Thursday, December 03, 2009

Recent Email from My Mom

Hello,

I'm writing this with tears in my eyes,i came down here to London,England for a short vacation and i got mugged at gun point last night at the park of the hotel where i lodged all cash,credit cards and cell were stolen off me.

I am even owing the hotel here,the hotel manager won't let me leave until i settle the hotel bills now am freaked out. So i have limited access to emails for now, please i need you to lend me some money so i can make arrangements and return back I am full of panic now,the police only asked me to write a statement about the incident and directed me to the embassy,i have spoken to the embassy here but they are not responding to the matter effectively, I will return the money back to you as soon as i get home, I am so confused right now.i wasn't injured because I complied immediately.

I await your quick response.

Regards,

Mom

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Time Travel is Hard

INT. CAESAR'S PALACE SPORTSBOOK, LAS VEGAS, OCTOBER 27, 1985

Tim (internal): Of all the years I could have ended up in, it just had to be 1985. It couldn't have been '86? Everyone knows the Mets won that year, Buckner and all that bullshit. Cardinals vs. Royals. Ugh. Cardinals have won the World Series a lot of times, they must have won this time too, right? Or maybe I should go all counterintuitive, pick the underdog. I wish my iPhone worked here. Just trust your ESPN Classic-trained mind Tim. Have they ever shown a Royals game on that channel? Did you know ANY Royals fans growing up? If they had won a World Series, there definitely would have been some bandwagon kids in George Brett jerseys. Yep, gotta be the Cardinals.

Tim (to teller): I'd like $20,000 on the Cardinals to win Game 7 tonight.

INT. TIM'S PARENTS' APARTMENT, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 8, 2009

Tim (to his parents):
You are not gonna BELIEVE what happened to my trust fund!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dreams from my iPhone

A few months ago, I decided to start keeping a dream journal. Basically, any time I wake up from a dream that I can remember, I furiously type up all the details as quickly as possible into a note on my iPhone. I'd like to share some of these dreams with you. And remember, these are actual notes I took about actual dreams:

  • Get annoyed with my dad for the stop-start of the air conditioning in my childhood apartment while actually experiencing the stop-start of an overnight train in Morocco (8/26/09)
  • Watch Venus Williams as the guest chair umpire for a final tennis match played in Midtown Manhattan. She calls Justine Henin, "That Jewish girl" (8/27/09)
  • The night doorman from my office building starts sharing with me on Google Reader (9/13/09)
  • I'm trapped in the bathtub of my childhood apartment with the waters rising. My mom tries to save me, but can't. Eventually, futuristic machines controlled by Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan save me (9/19/09)*
  • I'm in a later season Gossip Girl-world where Blair does no work and Dan seemingly has sexual tension with a dean/teacher character played by James Franco (10/3/09)
  • Pseudo-sexual meat market in Mexico with anthropomorphic live animals (10/17/09)
  • I work hard to convince a guy at J. Crew that I can exchange a size medium tweed-style jacket I had gotten as a gift for a size small, but I'm not able to because I hadn't bought the jacket myself (11/15/09)
*I had a very similar dream that involved flooding and Jaws coming to get me in my apartment when I was around 8.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ladies, diversify your portfolios!

If I'm stalking you across Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Videobox, etc... I don't want to see the same 200 x 200 profile photo everywhere. You've gotta have at least 2 or 3 different shots. Even if they were actually taken at the same time, give me a different angle or something. Sheesh.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Elm City Connectors

(Note: MoMilli and I have been talking over a potential New Haven mixtape tentatively titled "The Elm City Connectors")

[Current status - Bergman Senior]
New Haven mixtape
Be takin' quick shape
Tracks so aggressive,
Bitches gonna scream "rape!"
But wait, we all homosape,
Only evolution be revolution
Way we run the game
Ain't no mo' prostitution

Potential Song 1:

[Potential Verse 1 - MoMilli]
Biggie likes gats & stuff
Mo Milli like Gatz & scruff
Mo like mo' boys to be well-bred and read and stuff
Free curling Jewfros while they're free with free-associative thoughts on the Euthryphro
Shitty riff, though
I like mines off the cuff with a quip
When he whip out his ego trip
We not rippin' corners, we rippin' the whole block with a community redev to a new downtown mall strip
Redevelop B-way to make way for a AmAppy
The fuck you thinkin', takin' out scrappy b-men (Jason!) to scrap together multinationals (Urban!)
Strappy sandals are so oh-sev
We so-so def, social debs, I mean devs
Social deviants, we social climbin' until the cap-and-trade bubble burst
(etc.)

[Potential Verse 2 - MoMilli]
So we like up at the Courtyard
Post-game crash hard
Fresh on withdrawal with my cash card
Suddenly freaked is me
Some dude in 523 is getting Judasy on his Game roomies
Is this Marriott gonna get feisty? Nicely...
Nice ice bucket in the room next door, loud sounds
Girl cracks door open, looks around
Shuts it again, then they come out of there with a group of three
"You okay-yo with the yayo?"
They like yeah, yo
Me say "nay-yo"
Naysayers on the elevator ruminators
"Should we turn in them in soon?" they ask amongst themselves
"Oh, shit, " my girl K.V. and me mumble, it's 7:12
We gonna be late for New Moon
Should've waited for the 10:20 showing instead of something else so soon

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Celebrity in the Crowd

At last night's Knicks game, we saw this:


Monday, November 09, 2009

21st Century Sport

A brief history of polar fleece

1979: One of the first forms of polar fleece is created by Malden Mills.

1997: I think it's cool to wear polar fleece everywhere. Especially if it's from Lands End.

2002: Track jackets take over. Polar fleece is worn by engineering students and overly enthusiastic residential college supporters.

