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Monthly Archives: December 2009

Just like last year—since telling you made me do it, too—I’ll be posting my resolutions.

In 2010, I resolve to:

  • Learn how to play at least one Robert Johnson song—and more scales.
  • Complain less and compliment more—particularly girls. It’s easy to compliment a dude, but complimenting girls is more difficult but also more rewarding when executed correctly.
  • “I will wear a tie when I don’t have to.”–Esquire, Vol. 153, No. 1
  • Continue fixing my life: 1. by exploring my neighborhood more. 2. by procrastinating less and writing, reading and playing guitar more 3. by doing things I love more often (see point 2). 4.  by drinking less coffee and getting more sleep. 5. by doing touristy shit, even if I can’t find a teammate. 6. by running. That is, I resolve to continue running because, even if it’s an hour of pain, the other 23 hours feel good. Also, I also may not see any of the effects but all my friends certainly seem to.
  • Go on “coffee dates” more. Or rather, “coffee meetings.” It’s not to date girls, but rather to stay in practice for those days when I do meet girls I want to date.

I saw Up in the Air about a two weeks ago and there’s a scene in which three of the main characters discuss what they look for in the ideal partner. It reminded me of this one time when I wrote a personal ad, so I decided to go back and update what I’d written—oddly enough, it was already pretty accurate:

Looking for a woman who loves jokes nearly as much as ice cream and building forts. An open mind regarding music is preferable and a deep admiration of High Noon, chess and David Bowie’s “Heroes” is absolutely necessary. An admiration of Transformers would be ideal but is not necessary. Must also be amiable and an excellent conversationalist–at least with me. Preferably, you’ll not only enjoy a game of grab-ass but also, on occasion, instigate it. Must also be averse to tiger-, leopard- and zebra-themed undergarments because you know your breasts are not untamed African beasts. You should be the kind of person looking to raise 2-4 children and secret handshakes with me and understand my ambitions to be a Stay-At-Home-Dad (hint: it’s because I’m good at cooking, organizing and loving you).

Kinex lovers need not apply.

This actually seems more like a a slang than a blanket New Yorker terminology, but if you want to speak like you’re from Brooklyn, Harlem or the Bronx, start saying, “Good lookin’,” or “Good lookin’ out.” It’s generally synonymous with “Thanks” or “Good work.”

Ex. 1:
1: “Hey man, I cleaned the bathroom and swept the floor.”
2: “My dude. Good lookin’.”

Ex. 2:
1: “Excuse me sir, do you know if you have any more Amber Romance gift sets in the back?”
2: “No, we don’t. I’m sorry about that.”
1: “Could you check?”
2: “I could, but I don’t want to waste both my time and yours. We ran out of those a week ago.”
1: “Aight, good lookin’.”

Ex. 3:
The end of J. Cole’s verse on Wale’s “Beautiful Bliss.”

Why’d The Neptunes keep all the good beats for the Clipse album?

“Oh, that Jay-Z character doesn’t really need good beats; he only sells more records than any rapper out. The Clipse on the other hand? They’re critical darlings loved throughout…Virginia…and…the iTunes and iPods of people who like intelligent coke rap. Obviously, since Clipse will be getting all the airplay, we should give them our good shit and let Hov have ‘So Ambitious.'”

Sigh. I watched this here newfangled Jersey Shore so I could catch up on my popular culture references. I actually don’t think it’s bad for Italians, like most people. If you put any group of young people with the same heritage in a house and let them drink all night while filming, said uniting heritage would complain, too. Reality TV is the problem, not Guidos.

I think a huge problem is actually how all the people on the show treat women. Namely, how Angelina treats women. Every girl who comes to the house is a whore or a slut to her as long as they don’t live in the house. Yet she makes out with a guy while away from her boyfriend. And then when Sammi makes out with two different guys in the house, she takes Sammi’s side. The point I’m trying to make is not that Angelina is a hypocrite, but that I find it disappointing that there isn’t a woman in New Jersey who can be attracted or attractive to men without being called a whore.

