Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top 11 Reasons Guys Pay

I was just asked the question “Why do the guys always pay for the dates? That’s not right.”

Well, here are the top 11 reasons why we guys pay for first dates:
(in no particular order)

We make more money: This isn’t always true, and most of us wish it wasn’t true, but for me it usually is true. In the last year, I have not gone on a date with a girl who makes more money than me. I’m almost 100% certain. Many girls work much harder than I do, but their jobs just aren’t as financially rewarding. Why should they be punished by the arbitrariness of the system and/or the possible glass ceiling? The closest I’ve come to dating a girl who makes as much as me has been a 3rd year lawyer, and her salary is posted online, like all lawyers at big firms.

We actually want to: This may be hard to believe, but chivalry isn’t totally dead. Some guys, especially myself, like the idea of treating a girl well, and if that means buying dinner/drinks, so be it. We’ve been raised to put girls on pedestals, why not treat them like queens?

We have all heard THE story: We’re sitting at brunch and one of our female friends starts talking about this bad date she had. The story always ends with "it was so expensive and he made me pay for half, that jerk!"

We asked her out: If I ask a girl out, why shouldn’t I pay for her? Makes sense to me. If the girl asked to buy me a drink, I’d consider letting her, though I probably wouldn’t. I have yet to be asked out on a first date by someone I actually wanted to go out with.

We picked the place: My friend Jessalyn said it best "I do think if the guy picks the place for the first date, he should be prepared to pay." What if it’s a really nice place, or to see a show for $100, how can we expect the girl to pay? We can’t.

Tradition: Tradition dictates that we pay. Who are we to change that tradition now, without agreeing to it prior to going out?

We want to avoid the awkward: The tradition is set in stone, even if both people want to go dutch, it can be awkward getting to that point. She takes out her wallet, he says not thanks, she refuses.

We want her to like us: If a girl insists on paying for herself, this is a signal that she doesn’t like you. The girl doesn’t want to owe you anything, and thus is paying. If she liked you, she wouldn’t mind being treated.

We like to show off: Self explanatory.

We want to hook up: This may be misguided, but most guys do assume that have a better shot at getting some action if we pay. Girls will say “I hate feeling like I owe the guy something” when he pays, but of course, she does feel that way…and sometimes, she’ll even give in.

We want to eat off the girl’s plate: The way I see it, if I know that I’m paying, and she knows that I’m paying, technically, she is eating my food. I’m allowing her to eat my food. Since that is the case, I can just reach over to her plate and take whatever I want.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jdate Makes Me Fat

This was sent to me by my friend. She told me the story and I made her write it down. I think its pretty freaking hilarious!

Jdate Makes Me Fat

I got on Jdate 3 months ago, I was this 5'4 petite, cute little girl. I had some cute pictures up and when you first sign up, you get bombarded by guys who are just searching for new people. I'm also 24, so everyone from 24-38 year old's are searching for me. Lets just say, I attacked the site, as it attacked me.

I used to go to the gym 3-4 times a week. Now I have no time.
I used to drink only on the weekends. Now I drink almost every night.
I used to make myself small dinners. Now I have big dinners every night.

Lets just say, my life has changed substantially in the last 3 months. I suppose if I'd met someone I ACTUALLY LIKED, I would have stopped dating so much, and could have moved back toward my normal routine. Obviously, THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED.

Here's my week last week:

Monday Night: I try not to schedule Monday dates. Usually, I'm exhausted from the weekends because I went out late Saturday, I woke up late Sunday, and couldn't fall asleep on Sunday night until late. On Monday's I'm running on 5 hours of sleep. Tonight, I had a drink w/some cute guy, told him he'd have to take me out again, and went home to get on Jdate and schedule the rest of my week. 2 cute guys talked to me, so I made plans w/them for Wed, and Sat.

Tuesday Night: Usually I'd hit the gym on Tuesday's, but I had a 3rd date w/a guy I kinda liked. We had dinner for 3 hours, he insisted on dessert, probably so he could also order after dinner drinks. We'd kicked a bottle of wine, and the extra drink and I ended up at his place until the morning. He asked me out for Friday.

Wednedsay Night: I was exhausted from the previous night, and was just meeting a guy for a first date, so we met for a drink after work. He lives downtown and works downtown so I gave in and traveled down there... he picked some swanky place that I'd wanted to go to, so I figured it was worth it. He was not nearly as good looking as his pictures, and I called him out on it. That FUCKER called me out too. Said I was a bit bigger than in my pictures!! He asked when I took the pictures and I told him 2 months ago. He asked what happened and I told him "JDATE! you asshole!" We laughed about it a little and I decided to run up his tab. Drinks at this place were like $15 and since it was a first date, no way he wasn't paying. Must have put $200 on there. I made out w/him afterwords at 2am b/c he was a good sport but I'm def not going out with him again.

Thursday: Normally, on Thursday morning, I hit the gym. After waking up 20 min late for work, hungover, and still possibly drunk, you could guess I didn't make it to the gym. Thursday night I had drinks scheduled with this guy I'd met on Saturday. We'd just gotten coffee on Sat, so I wanted him to take me out for a meal. I was tired, but he was nice. Dinner was at some pasta bar, really heavy food, really cheep. I'm thinking he has no money based on the 2 dates and prob won't go out w/him again. Wow I'm full. At least the pasta kicked the hangover. I got on Jdate for 2 more hours after I got home, made plans for Sunday brunch w/some Lawyer, and passed out.

Friday Night: Friday I met up w/Tuesday guy. It was a little strange because I'd stayed over but we didn't really do THAT much. I felt like he was testing me to see if I would this time, or I was done. Of course I was testing him to see if he actually liked me or just wanted to hook up b/c he'd put in the time. Conversation didn't flow as well and was actually kinda awkward, even after drinking a bottle of wine. We went out afterwords, some dive bar. We did some shots and drank some more. We both passed out w/o hooking up and in the morning he wanted to but I couldn't. He was pissed, but I had to run because...

Saturday: At noon I had a brunch date w/the 2nd guy I met Monday night on Jdate. Date went well but he was boring as hell. Love brunch. Had just eaten so couldn't go to the gym. Took a nap and went out w/friends Saturday Night. Some guy I'd met 2 months earlier messaged around 1am, so I met up w/him at 3am and brought him back to my place.

To summarize: I had drinks and dinners almost every night and missed all the times I normally go to the gym.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Something is Fishy

I ordered THIS BAG for my office, for my boss on Ebay. The bag came, but with some extra gifts.

This was my response to the seller on Ebay:
"I ordered the bag and it came. My boss opened it and loved it. The bag looked new, but when he opened the front pocket, there were all of these materials inside of it. An old delta ticket stub, car payment bill, 2 check books, letters, etc... All of these items had random names on them like Rafel Herrera, Natalia Monasterio and a few others. Do you know who these people are? Do they need these items? Did someone use the bag? This was very embarassing for me when my boss discovered these things! This is extremely unacceptable.
Ben"

This was his response:
"I am very sorry about this you can throw those items away. The items you found in the backpack are props we used to take pictures for our items. Those are put in to take picture of backpack with it. I can assure you the backpack is brand new.

Again we're very sorry about this and it?s very unacceptable. Please let me know is there anything I can do for you to make you satisfy with our service?
- timespringinc"

I don't for one second believe Timespringinc's response. There were signed, undated stamps, bills for electric utility companies, and car payments.

I decided to mail a letter to the people who's stuff I'd seemingly found:

"Natalia Lebasterio / Monasterio & Rafael Herrera:

I purchased a leather backpack on Ebay from a vender called Time Spring Inc (timespringinc.com). In the front pocket of that bag were items that had your names and addresses on them. Included was a Toyota Lease invoice and Water Meter invoice for Mr. Herrera. There were also a bunch of items from Paradise By the Sea for the names Natialia Lebasterio and Natalia Monasterio (I have a feeling they may be the same person). Additionally, there were 2 unmarked check books. I have attached photo copies of some of the items. Most of the addresses on these correspondences were the same, so I have only sent this one letter. Please let me know what you would like me to do with these items, and /or if you would like me to mail them to you or throw them out. I am curious how they ended up in a seemingly unused bag that I purchased. The company I purchased them from told me that they were used in a photo shoot, however, considering the items, I do not believe this to be the case.

Please advise me on what you would like me to do. Feel free to email me.
Benjamin"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Did You Really Just Say That?

