JewMitch

Just a Jew. Named Mitch. Writing about his feelings.

Archive for June, 2009

Trivia Night

Posted by JewMitch on June 30, 2009

quizn

When people ask me if I miss living in Baltimore, I usually tell them that aside from the local sports coverage and trivia night, no. And while I can get coverage of the Orioles losing on mlb.com, I have yet to find a trivia night like the one my friends and used to go to in Baltimore.

It was held at Red House Tavern in Canton, which not surprisingly has since gone out of business. Here was the deal: trivia was free, you can have as many people as you want on a team, beers were $1.25 a bottle, and the winning team got a $50 gift certificate to the bar. The bar would also give out free shots to the team who swept the round, and trivia usually had six rounds. If two teams tied a round, then they would have to send a member of each team to participate in a chug-off. The chug-off was also free.

On top of everything, the trivia was hosted in an extremely professional manner. Two guys would be set up at the front of the bar, with laptops and DJ equipment, playing requests and occasionally challenging random teams to a chug off. If you won a chug off against the trivia host, your team won more free shots.

This was a complete dive bar though, and aside from one other group of people, I don’t think anyone knew that trivia was going on at this bar or that this bar existed. It didn’t take long for my friends to realize that if we just brought enough people to trivia each week, we could win just by sheer numbers and the likelihood that one person on our team knew the answer. Granted most of our friends just showed up to get drunk, but I think we won something like five weeks in a row.

It was a beautiful thing; each week we would give them the same folded up $50 gift certificate and after trivia they would give it back to us. With the gift certificate we won each week, plus the free shots, plus the chug-offs, eleven of us could all get trashed and we never had a bar tab. Some weeks we would win so many rounds that we would actually turn down free shots from the bar. It didn’t really make any sense; the bar would provide us with free entertainment and all the booze we could drink, and then invite us back next week.

And because Baltimore is a great drinking town, the night would not end there, but at Claddaghs, where you could get dollar bottles every Thursday night. Even though Cornerstone Tavern in Midtown does dollar mugs and free trivia every Wednesday, people from New York City simply do not believe this story. But then again, it was Baltimore. Which is a great city if you’re a functioning alcoholic in a long term relationship (or asexual), but not ideal for any other member of society.

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Cowboys and Indians and India-Indians

Posted by JewMitch on June 29, 2009

cowboys indians

One of my New York friends had a Cowboys and Indians party last year, where everyone was supposed to dress up like Cowboys and Indians. The friend throwing the party was India-Indian (like from India), so my friend Staci and I decided it would be really fun to dress up like Indians from India, and pretend we didn’t understand the party theme.

Luckily, my friend Azim had a traditional salwar kameez (Indian tunic) and my friend Evan had a turban that I could borrow. Staci actually went out and bought a Saree from this local Indian shop, which took some hunting in Baltimore. We both wore dots on our foreheads. Also, keep in mind that it was a five hour drive to New York City from Baltimore. This is how excited we were about showing up to a Cowboys and Indians party dressed this way.

Although, it was the second night of Passover, so we had to stop at my aunt and uncle’s house in New Jersey to have seder along the way. When we finally got to the party, it had moved from our friend’s apartment to a nearby bar, and almost everyone had abandoned their costumes. So here we are, in a sports bar, dressed up like Indians-Indians, and no one else is even wearing costumes at all. If we weren’t drinking heavily at the time, this might have been awkward. Also playing BuckHunter in Indian costumes turned out to be a lot of fun.

The night progressed through a few venue changes and we finally wound up going to a strip club. Our first stop was the Penthouse club, which let me walk right in (wearing the salwar kameez and turban), but refused entry to Staci and all of our other friends because they did not meet the dress code. Staci was outrage by this.

“How can you let Mitch in, dressed like that, but no one else?”

The bouncer replied, and I quote, “Some of your friends are wearing shorts and dressed sloppy. His outfit looks very put together.”

As proud as I was of this, I decided I couldn’t leave my friends behind and we went a few doors down to the Hustler Club. They were much more accommodating and allowed us all in. It was a shame they wouldn’t let us take photos in the strip club, as getting a lap dance while wearing the turban would have made a great Christmas card. Although the image of Staci getting a lap dance from two girls while wearing the turban was even funnier.

However, something extremely disturbing happened later that night. Another friend was getting a lap dance, when the stripper paused in mid-dance, and then farted on him. In mid-lap dance! She tried to pretend it didn’t happen and kept dancing, but soon the smell took over our entire area. Plus, we all saw her fart. We had to ask her to stop dancing and leave. This was the last time I have been to a strip club, wearing a turban or otherwise.

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NYC Unemployment Guide

Posted by JewMitch on June 26, 2009

unemployment

“Mitch, you live off unemployment in Midtown in New York City. How do you eat?”

That’s a good question. It’s weird, having no money sucks. But then again, trying to spend as little money as possible can seem like a fun challenge. You can make a game of it. Sort of like Life is Beautiful. Except not really, because I don’t have a son.

Because I like sharing, I decided to prepare a fun guide of how I live in New York City. There are a lot of guides out there, but they’re usually like: “Get a fancy pants lobster dinner for $35” or something. No, no, no. I’m talking, how specifically does Mitch live in New York City off of unemployment checks. Much more interesting.

Eating for a dollar:

99¢ Fresh Pizza: 151 E 43rd Street (Midtown East). I eat here maybe once a day. It’s funny how when you visit New York, you only want to go to the “best” pizza place, but when you live here, dollar slices are awesome.

$1 bagels at Ess-a-Bagel: 831 3rd Avenue (Midtown East). These things are huge. Easily a meal.

$1 falafel at Cinderella Falafel: 129 2nd Ave (LES). Okay, so it’s really only half a falafel. But still. Buy two if you’re hungry.

$1 small coffee at Pret a Manger (Midtown). It’s organic coffee too.

Grocery Stores:

Morton Williams. Everybody loves Trader Joes, but the line is around the block. I’ve found that while some things are really expensive in New York, deli meats and fresh meat are almost always on sale. Morton Williams always has at least one type of deli meat for $7 a pound, I’ve gotten chicken for $2 a pound, and London Strip for $3 a pound.

Alcohol:

Here’s where Trader Joes comes in handy. At their wine store at Union Square, you can buy a bottle of Charles Shaw (“2 Buck Chuck”) for $3.24. I particularly recommend the Syrah. Alcoholism, here we come.

Going out:

Cornerstone Tavern Wednesday Trivia Night: 961 2nd Ave (Midtown East). $1 mugs of beer while you play trivia. So it’s free entertainment and $1 mugs. Really not a bad way to spend a Wednesday.

Flight 151: 151 8th Ave (Chelsea). $2 mugs of PBR. All the time. Free popcorn too. And their nightly specials are even a better deal.

McAleers: 425 Amsterdam Ave (UWS). 2 pitchers of beer, 2 orders of wing for $26. All the time.

Iggy’s: 132 Ludlow Street (LES). Conveniently located on the lower east side, pirate themed, and $2 PBRs all the time.

McSorleys: 15 East 7th Street (East Village). $2 beers all the time of McSorleys beer, which only comes in light and dark. You have to order two though at a time (not so bad). Also, feel free to order a cheese plate for $3, which is a sleeve of saltine crackers, sliced processed cheese, and a sliced onion. There’s also spicy mustard on the table.

Rudy Bar and Grill: 627 9th Ave (Lincoln Square). They have super cheap pitchers, including a pitcher of Rudy’s beer for $7. And free hot dogs. All the time.

Crocodile Lounge: 325 East 14th Street (Stuyvesant Square). Order a beer, get a free personal pizza.

123 Burger Shot Beer: 738 10th Ave (Clinton). $1 burgers, $2 shots, $3 beers. Done and done.

Aces and Eights Saloon: 1683 1st Ave (UES). Friday and Saturday nights they have all you can drink beer from 9pm-12am for $10. Seriously. This is in New York City. Also, they have tons of beer pong tables.

