Everything is wrong with me
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
 
Dealbreakers
What is a dealbreaker? It's hard to define, so maybe some examples will help. Two weeks ago (maybe three?) Adam on "Average Joe: Adam Returns" kicked off a woman because she told him she had a son. That's a dealbreaker. In "Curb Your Enthusiasm", Larry David couldn't have sex with an attractive woman because she had a picture of George Bush on her desk. That's a dealbreaker.

Dealbreakers are not limited to sexual or romantic relationships; they can be in friendships as well.

There are only a few things that will automatically disqualify anyone from being my friend. For example, I can't be friends with any guy who says "I don't really like sports or music." Liking one but not the other is fine, but both is a no-no. I mean, what the hell do you do with your time? Sports and music are probably 80% of my day, and that includes work (the other 20% is consuming). What are we supposed to talk about?

Another example is that I can not be friends with any guy who goes to the tanning salon all year long. I can see maybe going before you head on vacation, but all year round is a no good. I can't be friends with anyone, male or female, who thinks Matchbox 20 "rocks" or "kicks ass." I don't think I need to explain why.

And now I have another dealbreaker: people who wear colored contact lenses. And I'm not talking about weird people who were yellow or black (although they are disqualified too), but people who for whatever reason decide that changing their eye color is a good idea.

My friend just got these, and now she has blue eyes. She's Asian. And now she has fake blue eyes.

I have so many questions about this, I don't even know where to begin. Are you hoping people won't notice? Or do you hope they do notice and they say something like, "Oh, hey - nice eyes." Is it a forever thing? Or are you going to switch it up every week/day?

And what makes you consider this a good idea? How did you decide to do this? What are you hoping to accomplish with this? What happens if you meet someone, and they think you have blue eyes, and you really don't? I mean, what the fuck?

If any of you have any dealbreakers of your own, please send them to me at eiwwm@lycos.com, because I am really fascinated by this. They can be either in friendships or in romance. I'll post them, but don't worry - it'll be anonymous (probably). I'll try to come up with some more between then and now, because I know I have lots of 'em.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004
 
something to read
If you are looking for something good (and short) to read, I recommend a book called "My Life in Heavy Metal" by Steve Almond (www.stevenalmond.com - a pretty cool website, with some good stories to read when you want to kill time at work and get bored of cnn or espn).

"Heavy Metal" is a collection of short stories, and man, it is goddamn f'in' good. I got it when it first came out, and every so often I'll re-read some stories I like best. It's the kind of stuff that you read and think to yourself, "Damn it - I wish I could write like that" and then you start thinking about the reasons why you can't write like that (i.e. lack of talent, lack of ambition, your impotence has destroyed your confidence, etc).

I'm looking forward to his next book, a non-fiction work about...candy. I don't even have words for this. If the book after the candy book (appropriately titled "Candyfreak") is about vodka and/or Taco Bell, well, I may have to start stalking him, which would be a first (not the stalking, but stalking a guy).

 
working out is hard to do
I have joined the gym. I figured it was time, as I went ahead and spent about $600 in preparation for joining the gym (I-Pod with requisite arm-band, gym clothes, new pair of sneakers, some cds, etc). In my short time there I have learned many things, which is good because I have probably ten days before I quit. The five that immediately come to mind are:

1) There is nothing good about working out. Any way you cut it, working out stinks. Pedaling on a bike for forty-five minutes that is going nowhere is just plain stupid. And afterwards, the feeling of, "Great - I just did thirty minutes on the treadmill" pales in comparison to the following feelings: "My god, this ice cream is delicious" or "Holy shit I can't believe I am this fucking high" or "I never knew Southern Comfort tastes this good." Waking up the next morning and not being to raise your arms above your shoulders because you are sure that they are hemorrhaging is not good. Being in a room with a bunch of sweaty people breathing heavily who smell bad is not good. Expending energy in the hopes of fitting into the societal model of "attractiveness" and developing an inferiority complex in the process is not good. Spending $80 per month for all this is the worst of all.

2) To work out is to waste everything our species has worked toward for millions of years. Fundamentally, when you work out, you are doing something physically taxing that you are not required to do. Can you imagine trying to explain working out to someone from the past? "So, let me get this straight - you're going to take this really heavy weight and keep lifting it, over and over again. Then you are going to get on this machine and run, though you are not running anywhere. And no one is forcing you to do this with the threat of physical punishment, starvation, or torture. Am I missing something? Because it sounds kind of stupid to me."

Human beings have evolved to this point in time mentally so that we do not have to make our bodies work as hard as our ancestors did, because our brains are much more advanced. For example, no longer do we need to spend hours hunting for our food in the hot sun, fighting off big-ass fucking tigers and other monsters, because Festival Mexicano will bring it to your door and it will be delicious (and reasonably priced). I needn't get too into details of evolution (mostly because I don't really know what I'm talking about), but when we force ourselves and our bodies to perform such equally strenuous and unnecessary activities, it is an affront to evolution, and, as such, to God Almighty Himself. [I know that the theory of evolution and the Judeo-Christian story of creation don't exacly mesh, but the point is you don't want to piss off God]

3) A good thing about the gym is that it's totally ok to be really sweaty. This is especially great for someone like me, who sweats while breathing, sleeping and showering. One caveat: you have to find the right sweat balance between, "Wow that guys looks like he had a good workout" or "Jesus, someone should call the paramedics for that fat bastard - is he turning blue?" I have not been able to find this balance, as evidenced by the looks of pity, concern, and alarm when I stumble off the exercise bike and into the locker room, gasping for air and weeping.

4) I just do not like right at the gym. Meaning, I really stick out, or at least I really don't fit in. Everyone there is either: 1) in really good shape; 2) in really bad shape; or 3) old. There aren't really many husky, mid-20's guys there. Or maybe they go at other times, like 2am, when no one is there to watch them struggle with a machine, get up and walk around the machine to try to figure out exactly what the machine is supposed to do, sit down and try the machine again, then finally walk away from the machine in disgust and shame.

5) There are many hot ladies at the gym. I don't know - I guess I always thought that sexy ladies grew on trees, but apparently they have to work hard to look good. Who knew? Well, I now know that the gym is crawling with attractive sweaty girls who would like nothing less to be approached by a sweating, panting guy named Jason hitting on them with his "sure-fire" jokes about retards and the homeless. Just sit on your lil' bike and watch Fatty - don't talk them, because they really don't care that you're "funny" or that "family is the most important thing" to you. You are chubby - please go away and take your smell with you.

That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure I'll be adding to this as time passes and I continue to embarrass myself in new and exciting ways in front of people who view me with disdain because I occasionally throw back a ten-pack of soft tacos.

Monday, March 29, 2004
 
stink
Someone is eating some sort of seafood dish for lunch, and the entire fucking office stinks. But it doesn't smell like someone is eating seafood - it smells like someone has taken a bushel of live crabs, popped off the lid, and is throwing the fucking crabs all over the place, smashing them against the walls and ceiling. I can almost see the smell coming under my office door and attaching itself to my clothes.

The best part is that I have some stupid meeting this afternoon where I'm supposed to meet some people, which is good, because I don't have enough trouble getting people to like me on my own - now I have to do so smelling like the fucking bay.

God damn it.

 
nice
You know it's a good night when:

1) You go to the ATM to take out $100, and you have insufficient funds. Then, the bargaining begins: $80 - insufficient funds. Ok, how about $60? Insufficient funds. $40? Insufficient funds. Sweet.

(For any ladies out there who were considering possibly making out with me but now have rescinded their interest because I am poor, I would like to set the record straight and say that I am not poor, but rather I keep all of my money in my savings account and forgot to transfer it to checking. So there.)

2) You throw your credit card up on the bar, and when ordering a drink toward the end of the night...

Me: "I'll have a two bud lights and a vodka tonic - my card is up - Jason Mulgrew."
Bartender: "You are the Jason Mulgrew?"
Me: "Um, yeah."
Bartender: "No, the Jason Mulgrew?"
Me: "Yes, yes - what does that mean?"
Bartender: "A lot of people have been ordering drinks on your tab."

Result: $186.

