I joined NYSC for 2 weeks and have now spent 1 free week at the Reebok gym. I don't think its helping me get in shape for the wedding.

I think the Reebok gym is amazing, and I would much rather pay $200 a month to go there ($1,200 initiation fee) than $100 to go to NYSC. I thought the Reebok gym had a basketball court but now I know they have TWO (and a rock climbing gym, a sun deck, pool, outdoor track, 3 story locker room w/full amenities, spa, dry cleaner, and 150,000 sqft in total).

I think someone told me that Brittany and Lindsey go there when they are staying in NYC.

I think there are 3 things you can have at work that make working more enjoyable and I think you only need 2 of them to stay at a job. I think those things are good money, good working environment (hours / coworkers), and doing what you enjoy.

I think I have the first two and 1/2 the third, teachers have the last two and bankers and lawyers have the other two. I just don’t understand how bankers enjoy their work. I think they are too dumb to realize that there are other things in the world out there or the money thing makes them enjoy their jobs more.

I think I saw a poster on a church that read “Come over my house Sunday before the game, God.”

I think JFK was the George Costanza of presidents. If he had stuck around longer, everyone would have hated him, but since he went out while on top, everyone remembers him as being the best, just like when George would tell a good joke at a meeting and just walk out.

I think that when I see a bag of something, and only the corner is missing, that the person who opened it made a spout that you can pore the chips/cereal/candy out of. I don’t understand people who think that it means you are supposed to try to fit your little fingers inside that little hole and take something out. I think it’s a spout!

I think I heard that you can get something similar to acupuncture called ear stapling in order to lose weight. I think they staple your ear lobe and then you’re not hungry anymore.

I think I've created a page w/all the things I need to buy or need someone to buy for me. It came to my attention that some Jews, like older sisters, make Christmas lists and then give them to their parents, like my parents, and get everything on thier lists. My birthday is in 1 week, hopefully, someone, like my sisters parents, will read this before then.

I think I watched 9 episodes of the office at work today. With the other 2 hours, I wrote this.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Reviewing My Life

Movies

The Good Shepherd:

















This movie was slow, long, confusing, and not very exciting (thus slow). I was expecting a spy type thriller, and instead, I got a boring movie that confused me with all its flashbacks and flash forwards, similar looking fraternity friends and similar sounding Russians. There was one moment in the movie with a bit of suspense, and we all knew what was going to happen, and thus, it wasn’t that exciting. The most unbelievable part of the movie was that Matt Damon neglects his wife, Angelina Jolie. Maybe if it was Jennifer Anniston, you could eventually get bored and neglect her, but not Angelina, def not her. I read that DiNero wanted to cast Leo before Matt, and I understand why Leo turned it down. The character is boring. In order to fully understand this movie, I’d have to see it 3x. Too bad I don’t plan on seeing it again.

Blood Diamond:

















Blood Diamond was action packed, full of surprises, suspense, had a good story and a strong tale of morality. Leo does a great job acting, as he always does and one of my favorite small time actors, Djimon Hounsou (also in Gladiator), pulls off his role as a strong, good natured, individual quite well. My mom even liked it, though she warned not to sit in the first few rows because you might get sprayed w/blood. We sat in the first 2 rows, but that’s because the theatre was packed for this awesome movie. The only small gripe I could have is that the moral tale could have been a bit stronger. The movie argued against buying diamonds from conflict regions, but buying any diamond, does change the supply and demand dynamics of the trade whether everyone in the US asks for non conflict diamonds or not.

The Departed:



















Another Leo movie; another excellent flick. Suspenseful, thoughtful, violent and surprising. This mob movie has an awesome cast (Jack, Matt, Marky Mark), solid acting, and a few twists at the end that make you jump out of your seat. You leave the theatre thinking, “did that just happen,” then you sit at home pondering the movie for a few days while still in shock at how the whole thing ended up and how much it disturbs you. That’s what makes it a good movie.

I understand why “Happy Feet” is in the IMAX, but why is “Night at the Museum?” Hello “Blood Diamond?” Hello “Casino Royale?” Hello “The Departed.” Even “Apocalypto” would be a better choice than Museum.