Entertainment:

“Sweet” (Comedy Show) at Slipper Room: 167 Orchard Street (LES). Great alternative comedy show, only $5 every Tuesday night, and so far I’ve already seen Kevin Allison and Mike Birbiglia.

Sports:

NYCSSC (New York City Social Sports Club). Only $75 a season when you prove that you’re unemployed. Plus free pizza at the bars after each game and $10 pitchers for flip cup. Not bad. Not bad at all.

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Karaoke and Darryl Strawberry

Posted by JewMitch on June 25, 2009

karoake

I have had a long love affair with karaoke that started back when I first realized that you could request Paradise by the Dashboard Lights by Meatloaf at almost every karaoke bar. This is by far my favorite karaoke song to sing, because it involves a lot of yelling. It is also one of the only popular songs in America that goes through all the stages of a relationship: meeting a girl you like, coercing her to sleep with you, being in love for five minutes, and then counting the days until you can get out of the relationship.

On a date though, there’s only one song to request: Somewhere Out There from An American Tail. Even though this song is sung between Feivel and his sister in the movie, I still think it’s romantic and not wrong to make out afterwards.

If I’m doing karaoke with another guy, I think the way to go is Two Princes by the Spin Doctors. A timeless classic that everyone knows the words too, this song almost begs that you sing it to a girl in the audience. She gets to feel like a princess, you get to feel like a rockstar, and everyone wins.

Lately, if I’m performing by myself, I have been requesting Come to My Window by Melissa Etheridge. This is another classic that may be the greatest American lesbian love song ever written. It’s also really fun to replace the word “window” with “vagina.” Then the lyrics become:

Come to my vagina
Crawl inside, wait by the light
of the moon
Come to my vagina
I’ll be home soon

One time when I was performing this song with these lyrics, I realized halfway through that there was a lesbian couple swaying to the music directly in front of me. Thinking quickly, I dedicated the song to them and “lesbian love everywhere.” I think they liked it.

It turns out that there is a karaoke bar in New York called Keats that is right next to my apartment building. This is dangerous, as it encourages me to go there after I’ve been drinking all night and stay late because home is right around the corner. But the best thing about this bar is that I once ran into Darryl Strawberry there.

Here is the story. I was hanging out with my friend Grasser, and he was doing a fake yawn, where he reached his arm all the way over his head and behind his back. As his arm was coming down, his hand came down and landed directly in the hand of an extremely tall black man, who happened to be walking behind him at the time. But instead of getting freaked out, the tall black man half smiled and half grabbed Grasser’s hand in response. Then he proceeded to walk out of the bar.

One minute after this happened, we found out from everyone else in the bar that the tall black man had been Darryl Strawberry. Awesome.

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Drink the Milk!

Posted by JewMitch on June 24, 2009

cat1

Sometimes I wonder why I’ve had nothing but bad relationships these last few years, where I just wind up getting my heart broken. Then I remember that I spent most of college dating a really sweet girl named Hannah, who loved me completely, and I couldn’t care less. So I guess I deserve some payback.

One of the most awful things I did to her was at a Halloween party back in college. My college friends and I used to play a game at parties called “Pee Club.” The way the game works is that in order to be a member of Pee Club, you need to pee in front of all the other members of Pee Club. I know this sounds like something that five-year-olds would play; but we had all just watched Fight Club and it was a really fun see people’s faces at a crowded party after 10-11 people (guys and girls) all come out of the bathroom at the same time. In retrospect, it’s probably karma that I’ve had so many girls wet my bed.

I have no idea how I maintained a girlfriend with this type of behavior, but for some reason Hannah always stuck with me. Even when I made her pee in front of all my friends at the Halloween party. But amazingly, this was not the worst thing that I did to her at that party.

She was wearing a cat costume at the time, [my costume consisted of a tight blue French connection sweater that had accidentally been delivered to my work office one day. I am not sure why I considered this to be a costume, but it was funny at the time] and after Pee Club, my friends and I decided it would be really funny to make Hannah drink milk, like a cat, out of a bowl, on the floor.

Understandably, Hannah did not want to do this. But there’s only so much of an entire roomful of people chanting, “Drink the milk! Drink the milk!” that one person can take. And after a while, she got on the floor, and drank some of the milk. We have photos of this somewhere. We were awful people.

And the really amazing thing is that after this entire night of poor behavior, I still got laid that night, and she listened to me when I asked her to keep the cat costume on. God I miss college. And in case you’re wondering, yes I did pull out and come on her tail.

In fairness, I did feel a lot of real affection towards Hannah, and had moments when I was really nice to her. For instance, I once gave her a card addressed to the “Prettiest Girl in the World,” and even though I was being a little sarcastic at the time, the sarcasm didn’t translate on paper, and all her friends thought that was really nice. I also once gave her an original Nintendo Entertainment System for our anniversary.

Of course, I dumped her towards the end of college, wallowed in regret and self pity for the next six months, and eventually went to law school mostly so I could just get the hell of DC and away from the situation [I really like to move after breakups]. But the really amazing thing is that the next guy she dated, and eventually married, was also named Mitch. For serious.

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Giving blood; an HIV test and a T-shirt.

Posted by JewMitch on June 23, 2009

give blood

There was a blood drive going on one street away from my apartment building last Friday, and so I decided to give blood. I don’t know why more guys don’t give blood more often. Giving blood is a great way to pick up girls, get drunk, and save lives; all at the same time. Let me explain.

After you give blood, they wrap your arm with a medical dressing that’s similar to something you’d use to tape up a gunshot wound. I like to pretend that I’m a soldier on a battlefield when they do this. Also for some reason, the dressing always comes in a bright color, like green or orange. Not only does this dressing prevent you from bleeding all over yourself, but it also looks awesome, and if you wear a short sleeved shirt, it’s very conspicuous. Girls in bars are guaranteed to approach you and ask you about it.

This sets up a conversation that goes something like this:

“What’s on your arm?”

“I gave blood today and they told me I had to keep this dressing on for the next six hours.”

“That’s a great thing you did.”

“Yes, I know. I probably saved a few lives today. What’d you do today?”

“I went to work.”

“Oh, that’s not quite as good as what I did.”

And for bonus points, you can color coordinate your shirt to bandage.

Another great thing about giving blood is that it literally takes a pint of blood out of your system. Blood alcohol content is based on the ratio of blood to alcohol in your body. Therefore, if you take a pint of blood out of the human body, it’s much easier to get your blood alcohol level up. Which all means that I can usually get trashed on two beers after giving blood, instead of the normal ten or so. If you live in a major city, this can save you tons of money and make it affordable to go to fancier bars.

Finally, giving blood really does save lives. Currently only 3 out of every 100 people in America donate blood and one donation can save up to three lives. How pimp is that? Two hours of your time can save three lives and most people don’t do it because they’re scared of needles? The time to karma ratio on donating blood is through the roof. And best of all, giving blood allows you to be more of an asshole, and still feel like you’re a good person inside. Which is nice.

On top of all of this, you get a free HIV test and a t-shirt, which makes a great present (the t-shirt, not the HIV test). Here is a picture of the one I got on Friday and just gave to my friend Natalie for her birthday.

black history tshirt

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Fun with JDate

Posted by JewMitch on June 22, 2009

jdate

People are constantly telling me to go on JDate. “Go on JDate,” they say, “It’s great for meeting people. Or just to hook up.” I try to explain that I really only like to date blonde non-Jewish girls, but to no avail. “Sign up anyway,” they say. “There are all types on there.”

