JewMitch

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

Archive for July, 2010

Adventures in Mexico

Posted by JewMitch on July 27, 2010

It seems as you get older and more entrenched in your career, it becomes harder and harder to take seriously awesome vacations. The other day I had the sad realization that the last time I went on a vacation longer than 5 days was back in 2006, right after I had taken the Maryland Bar and didn’t have to start work for a few weeks. It’s a great time to take a big trip, because you have plenty of cash left over from working at a law firm during school, and you have absolutely zero responsibilities, because the bar is over and your real job hasn’t started yet.

Before the Bar, I had planned to travel with my then girlfriend to visit one of her friends in Colorado Springs who just had a baby, and then go to L.A. to visit my cousins. However, we luckily wound up breaking up right before graduation, which meant that I could completely skip seeing some stupid baby and fly straight to California, where I had a law school friend who was itching to go a road trip down the West Coast, and then go back up to L.A. to see my family.

We started off in San Francisco, headed down through San Jose, then down to L.A., where we drank $17 Red Bull and Vodkas at the Standard Hotel, had dinner at Blowfish with Paul Lieberstein (from The Office), and almost wound up in a weird orgy (not with Paul), but that’s another story. By the way, Paul Lieberstein is exactly like his character Toby; this was near the height of the Office and he was telling me how he spent the day writing. I asked him what he was working on, and he said (in that depressing Toby voice), “Oh, I write for a television program. It’s called ‘The Office.’ I don’t know if you’ve heard of it.”

But the highlight of the trip was definitely when we decided to violate our rental car contract by crossing the border and going to a small Mexican coastal town called Rosarito. Think Tijuana, but slightly classier and with less high school kids. Our hotel was right on the beach and cost about 70 dollars a night. We hit the beach for the day, walked around town, had some really good tacos, etc.

One amazing thing I learned about small Mexican coastal towns is that you can be sitting anywhere; at a bar, the beach, or a restaurant, and Mexicans in huge sombreros will sneak up on you from behind, tilt your head back and pour tequila down your throat. Afterwards, they’ll request 3 dollars from your friends. You can’t really say no. But why would you want to?

After a full day of surprise tequila shots and Coronas, we were ready to hit the town. None of the bars were too expensive, but if you want to be particularly cheap (as we did), you can just walk around the street and let the all-you-can-drink-specials come to you. We literally could not walk more than ten feet without someone shouting at us to come into their bar. The drink specials were all about the same ($15-$20 for unlimited tequila drinks) and every person working the door swore up and down that although there were no girls in the bar yet, there would be soon.

We wound up in the first place that let me negotiate the door charge down to $10 a person, and we quickly befriended the bartender by learning his name (Juan, I think) and tipping him five American dollars. Apparently, this is all that it takes in Mexico to make a friend for life. We positioned ourselves right at the front of the bar, so that when any girls wanted drinks we could just signal Juan, and he’d hook us up with as many frozen, super-sweet, cheap tequila drinks as we wanted. By the middle of the night we were ordering at least ten at a time. But the night didn’t really get started until we were handing a bunch of free drinks to some girls and they asked us how long we were staying in Rosarito.

“We just moved here!” I said, for no particular reason.

“No Way!”

“Yeah, we wanted to do something crazy after college, so we grabbed all our stuff, drove down here and figured we’d find jobs and an apartment once we got down here. Tonight’s our first night.”

“That’s incredible. We come down here all the time and know all the bar owners. We’ll totally help you find jobs!”

So, the next thing we knew, we were meeting the owner of the bar, telling him that we wanted to be the guys in sombreros who poured tequila shots into people’s mouths. We swore we’d be back the next day to talk to him seriously and were very excited about our new careers. Of course, we all did shots to celebrate, and kept drinking heavily.

I think I probably had about 13 tequila drinks throughout the night (they came in really small cups), and it was one of those nights where you black out, but then come to later on while you’re still out. At one point the entire bar had turned into a foam party, and when I came to, I was grinding against one of the girls who knew the bar owner, while her boyfriend (an extremely large/scary Mexican man) and my law school friend were talking over in the corner.

Things were getting a little hot on the dance floor (like physically hot – it was really crowded), and the next thing I knew, she was asking me if it would be okay she took off her shorts. I nodded yes, and we kept dancing. I remember her waving over at her Mexican boyfriend, who smiled and waved back. While this was going on, the boyfriend was asking my law school friend how long I had been out of the closet as a gay man (apparently, I had told him that I was gay). My friend promptly sprayed his drink out of his mouth, and said tried to insist that I was straight.