Sandy: If he is online for 30 min and doesn’t say hi and then goes idle, do you think he could be cheating?
Me: Are you f-ing nuts?
Sandy: yea
Sandy: Are you really asking? Haha
Sandy: It just seems weird that he’d sign on and not say hi… even if I did see him this morning.
Sandy: Doesn’t it seem weird?
Me: No.
Me: Why do you think he is cheating? There has to be more than that.... Why would he sign on at all If he was?
Sandy: I think he is cause im insane. Cause when i told him lately that I had been freaking out cause im worried he's going out hooking up etc...he gave me this whole speach being like, I have no interest in cheating, i get why you would worry cause of our past, but i just want to be with you..etc et c but this past week we barely saw each other, where the week before we saw each other every day so i guess i got a bit worried..
Me: Bec you went nuts on him! This is a never ending cycle.
Me: You are never going to be happy and confident w him... enough that he can live a normal life w o having to check in w you and justfty himself to you. You've needed a new boy for 3 years now!
Sandy: I dont know if its him or anyone.
Sandy: It's me, I'm nuts :)

Rock Climbing Girl: I’d like to inform your thought, that if you are ready to have children with me tomorrow I’m willing to break up w/my boyfriend in order to satisfy my mother’s need to become a grandmother. Just don’t tell him :)
Me: Is that because he is unwilling or because I’m hotter and you will tell him it’s his?
Rock Climbing Girl: He is very unwilling and you’re very hot! :) But fathering my children is a whole new level of commitment that you’d have to fall in love with me at some point. I hear it helps the co-parent relationship and I’m very loveable.
Me: I find that being forced into love is the best way
Rock Climbing Girl: you’d have to meet my parents of course, first.
Me: Before the birth or before the sex?
Rock Climbing Girl: Before the sex, but you’re a Jewish boy, I’m pretty sure you’re in.
Me: Parents love me.
Rock Climbing Girl: Is having my hypothetical babies not enough for you? I guess I’ll see you at my bday on Saturday. Meanwhile I’m still considering your sperm.

Rachel: Why doesn’t Daniella accept my friend requests?
Me: She has like 80 people waiting, I’ll yell at her.
Rachel: Dude, my mom is all about Facebook, its hilarious. It’s funny, she has so much fun.
Me: That’s scary.

Hurricane: I can’t wait to meet the girl you end up with
Me: My mom says that to me sometimes… I’m STILL not sure if I’m supposed to be insulted or not.

SS: Ugh having roommate problem
Me: Move
SS: One brings random trashy guys home from bars and other doesn't approve. I don't care that much but she doesn't want strange men in our apt... Which is legit.
Me: So what? You have to make a rule? Why is that legit? It's her apt...
SS: I don't know it’s tough and I'm stuck in the middle
Me: I can't imagine my roommate saying I need to stop bringing random girls home... it’s not like the girls are going to rob us. Are you worried about your safety?
SS: Yes
SS: She brings home low class guys
SS: Like a 37 year old divorced w 4 kids
Me: If you don't like the lifestyle she lives then move out or make her move eventually, but she isn't doing anything wrong in my eyes besides being a slut
Me: Hmmm
Me: She hot?
SS: She's a blonde bombshell

Hurricane: You would be upset if you heard what I did. So, after dinner, he wanted to go for drinks...
Hurricane: okay, so I went...: it was fine... but he wanted to have another drink......and I was like, hmm
Hurricane: I lied and said I couldn't have another drink. I told him I was exhausted. I mean, it was 12:30 and the date started at 9.
Me: How much did you drink at dinner?
Hurricane: We just shared a bottle of wine, but I drank a little before, not much.
Hurricane: I’m really a nice person BUT, dinner was FINE, I mean, I could talk to a wall ...and I enjoy it, but he was nervous.
Hurricane: He was like, "I thought you were going to be crazy”
Hurricane: I was like "WHY?"
Hurricane: He said, "You just talked to me on the phone like we had been friends for years! "
Hurricane: I was like, “did you want me to sound nervous and make it super awkward?”
Hurricane: Geeze, help me out here
Me: where are you going w/this story?
Hurricane: So I slipped and told him I had a birthday party, but I also said I wasn't sure I was going to go, I was exhausted blah blah
Hurricane: So he says, "want to grab a drink after at one of my favorite beer bars"
Hurricane: now, thank g-d I'm NOT a light weight, so I go to this bar
Me: if you were a lightweight...you'd be done after the bottle!
Hurricane: we have a drink, really cute date place, I gave him serious props
Hurricane: so we're sitting at drink at the bar and he's like, "so where is the party? do you want to have another drink?"
Hurricane: at this point, I just said " I am exhausted, I think I am going head home after this, it was great but I’m fading!"
Me: I still don’t' know why I would be mad at you...
Hurricane: You would have called me out on my shit
Hurricane : So he gets me a cab, and tells the driver upper west side. Super nice, seriously.
Hurricane: I tell the driver, when you get to the light, we are going to turn and go to the meatpacking
Me: haha
Hurricane: the cab driver started laughing
Me: I'm laughing
Hurricane: Seriously, I was relieved. It was 12;30- we had been together for 3 and a half hours. That's fine, right?
Me: Long enough for a first blind date...gotta let it simmer... totally fine
Hurricane: and then I went to Brass Monkey and kicked it with the girls until 5!
Hurricane: so I got home at 5 and then woke up at 8 and went to the gym
Me: you didn't kiss him when you got in the cab?
Hurricane: No! I had no intention of kissing him
Hurricane: It wasn't really like that, and not to say I wouldn't.
Me: did he make second date plans w/you?
Hurricane: lol, no
Me: Amateur

Me: Sup?
LF: Supbleh
Me: Nice
(2 days later)
LF: Did u text me the other night?
Me: Yes
LF: what did u say?
Me: Sup?
Me: And you said "supbleh"
Me: And I said "nice"
LF: Sorry

Me: Why did you ditch me the other night? I thought we were going to meet up at 6?
North Carolina: I left the gym at 3:30 and was on my way home when I saw 2 girls from Gossip girl. I knew they lived in my area so I wanted to see where they lived. They went to a coffee shop so I went in too and sat for 45 minutes. I called some friends and we stood outside and smoked till they left. When they left we followed them some more and walked them to their apt, stopping at a few other shops for a min. When I got home it was 5:55, so I texted you and told you I couldn't make it. I love Gissip Girl! That's ok right?
Me: No rain check

Guy to his girlfriend as he's leaving the subway: Let's go you idiot
African American guy getting on the subway: Are you talking to me?
Guy turns flush white and says: No, no. Sorry, This is the idiot (pointing to his girlfriend).


Last Tuesday, someone who probably shouldn't have, found my website. This may be the SCARIEST thing of all. Stat Tracker from last week! (Click Picture for Larger Image)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm Back! And Already Gone

I’m Back Baby!

I wish my 3 week hiatus was due to the fact that I was traveling somewhere interesting, or was working on some awesome project, or was at the least writing some great stories for you. None of those are really true, and my "I'm back" statement, has nothing to do with writing at all.

What I’m referring to is dating, I’m back in the mysterious world of online dating. That’s where I’ve been these last 3 weeks, that’s where I’ll be for at least a few more weeks until I’m broke, but I’m back. It’s been 4 years, but I’m back. Please, don’t ask me how "dry" my fall had to be for me to come to this decision.

The Beginning:
I created a new profile online… I’m 28 now (almost 29), and it’s a whole new world. The last time I was online, I was 24. The problem w/being a 24 year old is that everyone you’re searching for is 22-24, and those girls are searching for are 24-30. Technically, back then, I had no shot. Now, I have a shot…and it’s expensive.

I created a Kodakgallery with 25 pictures of me. I had friends pick their favorites, and the ones with the most votes got put into my profile.

The Rules/Strategy:
  • Don’t message anyone first.
  • Don’t go for the average.
  • Don’t bother with girls who currently live in Brooklyn or NJ and be selective with downtown or upper east.
  • Talk on the phone ahead of time.
  • No strong accents.
  • No only children.
  • No grew up in Manhattan.
  • There is such a thing as “too young.”
  • No dinner first meetings unless you are 100% sure they are attractive and fun.
  • If a girl has paid more for a featured profile, she is ugly.
  • If a girl only posts 1 or 2 good pictures because she can't find more, she is ugly.
  • If a girl isn’t facing ahead or doesn’t have pictures from a normal angle, she is ugly.
  • If a girl isn’t showing her body, look at her arms, they’ll tell you what you need to know.
  • Girls without pictures might be secretly hot, b/c the cute girls get bombarded by everyone.
  • If a girl seems like she is hiding something, she is.
  • No talking to someone online for weeks before meeting.
  • No taking anyone home until you are exclusive.
  • No filtering of thoughts.
  • Tell her not to dress up for you but to wear comfortable shoes.
  • Go to her neighborhood.
  • Pick places you’d like.
  • Walk her home if possible.
  • If you go to the movies with her, you don't like her.
  • If you meet up w/friends afterwords when she would have stayed for longer, you dont' like her.
  • If you don't talk to her for 4 days after you go out because you kidna forgot about her, you don't like her.
  • Don’t be her friend on facebook.

