Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Durka Durka, Never Again

Friday night some buddies and I decide that the play to make is a bar called "Casbah Rouge," located on W111th. Usually the place is decent, but this time it was a disaster. After sitting us at a small table in a dark corner, they proceeded to not take drink or hookah orders. Five minutes goes by and one of us goes up to the hostess and asks if someone is coming. She says "yes, sit the fuck down you American pigdog."

Another 5 go by and another goes up. This continues for about 25 minutes until we finally get a hookah of the wrong flavor. We continue to go to the bar to get our drinks because the waitstaff still decide that they have a problem with performing their contracted, table-servicing duties. It probably had nothing to do with the fact that we're white and the patrons they were serving were Middle Eastern. There's no way that was a factor, because only white people can be racist. It just doesn't go both ways.

When we decide that we've had enough, we head out. As soon as we exit the place, an obnoxious staff member runs out and says "the hookah pipe isn't paid for."

Wait a minute. We spent the entire night trying to get their attention or trying to get them to serve us and we were consistently ignored. We leave after finishing the pipe and our drinks and suddenly we're priority number one? Fuck that.

I go back in and settle the bill. In the tip space I write a big "---." The staff member notices this and tells me that I have forgotten to tip. I tell him that in pig dog capitalist countries such as America, tipping is reserved for service of which one is appreciative. I was most certainly not appreciative of anything about the bar that evening and so there would be no tip.

I mean you've got to be fucking kidding me if you think it's legitimate for these people to demand a tip, especially after it becomes blatantly obvious that they were aware that we were sitting and required service but decided to just ignore us. That is so obnoxious it literally makes my blood boil just thinking about it even 5 days later. The next time I want to sample some Middle Eastern flavor, I think I'll just strap a pound of dynamite to my chest. It will cause less of a headache.

The rest of the weekend was more enjoyable. Went to a strip club only to be told by one of the girls that we should get a private room because, and I quote almost directly, "it's not that much...like...I think it's only $500."

In what bizarre universe is $500 not that much to hang out with a stripper for 30 minutes? The best part of the whole ordeal was her hesitation about actually saying $500. She knew damn well it was alot of money, but I guess she's expecting that saying "it's not that much" will cause me to consider it. Because, hey, a stripper said so! After I said "no dice," she leads me back to my table, bizarrely commenting to one of the bouncers that "he said it was too much money." That's only half the story. Nothing is intrinsically "too much money." For instance, $500 is not too much money for a Beverly Hills mansion or a trip to the moon. It is, however, too much money for a private room with a stripper. She should have told the bouncer "he made a well measured decision that I'm not worth his money." It would be closer to the truth.

Moral of the story? You're better off using your money to start forest fires than pay people in the Vice industry. You won't feel as dirty about it the next morning.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Women Drivers

I like to think of myself as a forward-thinking guy. I think it's great that women can vote and that they have special leagues for basketball and whatnot. Still, though, I can't help but ignore the fact that most of the problem drivers I encounter on the highway are members of the fairer sex. I'm not saying that women can't drive, because saying that would jeopardize my playboy lifestyle to some degree, but I will say that nearly all bad drivers are women. I'm pretty sure there are university studies (perhaps by Bob Jones U) to back up my theory.

My friend and I drove up to Cape Cod this past weekend and getting up there was a nightmare. Every few minutes, we would run into some inexplicably confused driver who felt that 60 mph was a legitimate pace in the leftmost lane. About 95% of the time, this driver turned out to be a Danica-in-training. What is it about estrogen that makes one unable to drive at a respectable speed? Moreover, why do they steadfastly refuse to move over when someone wants to pass them?

That's not even the best tactic, though. Anyone can simply refuse to get out of the way. It is the hallmark of a true championess when they actually enter your lane when they see you coming up quickly. For no reason whatsoever, these ladies decide that it's a good idea to cut off a driver going 90 when they themselves are only driving at 55.

Ladies, what is it?

Incidentally, the weekend turned out fine despite these egregious annoyances. We even got to see Teddy Kennedy drop out of the Figawi Race (our reason for going to Cape Cod) due to poor wind. His wasn't the only boat to do this (there are lots of cowards in New England it seems). However, he was the only one we noticed who had a power boat pick him up and take him back to shore (where he would no doubt hit the bars) while his crew stayed aboard and brought the boat back to shore (about 2 hours away at motoring speed).

What a hero.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Hooters Should Be Razed to the Ground

How did Hooters ever get the reputation, however tongue-in-cheek, that it was a restaurant with hot waitresses? It doesn't have the reputation for having good food, so I'll hardly complain about the subpar wings and poorly maintained beer, but it does have the reputation for having hot waitresses and it is simply unfounded.

