Friday, August 08, 2008

My Cultural Awakening: Summer in NYC

By Mink

So the last time I posted here, I was sweating in my stuffy NYC apartment in the dead of winter and months later, you guessed it, I'm doing the same in the dog days of summer.

Now I'm not going to lie, I miss summer in MD with the regular bbqing, the leisurely swims in the warm and strangely yellow colored pool of my former apt complex, the cheap nights at the empty Orioles games (where I had grown accustomed to hearing the largest roar of the night when mustard would beat ketchup in the condiment race between innings....hey that's what happens when the home team has been irrelevant for a decade) and the good old tuesday night all-male nude mud wrestling matches.

That being said, I am thoroughly enjoying my first full summer in the Big Apple. I am pretty much the opposite of cultured or classy, but here you can't escape it even if you try. And trust me I try. But thankfully I have been kept in the loop by my classier friends in the know. My friend Josh B, in particular, is my go to guy when I am looking for an adventure that will involve 4 subway transfers, beers I can't pronounce and a genre of music or artwork that even wikipedia could not adequately define for me. I therefore refer to him as "the cultural pipeline" or the "CP" (if you are like me and have a need to abbreviate everything.)

But even without the guidance of my CP, I have taken some serious cultural initiative this summer and I figured I would share some of my doings which reflect a truly cool and cultured summer in the city:

Biking to the Entertainment: There are few things chicks dig more than a man on a bike. Ok maybe that's truer in regard to a different kind of bike than the 10 speed I ride around the neighborhood. But in the past few months as I have regularly biked to the summer nightlife, and by now I pretty much own the streets of the upper west side (or at least share them with the delivery boys). Honestly, you’re always going to be the life of the party if you show up sweating and still wearing your helmet. I will, however, say that an area of concern is a fear of the dreaded BUI (biking under the influence).....Don't worry mom, if I ever have one too many cold ones, I make sure to nab a designated biker as I ride home in the attached child seat.

Concert Going: I've made an effort to get to more concerts especially the freebies in the park. But I have to say the biggest and most diverse cultural experience of my summer was the Tom Petty concert in Newark, New Jersey. I mean for my money it doesn’t get much better than Tommy P and his wacky voice belting out Free Fallin to a crowd of very Caucasian Jerseyians, many of whom spent the night livid about the inexplicable shortage of beer in the stadium (they also ran out of cups and offered to serve me in a used one with 3 pieces of gum caked in--true story). My friend AR, who is well connected in the black entertainment music industry, told me her boss “laughed his ass off” when she inquired about Petty tix for me. I didn’t fully understand why until I noticed that the only non-white people within ½ a mile from the arena were the employees being blamed for the beer shortage. It ranks up there with my participation in Jewish Model United Nations as one of those “realizing you are as white as a dry erase board moments.”

Short Wearing: In Bmore getting dressed up to go out involves throwing on some nice shorts and maybe a polo if the place is more upscale. So imagine my shock when I was recently turned away from Manhattan’s Hotel Empire's Rooftop Bar when I showed up to a friend's party in my new plaid "going out shorts" and polo shirt. As the late great Christopher Farley once said "what kinda hotel is this?"

Whiffle Ball: My roommate and I, two individuals in our mid to late 20's enter a Duane Reade at 11 pm on a Monday night and for some reason exit sipping fruit punches and carrying whiffle ball sets. Granted, the above little shopping experience reveals that I have probably regressed from my Bar Mitzvah, however the whiffle ball purchase is an essential summer tool and arguably a cultural experience. It resides in my trunk and makes appearances at bbq's, weekend retreats and even during lame cocktail parties.

And finally a couple other things I have picked up in NYC that you may or may not want to try at home:

  • Winking at strangers on the subway (only resulted in one black eye so far)
  • Eating full meals at bus stops
  • Fake Clogs
  • 5 or 6 Flavor Ices after basketball games
  • Not blogging for six months
  • And then trying to make up for it with unnecessarily wordy blogs

Friday, July 04, 2008

Welcome Back: Some Things From My Head

by singerz

It has been so long that I forgot we had a blog. You may have thought that we threw in the towel. Turns out, the towel was just sweaty and filthy and needed a good ‘ol “how’s your father.” Here are some things that come directly from my head. Don't judge me. Unless you like them, and then judge me favorably:

I met a black-smith this weekend. His name was Rondell Smith. He called me a racist.

The more I go through in life, the more I can see the writing on the wall. It’s actually more like graffiti than writing, its on the wall in a subway tunnel, and it says: “For a hott tyme call that bitch Gina at 212 -333-4528.”

I have problems. Eating-wise I mean. Eating Wise Potato chips. Delicious, but hurts my teeth.

I saw a sign on the street that said “Cheap Jewelry” but I thought it said “Cheap Jewry.” And I agreed.

One of my dad’s friends is weird- he compensates for things in weird ways. He bought a really shitty car to compensate for his large package.

I like my women like I like my scotch. Older than 15 years and smokey.

Last week at CVS, I was buying cough medicine, antibiotics, advil, pepto bismol, tissues, and nausea pills. I got up to the counter and the clerk asked me “How are you doing today, sir?” I answered her: My throat hurts, I have cellulites, I have a headache, my stomach hurts, my nose is running, and I am nauseous. You asked. How are you?

The other day, I took out money from a bank. But I didn’t have an account there and I used a gun. I was arrested.

A few weeks ago I was in Atlantic City and sitting in a hottub with 3 guy friends. The jets were running, and we were chilling. Suddenly, the jets turned off and 4 guys found themselves sitting in a small pool of still warm water with their shirts off. No one made eye contact. Someone turned the jets back on, and the situation returned to normal. And I realized something. The difference between a hottub versus an awkward bath in warm water with 3 of your friends is: bubbles.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Garbage That Keeps Me Up At Night

By Mink
Some things besides the torn cartilage in my ear that keep me up at night:

On ATM Machines and Card Swiping

I love being carded in most situations but one place where it annoys me is at the Bank of America ATM booths. Why the heck do we need to swipe in just to enter the premises? Yes the heating situation in there is wonderful on a cold night, but requiring a fool like me to try to swipe twice is inhumane. By the way I want you to know how I really feel about card swiping (and no I am not talking about the hand-in-ass cheek game that seemed to have been all the rage amongst the Jewish-male-adolescent-midwesterner crowd in summer camp, which they found to be both hilarious and heterosexual,). No matter how many diagrams I read about how to slide the damn card, my swiping skills on a good day are horrid. This is actually really a handicap in life and it impairs my essential functions by causing me to miss subway trains, to have a line full of people curse at me in the grocery store, and to get swiping blisters.