The results:

  • A massive amount of emails and conversations with strangers. Most these ladies seem like very nice, normal people.
  • Meetings with as many of these people as I could over the last three weeks, dinners, brunches, drinks, coffee, hot chocolate, drinks, dinners, more hot chocolate.
  • I clean up if someone actually does meet up with me. Compared to the idiots, losers, players, weirdo’s, creeps, etc, online, I’m a top draft pick. I knew this already, that’s not the problem.
  • I can’t crack the top female draft picks. There have to be more awesome girls out there. Everyone is normal and nice, but not many stand out. So few are confident or witty enough to challenge me. There seem to be a few of these girls online, but I can’t seem to crack the top 1%. They must get message from 100’s of people each week. How can they find me?
  • I’ve talked to enough nice people that there’s no way I can go out with all of them, or really give any of them a legitimate shot. Therefore, I’m done with it, for now, till I decide I don’t’ like any of the new people I’ve met.
  • I’m broke.

Funny-ish resulting stories:

  • I had a girl cancel our date because she was following two of the characters from gossip girl around the city and lost track of time. She bumped into them on her way home from the gym, stayed with them while they got coffee, then followed them home. When it was over it was 5 min before she was meeting me, and was still in her gym clothes, obv.
  • I went out w/a girl whose older sister I went out w/3 years earlier. She still wanted to meet me but was totally weirder out (her sister is now married).
  • A girl I went out with yelled at a waiter because he took a plate before everyone was finished (I actually kind of liked that because my grandma would do something like that.
  • I had a girl invite me upstairs on the first date (I politely declined).
  • A girl made me wait in my apt almost 2 hours while she got ready for a “spontaneous” date.
  • I went to the movies, I never do. That’s when you know you aren’t interested in someone.
  • I have other guy friends online dating, but I won’t be sloppy seconds, so I clear w/them who I’m going out with to make sure our paths don’t cross.
  • One of my friend keeps really good notes on the girls in a spreadsheet. They are hilarious and kinda scary at the same time. But I was talking to a girl he’d already met and he set me straight, so very helpful.
  • I went out w/a girl who said she was a dancer, but wasn’t a dancer. Said she had brown hair, but didn’t have hair. Said she looked like her pictures, but def didn’t look like her pictures.

As fast as I was back, I’m likely out again. My one month membership will expire this week, and I doubt I’ll reload. Considering it's impossible to even meet all the people I talked to over the first month, what's the point of a second? At least my dry fall has moved onto a wetter winter.

Related article next week: "Jdate Makes Me Fat"

(many of the facts of this post have been embellished... actually, that's the case in every post...but considering there are A FEW NEW READERS... they should know that much of this site is a joke, for fun, entertainment, to help remember, to be creative, and is based off of the truth, partially)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Some Sunday Links

I have plenty to say... and hopefully w/late December coming around, I'll be able to share plenty of it. In the interim...

Updated "Ask Ben"

Updated "What Ben Needs" in time for my bday and the holidays. To summarize, a Macy's gift card so I can get everything myself. I'm just waiting for my little sister to post her "what Dannie needs" so I can get her something already!

Also, my niece asked my lil sister (who was babysitting) to call me. THIS is the voice message she left me. I hope the link works. Its sooo cute as she congratulates me for the Jets win.

The ZERO star hotel!

I actually don't think THIS was such a bad lesson plan... if executed properly

This isn't a bad idea to keep local businesses strong. I wonder if all the "Joes" in the city could come up w/something LIKE THIS.

A pretty good use of taxpayer money... Army trash talking Navy

If the kiss was good... DEAFNESS could be worth it.

I just don't even believe THIS

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ThinksGiving

I think my friend has a spot on her leg, where if you hit it, she hiccups.

I think I saw the ultimate generosity in Union Square last weekend. I think I saw one homeless person walk by another homeless panhandler and give that homeless person money. I think it was either generosity or senility. I think I read somewhere that even people who receive charity should still give it, even the lowest people on the pole, because it will make you feel self worth. I think I should give more... even though all of my social worker friends say not to.

I think this was my friend’s response when asked if he wanted to invite his sister to his birthday party. “Fuck no! I don’t want my sister at my birthday. I want to get drunk and say inappropriate things to girls. Fuck, I don’t even want my wife at my birthday party!”

I think that Frosted Flakes improves astronomically when eaten with 1% milk instead of skim milk. The change is much more noticeable than the changes w/other cereals.

I think my new business cards have a much better look, but also look like they came from Kinko’s. I think I’d like to get my own, and combine the two. I think I should post pictures of both up here and let you kids decide.

I think talking to women is pretty much the same thing as getting arrested. I think anything you say can and will be used against you.

I think these are some of the famous people who I saw in the last month in non celebrity settings (obv you can see them at a Today Show taping or something): Liam Neeson, Donald Faison, Dustin Hoffman, Richard Kind, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and Timothy Olyphant.

I think the synthetic blood they drink in True Blood looks too much like POM Juice and its container, and thus, I think I will never drink POM.

I think some people have this Gossip Gene that I don’t have. I think I’ve heard so many stories that start with “My coworker said something about this girl, but I’m better friends with her, so I told her, and now everyone is fighting.” Seriously, if someone who I work with badmouthed someone else who I work with, why would I tell anyone? Who gains? What’s the point? I think I don’t have the gossip Gene. I think the Gossip Gene might be closely related to the Pass It On Gene, where everything you hear must be passed on to everyone else.

I think the new Iphone feature, where you can have your GPS reported to all of your friends, is the most worthless feature I know. I don't think I know anyone who would want their friends to be able to track where they are located. . . Ok, maybe 15 year olds and parents, but that’s it.

I think I may disappear for December. If my math is correct, the first round of grad school applications are due in January, with the last round due in April. Not that I want to go, but if I were to lose my job in April, I think I’d have a 17 months off of work before school in Sept 2010 if I don't apply now. I don’t think it would be very easy to find a new job in that time frame. Therefore, I think I’ll need to study for the GMAT’s, take the GMAT’s and write lotsa essays in under 2 months.

I think because I was not able to do birthright, I want to be an instructor/counselor/group leader. I think that is a possibility.

I think my cousin is 12 years old, but in order to get on Facebook, she had to lie about her age, and say she is 16.

I think I really like the smell of cinnamon raisin bagels when they are toasted, too bad I don't like raisins.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Silly Q's

Most of the Q&A's I receive are relationship related...boys, girls, hooking up, breaking up, etc. About half ask me not to post the Q's and A's, but just email them back. I've decided that most of my Q&A site will be dedicated to these questions. However, quite a few come in that have nothing to do w/anything. Here they are:

Do people still say break a leg?

I feel soooo weird saying that kinda thing. Though I haven't had to say that term to anyone in quite a few months, I believe the last time I was supposed to say it, I chickened out and said "break one" instead. But yes, I do believe the term is still used.

Do you ever pee sitting bec you are feeling lazy?

Absolutely not. Standing is lazy. Do you know how hard it is to sit down and stand up? I'd rather just stand the whole time.

Can you explain to me what is happening in that Derek Jeter commercial for Gatorade w/the grass growing?

I'm pretty sure that the grass growing wherever Jeter walks is a reference to his STD's and how he spreads them wherever he goes. I can't verify this.

Why can't girls show their nipples on TV but guys can?

The real question is, why can girls show their 3rd nipple, but not their second nipple on TV. TMZ always "shows" celebrity nudity, while blurring out the privates, including female 2nd nipples. However, w/3rd nipples, they have no problem showing it. The evidence was HERE but the media was removed, interestingly.

What situations call for red wine, and what situations call for white?

HERE is a very simple wine pairing guide. My rules differ, obviously, here they are.

If I'm getting drunk that night, and may switch from wine, I'm drinking WHITE
If I'm wearing a white shirt, and may be pretty drunk, I'm drinking WHITE
If I'm just having one glass w/no food, I'm having whatever I like the best
If I'm having red meat, I'll usually get RED
If I'm having chicken, I'll usually get WHITE
If I'm having a drink after dinner, I'll usually get sweet WHITE
If I'm getting a bottle w/a date I don't know I'm usually getting WHITE, b/c its safer
If I'm getting a bottle w/a date that I know, I'm getting whatever she wants
If I'm getting a bottle w/a date who I don't like, I'm getting whatever I want
If I'm bringing a bottle w/me to a party, I'm bringing COLD WHITE, it shows that you brought it from home and not from a store
If I'm bringing a bottle w/me to a party where I don't know the people, I'm taking whatever is on my shelf that someone gave to me 8 months ago.

Hope that helps.

Do you French kiss in public?

Not French, unless really drunk. More likely church tongue.

Do you think it is merely coincidence or is there some nefarious purpose behind the following happenstance?

As background, on the Boy Meets World which I have gotten into watching again between the hours of 8 and 9 on ABC family channel, the two title characters are Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel). After about 5 or 6 seasons they all go to college, including Eric, Cory’s older brother. His roommate in college (Pennbrook) is a guy named Jack who is also Sean (Cory;s best friend played by Rider Strong)’s half brother. Anyway, here is the interesting part. Cory’s last name is Matthews and Topanga’s last name is Lawrence on the show. Jack is played by Mathew Lawrence (joey Lawrence of Blossom fame’s brother.) So his real name is made by Cory and Topanga’s last name. JUST A COINCIDENCE??????