2009: The mere mention of polar fleece brings to mind cheap corporate giveaways, magazine subscription enticements, and late-30s soccer moms hiding their good and bad curves. I fall in love all over again.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

This One's For Manifest Density

Took just 1 game to see that we could compete
Some irritable bowlers nearly got beat
But then we're 2 and 2, mediocrity loomed
Our pinfall low was the season doomed?
Not by a long shot
Cause this long shot
Got hot, struck a lot
And connected the dots
With the pieces in place, our average kept climbing
Hit our peak late season, talk about timing
Now the playoffs are beckoning
Other teams face a reckoning
This is judgment day on the lanes
Let's terminate them slowly, so they don't feel the pain

Monday, November 02, 2009

21st Century Sex Diary of the Narrator of Notes From Underground

Day One:
6:09 a.m. Think about how sick I am.
6:10 a.m. Think about how wicked I am.
6:11 a.m. Think about calling CoCo.
9:00 a.m. Start work for the day with my miserable co-workers. I bet they're all having office romances. Meanwhile, my dick is bigger than all of their dicks combined, but they walk around the office like they're fucking John Holmes.
12:15 p.m. Eat lunch alone at my desk. Occasionally sneak a peek at the knees of the secretaries who sit near me. The knee is the most sexual part of the leg.
5:00 p.m. Watch Jim (with his pockmarked face) and Martin (with his hideous teeth) walk out to happy hour with Katherine, who has the best knees in the office. Consider masturbating at work.
11:30 p.m. Consider masturbating at home.

Day Two
5:46 a.m. Think about calling CoCo. Wonder if she'll stop by my apartment instead.
12:30 p.m. Go to Brooks Brothers and buy the second-cheapest suit.
6:37 p.m. Put on my new suit and pick up the phone to call CoCo. Dial 3 digits. Hang up.

Day Three
5:21 a.m. Wake up from dream about CoCo. Realize that I don't have her phone number. Too many girls named CoCo on Facebook. Spend 90 minutes looking at 200x200 profile photos.
11:57 a.m. Consider "accidentally" bumping into Katherine in the office. Figure out the perfect plan.
2:59 p.m. Katherine is walking past my desk. Time to act. I look away and pretend to type in an Excel formula.
5:18 p.m. Walk by CoCo's place. Stand outside for 15 minutes pretending to do something useful on my phone. Walk around the block while thinking about going inside. Walk home.
11:12 p.m. Read reviews of Fleshlight for an hour. Decide that it's probably not worth it.

Day Four
4:49 a.m. Think about friending every CoCo in New York on Facebook. Realize that Korean handjob masseuses probably aren't on Facebook.
4:50 a.m. Consider masturbating. Start typing in videob...delete that and go to Google Image search. Switch from strict to moderate filtering. Search for Sasha Grey. Get lots of photos from The Girlfriend Experience movie premiere.
4:54 a.m. Go back to sleep.
1:12 p.m. See old college classmate at local deli. Look down and try to walk away. Hear him say my name. Keep walking. Feel him put his hand on my shoulder. Agree to meet him and 3 other cretins for drinks the next day at 6.
10:25 p.m. Think about inviting CoCo out with my college classmates. Hang out in front of her massage parlor.

Day Five
4:21 a.m. Get home.
8:16 a.m. Practice in the bathroom mirror asking Katherine what she's doing this weekend.
2:44 p.m. Accidentally reply-all to company-wide email.
2:51 p.m. Overhear Katherine asking Martin, "Who's the guy that just sent that weird email? Does he work here?"
4:57 p.m. Watch Katherine walk right by me and leave for the weekend.
6:00 p.m. Arrive for drinks. Wait at the bar alone and make furtive eye contact with at least 3 women. Order no drinks.
7:00 p.m. Pretend to care about what my classmates have done since college. Actually care even more than I am pretending. Every one of them is both more successful and less intelligent than I am.
11:23 p.m. Suggest to everyone that we get massages.

Day Six
12:37 p.m. Wake up on CoCo's massage table. Tell her that she's a lousy masseuse who should have stayed in Korea and that New York will bring nothing but suffering to her and her family. Ask for her email address.
4:00 p.m. Call my only acquaintance, who is also my boss, and ask him to lend me money. Tell him it's to help me set up a home office. It's really to buy CoCo flowers and champagne.

Day Seven
3:35 a.m. Create a flirty someecard for CoCo. Send her a generic ecard from a mainstream site.
2:25 p.m. Visit massage parlor rating site and type up a bad review for CoCo. Delete it.
10:04 p.m. Regret not getting at least a handjob from CoCo.

Totals: Two aborted handjob massages; three aborted attempts at masturbation; five days of staring at knees; zero ejaculations

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Going Down


The 2009 Inaugural Address of @GeorgeWallace

If George Wallace were still around during the Twitter age, I think that he might give a speech something like this:
People of Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, distinguished guests, Google Reader users:

Before I begin my talk with you, I want to ask you for a few minutes patience while I say something that is on my heart: I want to thank those intrepid folks on the internet who first gave an anxious country boy his opportunity to discuss the negroes he despised in a more public way. I shall always owe a lot to those who gave me that first opportunity to tweet.

I will never forget the warm support and close loyalty from my followers, 304 of whom made #PappysMoonshine a trending topic for a full 4 hours last Christmas and the 1 little old lady who accidentally wrote @PappysMoonshine, by mistake, because she doesn't understand Twitter. Bless her heart.

I hope you'll forgive me these few moments of remembering...but I wanted them...and you...to know, that I shall never forget.

And I wish I could shake hands and thank all of you in the Twitterverse who have tweeted @ me, and those of you who have not, for I know you tweeted your honest convictions. And now, we must stand together and move the great world of Twitter forward.

