Monthly Archives: May 2008

Things I Don’t Want To Do This Weekend

I’d prefer not to step in anything, so it’s best if I don’t walk anywhere in Greenpoint. And if at all possible, I don’t want to get on the L train. Leaving the house should be optional, if it’s allowed at all. Have you been outside the house? Everyone’s wearing makeup out there. It’s inhumane. The other day I was sitting on the subway while a guy who basically looked exactly like me sat there painstakingly applying blush, using the window as a mirror. And I’m not talking about casual blush. I’m talking Las Vegas in summertime.

If I learn any new slang this weekend, I’ll be seriously pissed off. I’ve been saying “Man, it’s really hot and noise” for days and people keep sidling away from me. I don’t want to turn the air conditioner off, ever. I also don’t want to sit in front of the air conditioner until all the moisture leaves my body and I die. Don’t laugh. It’s happened before. In my past life I was sort of a dumber version in myself and that’s how they took me down. Although I don’t feel like believing in reincarnation right this sec.

I don’t want to go to Union Pool. Last time, some guy blew smoke in my face and spilled a beer on my shoe at the same time. He was wearing a sport coat, and not ironically! What, you didn’t have time to change between work and 11 PM the next day? The PBR is like $4, that’s ridiculous. A six-pack shouldn’t cost more than three bucks. In fact, all beer-related activities are out. And all the hard liquor in my fridge has been there since high school. Midori and orange-flavored vodka, anyone? You can chase it with somewhat soured milk!

Cafe Grumpy sucks ass for some reason. A week ago there was a girl sitting in the corner, reading a book with a cigarette in her mouth. You can’t smoke in coffee shops, but that girl was definitely letting me know: sometime in the next two hours, she was planning on smoking! Thanks for the heads-up! Coffee makes me jittery and nervous anyway, I’m already way too on edge. I don’t feel like cooking but all the restaurants are way too expensive; I’m trying to save money here. The grocery store is closed anyway and the roaches finished off the last of my cereal.

All the blogs are too depressing, and if I use my laptop my lap gets way too hot, so I can’t even check my email over and over. I refuse to read a book. Besides, if I lie in bed my head hurts, and the couch is filthy. The only comfortable way to read a book is on the subway, and I think I mentioned that I’m not getting on the subway. I won’t ride my bike, either, the tires are flat and there’s too much stuff in my closet for me to find the pump. I don’t get why nobody is calling. OMGWTF.

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Take A Trip To The Nostalgia Factory

I was in the unfortunate position yesterday of having to listen to a speech. When was the last time you were at a good speech? For me, it was basically never. I’ve given two or three speeches in my life and I’ve got to tell you, even those were pretty awful. And I have an extremely high opinion of myself, especially when it comes to public speaking. My voice is akin to an earthquake, my words a … smaller earthquake.

But this speech was pretty lame even by conventional standards. For one thing, it was given by another 22-year-old, never a good sign. Aside from how poorly such speeches invariably work, there’s one gimmick that every Gen Y kid whips out: nostalgia. Now, yes. I know what you’re thinking. Everyone has been complaining about nostalgia (and way more eloquently: Dorothy Gambrell’s words are akin to an asteroid hitting a planet) since VH1 started running I Love The Last Seventeen Minutes or whatever back in like 2001. And all those Oregon Trail Facebook groups (I’m not even linking to them).

But it may have gotten worse! I have noticed, for example, that nostalgia no longer has to have anything to do with the conversation. I was at a party the other day and said something embarrassing. I don’t remember what, but here’s a re-enactment of how the conversation went, with a plausible faux pas inserted:

Girl at party: Oh, man, in high school I had really bad acne and split ends.
Zach: Jeez, so you must have been really unattractive!
Girl at party: (long, awkward pause)
Zach: Must… defuse… awkardness. Um… Fraggle Rock!
Bystander:
OH MY GOD FRAGGLE ROCK!
Girl at party:
Fraggle Rock was the best show ever! Remember (some inane detail from Fraggle Rock)?

I’ve never even seen Fraggle Rock. But I’ve been using this technique ever since I’ve been accidentally rude to strangers (i.e. my entire life). However, yesterday’s speaker pulled this same crap. Here’s an excerpt:

Speaker: We must rise higher, and succeed! The challenges of the future are more challenging than the challenges of the past! And I’m not talking about Salute Your Shorts.