Yea, these are my readers...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Guest Essay #1

Ode to the Mullet
by Sandy Eggo

Wait no more, the controversial redneck, countryboy/cityboy haircut has been making a silent comeback. It just hasn't made the obvious surfacing it did in the 80's and 90's because of the variations. The "Business in front, Party in back" mullet haircut has variations through the years, from David Bowie, Billy Ray Cyrus to the Beastie Boys. Billy Ray was the country western singin' mullet god, he made it famous, along with his 'Achey breaky heart'.

Now, Florence Henderson is the only female who comes immediately to mind, that had a mullet, (you know, the Mom from the Brady Bunch). I'm not sure if that makes her business in front, and party in back though, if you know what I mean.

Recently, the Mullet has adopted many variations of its original buffont in the front, lucious locks in the back.

The Skullet - shaved head or bald on top and long sides and back
The Frullet - shaved back and sides and a long piece that hangs in your face like the young hip-hop kids
The Mo-Hullet, or Mulhawk - A Mohawk with a long back piece
The Fullet or Grullet - The female version

Now a days, Mulletists (mullet enthusiasts) have been known to tease, wax, spike, and multi-color the business part, to give it originality and punk it out. BUT, there are still some diehard mulletists that have the same mullet cut they had in the 80's and 90's because they don't know how to grow it out to something different, or they refuse to whack their beloved ponytail. The mullet's origin is mainly blue collar and redneck, created in order to allow a Mulletist to go to work and have the longer ponytail down the shirt, if dress code prohibited it. Then come the weekend, you were a good ole' boy party animal. The mulletists population has been cenetered around country westerns, heavy metal rockers, ice hockey players and of course, wrestlers. The good news for Mulletists is that now, more than ever, it is more acceptable to be non-acceptable. You can sport a mullet with hair down to your butt, as long as you are a hard worker, and able to keep it from getting caught in the meat grinder at work.

One Question to all the Mullet sporting men and women out there, when they say you are Mullet Headed, are they referring to the haircut, or stupidity like the fish? Perhaps Both?

If you dont have the ability to grow one, pehaps you can just settle on dating someone with one, a Mullet that is. You'll find lots of mullets as well as other kinds of haircuts at RedneckandSingle.com, an online community of over 18,000 single rednecks seeking romance, friendship, adventure, hunting, camping and fishing partners, and NASCAR buddies. Visit http://www.redneckandsingle.com and find your own Mulletist.

I promise you wont regret it.

(The only thing worse than mullets, are leggings. That style has GOT TO END)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

2008 Election

This was a big deal.

I find myself inspired by the man, by the message, and by the millions of people who supported him.

I find myself inspired by the booth...any one of us could have gone into the booth, and voted timidly. Instead, many of us said to ourselves, "Today, I'm going to be bold, I'm going to show courage, and I'm going to try to push this country in a totally new direction." That is a scary proposition, and it is inspiring, that so many people felt that twang of fear, and showed the courage to push the button, swing the lever, or punch a hole.

I'm scared that policy had nothing to do with this election. The election was won by words like "change" and by organizational skills.

I'm scared since I don't trust that just because we were going the wrong direction, doesn't mean the opposite direction is the right one.

I was scared. I'm sure many were scared. Yet we all stood by ourselves, searched our souls, made a confidential decision, and overcame that fear. That's inspiring.

I don't know how to put last night's outcome into context, but here goes. Out of all the states, and all of the elections over the last 230 years, there have only been 2 African American's elected to the position of Governor. That means that 27 states, which had never even had an African American Governor, had the majority of its voters support one for President. To me, that puts this election in context. (I heard that from Gov. Patterson last night)

My question is.... Why is it a big deal to you? (positive or negative, I kinda wanna hear it).

Monday, November 03, 2008

You're Sitting on Who?

I'm babysitting... right now.

It's pretty easy, esp when the kids are awesome, relatively well behaved, and when they know you very well, b/c you are their uncle.

It's pretty hard when the 1 year old doesn't really have dinner, and can't communicate what she actually wants, and the 4 year old is smarter than you... much smarter than you. Actually, she's adorably evil, and can pretty much get whatever she wants, whenever she wants. "One more Dora episode," "More pizza," "One more book." Yea, its tough.

Luckily, I've got guidelines... before I showed up tonight...my sister emailed me "Uncle Ben's Survival List."

Uncle Ben’s Survival List:

5pm – Arrive, distract kids in Atara’s room while we sneak out. This avoids about 10 minutes of screaming

5:30 – Dinner.
After they seem like they are done eating. Get strawberries from fridge.

6:00 – Play

6:30 – Pajamas
Lilah’s pajamas are on her changing table. Extras are in the 2nd drawer down. Diapers and wipes are in the first drawer down.**Atara knows where her pajamas are and can get into them by herself.

6:45 – Give Lilah bottle from fridge and put her in crib with “mimi” Shut her door. She should be done for the night.

Atara’s routine:
Pajamas
Pick out a book
Try to go to the bathroom*, wash hands, brush teeth
Read book
Sing songs (three)
close her door

She will almost definitely get up and try to go to the bathroom again. You can do what you feel like when she starts to bargin for another song/book/water/food etc. We give her nothing.

TV & Computer are there for use at your leisure (except if you want to watch live TV once the redskins game has started, please do so in our room). You will be able to watch all of our Tivo stuff)

*She will ask you wipe, but tell her she can do it herself.
**I will change her before I leave so you shouldn’t have to unless she smells really bad.


Thankfully, the **'s were not utilized...but I did keep the "Survival Guide" open on the computer through the night for reference.

I had no clue what songs I'd have to sing to Atara, so I asked her ahead of time, and looked them up on the web. I mean, "This Old Man" has 10 verses!!

All in all, it wasn't a bad experience. I got to leave work early. I got to play w/my nieces. I got free pizza. I got to watch Monday Night Football in peace. I got to write a lil. AND, I got a cookie.

On the flip side, I may have pissed off my boss. I didn't get paid. I may have a heart attack from the pizza. I may get diabetes from the cookie. AND, I'm gonna lose about 3 hours of sleep tonight compared to what I need.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dating Friends

This is why we don't date our friends, unless we are 100% sure.

A friend and I tried dating this summer and a few weeks ago came to realization that things weren't going to work out...lets just say that he dumped me??? Yeah, exactly. I tried to think that it was based on maturity..I am 16 months older than him...but I couldn't understand why? I probably was the best thing going for him...a PRIZE! (My roommate "Hurricane" is writing this!) so after two weeks of not speaking this is the email i recieved, please don't judge the situation at hand, but I was curious to hear a male's stand point on the situation, I can take it..............
ps.... I have 24 hours to respond. HELP!


"hey "R". i thought about titling this email with typical spam mail content, you know "free viagra, is your penis big enough" type shit. i figured it would get a laugh and kind of lighten the tone of this whole thing, sort of hit the ground running. unfortunately i did a practice test, being the nerd that i am, and found that it just marks it as spam when the words penis, bigger, and cialis are all in the title......so unfortunately i had to go back to my default email heading. rather then just going on and on im just going to get into this thing as i dont want to waste any more time trying to be clever.

im not happy with the way things are. ive always been honest with you, as youve been with me, so i think its only fair to be honest, even if it hurts sometimes. i know you're unhappy with me and you probably dont want to deal w me, but i think you should at least know where im at. you, and by association "Hurricane" too, are clearly not pleased with me as made evident by last week's pizza, what i like to call, "one plain slice and one slice with extra awkward". that day i had contacted "Hurricane" just to say what up, had nothing to do with you, and she clearly was not happy with me from her response. on saturday, "Firt" and i were at the same party and she clearly wasnt happy with me, so we had a little talk and hopefully things are cool with us....whatever, i dont really care that much. these things do not concern me nearly as much as how you feel, but unfortunately the vibe that im getting from the two of them does not really represent the way i thought you and i left things off. i know that by nature you are much more relaxed and easy going then they are, but i really hope you werent faking your emotions with me. i assumed that you were at the time\and maybe still are upset or dissapointed with me, which is completely fine......believe me, im upset and dissapointed in myself. BUT there is a big difference from being upset with someone and being angry at someone. im hoping its not the latter, because i dont think that is fair.......and if it is that you're willing to talk to me about it.

