Friday, September 25, 2009

Don’t Cut Down the Nyets Just Yet.

I just read that Mikhail Prokhov, the Russian billionaire has just reached an agreement with Brett Ratner and the ownership of the New Jersey Nets basketball team to help fund their Brooklyn arena and take over controlling ownership ship of the team. As one of six Nets fans who live in New York City, I am excited about the team getting an owner who is a passionate sports fan and has the money to spend to make the team better. That said, the first thing that came to mind after hearing this is what Russian comic Yakov Smirnoff would think of this news.

Yakov Smirnoff ,whose popularity is as connected to the 80s as Steve Guttenberg, Mr. Belvedere and that #5 robot from “Short Circuit”, owed his career to Mikhail Gorbachev’s mid 80s Glasnost era of openness and Ronald Reagan’s “Evil Empire” rhetoric which helped eventually bring down the Berlin Wall. It also ended the need for Smirnoff’s social commentary on Soviet society in the form of 1950's style “Borscht Belt” jokes. Smirnoff’s popularity may seem ridiculous and his material may appear to be outdated now, but back in the 80s , we couldn’t get enough of him and some other WTF performers of the day, like Howie Mandell(back when he had the jew-fro and the hospital glove on his head), Boy George(back when he looked like a woman and not Darth Vader after the unmasking in Jedi) and Jim J. Bullock( back when obviously gay actors had to play asexual neighbors on sit-coms that would rather hang out with a father who draws cartoons while wearing a hand puppet than his two beautiful twin daughters who wear nothing but short shorts.)

So, in honor of Yakov Smirnoff, ThinkFink hails the end of the ineffective Ratner regime and welcomes the new era of Glasnost in Brooklyn. I’m sure in 3 years, Smirnoff might be persuaded to dust his old act out of moth balls and do a tour of NBA arenas around the country. I can see him at the Staples Center performing before a Nets-Lakers game and it might go something like this:

“Thank you Los Angeles, you’re a wonderful crowd. Let me be the first person to say, Let's Go Nyets. What a country we live in! In America, you watch basketball players on TV. In Brooklyn, the basketball players watch you on TV. What a country you have in America! Back in Brooklyn, it takes four hours to wait on line for the bathroom at a Nyet game. In America, you eat hot dogs. In Brooklyn, dogs eat you. I was so thrilled to meet the starting point guard for the Brooklyn Nyets: Devon Denisovitch. I think this season the Nyets have the teamwork to make the collective unit complete its government assigned task.”

I had planned on ending this essay with the previous line and then I figured I would google Yakov Smirnoff just to see what he was doing with his life now. I’d like to picture him living with Paul Hogan and Mr. T in a large house in Miami where they argue over whose turn it is to do the dishes. Paul Hogan would hold up a piece of cutlery and go” You call that a clean knife.” Mr. T would grunt and go “Hmmm. That’s not a knife. That’s my salmon slicer. I use it to slice my smoked salmon. You know I love my nova and cream cheese on a bagel every morning. I pity the fool who can’t appreciate a good nosh. Mmmm.” Then Yakov would smile and say “ In Russia, salmon does not swim up stream. You swim up stream to cross the Bering Strait. How do you think I came to America.” And then they would all laugh and Paul Hogan would point out that they have a washing machine as they continue to laugh. I assumed that they would occasionally hop in their van or maybe a boat and solve mysteries or maybe go back in time and “put right what once went wrong”.

As crazy as my “Dream-On” like sit-com saturated thoughts may have been, Yakov Smirnoff has actually been in Branson,MO since 1992. He opened up a theatre and has been performing to a packed house ever since. Yakov Smirnoff went from Red Square to being a red-neck and I think that’s unbelievably perfect. He wouldn’t even have had to to change his material that much. “I love the country out here in Branson. If a giant rat scurries across your property you can shoot it. In New York City, giant rat shoot you.”

I hope the Nets get the funding for their stadium in Brooklyn and the deal with Mikhail Prokhov is finalized or else I might actually get to see Yakov Smirnoff perform before their game when they start the 2011 season as the Branson Nats.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Night is Shifty or Happy Trees Done Dirt Cheap

I went to a birthday party for my friend’s two year old twins last Sunday. It made me momentarily re-evaluate the course my life has taken thus far(I do this a few times a day) when my friend who is my age has a birthday party for his kids and when I got the e-vite the first thought that came into my head was how it’s going to be hard to wake up before 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning.

In defense of my apparent laziness and seemingly twenty-five year old guy lifestyle(I’m in my 30’s), even though I do still go out drinking on the weekends , it is my night job that has altered my body clock. It’s gotten to the point that even on nights where I don’t work or when I get home before 12 a.m., I have become programmed to race the moon to sleep when I get home as I am wired and no one in my social universe is up to hang out or talk to after work. It’s a bizarro-world way to live your life that usually only emergency room nurses, people who work from home, astronauts and adult, out-of-work,daytime stoners usually experience.

Sometimes I’ll go on facebook at like 3 a.m. and I’ll actually see that I currently have no friends that are online and available to chat(including West Coast friends) and I’ll hear a whirling breeze against my window and look over my shoulder for a tumble weed to go tumbling by me in my fifth floor walk-up bedroom. So, instead of getting home and going to sleep by two in the morning, I end up doing non-productive things like reading about the Mets’ woes online, skimming through personal ads on Craigslist and watching the final hour of The Perfect Storm at 4 a.m. just because I’ve never seen the whole movie(it was kind of like Titanic, except without the happy ending.)

I realize that by extending my nights all I’m doing is shortening my days, which isn’t a good way to find another job. The only positive to getting out of of work after midnight, besides the short lines at Duane Reade is the people watching on my walk home. Every once in a while besides the various random drunk people that always seem to be staggering alone on third avenue in Murray Hill on a Sunday night, I will have the random encounter with the prostitutes that seem to occasionally leave their forbidden zone (which stretches from Broadway to Lexington Ave. in the upper twenties) and enter the suburban stretch that is third avenue.

They look kind of like lost puppies without their pimps as they realize that most twenty-somethings who live off of that avenue can meet someone at the Joshua Tree or other not-so-cleverly named bars in the area as it is not as deserted as Lexington Avenue is at night and therefore not ideal for their line of sales. I have had a few brief interactions with hookers in my area before and I was surprised and impressed that some of them now have business cards that they hand out to potential clients. I recall one industrious lady of the night used the Helvetica font and had a cool logo of a hotdog sliding into a bun.

One night a street walker told me to walk on the other side of the street after she realized I wasn't going to rent her for the hour and she thought I was hurting her business by walking near her. I obliged her request but it seemed odd considering A. she wasn't getting any business anyway on a residential sidestreet filled with people sleeping in their brownstone apartments, and B. I was walking my dog at the time.

You can’t really tell a prostitute nowadays from how they dress due to the fact that most 24 year old girls pretty much dress the same way. The difference is if you suddenly slow down while walking on a street late at night on the weekends a hooker will approach you and smile and a regular girl with a short skirt and heels will bump into you while crying into their cell phone. God, I wish it was the other way around.

I do seem to have occasional eureka moments of creativity at night, whether they stem from me staring at the way my dog is sleeping next to me on the bed and coming up with a perfect ad for for my portfolio or switching channels from a Showtime soft porn to become momentarily engrossed in something like Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and realizing that the line “We seem to have a nervous slinky” is as brilliant a line and a concept as there can be in a movie that is set in a toy store that comes to life(actually, that would work in most soft porns as well). (1)

I have recently finished my copywriting portfolio and am ready to take on the world of advertising. I can’t wait to get paid for coming up with ideas and work as part of a team to create advertising campaigns that will lead to me winning awards, getting a promotion, crafting a life, meeting my wife, working too late, buying a home, worrying about bills, sleeping with pills, getting burnt out of the city and moving to L.A. , working even later hours before calling it a day, going on on my first book tour and having an affair, coming home to find my wife is no longer there, feeling down and feeling blue, feeling like a waste of a jew, bumping into my one true soul mate, having a second chance at fate, doing an exercise informercial with my dad, unexpectedly starting the next big fad, looking young at forty-five, and loving every minute of being alive. Or, I could try writing for an online magazine, but really, who knows where a job in that unstable industry will take you.

It could take a while to start my career with this whole recession thing going on, so taking any other day job would definitely help end my nighttime addiction. The only good thing about being single and living paycheck-to-paycheck in a recession is that you don’t really have to change your lifestyle that much. It’s not like I now need to cut back from two vacations a year to one, or sell my villa in France for a share at the Jersey shore. In fact, most people have actually begun living more like me. Sure doing your own laundry in the city sucks, but it saves you around forty bucks(sorry, I had one more rhyme left in me.)