Well, I’ve seen this outside of New Jersey, too, but I think I find it most disturbing in this show because it’s just such a high concentration of (self-described) haters and sluts. And I think that it’s just the tip of the iceberg–for some reason, women seem to stereotype women far more aggressively than men; I don’t care who you dated as long as you want to be with me and don’t give me the clap. It seems to be the same with any subcategory, though: I’ve heard black people say some of the most racist things about other black people (I don’t know why Trinidadians seem to hate Jamaicans so much, either).

But then again, it’s not all girl-on-girl crime. That Mike is terrible. The second Sammi makes out with Ronnie, he’s yelling at her, flicking her off and provoking her. Listen here, Mike, “The Situation;” you don’t get women back by yelling at them. Besides, you weren’t even dating the girl. You also made out with a bunch of other chicks while trying to court her, so I find your double standards a little weak. Pulling other women doesn’t seem to be a problem for you, so if I was you, I’d stick with that. Sammi’s not going to make the greatest girlfriend if you’re getting into a fight with her all the time about how she’s making out with Ronnie.

Don’t call her a whore.

I have an addiction and the only cure for that addiction is coffee. Seriously, I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t go a day without it or I get these headaches that can’t be cured by a Midol. Don’t ask me how I know that.

Anyway, I’ve never heard this anywhere outside New York, so I’ve come to assume it’s the cool NYC thing to say: next time you order your coffee and you want it with cream and sugar, order it “light and sweet.” I definitely do because I only like my coffee if it tastes like ice cream.

I went to the Holiday Mensa meeting today. Quite an experience.

It started off fine, but I did send a text to my mom because I noticed the only person younger than me when I got there was a newborn. Almost everyone else was at least a septuagenarian (not the mom of the newborn, of course). Obviously, I would have loved for some people my age around but these old people were nice and, I think it goes without saying, super-smart. So conversation was light but easy and somewhat comfortable.

Then after lunch I made the mistake of talking to this one dude. I don’t know how I do it, but I always  seem to attract the most introverted people in Mensa meetings. And of course, that’s when all the people my age start to show up–people I’d like to talk to are finally here and I can’t escape Captain Then There Was This One Time. I honestly have no explanation besides the fact that I’m good at listening or how I have a hard time saying goodbye. There was actually a point, probably somewhere around the hour mark, where I realized this guy wouldn’t stop. After about another hour and a half–even after telling him I was going to go try to meet new people–I decided to make up an urgent appointment and leave.

So the lesson here is, although my ability to make the conversation all about the other person is very strong, my ability to get them to stop is not so good. That is to say, I need to work on my ability to breakaway and start conversations with other people.

I think I’m going to watch Transformers to make myself feel better.

Most Attractive Women:
1. Copenhagen
2. Brussels
3. Lisbon *Surprise Entry*
4. Amsterdam

Danish women are…statuesque, amazonian, blonde, gorgeous. On a scale from one to supermodel, everyone is either an 11 or just not on the scale. And the scale leans heavily towards those elevens. My sister’s studying there and she said one of the most intimidating things she’s experienced was going to Sweden; no one was less than 6 feet tall and all the girls were blonde, blue-eyed and mythically yet undeniably gorgeous. Thus, I obviously wish to go to Norway, Finland and Sweden for my next vacation. Eg elskar deg.

The surprise entry is only on there because, out of all the women I saw working for TAP Airlines, there was only one that wasn’t attractive. It was like a .950 batting record and these women had the sexiest accent. Imagine a French-Spanish accent (that’s what Portuguese sounds like to me, apparently) on “Would you like milk with your coffee?” Obviously a terrible description of what it sounds like or why it was so alluring, but I was really only in Lisbon for like an hour and I spent all of that time in one of the most confusing airports I’ve ever been in–two heartbeats away from a panic attack–and the only thing that kept me from freaking out was beautiful women with lovely accents and easy-to-understand directions.

I would consider moving to:
1. Brussels
2. Copenhagen
3. Amsterdam

Beer and Chocolate comes before girls. But I’m also in love with a couple of girls I saw in Brussels, so it’s not like it’s the worst compromise ever. One of them was a bartender who had milk chocolate skin, soooo….already bought the ring.