This is the day of my confirmation as a Verified Account on Twitter. And on this day I feel a deep obligation to renew my pledges, my covenants with you, the people of the Twitterverse.

General Robert E. Lee said that "duty" is the sublimest word on the English language and I have come, increasingly, to realize what he meant. I SHALL do my duty to you, God helping, to every man, to every woman, yes, to every child who tweets. I shall fulfill my duty toward improving search and making sure you never see the fail whale so that no man shall ever have to refresh the page and no child shall even consider switching micro-blogging platforms.

Today I have stood, where once @aplusk stood, and taken an oath to my tweeters. It is very appropriate then that from this Home of the Hipsterocracy, this very Heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Twitterverse, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebears before us done, time and time again through history. Let us rise to the call of freedom-loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon Twitter. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny...and I say...segregation today...segregation tomorrow...segregation forever.

The way that negroes use Twitter is disgusting and revealing. We will not sacrifice our children to any such type of hashtags--and you can write that down. The FCC could be better used guarding the safety of Foursquare, where it is even unsafe to check in without fear of being immediately surrounded by blipsters. I was safer on MySpace during the mid-2000s, than the people of the Twitterverse are when they tweet about Michael Jackson!

Let us send this message back to @ev by our representatives who are with us today...that from this day we are standing up, and the heel of tyranny does not fit the neck of an upright man...that we intend to take the offensive and carry our fight for freedom across the Twitterverse, wielding the balance of power we know we possess in the Twitterverse...that WE, not the insipid bloc of tweeters of some sections...will determine in the next list of recommended users, who shall have the most followers...That from this day, from this hour...from this minute...we give the word of a race of honor that we will tolerate their bad grammar and oversharing in our face no longer...and let those certain judges put that in their opium pipes of power and smoke it for what it is worth.

In united effort we were meant to live under the Twitter terms of service...and each race, within its own framework has the freedom to @reply, to hashtag, to post twitpics...to ask for and receive deserved help from others of separate racial stations. This is the great freedom of Twitter's founding fathers...but if we amalgamate into the one unit as advocated by the social media blogs, then the enrichment of our lives, the freedom for our development, is gone forever. We become, therefore, a mongrel unit of one under a single all powerful trending topic, and we stand for everything...and for nothing.

The true brotherhood of America, of respecting the separateness of others, and uniting in effort, has been so twisted and distorted from its original concept that there is a small wonder that hashtags like #bitchplease are winning the world.

We invite the negro citizens of the Twitterverse to work with us from their separate racial station, as we will work with them, to develop, to grow in individual freedom and enrichment. We want jobs and a good future for BOTH races, the functionally illiterate and the overly witty. There must be a place for both professional athletes and social media professionals...for we all have too much time on our hands.

I promise you that I will try to make you proud of my Verified Account status. I promise you that, as Twitter gives me certain special features, I will make sure that whites never have to see negro trending topics or @replies. A steady diet of tweets about bacon, technology, and self-referential humor will rule the day.

And my prayer is that the Father (@ev) who reigns above us will bless all the people of this great Twitterverse, both white and black.

I thank you.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Beneficent Bowllah

(Guest Blogger: The BENEFICENT Allah)

Berkeley, CA

Sometimes I feel like God is using his mouse to drag the arrow over my baldspot in a fictitious Youtube video of me in a convertible whilst he murmurs: "Aging, man, aging..."

This past week has not been one of those times. Katie lives in an idyllic Berkeley apartment surrounded by three seminaries ("to keep the Jews away!") with an office and a walk-in closet. Surrounded by feminine splendour, I have sprouted a perfect, mid-sized clitoris in hushed olive...when I was little, I thought that women don't have anything there, just missing-a-penis. Now I know...

To make me feel more manly, Katie (or somebody) left the kitchen stove's gas on. I entered the apartment - sniff sniff - "I smell gas!" which is silly since gas has no smell except the smell we give it. I opened the windows (which could have caused an explosion) and then I heroically strutted around shirtless all day long until I Googled the situation in the evening and realized my error: I should've ran out screaming "Gas, Gas!" and called P,G & E from across the street like a pussy.

No fire though. Today I went to Berkeley Bowl to fetch some discount Komboocha (for the missus! I don't drink that gayjuice...) Walking back I passed a hospice. I peeked inside: a man-nurse was sitting at the piano, playing a rink-a-dink rendition of Take me out to the Baall Game while a bald white guy drooled like he was meant to enjoy it. Next to him, a fat black woman in a wheelchair dismissively regarded the drooler's obligeance, which was nice.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bootlegs turning out to be the originals

After reading a certain online profile last week and doing some research about Heathcliff the cat, I was surprised to discover that he actually predated Garfield! My world was flipped upside down. Growing up, I had always considered Heathcliff to be the bootleg, grungy version of Garfield, a low-end knockoff (with an amazing intro). Then today, while typing one of my favorite exclamations, "Heavens to Murgatroyd!", I looked up the spelling of it and found out that Snagglepuss predated the Pink Panther! What is going on here? I guess it never made total sense that the most popular necessarily had to be the original, but still...Are there other characters like this that y'all can think of?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Masses (are they really thirsty and rejoicing due to this post?)

As a self-styled urban elite who surrounds himself with a similar crowd, the subjects of what "the masses" really like and what they really think about various issues are always coming up. In light of that, I would love to be in the mind of one of these "folks" from Oklahoma and know what it's really like, just for one second. Anything longer might make me nauseous.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rain Myths

Since I will be in Seattle soon and I've heard it rains a lot there, I decided to do a little investigation. Turns out that I've been lied to. It only rains a lot in the late Fall and Winter!