Books
A Confederacy of Dunces:



















A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Tool, reads exactly as the forward says it will read. The book is about a fat, obnoxious, idealist, idiot who has no sense of reality and thinks everything is offensive and everyone is out get him. Throughout the book, you are struggling to keep reading, yet something makes you turn the page instead of throwing it in the trash. This train wreck of a book that has Seinfeldian comedy and coincidences that make it almost silly in nature. As the book ended, I wasn’t really sure why that was the chosen end of the book and why there weren’t more pages. I also wasn’t sure if I wanted there to be more pages. Not my type of book, though it did win a Pulitzer Prize, so I’d call it slightly above average.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking:














As the title suggests, I flew through this book in about a week. The book reads similarly to a psychology book, but focuses on cases and outcomes rather than stupid psych definitions. It explores the judgments we make in the first few seconds and how an expert can be as accurate in his judgments instantly, as he would be after studying the object for years. It dives into fun pop culture things, like the taste test, and also into disturbing human behavior, like the Amadou Diallo shooting. Definitely a quick read, an entertaining read and a fun look into how the brain works and the snap decisions we make.

Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling:














This is my kind of book. It’s a non fiction history book with a 50 page reference section at the back. This well referenced book takes place during the 4 years that Michelangelo was forced to fresco the Sistine Chapel (He had no frescoing experience which is much different than painting). If focuses on his relationship with a dictator of a pope who waged wars for the Church’s benefit and though of himself as the second coming. It also talks about Michelangelo’s relationships with other artists of his time including Rafael and Leonardo. The book is full of interesting facts about life back then and side stories that are mostly interesting with a few dull ones in between. If you’re a history / nonfiction lover, I’d recommend.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Interesting...

I'm sooooo glad I found this

Arizona, Idiot Boy and TILATW

I went to Arizona last weekend to visit my friend Amy, who I hadn’t seen since she joined my family in Puerto Rico 22 months ago. She lives out there and owns her house, like an adult.

She needed a date to her company’s holiday party and so it was a good excuse for me to leave the city b/c I haven't traveled anywhere lately. :)

Speaking of which, I have not seen my roommate on the weekend in 6 weekends. The first 2, I was away for a wedding and Puerto Rico, then he went to his sister’s wedding, then I went to TG in SF, then he went to AC for a bachelor party then it was last weekend. Crazy.

Whenever I leave New York, I tell the same joke. I look up at the night’s sky, and point to the stars and say “what are those things? We don’t have them in New York?” Works every time. It’s all in the execution.

I was talking to a few of Amy’s friends when they asked me when the bars in NY close. I really didn’t have a good answer except to ask them what NY’s nickname is. When they responded “the big apple” I had to pull “the city that never sleeps” out of them physically, and then spoke condescendingly about what that title implies. Yes, the bars in NY never do close, unless there aren’t any customers. They asked where to go on a Wednesday night to get a drink and party, and I responded with “almost anywhere.” “The clubs are open weeknights; the bars are open until they have no customers. What part of this don’t you people understand?”

Anyway, flying sux, didn’t do much in AZ besides drink, rest, and this holiday party, and I only took pictures for about 4 hours of the trip. Here they are.

Anyone want to do the whole Jew Caravan down to AC for Xmas Eve? I don’t really have a desire to hit up the various Matzo Balls.

Do you think if you puked from eating too much candy corn that it wouldn’t taste that bad? What if you ate candy corn before you went drinking, and then puked at the end of the night?

Idiot Boy Side Note:

Idiot boy’s been pretty good lately. (more info here and here) He had one mishap this week. IB opened his medicine cabinet in the bathroom to put his toothbrush inside. It opens over the sink like a door, not a sliding cabinet. Anyway, the toothbrush didn’t stay inside and was about to fall into the sink, rendering it garbage when IB reacted fast and caught it out of mid air. Unfortunately and obviously, the cabinet door was still open and the sharp, mirrored, bottom corner went right into his forearm, cutting a nice little deep gash. IB put on a band aid and went to work. At around 11 he figure he’d take the bandage off and since the gash had not stopped bleeding in 4 hours, Idiot Boy got blood all over his shirt. Not so idiotic, but nothing to be proud of.

Idiot Boy’s lack of idiotness lately might be due to the emergence of Idiot Girl. Idiot boy has found his match. Idiot Girl, similar to Idiot Boy, is really, smart, fun, silly, and yet somehow the most interesting things happen to her. I’m not going to tell IG’s stories. Ok, maybe I’ll tell a few, but she’ll def be referred to in here from now on. Somehow, as IG’s mishaps have risen over the last few months, IB’s have gone down. IB’s praying they don’t even out anytime soon. Here’s a small sampling of a random message IG wrote to IB.

"I'm more self-destructive than suicidal. Spending three days reading one study guide as a way of putting off learning the stuff I don’t actually understand. Then doing really badly and then complaining about it when I get my grades in Feb. The worst part is no one believes me because I do this all the time. How many times did I need to fail an exam to get people to believe me when I say I’m going to do badly? Obviously more than 3..."