That doesn’t make any goddamn sense. I didn’t even have cable growing up! I thought 60 Minutes was balls-to-the-wall entertainment when I was a kid, probably because the only other show I’d ever seen was McLaughlin Group. My nostalgia costs $300 per hour, courtesy of PBS’ kick-ass early-90s lineup. But that’s no excuse for talking about muppets all day. Not when there’s Carmen Sandiego to fondly remember! Remember Carmen Sandiego?

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Ahmadinejad Blushes Over Misinformation

Oh my gosh, it is so embarrassing when you say something that turns out to be false and then EVERYONE finds out about your mistake. You know, like at a party, or at work, or at a highly-controversial speaking engagement at Columbia. Making a verbal snafu is the WORST, you guys! I mean, sticking your foot in your mouth can really be a humbling experience.

One time I told my co-worker that she had to go over to Bryant Park to go to the closest Chipotle but there turned out to be one like RIGHT around the corner from us and she went like 3 blocks out of her way. I felt SO bad!

That’s almost the same as when  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, “We don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We don’t have that in our country. We don’t have this phenomenon; I don’t know who’s told you we have it.”

Ahmadinejad was probably SO MORTIFIED to pick up the paper today and find out that he made a little boo boo and there actually ARE gay Iranians, well there is one that we know of! Not a huge deal, but maybe he should have checked first with that guy who told that Columbia student about them. That guy was in the know, big time.

Let’s wait a few days for this to blow over and then break it to him gently that the Holocaust is real.

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Skyscrapers Is Pimps Too

Middle finger to God, yo! Go on, brush your scaffolding off.

(I AM SO SORRY ABOUT THAT JOKE)

But let’s be serious for a minute. Let’s talk about skyscrapers*.

* Note: “skyscrapers” here refers to buildings that are like ten stories tall. If you are not from New York, you will note that we have twenty-story fire hydrants in this city. Ten stories isn’t even a speed bump. New Yorkers call any building shorter than seventy-one stories a “garage.” The term “cornfield” is used for buildings less than four hundred feet tall.

Our fine backwater of a neighborhood, which prides itself on its ugly, dilapidated two-story houses, now has two skyscrapers. They’re both about 12 stories of pricey luxury condos. (If you don’t feel like sitting through an endless Flash demo, I’ll just tell you that the cheapest apartment is like $700,000.) Here’s a survey of all the comments I’ve heard around the neighborhood when discussing these buildings:

  1. “These buildings are destroying our neighborhood!” —Old lady at Carmine’s
  2. (That was the only comment.) But people stare at them threateningly a lot.

How does that work? I am as much a fan of hating the playa as I am of hating the game (I hate both the player and the game, vigorously, be it “Scrabble” or “Offering Plan!, The Game Of Luxury Apartment Construction”), but dude they’re just skyscrapers. And the only thing they destroyed to build them was some old garages. Nobody even had to move!

What have I concluded about the people of Brooklyn? It’s probably easiest for you to just watch this YouTube video.

Er, it would be, at least, if copyrighted movies from the 90s were on YouTube. So, anyway, go rent Wayne’s World, then fast-forward to the part where he says “We fear change!” Then imagine it being really grainy and low-quality.

WE FEAR CHANGE.

Here’s an illustrative story. I wore a tie on the L train yesterday, because I was graduating that afternoon and didn’t want to look like a putz on stage. Now, this is not by any means a power tie; I’ve had it since the sixth grade. It was my first tie. It’s made out of felt and coat hangers, or at least it looks like it is, and it comes maybe halfway down my chest. And even in 1996 it probably cost $2. But nonetheless, the moment I stepped onto the subway car I was overtaken by a palpable wave of hate from the normally friendly hipsters riding in from Bushwick. Worse still, I had gel in my hair.

Holy crap, I realized. I look like a real jerk to them. Hell, on any other day I would’ve looked like a real jerk to me, I have the same yuppie gag-reflex as anybody else. The guy next to me had Dolce sunglasses on, even though he was on a dark train. The woman to my left was reading Tuesdays with Morrie. And there but for the grace of God go I, fellow pimps. Sure, I live in a tenement, but if I really applied myself, couldn’t I save up $200,000 for the down payment on a deluxe apartment somewhat above the ground?

No, not really. Because then how would I afford whiskey — think about it! But do I really have the right to hate on these jerks just because they live in a shiny glass box and probably spit into my window while I’m in the shower, the time when I’m least likely to notice?

Yes. But that is no excuse to whine about tall buildings. Without buildings I could see from miles away, how would I know which way my house was? If I was too dumb to read a map, that is. Prada-sniffing dog?