you are someone that is very important to me. you know me better then most people and for good reasons too. you know that in my life there is constantly a crazy mixture of friends, haters, family, disasters, hookups, people who just want to be in my world etc. unfortunately, and ive told you this before, there are very few people in my world that i really give a shit about. you are one of them. i think that you are an amazing person in every sense of the word, and this is not something that i would say even about most of my closest friends. you're interesting, funny, entertaining, honest, attractive and somebody that overall i love to spend time with. if i have not made this clear to you in the past or my actions have dictated that i feel otherwise, im truly sorry. but please understand my feelings about you and know that me not wanting to date\hook up\be romantically involved has nothing to do with you or anything you did. i really hope that you're not in any way getting down on yourself about this whole thing, again. it is not at all your fault, it is 110 percent my fault.

i dont know what the fuck i want romantically in my life. the closer i get to someone, the more i just want to hook up with other girls and keep outdoing myself. and the more girls i hook up with the more i want to be in a relationship. as confident as i am about myself (personality, demeanor), im insecure about other things (like everyone else) and going out, hooking up, not being tied to anything is one of the ways that i hide behind it. i clearly have some issues, i know that, and on this topic its something ive known for awhile.......and its for that exact reason that i had to be so brutally honest with you. i know i did the right thing by telling you the truth this whole time. im sorry that i dragged you into my craziness. im sorry i was hooking up with someone before and during the time that we were. im sorry that you got all over me at maiysha's album release, because at any other time i would have been able to control myself and would not have kissed you. but at the same time im glad that i didnt let our thing to go on, didnt sleep with you or even really try to sleep with you, and let you know where i stood throughout this whole thing. you are the only person ive ever hooked up with in my entire life (excluding middle school) who i did not see naked within 3 times of hooking up. pretty impressive on your part, pretty sleezy on mine, and while i know this sounds corny, should signify how much you are someone that i respect and care about. I can live with myself knowing how i handled this whole thing and be okay knowing i did the right thing, but i cant live with myself knowing that one of the friendships i care about most is potentially in the shitter. its twice as bad because this effects how "Hurricane" treats me, but in all honesty if she wants to be pissed at me...... fine, i havent done shit to her and ive been nothing short of a great friend. i know im a little bit of a pompous prick, but you know that i am a good honest person, and that i would never intentionally do anything to hurt you or anyone who i care about so dearly. I hope you know where im at from this email and that it helps things in any way that it can........and most importantly i hope that maybe you'll considering speaking to me\moving on so we can go back to being close and having fun together.

Talk soon, "Wormtail"

OMG...wow...I'll try to respond but that was a book. I'll send this to "Hurricane" too, b/c I know you'd send it to her anyway, and I may post this on my Q&A site, anonymously J, w/your permission.

First, you broke the carnal rule of dating a friend . . . You need to be exclusive and "all in" from the beginning. I'm not talking about sleeping w/the person right away, but I'm talking about thinking ahead of time and making sure its both what you want. I'm all about giving up every friend you have for the shot at eternal happiness, but that doesn't mean you should be dumb or compromising about it.

Second, this guy is really immature. While he blames himself quite a few times, he also says things that beg for complements. He's needy and needs confirmation from you saying things like "I did the right thing" and "I didn't try to sleep with you." By searching for affirmation, he actually isn't' sure he did the right thing, but does want you to believe he did the right thing.

Third, "Wormtail" does not sound like he treats girls well, and you should have known that ahead of time. I have no idea if you were his prize (as "Hurricane" says) or he is yours, but even though he didn't act on it, he likely had goals with you, and he never reached those goals. There's a part of you that should be skeptical about his intentions w/this letter, he may just want to start hooking up again, so he can complete his quest to see you naked. It's amazing to me that he would put that "I didn't even try to see you naked" comment in there, letting you know how he values girls and relationships, with goals and points and scores. I wouldn't be surprised if you two started up again, if you went down on him a few times and then it all blew up again.

Fourth, obviously there wasn't much passion between you two so you probably should be together. Usually, when two friends get together, there's a lot of passion and built up tension. Sexual frustration and flirtation has been going on for months, b/c you two have been cautious about it, and then it just explodes. Usually these relationships go much faster than normal b/c of it. If you plan out like "lets date" and then go on a real date, and then kiss b/c you are supposed to after a date, the chemistry and passion will be gone and it just will feel awkward, like you are kissing your brother. If that was the case, and there was no passion, then I wouldn't suggest dating him again, at least not for a few years.

Fifth, I'm a huge fan of going for it w/a friend. I would give up most of my friendships for the chance at finding the one person, if I thought the friend could be it. And I have a few times. That being said, it's extremely difficult to go backwards once you make that decision. That's why you have to go all in right away, b/c you can't casually date your friend. He was dating other people at the same time, so what was the point of ruining your friendship!? I don't get that at all.

Sixth, you and "Hurricane" should try not to share a brain so much. It totally sucks when someone knows too much about you, especially when it's personal. It is intimidating and frankly awkward when you bump into the friend of the girl you are dating and she knows everything about everything. I know you two are close, but sometimes, you have to keep things close to the chest.

Lastly, what do you want? Do you want him as a friend? You can have him. Do you want him as more than a friend? Proceed very very cautiously, and be a bitch and put your foot down. If you want to date, you have to go all in, those are the friend rules. Of course, as I wrote here, almost 3 years ago, I don't think most guys and girls can be friends.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Circling the DC Wagons

While my life has yet to come full circle, I had no problem circling back to the college life when asked by some friends to head down to College Park (CP), Maryland for homecoming.

Steven, Dave and I met on the upper west side and though we were heading south, we took the bridge in order to circle around midtown, and its traffic issues.

We stopped for gas around 7pm and circled the parking lot twice before we found the exit back onto the highway.

Around Delaware, Dave messaged his 20 year old cousin who goes to U of D to see if we should come to party. Steven and Dave really wanted to go, but I needed to get to DC to meet up w/my Friend Dan. I told them I’d circle back for them around 3am if they wanted, but we ended up heading to Bethesda, where we were crashing at Tom’s parent’s house.

We circled the Bethesda area three times before we decided that liquor stores didn’t exist in Bethesda and decided to try Safeway. Having no luck at Safeway, we headed toward Tom’s parent’s house empty handed, before realizing that we should circle back to Safeway and get flowers instead.

While Steven and Dave talked up a storm w/Tom’s parents, I did a quick circle around the house before heading back to the card, and down to Dupont Circle where Dan lives.

I didn’t have much trouble once I got there, except for going under the circle instead of through it. Once at Dan’s, I picked him up and we circled for a while before we found parking. We didn’t have any specific place to go or people to see, so Dan showed me the area around Dupont Circle and we circled back to his place after a few hours.

After I dropped off Dan around 1am, I texted Steven and Dave to see where they were, and they’d headed to Georgetown. I drove over there, circled for parking and met them at a bar. We met some law students that turned out to be foreign nanny’s. The Norwegian one was so drunk she was spinning in circles, but that didn’t stop her from getting everyone to form a circle around the homeless rapper after the bars had closed.





Steven and Dave had found some girl’s cell phone in the cab they’d taken to GT, and she was jumping through circles all night trying to get it back. By the end of the night, she had not gotten it back, and it was ringing off the hook.

We headed back to Bethesda and I completed my first circle of the weekend. I didn’t drink (I drove) but my head was doing circles thinking about how much fun my GT friends prob had partying at 3rd edition when they went there.

On Saturday, we woke up and headed to college park for the U of Maryland homecoming game. Considering the forecast was for rain all day, at 11am, the parking lot was empty, so we circled around for a while before we found our friends. By 12, the grill was kinda working (it was raining), and we were 12 people strong, all drinking and eating and such. Around 3:15, some of us headed to the game, while others (Steven) stayed in the car. At 4pm, it was so gross in the stadium, that the 10 people who’d been tailgating all left the game for DC. We after circling for a few minutes, I found a great parking spot and we hit a few bars around Dupont Circle. Around 7:30 we headed back to Bethesda, and completed our second circle of DC.

After a few more beers, there was a knock at the door, and in walked the hottest girl we’d seen all weekend. Considering we’d been to 5 bars and a college football game, that says quite a lot. Jenny wasn’t about to just grab her cell phone and go, so she stayed for a drink, and invited us to the club she worked at in DC. We knew we were going back to CP for most of the evening, but she promised to get us in, and we went our separate ways.

Dave, Steven and I headed back to CP, to their old stomping grounds. The undergrad girls did circles around us, while the recently graduated were actually friendly. The undergrads complained that there were no bar specials and beers were $5 while we were so happy for $5 beers. We circled around two or three bars (I really don’t remember) before Steven gets the urge and says “we’re going to DC in 5 minutes.”

Of course, we headed toward Jenny’s club, Tatoo. We get there and stumble up to the bouncer at 1:30 and Steven drunkenly says “we know…um…we’re here for…um… Jenny?” The bouncer’s like, “Are you guys the cell phone guys?! Come on in!” There was a bottle of Champagne waiting for us, and 3 shots in a circle. I don’t remember much of the rest of the night, but apparently I had a 45 minute conversation about politics and Romania with the old lady cab driver on the way home. I’m pretty sure Steven’s head was doing circles, b/c he was in the bathroom for too long once we got home. Below is a visual description of the weekend’s biggest circles, but I’m pretty sure we Circled the DC wagons.
















