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Everyday

The Next Echinacea

When it rains in Manhattan, you avoid it. If you’re going anywhere you take the subway and do whatever you can to stay away from the rain. Unless of course you have to go a few blocks away, then you take a cab. Unless you are a true New Yorker, then you walk. I walked. I got soaked.

There is a point at which rain is transformed from an inconvenience to a full on nuisance. The point, for me, is when my socks get wet. When your feet get wet and cold it is almost impossible to keep that cheery disposition you’ve fostered all day. When your feet get wet, your mortality looks you in the face and says “You are the biggest pussy, grow a set!”

Yesterday I had to get my cheap, I like to think frugal, ass over to a photo shoot 6 blocks way on 20th Street. It was not me getting photographed, thank god, but I was assisting the direction of the shoot to suit the clients ‘vision’. I decided, with shoddy umbrella in hand “hey it’s pouring outside, but I’m a New Yorker, it’s not going to phase me.”

It phased me.

I got to the photo shoot, complaining to myself like a five year old begging my mother not to take me to the dentist (You know the flailing irrational style that embarrasses child and parent alike). I walked into the studio drenched from my knees down and got out of my wet jacket and winter gear.

“I hope I don’t get pneumonia from all this rain.” I say as I pull off my scarf. The assistant to the photographer, who I had met before, leans over to me and says, “If you don’t want to get sick, you need to take lots of vitamin C, Zinc, and eat McDonalds.”

Vitamin C

Zinc

McDonalds

“McDonalds?”

“Well, I can’t back this up with any scientific evidence, but whenever I feel like I’m going to get sick I eat a BigMac, or any other fast food beef product. I think it has something to do with all the antibiotics and hormones they give the cows, but I never get sick.”

“Really? You’re pulling my leg here, right?”

“No, even my friends eat McDonalds when they start to get sick and it sorts them right out.”

I thought this was fascinating. After the shoot I went over to Burger Kind ordered a Whopper and had fries just to finish whatever it was off.

I now feel like shit, but at least I know what it was that did it to me.

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Everyday

Knitting Factory

Yeah, I knit! You got a problem with that? How about I take this needle and…

Seasonal depression is in the wings and this year, as with last winter, I am without cigarettes and would rather not start taking anti-depressants, so I thought, on the staunch advice of my girlfriend, to start knitting.

It’s a bit of a blow to my manhood.

then again, I was never much of a macho man to begin with, more of a Daniel Striped Tiger, but knitting? That is dead feminine. My grandmother knit. My Mother Knit. Now I knit.

last Friday, at the Loose Fur concert, I whipped out my wool to show my friends Steve and Amy my newest project for my sister (To be honest, made me show them). Steve remarked…

S “Um, Ben, You’re knitting.”
B “Yeah, isn’t it cool?”
S “I think we need to go play a game of baseball and have a few beers.”
B “Can I bring my Needles?”
S “To the game?”
B “Yeah, I need something to do in the dugout.”

Amy thinks it is fabulous.

I then had a thought, or more accurately expanded on an earlier thought I had, if my single male friends started knitting and went to a knitting circle, or even a knitting store, they would get snatched up by a women in no time (the sane ones at least). And more to the point, when guys are single they go to sports bars, or stay home and play Playstation2. When women are single they take an art class, or learn to knit. Guys sit and fester, while women improve themselves. This is, of course, a gross over generalization, but think about it…

Would you look for a mate at a bar (who drinks a lot), or at a painting class (who is creative)?

Knitting is really relaxing. You can only do passive things while knitting, like talking, or watch tv, if that’s your thing. The reward of seeing a scarf materialize in front of your eyes is huge, and the feeling you get when you receive an item made for you from somebody… It is like wearing a constant reminder of someone’s feelings about you.

Now see if a GAP sweater made by a Chinese worker for 49 cents gives you the same feeling. (and you always wonder why you feel like a bastard in that Old Navy fleece, that’s just how Ting Zao feels about you)

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Everyday

Mondays

You ever get the feeing that somebody has changed your coffee to decaf and everybody else knows it, except you?

Welcome to my life.

Things happened today… I know they did, but there is nothing I can write about it. I rode the subway, I worked, I might go to yoga, but there doesn’t seem to be anything worthy to write about. Maybe I need to relax.

I think I’m using the wrong multi-vitamin. It makes my pee fluorescent yellow. That’s probably it.

Snoop Dogg – Tha Shizzolator

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Everyday

A Simple Question…

I know I said I wouldn’t kvetsh about things on this site, but sometimes you have to look in the face of reason and wonder why it grew that mustache. I have a pet peeve that infuriates me. It happens every so often when I go to a website to fill out information about myself and the question always arises…

What state do I live in?

Well, what a simple question that is. I can answer that in two letters, thanks to the United States Postal Service’s State Abbreviations ,

… There, all done.

However, somewhere along the evolutionary path of web design a ruddy pimple faced programmer decided that he could, not necessarily should, create a listing of all the states in the union, so no one would ever have to enter in another two letter abbreviation ever again.