To settle this matter for once and for all, I’d like to tell the story of my one and only JDate-date. I put up a ridiculous profile hoping to attract a fun girl with a good sense of humor. My photo was cropped in a heart shape. When asked who I was trying to meet, I wrote: “I’m looking for a girl who is extra pretty, extra smart, extra funny. Kind of like an extra value meal.” For my ideal first date, I wrote: “I’d have to go with mild to heavy drinking during happy hour. That way, if we like each other, we can make out without that awkward sober feeling. And if we don’t, I can just drink and watch your mouth move without listening to what you are saying.” When asked what you want your date to know about you, I wrote: “Sometimes, when cuddling, my arm falls asleep. And just because I ask you to roll over, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love you.”

So this one fairly cute girl starts e-mailing me. She seems to have a good sense of humor and not be overweight, so we chat online for a bit before deciding to meet in DC at this great bar called Brickskeller. I immediately know that something is off when she shows up with wet hair.

“Why is your hair wet?” I asked, wondering why it wasn’t blow-dried like in her photo. With internet dating, you expect that people don’t look exactly like their photo, but blow-drying one’s hair seemed simple enough.

“Oh,” she said. “It’s still shabbas.”

“You’re shomer shabbas?” I asked. She nodded. “Shomer shabbas” means that you’re one of those Jews who observe the Sabbath by not using any electricity or driving a car on Saturday (like John Goodman’s character in The Big Lebowski). Such a practice is ancient and beautiful in one sense, and extremely annoying in another.

“Hmm,” I say. “Does this mean we can still order drinks?”

“Drinks are okay,” she said. “But I shouldn’t order any food.”

“Can I order food and just leave it in the middle of the table?”

“Uhm, I guess that’s okay.”

So we order a warmed loaf of bread and two beers. Only she orders a Pabst Blue Ribbon in a can. Normally, this would be perfectly acceptable behavior, except we were in the Brickskeller, which is literally in the Guinness Book of World Records for having a selection of over 1,000 beers in bottles. It’s just not really the place to order a can of PBR. On top of this, she asks for a glass too. “Do you know how dirty cans are?” she asked. “They have like, rat feces on them. I saw a documentary once.”

At this point, I could already tell that this girl may not be my soul mate. What type of a person sits and watches a documentary on aluminum cans? So I decided to pry into this religion thing a little more. “So are you Shomer Negiah?” I asked. Shomer Negiah is when a Jewish person is so observant that they don’t touch members of the opposite sex until they get married, not even hand holding. Obviously, this would have been an instant deal breaker.

“No,” she said. Then she paused for a second before adding, “but I don’t have sex.”

Awesome, I thought. Keeping the ball rolling, I said, “So you must be all about oral?”

She frowned. “Not really. I mean, that’s sort of like having sex for me. Also, I had a bad experience a while back with a boyfriend where I thought I had caught something and it kind of weirded me out towards doing that.”

Finally, the date was going somewhere. “Like herpes?”

“No,” she said. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Like gonorrhea?”

“Like HIV,” she said.

“Really?! You know that HIV is really hard to catch if from oral sex. Were you eating a lot of Captain Crunch right before or something.”

“It’s possible to catch HIV from oral sex!” she said.

“There’s been like one documented case in history.”

“It’s still possible.” Then she proceeded to tell me a long story about how right after she had broken up with a boyfriend, she had gotten a call from a charity that was raising money for AIDS research. And instead of politely declining, or maybe making a small donation, she had decided that the reason they were calling her at this time was because … are you ready for this … her boyfriend had AIDS. So she freaked out and went and got an HIV test, but is still a little nervous from the experience.

Knowing that this date can only get better, I decide to switch the topic from sex back to religion and ask her about one of my favorite philosophical topics: the afterlife.

“So, you believe in the afterlife?”

“Yes.”

“Don’t you think it’s a little convenient? Like everyone was sitting around thinking about how scary death is, and one person says – what if after we die we all go to a happy place? And everyone was like, that’s a great idea, let’s believe that.”

“No,” she said. “I think of it more like the chicken and the egg. Like we don’t know which came first. This life or the afterlife.”

“That’s sort of a good analogy,” I said. “But it would work a lot better if the chickens were this real thing that we saw every day, and eggs were this thing that a lot of people talked about, but no one had ever seen or touched.”

She frowned again. It was at this point in the date where she said, “Well, maybe we can just be friends.”

To which I replied, “That’s okay. But it was nice meeting you.” And that was my last experience with JDate.

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Flaming Tricycle Tattoo

Posted by JewMitch on June 19, 2009

my leg

If anyone has ever seen me in shorts (something my parents haven’t seen in six years), you may have noticed that I have a large flaming tricycle tattoo on my right calf. I guess because most people have never seen a tattoo of a flaming tricycle before, the initial conversation usually goes something like this:

“Is that a bike?”

“No,” I say. “It’s a tricycle.”

“Is it on fire?”

“Yes.”

“You have a tattoo of a flaming tricycle on your leg?”

“Yes.”

“Interesting… Why?”

They always want to hear the story. There are two stories behind the tattoo, the real story and the fake story. The fake story involves a sexual position that I made up called the “Flaming Tricycle,” where two guys have sex with a girl from both sides, during which one of them lights her pubic hair on fire, and then they both try to hold on and ride the “Flaming Tricycle” for as long as they can. This is the story I usually tell people. When they ask if I’ve ever participated in a “Flaming Tricycle,” I just point to my leg and say, “I have the tattoo, don’t I?” My friends and I even went as far as to add this phrase to urbandictionary.com at one point.

However, the real story couldn’t be further than from that. I was about to recap the whole thing on this blog, but then I realized that I had actually written an essay about the tattoo in college, entitled “Apparently Tattoos Don’t Come Off in the Shower.” And because I’m lazy, I’m just going to cut and paste it here. Enjoy:

About two weeks ago, my two best friends in the world told me to put on my coat, we were going out.

“Where?” I asked.

“It’s a surprise,” they told me.

“Do I need anything? Am I dressed okay?”

“You’re fine, don’t worry. C’mon, we’re going to be late.”

It was the day before my twenty-first birthday, so I knew we weren’t just going to the mall. But I honestly had no clue where they were taking me. The cab sped past the familiar restaurants and shops of Georgetown and stopped just short of 32nd and M Street.

“We’re not going there,” my friend Dan said as he pointed at a Chinese food restaurant. “We’re going here.” He then proceeded to walk into a tattoo parlor.

Caught completely off guard, I followed my friends into the house of ink and needles. Apparently, the two of them had been planning this for months.

“I know you’re not afraid of the pain or needles, so you’re doing this,” Dan said.

The tattoo artist had sketched an image of a flaming tricycle. It was an old joke that the three of us had been making since freshman year. We had once decided that our clique needed a name, so we decided to call ourselves the tricycle club. Our slogan was that “we don’t need no fourth wheel.”

Julie and Dan smiled at the design. It was exactly what they had in mind when they had spoken to the tattoo artist over the phone. I, on the other hand, had been left in the dark. They figured they had the best chance of getting me to go through with it if I was given the least amount of time to consider it. They studied my face as I inspected the design.

“C’mon. We’re not letting you go off to law school without this.”

I looked at the tricycle again. There it was on a piece of paper; and my friends wanted me to put it on my body for the rest of my life. Is that possible? Can you just take a design and sketch it onto skin like that? I knew you could, but it didn’t seem like a plausible idea at the time. What does forever even mean anymore? Ten years? Twenty years? I really could not imagine myself more than thirty years old, and that wasn’t such a long time. So sure, I decided to get a tattoo. Rico and the Roughnecks did it in Starship Troopers. This is what friends do when they are getting ready to go off in different directions or fight intergalactic space wars.

“He’s going to do it,” Dan said. “He’s actually going to do it.”

I watched the woman behind the counter swipe Dan and Julie’s credit cards. “There’s no backing out now,” they said.

Dan and Julie were getting their tattoos on their stomach. Looking down at my less-than-hard abs and thinking of my dad’s pot belly, I decided to get the tattoo on my calf. I rationalized that the calf is an area that is almost always covered by pants. No matter what professional situation I’ll ever find myself in later in life, I would be wearing pants. Even if I have to play golf with the boss, golfers usually wear pants. It would be okay. [JewMitch note – I did not consider the possibility of law firm softball games at this time].

