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Monthly Archives: March 2009

An alum from my school (You’ve read that correctly–only one alum) is a firefighter with the FDNY (although there are other alums spread out through the East who are also firefighters). I talked with him for about 50 minutes back on Sunday. Well, probably about that time because between calls he had to put out a fire. Awesome.

Favorite Quotes:

“No, it doesn’t hurt to be smart and be a fireman.”

“Without studying I’ve come pretty close. If I really wanted to become a Leiutenant, I’d probably have to give up my other job and actually study. In reality, I’m just too lazy.”

“You can ask any question you want. It’s not a big deal. I got 100 on my written and my physical test. I didn’t get the call for a long time because they just started that residency thing. So I had to wait 6 years while people who got 100s on their physical tests and 105s on their written tests got the call.”

“You can find a bunch of firefighters who used to be cops, but you’d be pretty hardpressed to find any cops who used to be firefighters.”

“Well, while I was waiting for the call, I was working in admissions at a college so classes were free. That’s how I got my M.B.A.”

“The test for EMTs is a promotional exam. You just have to pass it and you can get into the academy.”

“Sure the pay isn’t that great, but I love my job unconditionally. Not many of my friends can say that.”

“I’m 5’9″, too. Most of the guys on my engine are about my height. It’s not really an issue.”

“Oh yeah, I bring my work to work. That way on my days off I can spend it with my wife and kids.”

“They give you multiple calendars with your schedule for the entire year on it. I go in whenever my group is scheduled and I work with my other job so I can come in when they need me.”

“The Fire Department is completely democratic about vacations. Every nine years you rotate your vacation time. So if I have two weeks in May and March this year, next year it’ll rotate to say, June and August. I’ve been on the job for ten years so I’ve earned six weeks vacation now.”

“Sure, we have the proper training and equipment and everything, but it always gets to that point where you just have to hope God will protect you. Every day I’m not sure I’ll be coming home.”

“We have assigned seats because of 9/11. Sometimes they couldn’t identify bodies or even equipment so if you’re not in your seat they can hopefully figure out who’s missing.”

“I always tell people to just take the test. You don’t have to commit until you put your right hand on that bible.”

“Hey, listen, whenever you’re done with the test, call me, we’ll get together or something.”

So, in summary, the guy’s a total badass. If I heard him right, his wife just raises the kids. Thus saving lives and literature could be feasible, particularly considering how most freelancers don’t get healthcare.  I could edit between fires/accidents/elevator jams/etc. and still be able to afford checkups and all my stupid allergy meds. Just gotta keep running and get out of retail. And more into Rescue Me I guess. Episodes 1 and 3 of Season 1 were pretty awesome. We’ll see how the rest of it goes.


“Dis Dat Brooklyn Bullshit.”

I mean, this lady was being an utter asshole but this sentence (although it’s technically not a sentence because it doesn’t have a verb) pretty much made my day. She was at the end of the line at Victoria’s Secret and she was pissed that there weren’t two lines. So the managers finally split up the lines after she yelled other ignorant things I don’t really want to type and she was still at the end. She asserted that she wasn’t an idiot and that not splitting up the lines the kind of Male Bovine Feces indicated above. I guess she’s not an idiot but she’s definitely an inconsiderate dickhead. That’s right; I called her an Asshole Dickhead.

Anyway, I absolutely love what she’s done with that sentence. She’s got alliteration with the first two words and then with the last two too. She’s even gotten in some assonance with the first word and the last. With the implied verb, “is,” she has assonance with three words and plain old rhyming with the first two words (“This [is]”). Somehow I kind of expect this to show up in poetry since this is something that authors who love to write about real life could sneak in and could actually get away with. It’s something that people obviously really say and yet it has all the word play of rap, spoken word, and some modern poetry. That lady may have been a multitude of body parts but what she said was absolutely awesome.

…was fucking hilarious at Assscat last night. Lutz was like the silent-set-up guy in a bunch of the sketches (Jon Lutz is a writer for SNL and a plays “Lutz” on 30 Rock. How awesome is that? I would die happy if I got to play me on a comedy show with as many Emmys as 30 Rock. Or just on be on 30 Rock, I guess). I get the impression that it’s much easier to be hilarious when you’re working with a bunch of really funny people saying really funny things instead of sitting around and crafting a situation that can make the host look funny. What I mean is, I really think SNL should go back to the good old days where the show was improvised and the people who hosted were hilarious instead of visiting in order to promote the movie they’re in next week.

