Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Everything is Fine in '09

"No Mistakes in '08" has converted into "Everything's Fine in '09." This means, for the year, I'll be trying to say yes to as many things as possible. (And I thought about this before I heard about the movie "Yes Man")

Over the last few years, when someone has asked me to go skiing, or go see this show, or meet up for dinner, I've said "no." Often, after spending the evening/day on my ass at home doing nothing (but writing on this website), I regret not accepting the invitation. This year, that changes. Here is a list of some of the things I've done over the first 24 days of the year that I wouldn't have done last.

First, I'm going to Egypt. I was pretty frustrated when the opportunity to take up to 16 days off in December (missing 4 real days of work) came and went... w/o me leaving NYC. I wanted to get away. On January 5th I bumped into a friend who I'd met only a few times previously, and who'd had the same issues. She'd booked a trip to Egypt, on a tour, and was planning to go alone. Now she's got me to hang out with. . . and while we're trying to get others to come. . . this is likely going to be the most random "Yes" moment of the first few months of the year.

Second, I went to visit my grandmother. While I see her often at family events, and talk to her weekly on the phone, I rarely actually go to her house. I don't think I've been there in years, till last Monday.

As many of you know, I have very picky eating habits. It's not that I don't like many things, but if there's something I like better, I'll get it over and over instead of mixing it up. That means chicken or beef over fish every time since 1980. Granted, I didn't order any of these things, but at least I'm trying them!

I ate a blueberry bagel.

I drank a Jack and Coke (always liked, never ordered).

I ate pomegranate seeds.

I ate a piece of lettuce w/Caesar dressing.

I ate some other sort of leaf at a Korean barbeque place.

I ate fish; blue fish, tilapia, sword fish.

I ate shrimp.

I went to Philly this weekend, to meet up with a friend from DC who met me half way. I never would have done this. We had a party to go to, so that helped, but I went Friday night, crashed at a hotel in center city, and drove back Saturday morning.

Lastly, I went to the Dermatologist. I'd never been, everyone seems to be going lately... so I decided to go. He checks me out, and sees a few birthmarks. Most I recognize, and they've been there for a long time, so he's fine with them. The last one, on my back...well...I have no idea how long I've had that, or if its grown, I mean, it's on my back! Yada Yada Yada, I have 2 stitches in my back. Do you know how hard it is to put a band aid on the middle of your back? Maybe I should go to the derm in the morning every day and have them dress it, considering it's their fault.

I now say yes to everything... well... almost everything.

If only I'd enacted this policy sooner, I'd be sitting at a spa in Mexico! Though I'd be stuck w/5 women from my family (and prob play golf alone every day). Thus, the men in my family are in NY, alone, w/o their wives. . .

One of my BIL's sends an email "Do you want to do poker this week?" - Sure, I'll host!
My dad says "Do you want to go to AC or Vegas for the super bowl?" - Sure, let’s try to figure it out!

One of my friends says, "Hey, I'm going to FL next weekend w/my sister, do you want to get a flight and crash" - Hell's yea!

And about 20 of my friends have said "Lets get dinner, lets get drinks, lets meet up after work." - Sure...sure... sure.

Let's just say that I've prob had a drink 6 of the last 7 nights for the last 3 weeks. Not that there's anything wrong with that. When I mention this to whomever I'm with, I always tell the same story. I'm not sure If I've told you guys this, but it's worth reiterating if I have. . .

When I was in college my mom would call me on a Sunday morning (afternoon more likely) and ask what I did that weekend. I'd give her the standard "piss your mom off" response by saying, "I had about 10 beers and passed out, don't remember much." She'd inevitably raise the tone in her voice and say "Why do you have to have 10, why can't you just have 1!" A year after I graduated college... I'm sitting in my living room... watching TV... drinking a beer when my mom calls, "What are you doing?" - "I'm sitting in my living room, watching TV, having a beer" - "It's Tuesday night, why do you have to have a beer?!" It's a funny story about how people are never satisfied... or maybe I’m perfect but never good enough... maybe I'm not sure the point besides that I tell the story all the time... and it's funny when I tell it.

I've been saying "yes" to so many things, I've had conversations which deconstructed different ways to say "yes." Apparently, if you are asked to do something, which you want to do, you can be both "up" for it and "down" for it. However, if you're up for it, there is a chance you may not participate in said activity, whereas, if you're down for it, you are definitely going to show up. I actually had this conversation "Are you up for it?" - "Yes." - "So then… are you down for it?" - "Yes."