My new approach is to just admit defeat upfront by asking the professionally trained grocery cashier to handle the difficult task. Usually the grocery lady will decline this task and force me to unsuccessfully swipe while yelling “no, the other way” about 8 times in front of a line of old ladies, waiting to buy one loaf of bread and eggs. This whole process causes me emotional distress and has led me to contemplate filing a class action under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

But back to my point about the ATM’s--- is the objective to keep the non-BOA members out in the cold unless someone is nice enough to add them to the guest list and let them into the lounge? I am pretty sure their Wachovia cards or whatever will work in the machine. So basically they are saying if you don’t bank with us, feel free to use our machines but you are on your own trying to get in the door. Some nerdy dude (think Dean Pritchard from Old School) who wasn’t allowed into clubs and parties had to have come up with this one to exact his revenge. Come to think of it I see where he’s coming from and I think I like it.

On Compliment Recieving

I am a pretty much a terrible compliment receiver. If someone says "Jon, nice shirt," instead of an appropriate "thank you" response, I inevitably will try to bring it right back to them even if the reciprocal compliment doesn't work at all.

For example:

Complimenter: Jon, nice shirt
Me: You too
Complimenter: But im not wearing a shirt

Or even worse;

Complimenter: "Jon nice haircut"
Me: You too
Complimenter: But I am bald and it’s because I am on chemo.
Me: Uh, well I like your shirt.......

On the Meaning of Apathetic

Would the opposite of apathetic be pathetic? If so I now have a great excuse for being a lazy-ass, as it would be pathetic to not to be....and yes it is rather pathetic that I am not apathetic about the meaning of these words.

On Mixed Breeds

I know this is so 2004, but in Napolean Dynamite there is talk of the "Liger" being pretty much Napolean’s favorite animal. The liger is a mixed breed of a lion and a tiger and it is bred for its skills and magic. I was thinking of some other ridiculous mixed breeds that would be kind of awesome. So far my list includes:

The Rhitah (Rhino/Cheetah)---It would be like one of those freakish NFL 350 Defensive Ends who can inexplicably run the 40 yard dash in 3.6 seconds.

The Cowperd(Cow/German Shepherd)---Imagine a scene where these animals successfully wrestle a fleeing criminal to the ground but not before providing the helpless dude with a warm glass of milk

The Fire Turtle (Fire fly/turtle)---Glow in the dark turtles....nuff said

The Spearson (Michael Jackson/Brittany Spears)---If the breed survived (and clearly that'd be a miracle), this "thing" would be a museum piece.

The Frat (Frog/Bat)---A deranged flying frog that is named frat. I need a beer just thinking about this one.

(Further absurd mixed breed suggestions are certainly appreciated)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Facebook is....Kind of a Big Deal

By Mink

I think we can all agree that the Facebook craze has reached a level of popularity that has not been enjoyed by any social trend aside from the slap bracelet fad of the early 90's.

One day, social scientists will ponder the meaning behind our appeal to this massive time waster (ok I lied it is likely that nary a social scientist will pose this question, but I wanted to sound scholarly---which is the same reason I just used the word nary). Many of these scientists, assuming they are not burned by the sun, will likely link the cause to global warming. But, I for one, think the simple answer is that Facebook fulfills the missing void in our lives --the void of our longing to achieve celebrity status.

Facebook is our 15 minutes of fame (well actually 15 minutes, 4 times an hour if you are bored at work). It serves as the paparazzi for our dorky social circles. I, as a sports fan liken it to my own personal Sportscenter. Did I miss the Elaine's party? Oh that's cool I'll just get the highlights… I wonder if Bill and Janice did anything cool on their trip to bermuda? Nope just the usual PDA shots by the ocean... Is the girl I am supposed to be set up with a ten? Nah more like a 4.5 and that’s even with the self-selected glamour shots…Is Tonya still dating that D-bag? Yup, her status still reads “in a relationship”---damn it.

The point is, this little monster that is Facebook enables us to quickly check in on the seemingly exciting lives that our friends and acquaintances live. And I emphasize the word seemingly because it also gives the facebook poster the chance to make his or her very ordinary life seem quite glamorous.

For example, my bro and I were raking leaves at the Mink family home over Thanksgiving weekend and as mature 20-something- year- olds do, we decided to take off our shirts in 40 degree weather to get a little rise out of our poor momma. To our surprise, she was entertained and started snapping pics, which I obviously then posted on facebook. Now as you have read, this story is not so exciting. But our lives could appear rather enchanting (in a mentally challenged kind of way) to the bored acquaintance at work. He may wonder, maybe these nuts were getting wasted in front of their rents? Maybe they are submitting these as modeling pics to some new pasty-white-Jewish-American-magazine? When in actuality we are just morons, nothing beyond that….See what I mean? Ordinary becomes glamorous or at least intriguing. Access Hollywood is now at our disposal.

With this absurd analysis behind us. I would like to now gripe about a few types facebook abusers who need to be reprimanded:

The Facebook Paparazzi Girls: Usually these are girls in their early 20’s who absolutely need to be denied digital camera permits. They enter into any party or social situation armed and dangerous with their flashbulbs and moments after will “tag” (as the kids say) you in the most incriminating of photos. I mean before 2005, I could go out without the fear that if I decided to lick another human being on the ear that it would be posted for the entire world to see. Sadly, this is no longer the case today.

The Constant Group Requesters: I also am deeply saddened when I hear that a little boy has cancer but then you bastards have to make me feel guilty for not wanting to flood my profile with another group. I just declined to join a group for people that hate Hitler. I mean I dislike Hitler as much as the next guy, but my facebook group memberships are pretty much reserved for things that make me laugh. (though, I did consider joining solely because his little stache certainly does elicit a chuckle from me every now and then).

The Elder Members: There has recently been a wave of new facebook members who were alive before color television and when the Baltimore Orioles were considered a good franchise. Granted, I think it’s cute that you want to connect to your kids and even grandkids, but isn’t it possible that this could make things get a little weird? My roommate had a great call on this one. He told his dad that joining would be comparable to sitting on the couch between our friends while we were all just chilling in high school. I would take it a step further and say he would also just be wearing his tightie whities. You get the point: UNCOMFORTABLE.

Status Messageitis: Saying you are no longer listed in a relationship or that you are insanely hung over is newsworthy but my beef is with the people who think that we care to read that “Joe Green is feeling down” or that “Amanda Jones is thankful it’s nearly Friday!” Seriously, were you lacking attention as a kid? I was, but at least my response to that is to post awkward shirtless pics instead of telling you that I wish it was warmer outside.

The Groping Couple Profile Picture: We get it you have a significant other. It is now hot and heavy and you like to touch a lot in public. But can you instead create a nauseating personal blog telling tales of your picnics and post these awful pictures there? Trust me, anyone who cares will read it and this way you don’t have to force your love and sexy-time into our precious intimate moments wasted at work.