I mean, seriously. Moynihan provided at least three running jokes throughout the entire show. I cried after one his punchlines and continued to laugh at markedly un-funny things in the next sketch when I thought about the punchline again. And yet, when he’s on SNL, he gets to be the supporting actor and say two to three lines–most of which aren’t the funniest lines that have been written. After last night it’s become clear it’s not him and it’s not Lutz. It can’t be anything but the medium.

SNL has the potential to be, according to my calculations, at least 5 times funnier if they would just take it old school but get a censor and broadcast it with a seven second delay because these people are absolutely filthy. But in a good way.

The saddest thing about coming to understand all this is that I know it won’t happen. SNL needs their hosts to be highly recognizable actors to ring in adoring fans and the entertainment industry wants big names on the show because they know it’s “free” advertising. It’s a vicious cycle where we keep tuning in even though we know we’re really only getting mediocre comedy. Perhaps we compromise because we know the host or hostess won’t be totally repellant–they have to have some sort of talent to get there, right? Right?–and that it beats crying yourself to sleep on a Saturday. Or we’re just there for the bands. (Shout out to my boys who rule the lands of Leon. Also, cheer up and cut your hair, Louis Vuitton Don of Emo.)

Oh, Adulthood. You smell of compromise and kind-of-giggle-worthy jokes.

Last Friday the 13th might have been the only Friday the 13th that I didn’t spend in fear or mostly indoors. My friend was in town and that day we went to the American Museum of Natural History, walked through Central Park and stopped at the Belvedere Castle and visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the later place, we spent roughly four hours on four exhibits. That place is definitely way too big. After that we went down the the Crocodile Lounge, had beers and pizzas and then went around the corner to see Watchmen. That was like a 14 hour day, most of which was spent on foot or the subway. And somehow I managed not to trip or get immensely delayed. In fact, I genuiniely had an awesome time. The next day seemed oddly inactive in comparsion with a 4 plus hour visit to MoMA, a walking tour around St. Patrick’s Cathedral and dinner and beers with a friend from high school.

Then I went to work. Not worth the story–blah, blah, panties, blah, inventory, bras, blah, blah. The usual.

Then I finally got to see NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I think I want to learn to play bagpipes. Also, I was a little sad that the cops on top of the Met wouldn’t wave back to everyone, but the rest of the day definitely made up for it.

We went to a bar where a bunch of firefighters from Queens were extremely drunk and, well, taller than everyone else in sight. There was one firefighter who was my height but his chest was probably twice the size of the tallest guy there. Also, they were all kind of meatheads–they would barely talk to me but they loved my roommate’s girlfriend. I think it’s because she kept stealing their hats and because I wanted to know how they studied and prepared for the written and physical tests. While they were trying to get drunk and hit on girls. The advice for the physical test was definitely highly metaphysical and ran the gamut from “run” and “run up stairs.” They also told me that I should just go by my local fire department and ask for a tour.

The guys at my local fire department who are roughly my height could not be any more top-heavy. I mean, on a scale of one to Manly Men, all of these guys were probably Elevens. It probably makes sense that about half of them used to be cops, too. The Chief was probably 6’6″ and had a handlebar moustache the size of my hand. Just about everyone’s advice was “take the test” as if that had been the secret to getting the job instead of the requirement. The only person who revealed his test scores told me he got a 98 on the written and a 100 on the physical. He also thinks he waited around 2.5 years before he got into the fire academy because of those two missing points.

Of course, out of the men I polled, there was a 1000% job satisfaction rating. So now I have a pull-up bar and I started running again. Hopefully I can keep both up. Also, it looks like, since only like 5% of the job is actually putting out fires, that it’d be in my best interest to become and EMT, but maybe not for another year or so because I don’t really want to do that for the rest of my life. EMT work is really only a means to an end.

And then in my free time I guess I could edit the shit out of manuscripts and stuff. Saving lives and liturature for the rest of my life? Awesome.

Thank goodness I tried on the pair of khaki pants I did not buy at Old Navy. They almost tricked me into dressing like an old man. Nice try, Old Navy, but I’m not 80 yet. Get the fuck outta here with your pleats.

I want to chronologize some stuff that I don’t remember for two reasons: 1) I did some funny shit and 2) I’m kind of hoping writing this will scare me out of drinking tequila ever again. Hey Mom–you can’t read this.