The negative to “Everything’s Fine in ‘09” is that I’m doing a lot of rolling solo. My friend invites me to his show at the bitter end, I’m going solo. From there, it’s to another friend’s bday party down town. Solo again. I don’t really care, I don’t feel weird, but I do care about what others may think of my solo act. A few weeks ago a mutual friend of both my roommate and I had a birthday party. I had drinks before, so I messaged that he should just meet me there. He wanted to know exactly when I was getting there (to the point of waiting next door till I arrived), just so he didn’t have to go alone. It was so important to him that even though he knew I was out with someone, he kept messaging and messaging. I could care less about rolling solo… but I have a feeling there’s a stigma attached that I should become aware of.

Unfortunately, now that I'm 29, most of my friends are 29. The female friends are really freaking out about this. They're all thinking "I'm running out of time in '09" Of course, the more desperate a girl is, the more bitter she can become about her age, and the more unsettled she is about how far behind her life plan she is... and the more likely it is she won't meet someone b/c of those things.

I fear for a few of my female friends... (no, not any of you who read...I wouldn't do that to you) and I'm trying to convince them to date young guys and ugly guys. I believe I've spoken about my younger man theory, but to reiterate. If a guy is 25 and wants to date a 29 year old girl, he's much more mature than the perennially single 40 year old who wants to date the 29 year old girl. He's much more likely to get serious, and much more likely to treat the girl well. (not monetarily, but supportively). As for the ugly guy theory. . . some girls are insecure and have trust issues, which are overcome by dating an ugly guy (b/c he won't cheat b/c he can't do better)... but the main point of the theory is that if he knows he can't do better, he'll treat you better, want to get serious faster, and catch you up in life to the track you wanted. Essentially, my advice to all of my single friends is "settle, stop being picky at all!"

I have been forced to answer the second dumbest question in the history of the world the last three weeks. Everyone keeps asking me "How does it feel to be 29?" My standard a-hole response is "Congratulations on asking me the SECOND dumbest question in the world! How am I supposed to answer that? Is it supposed to actually feel different or is that the best filler of dead air you can think of?" Most people who know me just laugh off that response... b/c I gave them an opening to ask another question... "If that's the second dumbest question, what's the first?" That's easy, asking my older sister, "How does it feel now that your little brother is 29?" I guess, if “Everything’s Fine in ‘09” I should be a little kinder to those who ask really dumb questions.

If this truly is a “Yes” year, when the next person asks me, “How does it feel now that you’re 29 and signle while your old sister is married w/2 kids and your younger sister is married?” I’ll just respond with “Everything's fine in '09."

Monday, January 26, 2009

US Air "Hero," Weight Loss, Bdays

Did you see that an airplane landed just landed on the Hudson?

There are 2 things about the Water Landing that have been bothering me lately. First, the idea that this pilot is a HERO. Ok, he's a good pilot, maybe he's the best pilot, but he was doing his job, is he a HERO? If some civilian had landed the plane b/c the pilot was shot, that would be a hero, but what exactly did he do that another pilot wouldn't have done? For example, if a undercover officer stops a plane hijacking, is he a hero or just a good cop? Why should he get credit for randomly being the one who was on THAT particular flight, shouldn't we give credit to all cops/pilots and the system that trained them so well? This guy is a great pilot, and maybe even a great man, but a hero...he is not. I mean, what was he supposed to do? Give up when the engines went bad? I just broke my record for rhetorical questions in one paragraph.

This part of an AP article backs up my theory "President-elect Barack Obama said Monday he had spoken with the California pilot, who told him, 'Me and my crew, we were just doing our job.' The president then stated, 'And it made me think, if everybody did their job — whatever that job was — as well as that pilot did his job, we'd be in pretty good shape.' Obama thinks he was just doing his job... and doing it very very well.

Secondly, a few of my friends have said things like, "I'm totally going to read those emergency cards when I get on a plane next time." WHYYY? The chances a similar accident happens where you'll need the knowledge on those cards is sooooo slim, you'd be wasting your time. Also, the people on the US Air flight likely had not read the cards when they sat in their seats on Thursday... and they ALL SURVIVED. Thus, the flight actually supports the theory that you don't actually need to read the emergency cards on the planes.

How is it possible that you had 140 people messaged you on your birthday? Why were most of them girls?