Last night I met some NYU friends at the Hooters on 56th and I was honestly shocked. I know I tend to exaggerate, but let me tell you that I am 100% serious when I say that I've seen hotter girls in geriatric wards. These waitresses (besides being obvious examples of Bridge and Tunnel trash) honestly made me feel sick.

It didn't help, of course, that we went to this Hooters because we were expecting a buddy of ours (Dane) from USC to be coming in. In typical Dane fashion, though, he changed his plans at the last minute without telling anybody and so we sat around for over an hour, eating lousy wings and drinking lukewarm beer while somebody's grandma wiggled her short shorts in our face. It was miserable.

I haven't had a Hooters experience this bad since the Hooters in Acapulco, when the Einsteins running that establishment decided to blast reggaeton music when everyone in the restaurant (99% American spring breakers) was watching the NCAA tournament. Como se dice "We're fucking retards who think people would rather listen to Daddy Yankee than Daddy Marv during March Madness."

I suppose it isn't their fault, though. After all, all the intelligent Mexicans got the hell out of there. Or, at least, they're running clubs like Palladium where they beat the shit out of tourists and steal their money. Mexico or Hooters...it's tough to say which has a more undeserved reputation for good times.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Observational Humor Rendered Obsolete

No Journey song could ease my pain right now. Not even the smooth, soothing sounds of "When the Lights Go Down in the City."

What is the source of this pain?

The source is the fact that on two nights this week, despite my usual aversion, I ended my night at "O'Connell's" nee "Cannon's," a pseudo-Irish, blue collar death bar located about 7 blocks from the comfort zone of Nacho's. The clientele of this working man's establishment isn't made up of the steel millers or elementary school crossing guards typical of such a degenerate looking place, though. No, the clientele here is a much lower sort of person: the Columbia Jock.

The Columbia Jock is perhaps the lowest position in all of Jock culture...even lower than the "South Central Nowhere State" Jock, precisely because the nowhere Jock at least has legions of dumb coeds thinking that he's the man. At Columbia, though, telling a girl you're on the basketball team has roughly the same effect as going to Sudan and waving your Urban Studies PhD around: I'm sure you worked really hard to get there, but it isn't relavent, it isn't impressive, and it certainly isn't cool.

O'Connell's is the kind of place where you walk in and immediately notice the fact that nearly every male in the room is clearly less intelligent than the average Columbia student. I remember standing at the bar and having one of these people (Football player) ask: "HEY DUDE!!! YOU LOOKIN FOR SOME CHICKS TONIGHT?"

The interest I had in talking to this guy was less than zero, so I promptly responded: "Nah, bro...animals. They're more fun and they talk less."

He looked confused and then went back to the fat girl he was talking to.

Seriously, I don't understand how these guys can act like they're legitimate college athletes. Columbia doesn't win anything in either Football, Basketball, or Baseball...and yet these people walk around as if they're first round draft picks.

What's the best way to disarm a Columbia basketball player? Ask him how they did in the NCAA tournament.

What's the best way to disarm a Columbia football player? Ask him for the square root of the number 4.

To compound the ridiculousness of these people, each of Football, Basketball, and Baseball have their own fraternities on campus. I don't know about the Baseball fraternity, but I know that the football and basketball people charge for entry to their parties. How ridiculous is that? I'm not sure whether I should be more disgusted by the fact that they charge or the fact that people actually pay.

As a final footnote, I'm sure that most of the people on these teams are good athletes...but the team record doesn't show that. Until wins start coming in, it's ridiculous for these people to act like God's gift. If they start winning bowls or tournaments, then they can do that. Until then, they should take the backseat to the nerd in Lit Hum because he actually earned the right to study at this noble institution.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Guide to Not Studying for your Final

The worst possible place a college student can be is that place where the only thing that separates him (or her, if you're masculinity-challenged) from summer is the last final exam.

After four months of classes, papers, quizzes, midterms and other finals, the only thing which is keeping me from diving to the hazy depths of endless alcohol abuse is one final exam in what is perhaps the most ludicrous subject of all time: 20th Century Poetry. Poetry itself isn't ludicrous. In fact, I consider myself something of a poet. What is ludicrous is the simple fact that one can suggest we take a final exam on Poetry.

How are you supposed to study for this? Memorize the poems? There are hundreds of poems on the reading list! Most of them aren't even any good (I'm looking at you, Auden).

Attempting to study for such an exam is a journey into the darkest reaches of the Absurd. The more time I dedicate to studying, the more I am convinced that studying is unnecessary. The less time I spend studying, the more I am convinced that I'm going to fail.