For the following paragraph, it should be understood that the word “Apparently” could easily start each and every sentence as this is all speculation as well as my report of my roommate’s report of my actions. Let me set the stage a little: before we left my apartment, I was about 3/4 of the way through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (that’s year 7 for all you muggles). My roommate and I then went to  a birthday party for two of my friends. The party started out with me, my roommate and eight girls. As the night wore on, perhaps mostly just around 10PM, something like 20 dudes showed up. Also, I remember a friend of the hostess asking if the other birthday girl could use my tequila for a birthday shot, I said, “Yes” and I opened my eyes on the F train next to what appeared to be a she-male in Brooklyn. The party was on 86th Street in Manhattan. Finally, on a scale of one to White, I’m definitely a 10.

I know it’s still not OK if everyone else is white too, but I started announcing that there were “too many [n-word]s, not enough hos.” My roommate of course alerted me that it was not okay to use the n-word but I assured him that it was okay for me since many of my black co-workers had dubbed me “an honorary [n-word].” Later, the hostess told me that it was every girl’s dream to meet her husband in the grocery store while she’s not wearing any makeup. This set me off and I lectured her on the importance of being a gentleman to such an extent that my roommate decided it was time to leave. I collected my miniature liquor cabinet that I had brought with me so I could fix myself my own personal Confundo Charm/Obliviate! Spell and was led out of the apartment where I met up with my mortal enemy, the stairs. I somersaulted down the first set and allowed the bottles to scatter. My roommate took over the bottle-carrying department while I, using the best of my decision-making skills, refused help on the next set and used an imaginary sled instead. It was colder than Voldemort’s heart that night and I fumbled while putting on one of my gloves. I already had the other on, dropped the second and, when asked if we should go back and pick it up, I refused and insisted that it was “too late.” I then admitted that I thought my roommate’s girlfriend was awesome and that I wish I could play Scrabble with her all the time (English is her second language and she’s…well, better at it than I am). I met up again with that asshole, stairs, and continued to lose battles to him and then made enemies with a new challenger, floor. I fell down while standing in place on multiple occasions while waiting for the subway train. Meanwhile, I decided that my roommate was Ronald Weasley and that our lives were in mortal danger if we got onto the train. I declared everyone besides the two of us “Muggles” and “Mudbloods” and screamed in fear while pointing at all of them. When the train finally came, Ronald dragged me on but I slipped off at the last second while he, metaphorically, shat a brick. I saluted him and set of on important adventures amongst the muggles.

Now let me try to walk you through my thoughts when I regained consciousness. Oh, that’s nice, that’s the city outside the subway windows. How did I get here? I remember a birthday shot…well, this looks like the three so I’m probably on my way back home. What stop is this? 15th? What the hell is this? What train is this? This is the F? When the fuck have I ever ridden the F and why does this lady next to me have a moustache? Did she and I…no, that’s not possible…I don’t want to get up to check the map and figure this out. Then people would know I have no idea what’s going on. I’m just going to get off here. I’m where? 7th Ave? Oh, god, how’d it get so fucking cold? It’s 4AM? This map says I’m…on the wrong side of Prospect Park. I’m not waiting for the train for an hour. I’m going upstairs…Holy shit I know where I am. That’s my friend’s house and that’s the bar where my friends say a bunch of firemen hang out. Where the fuck are my gloves? Well, I have my iPod…no, now’s not the time for that song. Alright, cool. I just want to be in my bed. I don’t see any cabs…I don’t know any cab numbers…I’m not getting back on the subway… And I started running. I’m not cold now…no, I need a better song than this…how the fuck did this happen? And halfway through, why the fuck didn’t I ask my friends for help? Oh shit–should I go back? No, I’m already halfway there and this song’s kinda my jam right now. Let’s do this. I finally made it back and sat down on the doorstep. Oh fuck, I can’t ever do that again. I think I need to eat more or something. Definitely pass on the tequila, too. I can’t keep sitting here, I’m getting cold again. Well, at least I didn’t throw up. Nope, there it is. Sorry, dead plants. What time is it? 5? Fuck it, Im’ going to take a bath. Hottest water ever. I appear to have slept in the tub until approximately 9AM, waking up at intervals to add hot water. My roommate discovered me alive and in my bed at 12:30PM and we exchanged horror stories. We agreed that this was easily the worst Friendship Test my subconsious had ever devised and we both spent the day drinking excessive amounts of water, eating and watching TV.