The problem inherent in this system is this, It is a hell of a lot more of a pain in the ass to go rooting around a listing of states than to enter in two letters. Not to mention, that if you are filling out a form you can tab from one field to another and enter information, but once you get to a list all bets are off and you have to once again grab a hold of your mouse to root for your state. What makes the insult oh so much more of an insult is that once you’ve found your state you inevitably have to type you zip code directly after it.

This stupidity in function drives me crazy, because although it only takes 5 seconds to find my state, it takes 4 seconds longer than it used to. And if you add up all those lost 4 seconds worldwide, I could take Fridays off and no one would even mind.

It’s trickle-down people… trickle-down

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Everyday

Improving on Nature?

Is it a Bird? (yes)
Is it a Plane (well, not exactly)
No, it’s TURDUCKEN!

Over the last few months we, at Fun Time Tree House, Inc., have been monitoring a cruel and dangerous eating activity, that has it’s made it’s way up from the south to us northerners.

Turducken
(link 1, link 2, Google)

The basic gist of the turducken is this; you take a de-boned chicken and stick it into a de-boned duck, which is then inserted into a de-boned turkey. Between each layer of carcass is a stuffing layer (cajun and pork) which supplies you with additional pieces of more animals. The massacre is then inserted into an oven and cooked for 15 hours in hopes to kill the micro bacteria that have been uncovered.

And the jews are afraid to eat pork?!

At the end of the stuffing and cooking ordeal you are left with mass grave of 4 distinct animals, which I wager had never seen each other in their past lives, let alone be packed inside one another. It’s bioengineering orgy of flavor and texture that produces one hell of a main course.

It’s America people, land of invention and innovation. We are lucky enough to be around to see it.

Can you please pass the thighbrestwing?

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Everyday

Damn iPod!

For my 25th birthday, my parents decided that as a gift they would give me an iPod. I’ve wanted one of the little chrome and white things for a while, but I hadn’t fully grasped the control the little thing would have over my life, or how obsessive I would get over it.

dumb-ass.gif

20GB of music (roughly 4,000 songs) is a lot of music. Way too much music it may be said. 4,000 songs is hours of music. Hours of music that I will probably never get to enjoy, for fear that If I listen to one album, it will be a waste of money. If I listen to each track, in about 15 days I will have listened to everything.

Funtimes.

I’m slightly ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) which roughly translates as, having too many choices is my downfall. I’m also slightly OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) with a splash of TMD (Technology Meddling Disorder) the mix creates a superhuman with the attention-span of Ruth Gordon and the technical prowess of my grandfather.

ruthgordonth2x2.jpg

(Side Note: My grandfather wears two digital watches on both wrists, because he watches two television programs each day. He therefore needs two alarms to alert him to when his shows are on television.)

When is too much music, just too much?

On my computer I have 7588 songs (21 days 1 hour 11 minutes of music). I became compulsive with my friend Justin, another technical Meddler, to assemble the ultimate collection. Most of the albums I own and have encoded into my computer. I’m not a Napster user, because of my OCD which makes me encode all my music at a certain bit rate (160 kbs) and with the same encoder (iTunes 1.1 or higher). I am so obsessed that I hear imperfections in other peoples music that I’m not sure is there or not. I have actually gotten MP3’s from friends and then bought the album to create my own MP3’s. I actually buy more CDs now than I used to, so I guess I’m what the record companies love, a psychotic listener.

Not that I’m not extremely happy about owning the little bastard. I’m growing to love my little iPod and the freedom it brings. I just hope I have enough time to listen to 4,000 songs in my lifetime and don’t get fired because of it.

Happy Holidays from Apple & Will Ferrell

-Not related at all to the above entry we at Fun Time Tree House, Inc. would like to send congratulations to A Day Late and a Dollar Short on their wedding anniversary and for the publishing of some of the soppiest e-mails I have ever had the privilege to read. Funnily enough, I have the exact same e-mails from college. Funny how falling in love works.

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Everyday

On the Subject of Blogs

Who got carried away with his writing?
That would be me.

Web logs, or online diaries like this one, are a double-edged sword. On the one hand they are sometimes interesting views into another person’s character other times they aren’t. Most of the time it isn’t what the person writes, but how they write it, but they begin to blur the line of interesting thought and contrived thought that’s had for the sake of an interesting anecdote.

Do I need a book to write this stuff?

I am going to set forth a foundation for this blog. A manifesto, if you will, of the things that I want to accomplish with it. Not a grandiose manifesto, mind you, I just want to keep in mind what format it should keep.

Fist off- Blogs I like, Dooce. She has a certain spark of creativity and energy that seems to bring people to her. She is honest and keeps her stories to the point. They are plain and simple, but have her presence. You know she is a person, who has a real life with real emotions. It isn’t about grandiose stories, but rather finding the grandiose in the commonplace Ok, I got to watch that “new age” shit.