Oh, and that April showers bring May flowers thing sure doesn't hold water in New York, where April showers just bring even MORE May showers.

Update (7/14/09):

Of course after I wrote this, the only overcast/rainy day we had in 10 Pacific Northwest days was in Seattle.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Total Meme

How many times have you heard about the big-shot Jewish [insert finance guy, lawyer, movie executive, etc...] who spends $10 million dollars on renting private jets to fly around until they run out of fuel, but who also earnestly fishes golf balls out of lakes? I mean enough already. We get the point, [insert long magazine article writer]. Jews are cheap. Always have been, always will be.

BeRiched Keyboard Cat

This was inevitable:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Friday, June 05, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Imagine you are watching Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but thanks to the beauty of the DVR, you've recorded it in advance and are skipping all the commercials and catching up as the game is still being played. You've just seen Kobe make another crazy jumper to give the Lakers a 34-33 lead in the middle of a tense second quarter. You go to hit fast forward and speed through the commercials, when your finger slips and...it's 90-65 Lakers in the fourth? Wait, what?


Look at the DVR controls area. The Fast Forward button is directly below the Live button. Your finger has hit Live and your plans are ruined (although in this case it was probably better that you didn't sit through the blowout). This kind of placement makes it seem like the standard Time Warner Cable remote was designed by someone who has never used a DVR before! How could no one have figured out that this is a bad idea? Pressing the Live button is never something you want to by accident, so it should clearly be placed in a safer position, maybe at the top like TiVo has it, or just about anywhere else away from the most commonly pressed DVR control buttons!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Modern Nostalgia

This Project Natal thing looks amazing, but in addition to new games, what part of me really wants is the ability to play new versions of old games. Could you imagine actually acting out the motions of Mario, Mega Man, or Contra? Especially that part where you lie down on the in between levels of Contra...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I noted this dream on my iPhone as it was weird

INT. UPPER EAST SIDE COFFEE SHOP - AFTERNOON

Leighton Meester and Rich sit eating chocolate cake together.

LEIGHTON

Rich, take a look at this game on my BlackBerry. I can get to the fifth level every time without losing a life. I'm always playing it between takes on set.

Leighton shows Rich her BlackBerry with some sort of incredibly cool Tetris/Arkanoid hybrid that might convince him to buy a BlackBerry in addition to his iPhone.
RICH

Oh yeah, well if you like that, you will love this!

Rich shows Leighton the game Flood-It! on his iPhone.

Petulant Hiatus

Ever since nobody bothered to share/comment/tweet/re-blog/tumbl/email/instapape/lolcat my last post, I've just been busy hangin' out.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Internet Trackbacks

People discover some weird shit on the internet [imagine link to something really weird]. Don't you always wonder how they found it?

Imagine if you had a Firefox extension for Google Reader or e-mailed links that showed the person reading what you sent them the history of the previous sites (3? 5?) that you visited before you got to the weird shit in question? That would be cool, right? Browsing history is easily accessible, now all we need is a programmer (Tom?) and a cool way to visualize this graphically. This won't be good for everything you find on the internet, but I bet there are some great paths out there, especially in the classic Wikipedia vortex situation (e.g. where you go from Object-Oriented Programming to Adolf Hitler to Last meal in fewer than 10 clicks).

Note to Self

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Full Court Press

Malcolm Gladwell finally wrote a new article recently. It's about how underdogs (in any field) can increase their chances of success when the odds are stacked against them by using unorthodox and innovative strategies. Good idea and a compelling piece that has the usual overgeneralizations, but is fun to read.

The framework for the article and one of the key strategy examples Gladwell uses is the idea of underdog basketball teams using the full-court press in order to level the playing field against their more talented opponents. One of his lynchpin examples is the case of Rick Pitino. Ben Mathis-Lilley of New York magazine thinks Gladwell's argument has some flaws and Gladwell thinks otherwise (Pitino is a great coach and his teams have overachieved everywhere, even at Kentucky where he had top-level talent). Now Gladwell and Bill Simmons are having a lengthy exchange about this issue, among others.

First of all, Gladwell has an amazing brand and an amazing ability to write about fascinating topics just specifically enough that you think he's smart, but just generally enough that you question his conclusions. This makes him perfect for the internet, where everyone (including me right now) can then give his or her own take on the topic and Gladwell.

Second of all, I completely agree with the main thrust of Gladwell's piece, especially as it pertains to sports. Gladwell and Simmons get into this a bit, but the status quo bias in sports is simply outrageous. Gladwell has some ideas about reorganizing drafts of college players that I'd like to hear Tyler Cowen's take on (last three paragraphs here), but there's still so much more to say. For example, a I'd love to see an article about the trickle-up effect (if any) of innovations from high school to college to professional leagues, including analysis of why certain strategies (e.g. the option in football) simply don't work in the higher leagues (for the option it's usually said that athletes are too fast). Further, end the speculation. In this age of oversharing, will not one GM/Owner admit why he doesn't try something radical? Maybe if he openly admitted it was because of the fans, the fans might say, "Try Anything!" This is related to the Bill Simmons for GM push and related to my third point.

Third of all, I'm surprised that no one in these articles so far has mentioned Moneyball or the Phoenix Suns of 2004-2007. Maybe too much has already been written about Moneyball, but isn't it the classic example of the underdog playing a different strategy to defeat the heavy favorites?* Now, how about the Phoenix Suns? Their run and gun style of 2004-2007 was very similar to the full court press in forcing other teams out of their comfort zones and allowed a decent team talent-wise to become a great team accomplishment-wise. Yet because they never won a title, a lot of people fell back on the "they were entertaining, but you can't win like that" excuse. They could have easily won a title, if not for consistent bad luck in the playoffs and the fact that only one team can win a title each year so the odds are always against them! But are there lots of teams copying their style? No there aren't because teams are always afraid to be different and put in the effort it would take to do something outside the ordinary and deal with the consequences.