Therefore, I've perfected my method for Studying Avoidance. Here are the top 10 ways to not waste your time studying for a test for which it is impossible to truly study while saving your conscience from guilt.

10. Masturbate. Furiously.

9. Stare hopelessly at the trash which you have strewn about your room over the course of the entire semester. Wonder how it got there. Get angry at yourself for putting it there. Get angry at Long Island Iced Teas for making you think it was a good idea to put it there. Don't do anything about it. Repeat.

8. Listen to the hard-hitting rock anthems of the 80's. I recommend "Kickstart My Heart" by Motley Crue and "Youth Gone Wild" by Skid Row. Grow out your hair and be misunderstood by adults everywhere, especially your parents. Raise your fist in the air, triumphantly, and ask whatever city you're in if its ready to rock.

7. Adopt a whale.

6. Upon the whale's delivery to you, sell to Japanese whale dealers, where your humpback friend will be used for food, clothing, energy, decoration, and the aggravation of PETA. Don't feel bad...you adopted the whale, which meant that it was an orphan with no family or friends, so nobody is going to be upset with you.

5. Masturbate, although this time put on some slow jams and light some candles. Convince yourself that you're still heterosexual.

4. Read the wikipedia entry on Alf. No, not the Animal Liberation Front, but Alf, the lovable alien of sitcom fame. There's lots you can learn about him. For instance, did you know that when Alf was in high school back on his alien planet, he played Boullabaiseball? Whacky! Also, you can edit the page yourself, which is a fun way to get involved in Alf culture if you live in a remote area and don't have access to any Alf-oriented activities.

Get really wasted and drunk dial your middle school girlfriend, especially if it's the middle of the day or the early evening. She'll never see it coming and, who knows, you may get lucky!

2. Alphabetize your books, DVDS, video games, CDs, and furniture. Following this, talk to your doctor about OCD and how Zoloft can help.

1. Try to find the ugliest person possible using Google image search. This tried and true method is hands down the best way to not study for your final exam. My winner so far? THIS GUY:

WH Auden. Ugliest Poet Ever?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Number 1 Train Number One in Name Only

Last night, my buddy A-rob and I were coming uptown from the Tower Records near the Lincoln Center, where we had recently acquired a copy of American Psycho so that we may view it in preperation for our banking internships this summer. We took the 1 uptown, as anyone would if they desired to get to Columbia, but, in retrospect, we should have simply walked the 50 blocks back to campus.

You see, half-way through the journey, right after we departed from 96th, the conductor announced over the PA in a barely audible whisper that the train, for whatever reason, would not stop at 103rd, 110th, 116th, 125th, or 137th, but would go express to 145th street.

Great. I always wanted to know what REAL Harlem looked like at 11 oclock at night.

This pissed me off, but, as one who has lived in New York for a while, I wasn't surprised by the inadequacy of the MTA. What really pissed me off about this whole endeavour was that the conductor only told us we were captive as soon as the doors closed. Maybe he could have mentioned this three seconds prior...when the doors were still open and we could have gotten out and hailed a cab or walked and saved time. I considered the possibility that he only became aware of the problem three seconds after the doors closed, but, in retrospect, I am able to dismiss this as my Korean math friend informs me that the probability of that being the case is approximately NOT AT ALL.

Not all was lost, though. Seeing as how A-rob is from Beantown, he's naturally even more wary than necessary of going to sketchy parts of town after dark, on the subway no less. Because of this, he was in a greater state of alertness than all the adderall/coke-fiends at school combined.

The first thing he noticed was the residentially-challenged man sleeping in the handicapped seats. What he noticed, in particular, was the pungent odor of sulfur and methane escaping from his general direction.

"Dude," A-rob asked me, "did that homeless guy just shit his pants?"

Obviously I don't know the answer to this question, but, for fun, we'll assume that the answer was "twice."

We finally reached 145th after passing the site where Taco Bell used to stand (RIP dawg). A-rob and I decided to hail a cab as we didn't want to risk getting screwed with by the subway again, when all of a sudden we saw a crew of four urban youths descending upon us. A-rob has been mugged a few times in his life, so automatically he assumes that he's about to have an unpleasant experience. Now, if this was a Warren G song, I'd just pull out my strap and make some bodies turn cold, but, as this was not a Warren G song, we ran across the street to the downtown platform, paid another $4 (ridiculous!) and headed back to Columbo after waiting way too long for a train that the conductor promised us was waiting for us.

Moral of the story? The Number 1 didn't earn the distinction of being number one...it must have been arbitrarily assigned.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Gay Cowboys? You're joking!