Fucking deadbeat friends.

3) Finally, you get home, and you and your friends order $41 worth of food from the hot dog place. Not the pizza place or the diner - the fucking hot dog place. Hot dogs are like $2. To add insult to injury, they have to deliver the order in a giant cardboard box. The delivery guy might as well have said, "They don't make bags big enough for you fattys, so we had to put your shit in a box. Hmm, any ladies in there with you all? Wow - surprisingly, no. Anyway, have a good night, and enjoy your four chili dogs, four bacon cheddar dogs, three orders of cheese fries, three orders of mac and cheese, and whatever the hell else you have - that's only the top layer; I can't see what's buried underneath."

Friday, March 26, 2004
 
no sleep
Who do I have to blow to get an appointment with a fucking psychiatrist?

Let me explain.

I am, I guess, an insomniac (I hesitate to use the term "insomniac" because it is a medical term and I am not a doctor, though I do know a lot about recreational drugs). Though I don't always have trouble falling asleep, my sleep is restless and intermittent, occasionally broken by a dream that is too vivid or by an impending sense of urgency or by my roommate Ben coming home drunk at 2am on a Wednesday night and yelling, "Jay! Get up! You fucking pussy!"

I have been a like this for quite some time, but over the past few months it's gotten worse. I have also been having extremely vivid dreams. I know, I know - everybody wakes up and says, "Man, that dream felt like it was real", but the only way I can explain my dreams is to say that they are even more vivid than those dreams and much more frequent. And these dreams are either extremely horrifying or extremely sexual. I gotta say, the sexual ones I don't mind - it's the really, really scary ones I could live without. But it is a major let down to wake up after having a crazy sex dream to find myself alone, in the shower, with only my socks on. Talk about a whole other level of disappointment.

I went to my doctor and told her about this. She, like God, hates me, so instead of prescribing me sleeping pills, she suggested I go "talk to someone" about this. I have recently been given additional responsibilities at work (a sort of default "well, the only one available that can do it is Jason"-type promotion), and because of this my doctor thinks my "high stress" job could be the reason for my trouble sleeping. My question is: what is so high stress about my job? The four hours a day I spend on fantasy sports? The six hours a day I listen to music? Or the two hours a day I spend on the phone with my friends? You choose.

But I'm open to it. I always knew I'd have to see a psychiatrist some day, so I guess it's good to do so before I become a sex offender, rather than after (sorry, that should read "convicted sex offender"). The problem is that it's very hard to get an appointment. They're either all booked up or they only do "medication management" or they're no longer accepting my insurance - what the fuck?

So I will say this: when I go ape-shit and start picking dudes off from the top of my apartment building because I can’t sleep, that blood with be on your hands Messrs. M.D.

Bastards.

[oh, and have a good weekend]

 
fucking Brits
Has anyone been following the story of the British cave explorers who got stuck in the underwater cave in Mexico? Basically, these Brits were exploring these underwater caves, which have miles and miles of caverns, when the water levels rose and they were trapped. Mexican authorities quickly learned that they were trapped, but the Brits turned down the help of the local authorities, instead preferring to wait for the Royal British Navy to come and rescue them.

Now, if my ass is trapped in an underwater cave, I don't care if the fucking Wolfman comes to my rescue - just get my ass out. Don't get me wrong - I hate Mexicans as much as the next guy, but come on.

But the story has a happy ending: the British Navy guys came and rescued them, so now they're safe (although I think the Mexicans are going to question them about what the hell they were doing there). I'm wondering what the conversation was like and how awkward it was after the rescue between the British guys who were rescued and the Mexican guys whose help they shunned:

British Cave Guy: [with heavy British accent] "Listen mate, it's nothing personal or anything..."
Mexican Rescuer Worker: [with heavy Mexican accent] "No, no senor, it's fine."
BCG: "It's just that, you know -"
MRW: "No, you don't have to explain. It's fine, really."
BCG: "Well, I just don't want you to think that I don't think you know how to do your job."
MRW: "I don't know why I would think that - oh, maybe because you'd rather wait in a cave for an extra three days and face death at any moment rather than let me rescue you? Is that why maybe?"
BCG: "Oh come on - it's just that I know that our Navy is very familiar with things like this!"
MRW: "I live here! I am familiar too!"
BCG: "Look, I'm sorry, ok? Please - let's not fight. The important thing is that everyone is safe."
MRW: "You're right. I am sorry too senor. Let us put this behind us."
BCG: "Jolly good chap. Have a good day, and thank you again."
MRW: "Yes, you too. [under his breath] Bitch."
BCG: "What was that?"
MRW: "Nothing senor. Good day."

Thursday, March 25, 2004
 
my bad
I forgot to tell you all that I completely failed in my St. Patrick's Day goal of smoking a pack of cigarettes this past Sunday (thanks to those astute peeps who called me out on this). I bought a pack of Camel Lights at about noon, smoked two of them consecutively and got light-headed. I put them down and went and got a beer, and didn't smoke any more.

So, much like every goal I've ever had, I came up short. I am used to this: it happens every time I say to myself after dinner, "Now, don't eat the whole pint of Haagen Dasz - save some for tomorrow" but wind up finishing the whole thing easily, then ripping the container open to lick the inside of it. Or when I come home and see money lying on the table and think, "You can't take this money, spend it on porn, and then say the cleaning lady must have stolen it again - Ben and Brian are starting to catch on" but minutes later I'm on videoage.com buying that Briana Banks 4-pack.

Well, can't say I didn't see it coming.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
 
nice
just saw a fairly attractive Mexican woman breast-feeding on the subway - como se dice "Score!"

 
Stupid cousin Julia
My dad is one of ten children. My mom is one of six. When my dad's grandmother died, she had sixty-five grandchildren. To put that into perspective, that's one grandchild's birthday every five days. This is what happens when you are Irish Catholic.

I have a ton of cousins, probably thirty to forty, and I can't name them all (I got a lot of my own stuff going on, so I can't be expected to remember such things).

This past Thanksgiving, I was at my grandparents (my dad's parents). We were all sitting around talking, the discussion turned to my cousin Jacqui and I, the two oldest of the Mulgrew clan (my cousins range in age from 25 to 3, but seven of us are 19 or older). Somehow, a wager was brought up: all of us (grandparents, aunts and uncles, grandkids) would pick one of the grandkids who we thought would be the first to either: a) get married or b) make a baby. It was $50 to get in, winner take all.

I think one of the eighteen or so relatives picked me. I'm not sure if this is a good thing, because though I won't be getting the whole "When are you going to find a girl and settle down?" thing, another part of me was like, "What the fuck? You don't think I'm capable of finding someone to marry me, or at least knocking someone up? You know, I do spend a lot of money, so I have that going for me. Damn it."

I just got a call from my dad that my cousin Julia got married like a week ago. Julia was the wild card: she grew up in California, I think she lives in New York now, but I've only seen her once and couldn't pick her out of a line-up. So my cousins Ryan and Jimmy get the cash.

Now I'm thinking: what the hell was I thinking? That's....whatever 18 x $50 is! That's a lot of money! I couldn't have conspired with my brother on this? Nothing too serious, but I'm sure we could've probably convinced one of our friends to fill out some forms for $20!

Damn it. I have a lot of debt, because every time I go out to a bar and a girl starts talking to me I feel the need to throw up my credit card and buy drinks for everyone [more on this sometime later]. And this was a free couple of hundred bucks, and I blew it.

Stupid cousin Julia. At the very least I should have contacted her to see what her relationship status was. Damn it. Later $50.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
 
St. Patrick - until we meet again
Ah, what a weekend. I see my Boston friends only one weekend about every two months, so naturally in that weekend we have to do two months worth of drinking to make up for lost time.

Sunday was the parade. Nothing like waking up at 8am on a Sunday morning, cooking a giant breakfast of eggs, meats, beans, and potatoes, and finishing your first Guinness by 9:30 (after all, Sunday is the Lord's day). Everything is spotty, but some highlights:

******************

The wife of a buddy of mine from college is now pregnant. A bunch of us were standing around talking about it with him, and I said, "Hey, the best part [about her being pregnant] is that you have a designated driver every time you go out!" A few girls in the group made a noise akin to the noise that Marisa, Frank the Tank's wife in "Old School", made when she and Frank were seeing the therapist and he talked about the panties of the Olive Garden waitress: a stammer of disgust.