Amazingly, instead of promptly charging over and stopping me from grinding with his girlfriend (who was now only wearing a thong), the Mexican boyfriend started defending me and assumed that the reason that I hadn’t come out to my friend was that I must have been nervous that he would judge me. He then starting giving my friend a lecture about tolerance, and how people in who live on the West Coast need to set an example for the rest of the country. All the while, my friend kept insisting that I was straight, and the boyfriend kept not believing him.

Of course, while all of this was going on, we had completely forgotten that we weren’t supposed to drink beverages with ice in them, nor eat the limes that came with our drinks, nor eat the vegetables that were in our dinner/late night tacos. Miraculously, we were both fine the next day, even while we broiled in the hot Mexican sun for the three hours that it took to cross the border back into the U.S. (it took less than 2 minutes to get into Mexico). My buddy was driving straight back to San Francisco, so he dropped me off in Santa Monica, where I was going to stay the night in a hostel.

I had paid the extra 30 dollars for my own room, but it wasn’t ready yet – so I was just walking around Santa Monica by the pier when the combination of Mexican ice/fruit/vegetables hit my fragile Jewish intestinal track. I frantically looked around for a hotel or restaurant that would have a decent bathroom, and but the public bathrooms near the pier were by far the closest option. I bolted towards them, and made it just in time before I exploded on the toilet.

It wasn’t really diarrhea that came out; it more like pissing hot, brown water out of my ass, which burned like crazy on the way out. The stench got really bad in one toilet, so I wiped off, and made my way to the next one, which I destroyed equally. After I finished with that one, I thought I was okay, but ten minutes later, I was back in a third public bathroom, just wrecking it.

After I was done there, I wandered into a pharmacy to get some pepto-bismol or something that would help my stomach. I was completely out of it at this point; hungover, sick to my stomach and totally dehydrated. Of course, no one in the pharmacy spoke English and they had a bunch of off-brand products that I didn’t recognize. I remembered that when I was a kid, my mom used to give me Milk of Magnesia to help my stomach, so when I saw that in a calming pale blue bottle, I just decided to buy that and instantly chugged half the bottle.

Of course, for those of you who have any amount of common knowledge, Milk of Magnesia is actually a laxative and the exact opposite of what I should have bought. It was about fifteen minutes before I was back in the public bathroom, destroying yet another toilet with hot, Mexican, brown ass piss. It was during this time, sitting in this stall, when all of the weight of taking the Maryland Bar suddenly began to set in. I knew I had passed (I had aced the exam), and that in a few months, I would soon be a lawyer. Not a pretend lawyer; but an actual, I-talk-to-clients-on-the-phone-and-actually-practice-law lawyer. Looking back, it was probably an extremely appropriate beginning to my legal career.

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Solo Cup

Posted by JewMitch on July 14, 2010

A while back in Baltimore, I was at an event called the Santa Stomp. All of the guys dressed up in Santa Clause outfits (I wore one with a giant menorah across my chest) and the girls wore holiday costumes (my friend Susan came dressed as a Christmas tree). It started off as a house party and then we all went to the local karaoke bar. While singing “Somewhere Out There” in a Santa suit is almost enough for a JewMitch post in itself, it was in this setting that I met a guy who will forever be nicknamed “Solo Cup.”

Solo Cup worked for the Solo Cup Company and unlike everyone else who was in full Santa/Christmas gear; he was wearing khakis and a polo shirt, with a red Rudolf the Reindeer nose. I was nearing black out drunk, but Solo Cup somehow cornered me into a conversation at the bar. Note: in order to get the full effect of this story, you have to picture Solo Cup talking in an extremely slow, monotone, nasal voice (kind of like Eeyore, but sadder and more depressed). Also, keep in mind that this conversation was happening as about 20 drunken Santa Clauses were taking turns performing 80’s pop karaoke and downing Jello shots by the handful.

S:  Hello, my name is _______ .  I work for the Solo Cup Company.

M:  Hey. So do you actually work at the Solo Cup Factory? That’s awesome! That must be like working at the Wonka Chocolate Factory. Do you get to test out all the new disposable cups before they hit the market?  Also, can you help me find the Solo disposable coffee cups with the lids on them? They always sell out of them at the grocery store.