Personal Wall Messages: If you have a personal message or questions for me I think the wall is pretty much the worst forum for that. I.e. “Hey Jon, how is life treatin ya?” If you really care to know, give me a call or send me an email. Otherwise don’t be surprised to get a response from me to the likes of “I’m good. Hope all is well.” P.S. the “hope all is well” response was actually created by disinterested girls and can be translated to mean “I am now politely going to end our communication by not writing anything to which a response is required…have a nice life.”

Ok that is all for now. Hope all is well.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oh Yeah, I Forgot We Have a Blog

by singerz

Ok, Ok. No fanfare, no hugs and kisses, no screaming in adoration, no girls throwing undergarments in my direction. They smell, and they need to be washed. I am back. With a vengeance. Actually, I’m not really the vengeful type. Except against fat women who shove their asses into slim subway seats next to me and ruin my ride to work.

Question. How does Archie (of Archie comics) have two of the hottest comic book women out there (aside from Wonder-woman who is Wonder-ful and this woman named Chi Zing from a strange Chinese comic book I sometimes pick up when I am in Chinatown) fighting over him?? The guy has lighter skin than Mink, is a goofy redhead, and says things like “Golly gee” and “Guffaw.” His best friends are a dick named Reggie and an imbecile named Jughead. What do these girls see in him? And we all know who he should end up with anyway…Veronica. Her Dad is rich.

In Zev news, I am now working. Also, I need vacation. I’m thinking about going to an Island. Thousand Island. Joking. But not really. Delicious, on a deli sandwich with potato chips and some sauerkraut.

Is it weird that in the bathroom at my office, a law office, there is a sign that reads “Employees must wash their hands before returning to work”? FYI, I don’t work in a gross kosher bagel store. Then again, maybe it is weird that I think it is weird to want people to wash their hands. Would you want to meet your lawyer for the first time, and shake his unwashed potty hand? Me neither. Turns out it’s a good sign to have up.

I have so much more to tell you, dear readers. You missed my most fun summer EVER (I had mono and took the Bar exam) and I met a man on the street who looked like a woman. Crazy. But I will save these adventures for another time, and will end with this: The End.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Deep Thoughts from the Raucous They Call NYC

By Mink

So a lot has happened since our last meeting: O.J. made his triumphant return to the slammer; Columbia University took a wonderful stand on the freedom of speech by allowing some dude, with a last name I won’t even try to spell, to speak on their campus; my beloved Baltimore Orioles made history in my presence by allowing Texas to score more in one game than even your mom did before you were born (sorry I woke up this morning with a major urge for a good old mama joke---please share your favorites in the comments section); and oh yeah I moved to NYC because I was running out of blog material down in Bmore.

Here are a few first impressions:

  • I would have to say that my first few weeks in this crazy town have made me feel quite a bit like Brooks from Shawshank Redemption when he finally re-enters society after years of incarceration. Yes it is true; New York City has made me feel like an average 75 year old paroled ex-convict. The cars are moving faster, the people are pushing and everything is kind of one overpriced blur. In Maryland, people are waving you into their lanes, and saying excuse me but in the apple of bigness every step outside in the crowded streets can result in a mini-world war, often involving collisions and coffee spillages on freshly dry cleaned shirts (which by the way are not anywhere near the 3 for 2 dollars that I am used to).

  • Living here with a car has also turned me into the crazed traffic-report-seeking middle aged man that I swore I would never become. It has come to a point where I could be listening to the best Madonna song in the world (“Like a Virgin” with a “Borderline” a close second) when the traffic report alarm goes off in my head and I immediately am compelled to switch the radio to the 1010 WINS “traffic and transit on the 1’s” report. And I now am often finding myself talking about traffic patterns and the like at Bar Mitzvahs and weddings. But my favorite part of being a driver in this area is that I work in Jersey and live in NY. This means I get to beam with pride when everyone reassures me “Oh yeah that’s not too bad, its reverse commute.” It also means I become giddy like a school girl every time I see the cars across the highway crawling like even younger school girls.

  • Besides for allowing me to experience “reverse commute pride,” having a car can be a real pain in the bum bum. Although going through the EZ pass lanes is kind of fun, they take a lot of my money every day. But far more annoying is the parking situation. I have become much more proficient at finding spots, but I never really go to sleep feeling confident that I am parked in a legal spot. These fears were confirmed one special Friday morning when I arrived to my parking spot only to find the car missing because I apparently parked too close to a bus stop. A friendly local was nice enough to reassure me about the whole thing. She informed me: “It’s not stolen; I saw it get towed 10 minutes ago.” So I then learned another cool thing about NY---not all impounding fees will take your money. In my case, they towed the car to 203rd St but they told me on the phone that there was no cashier there so I would have to pay for it down on 37th St. Need to ride a subway at 3 AM? Sure no problem, Want to pay an insane amount of money to get your car back? Sorry, the next impound with a cashier is five miles away from where your car is located. What a town!
  • When I am not in the car, I am excited by the wonderful world of public transportation here. As I have mentioned before I have a real issue keeping my eyes to myself and it is supposedly bad subway etiquette to look directly at anyone. So I fully expect a subway smackdown in the very near future. Stay tuned ... Call me weird, but I also happen to think that the woman's who says "Stand clear of the closing doors please" has an extremely sexy voice. If anyone knows of her whereabouts please let me know, I would love to take her to dinner or at least ride the subways with her.
  • In NY, for some reason people seem to eat dinner way later than they do down in MD. For me, this meal usually takes the form of a micro waved delicacy during the late innings of a baseball playoff game. More notably, however, some friends of mine randomly found me wolfing down a lamb kebob at a bus stop on 85th St. at 11:30 PM on a Tuesday night. After throwing some money at me, we then headed to one of the local bars for a round. Gotta love the city that never sleeps; that is until it wakes you up at 3 AM with one of its eight million sirens.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Cheezits and the Secret to Maintaining Your Youthfulness (or Immaturity)

By Mink

I feel that it is worth sharing that Cheezits have moved slightly ahead of the chewy Chips Ahoy cookies in my top snack position. Nothing against the heavenly cookies, but the Cheezits are just so versatile that I haven't been able to think of a time or place where they don't belong. For example, they work much better at the pool than the easily meltable cookies. I also very much enjoy saying the word Cheezit despite the fact that I had pretty bad acne in 11th grade.

Speaking of snacks, I was recently at this soiree in D.C. where I came across some lovely fruit platters (ok that sentence reads like a line from an email I would get from my mother). Anyway, as I was filling up a couple platefuls with some watermelon slices, pineapples, berries etc, I wondered to myself why I don't eat fruit nearly as much as say Cheezits (did I mention I like that word).

