JewMitch

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

Archive for July, 2009

You’se Guys vs. Us Guys

Posted by JewMitch on July 14, 2009

rainy

Surprisingly, my all time favorite day at the MD/DE shore occurred on a super shitty, rainy day. I was down there with five other friends from law school and the forecast couldn’t have been worse. Rain all day. So we went to brunch, ordered a ton of bloody mary’s, and tried to figure out what we were going to do.

It was then that my friend John had one of his best ideas ever. He pointed to three of us (myself, and my friends, Munachi and Sophia) and said, “I’ve got it. Let’s divide into teams. You guys will be called ‘You’se Guys.’ And my team will be called ‘Us Guys.’”

“Why do we need teams?” we asked, foolishly.

“We just do,” said John. “It’ll make the day more fun.”

So we went to one of those huge crappy beach stores that sells everything and found some XL plain white sweatshirts in a clearance pile for $1 each. We also bought sharpies, so that we could make proper uniforms.

On the back of everyone’s sweatshirt, we wrote the person’s team name and their nickname. It became a tradition on law school trips to give every person an offensive or annoying nickname and call them that throughout the entire trip. Some of the better nicknames that come to mind were: Bubble Boy, TaterNuts, and Blood Fart. I remember writing “Magic Man” on the back of my sweatshirt, as I’ve always wanted a jersey that said that and figured this was the closest that I would ever get.

I can’t remember what Sophia and Munachi’s sweatshirts said – but I’m sure it was something making fun of the fact that Sophia is from Russia and Munachi is from Nigeria. For the purpose of this blog post, we’ll just say that Sophia’s sweatshirt read, “Mail Order Bride” and Munachi’s sweatshirt read, “Black Man.”

We decided to do every activity that could be done at the beach indoors and kept score at everything. It was like getting to do everything you wanted to do as a kid at the beach, all in one day. The three main activities were indoor mini golf, bowling and laser tag. Keep in mind that the team sweatshirts had to be worn at all times.

After mini golf and bowling, the score was 1-1, You’se Guys vs. Us Guys. Thus, it all came down to laser tag. We would have had a distinct advantage in the dark with Munachi, except that the bright white sweatshirt leveled the playing field. I don’t remember all that much about that laser fight, except that Munachi and I lit it up and were crushing everything in site. The thirteen year olds in the arena with us were caught completely off guard.

After the match, the laser tag people gave us a printout of everybody’s scores. Munachi and I were way at the top, yet we somehow had a team score that was one point lower than Us Guys, meaning that we had lost the day. We scrolled down the printout until we finally found Sophia’s score at the bottom of the list. It was zero, meaning that she had not managed to hit another person at all throughout the entire 20 minute laser tag match. If she had managed to hit just one person, we would have won.

Still, it was the best rainy day ever. Also, I’m pretty sure there was caramel corn and pizza involved too.

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Running of the Bull

Posted by JewMitch on July 13, 2009

bull

This weekend was the running of the Bull in Dewey Beach. I keep trying to explain to people from NYC what Dewey Beach and the Running of the Bull is like, and it’s been very difficult. The conversation goes something like this:

“So you went to the beach?” they ask.

“We went on Friday, but Dewey is much more about drinking than going to the beach. Everyone goes to this one outdoor bar called Starboard.”

“Is it on the water?”

“No. It’s facing towards the street, away from the water.”

“Oh.”

“It’s really fun, everyone starts drinking at around 10 A.M. And this weekend was the Running of the Bull.”

“What’s that?”

“It only happens once a year. Everyone dresses up in white or red shirts with red bandannas, or in old Halloween costumes. This year we stopped at Walmart and I got a t-shirt with an American Eagle on it, that said ‘American Tradition.’ We also bought Sharpies so we could write explicit things on each others’ shirts.”

“Why did you do that?”

“I don’t know.”

“What did people write on your shirt?”

“’Hot Sex.’ Also, someone wrote ‘Douche’ on my back, with an arrow pointing towards my ass.”

“Is there a real bull there?”

“No, it’s two guys in a cartoon bull costume.”

“What does this bull do?”

“He comes out for a bit and everyone cheers. Then, they close down the street and everyone follows the bull to the beach. Then the bull starts running and everyone runs alongside of the bull on the beach for a few blocks. And then there is a fake bullfight.”

“Fake bullfight?”