The drive home was easy. The only circles we did were the ones going on in Steven’s head before he passed out in the back seat. We stopped at Waffle House, to get some grease in our bodies to cure the headaches. Steven was fine again once we dropped the car off, but once we got off the subway by the apartment, his head started spinning again and I did a circle around the block as he sat on the sidewalk, hoping no one was watching him spill his Gatorade.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Reviewing My Life #2

(Original post had links and pictures but it got messed up and I don't feel like editing)

Books:
Currently Reading: 1776
This is a great book about the revolutionary war. What I like is that no character is glorified, and all flaws along with strengths are adequately and possibly accurately portrayed. Washington is shown as a noble, chivalrous man of valor, and honor who is humbled by his appointment as commander and chief and continues stress how he is not worthy. He is a born leader with no military experience, and thus continued to make mistakes on the battlefield, while no one would question his judgment…publicly. The book is inspiring, and patriotic, and really energizes me for my day of sitting and doing nothing behind a desk. I have yet to finish (prob 75% done), but I think I know how the story ends.

Just Finished Reading: Dianetics
This book, the basis for the Scientology religion is the worst book I’ve read in a long time. Paragraphs are so confusing and written in such poor English they must be read over and over a few times. The audience to which the writer is speaking is unclear and here’s the best part. L. Ron Hubbard makes up words. He invents a whole vocabulary for this new religion and creates a glossary in the back of the book for reference. So, if you put the book down for a day or two, after you’ve struggled to understand what he is talking about, you can’t easily pick up where you left off, b/c you have no idea what these words mean. “clears, otcs, engrams.” Anyway, it seems as though the book offers a different way about thinking about the mind and how it works. From that perspective, it was somewhat interesting.

I’m not sure if you’ve seen this video, but here’s the tease of Jason Beghe talking about Scientology (the full 2 hour interview is also on youtube). You don’t even know what he’s talking about.





TV Shows:
Entourage is back and I love it all over again, but my new favorite this season is True Blood. It’s full of bad writing, average acting (besides Tara and her mom who are very good) and really good dogma. I love the whole concept that vampires have come out from hiding b/c now there’s synthetic blood for them to drink, and they are meshing into our world. It’s really interesting and cool in the way superhero books/movies are and there are soooo many directions they can take the storylines. I’m totally "sucked" in :)

Scrubs: Where are you?

The Office / Grey’s. Same thing as last time. The office is awesome, Grey’s is terrible but I’m hooked forever. The problem is that these shows make me very sad. For 2 seasons I watched them w/someone, now I watch alone…just not as fun, and full of memories that make me sad.

Movies:
There really isn’t much to report here because since the year began, I believe I’ve seen 2 movies in the theaters. Additionally, the Netflix spigot has slowed tremendously over the last 6 months. Since the summer started, there just hasn’t been enough time to spend an evening at home watching a DVD. And don’t even get me started on the weekends.

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay:
The first was an instant classic, and this sequel wasn’t far behind. The things we all loved about the first movie were still there, a bunch of dorky, smart, underachievers with personality flaws go through some crazy adventures. I loved that the moved was FIVE years after the first, but picked up exactly where the first left off. Like 2 minutes after the first ended, the 2nd begins. Props to the bottomless party and of course Neil Patrick Harris.

Body of Lies:
Leo is Leo, which means he’s awesome w/a bad accent. Russell Crowe looks old and annoying. I miss Gladiator Russell Crowe. Besides a few plot errors that were fixable and the obvious predictable plot twist, this was quite an entertaining action packed movie. It had everything you’d expect from a CIA/terrorism movie: Innocent people dying, a pompous American boss, a hot foreign chick, and Muslims being depicted as superbly stubborn or terrorists.

Plays:
A Man for all Seasons with Frank Langella. It was powerful and moving. It was inspiring similar to 1776, in that a man put is morals, ethics, and values before his own life, to prove a point and be true to himself. Frank Langella was amazing, and I have a new respect for the man I only really knew as Bob Alexander in “Dave.” I left the theatre upset, yet inspired, and motivated to be a good person.

Dangerous Liaisons with Laura Linney. This show is exactly the opposite of the one above. Scheming and manipulative, characters play off each other by lying and taking advantage of those less powerful. Dangerous Liaisons was a movie w/John Malc and Uma and the moved Cruel Intentions was adapted from it. Very powerful, but you leave feeling almost suicidal!

Politics:
I really don’t like talking about politics with people I don’t know. I am very passionate about my feelings, but I don’t think its most people’s business or my business to preach my beliefs, similar to religion. In any case, I am voting for BO, and not MC for 2 reasons. Supreme Court Justices and Palin. On ever other issue, I think BO and MC are pretty similar. Their domestic policies will be dictated by congress, and will be watered down or not adopted. Their foreign policy decisions will be made in conjunction w/the same generals, won’t be rash decisions, and will be thoughtful. I trust both as leaders and presidents. However, I do not want a more conservative supreme court, one which will take away my rights, maybe detain me like Harold and Kumar, without representation. Palin was my big decision maker. She’s unqualified, she’s untrustworthy, she’s not smart, she’s not knowledgeable, and I don’t think she’ll be a good leader. The problem w/Bush is that his subordinates thought he was an idiot, and could do whatever they wanted, the kids controlled the orphanage. She is Bush, but w/Lipstick, and that’s not ok. MC was picked b/c he was the most liberal, of the Republican candidates, and he takes that mandate, and picks a very conservative running mate. Way to alienate those who nominated you John. I think Powell’s endorsement of of BO speaks volumes (esp b/c he’s known MC for 25 years and donated money to him last year), and he’s much more eloquent than I am, so here it is.




Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Q&A Poll

I received the below question and had a few people answer it. Please read the question and answers and then decide which answer you like the best. Thanks!

How do you make long distance work when you start long distance?

A) In the very beginning you have to make a commitment to the other personto put forth effort into keeping up the momentum of the relationship.Set goals for example spending at least one week a month together. Orspending all holidays and vacations together.

Boundaries def need to be discussed. And you constantly have to have tohave honest dialogs, and support the other person during lulls of beingalone most of the time.

You also both have to equally put forth effort to communicate another.BB messenger, Skype, whatever it takes to keep constantly in touch.

As the relationship progresses you also have to discuss long term goalsof where your relationship is going. Do you want to get married or livetogether, if so who is going to move? A plan while give you both a senseof security that will nurture the other persons self esteem.

However all of these things are futile if you don't have a basic corelove for one each other that sustains you thru the hard journey of longdistance romance.

B) Long distance does not work at all, and this is a good thing! If your long distance relationship is working, and you are enjoying your life and your phone, email, and text conversations, then you two definately need to break up. You don't like the person enough and it's too easly. If long distance isn't working, b/c both of you can't get enough out of the LD thing and you can't stand to be apart and you are not happy w/o them and are unsatisfied w/phone, email, and texting...then you definately do not need to break up. One of you needs to move. Obv if you are just unhappy and don't want them around...you need to break up.

C) I think the reality of this answer, whether you want to hear it or not... is long distance can't last forever, I'm not saying it can't work on a short term basis, but you can't base a relationship on emails, text messages and phone calls forever. These forms of communication can't compensate for actual physical contact. This can only be on a short term basis. When you start long distance, there are a few things to consider going into it...

I'm assuming that this relationship is exclusive. (I hate the term "exclusive" because I don't really understand how a relationship functions psychologically in an "open relationship", but it is 2008, and people are doing it so I’m just asking)

You must have a strong sense of trust- whether you are across the country or a train ride away, you have to trust that your partner and feel secure with your choice to stay involved in this relationship. Starting off long distance means you are still learning about each other and building a relationship so it’s important to instill trust from the get go.

It's important to plan ahead and organize your month coordinating visiting times and travel trips to see each other. You must to make time for one another earlier than later because I am sure you both have busy schedules and your calendars fill up! Organizing your visiting times on the early side avoids time conflicts along the way which will create less tension for between the two of you. Your weekends are precious and fill up very quickly so look at your calendars and pencil each other in A.S.A.P! Knowing when you're next meeting date alleviates the anxiety of leaving one another during your visits. Also, make sure you allot yourselves enough time when your visits. Try to organize trips around holidays and long weekends where you have enough time together and it doesn’t feel like you’re just counting the hours before you leave again.

Traveling back and forth can't last forever. It puts a lot of pressure on both parties and a dent in your wallet if you're flying! Depending on how long you have been seeing one another long distance, if you are both committed to making this relationship grow, it might be time for one of you to compromise and move to the same city. No better test to see if this could actually work! It seems like a huge step, which it is...but how long are you going to go through all this back and forth nonsense? I am just advising that you and your partner need to set long-term goals for for your relationship to make it work.