At the birthday party for my friend’s kids, they had a singer whose job it was to sing to a room filled with two-year olds and their parents, who after a year and a half of watching Dora the Explorer cartoons, were numb to all things goofy and Disney. The singer was dancing back and forth with a guitar and swinging his hips violently as if he had just drank six red bulls and experienced seven flags of fun before showing up. He performed with a constant Joker-like smile that only overly-medicated schizophrenics and people who entertain toddlers possess.

As I stood in the back of the room of the party with my friends, talking sports and checking for any cute moms, I observed the man singing with glee to the kids and gained a momentary sense of glee myself in thinking there was a guy with a worse job than my night one. Until I saw the cute mom slip him her number at the end of the party, which broke the illusion that he was gay , but made me think he must either be a serial killer or a severe alcoholic.

While watching him perform I was able to somewhat decipher what he was singing about. I believe he was singing “Happy Trees, Happy Trees, Happy, Happy ,Happy Trees . Who wants to climb a happy tree? Have you ever seen a happy bee? They make really sweet honey.” The two year olds were dancing and bopping their heads like those flowers with sunglasses that were popular in the early 90's that shook back and forth when put next to a speaker. As he was singing I realized that this guy doesn't need to be singing about "Happy Trees". He could easily be singing “Crack. It’s whack. It’s whack, it’s whack, it’s whack. I sold the TV for more smack and my wife’s not coming back." Or, even better, “Beat on the brat with a baseball bat, Oh yeah, Oh yeah Uh, oh."

Well, I guess I’m not the only one in this economy who is doing a job that is more 5-to-9 than 9-to-5, and I’m sure the toddler party singer also aspires to be maximizing his skill set on a grander scale. To become a star in his chosen industry. I’m sure just like I will one day soon be creating ads for an advertising agency, he will be working the really big arenas. I’m talking the Woodcliff Lake Hilton or if he has the right connections, Tavern on the Green. I’m talking the Bar Mitzvah circuit.

The Bar Mitzvah circuit has to be the dream job of child party entertainers. Forget performing in dive bars, you can make more cash in one day singing in front of Grandma Sylvia than in a month of playing clubs in the east village. You just have to keep 13 year old Seth Weinstein and his friends dancing and happy and you can ride the wave of good parent reviews all the way to a new condo in the Upper West Side. I’m sure he could put himself on the path to success with some new business cards. I happen to think a sharp font and an photoshopped image of a rabbi breakdancing would really stand out. But what do I know? It’s 4 a.m. and I’m awake, the dog is asleep and the moon is right on my tail.

1. True story. When I used to work as a set production assistant on independent films in New York during the golden era of NY independent films, otherwise known as the late '90s, I somehow ended up working for two weeks on a film with Marilyn Chambers called “Marilyn Chambers’ Desire”. This was a soft porn, but the sex was simulated and it was basically made to end up on Skinemax. Now for those of you who do not remember the late, great Marilyn Chambers, she became famous because she starred in “Behind the Green Door”, which was to the porn industry in the 70‘s what “The Wizard of Oz” was to colorized films. It is quite bizarre to hang out at the craft service table eating chips and dip with top-less stripper/actresses. The movie was only memorable because it had the greatest line of porn dialogue ever written down (I somehow doubt Marilyn improvised it).
A man complains to Marilyn ”I have a case of acute angina” and Marilyn says ”You should see mine.” Although Marilyn delivered the line in perfect May West form, it took the male actor around four takes to pronounce angina properly. It was a surreal, Living in Oblivion/indie film moment in a movie that did not warrant the description of "indie" or even "film."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wrong Turn Clyde

I once climbed into a giant barrel of monkeys on a college dare and was instantly frozen in fear. If it wasn't for my accidental discovery that monkeys love the taste of CornNuts (apparently even more than skinny Jews), I would have been torn apart faster than a Wonka Bar by Augustus Gloop.

Now the reason there was a barrel of monkeys on a college campus is that I went to the University of Arizona and they had a large carnival every year known as the Spring Fling. The carnival seemed to get bigger each year, as did the campus, which is why they started adding animal acts. I guess someone thought college students would appreciate the irony of monkeys coming out of a barrel. This is probably the same person who thought Zima would become a lasting alternative to beer, forgetting the all too important fact that men like the taste of beer and Zima tasted like flat Mountain Dew. But, I was not your typical college male in that I hadn't yet developed an appreciation for beer, so I took to Zima like freshman girls took to tanning. I drank them mostly in my apartment before I went out for the night to get drunk early and then held a cup of beer at parties to keep up the illusion.

But, this was the night before Spring Fling and I had one too many Zimas along with a few jell-o shots, the perfect combination to give a man the false confidence to climb into a barrel of monkeys (and in most cases, a woman to take home a guy with simian features). Needless to say I was easily convinced by a few of my friends to climb up the ladder on the barrel and get a photo of the sleeping monkeys. As I climbed down from the top of the barrel, they seemed so peaceful I relaxed my hand a little and began to lose my grip on the ladder. Even though I landed on my feet, I let out a high-pitched shriek that had the same effect as Chevy Chase’s shout of “collld!” in the movie “Vacation” that woke up the motel and his wife (the incredibly sexy Beverly D’Angelo, whose character epitomized the phrase MILF to all young teenage boys in an innocent way, years before Craigslist made the word seem creepy.)

Suddenly, the monkeys woke up and began to hop up and down, so I began to do the same, frantically trying to remember the movie “Tarzan: The Legend of Greystoke” hoping Christopher Lambert’s acting would jar some hidden monkey whisperer ability that was genetically embedded somewhere in my highly evolved animal brain (but probably lost after filling it with one too many Brady Brunch reruns as a kid.) They looked at me and one of them threw a half-eaten banana at my feet. For some strange reason, probably due to my foggy-headed state of inebriation, I took that as somewhat of a sign and I grabbed my packet of CornNuts that I had bought at the Circle K earlier and threw it in the direction of the monkeys.

As the CornNuts floated out from the package and landed at the monkeys’ feet, they pounced at the CornNuts and sniffed before devouring each nut (I’m not sure if a CornNut belongs in either the corn or the nut family), creating loud chomping sounds as their teeth clamped down on the ultra hard snack. This was my clue to hop on the ladder and climb to the top. It wasn’t until then that I noticed that I had dropped my camera upon falling into the barrel and would not be able to capture the moment for posterity.

Of course, my friends had run off and I was left to ponder my actions alone. I mostly came to the conclusion that jell-o shots should never be mixed with malt liquor. When I told my story to a cute girl later at a party in my apartment complex she didn’t believe me, but she did laugh and say “that story’s about as funny as a barrel of monkeys." “They’re not that funny, but you do want to let sleeping monkeys lie. Now sleeping dogs, you can mess with. They’ll just roll over, shake their legs and look cute," I replied. As I made a panting sound and stuck out my tongue, she smiled and then kissed me. I looked into her playful eyes and almost forgot about my close encounter of the monkey kind earlier that night, until we both began to realize that I smelled like the inside of a bird cage. She suddenly began to believe my story and gave me her number, but the only clothes my opposable thumbs removed that night were my own.

The Survivor: A brief, short story

They say it's the little things that get you, well I once killed a man for snoring. We were the only two survivors of a plane crash over the Andes Mountains. We had been there for over two months, living in the one small section of the jumbo jet that was not destroyed in the crash. Ironically, it was the First Class section, which I only caught a brief glimpse of during the actual flight as the blissfully ignorant flight attendants pointed me towards my seat in the back of the plane. I imagine the experience of being in First Class must have been quite different during the flight than it was for us after the crash. For one thing, the seats no longer reclined, and secondly, the body temperature dropping, appendage-numbing winds that swept through the now open-air feel to the cabin, could not be stopped at the press of a button.

After two months, my fellow survivor and I had consumed all the bags of peanuts and cheese and crackers from the plane. I soon entered a downward spiral and started to become delusional from the cold. The lack of any real sustenance had begun to make me crave meat of any kind. I debated my future action in my head for a few more weeks, but after living on a diet of maggots and condiments, I eventually let my survival instinct take over. I lunged at him in the cold, dark night and suffocated him with one of the little pillows that we kept from the plane's wrecked overhead compartments.

Luckily for me, there was a group of extreme skiers who happened to be heli-skiing in the area and they saw the small fire I had made in order to barbecue his ribs. I told the skiers who found me that I did what I had to do to survive, that I had developed a bond with this man who had shared the same horrific experience with me up until the day before; when I munched on his charbroiled thighs like they were the Colonel's original recipe. But, I swear he had the most annoying goddamn snore I have ever heard. It was this loud, honking Felix Unger type snore.