“Well, this year an Elvis impersonator came out with a giant jug of Hennessy and a foam sword. He got the bull drunk off that before stabbing him with the sword.”

“Was it real Hennessy?”

“No, it was just pretend.”

“Why does everyone wear red bandannas?”

“I don’t know. I guess in case the bull chases after you and you need something red to distract him.”

“How long did it take you to get there from NYC?”

“About six hours.”

“Ok. I hope you had fun.”

bull2

I imagine that going to the Hamptons is a slightly different experience; however, I’ve never been, so I can’t do a true comparison. But I’m really glad I made it down the MD/DE shore this year. The shore is funny, you love it when you’re a kid for one set of reasons and then you love it when you are an adult for a completely separate set of reasons.

The other funny thing is that people from the rest of America seem to go to the beach … to sit on the beach. This is not the MD/DE shore experience. Aside from drinking, people from MD/DC go to the beach to do the following things:

  1. Eat caramel corn.
  2. Play mini-golf.
  3. Eat all-you-can-eat crabs.
  4. Eat Thrasher’s French fries.
  5. Eat at Nick’s House of Ribs.
  6. Play skee-ball.
  7. Walk on the boardwalk and look at trashy people.

Then there are the bars, which are ridiculous. Aside from Starboard, which one friend simply describes as “heaven”, you have the Ocean City bars. Most people go to Seacrets, which is massive. You have to go through a metal detector to get in, they have several huge music areas (so they might have two different DJs and a band playing on the same night), and they have a huge beach area where you can actually sit in an inner tube and drink in the water.

I prefer Mackey’s, which has a large beach area too, but is much more low key. Also, instead of ordering a drink in a glass, you can order a drink in a kid’s sand bucket instead. It costs $27, but well worth it in order to be the guy at the bar holding a bucket of Orange Crush (the signature MD/DE beach drink) with four straws.

If you make it to the beach, that’s a bonus, but kind of a side item.

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Man Shower

Posted by JewMitch on July 9, 2009

baby shower

A while back, one of my older (over 30) married friends told me that he was having a baby. He also told me that he was having a Man Shower and that I was invited.

“What’s a Man Shower?” I asked.

“It’s like a baby shower, except that only guys are invited. There are no presents, and we’re all going to go to a bar and then probably a strip club.”

“So it’s like a second bachelor party?”

“Yes, except don’t call it. It’s a Man Shower.”

It was a group of fifteen or so guys, mostly in their early thirties, and we met at a decent barbeque restaurant called Rub in Baltimore. We gorged on barbeque, then hit a nearby bar for beers and pool. It wasn’t long before someone shouted, “Let’s go to a strip club!”

I turned to one of the guys I had been talking to and said, “I don’t really understand the appeal of strip clubs. There are hotter girls here at this bar, who I actually have a chance of sleeping with.”

“You’re not married,” he said. “I hate this bar for that exact reason. There are established rules in a strip club, like you can’t touch any of the girls, so I can’t get into trouble. I can just look at naked girls for a bit and then go home to my wife.”

Jesus, is this really what married life is like?

Once again, like every strip club story I’ve ever been involved in, we couldn’t get into any of the good strip clubs because a few of the guys were wearing shorts. So we wondered around the Block (Baltimore’s famous strip club district) for a bit and tried one of the more ghetto clubs, which had only one fat, possibly pregnant, stripper, who was missing several teeth. I am not making this up.

Finally someone remembered that we could get into Night Shift, which is the strip club that people used to go to in high school. It wasn’t as much ghetto, as it was trashy. The night continued to devolve as everyone got bombed and I watched why bad strip clubs stay in business – married guys fucking love these places. They would say things like “That stripper is fucking hot!” regardless of the actual attractiveness of the stripper, and then throw money at her.

Eventually one stripper came out in a full catholic girl costume and a yardstick. Someone told her we were there for a Man Shower, so she immediately went after the soon-to-be-father and tried to pull him on stage.

“No, no,” he said. “Take him instead,” pointing to me.

The next thing I knew, she had pulled me up on stage, ripped open my shirt, and was spanking me with the yardstick. I remember being less excited about this, than concerned about finding the buttons she had just ripped off.

“Find my buttons!” I shouted from the stage, thinking I could sew them back on to the shirt later.

The night ended with me walking about a mile home from the strip club, wearing a shirt that was fastened by only one remaining button, and reeking like strippers. I can’t wait to have kids.