Long distance can be achieved and perfected over time through commitment, compromise and team work along with frequent flyer miles! You're obviously in this to make it work but it's maintaining it that will take some effort. Most importantly, always be honest and open with your significant other no matter how far away you are living from one another.

























Friday, October 17, 2008

Quick Friday

Wednesday was a good summary of my week. I had a 4 hour meeting that lasted from 3-7. I was late b/c the trains suck and I had volleyball at 7. Around 6:20, when it appeared the meeting wasn't going to end anytime soon. I left, dialed into the conference, and listened on my way back to my office, to volleyball and through warmups, before it ended at 7:20 ish. Of course, the whole purpose of the meeting was to discuss an investment I recommended that will likely lose 100% of its value.

Here are some other things that are going on:

A quart of milk has dropped from $1.16 to $0.93. That’s a huge percentage.

I wrote a really really good article on my life (when drunk as usual) and decided not to post it once I woke up sober.

I like cupcakes from BJ’s much more than from Magnolia.

After 2 years at my new company, my office finally has real furniture, instead of a glass table as a desk.

I have not written so much b/c I’ve stopped taking notes.

Why doesn’t parmesan cheese go bad from leaving it out? How logn does it last just sitting on a pizza counter?

Some links:

Elephants that text message

Glad that this movie may come back

Listening to very loud music can save your life, sometimes.

What does it mean when 7 different people send a variation of this article to you?

What happened to all the teaching perks? It’s gonna be no fun when I become one.

This is just strange.

Not to be political, but this was a good summary of the ACORN non situation:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Telewalker!

Today at lunch I encountered a new type of Telewalker (See descriptions for others at the bottom of THIS article).

Three 11 year old kids walked up to me and asked if I could answer a few simple questions. Their teacher was standing in the background and there were 4 other sets of three kids all over the blocks. There was no escaping, no avoiding, and they were soooo cute, and thus, I was stuck, engaged in sidewalk talk.

Here are the questions (answers):
Who is most likely to get his policies enacted, Mc or O? O
Who is most likely to cut taxes, Mc or O? Mc
Who has a better energy policy, Mc or O? Same
If you were R,D or I before this election, are you still? Yes

I wasn't able to fend off their agression and was forced to answer 4 questions. If someone can figure out a way to avoid this type sidewalk agression, please tell me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Reactions

The other day, I went through my facebook friends and deleted about 30 of them. These were people who I'd met once, or had not talked to in a year, or were HS friends that added me but never really said hi (so just likely wanted to see my pictures and stalk). Facebook allows for the posting of status messages that all of your friends can view. I went ahead and posted this:

"Benjamin just deleted 30 fb friends...if you can read this, congrats, you made the cut"

Here are some of the responses I got:

From a person who I'd seen the day before "ha ha .. thanks I feel special :) im going to follow your lead."

From a friend in London "savage"

From a friend I talk to once or twice a month "LOL. If they are your FRIENDS, then why did you delete them? I'm confused (but also happy I survived your downsizing efforts)."

From someone who reads my website, that I met once "Hey, we met once and I still made the cut! It's ok, I'll likely get cut in the next round." (my reaction was that she likely would get cut next time)

From a friend in Philly who I email links w/ "yesssssssssssssss....made it."

I also got emails like:

"Ha. I'm so flattered"
"What was the criteria?"
"Hey man! Glad I made the cut. How are things?"

All from people who came out of the no where...weird how that one status message brought out people who I hadn't talked to in 6 months.

Anyway, just thought it was interesting...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

CaliforVacation:

Stupid Narrative About What I Did:

About a month ago, I was talking to my friend Diana when she mentioned that she was going to be in LA for a few days to some touristy crap, alone. She casually asked if I wanted to join her and she was likely surprised by my reaction. I’d been to LA once, when I was younger (maybe 12), for maybe 2 days as my family drove from Sandy Eggo up to San Fran. But I’d never really been to LA, done the LA thing. Thus, I jumped on the invitation.

Fast forward 2 weeks, and I’m on a plane to LA, renting a car (with GPS, AMAZING), and crashing at my cousin Daniel’s apartment. Though I got to his place around 1am Western, we walked around Sunset strip, he showed me where River Phoenix died and a few other legendary clubs, and we had a few beers.

At 9am in the morning I took off towards Paradise Cove, Malibu, to meet my friend Lindsey, who’s been living in LA for a year (I think she’s moving back in a few weeks). We caught up, sat on the beach, watched some surfers, and enjoyed a pretty perfect day. She took me to the shops of Malibu, acting like my tour guide, and I showed her how to be 28 going on 15, namely going on the swings and getting a chocolate milkshake. I left Lindsey around 3 to go pick up Diana at LAX. I wasn’t really sure of our itinerary, but the second Diana got off of the plan, she was mentioned Universal Studios, and I couldn’t really think of a better way to act like a 10 year old (not sure why I’m on such an “Act like a 15 kid” kick, but it’s been fun so far). We went to Scott’s apartment (one of Daniella and David’s friends), where we would be staying for the next few days. Scott has an amazing apartment 3 blocks from the beach, and 8 blocks from the pier in Santa Monica. It is very nice, new building, with an extra room (though the mattress is an air mattress). We showered and rested and headed out for dinner on the 3rd St promenade and headed to the Santa Monica Pier. While Scott met up w/some friends to watch Casablanca on the pier, Diana and I explored the area. We played some games, I won a stuffed animal by hitting gophers on the head really fast (acting like a 15 year old again), and I got Diana her first ever Funnel Cake (what rock did she climb out from under?). Exhausted after a long day at the beach, jet lagged, running around, I was happy to head back to Scott’s apartment around 10, ready to crash. Unfortunately, Scott had other ideas and when we got back, there were 15 people from his triathlon team there, drinking and socializing. Bedtime took place around 1.

The plan for day 2 was Universal Studios. We got there around 11, and just had a blast. The “studio tour” was a necessary evil (an hour long and an hour too long) but the rest of it was great. Shrek 3d, The Simpsons, The Mummy, an animal show, a Waterworld Show, a Jurassic Park ride, and a House of Horrors. We were exhausted and “Miss I never take a nap” took a fell asleep during the ride home. Scott, our awesome host, took Diana and I to a really good burger place for dinner and Tammy and Tom and Lindsey met us afterwards for drinks and Mohitos.

Sunday, or super tourist day number 2 consisted of hitting Hollywood Boulevard, The Kodak Theater, the Hollywood sign, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, and Santa Monica Boulevard. When we got back to Santa Monica we walked along the beach down to Venice and saw very crazy people and a random drum circle that apparently forms every Sunday afternoon. We went back to Scotts, I packed, and headed to the Airport. Diana wasn’t leaving until Monday, so she stayed at Scott’s another night. At the airport I hung out w/Cheryl for a few hours (she was randomly on my red eye home), before popping an Ambien, blinking, and going right to work.

Anyway, here are the pictures.

And Here is a Video of the Drum Circle:




Here are some other one-hit items that are not really part of the narrative of my trip:

I’m a big breakfast person and Diana usually doesn’t eat breakfast. This really screwed up our eating timing, since we weren’t ever hungry at the same time. I never realized how important the eating habits of the person you were with were, likely because it’s never been an issue before.

Everyone I know has complained about LAX, but I had no problems getting there, or parking, or leaving, or in security, or finding my way, or anything.

I left 3 shirts at Scott’s apartment hanging in his closet. I hope he remembers to bring the back to NJ during the high holidays so I can pick them up.

Why is the gate which my plane is at always the farthest walk?

My 10 year high school reunion is looking like it’s going to be an 11.5 year reunion. Our class president lives in Arizona and kept asking people if they heard anything (um, hello, you’re supposed to organize this thing). Not that I’m in any rush to see more than 4 of those people.

I have been considering going back to school for an MBA. Of course I wouldn’t even consider giving up my paycheck, so that would mean weekends, and Fridays… not that I have anything else to do. GMAT time!

Buildings and streets are no longer moving and swaying. That's good. For a while, I was worried I'd be dealing w/it for the rest of my life!

I reread some of the glossary while updating it last week, and have realized that the whole “give everyone a nickname” idea has backfired….considering I don’t remember who a few of them from 4-5 years ago are.

Why isn’t “Twas” in the MS Word dictionary?

Wearing a headset is a good non verbal sign if someone doesn’t want to talk to you or not. If someone wants to be social, they’ll just take the ear pieces out.

I did a day trip to AC w/some co workers. Actually it was a 14 hour trip. We took the 6pm bus and got on the 6am bus back to the city. I slept for 2 hours on the bus (so uncomfortable) and 3 hours when I got home before heading to brunch w/family for Dad's bday. I lost about $70 but was much more excited about getting comped free breakfast (at 4am) and getting 15 decks of new cards (well, used, but new to me).