Finally, it's nice to see this kind of stuff cropping up more often in the mainstream media and maybe one day we'll finally witness an NFL team that never punts.

*As opposed to the press, it's been liberally adopted across baseball and its tenets are seeping into other sports, so maybe that's why it's not mentioned here? Additionally, the fact that it's more of a macro strategy might contribute to its exclusion too.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Hipsters Have Too Much Time on Their Hands

Have you heard of Hold On? It's one of the first apps that I ever downloaded:

Here are some reviews most likely written by the people who brought you Look at This Fucking Hipster and Is Gossip Girl New Tonight? Pay close attention to numbers 9, 19, and 26:

Friday, May 01, 2009

Sequels Suck

Just had my second ever Scott Ian sighting. Way less exciting than the first.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Got that Paaandemic

Can you get swine flu from reading Charlotte's Web?

PS I was gonna write something here about how it's interesting that all young people do now is make jokes about every scary thing that happens in the world (specifically swine flu right now). And it's especially easy for the young Americans who use the internet most/create every meme to do this because most of them have never had to face anything particularly bad or scary in their lives (although seeing 1000+ unread items on Google Reader is pretty daunting), so it's hard for them/me to fathom actually being uncomfortable in serious way for a serious amount of time. On the other hand, the fearmongering of the MSM is much worse. So I decided to stop thinking about this and make an easy joke.

PPS Swine flu is an interesting experiment in branding and clearly has made the disease sound much worse than it appears to be so far!

PPPS This is the link I wanted to include in the title of the post.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I know it's a meme but...

...Citi Field is amazing. I won't bore you with details, but I will dispense a few words of advice that are actually boring meme-tails:

  • Do not wait on line for the Shake Shack. It's great, but there are a ton of other excellent food options (Lobster Roll, Pulled Pork from Blue Smoke, Tacos even...) that you can get much faster.
  • Do not spend the whole game in your seats. Make sure to walk all the way around the stadium. There are fantastic vantage points everywhere.
  • Make sure you catch the ever-exciting Forklift vs. Light Tower race during one of the middle innings. Wait, what?
With a beautiful new stadium (I still think they should have kept the seats different colors, but I'll survive) and improved subway access (post-game 7 express trains), all that's missing is a team that lives up to expectations. At least they won last night. Oh, and I made my first ever Jumbotron appearance singing "Sweet Caroline" during the 8th inning sing-a-long. My nose looked pretty big.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

1 BR in 3BR share!!!! (UES)

1 very spacious bedroom with private bathroom in large 3 bedroom doorman/elevator building (with its own name) on Upper East Side. Full gym facilities, close to shops and restaurants. Comes fully furnished with miniature versions of world monuments, straight A 6th grade report cards, and large Sports Illustrated collection (including 5 Swimsuit Issues!!!).

Roommates are two lawyers (one stays at home a lot...don't be alarmed by her Fox News habits) and one grad student who treats his room like a bear treats a cave during the winter. Be prepared to discuss the latest in British television with the lawyers and the finer points of comedy with the grad student (although he'll be pretty accommodating about everything).

Utilities/cable/internet/toiletries/milk/cereal/bagels are all included and rent is $0/month. Just promise to put your clothes in the hamper, dishes in the sink, and don't invite too many friends over.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tweet Tweet

Everyone's always talking about the Fail Whale, but how about this other meme in the lower left corner of the screen that always catches my eye while I'm waiting for an hour to see someone's Twitter page:

I've been busy...

...working on this:

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Go with the Qlo

In my younger and more vulnerable years, my brother gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone's clothes," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had in knowing how much nicer Uniqlo is than H&M."

Now, folks, that advantage is all yours and H&M, consider yourselves On Notice!


Once upon a time I would get excited by the prospect of walking by an H&M store. I would think back to one of my favorite shirts, bought at H&M on the cheap in Paris, and wander in looking for a new great deal. More often than not, I would be disappointed. Not only would there be no good deals, there would be no good clothes. In my head, H&M was a brand that offered mostly cool, cheap clothes. In reality, it was a brand that offered mostly poorly made, high concept garbage. There were still some gems (I hear it's better for women), but on the whole, definitely not somewhere I should be stopping in on a whim. Enter Uniqlo.

My first Uniqlo experience was in their temporary Soho shop on Grand Street. This was a small space, meant to be a stopgap before the flagship opened, but with their deals on Merino sweaters, I already had a feeling that their brand was onto something. And when their flagship store opened, I knew I was right. With impossibly high ceilings and walls filled to the top with an impossibly bright array of colors, Uniqlo is undoubtedly a fun store to explore. Better yet, it's a store that actually offers good clothing at good prices. The clothes are simple, but attractive, and sturdy enough to be worn comfortably on a regular basis.

In summary, Uniqlo offers better clothes at better prices in a more organized and more attractive setting than H&M. Case closed.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Fans Roused From What Was At Times A Blog Nightmare

New York (AP) - April 1, 2009 - Two words have shaken the blogosphere to its core today: "I'm Back." This announcement, from The ACTUAL God's lips to your ears, ends nearly two years of speculation about the fate of the blogger many consider to be the greatest of all time.