Sure, it's probably not the "best part" of your wife being pregnant, but am I wrong? I mean, she can't drink, so whenever you go out with her and friends, she can drive, right?

I don't think I'm wrong here.

******************

There was an acquaintance of mine from college at the party, a girl who I had always flirted with but with whom I never actually sealed the deal. We were flirting all afternoon, and we were standing in line for the bathroom:

Her: "You know, this line is really long. I think I'm just going to go home to use the bathroom - I only live three houses down."
Me: "That's a good idea. We can both go to your place to use the bathroom, and then fool around a little bit."
Her: "Jason, I mean, I don't know what to say - are you serious?"
Me: "Yeah - of course I'm serious!"
Her: "Ok, well then - "
Me: "Oh, you know what? I just remembered that Joe and I are actually next up for Beirut. So I don't think I should go."
Her: [dead stare, leaves bathroom line]

Again, what the fuck is wrong with me? I turn down an opportunity to mess around with an attractive girl so that I could play a fucking drinking game? Good lord.

[By the way, we lost, though we did take it to overtime. But, sweet. Real sweet.]

******************

It didn't help in the ladies department that the whole weekend my friends and I were yelling, "Lingerie - m'dick!"

This explanation is courtesy of my friend Don Fiedler, who popularized the term:

"During the UConn-Vermont game, Talik Brown took the ball from one end of the court to the other for a lay-up. Bill Raftery [the announcer] screamed, 'Talik Brown slicing through the lane. Oh! Lingerie M'dick!" I watched this at my friend Slade's house. Slade has TiVo. We easily replayed it 25-30 times and all we could hear was 'lingerie-m'dick.'"

So every time something even mildly exciting happened, you had eight to ten guys randomly screaming "Lingerie - M'DICK!" And you had a bunch of girls saying, "Why do you guys keep screaming, 'Lingerie, my dick?'"

Good stuff.

******************

I met some of the guys from "Average Joe: 2" (on which my buddy Bill was a contestant) and I gotta say they were genuinely nice guys. In addition to Bill, there was Brian G., Brian W., Justin, and Phuc. Phuc was pretty funny - while standing in line for the keg, he yelled, "What's an Asian gotta do to get a beer around here? Crane kick a mother fucker?" Then later his brother puked in Bill's bedroom.

More good stuff.

******************

That's all I have, because I really don't remember anything after 6pm. I know that I watched "The Sopranos", but I don't recall anything. Also, I lost my jacket and my fleece, but I'm hoping they are at Bill's house.

Another year of celebrating St. Patrick and the Irish. Until next time.

Friday, March 19, 2004
 
feet pics
I've always thought that a really cool job would be to be the person who gets your photos developed. You know, the guy who sits there and takes the photos out of the machine and puts them into the package. Sure, it's mindless, but I think I could get really into it: just sit there with my headphones on, rocking out, and checking out people's private moments.

Because of this, whenever I want to get a roll of film developed but still have a few pics remaining, I try to take weird pictures for the photo person. For example, a few rolls ago, my last two pictures were shots of my nose. That wasn't too fun though, because I got those pics developed at CVS, and the person I picked them up from wasn't the person who I dropped them off to (and presumably the person who developed them). I've also been known to take in-your-face shots of me angrily giving the camera the finger.

I had four pictures to burn this morning, so I took some very up-close shots of my feet and toes. Naturally, I think this is hysterical, because I am a simpleton, and something like taking pictures of my feet to play a prank on the photo shop people will keep me laughing for about two weeks.

To this end, I took the film this morning to the little mom-and-pop photo shop which is manned by two Mexican girls to be developed. I went to pick the pictures up about thirty minutes ago, and I could barely contain myself on the walk over to the store. As soon as I walked in the store, I could feel the tension in the 8' x 8' shop. They were trying so hard to conceal their disgust and curiosity but weren't doing a good job. Of course, I'm on the other side of the counter, giving myself an embolism because I'm trying so fucking hard to not explode in laughter.

So now I'm back at my office with eight pictures of my feet, shaking with delight as I write this. Though they are part of my own body, I have to admit that they are very, very disturbing. And no - please don't email me asking for copies. That's just gross.

What a great Friday.

[Going up to Boston this weekend to come one giant step closer to fulfilling my destiny: killing myself with alcohol and dairy products. I'll be back on Tuesday. Enjoy your weekend.]

 
Marriage
A good friend of mine from school recently slept with a married guy. This is fairly shocking in itself, but even more so because this girl is a saint - rarely hooks up, never does wild and crazy things - the perfect girl to bring home to mom - until this. Well, she could still be the perfect girl to bring home to mom, if your mom likes girls who bang married guys. My mom doesn't really.

And we have been giving it to her over this, because she's felt really guilty about it. Last night, we were out having a drink and breaking her stones pretty darn hard. My friends and I decided then that it would be wise for us to all go out and get wedding rings to wear to bars, because what we're doing now just ain't working. I mean, it can't hurt, right? I asked her (the mistress) about this last night, and said, "Now, I don't have a wedding ring, but I do have a class ring. If I put that on do you think I can get maybe a handjob?" She wasn't very amused.

I just hope that when I'm married, girls will still want to sleep with me.

Wait - take out the word "still" from that sentence. Sorry.

Thursday, March 18, 2004
 
St. Patrick's Day in Two Thoughts
1) Last night I met a girl whose attractiveness increased dramatically with each beer consumed, moreso than any other girls' I have ever met. This is kind of hard to describe and may fall into the "you had to be there" category, but I think it's because she had all the "right" elements: cute, blond, blue-eyed, nice lil' body, etc.

But boy - I remember meeting her and thinking, "Eh, cute girl." After I finished that beer, I thought, "You know - she is pretty good looking." This progressed until the end of the night when I was standing by the bar by myself staring at her, thinking, "I have got to marry her. It just has to happen. There can be no other way."

Of course, I didn't talk to her much all night, because I blew it right at the introduction:

My friend Dan: "Susan, this is my friend Jason. Jason, Susan."
Susan: "Hi, I'm Susan. Nice to meet you."
Me: "Yes, you too."
Susan: "So Jason, I have a question for you."
Me: "Gee, I hope it's not 'Have you ever slept with a prostitute?'"

I was under the impression that that is a pretty funny line. Unfortunately, she was not under this impression.

Just when I think I know what women want, something like this happens, and it's back to the drawing board.

2) I was proud of myself last night. Although I had a lot to drink, including three "last" beers, I managed to make it home in one piece, with a good solid buzz, and I'm not too hungover today.

There was one thing I wasn't proud of, though. There was a girl at the bar last night that I had a weird thing with that ended weirdly, and I didn't talk to her all night because - surprise surprise - I am an angry, vengeful drunk. But on the cab ride home, I felt bad about this, because - surprise surprise - I am also a shameful, guilt-ridden drunk. But then my roommate Ben, who believes that through the whole thing this girl done me wrong, said the wisest thing I think he's ever said: "Jay, fuck that. You shouldn't feel guilty about not talking to her. Honestly, do you think she's sitting at home right now thinking, 'I wonder why Jason didn't talk to me tonight?' Of course not."

Very true.

So we turned the cab around and egged her apartment.

Happy Fucking St. Patrick's Day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004
 
St. Patty's Day - Southie Style
I think that this St. Patrick’s Day will be rather quiet for me, because a) it’s on a Wednesday and I have a meeting tomorrow that I really, really shouldn’t be hungover for, and b) I’m going to be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Boston this weekend.

My friends Dave, Mark and Bill (previously mentioned, of “Average Joe 2” fame) live in South Boston, and every year they have a huge party to celebrate the parade that goes through the neighborhood on Sunday. I’ve been to their place the past two years for St. Patrick’s Day, but I’ve never actually seen the parade, because it’s outside and the beer is inside, and well, you know.