But when I thought about it, it made perfect sense. I don't eat fruit often purely because I am a lazy bastard. I will see some great looking pineapples and decide that I just am not in the mood to get my hands all sticky. Or I may see a great looking stash of cherries and decide that it's not worth it to spit out some seeds or alternatively that it would be unpleasant to swallow them. Or I may get a craving for an orange which suddenly disapears when I open the fridge and realize that I need to spend 10 minutes injuring myself undressing the damn thing. (For the record, the previous sentence was not intended to be a metaphor for anything else you sick wise-asses). The moral of the story is that as much as I enjoy all types of fruit, I really have to get myself in the mood for the whole ordeal. (ok that paragraph reads like an email I got from a girl once but she wasn't talking about fruit).

On another note, I don't know where I have been for the last quarter century but somehow I missed the Rocky party and am now making up for lost time as I watch these magnificent films. I therefore found it very cool when I learned that the actress who plays Adrian is also the therapist for the Caveman in the GEICO commercials. I would say that seeing her all these years later made me feel old but that would be a lie for two reasons:

First it would be a lie because as I mentioned, I only recently was introduced to the Rocky clan (who I all now consider family). But more importantly such a statement would violate my recently instituted policy to stop considering myself old. Yes it is true that I make the same jokes that a senior citizen makes and that I can now recall things that happened over 20 years ago and that former campers of mine are now entering law school and that my baby bro is of legal drinking age. But the reality is 27 isn't ancient and we are going to have the rest of our lives to complain about being old.

Yet constantly people my age (myself included) talk about feeling so old. Well, I have had enough of this and have decided to take an oath not to play the old man card till I am 37. At that point a lifetime of bitching over aches, pains, and forgetfullness will be right there for the taking. Until then my friends let's eats some Cheezits and enjoy our youth. (P.S. somewhere my mom is reading this and crying in fear that she will never have grandchildren).

Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer Ramblings: Misapplications of Summer Solstice and Sunscreen Lotion

By Mink

Well it is officially summer. I know this because yesterday was June 21, Summer Solstice. In general I enjoy wishing people (especially Dunkin Donut Cashiers) happy holidays no matter how obscure. “Ok you take care now and have yourself a wonderful Flag Day.” Or “Keep the change and enjoy your Bastille Day.” Or “You have yourself a safe Declaration of the Báb Day.” But for some reason the Solstice one just wont roll off the tongue and I end up inevitably fumbling over the words and telling people to enjoy their “Summer Salsa-tiz” which despite sounding like a fabulous spicy Mexican dish, actually means nothing.

Anyway, the point to all this rambling is that summer is officially here and that makes me happy. My pasty white skin would disagree, but for me it doesn’t get much better than eating a Rita’s Gellatti with my sunroof down while listening to Madonna. Ok maybe it gets a little better than that but not much. The point is that if you have pale skin make sure to learn how to evenly apply sunscreen before riding for 4 hours in a convertible to a wedding. No matter how you slice it if you have a bad sunburn across half of your face, you will look like a jackass.

Another pearl of wisdom as we enter the summer period---spend more than 7 dollars on flip flops. If you don’t there is a strong chance that one flop will break and that you will be awkwardly stumbling throughout the bar as other patrons anoint you as “Flopless Joe.” If you are beginning to think these are not just hypotheticals, well I think you should go eat some spicy Summer Salsa-Tiz.

Finally one of my favorite things about summer time has to be the outdoor bars and cafés. Ever since teachers would instruct me to use my indoor voice, I have always been a big outdoors guy. Now I am pretty sure they have some summer outdoor seating in every city in America, but my very New York-centric friend Alana, was utterly shocked that a non Big Apple city could facilitate outdoor bars (or anything for that matter). After leaving NY for the first time in her life to attend a conference in downtown Baltimore, Alana was baffled that there was civilized life outside NY and that the civilized life included outdoor entertainment. I think she got it after a while I think but I was a bit taken aback when she said “Baltimore actually isn’t so bad, it kinda reminds me of Amsterdam.” That has to be the first time that sentence was ever spoken. Gotta love New Yorkers.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blogger Convention Part Deux: More Vegas Adventures

By Mink

As you should be able to gather from SingerZ's post last week, our blogger convention in Vegas was nothing short of glorious. As anyone who travels on business will tell you, the comps make it all worthwhile. So I am proud to say that we cleaned in the comp department on this trip.

While my cousin was slumming at the Wynn Hotel for a JP Morgan business trip, our famous little blog hooked us up with 3 nights free (albeit with the purchase of a higher priced flight on travelocity) at the arguably more glamorous Tropicana Resort. Even if the television was the same size as a Watchman I received as a Bar Mitzvah present and there was a trace of blood on my pillow cover, the Trop honestly was quite charming. Besides the hotel deal, the convention also managed to hook us up with comp peanuts on the airplane, a comp bikini mud-wrestling show, and best of all comp drinks at every casino 24-7! All this comping was great except that it kinda forced me into making such wise decisions as the 3AM Red Bull and Vodka.

Anyway here are the rest of the Vegas action shots:

From the moment we were given those comp peanuts we were treated like rock stars....These lovely blog babes greeted us at the airport to help us with our stuff and take us over to strip...I mean the strip.

Throughout the trip SingerZ loved getting overly chummy (yes I used that word) with inanimate objects and that is all I can say about this one. Ok I will say one more thing. My semi-straddle pose here just seemed logical at the time. And to explain that I must again make reference to Red Bull and Vodka.

The rest of these shots (and photos) were taken during a 30 minute stretch at the end of our last night. I will refer to this sequence as the Downward Spiral:

4 southern girls and the new Juris Doctor of love. This would have to be looked at as Zev's peak moment of the evening. But from here things did take a bit of a downward spiral.

After boring the ladies with the usual over-analysis of his poker exploits and law school stories, SingerZ watches the gals disapear into the bright Vegas night. And yes kids Zev is sitting down on the escalator here.

Mild depression sets in as SingerZ contemplates the one that got away. And obviously I am not referring to the ladies but rather his last hand of poker. And yes kids Zev is lying down on the escalator here.

After a rough 20 minutes SingerZ decides to call it a night as he dozes off alone in his bed at the Tropicana Resort.

Well this wraps up our trials and tribulations from Nevada. This rough patch aside, the Vegas Vaca was a great success (say it in Borat voice if you prefer) and with your financial support we plan on attending many more such conventions.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Blogger Convention Part 1: Viva Las Vegas

by singerz

For those big blog fans out there (both of you), you know that we have had two previous blogger conventions. This year, as the Garbage Dump’s financial situation is simply FLYING, we decided to take our convention on the road. And where better to do a convention than…wait for it…wait…a little longer…almost there now…this is getting annoying Zev…New Jersey. No no, VEGAS my friends. That’s right, Mink and I packed our sunscreen and mouthwash, had them confiscated at the airport by the dicks who think terrorists use sunscreen and mouthwash, bought more sunscreen and mouthwash at CVS, and went to VEGAS!