The funniest part of the whole “IB cut his arm open in order to save his $1 toothbrush” incident was when IG was pissed at herself for not making fun of Idiot Boy the way Idiot Boy playfully calls IG out about all the little idiot girl things she does.

Things I Lied About This Week:

I told someone that I saw a homeless guy w/a sign this week that said “make fun of me for a dollar” and that it was the best dollar I ever spent. In fact, that was J's story, from back in high school, and I’m pretty sure he cursed him out until the guy cried.

I told someone I was engaged and kept referring to my fiancé

I told someone my sister tattled on me for using one of those 900 numbers when I was 10, but talking to Tanja was worth it. Yea, that never happened.

I told someone that I don’t have any numbers in my phone because I memorize all of them.

I told someone the next time I saw her mom I would appolgize for judging her. I don’t think that will happen considering I’ve never met the mom.

I told someone that porno names make the best animal names. My animals growing up were, in fact, Cookie, Oreo, Sugar, Spice and Snow…but that doesn’t make them porn star names does it?

I told someone that dinner in general, was similar to vegetables, empty calories. I followed up by saying that I’d rather just skip dinner, and drink beer every night.

I'm addicted


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Airplanes and Porn

Mom: So what does it mean that you haven't written in your website for 2 weeks?

My “Ghetto” Baby Sis: whats up with no new blog entries, yo? you gotta gimme somethin to get thru the day.


I've been busy....I've been meaning to...Sorry Mom…Sorry Sis

J: Why do airlines suck?

Airlines suck because A) They never take off on time. B) They only land on time because they bake in an extra 1 to 1.5 hours of flight time just in case. C) They are not that cheep. D) There’s no room for my legs. E) Security is a nuisance and a joke. I’m going to start a new no security airline where you just have to get there 10 min before boarding. F) There is no reason to get to the airport more than 45 min before takeoff; except that they will give your ticket away if you are not there before 45 minutes before takeoff. Not once over my 8 flights last month did it take more than 15 minutes from arrival at the airport to get to the gate. G) Airlines don’t care about you. The guy infront of me checking his bags gave the attendant his ID and she lost it. She wouldn’t let him look in the garbage behind her or anything. He had to call the police. H) Airlines lie to you.

Which brings me to my next question...

BK: How can people still be getting off an airplane when the "departures computer" and the gate both say "boarding"?

Airlines just LIE to you. The same situation happened to me this week. I’m eating dinner in the food court 20 minutes before my departure time when I look at the “departures” monitor and it says my flight is “boarding.” Knowing that there wasn’t even a plane at my gate 15 minutes earlier, I get up and walk over to see. Behold! The sign behind the gate miraculously says “boarding” while the plane obviously just got there because people just started getting off. Maybe the sign meant “boarding the terminal from the plane.” I left and came back in twenty minutes and wrote this in the interim:

My Simple Rules for Understanding Airline Talk, Analyzing the Bullshit, and Just Generally Figuring Out When an Airline is Lying to You:

When you book your flight, and it tells you the length of your flight, the computer is lying. The time you are in the air is between 45 min and 1.5 hours less than the time on the ticket. I once took a 35 minute flight that was scheduled to take over 2 hours, those freaking liars.

When you call ahead to check the status of your flight, don’t check your flight because your flight is always on time. Find out if there’s a flight arriving about 45 min before your flight from the same destination you are going, and find out if that flight is landing on time. Most planes go back and forth between destinations. Additionally, they will estimate the actual time of arrival. If that flight is late, yours will be too.

When you get to your gate, the FIRST thing to do is check to see if there is ACTUALLY A PLANE waiting at your gate. I don’t care if you are supposed to be boarding in 5 minutes and the signs all say “boarding now.” The airlines are lying to you. You are not on time. NO plane = at least 25 minutes before you board.

When you get on the plane, if the doors of the plane don’t close within the 10 minutes of the scheduled departure time, you will take off at least 30 minutes late. Once a flight is already deemed late, it becomes a second class citizen to all of the other flights that may make it out on time. That flight has a different line for take offs and a different priority for taxiing.

If the pilot says you are 10th in line for take off, and will be taking off in 15 minutes, look out the window. If you don’t see any planes behind you, or in front of you, and there is grass and a parking lot next to you, then your plane is not on line at all and your pilot is a liar (feel free to point this out to a flight attendant and to the people sitting around you, it may get you extra cookies later). If you can see a FedEx plane sitting in a hanger from your seat, you are not taking off for a VERY VERY long time. The FedEx hanger is always the farthest from the correct end of the runway, even at airports where they take off and land in both directions, somehow, the FedEx hanger knows.