Still, it’s developed into quite a tradition. Bill, Dave and I, three guys who most probably wouldn’t describe as “petite” or even “just a little overweight”, start the day by making a traditional Irish breakfast for everyone. Not long after that, we each drink about ninety beers, and I try to make out with all the girls I went to college with, who, shockingly, reject me, just as they did in college. Then I start telling them about how much money I make now, and show them a copy of my W-2 form. That’s usually when they walk away, or say something like, “Bill, Jason’s really creeping me out. Can you lure him away with the promise of a sandwich or something?”

I’m trying to think of stories from previous St. Patty’s Days that I’ve spent in Boston, and, honestly, I’m drawing a blank. I got nothing. This probably has something to do with the beers and the whiskey, but I’m not positive. No, no - I am positive it has something to do with the beers and the whiskey.

But for this St. Patrick’s Day, I am going to try to set a goal for myself: I want to smoke an entire pack of cigarettes. For some, this might be no big deal, but I’ve had about twelve cigarettes in my entire life. I only smoke when I’m uncomfortable and drunk, so that means the occasional cigarette at a bar when I’m forced to talk to a girl (this was rare but now never happens because of the smoking ban in NYC), and lots of cigarettes at strip clubs.

So there you have it. In honor of the great St. Patrick (who, I’d like to point out to all my Italian friends, was NOT Italian, but rather a Briton who was born under Roman rule) and my heritage, I am going to get really fucked up, smoke a ton of cigarettes, and generally embarrass myself. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes – once the hangover wears off, that is.

 
two things
1) For women who want to know what guys talk about when they’re hanging out, my roommate Ben and I had this exchange last night while watching “American Idol.”

Ben: “Can you imagine sleeping with an 18-year-old?”
Me: “God, that would be awesome.”
[wishful silence]

Just FYI.

2) [more on St. Patrick's Day later, but just a lil' nugget for now]

About a week and a half ago, I went out and met Brian, who was out with some of his co-workers. There were three of them, Marie, Steph, and Edgar. Marie and Steph were both cute girls who exuded that “I’m from Connecticut and grew up in a very sheltered environment” vibe, whereas Edgar reminded me a lot of myself: a total scumbag, who was secretly trying to bang both Marie and Steph, preferably at the same time.

We started talking about past St. Patty’s Days, and Marie said, “Oh my god, on St. Patrick’s Day two years ago, my girlfriends and I went out and got so drunk, my girlfriend Angela threw up on the subway ride home!”

I fought back the urge to say, “Wow, you girls should really be locked up – that’s so crazy! Someone got drunk and threw up? Holy fucking shit! Call CNN!”

Edgar was not to be out-done. I could see in his face that before Marie even finished his story, he was formulating his own to both top hers and impress both her and Steph. So he said, “That’s nothing. On St. Patrick’s Day last year, my buddies and I went out and we went to a bar and there were two people next to us having sex – right there in the bar!”

I rolled my eyes at this one. You could tell that he was just saying this to impress them, and they were indeed delighted. Being a little drunk and a little surly, I decided to tell my own St. Patty’s Day story: “Oh yeah? Well, check this out. St. Patty’s Day, 1994. I am so fucked up on whiskey and pills I wind up hooking up with my brother! My fucking brother! In front of everyone! And we haven’t spoken since!”

While I expected them to be shocked and disgusted, I didn’t think they’d be that shocked and disgusted. I mean, they really freaked out. Steph got up and headed for the bathroom to escape the uncomfortableness, and then Edgar turned to me and said, in a manner as if offering his condolences, “Not cool bro. Not cool.” Marie just sat there with her mouth open, looking quickly back and forth between Brian and Edgar.

And of course, Brian was cracking up, as I maintained a straight face and said things like, “Yeah – do you believe it? Unbelievable. I couldn’t believe it either.”

The lesson: please don’t try to impress girls in front of me when I am drunk, surly, and lonely. Because I’ll just tell a story about how I made out with my brother, and it will totally bust your groove.


Tuesday, March 16, 2004
 
The Return of Adam
I'm not going to say anything about "Average Joe: Adam Returns" because I think it stinks. And I won't say anything mean about the women on the show like, "You knew you were going to be on TV - couldn't you have gone to the tanning salon? Or maybe did an extra fifteen minutes on the treadmill? Or at least lightened up on the carbs just a little?" because that would be wrong.

But God help everyone if I were ever put on a show where a bunch of women fawned over me like they did over Adam last night. I would hit the booze so hard my family would never speak to me again. And the elimination ceremony? Would we even need one? I'd just stand up there and say, "Alright - let's get this over with so I can get my handjob asap. Chubby 1, Chubby 2, and Chubby 3 - later. Next week, we're getting rid of the ugly bitches. And when the hot girls come from Vegas, well, just try to make the most of your stay here. If you need me, I'll be in my room watching porno, smoking hashish and drinking brandy. I expect to see some of you. And remember – the freakier you are, the longer you stick around. Good evening."

 
high tech dad
My dad called me last night because he had a technology question. He's interested in getting an all-in-one printer/fax machine/copier for his computer.

You should know these three things about my dad:

1) My dad is out of work (he got hurt at work). When he did work, he was a mechanic and longshoreman.
2) My dad has four tattoos.
3) My dad knows how to turn the computer on, but pretty much that's where his computer knowledge ends.

Actually, one time when he first got his computer (when I was in college), I had an IM conversation with him that was and still is the slowest IM conversation ever:

Dad (8:42:41pm): "Hey Jas - how's it going?"
Me (8:42:56pm): "Good - hey, the new computer's up and running."
...
Dad (8:53:11pm): "Yeah. It works pretty good. I like it."
Me (8:53:20pm): "Nice. How is everything else going?"
...
Dad (9:07:25pm): "Pretty good. Megan got her report card. She did good. First honors."
Me (9:07:33pm): "Good for her."
...
Dad (9:21:48pm): "Yeah."
Me (9:22:15 pm): "Well, I'm going to get going. Talk to you later."
...
Dad (10:08:33pm): "Later."

If someone said to me, "Quick, name the person who could least use an all-in-one printer/fax machine/copier", I would without hesitation say "my dad". Though I'm not that familiar with their cultures, I can still say without a shred of doubt that there are Amish people and Congolese villagers that would probably have more of a need for a printer/fax machine/copier than my dad.

So why does he want it? Because it's a gadget and it's on sale.

Dad, if you read this (which you won't), please just send me the $250 that you would spend on this machine. I promise I will put it to good use - $250 worth of pot. Thank you. Your oldest child, Jason.

Monday, March 15, 2004
 
The Weekend in Four Thoughts
1) Something so terrible happened to me on Friday that I’m actually shaking as I type this. The end result of which is that I can no longer eat General Tso’s chicken.

Take a moment to let that sink in, because I think you know how much General Tso means to me.

OK, let me explain.

I decided, when I got home on Friday, to order some General Tso’s for dinner. I had already had an omelet for breakfast and a burrito for lunch, so I went for the trifecta. And even as I ate it, I mentioned to my roommate Ben that it was the worst General Tso’s chicken I had ever had. Of course, this didn’t stop me from eating the whole fucking thing, because, you know, I have that whole "fat" thing going on.

[As an aside, why don’t they make General Tso’s chicken in bite sizes? The worst thing about eating it is actually seeing the chicken, which you can’t avoid because you have to cut down the giant chunks lest you choke on them. And choking on a piece of General Tso’s chicken is really not the way I want to check out. Well, on second thought, if I did die that way, it could be said at my funeral: “He died doing what he loved.”]

And I got sick. Really sick. Over the whole weekend. It wasn’t typical food poisoning, which kicks your ass big time for one day. This kicked my ass a little bit over the whole weekend.

Nevertheless, the damage is done. It will be a long time before I can dine with the General again.

This is worse than my parents’ divorce.


2) On Saturday afternoon, I was at Rosario’s (our local pizza place) with my roommate Brian and my old college roommate Mike, who was in town for the weekend. We were sitting there enjoying a slice (in my case, two slices and a chicken roll) and I noticed someone in line who looked very familiar to me. It took me a minute or two, but it finally came to me: it was one of the Russian guys who run the local liquor store (a store I practically kept open with my exorbitant vodka purchasing and consumption last winter). I told Brian about it, and he said, “Holy shit – look who’s behind him in line.” It was Method Man.