Um- Little Yellow Different Very funny Plus he’s gay, so you know he’ll have great interior design tips.

Second- Attitude. I like sites with good positive attitude. I’m not one for depressing web logs. Who wants to log onto a nebbish’s site where all they do is complain about things? Who would come back? Nobody… Except Jews, or people raised by Jews from a very young age (I’ll explain later).

While I want to be honest, I also want to keep things positive (and interesting).

Third- design Well, I think I have that mostly covered. I’m pleased with the design of the site. I’ll keep it.

Fourth- Updates. This is a hard one to keep going. So many web logs start off strong, but peter off after the second week. I guess it’s the nature of the beast. Other things are bound to spring up in my life that will push the blog out of the way. It’s inevitable. I will try to keep myself motivated to write in it almost every day if possible… Once a week I promise… but certainly no less than once a month I will write something.

Fifth- Humor. This is an important one. I mean, who could forget Dooce.com’s tirade about farts?

But there, there in Monroe, Washington, perhaps all over the Pacific Northwest, I guess it’s okay to laugh at someone’s bellowing, yodeling fart in a public restroom, because right after she let that stuttering bomb rip, a woman in the stall next to mine started laughing uncontrollably. And I’m not talking about a gentle, muffled laugh, or a laugh that could possibly pass for cough. The woman in the stall next to mine was belly laughing, cackling like a crazed hyena, heehawing at the other woman’s fart. -Dooce

Humor keeps people coming back. I want to keep people coming back. I want people to like me. I’m as insecure as the next person, so if you don’t like me I’ll change. I’m pretty good on that one as well. At least in real life I make most people laugh. If I could put that over into the written word, dare I say it I would be unstoppable.

I’m tired. I think I’ll go to bed now and enjoy these new found ideals that I will forget by tomorrow.

*fart*

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Everyday

Gobble Gobble

Yes it’s thanksgiving again. It’s once again time to spend time with the family, overindulge in food, and pray to god it all goes quickly this year without your mother asking why you’re not married yet. (This is a recent development for myself, but if you’re Jewish you’ve probably been hearing it since you were five.) I love this holiday, because it is just the right mixture of commercialism and genuine American patriotism that make it a holiday almost anybody, who doesn’t deeply hate America, can latch onto. It, in my mind, it is the perfect American holiday.

What better represents America than overindulgence and overeating?

The actual holiday is of course a horrible one, which over the years has been Disinyfied by a morally bankrupt culture that believes that the more “bad” things we sweep under the carpet the healthier our society will be. Strangely enough, the more historically homogenized we make our country the more terrible it seems to become. The settlers landed in America hungry and unprepared for the new world and the Native American population showed us the uses of corn and the abundance of the land, this is why we celebrate Thanksgiving. What we have seemed to have forgotten is that after the Native American’s showed us their hospitality we basically murdered them all, or infected them with our European viruses and then stole their land. Classic white boy fun times.

“for some native Americans, Thanksgiving Day is called and treated as ‘Day of Mourning’ because it is a celebration”link

The basic premise of the current holiday, however, is a wonderful one, which despite attempts to over commercialize it, is still about the spending of time with loved ones. This sentiment is still refreshing from its roots 509 years ago.

It is a holiday unmarred by religious imagery or politics Except if your ancestors were Native American, then you can sit it your room and wish terrible things on all of us white bred overindulgent Caucasians and our influenza. For the rest of us, let’s eat some turkey and drink some beers and enjoy the unrealistically constructed version of our families.

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Everyday

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is the day. My Birthday. Happy fun times. My birthday has not been the most spectacular of celebrated events, but to tell the truth I have not been diligent about it’s celebration. Really, I could care less, although turning 25 is big, really big, or so it seems. It’s just that a self-important celebration isn’t my thing. Why make a fuss over little old me?

When I turned 24 I was cynical about the whole thing. 24 was still a young number in my mind. I thought that all that age turning crap was just an excuse for Hallmark to sell shitty cards. Well that part is true, Hallmark does sell shitty cards, but the cynicism was based entirely of my fear of growing up and loosing my youth. Well, my youth and my hair. So, in a bizarre twist of fate I spent my 24th birthday by myself in a bar, because all of my friends were busy and it was so close to thanksgiving.

(On a later note: I just received a very cute Hallmark e-card from my girlfriend, which wasn’t shitty and was quite endearing.)

The fact of the matter is being scared of getting older is fruitless. You are going to get older and there is nothing you can do about it. I cannot re-live the past, or live in the past. I must look ahead and be happy that I have what I have right now and rejoice in my life, rather than complain about it. I don’t have any choice in the matter.

As one of my favorite musicians Krishna Das said recently “You can either be happy in your life, or you can learn to be happy in your life. You only get one life to live, so you better start enjoying it.” This had a profound effect on my life. So many people sit complaining about this and that and never get around to enjoying what they have.

So, I decided as a new leaf to turn, to try to enjoy life… and try to remember it this time.