When on line, if the plane does not move every 4 minutes, you are not on line and / or other planes that are on time (aka priority) are being allowed to cut you.

When the flight attendant asks you what you want to eat, and you ask what’s good. Get whatever she does NOT suggest. Her job is to keep everyone happy and thus when the steward runs out of one dish, everyone is not happy. She’ll tell you to take the dish no body wants, thus, she is lying to you. Take the other.

When the pilot tells you that the plane is going to try to make up some time in the air, he is lying to you. Most planes go around 550 miles per hour. At slightly over 600, they would hit the sound barrier and break apart. On a 4 hour flight, if you are going 50 mph faster for the middle 3 hours, then you’ve made up 150 miles, or about 15 minutes. That does not make up for the 1.5 hours you lost when you left late. The extra hour they put in flight time on your ticket is why you might “make up some time.”

In the bathroom, a sign says that it may cause a safety hazard if you flush anything other than TP down the drain. I’m not sure how anything getting flushed besides a grenade could represent a safety hazard.

When you are about to get to the gate and the stewardess says to be careful when opening the overhead bins, because its contents may have shifted during flight, SHE IS LYING. I’ve never seen the contents of the bin shift enough so that when you open the bin, everything falls out like someone opening a closet on a sitcom that has been stuffed w/some kids toys after he claimed to have cleaned his room. It doesn’t happen, and if it did, show me someone who got injured, especially after a flight with no turbulence.

When you are just about to get to the gate, and the captain says, “please remain in your seats until the fasten seatbelt light is turned off,” he really means, "stand up now!" For some reason, the captain says that line exactly 1.2 seconds before he turns that damn seatbelt light off anyway. Its like he’s just fucking with you. I bet, if you heard that announcement, 9 out of 10 times you couldn’t get up before that light went out on its own anyway.

When you are getting off the plane and the staff says, “Thanks for flying with us. Have a great stay.” Don’t believe a word, because airlines are all fucking liars.

Pink: Is it wrong for your boss to show you porn?

Technically, no, he has not done anything wrong yet. However, if you think he has acted in bad judgment and/or looking at porn with him / her is not comfortable with you. You need to tell him / her that, and DOCUMENT the conversation. If that passion for office porn continues, then he has violated laws and now it is quite wrong. Understand? You have to establish that you don’t like porn.

EG: So how would you handle this scenario: you met your girlfriend through mutual friends who were dating, and now they have broken up? It’s like you're best friends w/ the boy and your girlfriend is good friends w/ the girl, and it was kind of a bad break-up. Neither of us are taking sides really, but I'm not sure how to handle future scenarios where we're hanging out and they both independently want to come meet up - does that make sense?

I love how you go from a hypothetical to giving up on the analogy and just letting us all know it’s really you. Yes, I understand, I understand all. The answer is easy one…I’ll borrow it from my pot smoking days. JUST CHILL. Take it casually. Feel free to take sides...esp. w/the girl, she’s your friend. The idea is to cut off the middle so the circle can’t be completed. You can talk to your girl; he can talk to his boy; just don’t talk about it between you, and don’t talk about your boy to her. If you do, they will both resent you. There’s no need to worry about them bumping into each other. Everyone’s an adult now, I hope, and that is their problem, not yours. You can let them know the ex may be at a party, per se, but you don’t need to baby them, or worry for them, esp. after a month or two.

IsMine: Is it possible for a parent to have a crush on one of your friends? My mom keeps telling Dan to invite Schecky to Buffalo whenever we go there. And she also always says how good looking Schecky is.

Yes, it can happen. Didn’t you see American Beauty? And FYI, that scene was totally hot and every guy totally understands that. That’s why the movie was so bad, because now every girl knows that every guy is a pedophile deep down. That’s why you want a guy who has self control, maturity, and has conformed to the constraints of society.

D: Why was the empire state building lit up in blue on Monday?

For the 60th anniversary of UNICEF, duh!!!
Click Here For Proof

Lax: Do you think its wierd to have a painting of yourself and someone else up in your living room? I mean, if I have a painting of me and my boyfriend up in my living room is that wierd? Does it seem vain? Or, is it better if i do one of him and one of me and hang them up so that they're looking at each other?

Yes, I actually dated this person, and yes, these are my readers.

To submit a question - Askbens@yahoo.com