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Brunch

Posted by JewMitch on July 8, 2009

brunch

What is about brunch that seems to define my generation? The Millennials don’t seem to agree on much, but we all seem to like brunch; from the Brooklyn Hipsters to the Southern frat boys. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that most brunch places serve unlimited mimosas or bloody mary’s, but I figured it would be fun to explore this for a blog post.

The first reason (aside from the unlimited alcohol) is that brunch is a Sunday morning couples’ type of thing to do, and anyone who has ever been in a relationship, links brunch to getting laid. “What’d you do this weekend?” “Oh, I just started dating this new girl, so we just had a lot of morning sex and then went out for brunch.” Even years after she cheats on you and the relationship ends, I believe this connection is firmly stuck in our heads and makes that Eggs Benedict taste all the better.

Second, brunch feels like retirement. Unlike the rest of our working week, when everyone runs around like crazy, brunch is all about wasting time. “Let’s drive to the other side of town, buy a newspaper, and then wait in an hour line for a meal we could have easily made at home.” Taken out of context like this, brunch seems ridiculous. But that’s part of what’s fun about it. Wasting an entire morning around something as simple as breakfast.

Third, you get to combine coffee with alcohol. This is just fun, and would be completely inappropriate in other social settings.

Four, brunch not only has unlimited alcohol, but also has drinks that are perfectly acceptable to drink before noon. Don’t ask me why our society says that you’re an alcoholic if you drink orange juice and vodka before noon, but you can drink four tomato juices and vodka or champagnes and orange juice, and be a healthy productive member of society. It just is this way.

Finally, you get a creative, fancy meal for way less money than it would have cost at dinner time. I’ve been to some fancy restaurants in New York City, that usually charge $50 an entrée, but during brunch you can get a whole meal plus a mimosa for $14.

And for the record, as mentioned in the Seattle blog post, the best brunch in NYC is McAleers, hands down.

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Haircut Day!

Posted by JewMitch on July 7, 2009

haircut

Haircuts have always been a funny thing for me. I have surprisingly soft, super-Jewwy hair that basically does whatever it wants.  When it’s short, it looks straight and normal. At mid length, it looks a little wavy. Then, as it gets longer, it can either look good, or spring up like a giant Jew-clown-fro. Since I’m kind of lazy and it’s fun to watch my hair change so radically, I usually only get 3-4 haircuts a year.

It’s weird, people (meaning girls) are always very opinionated about my hair. Every girl I’ve ever known either encourages me to keep my hair short or grow it long. Depending on whether or not I’m dating the girl, I may get a few more or less haircuts per year, but usually I just stick to the one haircut per season schedule. Although I did once go eight months without cutting my hair at all.

Although it’s not just laziness; it’s fun to be able to get a haircut and look like a completely different person afterward. I really like that feeling of not recognizing myself in the mirror after a haircut. Because isn’t that the worst; when you get a haircut and no one notices? By waiting six months between haircuts, and then cutting off everything, I make sure that everyone notices. This is all probably related to my only-child need for constant attention.

In Baltimore, I used to go to a place called The Beatnik Barbershop in Mt. Vernon. They were always pretty good.  They only charged $16 and they offered you a free cup of coffee or cup of Jim Beam (or a combo) when you got a haircut. Also, the guy who owned the shop used to be a roadie for REM and he had a bunch of stories about those guys. He confirmed that their song, Don’t Go Back to Rockville, was actually about Rockville, MD, which was a huge stupid thrill for me.

However, once I got to New York, my roommate took pity on me and decided to take me to John Allan’s, which was slightly different from The Beatnik Barbershop.

Their shtick is that are a “men’s club” that you can join for $720 a year. Once a member, you can come in for a haircut or “the Full Service,” anytime you want, as much as you want.

Of course, paying $720 a year to get your haircut sounds absolutely ridiculous (you can also pay $65 per Full Service or $51 for just haircut), but it’s New York and here was how the Full Service works. You go in, sit down and are immediately given a free drink. They had decent beer and a really nice high end rum. Then they move you along the line: first with a shampoo and neck massage, then manicure (which was much less gay than I thought it would be), then hot towel, then haircut and style, finished with shoe shine. The whole time you’re there, they are feeding you drinks and flirting with you. It was sort of a like a super high-end Hooters.  They also have a lounge with a full bar and pool table, in case you just want to get trashed in the middle of the day. They don’t have a women’s restroom.