I have a birthday party theory that keeps me very busy during the year, but also very fake popular. The theory is that when someone has a birthday party, they usually invite their top 100 freinds or so. They expect their top 20 friends to show up, and then a random smattering of the rest. Whoever, out of the rest does show up, they move up on that person's list, into the top 50 or so. When you show up, you'll see the surprise in their eyes, and they'll genuinely be happy you came. (of course, you have to like parties and actually want to go and like the people too). Thus, if you go to enough parties, you can move into everyone's top 50.... maybe you can be in 100 people's top 50. Most of the people who throw bday parties are girls, and thus, I'm in many girl's top 50's. That's prob why most of the questions on here are from girls too.

What is the best way for someone to lose 20 pounds?

I have the magic answer. These 2 methods of weight loss are proven, and in fact, have a 100% success rate. No, I'm not talking about "bulemia" and "anorexia." I'm talking about getting Mono, and breaking your jaw. Getting mono can be awesome. Besides the obvious side effect of feeling like you're going to die... You get to catch up on all of you TV shows, you get a month off from work AND you get to lose 20 pounds! Additionally, contracting Mono can be fun! Just make out w/as many people as possible! I've had 3 friends break their jaws, they were all forced to drink through a straw for the next 6 weeks. This also inevitably led to weight loss.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Top 11 Reasons Guys Pay (REWRITE)

Top 11 Reasons Guys Pay (REWRITE):

Everytime I told someone about THIS POST, they all responded... "Yes, that's true, but there's really only 1 reason." So, here's the rewritten addition:

Top 11 Reasons Guys Pay, When There's Really Only ONE Reason:

(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? Why do we want girls to think we make more money? So that they can feel secure with us, and see a future with us. When girls see a future with you, and see you as successful, they'll like you more...and they may even sleep with you.

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? There are some girls who've never been treated this well, and love the idea of being treated like queens... these girls may even sleep with you.

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!" Those "jerks" definately didn't get to sleep with those guys... so the lesson from the girl's story is "if you don't pay, there is no way I'm going to sleep with you"

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. Did I ask her out because I knew her really well? Nope, prob b/c, at some point in the future, I want to sleep with her.

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. Why did I pick this fancy place that I know she can't afford and will pay for the whole thing? Because maybe she'll let me sleep with her.

Tradition: Tradition dictates that we pay. Who are we to change that tradition now, without agreeing to it prior to going out? I want her to know that I understand social order, and how the world works, because a girl who thinks you get it, may even sleep with you.

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 no thanks, she refuses. Awkward! If you can avoid being the awkward guy, and all awkward moments in general on a date, the girl might even sleep with you.

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. If she doesn't mind being treated, and thus likes you, there's a good chance if you do it a few more times, she may even sleep with you.

We Like to Show Off: Self explanatory. If girls are impressed with you, they may even sleep with you.

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. This is the only part of the list I didn't have to rewrite.

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. Eating off of the girl's plate will not get her to sleep with you. HOWEVER, if you invoke this clause as to why you are eating off of her plate, (bec you are paying and thus all the food is technically you) she may think you're funny, and witty, and smart. If she thinks those things, she may even sleep with you. (or she may walk out of you date)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I'm Fresh Princed Off

Thinking about the Fresh Prince of Bel Air is pissing me off. If Will Smith's Aunt and Uncle are so well off, why did they just leave Will's mother behind? Phillip and Vivian are supposed to be strong role models for Will, but obviously their kids are spoiled rich brats. They are supposedly taking Will in as a charity to his mother, but she's still stuck in West Philadelphia. If I was living in a mansion in Bel Air, and my sister was living in the West Philly slums and those slums were so bad that she would give her kid away, you can be damn sure I'd invite my sister to come live with my family in Bel Air too.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

It's My Birthday? Oh No!

I was always under the impression that birthday's are for you... and everyone likes making your bday fun for you. This year proved that theory dead wrong. I'm pretty sure birthday's are for your friends. (similar to wedding's being for the bride, friends and the parents). Your friends want you to have parties, they want to cook for you, they want to hang out with you. As the birthday boy, I don't want to have a party, I don't want someone to cook for me, and I sure as hell don't want to hang out w/most of these people! :).

People are obsessed with birthday's....and not necessarily their own. I'm not. While I try to go to as many other people's bday parties as possible, I've never been one to plan an extravagant event for myself, at least not more than a week beforehand.

This year's birthday acknowledgements and happiness and revelry are somewhat unmatched in my history. Through Facebook, and Gchat, this website, and email in general, I've somehow created a very large web of people that I talk to regularly.