More importantly, if they didn’t build these skyscrapers, these terrifying materialistic weirdos coming out of the woodwork would be forced to move into my apartment. Have you seen my apartment? It’s 600 square feet and there’s eight people in there today! (P.S. if you have seen my apartment, please call 311 and tell them I have a stalker) I don’t have room for that guy! I don’t even have a closet to put his fastidiously ironed suits into! Somebody build him a glass box, quick, because otherwise my kitchen is going to smell like cilantro and broccoli rabe before you can say “hostile takeover”.

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Things They Do Look Awful C-C-Cold, I Hope I Die Before I Get Old

Yes that’s right. I’m talkin’ bout my generation.

You guys are aware that we’re being shat on in the media by the very flannel-wearing, pizza-faced slacketarians who used to babysit us and lifeguard at the pool when we were little, right? Well join me up here on this high-horse, because as Charlotte put it, “it’s fun up here. Feels right.”

So my story today starts with poor Robert Lanham.

(pictured below with under-appreciated associate D. Menace)

That frontal lobotomy is not treating him well. Not only did he further doucherize FreeBilly by taking out the galleries section recently (fact: Robert Lanham must have all the art in Williamsburg to himself!), but now he’s attacking what our staff statisticians report make up about 80% of his readership. The group I’m referring to, of course, is EVERYONE between the age of 18 and 27. I thought living somewhere youthful and hating youth was New York Shitty’s job.

Says Lanham of my generation in his May 13 article for radarmagazine.com:

They’re naive, self-important, and perpetually plugged in. This is a call to arms against millenials…They think updating a spreadsheet while simultaneously posting to a Twitter account about the latest gossip on perezhilton.com is an essential corporate skill. And…they’re always doing stupid shit, but rarely getting called on it.

First of all. Jeaaaaaaaaaaaallllllloouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuussssssss?????

Secondly, low blow, dawg. YOWCH! I bought all of your motherfucking deliciously entertaining books and now you have to go and do me like this. God. Parents just don’t understand. Way to join the dark side of the force.

Lanham before and after his Radar online article:

What scrambles my brain so thoroughly on this one is that Robert Lanham’s mental math just doesn’t add up with this attack on 20-somethings. Not only is he seriously biting the hand that feeds him by alienating himself from most of his readership, but he is also embarrassing himself by revealing to us, his Brooklyn-dwelling, blog-reading, and now teary-eyed former-admirers that he is in fact NOT hip, cool, or fun, but actually just old and crotchety AND A HYPOCRITE. LIKE EVERYONE ELSE WHO COMPLAINS ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE.

Complaining about those younger than you immediately designates you as old, tired, bitter, and, like all dads everywhere, roller blades, vacations at Sandals resorts, last season’s ballet flats, and leggings-as-pants, tragically, tragically uncool.

Which, call me crazy, probably isn’t good for the editor of a major culture blog. BuT WhAt dO i KnOw i’M jUsT a SpOiLeD yOuNgStEr.

Way to get your super-chic, topic-of-the-moment article idea from 60 Minutes, broseph. Way to coast on a point argued on TV 6 months ago. Way to go. Yeah, way to go!

Above, Lanham in a recent interview.

The most wack part of this whole wack attack is that his afront on my peeps is totally unneccessary to his article! Ironically, his article focuses largely on whining about the unfair shake and lack of coddling and babying the boomers provided Generation X. He sort of implies that his generation longed for the treatment we receive, and that the boomers’ ill treatment of the X-ercists effed their shit up – which has nothing to do with Generation X’s (perhaps more favored, sure) followers…as we were in middle and high school when, to put it millenially, all of these dramz went down!

Lanham is blatantly hating the playa because of the game by dragging my generation into this boring punch-up of hurt 30-somethings looking to place blame everywhere but on themselves for their reputed baditudes. He says:

Let’s face facts: The boomers always detested Generation X. They felt threatened by our youth, confused by our lack of earnestness, and deeply troubled by our lack of appreciation for James Taylor. The boomers’ entire identity was wrapped around being young and progressive. Gen X was an affront to their place in the world. What’s more, they never understood us…

Since the ’90s, boomers have plotted to turn us into the redheaded stepchild of generations. We were slackers. Cynical. We loved Pauly Shore.

So… forgive me if it SEEMS like his complaints about Millenials sound exactly like the complaints about Gen X that he is complaining about with his complainy writing complaints. Complainer!

The bottom line is that Robert Lanham has no reason to villainize those younger than him simply for being born and leading productive, confidently Wikipedia-informed lives and succeeding while everyone lurves us and wants to hire us. I’m so glad that I can blog about how immature he is while I’m working on spreadsheets, playing Wii at my desk, typing on six laptops at once and linking everyone I know to this entry via Facebook and Myspace.