I stared at that line for about five minutes checking people out, and I recognized the liquor store guy before I recognized fucking Method Man. What the fuck is wrong with me?

[Don’t answer that.]


3) Brian was a champion this weekend. Brilliant. On Friday evening, he went to a bar after work, at which I’m guessing he had seven beers, and then to dinner, at which he probably had at least a bottle of wine (again, these are my figures).

And where did he end up? The church in Times Square. This man has no religion and has probably been to church five times in his life, but he gets wasted and for some reason decides to go into a church, even going so far as to speak with the pastor, telling him what a beautiful church he had.

Now usually when I’m wasted I’m not thinking about church, but hey - whatever floats your boat.


4) On Sunday, I was walking around the neighborhood, heading west on Houston Street. I suddenly felt uncontrollably sick. I walked (or rather stumbled) over to the curb, doubled over, and threw up right there in the street.

And I was mortified. It was only a little bit, but everyone stopped and stared at me, and I felt really stupid and didn’t know what to do, so I yelled “Yes!” and did a fist pump. Then I calmly walked into a store near by, and got a bottle of water.

I mean, really, what do you do in that situation? I rarely ever throw up, and when I do, it’s usually a spectacle (sobbing, shaking, asking for my mom). I think I handled myself pretty well, and I felt a lot better after I got it out of my system. Still, that’s a first. Never thrown up on a busy New York street before. I'll just be sure to check that off my "To Do" list.

Friday, March 12, 2004
 
mailbag
Because I've been doing this for about a month, and more so because I'm rapidly starting to run out of things to talk about, I figured it was time to reply to some of the emails that you all have sent me.

Like I said, some have been nice.

Others have not.

Those emails that are not nice usually take umbrage with my position or thoughts on an issue. For example, when I wrote that I liked lip gloss (on women, not on me - see 3/8), MS (all initials are completely made up), a woman, wrote, "Please tell me that that is a joke. It makes women look like they have spent a little too long at the fried chicken trough." You know, I've never thought about this, and I have to admit - I'm even more turned on. For my money, there's nothing sexier than a woman with a big-ass bucket of KFC in her lap, gnawing away like a fucking caveman, sitting in a lawn chair in a parking lot, wearing only a pair of jeans and white ankle socks. Now THAT is fucking sexy my friends. As a matter of fact, I'll be right back.

................................................

Ok anywho, so another writer, TR, wrote about my "Average Joe" (3/2) bit:

"I'm pissed that you seemed to talk shit about Larissa. She was very hot, and very sensitive to all of those loser's [sic] feelings. Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against average men - but when you have guys talking about how they are in love with you after hanging out with you for about 15 minutes - that is freaky. How about Tony, who just wouldn't let up about the 'painting', and Brian telling her that he loved her??!! You think he would have realized that after all those kisses (pity kisses), he never even got the tounge [sic] once."

These are all valid points, TR. My three thoughts:

1) So you're saying it's not a good thing to tell a woman that you love her after meeting her for fifteen minutes? Because if that's the case, I missed the boat entirely on that one.

2) I love how you equate getting tongue ("the tongue", no less) with love, or at least genuine affection. That's very romantic of you.

3) The problem with the whole response is that once, a long time ago, when TR was very, very drunk and very, very desperate - she made out with me. So, obviously, something is seriously wrong with her, and anything she says/writes/does must immediately be dismissed as the ramblings of a crazy person. However, if she would like to make out again, I'd like to point out that I have lost some weight since and I'm making a lot more money nowadays. However, I am still incapable of any emotions (save for lust and hunger) and I remain "unschooled in the ways of the woman", which at this point, I don't think will ever change. But anyway, if interested, my email address is in the box on the upper right of the page. I look forward to hearing from you.

And finally, what the fuck? I make one comment about beating off in the shower (3/10), and all of a sudden it's like I'm sleeping over Osama bin Laden's place every other Saturday night or selling crank at my local Catholic elementary school. Good LORD - call your dogs off already! If I had known it would have drawn such ire ("Gross dude. Gross" and "Way too far" and even, from a particularly Puritanical reader, "The most disgusting thing I've ever read", etc), I wouldn't have written it. Maybe I'll start writing about my "Top Five Favorite Disney Films" or how much I love cotton candy. Jesus Christ.

Anyway, have a good weekend, and do something stupid.

 
[hand motion] "You're fired"
[trying to explain this without actually doing it is never going to work]

I don't really watch "The Apprentice" too much, because really driven people scare me. And I don't mean that I'm intimidated, I just don't know why anyone would care so much about something like "success." What happened to these people in their childhood, you know? Many people view being this driven as a sign of "having a good head on your shoulders", whereas all I can think about is, "What the hell was their house like growing up, especially around report card time?" Good lord.

But, by far the best thing about the show is the hand motion that Trump does when he says, "You're fired." He actually didn't do this last night, which was a let down.

Nevertheless, my friends and I have been rocking the hand thing since the show started, in every possible way. It can be used in a variety of situations:

- asking for something ("Ben [hand thing], grab me a beer");
- making fun of someone ("You know what? [hand thing] You're fat."); or
- at work ("Mike, [hand motion] I'll take care of it.")

That's all I've got for now. Later on I'll be responding to some of the emails I've gotten from you. Some have been nice. Others, not so much.

Thursday, March 11, 2004
 
Stevie
The song "As" by Stevie Wonder may be the greatest song of all-time. The first time I heard this song I was at, um, an a capella show.

Now, before you pass judgement - let me explain: an ex-girlfriend of mine was in an a capella group in college, and as a good boyfriend, I went to see her perform. This is really an entirely different post, because I need a lot of space to describe the torment I felt over seeing her not only singing a capella songs, which in itself is just really...uncomfortable, but also watching her performing the percussion parts in these a capella songs. Talk about a deal breaker. No man should have to watch his girlfriend doing a much cornier version of the beat-box. How are you supposed to feel the same about someone after you've watched them make those stupid beat-box noises to the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams"? Or after going on vacation with them and listening to the group's tapes every single time you drove around in the car? I swear to god - about twelve minutes in, I was seriously considering just driving the fucking car into a telephone poll just to make that music stop (it was a rental anyway, and if I angled it the right way, I could have probably minimized any serious injury). I should stop - I'm getting chills (not the good ones) just thinking about it.

But anyway, but this other a capella group from Stanford performed at this show I was at and did "As" and it was unreal (yeah, I know, I know - I'm gay because I liked it. While we're at it, I love George Michael and Abba. So fuck y'all.). I thought to myself, "I've got to hear the original of that song, but it's going to be hard to top that version."

But I was wrong. If you haven't heard this song, please listen to it. Remember while you listen to it that some blind dude wrote it. Think about it: he can't see shit! Nothing! And he wrote this incredible song (and a bunch of others too)! There are mornings when I am so hungover that I need my roommates to help me tie my shoes or wash my hair, and this guy who doesn't know a $100 bill from a $1 bill is one of the greatest musicians of all-time. Makes you think, doesn't it?

[Well, not really. I just sort of said that.]

 
Ya tana Russki ("more Russian")
My family is so happy that I'm taking Russian (notice that I used the word taking, as in "paying for and attending the class", as opposed to learning, as in "getting a fucking return on the goddamn $600 I spent on the stupid class"). And, as I mentioned previously, I really, really suck at it, but I don't have the heart to tell them that. Last night I was on the phone with my mom after my Russian class and it came up, and she asked me how to say, "How are you?" in Russian. Of course, I don't know how to say this in Russian, since I spend the entire class sweating and scribbling in my notebook, trying to look busy so that the teacher will not call on me.

But rather than tell her that, I just made up some gibberish: "Um, that's sprasheemaya hatoi." I was hoping that it would end there, but she was delighted, and asked, "Well, how do you say 'Good morning'"? Again, no idea, so again: "That's dashalichtna."