Over the last 10 days, I've gotten many messages asking these same questions:
A) "What are you doing for your birthday?"
B) "When can I take you for a drink?"
C) "Can I take you out for dinner?"
D) "Can I cook you dinner?"
E) "Can I bake for you?"

My answers have always been the same. "I don't know. I have a wedding on the logical party night, so I don't know."

Some people are just obsessed with birthdays. Bday week started Friday. I was out to dinner with GG and randomly mentioned how it was my birthday on Sunday. All of a sudden, there were requests from the restaurant for a cake, candle, and singing (which never commenced).

Friday at Midnight, I got my first Happy Birthday text, from a friend who obviously got the day wrong! Through Saturday, as time zone's passed... people started messaging happy wishes, once midnight hit on their continent.

Birthday's are supposed to be for you, but instead of relaxing on my birthday, a nice little Sunday of wildcard weekend, I'm stuck answering the phone, email, texts, all day long. There was no break in the action, no rest for the weary (I was recovering from an awesome wedding Saturday night). By the end of the day today, I'd received 7 normal emails, 9 facebook emails, 49 facebook wall postings, 12 text messages, 14 phone calls, 7 gchat messages, and 7 blackberry messenger texts. I responded to each one, with a real response. Let me tell you, this was no ordinary task. In fact, in attempting the 100% response rate (unthinkable), my phone battery lasted 3 hours less than normal, and I took my laptop to my parents apartment for brunch. Without that laptop, the feat would have been impossible.

My sister's love my birthday. It's another excuse for them to tell ME to "suggest to my parents that we should go to this new swanky kosher restaurant on Thursday night. Yes, its an excuse for them to eat good food for my birthday. I didn't tell them to become kosher, why do I have to be kosher on my Birthday!? (I should have asked for bacon at brunch this morning).

I was going to post a list of the people who've messaged, just so I could keep track...but it got to be a pain in the behind. Lets just say I'm somewhat overwhelmed.

I haven't done much "thinking" lately... so here are some thoughts from the last few weeks:

I think being a conductor on the Shuttle train has got to be the most boring job. Back and forth, back and forth. I think I would make up fun things to say in the announcements, fun facts about 42nd st and grand central. I think I'd be bored out of my mind and wonder if they give that route to specific conductors as punishment.

I think tuxedo goggles and suit goggles DO exist. This is similar to beer goggles in that, anyone who's wearing a suit or tuxedo are automatically better looking. I think another example of goggles are uniform goggles, which likely works for both boys and girls.

I think girls sometimes try so hard to convince themselves to like specific boys. My friend has been dating Mr. Wonderful for the last month before she went away on vacation for 13 days. I think she told me something like "I really wanted to miss him when I was away... but..." I think she'll stay with him for at least another month... with hope.

I think, collectively, new yorkers party harder on New Year's Eve than any other holiday. I think this means that on New Year's Day, at 9 am, New York is extremely quiet... the streets are empty.

I think I saw a Hanukkah caravan going up 6th avenue last week. There were curly haired boys with their heads out the window's of RV's and mini van's with 2 foot tall menorah's mounted on the tops of the cars. I think they were police escorted and spanned about 30 cars long. I thought I was dreaming for a second.

I think that I would dominate a satire protest. I went to an Israel rally last week, which was staged to take attention away from a much bigger "Support Hamas" rally across the street. I think I would have been much happier on a 3rd corner w/signs saying things like "If you penetrate us, we'll penetrate you" screaming things like "We've got spirit, yes we do..." I think I could have gotten a bigger crowd and won.

I think my latest excuse for not eating salads, etc was a pretty good one. I think I usually say things like "I don't think its right to kill defenseless plants" or "I'm a carnivore" or "I don't eat leaves and grass." I think this time I made fun of the absurdity of paying for leaves, which are readily available for anyone to eat at anytime. I think I said, "Why would you pay for a salad, there is a salad on almost every tree in the city, why don't you just go to the park if you want a salad? Trust me, if hamburgers grew on trees, I probably wouldn't pay for them in a restaurant."

Of course, I think its a sign of the times that when I was thirsty at my friend's apartment last week, I went right to the fridge for water. When did I stop going to the faucet and start going to the Britta, assuming that everyone has one? I think this totally contradicts my "hamburgers on trees" argument.

I think last week I didn't know what a trivet was.

I think commuting without a newspaper or book is a totally different experience. Try just watching people at least once a month. I think it'll surprise you what goes on when you're not watching.