"Tanks" and "Yanks" are spelled the same on my phone since "T" and "Y" share a number on my full keyboard. (tankers and yankees is the same too). When I type that I'm at the Tanks game, or watching the Tankers play, I usually just leave it. Seems very fitting.

If someone said “Sarah Palin will be President for 8 years, unless we cut off your left arm,” I’d be like “just give me something to bite down on!” This is not an understatement. In reality, there are wars worth dying for, and if someone getting killed would keep her out of the White House, I'd consider the job. (I'm not ok w/her as VP b/c McCain will not be strong enough or in control enough and she and her policies will filter in as she sees fit, similar to Cheney and Bush). I was actually ok w/McCain before hand...partnered w/anyone of his "R" competitors, b/c at least they were smart.

Why do waiters and waitresses insist on asking what type of water I would like? I don't know anyone who doesn't want tap water. If someone doesn't want tap water, they'll ask for it. To me, asking what type of water I want is as random as the waiter picking a random appetizer on the menu and asking me if I want it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Who's Reading??

For some time, I've been collecting free data on who's reading this website. Anyone can see the stats that are compiling, if you click the stats on the right. It's getting around 15 unique readers a day, most of course in the NYC area. However, its really interesting to see what Google searches have brought random people to my site. I've compiled a list of a few searches out of my last 100 viewers, and what parts of the site they have ended up at. It's really interesting.

Someone from Kiev, Ukrane searched "Wedding RU" and got THIS POST about the Rutgers/Louisville football game and a wedding I went to in FL that week.

Someone in Lithuania searched "igo lithuania buildings" and was directed to MY TRIP to the Batics (igo as in "Here I go")

Someone from Australia was searching "riga black liquor balzams history" and was directed to the same page as the previous person.

A THIRD person in London was directed to the SAME PAGE because they searched "picking up girls in latvia" My site was the #1 choice for info on that :)!

A 4th person from Lithuania was directed there for typing "lithuania maps for igo 06"

Someone in Chicago was directed to my STRIP CLUB RULES by typing "strip club where strippers use dildo." Apparently I'm the 2nd most useful link for that search!

Someone in Newton, Mass was directed to the same post by typing "montreal strip club rules."

A 3rd person from Ontario searched "negotiate stripper" and was brought to my rules.

Someone from Kitchener, Ontario was directed to my BAD EYESIGHT posting by searching "how did genes for bad eyesight survive." I was the #1 choice, which makes me so happy!

Someone in Oklahoma City typed in "Lehman Doom Blogspot" and was directed to my most recent post below.

Someone from BUDAPEST, Hungary typed "reasons-tonight" into Google and got my Top 10 Reasons Why Tonight Sucked posting.

I posted a link on "pixie dust" that helps regrow body parts, and 2 people found my site by searching "regrowth pixie dust snopes." May have been the same person, but came from 2 different places.

The funniest one might be the person in Barrie, Ontario who typed "3 times in the morning and she still wants to go again" into a search engine called alot.com and was directed to my Israeli Morning QB posting. I have a feeling that wasn't what he/she was looking for.

Additionally, I've put up advertising and a search bar on the page. 2 people out of about 1,000 readers have clicked, so I've accrued about $1.05. It may be a failed experiment and may disappear shortly.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Financial Mess

I'm watching football at 9pm tonight and get this text message "Are you watching what's going on?" from a former coworker who's now at Citi. I write back quickly and turn on CNN, figuring we attacked some country, or some building just collapsed. Can't find anything when someone else writes me "Lehman is going to file, BofA is buying Merrill, AIG is getting downgraded and WAMU is prob next."

These are just some of the messages I've recieved since (I will continue to update through the day w/what I recieve):

"Lehman left at the alter while Merrill is getting eloped." - Coworker

"My puts are going to be up huge" (That's what she said) - Former Coworker

"It's so scary. My freinds are clearing their desks now." - Friend at a bank

"I can't imagine what tomorrow will be like at work :(." - Finance Friend at a bank

"I am in SHOCK."

"I'm in tears right now over this." - Buyside Friend who should be fine

"I'm totally glued to CNBC now, its disgusting! Tears are falling down my face" - Friend at a distressed fund

"I can't wait to open an account at Merrill of America Brothers and Bear Morgan Mutual" - Me

"I AM IN THE OFFICE IF ANYONE NEEDS ANYTHING" - My UBS sales coverage (drove to Stanford from UWS)

"I can not believe how everything is unraveling."

"I kind of whish I was at the office now to talk with more people about this, though I'm glad I'm not at ML or Leh's office right now, they are interviewing people as they walk out."

"Leaving for the day, it's been a long one. XXXXX will be trading lehman bonds for the next few hours. See you all bright and early at 4am" - 8:30pm on Sunday from CS Trader

"I work right next door to Lehman. It's a mob scene out there. Reporters all over the street approaching people as they leave the building with their stuff" - Friend

"SALES, I'D SEND OUT CASH RUNS BUT THEY ARE USELESS RIGHT NOW, TELL ME WHAT U NEED AND I CAN GET U LEVELS BUT RUNS JUST TOO VOLATILE AT MOMENT" (runs are lists of trading levels for loans) - Bank Trader

Directly Impacted Quotes:

"It has been a complete pleasure working with you all over my nine plus years at Lehman Brothers. I will be in touch. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me at the following for now..." - 9pm Sunday from a Lehman High Yield analyst

"Here is my contact info" - 8pm Sunday from Lehman Analyst

"I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE CLIENTS OF LEHMAN BROTHERS AS WELL ASMY FELLOW EMPLOYEES FOR MAKING THESE LAST 8 YEARS HERE TRULY MEMORABLE. IT HAS BEEN AN HONOR WORKING WITH ALL OF YOU." - Lehman Trader

"THANKING YOU ALL FOR SEVEN GREAT YEARS!PROUD OF OUR PEOPLE!" - Lehman Sales Coverage

"I WANT TO THANK ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT OVER THE YEARS. ITS BEEN GREAT WORKING WITH YOU. PLEASE STAY IN TOUCH." - Salesman at Lehman

"Wish I had been laid off. Would have at least gotten severance" - Friend at Lehman

"Prob won't play this season...don't have a job and I suck at life..." - Volleyball friend at Lehman

"This is the mail system at host njrelay8.lehman.com.
I'm sorry to have to inform you that your message could not be delivered to one or more recipients. It's attached below.
For further assistance, please send mail to postmaster.
If you do so, please include this problem report. You can delete your own text from the attached returned message." - Email response to volleyball friend if he was going to make it tonight

"Prob just sulk for a couple of days and get my resume together...then hit the job market w a million others. I'm prob not going to do volleyball anymore, will be moving home soon." - Volleyball friend at Lehman

Convo on why things are failing:

Dan: so what happened to make two mortgage giants and three of the biggest banks in the world fail in the matter of a week?
Ben: They are all immoral people and it caught up to them
Ben: They make bad deals for the fees, hoping those deals survive
Ben: All banks are houses of cards built on trust and confidence
Ben: If everyone stops doing business with the bank becacuse they are worried about the banks viability, they actually cause it to fail... Self fulfilling prophesy.
Ben: This is similar to how currency is no longer backed by gold and only backed by the trust in the system that everyone will assign a value to the currency.
Ben: Complicated enough?
Dan: That more or less makes sense. But wouldn't the big banks with the most trust and confidence be the last to fail? Have tons of smaller banks already failed?
Ben: 15 banks have failed. Size is important, but so is a strong balance sheet. A bank with out much morgage exposure and with lots of cash is viewed as strong.... No matter its size...
Ben: Of course a bank that does not use its cash will not make as much in terms of profitability, but it is stronger than one that lends more than it has.
Dan: Is it a problem that these big banks fail or will the smaller/still solvent ones just move in and fill up the market?
Ben: Our whole economy is built on lending.... So any bank failing will shrink the economy.
Ben: Banks make loans to businesses, for cars, for homes, for credit cards, for acquisitions, for anything pretty much. Its all connected and causes a huge unwind of the leverage in the system. If banks stop lending, I can't buy land, or borrow to build a house, and the construction company can't buy equipment, builder can't buy supplies, and equipment manufacturer can't buy raw materials to make construction equipment and the mining company can't buy equipment to build new mines to ship raw materials to equipment manufacturer for sale to construction company to build my house. The way our system works is that you borrow money, buy something, the seller deposits it back in the bank where it is lent again, thus $1 buys $10 worth of goods. If leverage is removed from the system, the economy shrinks substantially.
Ben: Thus, the fed will cut rates and lend the banks cheep money in order to keep the economy rolling and keep banks lending.
Dan: but the problem with permanently low interest rates is that then everyone wants to borrow and no one wants to save, so eventually the supply of money dries up and interest rates are pushed up again?
Ben: Exactly, and the value of our dollar drops... And people stop giving the gov money to lend out (people stop buying bonds bec rates are low and dollar is falling). House of cards, house of cards.