The contrast between this and Baltimore was pretty extreme. It was one of those moments, when you’re like: “Oh, this is what getting a haircut is like for people who have money.” Also, they were not kind to my current haircut. While examining my hair the stylist actually said, “So do you cut your hair yourself?” I replied by saying that I used to get my haircut in Baltimore. She just nodded in understanding.

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Bar Conference – Part 2

Posted by JewMitch on July 3, 2009

chooselaw

We all eventually made our way to the hotel bar, where we had something like a $1,000 bar tab waiting for us. One of my Maryland friends and I got tired of trying to remember everyone’s name, so we just asked people where we they were from, and called them by that. “Hey, New Mexico, can you order another round of shots? Hey Georgia, where are you going?” One girl, we just called “Sequins,” because she was wearing a dress with sequins on it.

I remember that Sequins was a runner and telling everyone how important it was to drink lots of water. I responded by saying that I really don’t like water and asked her how much was enough, because I only drank about one small Dixie cup a day. She looked outraged, and asked me what color my urine was. “Dark brown usually,” I said. We also played the “What’s your most embarrassing story ever?” game.

The hotel bar closed at 3 a.m., so we grabbed the rest of the beer from the bus, and went to someone’s hotel room to after party. And then, like thirteen-year-olds, we scrolled through the pay-per-view porn titles, but no one wanted to actually hit the order button. So one of us finally hit the button, and then we promptly blamed it on New Mexico.

“New Mexico!” we shouted. “Why did you order White Housewives / Black Cocks Part III? Now we have to sit and watch the entire thing!” There were about twelve of us in the room at this time and amazingly, all the girls were cool with the movie. It turned out to be this one male Southern/conservative black lawyer who got upset and turned off the film after one minute. We all booed at him, as he tried to explain that he thought the film was disrespectful to women.

We turned the TV back on, but the movie was no longer on. Taking matters into my own hands, I called the front desk.

“Hello,” I said. “I was watching a pay-per-view film, when I dropped the remote and accidentally turned off the TV. Could you turn it back on for me?”

“Certainly,” she said.

“Thanks.” Then for no necessary reason, I added, “the name of the film was White Housewives / Black Cocks Part III. I’m really looking forward to the ending.”

The movie came back on, and despite protests, once again the black attorney turned off the TV. I’m not sure if it was the interracial stuff that bothered him, or that the film promoted the idea that women should be housewives, but either way we were done watching porn for the night so I started talking to New Mexico.

This was when Sequins tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Stop flirting with New Mexico.” [Note: the best thing about this story is that I am not giving New Mexico an alias. I have no idea what her real name is. We really had been calling people by their state names all night, and everyone else had started doing it too. Sequins really said, “Stop flirting with New Mexico”].

I turned to Sequins, who was wearing a wedding ring, and said, “You’re married.”

To which she replied, “Not really.”

I want to be able to say that Sequins was a total MILF, but she was just a semi-cute woman in her mid thirties. Still, this being a conference, I told her we should get out of here, and that I think I have some cigarettes in my room [Note: this is lamest line ever]. We went back to my room and started making out a little, when my roommate (and co-worker from my law firm) walked in.

“Hey guys, what are you doing?” He was trashed and completely slurring his words. “Nothing,” I said. And then I walked Sequins back to her room and went outside, where I found the one handicapped lawyer from the conference, hanging outside the hotel with two prostitutes. It was about 5 a.m., so we all stood outside and watched the beginning of the sunrise. It was a nice.

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Bar Conference – Part 1

Posted by JewMitch on July 2, 2009

chooselaw

One of the only things that I miss about being a lawyer was going to the quarterly American Bar Association conventions in other states. They reminded me of high school field trips; they all had some stated educational purpose, but really were all about getting trashed and hanging out with lawyers from other states, who you would never see in any other context except at bar conventions.

Paradoxically, these conventions were actually more fun when we went to a no-name city. For example, in L.A. everyone would just go off and do their own thing, so nothing really crazy ever happened. However, in Charlotte, where there’s absolutely nothing to do, all the lawyers would stay up drinking together all night.

These conferences all ended with a dinner/dance type event. The Charlotte event was especially great because it was held at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway racetrack, which for whatever reason, is built like a country club. We were in the main ballroom, and in addition to a sit down dinner and a DJ, they had a full sized racecar in the ballroom that you could practice taking a tire off and putting it back on, as fast as you could, just like you were in a real NASCAR pit. Combined with an open bar, this was amazing.