But, the one thing that they never tell you about tattoo parlors is that they are dreadfully boring places. Depending on the size of the tattoo, it can take anywhere from thirty minutes to several hours. Julie went first, so Dan and I were left to look at the walls for an hour. The walls of the tattoo parlor were covered with suggested designs that most of the tattoo artists knew how to ink. The majority of the designs were complete clichés: decks of cards, knives, revolvers, half-naked women, lots of daggers stuck in hearts.

Aside from staring at the wall or watching the tattoo artist carve up your friend’s skin, there is nothing else to do in a tattoo parlor. Unlike the place where I get my oil changed, they did not even have a TV. So after a while, I grew restless and walked down the street to buy some newspapers. Wanting the most amount of text for the cheapest price, I picked up a copy of The New York Times and The Washington Post. The total was less than two dollars.

When I returned to the tattoo parlor, I could not help feeling the irony of the situation. I was reading a newspaper, one of the most transient objects in today’s society, in a tattoo parlor. I love newspapers because I can pick them up for almost nothing and throw them away as soon as I am done with them. And here I am getting a tattoo.

Except for the people who already have tattoos, most of my friends are shocked when I tell them what I did. “Wow,” they say. “Is that real?” Most of them feel the need to touch my calf, to authenticate the fact that there is something inked on my skin for eternity. I look at my leg and realize that this tricycle will outlast me. I will die and this thing will still be on my leg. It is a strange feeling.

My girlfriend looked at me completely differently the day after I got inked. It was almost that same look that people give you when you get a radical new haircut, but more intense. She looked at me like I was no longer the same person.

“I’m still the same,” I said. “My leg is just a bit more colorful.” She didn’t get it.

“You can’t have a tattoo,” she said. “You like watching romantic comedies and getting Chinese food delivered. You told your parents that you wanted a subscription to The New York Times and a coffee maker for your birthday. You’re probably going to law school next year. You’re too conservative to have a tattoo.”

“It’s too late, it’s already on me.”

Aside from the pain and the needles, I think the main reason most people are afraid of tattoos is the commitment. You have to make a choice and stick with it for the rest of your life. There is no changing your mind. It is not like your furniture or your clothes. You might have to look at these things everyday, but if you decide that you made a bad decision, you can throw them away and buy new stuff. You cannot really do that with a tattoo. What is done is done.

Our society has become so transient that we really do not really have anything else like that. People get married, they get divorced. People can choose religions by converting to other religions or simply losing their faith. People even change their names at will. I guess people have kids and get stuck with them for the rest of their lives, but that is not the same type of choice. You do not get to pick the color of the kid, or how big it is going to be, or how much it is going to cost. Kids just sort of happen.

The nice thing about tattoos is that even though they will last forever, they require very little effort on my part. Aside from applying Neosporin and lotion for the first two weeks, I do not have to do anything to it. I do not have to continually show affection towards my tattoo, nor renew my faith. My tattoo never gets lonely, and never runs out on me to sleep with my best friend. I can go out and get completely trashed, break a few windows and curse out everyone I know, and my tattoo will still be there for me.

Of course, I can always get it removed. Tattoo removal surgery is a fairly recent invention. I think it is funny that we decided to create this escape for ourselves, as if the concept of forever was too much to bear. But the fact that the tattoo’s removal requires surgery says something about it. In order to get rid of it, I will have to remove a part of myself as well. It is my skin now. And I know I will never be able to be that guy. The guy who used to be cool, and now has a scar because his wife thought that his tattoo did not go well with khaki shorts and polo shirt.

In reflection, I think it is strange that more people do not have tattoos. It seems that most people today are always looking for something to cling onto. From significant others to religions, it seems that people are anxious to find that special something that will always be there for them. Yet the fear of commitment remains. We want to be able to pick up and go at any point and leave our entire lives behind.

But I think it is good to bring some of that baggage with us because you can never really leave it all behind. And personally, I always want to remember the good times Dan, Julie and I had through college. Even if things turn sour and we lose touch, I will always have something to remember them by. And you need that sometimes. Those little reminders which help you recall a time when you were once loved and accepted. And I think a tattoo is a hell of a lot better than a string of photos that was taken in a black-and-white photo booth. I cannot lose this. And that is important. I tend to lose things a lot.

[Author’s Note:  I am pretty sure that my parents still don’t know about the tattoo. I just wear pants whenever I see them. Because why break a Jewish mother’s heart?]

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Guys Night Out

Posted by JewMitch on June 18, 2009

pixar-up-logo-large

One problem with going to movies in New York is that they’re fucking expensive. Fortunately, my friends and I have a found several loopholes around this. The first is that there’s a theater in Kip’s Bay that has $6 dollar matinees on Friday through Sunday, so long as the movie starts before 12pm.

This is kind of a pain in the ass for most people, but when you don’t work, going to an 11:30am viewing of Star Trek on a Friday sounds awesome. Which is what I did, except I went on a Thursday, because Fandango told me that the ticket would only be $6. I later found out that this was a mistake and the deal is only valid Friday through Sunday.  Why would it be cheaper on the weekend? I have no idea, except that it appears that AMC is run by mentally challenged people.

When I got to the movie theater I found a bunch of trekkie nerds all arguing with the manager, who was trying to explain the mistake. Stepping up to the plate, I simply told the manager the situation, explained that we were all here for the $6 price, and that she could either honor the Fandango price, or not. She replied by saying that the computer would not let her charge us $6, but she could give us all free movie vouchers. Score.

And after seeing one movie for free, I decided to stop in and see Wolverine too. Because why not make a giant nerd day of it? Except for the fact that Wolverine sucked ass. An adamantium bullet to the brain? Seriously?

Another way to get into the movies for free is to know someone who works at the movie theater. Or at least say you do. This worked out beautifully for my friends and me one Friday night when we all got trashed at the Dead Poet (great UWS bar) and decided it would be a good idea to go see Pixar’s “UP” in 3D. Except when we got to the theater, we found out they were charging $16 a ticket. For a fucking movie! Seriously?

My friend Evan thought he knew someone who worked at the theater, so he started asking the ticket taker if she knew his friend. She didn’t (it turned out he worked at a completely different theater), so he asked if we all promised to buy candy, could she just let us into the movie?

Apparently 16 year old ticket takers don’t care about AMC’s corporate success, because she said sure. So we walked in, went to the concession stand, bought about three pounds of candy, and started walking towards the theater.

“Hey!” the ticket taker shouted. “I told you that you could come in to buy candy. You need tickets to go to the movie.”

Drunkenly, we all stopped in our tracks. “But ….. we thought….” We were all confused and sad.

“I’m just kidding with you guys,” she said. “Have fun.”

After getting thoroughly punked by a 16 year old, we all then raced to the theater, grabbed our 3D glasses, and Sam and I promptly fell asleep in our seats, with Evan sitting in the middle. Except, I also remember there was one really sad part and I may or may not have cried a little. It was an awesome Friday night out with the guys.

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Drunk and Headed to Seattle

Posted by JewMitch on June 17, 2009

seattle 2

This time last year, my father was having a medical procedure done in Seattle, and I had to spend a few weekends out there helping out the family. In order to try to not miss that much work, I would try to go out there on the weekends, which is easier said than done, because Baltimore to Seattle is not a popular commuter flight. The airlines that actually flew to Seattle only made one trip a day, and when you add connections into the mix, it was a sure recipe for airport hell.

Sometimes, I missed a flight because I did eight jello shots the night before at a karaoke bar and it was completely my fault. But sometimes it wasn’t. On one trip out there, I got to the airport and was told that my connection to New York had been delayed, and that I would definitely miss my flight to Seattle. I could either go home and come back tomorrow, or wait for the delayed flight and catch the 3pm flight from New York to Seattle the next day. Since there is absolutely nothing worse than giving up and going home from the airport after you’ve already put your car in long term parking, I made sure a New York buddy was going to be around and told them I’d fly to New York that night. Although this sucked, because it meant I was going to miss the season premier of Battlestar Galactica that night.