"Forbidden man passion? Four stars!"
-San Francisco Chronicle

"I jerked it three times...two thumbs up..."
-San Francisco Journal

"That one gay cowboy gives the breakout performance of his career. Plus he's totally gay."
-San Francisco Gay Reader

I haven't seen Brokeback Mountain, so I'm not in a position to review or critique the movie. What I am in a position to do, though, is wonder why it's getting such critical acclaim. Instead of asking the people around campus, who would probably say that the movie was, to some degree, like their own lives, I asked a friend of mine from back home what she thought.

She said that the movie was probably so successful because it was groundbreaking in that it showed the world that there are gay cowboys.

Wait...there are gay cowboys?


Of course there are gay cowboys. It's practically a prerequisite these days. Was there actually anyone with a pulse who was surprised to learn this? Just look at the costumes they wear. It used to be that a guy wearing something like that could drink fifteen gallons of whiskey, seduce your girlfriend and then shoot a platoon of Mexicans or, worse, Injuns. Nowadays when you see someone wearing chaps, a vest, and a cowboy hat you can bet that his name is "Rusty," he smokes Virginia Slims, and he's more likely to polish off your knob than a bottle of Beam.

Now before I get accused of living in "Meanietown" again, like the last time I was in the village, I'd like to say that there is nothing wrong with being homosexual. Really. Do your thing. But I say this with the caveat that if Brokeback Mountain was a movie about lesbian pillowfighters (an oppressed minority worldwide) and starred Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel, there is simply no way it would have gotten the same appreciation by the reviewers.

And why is that?

Because, obviously, the film reviewers are all gay themselves. Otherwise there is simply no explanation for such a decision by Hollywood to make a movie about gay cowboys but not lesbian pillowfighters. To demonstrate that a movie about girl pillowfighters is objectively more touching and interesting than a film about gay cowboys, we will analyze various aspects of the two groups.

1. Minority Power

As all Hollywood big-shots know, marketing is even more important than the actual movie. Brokeback Mountain was marketed as "The gay cowboy love story of the decade." But do you think that everyone who saw that movie was a gay cowboy? Of course not. Most of the people who saw that movie were pseudo-intellectuals who were afraid of appearing uncultured if they didn't see it. As a result, film sales are directly related to the amount of people who aren't
a part of the minority group portrayed.

According to a US Census taken a few years ago, the number of "gay cowboys" in the country is, approximately, 12.8 million, up from 11.1 million the year before. This accounts for, roughly, 4.3% of all Americans.

According to the same US Census, the number of "lesbian pillowfighters" in America was, sadly, only 402,000. This accounts for only .14% of all Americans.

Therefore, using our logic from above, the movie industry would have been better off making a movie about lesbian coeds hitting each other with pillows in their underwear.

"Brokeback Mountain": 6.0
"Coed Pillow Desire": 10.0

2. Originality

Another important factor of a film is its originality. Have there been other films like this before? To find out, I went downtown to Chelsea to visit "Adult Movies" on 36th and Broadway, thinking they would have the most mature, and therefore upscale, collection.

Because I'm not twenty-one, I respectfully declined from entering, but I asked one gentleman leaving the store if he could help me.

Me: Hey, I've got a question for you. Does this place sell gay cowboy movies?
Him: Why yes! Tons of them! I've purchased a few myself!
Me: What about movies with girls pillowfighting and then falling in love?
Him: Didn't see any! Skittles!

With that, he skipped away, shopping cart full of gay cowboy dvds and all. So, according to this man's eyewitness testimony, there were "tons" of movies about gay cowboys and "none" about pillowfighting college girls. Looks like the cowboys lose this one, too.

Brokeback Mountain: 0.0
Sorority Slumber Party: 10

3. Actor Sex Appeal

The most important thing for marketing a movie is whether or not the people in the movie have any sex appeal. It's no big secret that the script for Waterworld was ironclad, they just needed to find someone more attractive than Kevin Costner to play the part of the Amazon woman-warrior who was in charge of things.

Brokeback Mountain had an all male-cast. No sex appeal.

In my mind, the pillowfighting movie has an all female cast and, therefore, a great deal of sex appeal.

Brokeback: 0.0
All Girl Pillow-fest: 10.0

So there we have it. The pillowfighting movie gets a perfect score while Brokeback Mountain, predictably, didn't make the grade. Hollywood producers would have to have known that a pillowfighting film would be objectively better than a gay cowboy movie, but they chose to act as if this wasn't true. Why? Because they knew the film critics wouldn't have it. Because film critics, by nature, only like gay cowboy movies. It's science.