My Maryland friends and I decided to take matters to the next level by playing a drinking game called “Girl Drink Drunk,” where you are only allowed to order drinks that are colored pink. This is fun for the bartenders (“Just make me something pink”) and gets everyone playing it drunk extremely quickly, as you can you can drink 8 champagnes and cranberry juices before you know it.

For some reason (i.e. because I was drunk when everyone else was grabbing a table), I wound up sitting by myself with a group of lawyers from Oklahoma.

“Wow, you guys are all from Oklahoma. This must be really different for you. Do you guys have things like dishwashers out there?”

“What’s a dishwasher?” they asked, playing along.

“It’s like a miniature shower that you can put plates and bowls inside. And it makes them clean, like magic.”

“What’s a shower? Is that like the creek?” They were good sports.

After dinner, we all got on the bus to go back to the hotel, when everyone started chanting “Party Bus! Party Bus!” Keep in mind that this was a group of adult lawyers. We made the bus driver pull over at a gas station that also sold beer.

I went inside to look for Corn Nuts, which are my absolute favorite gas station snack, and sold at surprisingly few gas stations. But as I was deciding between BBQ and regular, I noticed that the bus was pulling away. I was about to be stranded in suburban Charlotte in the middle of the night.

So I dropped the Corn Nuts and started running after the bus. I caught up with it and started banging on the side of the bus, which thankfully stopped in the middle of the ramp back to the highway. Everyone was trashed on the bus, so they just screamed, “Mitch! You made it. Here’s a beer.”

I immediately passed out on the bus for a while, which turned out to be the perfect drunken power nap, because when I woke up I was ready to go. All the lawyers were milling around the bus outside the hotel, so I started handed out beers, and told everyone that it was legal to drink on the street in Charlotte [This was a complete lie]. Then I started trying to knock over the newspaper vending machines, until someone shouted at me: “Mitch! Take it easy. Stop trying to knock those over.”

I remember shrugging him off and saying that I was fine, and then continuing what I was doing. The next day I found out that had been the president of the Young Lawyers Section of the American Bar Association.

(Part 2 tomorrow)…

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Purple Violets

Posted by JewMitch on July 1, 2009

burns-purple-violets

There is a recent romantic comedy currently running on the premium cable stations called Purple Violets, which stars Ed Burns, Selma Blair, and Patrick Wilson. You may not have heard of this film, as it did not achieve any commercial success and Rottentomatoes.com didn’t even bother to give it a rating.

But of course, I did whatever I do when a new romantic comedy happens to be on TV; I sat down and watched the entire thing. Just like I did for PS I Love You, Little Black Book, Catch and Release, and Failure to Launch. I think I like these bad romantic comedies better than the good ones. I cannot tell you why I like these movies. It’s times like these, when even though I am sure that I’m not gay, I think that I might be a girl.

I mean there really is no excuse for this type of behavior. I had a whole afternoon open, and I chose to ball up on the couch, put on some pajamas, and watch Ed Burns play the only stubborn-Irish-Catholic-incapable-of-showing-emotion character that he is capable of playing. Then… are you ready for this… I sat and reflected on all of my past relationships. Like, really? This is what I choose to do with my free time?

In case you’re wondering about the plot of Purple Violets – it’s this: two awesome guys (Ed Burns and Patrick Wilson) live really cool bachelor lifestyles in New York City and are both wealthy. Then, they both run into their college ex-girlfriends randomly and it awakens a lot of old feelings. Then … spoiler alert… they eventually both get back together with their ex-girlfriends! And this is the happy ending! That everyone gets back together! What the hell?

And of course, I sat through this entire crapfest, thinking: “Isn’t this great! Everyone is going to be so happy. I wish I had an ex-girlfriend from college that was my soul mate – but it really just didn’t work out back then – and maybe we could run into each other in New York – and then get back together.”

I am not joking. This thought actually ran through my head. And to make matters worse, I then took the time to think back on all my old relationships, and realized that none of those girls really qualified as the “first love who got away,” and then got kind of sad that I don’t really have any ex-girlfriends who would allow me to step into the plotline of Purple Violets. Then I opened a bottle of wine and reflected more on this for a while.

Granted there wasn’t much else on that day except for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but still – really?

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