To tell you the truth, I wanted to kill him during the flight. Not only was he snoring loudly, but he fell asleep with his fat, dandruff filled head against my shoulder, forcing me to press my body up against the window the whole flight. He didn't respond to any of my subtle nudges and even drooled on my shirt. Luckily for me, the oxygen masks fell down over our heads, and the screaming of the terrified passengers knocked this disgusting sloth out of dreamland and off of my shoulder. Finally, as the plane started falling out of the sky, I felt like I could breathe again.

The End.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thank you John Hughes.

"And these children that you spit on. As they try to change their worlds. Are immune to your consultations. They're quite aware of what they're going through........"

Thank you John Hughes for holding a mirror up to our teenage selves and letting us realize that we are all, a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal.

No Trouble in Little Korea. or What’s up Kim Jong II?

I heard that Al Gore was all set to free the hostages in N. Korea himself until former Pres. Clinton found out that the reporters happened to be a couple of hot asian women and offered to make the trip himself. After Laura Ling shook the former president's hand for coming to her rescue, he slipped her his card which simply read:
William J. Clinton Esq.- Capricorn.

As the door to the private jet closed behind Pres. Clinton, Kim Jong II began to run after the plane as it picked up speed down the runway shouting in a screetchy- voiced, broken-English wail “Take me with you. You promised I would get to meet one of the Kardashian girls. I don’t care which one. Bring me back a Kardashiaaaaan.” While gazing outside his window as the jet soared up through the clouds on its way to a country where any man or woman has the right to write a story lampooning any leader, no matter how powerful , Bill smiled, lit a cigar and said “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Upon landing in America, he walked to the back of the jet and woke up Sec. of State Hillary Clinton. She got up slowly while holding her head and in a groggy state said to him ”Huh. Where are we? Bill, Did I black out again? This happens every time I’m supposed to meet a foreign leader.” “It’s allright honey, the former president said in a soothing tone. I talked to Kim Jong II for you and we got Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee back safely. That’s what’s important. Now , let’s go reunite these girls with their loved ones. OK.” As the former president gazed into the eyes of his wife and current Sec. of State, he rubbed her hand gently and said “You might want to fix your hair a little before we meet the press though. “

As Laura Ling and Euna Lee embraced their families and told the members of the media about their harrowing experience in captivity , Bill watched in the background and began to feel the wave of freedom rush over him as well. He nudged the pilot of the plane and asked him how much gas was left in the tank. When the pilot told him that the plane was being re-fueled and could fly anywhere he wanted, he then asked the pilot if he’d like to accompany him to Las Vegas. Bill then smiled slyly and said, “I might have to broker a deal with Steve Wynn to free a couple of strippers from their g-strings at the Crazy Horse.”

Before writing this story, I had just spent a weekend hanging out with my family and an ex-baseball player who used to play for a New York team and had become friends with my father due to the fact that they both had at one time had homes in the same development and the fact that my father is the world’s youngest 72 year old. He told me a story about how former Pres. Clinton had visited the stadium while he was a player on the day of a game and one of his teammates, a well known veteran player on the team was preparing himself to discuss politics with Pres. Clinton while he, a young guy in his early 20’s at the time, was unfazed. As Pres. Clinton arrived in the clubhouse, he looked up from the video game he was playing and said “What’s up Bill?”

Pres. Clinton proceeded to sit down next to him and talk sports with him for a half hour. I have heard that one of Pres. Clinton’s greatest strengths is his ability to communicate with people as individuals. He engaged the younger player over the star player, because he was cool enough to appreciate his relaxed candor. As I listened to this story beng told to me, I could only imagine my new acquaintance, a laid back
guy from SoCal, had been dipping tobacco, as ballplayers tend to do, while in the company of a President. I’d like to think that he asked the former President what he’s been doing with himself now that he’s out of office and Pres. Clinton responded by cracking open a beer and with a hint of his once more prominent Arkansas drawl said, “I’m just livin’.
L I V I N.”

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I am watching the film Serendipity at three in the morning and it would truly be serendipitous if at the same time my soul mate was also watching this movie. Maybe she is a bartender getting home from work after spending her Monday night serving drinks to banker types at a cheesy bar. Possibly, she is a single mom and woke up to feed her baby before turning on the TV. Or, she could be currently dating a guy that she is already thinking about breaking up with and got out of bed after a night of sex that has become routine, went into the living room, turned on the TV and started watching the movie.

I’d like to think she’s single, probably between 5’ and 5’5'',has brown hair, big brown eyes, and has the kind of unassuming beauty that people don’t notice at first glance. I’d like to think she has the kind of laugh that makes me want to send her funny texts at random moments in the day. Maybe we haven’t met yet. Maybe we have. Maybe we dated and the twisted timing of life broke us up too soon before we both could admit to the other how much we truly cared for each other. Maybe she is watching this movie as the new boyfriend is sleeping next to her. Maybe she is thinking about how I'm just dorky enough to be watching this at 3 a.m. and she has a momentary thought about texting me, but resists and feels an emptiness in the bedroom that she never felt with me.

Maybe she sat next to me in eighth-grade English class, but I was too nervous to talk to her. Maybe I had one date with her when I was 24, and was still too inexperienced in dating to say the right things. Maybe she asked me to skate at the roller rink in 7th grade and I told her I was going to play Donkey Kong to get out of everyone seeing us together,  because I didn't see her beauty through her giant '80s style glasses, and I secretly wanted to skate with the girl who had already developed the major-league yabbos of a 17-year old whose sweaters had gotten hypnotically tighter over the past year;  except she was skating with my best friend, who was an athlete and didn't have braces that conveniently covered the length of an awkward phase.

Maybe I walked right by her in the bar on the New Years Eve that I ended up kissing the woman at midnight who took me back to her place to fool around for a few hours before she would look at the clock after climaxing and casually uttering the blunt words ”I've had enough,"  before kicking me out of her place. Maybe, she is the girl I used to work with who I had the office crush on and then a month later, forgot why. Maybe she is the cool 21-year old intern at my old job that I fooled around with after an office party only to find out a few months later that her college foray into lesbianism with a member of the field hockey team had not been just a "college thing" and that she was happily dating a woman named Jenny (OK, I’m almost positive, she’s not the one.)

Maybe she was that brown-eyed girl that taught me that a night that starts out talking and people watching in a dive bar and ends up with us eating waffles in bed can be more fun than a week in the Bahamas with a girl that forces you to drink daiquiris all day and vodka tonics all night in order to avoid the fact that you can't stand the sound of her voice anymore. Maybe she was the girl I felt many "moments" with during our brief relationship and that within 15 minutes of knowing each other, we both were enamored with each other’s smiles and personalities, and just knew there was a fun connection between us, until suddenly, after a few months of enjoying every minute of each other's quirks, she quickly and coldly disconnected from me.

Maybe it was the first woman I ever went home with in the city who unlocked a passion in me that had been building for years, which helped me figure out that an honest smile can, on occasion, lead to separating a girl at a bar from her friends and sometimes her bra. Our mutual desire had conspired to bring us together for one night of grinding and groping in the back of the taxi and then the top of her covers with the unbridled enthusiasm of people who were both longing for a similar feeling( me looking forward to my Sex in the City years and she saying goodbye to hers.)   I walked out foolishly without staying for the night leaving her disappointed that our night had ended before sunrise.  Then, I forgot which apartment she was in when I got to the street and had the Chandleresque impulsive idea to knock on her door for one more round of rolling around.

Whoever it is, I hope she will realize the connection we currently have or will have after we meet, so I don’t have to go barging into her wedding shouting her name, before running away with her until we catch a city bus and then look at each other and wonder if we made a huge mistake.

Until then, I will continue to watch the occasional late night movie, continue to go on dating sites and continue to wait for that time when I bump into a cute girl with big brown eyes, big green eyes or big blue eyes(really, the key word is eyes, as in plural.) Or, when she bumps into me and our eyes meet. I just hope we’re not both engaged to other people at the time, because that can get messy. But, what’s a little ice cream spilled on your shirt when it comes to finding the person you want to share this messy,crazy thing called life..

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fink’s Rules to making Summer Concerts Rule. Or The Do’s and Don’ts of De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da

10. When going to an indoor concert, never wear flip flops or open-toed shows.

9 When going to an outdoor concert, apply facial sunscreen and bring sunglasses.

8. At an outdoor concert, if you are a man and have a flabbier chest than the girl you are with, do not walk around without a shirt on. It doesn’t matter how pumped you get when you anticipate Dave Mathews coming on stage or how hot it is outside, the rest of the crowd does not need to see your body in sunlight or any light. Conversely, if you spend half your life in a gym and pop steroids as much as you drink red bull, there is no need to be walking around without your shirt on. This also applies to half shirts, too-tight tank tops and mesh tank tops, but that goes without saying (Unless the concert is being held in a gym in Chelsea, then all of the above are acceptable.)