If you’ve never been at BWI on a Friday night with a few hours to kill, it’s actually a pretty fun scene. They have one bar that serves yards of beer and I met a bunch of Germans there that were flying to Hamburg. Well actually, there were two German men in their mid-thirties and one twenty year old college girl from Virginia, who was one of their girlfriends and also flying to Hamburg with them. I told them that my last name was German (it is actually the name of a German city) and we were all instantly friends.

I imagine that drinking with foreign strangers in an airport is similar to drinking with foreigners while backpacking. It’s fun because: (1) you’re drinking with people from another country, and (2) you’ll never see any of these people again. The Germans really could drink, and I think we had 4 yards each. They also taught me the fun German drinking expression, “Hau’ weg das Zeug!”, which they translated to mean “Drink that shit down!” Needless to say, I was bombed by the time I got on my flight.

But this was fine, as there was more alcohol on my plane. And on top of this, since it was JetBlue, they had TVs on the plane and I was able to watch the season premier of Battlestar Galactica, live, on the plane, in the air. How cool is that? It’s so amazing when you’re really drunk and the universe manages to give you exactly what you want, when you want it. It’s moments like that which make me want to believe in God in a little. Or The Secret. Or just that alcohol is magic.

Once at JFK, the line for a taxi was fifty people deep, so I paid some sketchy guy in a black town car sixty dollars to drive me to my friend’s house. Once there, my friend asked if I was ready to go out. I said “sure,” put my bag down, sat down in a love seat, and promptly passed out.

The next day we went out for brunch to my favorite brunch place in New York, McAlleers. They are an Irish pub that makes amazing Irish crème French toast (with real Baily’s in it) and thick homemade sausages. Plus, for $16 you can get a big plate of food and unlimited bloody mary’s or mimosas. And this is in New York City. I think McAlleers brunch was a major deciding factor for me to move to New York.

Before I knew it, I was drunk again, in a Super Shuttle back to the airport, rambling about McAlleers to the other Super Shuttle Passengers. And on top of it all, it turned out that JetBlue had just finished building a brand new hub with free high speed internet, so I could drunkenly watch Vampire Weekend music videos on my laptop while I waited for my plane. So once again, I was drunk and magically got exactly what I wanted. It was probably the second best 24 hour layover I had ever had.

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Motorcyles and Moving On

Posted by JewMitch on June 16, 2009

21496_0_1_2_eliminator 125_Image credits - Kawasaki

Since I was little, I have always wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle. While most people want to get a motorcycle license so they can go really fast or pick up girls, I have secretly always wanted my motorcycle license because if there is a zombie apocalypse of some sort – motorcycles will clearly be the ideal form of transportation. And although this may have something to do with reading The Stand several times when I was a kid, I still think this is a completely logical thought. All the roads will be congested with broken down cars, and unless you want to push a gay shopping cart like in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, you better know how to riding a fucking bike.

Unlike most people who would have a thought like this and then move on with their lives, one summer I decided to actually do it. I found out that the Maryland MVA teaches a class on how to ride a motorcycle for like $250 and at the end of the class, they give you your motorcycle license test. So I signed up, took the class, passed the test by one point (despite being a little hung over) and got my license.

That should have been the end of it; I now knew how to ride a motorcycle and would be adequately prepared for post-apocalyptic society.  Except for a girl I met at a block party, who was beautiful and crazy. The relationship lasted a few tumultuous months before coming to a screeching halt one night when I found out that she had been sleeping around and lying to me a lot. We wound up breaking up with one of those huge “lets never talk again” fights, which I’m now becoming famous for.

The next morning I woke up and asked my roommate if she could give me a ride to the motorcycle dealership. She said, “Didn’t you break up with your girlfriend last night? Are you sure you want to make such a major purchase on impulse like this?” To which I replied, “Yes.” And off we went.

I found a great starter bike that was only $2,400 (it’s actually the same model that is in the picture at the top of this post), took out a five year loan so that my payments were only like $60 a month, and the bike was mine. The only problem was that I wasn’t very good at riding it. Which is surprising, because I had spent an entire FOUR days learning.

I kept the bike for two years, and amazingly only fell off it twice, and incurred only minor injuries each time. But when I decided to move to New York (another impulse/post break-up decision), I knew I needed to sell the bike because if I brought it to New York I was sure I’d be dead in a week. Or at least have a broken leg. But probably be dead.

A friend offered to buy the bike and we made a fool proof plan, where I would rent a U-Haul to move to New York, put my stuff and the bike in the U-Haul, and then drop off the bike on my way to New York. Everything would have worked out perfectly, except U-Haul makes you pay by the mile, so I wound up renting a truck from Budget, and Budget’s ten foot trucks don’t have ramps.

Picking up the bike didn’t work; my bike weighed close to 700 pounds. Hypothetically, I could have rode the bike to my friend’s house, except he lived way out in the county, and like I said, I wasn’t very good at riding the bike. Around my neighborhood – fine. On the highway – no fucking way. Plus, could you imagine getting into a motorcycle accident on the day you’re supposed to move to New York City?

I called my dad and we came up with a brilliant, but ridiculous solution. We would go to Home Depot, buy wood, and make a ramp. We made sides for the ramp, used reinforced wood, and the bike went up the ramp like a champ. Of course, getting it down the ramp was another story, and when we finally delivered the bike, it didn’t want to start. But I still consider this to be an amazing testament to human ingenuity. And I just really wanted an excuse to share this awesome photo on the blog:

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Like Maguiver. If he had access to a Home Depot.

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One Part Beautiful; Two Parts Crazy

Posted by JewMitch on June 15, 2009

block party

I have one truly great pick up story in my life, and this is it. It was several summers ago and her name was Anne (all names changed). I was at a block party in Baltimore that I had been invited to by a random friend named Vicky who I didn’t really know all that well and she was busy talking to her friends for most of the party, so I had to make my own fun. Fortunately, this was one of the best block parties that I have ever been to.

One of the people throwing the party had a bbq catering business, so he was out grilling all day. We’re talking full sized ribs, bbq chicken, burgers, sides, everything. The people throwing the party got Magic Hat to sponsor it, so there was tons of Magic Hat beer, followed by kegs of Coors light. There was a stage that several live bands performed at, two full sized ice luges, and a full bar of a high end liquor to pour down them. Everything was free. Plus the crowd was completely mixed and great. No joke, at one point the mailwoman delivering the mail stopped by and did a shot off the ice luge. It was that type of scene.

At one point in the party, Vicky turns to me and points out a girl wearing an engagement ring. “She’s not really engaged,” Vicky said. “She is just wearing it for attention.”

“Perfect,” I said. “I’m going to go flirt with her.”

“Go for it,” she said. “She’s cute.”

I’m not really the type of guy who guys up to random girls wearing engagement rings and hits on them, but this seemed like the perfect time to start. I had inside information, I had been drinking, and this girl was really good looking. We’re talking long auburn hair, perfect teeth, a face that sort of resembled Denise Richards, great body. She looked like she could have been the girl that the heroes of an 80s comedy were trying to sleep with. Which is totally my type.

She was selling raffle tickets at the time and the prize was a $100 gift certificate to a hot new named Salt. I pulled out six dollars (tickets were $1 each) and after grilling her about the quality of the restaurant, I told her that the only way I was buying any raffle tickets was if she would promise to go with me to dinner if I won. She laughed and said sure.

As the party went on, everyone got trashed and during a lull in the party, I grabbed Vicky (who had also been one of the organizers) and told her that now would be a great time to call the raffle. She obliged and began to call out the winning raffle numbers in a low voice, with me and only two other people paying attention. It took about ten numbers or so before one of my tickets hit and I won the gift certificate. Then with gift certificate in hand, I found Anne and told her that I needed her phone number because we were going out to dinner. The whole thing seemed like destiny, when it really was just extreme drunkenness and one quick idea.