So where to begin? People seem to think that we spent 4 days straight completely drunk. That allegation is out and out…kind of true. But let me clarify, we were not drunk for 4 days, we were in a perpetual haze of tipsy grogginess and delight for 4 days. I’d be surprised if most normal human creatures could sustain the alcohol consumption that Mink and I experienced, but, alas, we live on. Wavering on that thin line between the normal sobriety of human society and the idiocy of drunken lunancy is not easy to do. We did it for over 80 hours. Impressed?

Here is an extremely awkward pose of Mink and I holding our “mai tai’, a drink consisting of vodka, rum, schnapps, tequila, scotch, bourboun, beer, liquor, mikes hard lemonade, and Zima. That’s what the strange old man at the pool told us. Then he asked Mink if he could put lotion on Mink’s back. Long story. I too winced when I saw this awkward picture, but a true blogger holds nothing back:
Now, many people have asked me if I gambled on this trip. Forreal? Sharing a room with Mink for four whole days? Biggest gamble of my life. Did it pay off? Depends on what you mean pay off, suckah. Actually, no, it doesn’t depend what you mean. It didn’t pay off.

One of the highlights of the trip for me was Mink’s insistence on approaching complete strangers, claiming that we were journalists filming a documentary, and asking to take a picture with them, Here are some examples:

Mink told this couple that we were making a documentary. Two major problems: 1) Why would a documentary-making-journalist take a random picture with an Indian couple walking around a casino? 2) Why would his photographer, yours truly, be giggling like a schoolgirl with a rasperry lollipop as he snapped the photos?

And heres another one:

It seemed like this guy thought he was going to be famous from being in our “documentary”. And in case you are wondering why Mink is grabbing onto the phallic looking object that the man is holding, so am I folks, so am I.

So far sounds like a CRAAAZY trip, right? Like INSANELY WILD. Well just wait. Below is a picture of the night Mink and I went “clubbing.”

That’s what I’M talking about, Mink. WORK IT at the Tangerine Nightclub.

Stay tuned in the next week for part 2, where Mink gives his perspective on the convention, denies my allegation that he thought a hooker was actually hitting on him (true story, just ask Candy Cane-Ass, she'll tell you) and obviously some more absurd pictures. Peace.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

On and Off the Record

By Mink

Don’t you love it when someone asks a question you weren't expecting and you answer it with the one you assumed they would ask? Since greetings often begin with a "how are you?" it is easier than you would think to get crossed up (especially if you are a special individual) Example:

Random Attractive Woman: Hey what’s up?
Me: Good how bout you?
Random Attractive Woman: Uh…..good.

While a tad embarrassing, the above scenario is an example of a harmless non-answer. The question-asker walks away baffled as she contemplates pointing out the absurdity of the response. But, usually she will just let it slide as she carries on the conversation. However, a non-answer can become more than awkward in the following type of situation:

Non-Random But Still Attractive Woman (this is my hypothetical, so clearly she is good looking): Did you hear that X has terminal brain cancer?
Me: Good how bout you?

For the record, the above interaction has yet to happen to me but it certainly is a very Minkovian exchange. I recently have taken quite a liking to this Minkovian adjective. Remarkably, it can be interpreted as self -promoting and self -deprecating at the same time.

Ok, now we can go off the record. Since we last spoke I have learned that:

  • “Nappy" is not a nice word to say---Honestly before the Imus debacle "alright, im grumpy, its time for my nappy," was my way of announcing my daytime dozes. I also learned that Jew is a bad word in some parts of the country.

  • People who say "I am so chilled out" are generally some of the more uptight and anal people that I know. Yet somehow they have all deluded themselves into thinking that if they say the magic "I’m so chilled" words, that people won't see the pole up their asses. Erroneous. Aside from the possible exception of alcohol consumption, it is impossible to hide one's analness. These type of poles all glow in the dark.
  • My roommate, Benito, was drafted in the ninth round of the Israel baseball draft. Rumor has it he would have been a higher pick but some teams were scared off by these quotes after his tryout last summer:
    • "I really am just looking for an opportunity to go to Israel and launch some bombs."
    • "My favorite play in baseball is the suicide squeeze. It is just so unexpected and causes so much damage."
    • "I have a cannon for an arm and I hope to gun down as many runners as possible."
  • The legendary Solomon Milgrome passed away just a couple of weeks after I wrote about him here You can read more about him in the Baltimore Sun. Best quote in the article: "We don't live long enough to hate." That is coming from a man who lived to be 104. Rest in peace Milgroomp.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Things I've Had Enough of: Mink, Me, and People Who Say "For All Intensive Purposes"

by singerz

When 3 days go by after Mink posts, and I haven't put something up yet, Mink bitches. "Waaaaaa, cmon Zev, post on the blog, waaaaaa, change my diaper, waaaaaa." True story. But there is a double standard here, Mink, and I will not let this injustice stand. Next time you come for the weekend, I'm not putting a dirty sheet on top of the dirty mattress for you to sleep on. Chew on that, because G-d alone knows who and what has been on that mattress.

Have you ever wanted to take a break from a roommate or a friend? Well yesterday I realized that I really, REALLY need a break from...wait for it... myself. I just would like a little breathing room. Don't get me wrong, I really like myself. A lot. Like more than a friend. But I would just love to have one damn weekend alone, without myself, without my stupid jokes, and without my crazy ideas. I wish.

And finally- I know plenty of people who say "For all intensive purposes" instead of "For all intents and purposes." Drives me mad. Like my brother who says "HundreT" instead of "HundreD." C'mon bro, enough of that. To quote one of my favorite toys from childhood, Speak-n-Spell, "SAY IT." And who is going to argue with the authoritative robotic yet tender and sweet voice of the Speak-n-Spell. I rest my case.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Puns, Passover, and Some Other P-Word I Can't Think of

by singerz

My blog jokes are getting a little thin. And I don’t mean they’re not funny, I mean they haven’t been eating particularly well and have lost weight. I hope they don’t have an eating disorder. Uch, now I’m gonna have to pay for therapy and start complimenting them- “No, you don’t look fat Joke, you look amazing…” Speaking of fat joke, yo mamma so fat, when she sits around the house, she sits AROUND the house. BOOM SUCKA.

On a completely separate note, is E Minor. In addition, 4+7=11. Had enough yet, dear reader? I could go on for hours or until someone calls the authorities.

And now, in honor of the recent holiday, a few Passover observations:

-Matzah is spelled “Matzoh” on the boxes. I tried walking around pronouncing it like that and got some strange looks.

-Matzoh gives you constipation, and prunes reverse the effect, so if you eat prunes on top of matzoh you can let them fight it out in your body.

-Horseradish has nothing to do with horses.

-If a household pet parakeet eats horseradish, it will probably die. Don’t tell my sister, we told her it had a heart attack.

-When someone spills wine on themselves, they’re supposed to pour seltzer on themselves to prevent the stain. When my brother spilled seltzer on himself, I poured wine on him. It didn’t work. And I have a black eye. (Is anyone else disturbed that when you say “black eye” fast out loud it sounds like “black guy”?)