7. Now if you are a woman at an outdoor concert that is nowhere near a beach, do not show up in nothing but a bikini if your body jiggles like a paparazzi shot of Kirstie Alley as she shakes her arm at them like some sort of hairless Sasquatch walking away into the woods.

6. At any concert, if you are a twenty-something Asian dude, do show up with a huge afro, while wearing over-sized gold sunglasses, a vintage Beastie Boys tank top(1) and carrying a 1970’s plastic lunch box. Note: This look can only be pulled off by Asian men in their teens or early twenties.

5. If you are a guy at a Jonas Brothers concert with your girlfriend, (hopefully, that’s the reason you are there) do wear a Ramones or a Rancid shirt. If you are at a Rancid concert, do not wear a Jonas Brothers shirt. Actually, if you are at a Jonas Brothers concert, you probably shouldn’t wear a Jonas Brothers shirt, unless you plan on going to the Dateline NBC house after the show, where you will awkwardly explain to Chris Hansen that the condoms you brought were not for the fifteen year old you met at the concert and you were just being a good Samaritan by driving her home.

4. If you are at a concert and a beautiful girl walks up in the crowd alone and stands beside you while grooving to the music, do give her a slight glance and smile as you rock out yourself, but wait until she brushes up against you and you start talking before going into your patented Axel Rose dance.

3. If you are at a punk concert, do engage in the mosh pit if you have done it before and know when to rush the pit and release some of your pent up frustration on your fellow moshers. Don’t attempt to walk through it quickly after feeling the aggression of the music, if you are not prepared to do some shoving and if you bruise easily. In fact, if you have ever told someone that you bruise easily (me) or have gotten a hickey that lasted a week (me again), than you are probably not a candidate for moshing.

2. Whenever possible, no matter where the venue, always try to avoid spilling beer on the neck of a man who has a tattoo on his deltoid muscle that reads “Only God Can Judge Me.” The results will be dire and unless you have a joint and another beer immediately handy to offer up as a peace offering, you will probably not hear the last few songs of the show after your ears swell up from the violently swift and humiliating blow you will receive. You can be sure that he will not spill his beer while he spills your blood.

1. And last, but certainly not least, if you happen to find yourself at Summer Stage and you are in the section near the stage and Q Tip tells you to wave your arm along to his melodic beats, you wave that arm in the air and you wave it like you just don’t care.
You are lucky to be spending a beautiful summer day (for free) with your fellow New Yorkers sharing the experience of witnessing possibly the greatest performer in the history of hip-hop raising the roof to the sun.

If you follow these simple rules, your summer will surely rock.

1. I'd like to wish Adam Yauch (MCA) all the best and a speedy recovery with the treatable lymphnode illness he has(Jews have a hard time typing the word cancer, much less saying it) and I'm sure that he's got better doctors than Manny Mota and he will live way longer than Abe Vigoda.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bad Samaritans. or Blinding me with science- fiction!

While entering my apartment building today I noticed my senior citizen neighbor carrying a few bags and walking slower than usual. I saw a chance to be a Good Samaritan for the first time in a long time and offered to help carry his bags up to the fifth floor. Six minutes later, he arrived on the floor and insisted that I have a glass of water. As he was in another room putting away the bags, I noticed what appeared to be a very old Snapple bottle on a shelf next to other assorted chotchkies. After reading the label I realized that the bottle was about as old as my father and that the beverage company was apparently known as Schnaupple and was originally manufactured in Germany. I felt this urgent curiosity sweep over me that quickly got the best of me. When I unscrewed the cap, and wiped away the dust, this is what I read:

Schnaupple Real Fact #46
A Jew can hold more food in its beak than its belly.

A rush of questions filled my head: Was this man whom I had only previously nodded at in passing, a former Nazi? Was he just a twisted man who collected anti-Semitic objects? And then I briefly wondered what 70 year old iced tea tasted like before nervously putting it back on the shelf and shouting out to the man in the other room that I forgot I needed to take my dog for a walk. As I closed the door behind me, images from the movie “Marathon Man” flashed in my head and I imagined myself tied up to a chair in a poorly lit room with my neighbor dressed in all white as some sort of Dr. Mengele, forcing the 70 year old Schnaupple bottle into my mouth and repeatedly asking me ”Is it safe?” as I swallowed the horribly sour concoction.

I sat on my couch and began to calm down and think rationally again. He’s probably just some collector of weird artifacts. I’m sure not all of his chotchkies are racist mementos of a bygone era. I doubt he has any Hitler alarm clocks(Waaaake Up!!!) or Aunt Jemima bottles that show her with a big grin and a watermelon where her teeth are supposed to be. I grabbed my leash and took the dog down for a walk anyway, just to keep up appearances. When I reached the first floor I noticed that a woman who was getting her mail had dropped her wallet. I put my head down and kept on walking out the door. This is New York anyway, who says you have to be neighborly? Besides, look where that got Poland.

Now, you’re asking yourself “Fink, Why did you write a story like this? Is it because you’re Jewish and you think that entitles you to use your religion/ethnicity for cheap laughs? Aren’t you more of an expert on the every day trivial experiences of life? Why don’t you stick to writing about the things you know like teenage virginity, air hockey, and 80's music?” These are all valid points, but the idea for my story originated when I was drinking a Snapple and was looking at the cap and had a “eureka” moment that usually only occurs at 4 am when I’m trying to sleep or during the rare occasion that I smoke pot (every couple of months I come down with a bad bout of glaucoma).

The truth is, I love Snapple, and it was the first iced tea I had ever enjoyed, but if Snapple was a German company in the late 30’s, early 40’s, this would have actually been written on their caps. Except in 1943, most people wouldn’t have laughed at it. That is how fast the institutionalized hatred and Nazi propaganda of Jews being less than human was spread throughout Germany in the late 1930’s. Hell, there was institutionalized racism in parts of this country into the 1960’s. Of course it’s ridiculous, all racism is based on ignorance. It's usually passed down from generation to generation like luggage or genetic birth defects. Hating people because they have a physical characteristic is completely illogical and I doubt in the universe according to Gene Roddenberry there were non-pointy eared Vulcans that had to sit in the back of their Vulcan buses.

Harboring hatred towards people solely based on the fact that their religious beliefs are different than yours is also ridiculous, but we do have the right to think a group of people are idiots for believing every single word that their religion tells them. Like, believing that you might get 200 virgins in Heaven after you die, or that humans came to be on Earth 75 million years ago after Xenu the ruler of a planet in another galaxy, used psychiatrists to get all his people together before freezing them (probably after prescribing Diprivan), capturing their souls and taking the alien souls aboard a 1950’s style airplane to Earth. As crazy as that may seem, walking around with ash on your head, never experiencing the pleasure of a glazed ham, and wearing thick black suits and heavy coats in the summer time while isolating yourselves in a community in Brooklyn is pretty idiotic as well.

So, as long as idiots are not looking to harm other people, there is no reason to have actual hatred for them. Now, when someone has done other people harm they need to be punished by society, but when one person has done so much harm to so many people, well there needs to be a special sort of justice set aside for that person. It is definitely ironic that no one person has caused more suffering to more Jewish people than Bernie Madoff. If Hitler had not left this Earth in such cowardly fashion, he hopefully would have been drawn and quartered and left in the town square for every person to whack at with a stick daily. Something unique and original should be done as a form of punishment for Bernie Madoff, the greedy weasel who stole people’s life savings, even though he was already making milions off their investments.

My recommendations for punishing Madoff, as opposed to letting the taxpayers pay for him to be in prison for 150 years (his corpse will no doubt be left in the cell to set an example) is to make him the star of a Japanese game show. I watched the show “I Survived a Japanese Game Show” the other night and found it equally surreal and somewhat brilliant. The American contestants willingly submit to the will of the Japanese game show for the chance to take a trip to Japan and hope for some sort of poor-man’s “Big Brother” type of fame. The whole point of the Japanese game show is to humiliate its contestants and the host is like a Japanese version of Monty Hall, the host of the 1970’s game show “Let’s Make a Deal”. Only this man and the audience takes incredible glee in humiliating the contestants and threatening to send them back to America if they fail to survive the bizarre tasks like catching fallen milk off a conveyor belt with boxing gloves on while wearing a mouse costume and dark goggles.