The public hopes that this is not another false dawn, such as the August 24, 2008, "sneeze heard round the world." The ACTUAL God has declined to expand upon his two word declaration, but his fans have pushed #actualgod to the top of the Twitter search topics. While most fans believe he can return to the peak of his 2005 powers, there is a growing minority who aren't sure if he will be able to adjust to the way the game has changed since his retirement. With Google Reader making blog visits almost obsolete and engulfing the majority of comments as well, these dissenters think that the altered landscape might be too much of a hurdle for him to overcome.

Furthermore, there are the other bloggers. With The ACTUAL God out of the picture, many of these secondary stars were able to come out of the shadows and attract regular readers who used to prefer refreshing The ACTUAL God's blog to the hassle of trying to find new content. Add to that a new crop of young and hungry writers with Web 2.0 credentials and infrastructure, and the competition is fierce. But not fierce enough. Another Columbine and the pecking order should be restored.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Great branders think alike

Me: Man, I thought that sign over there said "Please No Dumpling!"
Dan: Look closer Rich, it does!


Recession Special/False Advertising


I saw a hairdryer in the window for $22.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Define the argument (but also, "Get off the fence!")

I just read this article about Kobe vs. LeBron for MVP, and it got me thinking about the silliness of MVP awards, just like the silliness of the Oscars.

MVP awards are among the most oft-debated topics in sportswriting and sports fandom. I have to think that on the whole this is a good thing for each sport because it gets fans to passionately discuss the issue and it gives writers something to write about. However, as a matter of "fairness," these debates are absurd.

I understand that the final vote is always going to be subjective in some way, but amazingly, as much as every writer always complains that he's not sure whether MVP means most valuable to his team or best player or highest revenue-generating (as if), no one seems to call for any reform to the process. Each writer just randomly decides on what is most important to him at that moment or thinks about which player is "due" or is a "good guy." How about actually defining the issue? The NHL certainly doesn't want to do that:


And since they don't, I'll give you my two cents. My MVP vote is based about 1/3 on who is most valuable to his team and 2/3 on who is the best player in the league (based on various stats, who would go first on the playground, ability to dominate, etc...). This way, someone like Kobe is not penalized as much for being on a much better team than Wade or LeBron, but at the same time, those guys do get credit for how much they have to carry their teams. I think Kobe would sacrifice an MVP award for a title, right?

Even if my criteria is not correct (some stathead can probably find something better/much less subjective), it would be fun to see a more well-defined race in each sport.

As for my NBA ballot? I'll be the first to admit to a bit of man crush on LeBron (for his basketball skills, mostly) and I know I'm not alone. But I also think that anyone who doesn't vote for LeBron for MVP this year is crazy. He's simply unstoppable on the court (best stats in the league/he plays defense too) and that Cavs team is gonna win 65+ games without another legit All-Star (best record in the league). Are you serious?

Rest of my ballot:

2. Wade, 3. Kobe, 4. Chris Paul, 5. Dwight Howard

PS If leagues wanted to be less subjective, they could offer a "Most Outstanding Player" award in addition to the MVP trophy. Most of the time it would be the same as MVP, but especially in baseball, I think there would be separate winners.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Crime Scene Investigation

The Fruit Loops murder:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Gossip Girl and Edith Wharton

I'll make this brief, but after seeing the Gossip Girl crew perform The Age of Innocence on Monday night, of course I had to read a recap of the book on Wikipedia (reading the Wikipedia article about something after watching a TV show/movie is such a classic meme). That started me into a vortex of reading about Edith Wharton, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Manfred von Richthofen, and eventually The House of Mirth.

When I read about The House of Mirth, I noticed that the main character's name is Lily Bart. If you watch GG, you will know that Lily van der Woodsen was married to Bart Bass and has some notable similarities with Lily Bart. Could the names of these two characters be related to the book? Are the TV writers/Cecily von Ziegesar huge Edith Wharton fans? Am I insane?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

I couldn't resist

I spent too many hours at home yesterday with this stuff (Happy Birthday Mom!), so can someone at least say how cute Dan and I look in this photo?

Am I crazy or is this a meme?

When you are typing something and make a minor mistake, you are more likely to just delete whatever you typed after the mistake than you are to leave the correct part intact and go back and fix the minor mistakes one by one. This leads to a lot re-typing, but still might be fastest, right?

On Fashion

The only thing I like double-breasted is my women.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I'm still waiting...

...for the amazing Tim Ferriss expose piece. Looks like a lot of other people have the same idea:


MEME!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Overheard at The Yale Club

Dan: So, you think...

Rich: Fuck DC, Philly, and Boston. We're going to Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Alright Apple, I'll Give It Up

Any time that a company helps me save $30 or more, I'm willing to consider writing a blog post about it. After spending a few minutes @applestoremeatpacking reading the latest anti-Twitter content to hit the net (and leaving it on the screen to enlighten the masses), I went upstairs to find a new pair of shitty iPhone headphones to last me the next 7.5 months. I noticed two options, one being the standard pair that I was replacing and the second being strictly dominant, costing the same amount of money and having all the same features, plus volume control.

At that moment, a young (is there any other kind?) Apple employee walked over and advised me that I couldn't use the dominant pair on my old iPhone. However, being a graduate of Upsell University (h/t AG), she recommended a good case that I could use to protect my headphones in the future. But a funny thing happened as we were walking over to take a look at a selection of things that I had no chance of purchasing: she told me that my headphones were covered by a one year warranty!

I quickly remembered that Apple very intelligently e-mails receipts to its customers, found my old one on my phone, went downstairs and walked away with a brand new set of headphones for "free." Thanks, Apple!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Why did I feel bad about this??

I just went into my local sushi shop specifically to order their two rolls for $7 special deal. It's one of my "good, cheap, quick solo meals" and something I probably get about once every 10 days. I was listening to music and asked the gentleman behind the counter for the special deal and much to my surprise he told me to take a look at the menu and see some new deals (poor is the New Deal). Then, a waiter came over to me and explained the benefits of the $17 bento box. I stared at the menu of normally priced sushi and special rolls for about two minutes, trying to decide whether or not to order something out of shame.