Lanham, we’re here and like it or not…we got to grow up with the internet and political correctness firmly in place. But we also fucking look up to you guys,

(and as for the outrageous cries from Gen X about our cultural appropriation….we’ll be confiscating your Led Zeppelin tapes now in the name of fairness, oh and the White Stripes and the Gossip count as ours so we’ll grabbing those from you too)

and buy your stupid culture-comment books and read your largely pointless blogs, so if you’re going to cry about how the boomers never liked you, at least be a man about it. Now it’s OUR TURN to call bullshit. You made us be PETE WENTZ!?

Now THAT is fucked.

sent from my iphone.

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Escape From New York

Here’s something I realized today: I can never go anywhere again.

For quite awhile, I’ve been meaning to take a trip to Chicago. It ought to be just like home: Polish and Irish as all get-out, freezing, and you’re reasonably likely to be killed. Works for me!

But I can’t go to Chicago. Moreso, I can’t go anywhere. How much do you think flying to Chicago costs? $40? $60? Well, you’re an idiot, it costs a HUNDRED FORTY DOLLARS now. Each way!

The only car I can use now gets less miles to the gallon than the car I drove in high school, and gas is so expensive that DRIVING would cost more than FLYING. “What about Amtrak,” you say, but it takes 26 hours to get to Chicago and there’s no sleeper car, even! Don’t make me kill you!

I’m never leaving the city! Because I can’t! Nobody can! We’re almost to the point where a beer in NYC is cheaper than a gallon of gas! Would you rather drive 25 miles or drink a beer? Boy, what a tough question! And soon it’ll be cheaper to buy a gallon of beer!

ASIDE: Why doesn’t anybody sell beer in gallon form? And also there should be a “beerman” that comes to your house in a white uniform, drops off a six-pack, takes the empty bottles, and sleeps with your wife while you’re at work. That’s right, my wife, I know all about your affair with the beerman!

So, anyway, I’m giving up on my dream of ever seeing the exotic, distant city of Chicago. Instead, I’m off to drink three gallons of suddenly-affordable beer. I sure hope beer isn’t made using increasingly-expensive grain! I can’t even afford to operate my bike, because of the high cost of pedaling! What’s that? You’re saying pedaling is free? You are a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!

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I’ll have the Nazi Melt

Last night, Zach and I were enjoying our full, young, energetic lives in NYC by shutting ourselves in, sitting on the couch and watching the first of ALL OF THE INDIANA JONES MOVIES, which we tivo’d off of cable this weekend (in preparation for the new Indiana Jones movie that has that wacky Lewis Stevens in it, and don’t you dare pretend you don’t know who Lewis Stevens is, okay.)

First let me say this, have you seen Raiders since you were 10? I hadn’t. So I was surprised to find that in place of a serious, fast-paced, history-meets-adventure tale full of nail-biting suspense and beautiful scenery I ended up with this:

One question: is it true that faces melt before hats!? How can we test this without ruining nice hats?

Even though the Nazis were partially hilarious in this movie (their accent will always remind me of that fat caterpillar from A Bug’s Life), it reminded me of last summer when I revisited Salute Your Shorts only to find out to my horror that, despite thinking it dramatic/comedic genius at age 9, now I see that it isn’t a really great summer camp show, and it’s barely even campy. It’s actually just a lot of bad acting and side ponytails, which is something I can do on my own without TV anytime I want, thanks.

Now for some disturbing facts about car bombs! DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS!

1. (If you ignore the hypothesis that there was one in Istanbul in 1905) the first car bomb happened in 1920 in New York City (SHOUT OUT!) on Wall and Broad Streets, shortly after the arrest of Sacco and Vanzetti. It exploded a horse and carriage. GRUESOME!

Thus, car bombs are not Irish, but American.

2. The 1981 release of Raiders of the Lost Ark coincided with the Soviet Afghan War, where carbombs happened!

INTERESTING!

3. There is a totally sweet carbomb explosion in Raiders!

SUSPICIOUS!

THUS, CAR BOMBS ARE AMERICAN AND INDIANA JONES IS AMERICAN AND BECAUSE OF MOVIES AND ACCESSIBLE INFORMATION AND MCWORLD, WE TOLD THE MIDDLE EAST ABOUT CAR BOMBS AND NOW THEY CAN USE THEM ON US.

I can’t believe George Lucas hates America even though most people have forgiven him for Jar Jar Binks!

Seriously, wtf.

(Warning: please check zero facts reported in this post)

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