Although for Madoff, I do believe we ought to step it up a notch and have him do things each week like sit in a dunk tank filled with jelly fish while dressed in nothing but a diaper and holding a rattle as the Japanese game show host calls up people from the crowd to try to knock him off his platform. The Japanese Monty Hall would probably tell him with a smile to stop acting like such a baby, or else he will have to breast feed from a wild boar. At that point his wife will be sent on stage dressed in a pig costume. I’m sure this would get the best ratings of any show on TV, but there will always be some people, who simply would not approve of this form of televised reality justice and would turn the channel back to CSI Miami, where they will shut their brain off for an hour in order to watch David Caruso give fake criminals their weekly comeuppance?

Midway through writing this essay, I turned my TV to the Twilight Zone marathon and happened to catch the last episode that was shown in the marathon, entitled “I am the Night. Color Me Black.” It was a brilliant tale of a white man in the early
1960’s about to be executed for shooting and killing another white man who was a racist cross-burner and due to the majority of the town’s blind hatred for the man in prison waiting to be hung, the sky stayed dark the morning of the execution and got darker after he was put to death. That was not only thought provoking but ironic considering that I was already in the process of putting down my thoughts on hatred. Is it possible that at 5:30 am, I’m stuck in my own personal “Daybreak Zone”? Luckily, the sun is beginning to shine through my window. I can’t believe I’m still up. Maybe I should switch to an herbal tea.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Trip her. She's drunk, and it's not Christmas.

I read in the news today that Joyce DeWitt got arrested for DUI last night. In my sit-com soaked brain, I immediately imagined after getting pulled over that she said to the officer: “Officer, I know what this looks like, but you see this is just a misunderstanding. I grabbed my roommate’s glasses instead of mine off the counter when I left the house, which is why my vision is blurry and I swerved off the road and hit those stop signs.” To which the officer replies, “Sure. Look lady I’m guessing at the bar the beers were yours, and yours and yours. I’m going to take you to the station, and until someone posts bail for you, you will be staying in a not-so-lovely space, that just happens to need your face. Oh, and there will be no Jack Daniels to keep you company, too.”

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Embracing Your Inner Dork. or Tina. Hey, How You Doin'.

I just realized why women like 30 Rock so much, and why guys like Tina Fey, as well. Liz Lemon basically gets to do every awkward thing that women fear they will do in front of a guy,(and what guys do do in front of women) like having the door fly open while she's sitting on the toilet on a first date. But, she's a neurotic hot mess of a woman who is constantly making quick decisions as a producer of a TV show filled with crazy people while she is incapable of making the right choices in her train wreck of a personal life. Liz is the woman whose social life is always in upheaval, kind of like what Holly Hunter personified when she was the spunky perfectionist news producer in “Broadcast News." If overachieving, incredibly successful female characters with type-A personalities didn't have a relatable dorky side, they would appear to be as compulsively crazy as Reese Witherspoon's perfect portrayal of the fanatically driven high school student in the film Election.

This is why she was smart enough to make her character a hyper-reality version of herself. She is probably a little quirky, and assuredly a very funny woman who was the head writer at SNL. Tina managed the break-neck pace creating live comedy at the real 30 Rock but I'm pretty sure she can talk to men without accidentally cupping their balls in an elevator, or something quirky to that effect. Lucille Ball portrayed a wildly popular goofy character that was funny and got herself into many sticky situations but the audience laughed at her and said "That's our Lucy", as opposed to watching Liz Lemon and going "Oh My God, that's so me." Tina Fey has become a one-woman "Seinfeld."

But, the so-called point of my story is that if you are going to be a walking with a coffee cup down the street-while checking your blackberry-and fitting in gym workouts in between meetings- before taking flights back and forth for a day to give presentations-type of woman; then it helps if you don't also try to come off as being perfect to men and the people in your life. People like that are just naturally presumed to be uptight,   Type A-holes(see Meryl Streep's magazine editor in the Devil Wears Prada.) Luckily, most people are not A-holes,and we all have a hidden dork side to us that makes us unique. Putting up facades only works for buildings(Wow, that sounds like something Tony Robbins would say. I guess I'm extra dorky when writing about being dorky).

I think one of the big differences between men and women is men pretty much want to forget about their day at work(men expect the people they work with to be idiots and are not surprised by it) and women can't leave behind the fact that their counterpart would show up to an important meeting dressed like she's trying to pick up a sailor on shore leave. If my grandmother died and I got fired that day and I had a first date, I would smile and act like nothing happened, because I know how important a good first impression is to women. I had a woman break a first date with me recently and then the makeup date a week later and give me a rain check both times because it was actually raining and she didn't want her curly hair to frizz up.

That's why it helps to show up to first dates with the occasional bloody nose or to spill a drink on your own white t-shirt and laugh about it on a date. We, and I'm speaking for all men (not just NYC dorky, cute Jewish guys with warm smiles, endearing eyes and a surprisingly muscular body for a seemingly skinny guy, who exude a laid back, go-with-the-flow attitude, and enjoy making women laugh as much as orgasm) find that totally cute and adorable and will be smitten every time. Plus it helps, if you can fling off your glasses and pony tail and reveal an even hotter version of yourself when we're not expecting it.

My Face My Book or SereNitee NhowW.

I was on Facebook today sending emails and making comments to Facebook friends(guy I haven’t seen since the sixth grade, and girl I met at a party three years ago but haven’t seen since) and I had to fill out these word puzzle security checks. It’s bad enough that I have to do that when signing into Yahoo occasionally, but I’ve noticed that I am being asked to do this every other time I comment on someone else’s comment(there’s way too much commenting going on) in order to send someone an email on Facebook after already being signed in. What is Facebook the airport check-in of social networking now? I have to spell out MiscterMytczlePlick in order to send my dangerous clip of cats falling off a treadmill.

What is actually the point of these so-called security password oral puzzles? All it’s proving is that I can read jumbled English. I’ve already put in my password, so it’s either me or some lucky cyber thief who gets to read annoying forward emails from my mom on my Yahoo account. All these time consuming word puzzles do is frustrate the person whose account it is. A cyberthief would have to be the laziest thief in the world to give up after seeing the letters NanCey DrouGh and not being able to re-type them. All this does is frustrate the actual user who can’t believe they have to retype a new group of letters(written even smaller) because they didn’t press the Caps button while typing.

I think I know who came up with this security system. Osama Bin Laden. It makes perfect sense. He’s hiding out in his duplex cave somewhere in the hills of Afghanstan, watching re-runs of M*A*S*H on his TV, bored out of his mind waiting for the cable guy to come and upgrade him to Digital cable; so Bin Laden figures what better and cheaper way to fuck with Americans than to slowly drive them crazy and make them pissed at the institutions they hold so dear. And so, our precious online security checks were designed by the one man who poses the greatest threat to our collective security. oSammHnA ViN LaddeMn.

It’s Amazing, It’s Stupendous, But it’s No Bullshit. Or is it?

Gerry Blank, 14, was on his way to school when he saw a "ball of light" heading straight towards him from the sky. A red hot, pea-sized piece of rock then hit his hand before bouncing off and causing a foot wide crater in the ground.The teenager survived the strike, the chances of which are just one in a million - but with a nasty three-inch long scar on his hand. He said: "At first I just saw a large ball of light, and then I suddenly felt a pain in my hand.

Gerry’s mother did not believe the boy’s story at first and demanded to see the crater herself. “That boy spends every waking moment in his room doing God knows what. The one time he takes the garbage out without me asking him to, now that’s a one in a millon chance” , said Mrs. Judy Blank. After neighbors arrived on the scene, Gerry noticed the burn marks on his right hand and raised his left fist to the sky before shouting “Why God? Why Me?”

Gerry then ran into his home and locked himself in his room for the next twenty-four hours. Gerry’s mother called the local police in order to remove him from the room. Sgt. Frank O’Leary was the first officer on the scene. “I knock on the door asking the kid to let me in and I don’t get a response, so I tell him to open the door or else he won’t get his name in the papers for witnessing the meteor. See, I took a psychology course at the juco before joining the academy. But, the kid shouts at me to jam my baton all the way in an area that I know it won’t fit, so I bust down the door. Well, how do I put this, the kid is having his way with a pillow and seems to have cut a conveniently placed hole in the Miss November fold out, which he has placed on top of the pillow. Now the door has slammed down in front of him, but the kid is still going at it like a jackhammer. I gotta give it to him. That’s dedication. He also had his right hand covered in Bugs Bunny band-aids,” recalled Sgt. Frank. O’Leary.