The Tom/Dan on my shoulder said (for completely different reasons), "Richard, just pay that nice man his money for a mediocre tempura and California roll situation. Or get a special roll, they come with 8 pieces." Meanwhile the other side of Tom on my other shoulder said, "You came in here to buy a product that they no longer offer. Stop staring at the menu and get out of here."

Finally, after saying to myself, "Don't tell them you're gonna think about it, just leave," I muttered something to the effect of "I gotta go right now, but maybe I'll be back later." At least I didn't buy anything!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Haikus

Actual God:

Sporadic bursts of
brilliance, what we wished for from
Schiavo's EKG.

Al:

Dead to us, dead as
can be. Fropoker dormant,
do you still smoke weed?

Beneficent Allah:

Cam'Ron couldn't touch
this Matt's patois. Parles bons mots?
He'll holla at toi.

Dan:

Thanks to Dan (and A-
Roid), Delino could become
a Hall of Famer.

Eric:

A chess babe chaser.
Anonymous flame hater.
Miami player.

Finnegan:

Gone to Oxford. Shares
on Reader. Longest notes ever.
Bring back the blog. Please.

FoxwoodsFiend:

I lost 50k
more than you make in a year.
Time for a brag post.

H.Bomb:

Self-proclaimed greatest,
no one can argue. Top class
hater; don't cross her.

Jesse
:

No longer a King,
still wears the crown: most prolif-
ic blogger in town.

Katie:

I wish I knew what
the title of her blog meant.
Am I alone here?

Lester:

Took your game to
the pros, blogging for a real show.
We miss you lots though.

Mr. Wrongway:

Freestyle poet with
a lyrical quality.
Gifted, not crazy.

Mulatto Jesus:

Gone gay for the blog.
Good branding decision. Next
stop, Perez Hilton.

Nick Antosca:

Full-time hustler, part-
time writer. Kill a lobster?
Now he's a fighter.

Nostradamus:

For 2009,
HuffPo, NBA replace
Terri, Natalee.

Rich:

Two years later and
people still ask where to eat.
Better than nothing.

That Girl:

She's made liveblogging
an art form. When she posts her
rare gems, readers swarm.

The Actual Rod:

He is justice. We
are thirsty masses yearning
for his approval.

Tom:

Always correct and
always funny. Fuck the blog
let's pay him money.

Bonus Haikus:

Glenn Greenwald:

He lives in Brazil
half the year because of their
lax stridency laws.

IOZ:

Who is this office
functionary whose posts are
always share-worthy?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chair Lift Verse

Composed on a trip up the mountain at Mount Snow:

Gimme five days, I'll give you a beat.
Gimme five more, I'll take it to the street.
Another five days? I don't need that sheeiit.
Cause ten days all I need to have the crowds at my feet.

Monday, February 09, 2009

A strange phenomenon

While posting pictures from my trip to Europe with Dan in 2005 (still have 4 more cities to add), I came across a few from Montpellier, a French city in which we stopped on the way to Nice. It might surprise you to find out that while there, we had a quick meal of mediocre Chinese food. It might surprise you even more to find out that I really liked it and that I think mediocre Chinese food in Europe, especially in France, is notably better than its counterpart in America.

Note: this only applies to MEDIOCRE Chinese food. There is a lot more authentic and excellent Chinese food available in America (at least in New York) than in Europe.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's a new era at MSG

The Knicks are much more fun to watch these days courtesy of Mike D'Antoni's new system and the fact that they are actually trying hard. Last night, Nostra, Dan, and I enjoyed the Knicks' fifth straight home victory (along with a new version of "Go, New York, Go").

More interesting, however, is the new clientele attracted to the Garden. Sure, you still have the Spike Lee sightings (and Tracy Morgan was at last night's game), but while waiting in line for the bathroom I had a seemingly homeless (shabbily dressed, smelly, unshaven...maybe he was a hipster?) man ask me for spare change. Maybe he thought this strategy out and this was like a targeted marketing campaign for him. The ticket only cost $10, and all the people at the game obviously had some disposable income, so perhaps he figured he could make enough extra money begging at MSG to make it worth his while.

Or maybe he just found the ticket on the street and likes Nate Robinson.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Daffy's

They should change their slogan from "Clothing bargains for millionaires" to "Shitty clothes for anyone, even the homeless."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Eating rice with a spoon

Just did it a little bit and realized that it seems like the obvious play...

Monday, January 19, 2009

The End

Just heard a great radio bit that featured gospel music about how hard it is to say goodbye playing over a series of Bush gaffe quotes. As bad as W. was as President, I think that he has the potential to be an amazing ex-President. But he's gonna have to make the effort and can't just sit on the sidelines. I've heard that he's been spending a lot of time curled up in big chairs reading mystery novels. That just ain't gonna cut it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Finally

Some Marquis Grissom content from the Sports Guy (emphasis mine):

The Dee-Dee Getting Assaulted Again on "Hunter" Award for "Serious Promos for A Serious Show That Become 100 Times Funnier If You Don't Watch That Show"
To CBS for the incessant stream of "Grissom leaves 'CSI'" commercials that had me initially saying, "Wait, Marquis Grissom is leaving 'CSI'?" I love that we're supposed to feel emotional because the subdued star of a forensic science show has thoroughly examined every crevice of his last dead hooker. Guys, I think I'm hanging it up. You know my super-expensive microscope that allows me to examine the fibers of hotel room carpets for semen and blood? (Trying not to cry.) Tony, I want you to have it. I can't tell if I missed out by never getting hooked by this show, or if I saved 200 hours of my time that was spent on more important things, like trying to figure out No. 45's stats in the final "Teen Wolf" game. It's a coin flip, really.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

For the Record

Tom and I hashed some things out in real life and we agree about many aspects of the movies debate. SWS is a different matter, although we had talks about that too.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Can't we all just get along?