-If you ever take the greyhound bus from New York to Washington DC to go home for Passover, do NOT sit directly next to the bathroom at the back of the bus. Cause if you do, the fat old man will probably have stomach problems and you will have to smell his stomach problems for the last 2 hours and 45 minutes of the trip.

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Urban Garbage Dictionary

By Mink

I was having a brief conversation with my friend Joe the other night when it struck me that at no point in the conversation did we converse in normal English. The exchange consisted entirely of grunts and some sort of nonsensical code. Here is a little snippet (and no I don’t mean a circumcision you sicko):

Joe: Sana!
Me: Daaaaaaaaaaaa.
Joe: Hey man
Me: What up?
Joe: Nuthin whatchya you doin tonight?
Me: I dunno Grimple....It is really a what to do.
Joe: You are gross. Choices?
Me: Eh, maybe downtown maybe to Brenda.... Wanna meetcha?
Joe: Maybe I'll meetcha..... I'm tired though, not getting enough sleeptcha.

Now clearly there was little uttered in this Verizon to Verizon call that should make even remote sense to a reasonably sane observer. (It is also worth noting that I divide my friends and family into two categories: The Gold Members [a.k.a. the Verizon users] and the Assclowns [a.k.a. the other cell company users who eat up my peak minutes]. If it is the end of the billing cycle everyone but the Verizon Gold members are dead to me until the cycle starts over. This sadly includes my own Sprint using parents.)

Anyway, what you read above amazingly was an exchange between two pretty highly educated adult men. Sadly, such a conversation is par for the course for us. So I feel like it is necessary to devote some of a post to translating some of this bizarre code in which I converse with my less sane friends. So with out further ado, the Urban Garbage Dictionary:

“Sana” Pronunciation "sä-n&, (sounds like Donna)• noun

A nickname that derived from the heroic Solomon Milgrome. Born in 1903, Milgrome survived the Kossacks and several bullet wounds as a grocer in inner city Baltimore. At 104 years young, the man is unknowingly a cult figure for some twisted 20-somethings in Baltimore. The very first time I saw him he was a young 92, and he immediately approached my friend Joshy, and grabbed his long hair as he uttered an incomprehensible word we thought to be “Shithead.” One thing led to another and before I knew it I was writing school newspaper articles and college admission essays about him changing my life.

With the Sol Milgrome worship came a plethora of nicknames for anyone connected to us. The nicknames took many forms and featured numerous adaptations. Sana, for some reason is the one that is most popular today. Although it sounds nothing like his name, the root of sana comes from sanoma which comes from Milliams-Sanoma which comes from the cookbook Williams-Sonoma. The William was changed to Milliam after we decided, somewhere in the 1990’s, that Milliam was the official nickname for Mr. Milgrome. As such, everything that even rhymed with Milliam, such as the name Williams, was given this absurd Milliam name. Years later we dropped the Milliam, but for whatever reason Sana name still lives.
(other Sana variations include: Sanoma, Sans, Sanopa, and Sansy)

“Daaaaa” Pronunciation: just imagine some kind of dying animal • no grammatical description

Is a grunting sound that has become a common phone greeting especially when speaking to Zev. The grunt originated as an imitation of Zev’s sound effect just before he verbally dismisses something. The grunt is generally coupled with hand gesturing with rapid hand movements.

“Grimple” • Pronunciation: 'grim-p&l (like simple) • noun

Another variation of a Milgrome nickname that is far less attenuated than Sana. Originally the variations of the Grome part of his name included: Grums, Grooma, Grumple, Grumpelstiltskin. As counselors on a summer west coast trip, my friend Yoni and I had a bus full of spoiled Jewish 16 year olds calling each other these Grome type nicknames. And if you don’t believe me the trip sweatshirt designed by the brats themselves, prominently displays the phrase “AberGRUMbie and Fitch Company” on the front of the shirt.

“What to do?” • Pronunciation: figure it out yourself• can be used as a noun

This phrase originated in my heavy Madden playing days of 2005. Any time a remotely difficult strategic decision would arise in the video game, the player would usually slam down his controller as he rhetorically asked “what to do? what to do?” Now the “what to do’s” are thrown around in social situations like figuring out plans or deciding whether to eat a burger at 2 AM.

"Brenda" • Pronunciation: 'bren-da • noun

An extremely pleasant eye candy who bartends at the local tavern. Some sick individuals plan their visits around her shifts. Unfortunately the pickup line “I got my drinks, but didn’t get your number” has yet to pay dividends (besides for shelling out an unnecessarily large tip).

"Meetcha" • Pronunciation: 'mEt • verb

Our buddy “Big Baby” inadvertently started the widespread use of this word in late 2005. At the time he was doing pretty much nothing with his life. He would call you up and once you told him where you were--without any regard to the time of day or the proximity-- the Big Baby would have same two word response: “I’ll meetcha.” You could be in Tennessee at 4 am on Wednesday and he was always eager to meetcha. Obviously, the meetcha response took a life of its own and any word with even a few of the syllables of the word meet was changed to a form of meetcha (i.e. I’m hungry lets go grab some peetcha.”)

"Sleeptcha" • Pronunciation: 'slEp-ch(E-)• noun The act of sleeping when spoken in Meetcha language. See Meetcha above.

Example Sentence: It is ridiculous that I am up late and losing sleeptcha writing this blog entry.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Some Little Tricks and Trinkets and Whatnot

by singerz

We miss you audience, we miss you. While it may be true that we have been pretty lax (not the airport) about writing frequently, the blog is still a living and breathing entity. Actually, the other night I heard some living and breathing entity in my room and got scared, but then I remembered Mink was sleeping over on the dirty mattress on my floor.

Big news. I got a Masters in Disaster. I now add that to my array of academic achievements, including Professor of Love, Doctor Pepper, and my Master Blaster. Mink shutup, your jokes aren’t funny either. At least I don’t steal my jokes from other people. And when I do, it is from people that you’ve never heard of.

In other news, I really like Coke-Cherry-Zero. Like REALLY like. Like more than a friend.

Here are some things that have happened recently or popped into my head that I find funny. And if I say they’re funny, then they MUST be. (Some actually happened, some I made up, some I stole, you’ll never know which is which, na-nee na-nee na na, sticks and bones will break my hurt but stones will never name me- or some shit like that)

Public Relations: I was working at the Israeli Embassy. One of the bosses said to an Israeli guy and girl who were working together on an event, "You two are in charge of public relations." Fast forward a few hours later. I get a news email in my inbox at work with the subject “Two Israelis Arrested For Public Fornication." (Note: Fornication is a ridiculous word. Also, isn’t it funny when people who don't speak English well fornicate in public?)