After being pulled kicking and screaming by two police officers from his room, while wearing nothing but one sock and clutching the torn upper torso of Miss November, Gerry then proceeded to erupt into a profanity laced tirade before bursting into tears. “My one in a million boy. Looks like you just became the one millionth customer in your own amusement park,” shouted Mrs. Judy Blank. After a few weeks Gerry’s scar had healed completely and he bought a telescope for his room, to further pursue his newfound interest in Astronomy. “Hey, my mom took away my computer and my magazines, so I needed something to do”, said Gerry Blank. “Luckily, there’s plenty of heavenly bodies for me to discover.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mo Money. No Problem. or Youth is Wasted on the Young

As I sit here at the end of my bed typing this, I’m being bitten on my legs by a mosquito which I can swear is giving off the faint sounds of insect laughter while buzzing nonchalantly around my room, as if it is checking it out to see if it (or me) is worth renting for the night. My minor itching and feelings of helplessness makes me long to experience just a bit of the carefree existence of my youth, or at least the temporary moments of childhood enthusiasm I used to have for the kind of things that would barely register with me as an adult.

Remember the feeling you would get when you saw your report card in the mail, well the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes and the American Family Publishers envelopes gave me the exact opposite feeling and was the closest thing to a “Ralphie” from “A Christmas Story” moment that I would enjoy. I’ve actually in my 30’s recently rediscovered the chocolate malt-goodness of rich, creamy Ovaltine and have incorporated it into my nighttime pre-sleep routine. Usually after I have given up trying to kick the dog off the bed and am finished with watching late night sit-coms, sports highlights and porn(in no particular order).

I can see Ed McMahon now looking up at me from the thick manila envelope, as I bring it into my home’s all white living room to get down to business. Now, my house was the house that every kid hung out at in the neighborhood and my den was where we played, ate, watched TV, caused mild mischief, the occasional ruckus and basically lived in after school. Right next to it was the room with white carpeting and a white couch, which was my parents way of designing a room that would not only show couch stains but footprints as well, which is why we rarely went in there. It was hardly a lived-in room, not much fun to be in and since my mom basically let us turn the den into the neighborhood playground, we obliged her request to avoid the white room(although I don’t remember her spending much time there either).

After tearing open the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes envelope, I would carefully go through it and look at all the possible prizes I would be winning. I’m not sure what I thought I would be doing at eleven years old with a 30 ft. yacht in the New Jersey suburbs, but I was pretty sure I would probably be taking it out to the Caribbean with either Heather Locklear or Heather Thomas(1) during my winter break. I remember there were different prize choices and the envelopes contained these golden seals that I would carefully place on the prize packages I wanted while plotting what I would do with my inevitable winnings. It definitely gave off a “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” golden ticket vibe. Only, I didn’t grow up in a hovel with both sets of bedridden grandparents(God, Charlie really did deserve that chocolate factory for all the bed pans he must have removed), I grew up in a spacious suburban home on the nicest block in the nicest small town in Bergen County, NJ.

As I closed the mailbox and walked back into the house, I knew it was just a matter of time before I saw Ed McMahon or whoever gets sent to hand me my oversized poster board check and inform me of the fabulous prizes and vacation get-aways that I have won. It just seemed logical that I would be winning some prizes since I did everything in the instructions and mailed back the envelope in a timely manner. Of course I would share it with my mom and dad, who even though divorced had managed to keep me living the good life in the house I grew up in (not that I realized what a gift that was at the time). I’d get my kid sister a new ET doll. Apparently, someone ripped the stuffing out of the old one and told her that it “went home”. My older bother would get a new humidifier to keep his room from smelling like an eight grade gym locker room. Most of the money and prizes would be for me to enjoy and to share with my friends, so they would know how cool and generous I truly was.

Unfortunately, I never did hear back from the people at the Publisher’s Clearing House, which probably was a good thing, because too much of a good thing at a young age can be a bad thing (I think Yogi Berra might have said that once.). Although, what made filling out those sweepstakes forms so fun was in believing that I was definitely going to win if I followed the proper steps, which is somewhat of a model for adult life. I might be sitting in a tiny apartment talking to my dog while rubbing calamine lotion on my legs, but if I keep on writing and doing what I do best, I’ll one day be sitting in a large house, smiling at my wife while begging her to rub calamine lotion on my legs.

1. In case you are reading this and are under the age of thirty-five, you may not remember that almost every twelve year old boy in the early 80’s had swimsuit posters on their wall of either Heather Locklear, Heather Thomas or Christie Brinkley. Christie Brinkley jumping into the pool in the film “Vacation” will forever be embedded in my mind. Now, Heather Locklear and Heather Thomas were the two blondes that simultaneously starred on TV shows at the same time. Heather Thomas was on “The Fall Guy” with Lee Majors, formerly the Six-Million Dollar Man, and had amazing blonde wavy 80’s hair and a body like the woman in the “Hot for Teacher” video. Heather Locklear was on T.J. Hooker with William Shatner, of Capt. Kirk fame, and had blonde wavy 80’s hair and a smile that made you think she was the sweetest woman in the world (this is pre-Tommy Lee). The Heathers' posters made the walls of many a 13 year old boy much cooler to be in. I had no posters on my wall which led me to being a late bloomer until I started getting the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue at 14.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Finkle Got Fingered or Never Drink And Write

Sometimes when I go out for drinks without eating dinner, I don’t get my usual mellow buzz from the Capt. and ginger ale’s that normally sustain me throughout the night. Instead, the alcohol goes straight to my head and after a few drinks I feel it in my stomach, which is rare for me. Ever since I stopped drinking Jack and coke’s years ago I hardly ever get hung over anymore. But tonight I realized the perfect cure for a hangover, when I came home with my stomach rumbling as if I had a little Capt. Morgan pirate poking me from inside my belly while shouting “aaargggh, let me out you scrawny Jew boy”(1)
Luckily, I turned on HBO and “Freddie Got Fingered” happened to be playing. Within five minutes of first hearing Tom Green's voice, I was running into the bathroom. After another five minutes of facing the bowl on my knees before emptying my stomach, I splashed water on my forehead, brushed my teeth and noticed that the coloring was starting to come back into my face. After a few Tums, I was feeling back to normal and the headaches had completely subsided. I would have slept like a baby too, if not for Tom Green appearing in my dreams with an umbilical chord taped to his belly button, chasing me around his house and shouting at me to eat his cheese sandwich.

(1) I have not done the proper research to validate whether or not pirates have showed any anti-Semitism in the past. I just figured if you’re living on the high seas in the Middle Ages and you enjoy raping, pillaging, and plundering, you probably don’t encounter too many Jews. Historically, Jews only spend long periods of time in ships unless they are shaped like an arc or they offer some form of shuffleboard on the lido deck. So, I want to reiterate that I did not want to offend the descendants of pirates, I just made the general assumption that there would have been more than a few Jewish jokes told on those ships, especially while the pirates were counting the gold that they stole while raping, pillaging and plundering.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Whaaa?

I know that I should wait a few days before saying this but somewhere in Heaven there is a luminously beautiful blonde angel named Farrah who is wearing a red bathing suit, sitting on a cloud and is saying "What the hell?" Are you kidding me? I can't even get top billing today? I fought bravely against a long, excruciating emtionally and physically painful illness. And to make matters worse, I take Ryan Freakin O'Neal back as a way of creating the ultimate "Love Story" ending for my life and now when people think of June 25, 2009, all they will ever think about is Michael Jackson." To which Ed McMahon puts down his drink, lets out a big laugh and tells her "Hey, I just became a third banana. Hereeeeeeeeee's Michael!"

As for Michael Jackson, I'm sure most people will think of him the way he was when he was the most dynamic child performer of all-time and his early Off The Wall/Thriller years. As opposed to his later freakish physical transformation and his exposing of his emotionally stunted/warped personality to the public while spending a "Dangerous" amount of time with young boys, before deciding to pay a woman to have some for him. As with any acclaimed singer who dies before their time, it is always the music that lives on.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Gullible’s Travels or Say it Ain’t Sosa

I heard the news on TV tonight that Sammy Sosa did indeed take steroids. I was left in stunned, disbelief and I could feel a lump in my throat when I went outside and noticed for the first time that the moon was actually not made of cheese. Luckily, I wandered into a bar to get a drink when these women came up to me and were being really friendly, one even sat on my lap. After the dangerously titled song “Pour Some Sugar on Me” ended (I can't imagine the bee stings one would be asking for by walking through the park while covered in sugar), all three ladies were so enthralled by the details of my job as a media sales assistant that they offered to take me to a private room that they promised would provide a more intimate setting for the four of us to get to know each other better.

As I looked into my wallet, I noticed that I only had one dollar in it and before I lifted my head back up, my new friends had left my side like mice when the lights get turned on. Something seemed weird about this place and I began to think that maybe these women weren’t putting themselves through dental school by working there at night(you would think that dental students wouldn't be missing any teeth of their own). I got up and left and decided to walk back to my apartment. As I reached my street a slovenly dressed man was sitting on the pavement next to my corner grocery store. After I went to the ATM in the store, I handed the man precisely the seven dollars and eighty-one cents he had asked for. As I walked away I was comforted in knowing that he would indeed be warming his stomach with a shrimp salad sandwich at the diner down the block.