We both like to take pictures of swings.

You in NYC:


Me in LA:

Fanning the flames

A few other responses:

1. The idea of using profits instead of gross revenue was about looking at the "best picture" concept from a wider perspective beyond simply how good a movie was as a piece of art and thinking about how good it was from an economic viewpoint. Aren't profits what drive the industry for the most part anyway?

2. If only some people get a certain movie or reference or whatever, then maybe it's not the "best" movie for the general public. There are plenty of niche markets, as well there should be, but the idea here was for the masses.

3. This paragraph is classic condescension/wanting to make a funny:

The above two symptoms hint at the gangrene that infects Rich's entire premise: when we say "Best Picture of 2008" we are not trying to approximate "The movie released in 2008 that provided the most total pleasure to movie watchers". Proof: even if a re-release of Star Wars killed the game in terms of clitoral stimulation, we wouldn't want to give it "Best Picture" since it was made 30 years ago.

You are putting words in my blog post that aren't there and making false assumptions about what I wrote. I never explicitly said "only new releases" because I didn't realize that I had to be so rigorous in a blog post to avoid ridicule. I'm (sincerely) happy to hear your take on this stuff, but I would prefer to hear substantive disagreements.

4. In conclusion (emphasis mine):
There's a plausible case that experts do a better job here since they have a good intuitive understanding of what makes a "Best Picture" (though comedies tend to get the short shrift -- and what am I saying; they're all idiots; whatever.).

That said, if you could define what makes a "Best Picture" (in the same way that you can define what makes a good encyclopedia article -- Wikipedia has a tome of guidelines), I think you could also effectively crowdsource its selection.

Thank you.

Hold your applause

First of all, it is ALWAYS a mistake to wage war on two fronts against any entity. Second of all, thanks for the welcome to the world of ideas and the classy picture (did you and Gladwell pick it out together?). Third of all,

I think the "Best Picture" case is substantially more complex than you grant...

Really? I thought that I had nailed it. I thought that a few simple lines of skepticism did the trick.

All I wanted was to stimulate some sort of discussion on the subject and make it clear that the status quo was not particularly effective. Mission accomplished. In no way did I think that what I wrote was the "correct" viewpoint. I know "that one" wants to turn everything into an internet-based personal attack, but that's not for me.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Power to the People?

I look forward to Tom's remark in a Google Reader share, along with a remark about how other people have written very similar things before! If I'm lucky, those two remarks will not be mutually exclusive. Without further adieu, here's some skepticism for you:

A lot of people agree in theory that given a large enough sample size, "crowdsourcing" is a pretty good way of doing something like creating a market on the probability that a certain team will win a certain football game, or a certain old white man will beat a certain other old white man in the U.S. Presidential Election (before you scream at me, Obama is half-white and I don't trust anyone over 30). Similarly, we have gotten to the point where the "crowd" has given us the best encyclopedia in the world. The more people, the better answers we get to life's questions. Some guy wrote a book about the subject.

However, for something like the Oscars or the MVP race in any given sport, we entrust the selection of the "best" movies/ballplayers to a panel of "experts," each of whom insists that he/she knows better than the masses. Talk to an Academy member and he will scoff at the mention of the People's Choice Awards. Talk to Bill Plaschke and he will have never heard of Tango Tiger. Talk to a know-it-all Ivy-league educated Jew and he will say, "People's Choice Awards are a joke. Indiana Jones is nominated for Favorite Movie. But that Tango Tiger has some good shit, you see his Base Runs analysis?" Many people would agree with the Jew (and not just because he runs Hollywood and Wall Street) and say, "Now we're getting somewhere." But hold on, is this where we should be going? Isn't the Jew just another "expert," albeit one who reads the internet a little more often? Why should he and his brethren be telling the people, the MILLIONS OF PEOPLE who watch movies and sports, what they should think is "best"?

Maybe "best" needs to be redefined. As currently understood for something like the Oscars it's a fairly arbitrary decision that pretty much only rewards dramatic movies that are judged to be well-acted and have some serious themes. Fairly limited, eh? How about making the Best Picture the one that brings the highest combination of profit to filmmakers and enjoyment to viewers. Have exit polls at every screening of every movie and tally the enjoyment ratings in some manner (details TBD). Could you imagine democratizing the process like that?! Perhaps it's true that "X million Americans can't be wrong and Marley and Me WAS the most popular movie in the country on Christmas weekend!"

In conclusion, for better or worse, Ivy-league educated Jews are not the norm in this country. Some people even watch Flavor of Love non-ironically. It's called "popular culture" for a reason, so it should get the credit it deserves. There's still plenty of room for highbrow criticism, but the most presitigious awards should be the ones given by the masses and for the masses. We've lived under the tyranny of the liberal media elite for too long!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Am I racist or is this a good idea?

In watching the NFL playoffs today, I have seen many black men with many tattoos. But given that the ink is black and these guys have dark skin, it has been very difficult to figure out what most of these tattoos represent. Therefore I think that I should attempt to market white ink tattoos to black athletes so that they can stand out more. Thoughts?

PS Writing this post is all about getting outside my comfort zone!

Update: I did a little research and much to my shock, I am NOT the first person to ask this question. However, I still think that this a great opportunity for some R & D money.

Update 2: I swear on my mother I'm not a racist. Really.