Look Where, Mom? I was home at my parents’ house for a weekend. I was watching TV with my mom, checking my email on a laptop. There was a commercial for some clothing store with a girl wearing a skirt my mom liked. I hear, "Zev, do me a favor, can you look up her skirt?" Excuse me? That's not how I was raised.

Fat can be Funny:
A friend of mine who works for some weird lab was doing a study on fat people. He was complaining that their test group had too few people in it. He said to me: "Our new obesity study is really looking for a larger test group." What, his other people weren’t fat enough to study?

The Solar System is Weird:
My roommate was watching Jeopardy© and I was in our kitchen making dinner (did you like the copyright symbol I put next to Jeopardy? I'm fancy like that). Little did I know, there was a category about the solar system. Either way, wouldn’t you feel uncomfortable if your roommate asked you the following question: "Yo, is there a ring of debris around Uranus?"

Over and out.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Oven Roasted Undies and The Vacation From Myself

By Mink

Well it has been a while since we last spoke but I think we all needed a break. What is annoying is that while you can get a rest from me any time you choose, I can never get away from myself. The bad jokes, word associations and endless sports trivia follow me around every waking moment 365 days a year. You know, sometimes I just want a vacation from myself...

So last week I tried to take one. I wasn't exactly sure where I was heading, but I was excited-- this was going to be marvelous. I got in the Camry and started up 95 towards the big apple. I made it all the way up to the Delaware Memorial Bridge before I looked in the rearview mirror and realized I was being followed. I tried switching lanes, pulling over, and even taking some weird Jersey back roads before getting insanely lost and almost missing the Jersey Bar Exam (but that's neither here nor there). The point is no matter where I went I couldn't shake my pale ass.

With the vacation from myself not in the cards, I settled for the next best thing--laundry. Now I hate laundry as much as the next guy, but there are few things I enjoy more than putting on a warm pair of boxers straight out of the dryer. The boys just love the cookies straight out of the oven-- so wonderfly soft, warm, and tingly.

Now glowing from the oven roasted undies, I reached my relaxation apex as I watched some college basketball followed by some Devil Wears Prada (Anne Hathaway is just glorious). Anyway, it turns out I actually was able to get a mini vacation from myself.

But it didn't last long. I laid in bed for hours trying to think of some perfect first names for Zev's future children. I finally was able to fall asleep at 4 am after coming up with: Jazz, Wedding, Lounge, and Solo. My vacation from myself may be over but I guess that's not so bad when it can conceive a dude named Jazz Singer. And by "conceive" I just mean the idea...not that there is anything wrong with that. Ok I lied. There is something very wrong about that one.

Friday, February 09, 2007

My Return From Sabbatical

by singerz

I was on blog-sabbatical. What does that mean you ask? How can I take a sabbatical if I am not a rabbi? First of all, it’s debatable whether or not I am a rabbi. At least that girl I dated from Brooklyn, Chana-Sheindel-Lea-Rachel-Bracha-Sheindel (yes, two Sheindels) thinks I am a learned man of the Book. Capital ‘B’ in ‘Book’, thank you very much.

Speaking of Sheindel-squared, I miss her. Those long nights of awkward conversations about how many children we wanted to have (she wanted 16, I only wanted 12), those sensual moments when we would both reach for the prayer book and my finger would graze her gloved hand (yes, she always wore gloves, even inside the house- such a modest girl). I yearn for her (but don’t worry, my beloved readers, I never yearn in public, that’s disgusting).

NOTE: the above paragraph may or may not be simply one of the craziest things I have ever written. Thoughts?

What the hell was I writing about? Ah yes, sabbatical. Truthfully, I didn’t just have to write the “What the hell was I writing about” sentence, I could have looked up above and seen what I was writing about and then just continued. As a matter of fact, this entire paragraph is gratuitous bullshit. My bad. Life goes on.

Lately, I have been on leave from the Dump. And yet, Mink bothers me to write as often as I accidentally drop my phone in the toilet and then bring it in to Sprint telling them I don’t know what is wrong with it, and then they open it up, see the water damage sticker thingy, foil my clever plans, and I freaking never learn. The point is, leave me alone Mink, my phone has pee all over it and I have to buy a new one.

My sabbatical from the blog reminds me of the period of time after college and before my first job when I had 3 months with nothing to do. I was basically retired. Actually, not basically, but literally retired. The most exciting part of my day was when the mail arrived- I was like a dog waiting for the mailman at the front window. Including the barking. And the drooling, of course. I regularly ate early-bird specials at local restaurants and I got angry at those damn teenagers for driving too fast. I frequented the public library and talked back to the newspaper when I didn’t like what it said. That was the life. my friends, that was the life.

Friday, February 02, 2007

A Female Guest Visits The Dump (There is a First For Everything)

"Making Productive Use of the Technology Around Us"

By Xani

So Mink asked me to write a guest blog entry. At first I was flattered—he clearly admires my fine writing style and sharp wit. Then he asked me to have it to him by tomorrow. I now realize he’s just too busy doing other crap to write it himself, and he knows my boss is out of the country and I am probably just sitting at my desk reading Craigslist all day. (True. Mostly. See below.)

Now I am faced with a challenge: write an entertaining (?) blog entry to a bunch of people I don’t know, about a topic of my own choosing. I figure the best way to start this is where Mink left off, and I’ll go free-association from there…

Talking on the phone in the bathroom

The post on this topic caused quite a stir. Several people were mildly offended by the fact that they may have had conversations with the Mink where he was at least partially undressed. Not to mention the whole excrement issue. I know I made a mental note to never borrow, or even touch, the Mink's phone again. But I also immediately thought of a solution to the echo/splashing/flushing sounds issue:


It’s like a miracle cure. Sure, for the guys it might mean a little practice texting one-handed, but hey, it’s not that difficult (I often do it while driving). I admit to being a chronic texter. Although at the moment this is more something put upon me than an actual choice; my phone is slowly dying, and its latest symptom is that I can only make or receive calls in speakerphone mode (so clearly bathroom calls are out of the question). But even when I have the option of talking on the phone, I often opt to text. It’s the wave of the future—no more inane conversations over where and when to meet. Short and to-the-point:

Me: Where should we meet to watch the Terps lose tonite?
Friend: Thirsty Dog?
Me: They don't even have tv's there. Idiot
Friend: F U

See? So much easier than actually TALKING to another human being. And texting can be used for so much more than just making plans! It’s also good for: telling people you are going to be late to work (I send and/or receive about one of these per day); making pointed comments about what’s on TV (“are u watching top chef? marcel is such a tool”); phone sex (no comment); marriage proposals, etc, etc. The possibilities are endless. And speaking of endless possibilities, let’s discuss….