She relented finally, but then my little sister got on the phone and really started quizzing me, asking me lots and lots of pointless phrases. So , fyi, if anyone talks to my sister (though I don't know why you would, you bastards), Ya atduchal veemoi is "I love you", Ya vyesnoi vcyhera magda is "I don't like to go to school", Nalaga chyetal means "shut up", and Oochmyer is "shit."

Thank you for your cooperation in this. I owe you one.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
 
three mo' things
1) I have GOT to stop masturbating in the shower when I have my contacts in. Without them, I can at least believe that it goes right down the drain, because I can't see. But you know what? It doesn't. Sometimes it sticks to the floor of the tub, and I feel guilty and when I get out of the shower my roommate Ben says, "Why are you pouring bleach all over the tub?" and I, ashamed, yell, "JUST GO BACK IN THE LIVING ROOM!" Next time, I'm going to have to hop out of the shower, take out the contacts, them jump back in. Because, seriously, it has to stop.

[I'm sorry - was that too gross? My bad.]

2) The most meaningless compliment I say about a woman: "I'd make out/have sex with her." This means nothing. Absolutely nothing. You know who I wouldn't make out or have sex with? Neither do I.

3) I spotted a friend while I was out at brunch this weekend with my two friends, Nicole and Kara. He didn't come over to say hello, he says, because he didn't recognize me. Do you know why he didn't recognize me? Because I was with two girls. He probably thought to himself, "Well, that guy looks a lot like Jason, but it can't be him. He's with two girls, and they are pretty OK-looking, and they don't appear to be walking with any sort of limp and they're not really, really cross-eyed, so that can't be Jason. No way."

Tuesday, March 09, 2004
 
"I'm your Huckleberry"
My roommate Brian told me this story when he got home last night:

"I got out of work early, and was walking around and I figured, 'Hey, maybe I'll go to Blockbuster and get a movie to watch tonight.' So I head on over to Blockbuster, pick up 'Lost in Translation' and take it up to the counter to check it out. After I give the woman my card, she looks at me funny and says, 'There appears to be some late fees on your account.' I say, 'That's fine' - even though I haven't rented from Blockbuster in forever, I mean, how much could it be - $5? 10? Wrong - $48. Forty-eight fucking dollars. I nearly shit myself. Turns out it was from a couple of movies I rented last year. Can't that cap that shit or something? I mean, $48 for late fees? It's not like I missed an alimony payment or child support or anything. I rented a fucking movie for $48. I could probably make my own movie for $48."

The funny thing is that Brian was too disgusted to watch "Lost in Translation" so we wound up watching "Tombstone", easily one of the greatest movies of all-time. Thus today I've spent most of the day trying to get Doc Holliday lines (complete with Southern drawl) in in my interactions with my co-workers. For example:

Mike: "Geez, Barker's really been busting my balls about getting him the first draft of that telecom pitch."
Me: "He's no daisy. He's no daisy at all."
Janice: "What does that mean?"
Me: "It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds."
Mike: "Why are you talking like that?"
Me: "I'm your huckleberry."
Janice: "What's a 'huckleberry?'"
Mike: "Uh, let's go Janice."
Janice: "And there's no smoking in the building."
Me: "That's a hell of a thing for you to say to me."

The things we do to pass the work day...good lord.

Monday, March 08, 2004
 
clubbin'
I went to Trust and Nocturne on Saturday night. For those of you not "in the know", they are two hip clubs here in NYC.

And of course, I was completely freaked out. As I mentioned, I rarely, rarely go to clubs. I've been to about five or six clubs since 2000, and three have been in the past two weeks.

I went because it was my friend's birthday, and I figured, "Hey - I wouldn't do this normally, so what the fuck?" Of course, I didn't realize the financial implications of such a decision at the time, as I had been drinking (rather expensive) wine, courtesy of my friend's parents, for about four hours. Trust wasn't too bad, probably because we were only there from about 10pm to 1am. But Nocturne - wow. Go-go dancers, live musicians walking around playing along to the clubby music, a weird gothic vibe - I would have hidden in the bathroom the entire time if it hadn't been for the overly friendly attendant and the fact that it's covered in mirrors, so you can see your bird from nine-hundred different angles. I figured that I would have one drink and gracefully make my exit, but I didn't have any cash on me (having spent it all at Trust) so I planned to put my card on the bar. When I gave it to the bartender after she handed me my beer, she said, "$50 minimum on cards." I thought, "Do you want me to come behind the bar so you can punch me in the stomach, or will you hop over it? If you could hop over it, that'd probably work better for me - I'm buzzing pretty hard and I don't think I should be behind a bar right now, what with all that free booze and glassware and cash and all."

You can guess how the story ends: $140 and three hours later, I'm in a cab, alone, going to Rosario's.

The only saving grace (if you can call it that) is that the next day my roommate, who's a "producer" for a "television show" (kinda like I'm a "writer" and "musician"), called me to tell me that Jay-Z and Damon Dash (whoever that is) were at Nocturne that night. So I can say things like, "I was at a club with Jay-Z" and be telling the truth.

[Not that I have anything against lying. I lie all the time. Constantly. Especially in relationships. Lies like, "No I didn't cheat on you - I would never cheat on you" or "I've never done any hard drugs" or "I think anal sex is gross too" or "Of course, I've never paid for sex - that's both immoral and illegal" or, well, you get it.]

 
three things
1) You know what’s fun to do? Have you ever been at a birthday party or dinner or whatever and someone asks you to take a group picture? Next time you do this, take an especially long time after counting “1…2…3” and before snapping the picture. It’s amazing to watch people’s faces contorted in a smile, hoping that they look their best, and it gets very, very painful if you add just a few extra seconds. Also, it’s the only time when you can be truly psychic, because you know exactly what everyone is thinking: “Just take the fucking picture already.” Trust me - do this and you'll get a kick out of it.

2) I can not stress enough how amazing lip gloss on women is. I honestly believe that it can make any girl at least a little more attractive, and I don't mean that in the "short skirt/high boots" kind of way. See, a year or two ago all women started wearing short skirts with high boots because they thought it automatically made them attractive, even if they were large or ugly. Unfortunately, for those large or ugly women, it didn't make them look hot, but only like beat girls/fat chicks who happen to be wearing short skirts with high boots. But lip gloss - geez. I mean, I don't even know what to say.

3) I saw "Starsky & Hutch" this weekend, and I have to admit that in retrospect, I was a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it was a good time, but almost every funny moment of the movie has already been shown in the previews and commercials. But it did reinforce something I already knew: Will Ferrell is a genius. Everything he does is gold. I already have his "SNL's Best of", and I can't wait until his "Best of 2" comes out. I saw it on SNL ("Best of 2") with my roommate Brian one Saturday night in the fall while we were taking drugs and drinking vodka (during our usual "it's Saturday, so let's starting drinking at 4pm so that we'll be nice and drunk by the time we meet everyone out at 1am and Brian can not remember anything after 10pm and I can embarrass myself by trying to make out with one of my friends) and there was one scene at the end that made me laugh harder than I probably ever had - he's this TV karate instructor and he punches this wooden board to break it, but instead he hurts his hand badly and spends the next four minutes jumping around and screaming "Sweet bastard!" and "What kind of wood is that?" and "I definitely just shattered my hand!" Just fucking brilliant.

Friday, March 05, 2004
 
astrology in medicine
I just got back from the doctor and I was sitting there filling out the insurance form when I noticed that next to the space for "Date of Birth" it had a space for "Sign" - as in astrological sign. I went over to ask the receptionist about this and she was like, "Yeah, um, you can just ignore that."

Sign? Fucking sign? Are you kidding me? How can I have faith in the medical knowledge of a doctor who considers my astrological sign "important patient information"? "Well, Jason, I was going to give you these antibiotics to take three times a day, but I see that you are a Cancer and I know that Saturn is being ruled by the moon right now, so instead I want you to take these leetches and apply them to your forehead, armpits, and groin twice a day for an hour over the next five days. Also, you will be reunited with a long-lost love on Tuesday and your lucky numbers are 8, 26, and 943."

I think it's safe to say that whatever STD I have will probably be getting worse over the next couple of days.

 
check out
http://www.rathergood.com/moon_song/

Wow.