Best Airline:
1. Lufthansa
2. TAP
3. SAS

Thankgsiving Dinner on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Bailey’s or Cognac after dinner. Touchscreens for everyone. Lovely German announcements. Uber German Industrial Frankfurt Airport (stainless steel everywhere, efficiency merged with visual appeal, etc). These are just some of the things that made Lufthansa great.

TAP had awesome flight attendants. Also, they wore very nice clothing. In-flight entertainment was pretty lame and the plane was cramped (screw you, not attractive Portuguese women in front of me who kept reclining their seats!) but everyone except the Americans clapped when we landed. Kinda cool even though I was more focused on how the plane had hopped back up in the air to slam back down again…

SAS was sparse and the flight attendant was a dick. Me: “Can I just have a glass of water?” Him: “I have bottles of water for sale.” Me: “Uh, okay. I guess I’m good, then.” Thinking: “Well, now I don’t even want to buy a glass of water from you. You probably dirtied it because you’re obviously an asshole. I’m not immune to that kind of bacteria.”

Most Gypsies:
1. Brussels
2. Amsterdam
3. Copenhagen

Brussels’ gypsies have kids. It’s not just that they have them but that they cradle them while they stare at you with the obvious expectation that you’ll put money in their cup. Made me super uncomfortable. One of them even went out her way to touch me after I bought a train ticket. I didn’t know French or Dutch to tell her, “I need this money just as bad as you do and I’m not even trying to raise a kid. I can’t take care of myself, never mind you and your child” or just “No.”

Amsterdam isn’t really full of gypsies so much as transients. No one seems to be a local. That’s also what made it so hard to rate the attractiveness of their women. The ones who seemed to be local seemed to be fairly attractive, but there were also a lot of touristy women who weren’t super attractive. So the moral of this story is, Amsterdam is the Adult Disney World–you can get anything you want there and people flock there just for that. Accordingly, no one seems to actually live there except some of the people you see in their houseboats while on the canal tour.

Denmark is a socialist country. Hobos are liars; even my sister is covered under their healthcare and she’s only taking classes there for another three weeks.

Most Awkward City to Visit with Your Sister:
1. Amsterdam

Drugs are legal. Looking for Absinthe with a Canadian you met the day before. The Red Light District is where they keep prostitutes…in red-lit windows where they wave at you while you walk by. Sex Museums. Sex Shops. Burlesque Shows. Banana Shows. The list goes on.

Loves Art Most:
1. Copenhagen
2. Brussels
3. Amsterdam

The Royal Danish Theatre (N.B. the Skuespilhuset) and Opera House are fucking huge. Like, they built an island just so they could put the Opera House on it…and it has 14 stories. Architects are household names. Their Top 40 radio is American Indie music. They speak Danish but they never overdub English movies, they just learn the language. They fucking invented Legos.

I was only in Brussels for a day, but their architecture was amazing. Public areas were lovely and it seemed like there were a ton of museums I would have loved to see. I only spent 45 minutes inside the Rene Magritte Museum, but I loved it. The Palace and the King’s Garden, although we only saw them in darkness and rain, were sublime (the kind of sublime that put history into perspective. So much for what seems so little today, etc).

I really enjoyed the Van Gogh Museum (and that one cute girl I had an ogling competition with), but I was thoroughly let down by the Rijksmuseum. There was so much hype and the place looks so big from the outside that I’m somewhat suspicious they had closed off most of the museum. It was pretty much two floors with about four rooms each. MOMA is easily twice as large and only covers the last hundred years or so. But don’t get me wrong, what they did have was fairly excellent. That Rembrandt character seems to have a bit of talent. Time will tell.

All told, Europe definitely has some cool shit and I want to go back and see more of it.

P.S. All of the museum shops in Europe suck for some reason. I don’t have an explanation, it’s just…weird.

P.P.S. European conversation, unlike American conversation, seems revolve around letting everyone get their point on the table. When there’s a tangent, there’s always an effort to get back to where the conversation started instead of just letting the conversation develop however it may.