She gave it to me, we went out to dinner, and within a few months I had fallen in love with her. Of course, I got my heart broken in the end, but the whole thing felt like a sitcom. Some highlights of that relationship included:

–         Finding out that the engagement ring she was wearing had been real; a college friend that she had never dated had publicly proposed to her out of the blue years after college. They never got engaged, but he insisted she keep the ring.

–         Finding out that she had been proposed to six times before (she was 26), and had been engaged three or four times, and that she had a collection of three engagement rings that she wore in rotation.

–         Finding out that she had once been in a Ford commercial and grown up on a dairy farm that her family owned, as the youngest of eight children.

–         Going out to dinner with her one night when she decided it would be fun to dress up like Jewish grandmother (a t-shirt with a seashell on the front, lots of bronzer, about five gold bracelets on each wrist).

–         Going to a concert with her and making her wear a shirt that said, “Shiksa.”

–         Watching her convince a bunch of my friends that she was a Christian Scientist.

–         Having my roommate’s great aunt walk in on us the first time we were hooking up.

–         Dog sitting her beagle for days at a time, who would often get scared and poo in my roommate’s room.

–         Taking her to an Orthodox wedding in Toronto, where she was the only non-Jewish girl. She drank too much and then wet the bed in the hotel.

–         Getting suckered into paying for her beagle’s vet fees.

–         Letting her borrow my car one weekend when I was out of town and finding out that she had drunkenly gotten into an accident with it.

–         Driving my grandmother back from New Jersey with her in the car and then making her go the synagogue with my grandmother and me that night. We needed synagogue clothes, so I wore my dad’s suit and she wore my aunt’s old purple pantsuit. I wound up introducing her to my childhood rabbi.

–         Having her disappear for several days at a time when she wouldn’t pick up the phone or answer e-mail. Some of those times, I was stuck watching her dog.

–         Finding out that she had told her roommate that we were just “friends” and had never hooked up.

–         Finding out that she was a compulsive liar, and I couldn’t really believe half the things she told me.

Like I said, of course I got my heart broken. A nice Jewish boy like me didn’t stand a chance.

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Law School is Fun School

Posted by JewMitch on June 11, 2009

law school

A lot people are surprised to find out that I really had a great time in law school, even during first year (which is supposed to be the hell year). I think a big part of this had to do with the attitude that I went to law school with. I basically went to school on a whim; the girl I was dating at the time had really wanted to go to Maryland Law, so I figured I might as well take the LSATs and go see if I could get in too. I got in, she didn’t, we broke up, and I went to Maryland; half just to rub it in her face and half because I had nothing better to do. Also, I got in-state tuition, so it seemed like a bargain compared to my private undergrad university.

Once in school, I had no desire to become a lawyer and figured that I’d drop out after my first year. Thankfully, my class was one of the youngest ever in Maryland Law history and I was able to find a group of friends who took a similar cavalier attitude toward law school. Instead of spending late nights cramming in the library, we used to do things like pass notes in constitutional law class. Granted, we all had laptops and could have easily instant messaged each other, but it was much more fun to ask the tight assed guy in a tie to pass a hand written note across the room that said, “Do you want to go to lunch? Pick one. Yes, No, Maybe.”

One of the most ridiculous moments was when a female friend and I decided that it would be a good idea to have a wrestling match in the hallway of the law school by the lockers. We were surprisingly well matched (she was a lot stronger than she looked; she used to play lacrosse) and what started off as a friendly goof turned into a real fight – with us throwing each other into lockers in front of a crowd. Students walking by had no idea what to think, and the wrestling match was eventually broken up by one of the deans. I think the only reason that we didn’t get into trouble was because the dean was so flabbergasted by what we were doing and really had no idea how to handle the situation.

Another reason law school was fun for me was because we all drank a lot. Like 4-5 times a week. Monday was wings and pitchers. Thursday was pitchers and karaoke. Friday through Sunday, we were just drunk. We once threw a keg party mid-week because the forecast said a hurricane was coming and we were sure that we wouldn’t have class the next day. Sure enough, the hurricane came and school was cancelled the next day. But the really amazing thing about that party was that I had my first legal writing and research paper due the next day, so I brought my notes and laptop to the party, and wrote the entire thing after a few beers while the party raged on. I got a B+.

In retrospect, I guess my law school experience doesn’t make any sense. I was drunk all the time, tortured my professors with insane hypotheticals (Example: Shouldn’t 1st degree murder be punished less severely than manslaughter, since people who intend to murder the people they kill are usually killing people who have done something to deserve it, while a negligent driver kills a true innocent?), studied half the time of any of my friends, and graduated in the top 13% of my class. Then again, maybe I’m just awesome.

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Internet Networking Event

Posted by JewMitch on June 10, 2009

networking

The other night I had nothing to do and it happened to be Internet week in New York, so I decided to go to a dot com start-up networking happy hour. Why, you ask?

Well for one, I have a weird thing where I actually like going to networking events. I like meeting new people and I think it’s really fun to watch awkwardness unfold, especially if the event is for lawyers or computer people.

In Baltimore, we used to play this game called “Conference,” where we would go to this bar that was right near the conference center, look for people who were clearly part of the conference (khakis, name sticker, looking uncomfortable) and then we’d introduce ourselves by saying, “Are you here for the conference too?” The trick of the game was to try to figure out what the conference was, and then feign knowledge in that particular area. However, we were on home turf at the time, so we had a distinctive advantage.

This night was going to be rougher, but I did have a quasi-legitimate reason to be there, as I had been doing some legal marketing stuff recently and applying for legal marketing jobs. If nothing else, it always pays for me to know whatever the new hot Internet thing is so that I sound good in interviews. Also, there was a comedy show I really wanted to go to that was just a few blocks from the event.

So I put I grabbed a bunch of my old business cards, handwrote “ex” in front of “attorney-at-law” and then wrote in my Gmail address. They looked surprisingly hip. I think I’m going to get some real ones made in a similar style.

I managed to find one of the guys in charge of the event, grabbed a free drink coupon and we were good to go. Some highlights of the event included:

–         Meeting a guy who runs a fashion website, and happened to be carrying the same duck umbrella that I am.

–         Meeting a guy wearing a Threadless t-shirt that I own (tank goldfish) and had almost worn to this event.

–         Getting a free screwdriver kit that looks like an old school beeper and USB drive from some company.

–         Meeting an older Latvian woman who was a very close talker, and who also didn’t understand “say it, don’t spray it,” but seemed quite taken with me, and wanted me to help her get Americans to invest in businesses in Latvia.

–         Meeting Miss United States Virginia 2008 (who now works for some social networking website) and giving her advice on the fact that her boyfriend was moving to LA soon.

Not bad for a free event. The comedy show was awesome too; it was hosted by Seth Herzog and John Hamburg (writer/director of “I Love You Man”) and only cost $5. The best part was definitely a black Jewish comedian who was making fun of the fact that people expect him to do Black Jewish humor. For example, “I’m black and Jewish, so I have to sit in the back of the gas chamber.” Amazing.

Of course, I got lost coming home and that took me about an hour, but all in all, a pretty good night.

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Comic Book Convention

Posted by JewMitch on June 9, 2009

cover

Last weekend was the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival in New York, so I was there selling issues of my comic book, Assholes (which you can read at www.assholescomic.com). I cannot draw at all, but my friend Josh can, and so a few years ago we decided to put out a comic book. The two main characters are named Mitch and Josh, although it’s really just my personality split into two different characters, so that I could write dialogue scenes. And since Josh did most of the work on the book, I let him be the smooth-talking, ladies man character.