After tossing and turning in bed that night, I felt the need to put on my Sosa jersey one more time. How could a man who had hit so many home runs decide to use steroids all of sudden at the twilight of his career? It didn’t add up. I felt confused and somewhat betrayed, just like the time I had a blind date and she felt my face in the crowded restaurant before slapping it and pretending to be married(she refused to admit that she knew our mutual friend Sally). I awoke at 4 am to the sound of the buzzer going off in my apartment. I stumbled over to the intercom and pressed the button asking who it was. The man shouted “Sammy Fucking Sosa. Now, let me in, I forgot my keys.”

After buzzing in Mr. Sosa, I couldn’t believe that he had lived in my building and I had never seen him. You would think he could afford to at least live in a doorman building. The temptation was too much for me and I had to peer through the peep hole as I heard his foot steps getting closer. It kind of reminded me of waiting for Santa to arrive down my chimney, except Santa never stopped on the fourth floor of an apartment to pee out a window before yelling at his roommate to open the door. After witnessing this disgusting behavior and hearing the vulgarity that spewed out of his mouth, I felt like a fool for ever taking pride in being his fan. My only consolation was that I didn’t live next to Barry Bonds.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Moment of Wonder

I woke up this morning and saw Zac Efron's face in the mirror and freaked out thinking I was a teenager again. I had thoughts of living in my mom’s house, feeling nervous around girls and driving a Buick Skyhawk to school. After I splashed water on my face I noticed that it began to look more like Mathew Perry's and I started to cry thinking I had been transported ten years into the future and had gotten too old to marry the girl next door and get my career off the ground. Finally, as I wiped away the tears and shook my head, the image blended back into that of my own. I relaxed and smiled, knowing that the past was behind me and the future lay ahead; knowing that I was still me, Fred Savage.

The Brooklyn Bodegas can really shoot or I got a cramp in my footnote

I just read the New Jersey Nets are going to redesign their arena in Brooklyn to "evoke Brooklyn like never before", which I can only assume means that the building will be a giant bodega, and instead of hotdogs and beer, they will be selling queso cheese and weed. I would also presume that the players will now have to grow scruffy beards and in the place of headbands on their heads they will have DJ style headphones hung around their necks that serve no purpose.(1)

1. I debated whether to go with the old Italian John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever/any Danny Aiello role ever stereotype, or the current young hipster stereotype. Since I have encountered much more of the latter over the past decade working in film production and my current job, as well as living in the all-Dominican Sunset Park, Brooklyn, I chose hipster. I’m sure in a future blog I’ll be an equal opportunity ragger(not sure if that’s a word) and rag on the hipster’s mortal enemy, the young preppy guy that moved straight from the NJ suburbs into a doorman building in Murray Hill(in Manhattan) where he proceeds to exemplify deuchebaggery(definitely should be a word) by popping his polo shirt collar before eating at Pinkberry and heading out to really cheesy bars that play music from before they were born, because they know that their girls just wanna have fun.

I,as most people are, am somewhere in between hipster and preppy and since I remember the 80’s, 90’s and today, have learned to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle. As a single man in his 30’s, this involves meeting women without having to ever play beer pong, learning to appreciate weekend naps almost as much football and of course writing the world’s longest footnote.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'll have a Mocha Frappucino with soy milk and some fabric softener, please.

Today I had a very Harvey Pekaresque epiphany while putting myself through the hopefully rare trauma of going to a NYC laundromat at 3 pm on a Wednesday. I realized that the only difference between people who regularly do laundry during the daytime and whose minds have become used to this 2 hours you’ll never get back, “time to make the donuts” weekly routine and the people who seem to hang out leisurely at the Starbucks next door long after their coffee is enjoyed, is a laptop and a liberal arts degree(although in this economy it might just be the laptop). I am not going to expand on the profundity of this statement as any more in-depth analysis will just expose my University of Arizona education.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Def-Con 5 or It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn.

I just learned that Visa is everywhere you want to be, except if you want to use it to pay off your Con Edison bill, then you are in the dark which is where no one wants to be. Apparently, the good people at Con Edison don’t take credit cards to pay their bills, but the credit service they use that charges you a fee does, except they only take Mastercard, Discover Card and Diner’s Club.

How can the energy company not take credit cards as payments, when the cable company even does? Anytime the cable company appears more customer friendly than you, something is seriously wrong. We’re talking about the industry that randomly decided that access to the internet should add about $40 to your monthly bill, even though all they are doing is providing access to it, they are not coming up with the sites or services on the internet. This is like paying a $40 dollar fee to enter the mall on a Saturday and then go to the food court and stores and pony up whatever it costs for jeans, shoes and chocolate covered pretzels.

Every once in a while a financial emergency will occur where you will not be able to access your bank account and need to use your credit cards. Who cares that I used my Visa card to buy a cool new pair of jeans and got a good deal on shirts at Express for Men if I won’t be able to see what they look like at home after my lights are turned off. The reason Con Edison is able to do this is that even more than the cable companies, they have absolutely no competition. I would rather hear that there was no way to use a credit card at all, than have them refer me to a credit agency , wait on hold for ten minutes and have a guy tell me that they don’t take my American Express or my Visa card. Of course the guy dealing with customers has heard thousands of people have a “Me,Myself & Irene” kiniption, in which the drum beats go off in your head, so there’s almost no point in having one, except to let out much needed frustration, in which case the guy will call you sir and politely and calmly let you know you’re screwed.

The thing that will set off the kiniption in anyone who has ever had this experience is hearing something ridiculous like “well, we do take Discover Cards and Diner’s Club Cards sir”. First of all, taking only Discover Cards and Diner’s Clubs cards is the equivalent to going to a supermarket or neighborhood deli and only seeing Mr. Pibb’s and Tabs available.
So, long blog short, I’m going to try and get one more extension or maybe sell my body until I can get the money into my bank account and pay off the bill. I might be writing my next blog at night by candle light, or I can just get a Diner’s Club card and live in restaurants, which might work for dates but women would eventually wonder why I always want to sleep at their place.

5 is the evilest number.

I picked my five top dictators of the day on Facebook and went with Hitler( I'd never be allowed in temple again if I left him off), Napolean(you gotta respect someone whose name became a psychological disorder), Ghengis Khan(hello, his name inspired Star Trek's Khaaaaaan), Idi Amin(so warped(1) he was rumored to have eaten people) and finally, I went with the surprise top choice of Oliver Cromwell.

Cromwell had panache(and a set of iron balls). After he died and Charles II was re-established as King, they dug up Cromwell’s body after a year and hung and drawn and quartered his long dead corpse. Now that is how a dictator is supposed to go. You’re so despised that they dig up your body and kill you twice.

Stay tuned for my Facebook top five Clog Dancing troupes.

1. As a copywrite by day, I just couldn't bring myself to write the tempting Amin/mean pun.

A weed grows in the Garden State or Reality TV Bites

I just saw a link on Facebook to an article in about the First Housewives of New Jersey’s Danielle Staub. You know it's not a flattering article when the opening line labels you a former "coke whore". First of all, shouldn't the emphasis be on the "former" instead of coke whore, as in Danielle Staub, the woman that failed at being a succesful coke whore and then moved to New Jersey to to end up personifying an extra from a Sopranos episode.
Anyone who knows anything about this country knows that Florida leads the nation in “former” coke whores and “current” strippers. New Jersey leads the nation in producing actors, comedians, one iconic rock star, one average hair band(1) that somehow stayed popular years after the grunge era hit, and people who grew up to realize the universal truth that no town needs three malls.

1. I think it’s safe to say that more people who read this will be offended by the fact that I referred to Bon Jovi as an average hair band than the fact that I referred to a housewife as a coke whore.

Monday, June 8, 2009

She's my lady.

Another night goes by and as the light bounces off the brick wall outside my apartment window I awaken to the fact that I am alone. I can still feel the imprint she left on her side of the mattress. It’s only been a week but I’ve yet to remove the strands of hair that I continue to find on my comforter, which I guess gives me a false sense of comfort, as if she was still here with me. Living alone when you’re used to being alone is a normal feeling; you go about your day, you look at web sites while bored at work, you meet friends for dinner, you come home, send text messages while watching TV and then do it all again the next day.

When I came home from work to the empty apartment I started to call out her name before stopping myself, which is when I realized that I was just me again, and that I had to get used to being me, and not me and her. That was a shock to my already wounded psyche. After the first two days without her, even little things like taking a shower and not having her in the bathroom there with me, reminded me of how much time we actually spent together. After five days of her being gone, I found myself doing some of the things we used to do. I even took a stroll through the park alone, which replaced the feeling of loneliness with a feeling that I was becoming pathetic. Before her I used to do whatever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to. I could go out with my friends drinking after work and stay out until four in the morning.