Props to KG for sending this to me.

Thursday, March 04, 2004
 
London, Part Two
Let's get right to it.

Saturday

The alcohol was beginning to take its toll on us by Saturday. I'm not as young as I used to be, and I could feel my body thinking, "Dude, are you trying to kill yourself or what? If so, let's head to the KFC - I wanna get me some of that popcorn chicken." Saturday was more lame touristy stuff, but we started drinking in the middle of the afternoon. Again, we went to a club, which was pretty cool. The one thing this Saturday night in the UK had in common with every Saturday night in the States is that I made my weekly major mistake: I threw my card up on the bar. I felt a little bad for my brother and his friends, being all poor and all, so I bought them drinks (that sentence could also be translated as, "I really wanted to look good in front of my brother's attractive twenty-year old female friends, so I bought drinks for all of them, hoping that at least one of them would say at the end of the night, 'Hey, thanks a lot for those drinks. Would you prefer hand or mouth?'")

It gets a little blurry at this point, but I know that we left the club and went to a karaoke place. We were led there by three lovely Dutch girls who were studying in London: Marlon, Tricia, and Christina. One for me, one for Jimmy, one for David.

A word about karaoke: I love it, and I don't give a fuck. There's nothing better than getting super fucked up, and making an ass of yourself in front of a bunch of people. And I swear to god, chicks dig guys who have the a) balls and b) sense of humor to do karaoke. Of course, I shouldn't be giving advice on how to "get" chicks, since it's been so long that sometimes a whiff of a woman's perfume will give me a mild seizure, but I'm telling you - karaoke is gold.

I say this because Saturday night was undoubtedly the greatest karaoke performance of my life, and it led to some good old fashioned making out. The Darkness song "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" is HUGE right now in the UK. God didn't bless me with many things: good looks, self-respect, moderate- or even a little less than moderate-sized genitalia, etc - but he did give me a beautiful signing voice.

And I fucking killed this song (in a good way). The only thing I didn't realize was the long guitar breaks. When the first one came, I dropped down and started doing push-ups (girl ones, of course), because I didn't know what to do. I didn't realize there were like four different guitar breaks, so by the last one I would drop down and just sort of lie there shaking.

And the Dutch girls were very impressed, especially Marlon. I don't want to go into too much detail lest I make anyone nauseous, but I had to make out with Marlon in the fucking bathroom of our hotel room because my "friends" refused to give me an hour in the room (I could've done with about thirty-eight seconds). Nevertheless, that was the eighth time I've had a sex act performed on me by a Dutch girl, but the first time I didn't have to pay anything. And of the previous seven times, I actually had to pay double for six of them because, well, I'm pretty fucking gross.

And Marlon, if you are reading this, come to the US. I promise that I can give you a good life, and I will sing whatever karaoke songs you want and buy you vodka tonics with only the finest, most expensive vodka in the world in them. Then we can get high.

Sunday

I think the best part of Sunday was looking over my bar tab (which, by the way, was an astounding £220 or $405 - ouch). They detail the time and type of every drink ordered, and there was some shit on there that I've never heard of. What the hell is cointreau? Or raspberry chambord? I didn't drink these. At least, I don't think I drink these.

On our last night, it was balls to the wall, so we did the only logical thing: we went to a gay club. Well, it wasn't officially gay, but we figured that about 66% of the entire club was gay men, and maybe 85% of all guys at the club were gay. We went here because, well, wouldn't you know - it's hard to find a place to drink in London after 12:30am on a Sunday night.

The bartender was beautiful and Spanish. I noticed David and Jimmy trying to speak Spanish to her, so I butted in to to brush them off and said, "They don't speak Spanish" and she laughed. Then she said something to me in Spanish, and I said, "Totally." She said something else, and I replied, "I know." This went on for a good while. She was probably saying:

Bartender: [in Spanish] "Wow, you are a chubby boy."
Me: [in English] "Yes, yes."
Bartender: [in Spanish] "Well, I'm going to go charge the shit out of your credit card for pretending to speak Spanish."
Me: [in English] "I completely agree."

We sat down to get waitress service. After a while, Jimmy, who was super-wasted at this point, turned to me and said:

Jimmy: "Dude, I think that one girl wants you."
Me: "Which one?"
Jimmy: "She obviously wants to fuck you."
Me: "Jim, which one?"
Jimmy: "The one that keeps coming over."
Me: "Dude, that's the fucking waitress."

And then the drama happened. Some sketchy dudes started talking to my brother's girl friends, and the girls wanted no part of them. I pretended to be the intimidating boyfriend, so much so that one of them came over to me and said, "Is it ok if we gets these girls to come and dance with us?" and I shook my head no. He said, "Sorry mate" and backed away.

But later, the same dude came around again and started dancing behind one of the girls. I got really pissed off and grabbed him, shoved him, and grabbed him again, and told him I would break his [expletive] jaw if I saw him again. Of course, this turned into a big hurrah, with people coming over, blah blah blah. But nothing happened and I didn't see him again.

I can't stress how uncharacteristic of me, and I told the girls this myself.

Me: "You don't understand, in real life, I'm such a pussy - and I don't like to use that word outside of the bedroom."
Girls: [after taking a second to get the "outside of the bedroom" joke, now disgusted and uncomfortable] "Um, ok."

Then it got really weird, and this is going to be a terrible explanation because I don't remember much. Some random guy slapped a random girl at the bar, so we jumped in, along with the bouncers, to break up their little quarrel. Then, the dude that slapped the girl was allowed back in the bar, and he came after David. They were tangled for a little bit, but then the bouncers came and took them outside. David was allowed back in the bar and we were allowed to stay, but at the time, having spent about $300 and having almost gotten in two fights, we decided to head home - we had to wake up for our flights in three hours.

Aftermath

I've learned many things from this trip, like...well, no, I haven't really learned anything. London is a beautiful city, which is even more beautiful when seen through the bleary-eyes of someone who has spent most of his time there drinking and eating Burger King. All in all, I think everyone had a good time. Jimmy called me at work yesterday, ecstatic at having gotten the pictures back, saying, "Jay, these pictures are unbelievable! There are so many in here I don't remember taking! Do you remember David playing bongos with a bunch of Jamaican guys?" I can't wait to get a look at those....

Wednesday, March 03, 2004
 
London, Part One
You know those mornings when you wake up after a night of partying super hard, and you're hungover as a mother fucker, and you feel like your brain is bleeding? And you look around, and you have no idea how left the bar, got home, and got into your bed? Or why you're wearing a Hawaiian shirt (which you don't own), argyle socks, and no pants? Or why you find in your bed an earring, a fake nail, and a band aid? Or why you have eleven missed calls from your friends from between the hours of 3am and 5am?

That's kinda how I felt when I got on the plane to head back to the States Monday. Sure, maybe it's because it was the first time I had stopped drinking since Thursday afternoon, when I showed up at the hotel with a six-pack of Carling. And sure, it could be because I took a Xanax and an Ambien before I got on the plane, but you know what? I'm not a doctor, so I'm really not qualified to make that call.

The easiest way to talk about this trip is to divide it into two parts: Thursday & Friday today, and Saturday & Sunday tomorrow. I would have done it all in one shot, but there's that whole "work" thing that I have to take care. Dudes keep asking me for shit like "summaries" and "drafts" and I'm like, "Yeah, I'm working on it now," but they never believe me ever since that time three weeks ago they found me under my desk smoking a cigarette with my shirt off. A man's gotta relax sometimes. Fucking narcs.

Thursday

Some background is needed first. I went to London with David and Jimmy, my two friends from Philly. They flew out of Philly, while I flew out of NYC. My brother Dennis was other there as well, in from Seville where he is studying abroad, to visit his college friends, some of whom are studying in London, some of whom came over to London for Spring Break.

When I arrived at the hotel, Jimmy and David were already there. We were all jet-lagged as mother fuckers, especially yours truly, as I spent the whole time wondering if my blood was clotting properly and trying to ward off an embolism. I studied abroad in London, so I'm familiar with the area, while David and Jimmy had never been there before. We decided to head to Piccadilly Circus to grab an early dinner and, unbeknownst to us at the time, about eleven bottles of wine.