The book is about half fiction and half real-life drinking stories and includes such great Mitch stories as the time I convinced a group of 20 girls at Seacrets in Ocean City that we were celebrating my Indian friend’s bachelor party and he was having an arranged marriage the next day and the time I went to Mexico and got really bad diarrhea. There are no super heroes, lots of profanity, and a plethora of vagina jokes. Needless to say, our comic does not really fit in with the rest of the comics at this convention, which are more likely to be put out by bitchy girls who can’t draw and lonely artistic types.

Josh is more of a comic book guy, so he is the one who signs us up for these things and fits into the crowd. Like our comic book, I do not fit into these shows at all. For instance, while most people wear their favorite graphic novel t-shirts and demolished cargo shorts, I am there in khakis and a t-shirt from the Economist, reading the New York Times.

Still it’s fun to sit at a table and yell things out like “Offensive Comics for Sale! Vagina Jokes Right on the Cover!” Especially when older women stop by our table and ask us to explain why one of the characters is throwing a hot dog down a hallway. Josh tries to be tactful, while I’ll just bluntly say: “The hall way represents a large vagina. The hot dog is a penis.” Then they say, “Oh,” and quietly move on.

It’s surprising though who reads our book. Every now and then though a middle aged guy pushing a stroller will come and buy five copies. Although, I think the best moment from any of these shows though was when a couple of guys in their late teens came up to us and said, “You guys are our heroes. We can’t believe you guys do this for a living.” We didn’t have the heart to tell we had boring day jobs, so instead I just said, “Keep following your dreams.”

We usually sell about fifty books or more per show, which is really good for a book that is self published and put out by no-name guys. It’s kind of like Chasing Amy – although we have like ten fans and we don’t try to fuck each other after the show. Still it is cool when someone from last year comes back to buy the second issue and tells you that they really liked your book. And even if I never become famous, I can at least take comfort that I put my fair share of dick and fart jokes out into the world. That’s really all I want on my tombstone anyway.

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Hangovers and Pedialyte

Posted by JewMitch on June 8, 2009

pedialyte

Hangovers are a tricky thing; many people avoid drinking excessively because they hate them so much. However, when you’re a borderline alcoholic, this isn’t an option. You have to tackle that hangover full on. And since I’m a generous person, I’d like to share some of my wealth of knowledge concerning hangovers with you today. Also, I am currently hungover and this seems like an appropriate post to do today.

First off, I think it’s absolutely essential to eat something before I go to sleep, preferably pizza, a soft pretzel, or a soft pizza pretzel. My personal theory is that the bread and cheese sit in your stomach over night and sop up all the alcohol, so instead of feeling hungover the next day, you just have bad diarrhea. Not so bad. And I’ll take diarrhea any day over feeling nauseous.

Also, everyone knows that drinking water the night before helps, but if you really want to take your game to the next level, stock your fridge up with Pedialyte. Pedialyte is a beverage designed to be drunk by little kids who have diarrhea to rehydrate them, but is also perfect for rehydrating yourself after binge drinking. The problem though is that Pedialyte is sold in the children’s section of grocery/drug stores, and you feel like a pedophile while buying it.

True story: I was once at the drug store and Pedialyte and condoms happened to be on sale, so I decided to stock up on both. So I am walking to the check out line, with large amounts of these two products in my basket (and nothing else), and I run into a friend from law school. She looks down into the basket, makes a face, and just says, “I’m not even going to ask,” and walks away.

But aside from this risk, Pedialyte before bed can work wonders. It’s good the next morning too, and in the summer they sell Pedialyte popsicles that you can store in your freezer. Great for hangovers on sunny days. Personally, I love the fruit punch flavored powder packs (“Pedialyte Oral Electrolyte Maintenance Powder”) which are a lot less expensive than the bottles, and are perfect for leaving in your desk at work for hungover mornings. But whatever you do, don’t ever buy the original unflavored “flavor;” it’s super gross. [Note: Pedialyte also just started selling these eloctrolyte strips that dissolve on your tongue — excellent for those drunk nights when drinking a bottle of liquid Pedialyte is just too much work.]

I also used to buy Chaser Pills, which are a little expensive and made of charcoal. These are awful in the sense that you don’t get as drunk when you take them, but they work really well if you know you need to binge drink one night, and be somewhere important the next morning. This situation really only applies to me on Christmas Eve when I’m dating a Christian girl. Because for those of you who don’t know, Christmas Eve is probably the biggest Jewish drinking night of the year, mainly because most of us have shit to do the next day. Except for me, who’s an asshole and always dates non-Jewish girls, and then usually has to do all the same shit that Christians do on Christmas day. One year, I actually missed Christmas breakfast with a new girlfriend’s family because I was so hungover that I was physically incapable of driving to her parents’ house (I threw up twice on the side of I-95), but that’s another blog entry.

Okay, but say it’s too late, you’re already hungover and you don’t have any Pedialyte. In my opinion, the ultimate hangover meal is a tall glass of original Coke and Kraft macaroni and cheese. This is a classic, and there is something magical about the combination of these two foods. Although for some reason, it has to be original Coke (in a glass bottle is best, followed by fountain coke over crushed iced) and Kraft. Don’t ask me why, it just is this way.

Diners are also an excellent way to fight a hangover, which is why I try to always live within walking distance of one. The following is my favorite thing to order at a diner when I’m hung over: 1 milkshake, 1 coke, 1 coffee, 1 water, hash browns, eggs, and toast. This is an excellent combination, since it provides the necessary oil, starch, salt, sugar and caffeine to relieve a hangover. I was once at a diner with a friend who ordered the same thing, which led to a hilarious looking table, filled with 8 beverages and two small plates of food.

Another excellent hangover beverage is orange juice with honey stirred in. Orange juice plus honey equals gross when you’re sober, but is awesome when you’re hungover. Try it. Also, Airborne always makes me feel better, and is much less embarrassing to buy at the drug store than Pedialyte. [Side note: Airborne and vodka is my favorite cocktail to drink when I have a cold. I’ll literally bring a container of Airborne to the bar with me and order a vodka and water.]

Finally, if you have a headache, I highly recommend Excedrin Migraine. It’s a combination of Tylenol, Aspirin, and caffeine. Aleve is also a close second, because it contains a muscle relaxer too, which is great when you’re hungover and stressed. However, do not make the rookie move of keeping these essential drugs in your bathroom medicine cabinet – which is about a thousand miles away from your bed when you’re hungover the next morning. Instead – keep them in your bedside table. Trust me on this one; you can thank me later. Also, as an advanced move, keep some over the counter sleeping pills in your bedside table too; perfect for when you wake up at 7am with a splitting headache and just want to go back to sleep until noon or so.

I hope this was helpful, and remember that you should never not have a tequila shot or mix wine with scotch because you might get a hangover the next day. Hangovers are just part of the wonderful world of drinking. And if dealt with properly (so no headache or nausea), I kind of enjoy being hungover. Everything is a little dulled, I don’t have to think for a day, and can just enjoy watching crappy TV for six hours. But I’m kind of weird like that.

Update: Wikipedia now links this blog entry as an authoritative source in its pedialyte entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedialyte.

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Spin and Pilates Classes

Posted by JewMitch on June 5, 2009

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Since I have most days free, I started going whatever class my gym offers at noon each day. (“Wait Mitch – how do you afford a gym in NYC?” Answer: “It’s a recession. So I was able to find a nice gym for $49 a month with no contract. What do you pay? Oh, that’s a lot”).

These classes are all pretty funny, because I’m usually the only guy in the class and they’re mostly geared towards girls. For instance, my spin class is called STAR Treatment – and then we all do yoga afterwards. Still, I am unemployed and have no problem with the instructor yelling, “Pedal Harder Ladies!”, so I show up every day. And I’m getting in awesome shape.

Yesterday was pilates. Which I learned is a really awesome class to take when you’re hung over. I knew things were bad when I got really nauseous just from lying down on the mat. Then I proceeded to scissor kick and do various other leg raises, all while trying not to vomit. But after about half an hour, I felt better and got a great core work out. So I highly recommend it.