S:  No, I work in an office building. And I mainly work with their financial statements.

M:  Oh.

S:  The Solo Cups Company is actually in a lot of trouble. The company heavily refinanced several years ago and now may not be able to shoulder its debt. The company is actually made up of many subsidiaries and some of them are losing a lot of money.

M:  So you don’t know where to find those disposable coffee cups?

S:  No.  What do you do?

M:  I’m a lawyer.

S:  Oh, a lawyer… I thought about going to law school, but then I decided it would be too boring.

Solo Cup then took off his reindeer nose and went back to slowly sipping his Bud Light. I’m pretty sure this was the exact moment when I knew I didn’t want to be a lawyer anymore.

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Pigtown

Posted by JewMitch on July 8, 2010

One year when I was living in Baltimore, I decided it would be a really good idea to live in the cheapest apartment that I could find near school. This was obviously an awful idea, as I wound up in a neighborhood called “Pigtown,” and directly across the street from a drug dealer. And not a friendly – “do you want some pot” type of drug dealer, but a “crackwhores regularly come in and out of your house” type of drug dealer. Of course, there’s also the possibility that he just really liked fucking crackwhores, but that just seemed less likely and they never stayed long. There was also a guy named Mike, who’s full time job seemed to be sitting on my stoop, and who I would give cigarettes to/let him steal my newspaper every day in exchange for watching my car (Note: if you ever find yourself living in a bad area of Baltimore, I highly recommend this, as my car never once got broken into).

The neighborhood obviously wasn’t great, but the apartment itself was pretty nice. Two floors (with a full spiral staircase in the middle of the apartment), two bedrooms, two bathrooms, full kitchen, etc., and my share of the rent was $375 a month. The other funny thing about this apartment was that it was in such a bad neighborhood that no one ever thought to break into my place – while my friends who lived in the student area regularly got broken into (and mugged, and one got stabbed).

However, the landlord was this total slum lord named Mr. Klein, that drove around in an 1960 Mercedes convertible, and the roof kind of a had a problem with leaking. By “kind of had a problem”, I mean that when I moved in – there were huge black mold stains on the wall, which I had to paint over with special mold killing paint.

I had been told that the roof had been fixed, which was true, until it wasn’t, and then the roof started leaking again. And then it started leaking in my room. And then it started leaking near my bed. And since my landlord wouldn’t respond to my calls, I did the next best thing, which was to go to the dollar store, buy a bunch of buckets, and then mark the places on the floor where the roof leaked with masking tape so I knew where to put the buckets when it started raining. And as more leaks opened up, I just kept adding buckets. Till I literally had six buckets in my room, which I had to set up every time I left the house if the forecast called for rain.

And the really funny thing about this situation was that I was a LAW STUDENT. Someone with full access to and understanding of Maryland’s landlord tenant law. This went on for like 3 weeks before someone finally suggested that I send a certified letter citing all the violations of Maryland Law, which resulted in the roof being fixed the next day. By Mike (from the stoop) of all people.

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Obama = free oil?

Posted by JewMitch on July 6, 2010

A while back, I was out at dinner with a bunch of people, and I happened to be sitting next to David Smith (CEO of Sinclair Broadcasting, which was responsible for airing the anti-Kerry Swift Boat Veterans for Truth documentary back in 2004). David Smith is basically everything you expect him to be (for more back story, click here), but a nice enough guy to drink scotch and eat steak with. This was right before the Obama-McCain election, and David wanted to talk to me about why young people liked Obama so much.

D:  “I don’t understand why young people are so infatuated with Obama.  Don’t they realize that he might be Muslim?  Don’t they know how excited Muslims overseas are that he might get elected?”

M:  “I like the idea of having a president who people think is Muslim.”

D:  “How do you figure?”

M:  “Well, you would agree that America’s dependence on foreign oil is a problem, right?”

D:  “Definitely.”

M:  “And you would agree that most of the foreign oil is in Muslim controlled countries?”

D: “Yes, that’s the problem.”

M:  “Well, if the oil is controlled by Muslims, and they think Obama is Muslim, won’t they be much more generous to us with their oil if Obama becomes president?”

D: (pauses for a few beats) “Ahhhh, I see what you’re doing.”

And with that, he went back to his steak.  Although, the funny thing is that I kind of really believe that foreign policy works this way.

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