What the hell is wrong with me? Why does my happiness depend on her? Do you think she is feeling sad because she’s not with me right now? She’s probably having the god damn time of her life and I’m following other couples down the street and reminiscing about us. I can’t believe I’ve become so dependant on cohabitating with her. I mean she’s not that perfect and alot of times I feel like she doesn't even listen to me when I talk to her.

The really sad thing is that she hasn’t even left me for good, she’s just on vacation. I can’t believe how much I fell to pieces after a one-week separation. Next time my sister asks to take Lady away to her house in the country, I might have to go with them. God, I need a girlfriend.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Love yourself, within reason.

Here is a horrible dilemna, that I hope very few people will have to ponder in their life. What would you rather find out about a family member, that they committed suicide in a hotel room in Thailand, or that they were found hung in a Bangcock hotel room’s closet after attempting autoerotic asphyxiation? I don’t think anyone should be surprised that David Carradine's death was not a suicide, as it was initially reported. It doesn't take a CSI team to realize that any man who is found in a hotel room in Bangcock with rope around his genitals is not exactly listening to a Smiths album and wallowing in misery. As David Caruso or any partner of Sarah Marshall might say "Atleast he still had the Kung-Fu grip".

I feel the need to say that I am a big fan of David Carradine as an actor as he had an on-screen persona which seemed to transcend the screen. He seemed to be one of those people that you would want to grab a beer with and listen to his stories about his life and career. The kind of guy that seemed to truly live life and not just walk the Earth(no pun intended-mostly). His death left me thinking about some things, like the appeal of autoerotic asphyxiation. I understand sexual kinks and the psychological need that certain people have to get off in different ways (as opposed to the norm of meeting a woman at a cheesy bar after reluctantly singing along to “We Built This City”, only to get her back to your fifth floor apartment and having her grind on you for an hour before she passes out and you realize that you need a new pair of jeans.)
Autoerotic asphyxiation. Even the name sounds scary (yet somewhat badass) but anything you do that involves asphyxiation, by definition, can not be too good for you. The point of this is to tie something around your neck and limit the oxygen to your brain as you are about to orgasm. And I assume to get that extra special feeling you tie a rope around your balls. I don’t know what’s crazier, cutting off the oxygen to your brain or to your testicles(imagine wearing a 5 year old’s tightie whities). The impressive/amazing thing about this story is that David Carradine was 72 years old. Shouldn't you just be glad you still have enough prostate to masterbate and have regular, non-testing your body's limits-sex at that age. Hell, I'm 38 and all I need to do to break my window when I orgasm is to go three weeks without masterbating. Any adult male whose ever gone three weeks or longer without masterbating(probably due to an injury resulting in a lower body cast), will know that you become so sensitive that your hand will feel like the inside of a vagina.

The most shocking part of this story was the fact that David Carradine was reportedly found in the closet. This means he was so into trying to pull off this act that he used the bar in the closet to tie the rope to and was not even able to watch any porn while he was polishing the bishop. I can imagine him suspended in the air standing on a chair while wearing a homemade nutcracker, before realizing he was not able to see the movie he had ordered in his hotel room(I’m guessing something with a local theme like “One Night In Bangcock”). If he’s going for the ultimate masterbatory experience and did not involve porn in any way then he truly had reached the ultimate level of spiritual power like his character in "Kung-Fu: The Series". I guess the moral of this story(if there is a moral) is that autoerotic asphyxiation, like bench pressing 100 pounds over your body weight, should only be attempted with a spotter(make that a team of highly trained spotters).

Movies for Guys Who Don’t Like Books

AMC stands for American Movie Classics but I think it’s time to finally drop the classics from their name and call it the American Movie Channel, or better yet, go with MTDCS(Movies That Don’t Completely Suck) as in “Hey honey, True Lies is on AMC now, that’s a movie that doesn’t completely suck”. “True Lies” is a pretty enjoyable movie, but no movie with Tom Arnold in it, especially a film that has him playing an FBI agent, could ever be considered a classic(one great Jamie Lee Curtis dancing on a stripper pole scene does not a classic make). The closest thing they have been airing lately to a classic on this channel is the film “Roadhouse”.
Patrick Swayze must have told his agent after Dirty Dancing to find him the exact opposite movie role. The only one being put in a corner during this flick is a redneck that is thrown there by Sam Elliott. It’s definitely a movie for guys who like movies with implausible plots, although it lacks the memorable dialogue of another bad-ass cult film “They Live”, which has pro-wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper uttering the legendary phrase “ I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass: and I’m all out of bubble gum”. This line is a favorite of many men who were teens in the 80’s (although I was probably quoting “Weird Science” at the time, which is a whole other blog)
As I write this “Die Hard 2” is currently playing on AMC, and further proving my lack of classics theory, considering I barely remember any part of that movie, except for the fact that it took place at an airport and Bruce Willis blew a lot of shit up while saving his wife again (no wonder they were divorced by the next film, he was driven to alcoholism while coping with the severe back pain he must have endured from falling off skyscrapers and planes every 2 years). Before I write an eighth grade book report on how the original “Die Hard” spawned every generic action movie that followed it, I’ll just say that Alan Rickman’s performance in “Die Hard” was indeed AMC worthy as opposed to Charlton Heston’s performance in “True Lies” which was NRA worthy. I once had an idea for a movie that should never have aired on a station called American Movie Classics. It was called “Die Hard Jew: Again With the Dying” and would definitely be worthy of a station for movies that don’t completely suck.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Gali G. WTF is going on or Gay Germans can’t fly.

I'm pretty sure that Eminem suffered a relapse after Sasha Baron Cohen landed ass first on his face at the MTV Movie Awards and stormed out of the auditorium to down a bottle of Klonopin, or hallucinate on Mescaline, drink a few dozen shots of gin, then wipe off his face and chin, kick his mom right in her shin, try and lose his silly grin, deal with homophobia rumors all over again and rap about never becoming a has-been.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hey, It's Enrico Zambrano. or Three Strikes and Two Balls.

I was watching SportsCenter tonight and saw pitcher Carlos Zambrano completely lose it during a Cubs game. After the umpire threw him out of the game for arguing a call at the plate, Zambrano jerked back his thumb mimicking him, and seemed to shout "you're out!.” Zambrano then threw the ball into the stands. What happened next was even more bizarre. Zambrano grabbed a nearby bat and ran up to the Pirates' batboy, challenging him to a duel (in his enraged state he had assumed the skinny teenager was indeed a pirate). When the batboy shrugged his shoulders, Zambrano muttered something about the boy having scurvy and leapt on to the top of the dugout.

Zambrano let out a guttural scream and ripped off the shirt of his uniform (revealing a gold lightening bolt tattoo down the middle of his chest). He then ran up the stairs and climbed up into the announcer’s booth. Zambrano grabbed the microphone in the now empty booth and gazed out at the packed stadium. Carlos Zambrano then raised his fist in the air and proceeded to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, bastardizing not only the song (as has been become the custom at Wrigley Field) but the English language as well.
Suddenly, as Zambrano began to shout at the fans to root, root, root for the Cubbies, Cubs manager Lou Piniella appeared next to him in the booth. Piniella put his arm on Zambrano’s shoulder. Zambrano looked into Piniella’s eyes and Piniella said “It’s all right Carlos. It’s ok. The umpire knows you didn’t mean anything by it.” Zambrano looked into Piniella’s eyes and dropped the microphone. His massive shoulders slumped and his expression turned into that of a boy who knew he had let down his father. His eyes began to fill up with tears and Piniella (affectionately known as Sweet Lou) hugged him tight and said “Let’s go home Carlos.”

The cameraman went back and forth from capturing the two hugging in the announcer’s booth to showing people in the stands feeling the emotion. Within a few seconds the crowd erupted in cheers and began chanting “Carlos, Carlos, Carlos”. But Zambrano and Piniella had already left the announcer’s booth and could be seen by another cameraman walking slowly down a ramp together, heading out of Wrigley Field (I could swear I thought I saw Piniella handing Zambrano a Lifesaver.) The SportsCenter host then said to stay tuned for a report on an incident involving Terrell Owens and a waiter at a Chili’s in Buffalo.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Brooke Shields Shills for Eyelashes

I just saw an ad for a prescription drug for people with eyelash deficiencies. Eyelash deficiencies- nobody has eyelash deficiencies; they have eyesight deficiencies or lung deficiencies, or a deficient kidney. If you're taking a prescription drug to grow eyelashes longer, it means you are the laziest woman or glam rocker in the world.