There are some women who are so beautiful that they are literally disarming. When they speak to you, it takes a full two or three seconds for you to gain your composure before replying. We meet these women rarely, but on that night we meet one in the form of our waitress at the restaurant.

I've thought about this for a while, and I don't have the words to describe how gorgeous she was, so I won't try. I will say that she was tall, with dark hair and a dark complexion, but with light blue eyes, and a body so sick that when God made it he said to himself, "Nice dude - nice" and high-fived everyone around him and then he went and got high. All this, and an exotic, mad sexy accent to boot.

So David, Jimmy and I got drunk. Stinking, stinking drunk. So drunk that we thought that she was very interested in us, rather than our tips. It was all harmless enough, until this exchange:

David: "I don't mean to bother you, but we can't place that accent and we were wondering, where are you from?"
Waitress: [being super hot] "Brazil."
Me: [very slowly, and way louder and creepier than I should have been] "Oh my god."

That chased her away right quick. The rest is kinda fuzzy, but the end result was that we were asked to leave.

Alright, that was a lie. It's not fuzzy. David, the drunkest of us, cornered her by the bathroom and said she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen in his life and asked if she might be willing to show us around London when she got off work. I thought, and still think, that this is not a big deal, but then again, this is a guy who once told a girl he met over the internet that he loved her and has loved her since the first time they emailed as a last ditch attempt to get in her pants [the best part is that when I told her that, she said, "I know" - how can you know something I just made up in order to get you to sleep with me?]

But apparently, what David did was against restaurant policy or something. Some goon came over and asked us to leave, I broke a wine glass, Jimmy screamed "fuck" or some variation of "fuck" about twenty times, and we were back in Piccadilly Circus. With the jet-lag and the wine ganging up on us (and winning - big time), we decided to call it a night. A pretty tame night, by far the tamest of the four.

Friday

We did touristy stuff on Friday, which I don't need to get into. My friends and I weren't really into that too much, and Jimmy summed it up best when he said while we were touring the Tower of London, "I can think of a better way to spend £13 - a cheeseburger and a lap dance."

My brother arrived Friday evening, and the shit-show began. My brother is a lot like me, only thinner and less sketchy. And his friends are a lot like mine: drunks with bad attitudes who are very uncomfortable talking to women. I'm not sure if because they are impotent like my friends, but I would probably guess they were.

All of us basically bellied up to the bar and put on an old-fashioned clinic. I think after while we even stopped talking to each other so that we could speed up the drinking: seven guys sitting on bar stools, breaking the silence only to say "I'll have another" or "You want another?" or "I gotta piss - fives".

We left the pub and headed to a club. I'm not a club guy usually: the lines for drinks are too long, it's too loud, and most of the people at them are tools. But if the mood hits me, well, fathers - lock up your daughters.

And in this case, it did. There are a few songs that when played at a club make me simply lose it, like "Don't Stop to You Get Enough" or "Billy Jean" by Michael [insert pedophile joke here] Jackson, or that Snoop/Pharell song "Beautiful." And let me tell you, the hits were playing that night. We were all out the dance floor doing it up. I know I thought that I looked pretty f'ing sexy to all the ladies out there, but they probably thought I was just some big gay guy having way too much fun.

My confidence (read: drunkenness) allowed me to tap into my arsenal of lines (which we'll have to have a separate post about). I spotted an Asian girl from across the floor who I thought was checking me out, so I decided to approach her. For some reason, I thought I would impress her with my knowledge of Asian culture and my gift of being able to differentiate between Asian ethnicities, so my killer line was, "You're the most beautiful Japanese girl I've ever seen." She replied, "I'm Korean." I stumbled for a second, regained my composure, and said, "You're the most beautiful Korean girl I've ever seen." She was silent for a second or two, looking at me in disbelief. To fill the silence, I offered, "My aunt is Japanese." She walked away.

Just when I think I finally know what women want, this goes and happens. Back to the drawing board.

After we left the club and were trying to get a cab home, Jimmy broke his thumb. Sorry, he didn't break it, he sprained it. He was outside doing some weird drunk karate kicks in the air, and wound up kicking himself in the thumb. I wish I could explain this better, and I wish even more that I had seen it. He didn't feel anything at the time, but the next morning we took him to a clinic near the hotel, and he sure enough sprained, thus catapulting him to the #1 spot on stupid drunken injuries: spraining your thumb while doing karate kicks in the air. I feel pretty safe that that won't ever happen to me, as when I kick I can't get my foot higher than my knee.

[In tomorrow's exciting conclusion, our protagonist follows up the greatest karaoke performance of all time with some love, and nearly gets in a fist-fight with some local chaps...]

Tuesday, March 02, 2004
 
"Average Joe" - A Farewell
I think I can say for certain that "Average Joe" has changed my life. However, I don't think it has changed me as much as it has changed the lives of three other people: Larissa, Brian, and Fabio.

First, Larissa. Sure, the producers probably have three hundred hours of footage for every one hour show, but she really didn't come off very well. Of course, they left no doubt that she was going to choose Gil (who, by the way, has about as much personality as the last good looking guy and seems to be still in love with his ex). Showing eight minutes of her date with Gil and thirty minutes of her date with Brian pretty much sealed his fate. Brian says, "I've never felt these feelings before" and Larissa cries. Gil says, "I want to be an actor" and Larissa picks him. Here's hoping a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff went on that we didn't see that showed some kind of connection between she and Gil, because otherwise, well, I don't even want to think about it.

Second, Brian. I think he held up pretty well, considering the face he made as he was getting rejected made me think he was not going to go in the bus, but rather under it (and do they really have to make them go on the bus? Talk about getting kicked while you're down. "You just got shot down by a girl you're falling in love with, now get on this fuckin' bus. Oh, did we mention that twenty million people saw it? Get on the fucking bus!"). Poor guy. But the question I kept asking myself all season was, "Don't these people know they're going to be on television?" Gushing on tv about the "box around his heart" (or should I say, "boahx around his heaht") and going on and on about how he's falling in love with her - they told him that they were filming a tv show, right? Good lord - try to save a little face here! The good news is that he's got to turn this into something - the other dude Adam is getting his own show and he's probably gotten a thousand BJ's since the first one ended, which is about a thousand and one more than I've gotten since then (I gave myself a minus one because I actually gave a beej, but I was really fucked up and I really needed a buck for a hot dog - long story).

And last, but not certainly least, Fabio. That was Larissa's surprise? That her ex is Fabio? Right now, twenty million Americas who never would have thought of Fabio until they saw "Zoolander" again are talking about him this morning at the water cooler. If a girl I was with were to tell me that she had dated Fabio, two things would happen: first, there would be lots and lots of laughter. I mean, a lot. Then, there'd be the questions, like, "Who the hell dates Fabio?" and "How the hell did you start dating Fabio?" and "What did you two possibly talk about while you were going out?"

I can understand Gil's reaction a little bit. I would be a little irked because really, what kind of person says to themselves, "Yes, dating Fabio is something that I am interested in and would like to pursue and continue." But I think he was more pissed because he's getting Fabio's sloppy seconds. Listen Gil, I've had some pretty sketchy sloppy seconds, and Fabio's really not that bad. Trust me, it could be a lost worse.

As my final farewell to "Average Joe", I'd like to mention that my friend Bill has actually on the show this season. You may remember him from - wait, you won't remember him at all. I think he could stand next to a billboard of himself with the "Average Joe" contestants on it, wearing an "I Was on Average Joe 2 and All I Got Was This Lousy Fucking Shirt" t-shirt, holding a polaroid of him and Larissa, and people still wouldn't recognize him. Here's to Bill for getting the opportunity of a lifetime (see: Adam Mesh getting his own show) and blowing it. If it's any consolation, I still love you Bill, and you were my favorite one on the show, except for that fat guy from St. Louis who acted as if he had never before seen a girl in person.

[And sorry - no London for today. I know, I know, I stink. You don't have to tell me - my dad does every time he gets drunk, which is pretty much every time the sun goes down. I need a little more perspective before I talk about it. But it was very, very.....interesting.]


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