The worst thing about taking girl classes at the gym is that they’re actually really hard. Spin is taught by this domineering black woman, who constantly threatens to come over and turn the resistance up on my bike herself if she doesn’t feel that I’m struggling enough. And then the next day, I have to tell people that the reason I can barely walk is because of “Spin” class. 

I’m curious why classes like Pilates and Spin are almost all girls. Oh that’s right. It’s because they’re called Pilates and Spin. Pilates sounds like a French piece of clothing or some new coffee drink and Spin just sounds gay. Like we spent an hour spinning in circles. Which is sort of what we did. And a Kelly Clarkson remix was blaring at the time. Nevermind.

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Stand Up Comedy

Posted by JewMitch on June 3, 2009

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I did stand up at the PIT last Tuesday, which is so far the best open mike night that I’ve been to in New York. Granted I’ve been to three so far.

My first open mike night made me almost want to quit doing stand up for good. It took place at 7pm, in the basement of a taco shop. And not a cool – hipster taco shop, but a corporate, fast food-esque, downtown type taco shop. Also, one area of the basement had been leaking, so we couldn’t even use the elevated stage area. Instead, there were 8 of us in the corner, waiting for our seven minutes “on stage” where we could perform in front of one another. It felt like being at an AA meeting. Only, I imagine that AA meetings are more glamorous. And we had each paid a ten dollar “cover” for this.

Open mike stand up comedy is a weird thing. In one way, it’s a lot like karaoke, where every day citizens are allowed to take the stage for a few minutes, no matter how awful they are. But unlike karaoke, where people are restricted to performing pre-approved popular songs, open mike nights are a place where people can come and express their deepest darkest secrets and oddities to strangers.

The taco stand up night was hosted by this incredibly sad and dumb woman in her late thirties, who seemed like she had once gotten along by being bubbly and mildly attractive, but was now well on her way to being very sad and lonely. I’m also fairly certain that the therapist she had seen after her divorce had suggested that she deal with her emotions by doing stand up.

I know that she was divorced, because she mentioned her divorce almost every single time she was on stage (which was in between each comic) and didn’t really tell jokes, as much as she just talked about her divorce. I learned about her divorce lawyer, her divorce trial, her divorce settlement, and her new attitude after the divorce. And amazingly, she wasn’t the worst stand up performer that night.

I think my weirdest experience was one guy who said he was a computer programmer. He looked a little dorkier, but fairly normal, almost good looking. Then he went on to say how he doesn’t need glasses, but wears them as a “shield” from the public and that he also wears a thick puffy jacket for the same reason. Then he told us that he worked as a computer programmer because he wanted to avoid talking to people and that he hadn’t really spoken to anyone in five years. And that the reason he was here was to start talking to people again.

Then he proceeded to lay on the stage, and pretend that he was playing with a cat. But then everything got very violent and all of the sudden he screamed: “Why do you have such large claws! You’re hurting me!” He then proceeded to mime a two minute fight scene with the cat to the crowd’s awkward silence.

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Bedwetting

Posted by JewMitch on June 2, 2009

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I seem to have a problem that few guys my age have; girls keep wetting my bed. Or beds that I happen to be sleeping in. I have had not one, not two, but three separate girls wet my bed. Two of which, did it on more than one occasion. This is an absolutely ridiculous statistic. And I know you might be thinking, “Mitch, maybe you should stop going home with really drunk girls?” And while you have a valid point, these instances have occurred after a wide variety of social settings, some of them not even involving alcohol. One girl just happened to have a thyroid problem. Seriously. It’s like a gypsy cursed me at some point during my twenties.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been peed on before while you’re sleeping, but it’s the absolute worst. It’s like, you’re dry and warm and all cozy, and the next minute you’re still warm, but a little wet. So you roll over a little bit, but the wetness continues to creep over to your side of the bed. And the bed keeps getting wetter and warmer, until you realize, that this isn’t a dream, this is pee. And it’s not your pee. And it’s all over you.

And now, you need to wake up, wake her up, explain to her what she did, explain – no, this is your pee, this is not my pee, take the sheets off the bed, throw them in the washer, scrub the bed down with soapy water, set up a fan to help dry the mattress, get out the spare blankets, put her in the shower, put yourself in the shower, and then set her up on the couch, while you sleep on a chair or recliner, thinking about how you just got peed on. There’s something about this situation that puts neither of you in the mood to cuddle. 

And while you’re trying to maintain control over the situation, the girl just wants to go back to sleep, because after all, it’s her pee, and your own pee isn’t so bad. I actually had one girl put her hand on the wet bed and say, “Oh, it’s mostly water.”

It’s like, I don’t really need a chemistry lesson here. I am aware what the chemical make-up of pee is. I am aware that pee is sterile when it comes out of the body. But that really doesn’t change this situation or make it any more fun for me.

But to tell you the truth, getting peed on doesn’t really bother that much anymore. The last time it happened, I was like, “Oh, this is my life. Let’s take off the sheets, etc. etc.”

I know the drill now. I mean, it’s a pain in the ass, but it’s happened so many times that I’m not really surprised anymore. And the one saving grace is that it automatically gives you a trump card for future arguments. “I may have passed out on the floor and called your friend fat, but is there any pee on you right now? No? Then I don’t think you can really complain that much, can you?”

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PBR Sunday

Posted by JewMitch on June 1, 2009

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People often ask me, Mitch – you make zero dollars, how to afford to live in one of the most expensive cities in America?

Well first off, I collect unemployment. So thank you, America.

Second – I have gotten really good at finding free things to do in NYC. Everyone knows that most museums in New York offer a free day and that the Met is “pay what you wish”, but when you have the free time that I have and you’re a border line alcoholic, you have to dig a little deeper. Fortunately, there are several blogs and listservs devoted exclusively to this purpose and I follow all of them. For example, on Sunday, Pabst Blue Ribbon was sponsoring a bbq at some posh roof deck in the East Village and there was a free open mike night near there that promised free buns and jello shots.

Two free food/alcohol based events in one day! Perfect. So I called a friend of mine who also does stand up, and we decided to make a day of it. The PBR bbq was actually $3 for a plate of food, but PBR tall boys were free until 4:30. So at 4:27 we asked the bartender for a six pack for all our “friends.” Score. Then we loaded up our plates with burgers and chicken wings, while talking to tall blonde Estonian (yes – like from Estonia) women who had showed up for the live techno music. We also met a teacher who lived in Harlem but was moving downtown in two weeks. I kept trying to sing the Jefferson’s theme song to her, and she kept correcting me: “No, I’m moving downtown.” Still, I think she was amused since she gave me her phone number later.

Afterwards, we went to the comedy show. I was really hoping for cinnamon buns, but instead, they only had Mexican buns, that tasted like cardboard with frosting on top. Which I guess is what Mexican buns are supposed to taste like. My stand up set went fairly well, I rambled for a few minutes about farting at weddings, past girlfriends who have peed on me, and a guy who I had seen earlier that only had one leg and was rollerblading. I got laughs, but the host didn’t seem to like us very much – and instead of asking us back next week, he told us that next time they were going to use a lottery system and not let as many people go on stage.

Still, I feel like getting up on stage and not bombing is an achievement in itself, which a lot of people who claim to be interested in comedy never do. And then afterwards, I got to hang out with the other comics (some of whom were really good) and bullshit around for a bit. Which may not sound like much, but it’s sort of the ultimate for someone who’s been going to comedy shows as long as I have. And regardless of if I ever “make it” in any real capacity, it’s cool to have at least done that.

Anyway; here’s a breakdown for my spending for yesterday: $1 (everything bagel for breakfast) + $3 (bbq plate) + $1 (tip) + $4 (paid for one more beer after we drank all our free beers) + $1 (late night pizza slice) == $10 total for food + entertainment. Just living the dream.

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