The Internet

What in the hell did we do before this came along? Probably a lot more work. I don’t have any actual figures on this, but I have to estimate that 98% of office employees’ time in this country is spent screwing around on the internet (other 2% spent getting coffee and making personal phone calls). I bet you are at work right now. And on the Internet. Screwing around. See what I mean?? One of my personal favorite internet time-wasters is…

Some of you might be familiar with this website, maybe you used it to buy some concert tickets, get rid of your old couch, find a roommate, or play a practical joke on your buddy (See, etc. But you casual CL readers may not know about the seedy (and endlessly entertaining) underbelly of Craigslist. There is also a “personals” section on each city’s board that can provide bored office drones with hours of amusement. Want to read desperate attempts by painfully shy coffee drinkers to ask out that barista they’ve been pining after?

Head on over to Missed Connections. Casual Encounters is the place to see what kinds of crazy, high-risk sex is available in your city, tonight! Rants and Raves is another piece of work: huge amounts of bandwidth devoted to idiots spewing the kind of hate and stupidity they would never have the guts to say without the benefit of anonymity. Politics, race, dating, traffic, sports… any and every topic is discussed here, from the ridiculous to the downright disturbing (usually with a disproportionately large amount of grammatical errors).

Every once in a while you find something genuinely funny, touching, or interesting (start with Best Of if you are impatient). But what’s truly special about CL is the volume of crap there is to read. With tons of boards and dozens of cities there’s no waiting around for days for more crap to appear (like on this blog). I think CL refreshes every 5 minutes. You may never do work again. You’re welcome!

Friday, January 26, 2007

A "Bathroom Guy's" Idiot's Guide

By Mink

I have this one friend who loves categorizing everyone in "Guy" categories. What I mean is that if you enjoy movies (even if this interest is shared by 99.9% of the world) he will tell you that you are a "Big Movies Guy." If you read the "Sportsguy," then you are a "Big Sportsguy guy." He classifies in the negative too so that if you are not interested in a certain blonde haired girl he will tell you that you are not a "Big Blonde Guy." (Given my physique and hair color this doesn't really work when he says it to me. But I humor him because technically he is right, I am more of a "Big Dirty Blonde Guy") The point is that under his absurd "Big Guy" categorizing system, I would not be considered a "Big Phone Guy."

I like to call my friends for a quick catch up or just to "ooh and ahh" over another heartbreaking loss by one of my sports' teams, but in general, if I am just chilling on my couch, I'd rather not be on the phone. As such, I prefer to make my phone calls in those moments when I am not purely relaxing. Many times this phone chatting will occur in the car on the way home from work. But most preferably this multi-tasking goes down in a place traditionally reserved for a much different type of discarding of obligations.

You see I am a "Big Bathroom Guy," It may sound cliché but I do my best thinking in the palace. Like anyone else I have read countless newspaper and magazine articles in there but with the creation of wireless I was able to reach new heights. I was now able to send emails, watch baseball games on MLB TV, and even finally figure out what the hell it meant for a bank to be "member FDIC" (they say this at the end of every bank commercial and it annoyed me for years that I was clueless…..thanks again wikipedia.)

Anyway you see where I am going here. I find the atmosphere of the "John" to be suitable for pretty much anything (aside from eating…..My friend Yoni actually does snack in there, but I don't really see a point…It certainly isn't multi-tasking. In fact you are doubling your work). Obviously this also means that it is my venue of choice to dial up a friend, relative, or well anyone.

With this potentially disturbing background in mind, I decided it was time to write out some sort of guide for this type of activity. Most of these are common hurdles that could hinder an otherwise cathartic experience. I have provided some suggested remedies please feel free to add other suggestions and potential blockages (pun intended) that I have not addressed. So here it goes:

An Idiot's Guide to the Bathroom Phone Chat

1. Dealing with the Echo Problem: A common problem for us potty mouths relates to our voice transmission. The other caller will often claim they hear some sort of "echo" and may even ask you candidly "are you shitting with me?" You can deal with this issue in one of 2 ways:

---"The Museum Defense"---I haven't been to a museum in quite a while but I have some of my friend's convinced that I am a bigger museum buff than their retired Aunts. This is just an easy quick retort to the sound effect question. Although it is problematic if you are telling this fib at midnight or if the art gallery, you chose, has well known rules forbidding cell phone usage. If you run into either of these traps just say you are a VIP member with special privileges.

---Surround sound---A simple musical background can drown out the echoish sounds or at least distract the caller, provoking questions such as "Are you really listening to Ashlee Simpson?"

---Keep the door slightly ajar--- (warning: performing this remedy has the danger of infuriating spouses or roommates).

2. The Side Step: If you are male and you are in the midst of a onesie aim a little to the side of the bowl. You don't want them to hear the direct splashing sounds. But in the event that the curious caller does hear you, just tell them you are doing the dishes. Like the museum defense, this is a problem for me because it is just so out of character.

3. Sounds of Silence: If the bathroom visit is of the deuce variety, try to minimize your expressions of relief and jubilation or, at the very least, pretend that you were really just excited about a good play in the game you were watching.

4. Discard your obligations (and your dinner): It is always preferable to use the facilities to speak to that chatterbox friend of yours, who you are obligated to call every once in a while. First, this means you get the obligatory convo out of the way. But make sure to get up an stretch in the middle. Second, it means you can just put them on speaker as they jabber away and you do your thing with an occassional "right on" "sure" or "yessssssss feels so much better........uh never mind what were you saying?"

5. The Bathroom Sunburn:If you are using a wireless laptop and having your convo on Skype:

---BE SURE TO PUT A TOWEL ON YOUR LEGS (I've been burned before and it aint pleasant)
---BE SURE NOT TO ACTIVATE THE WEBCAM FEATURE (unlike above this will not be a hot situation)

6. The Exit: Ok definitely do not flush until you are on the way out. If you aren't finished the convo then either pull a flush-and-run as you exit or just wait till after. Leaving the evidence behind isn't cool so I'd advise this flush-and-run-as -if-you-are-Napolean Dynamite method. If you do get caught here, you can't really assert a "dish washing" type defense. There just is not too much that sounds like a flush. Perhaps if you are a video game buff you could tell them it is the sound of a new type of rocket launcher from your James Bond '07 game and that it just sounds weird because it is Russian.

7. Use Good Judgment: Bathroom phone chatter is not universally viewed as acceptable adultlike behavior (though it should be). For whatever reason, some people get quite offended by the bathroom talk, so be sure to know your audience. Even if you have taken effective precautions, you probably shouldn't risk this activity when speaking to extra sensitive important people in your life (be it a boss or a significant other). It's just not worth it. Ok it definitely is, but you get my point: You speak, you poo, someone could get hurt. ***This message has been brought to you by MAPP: Mother's Against Phone Pooping. My mom is the president.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tis the Season

By Mink

I know it's almost mid-January but I want to tell you how much I enjoyed this winter holiday season. The annual holiday friendliness is always nice (especially on my visits to NY, where somehow the city's standard rudeness is replaced with an aura of cheeriness), but the thing that stood out about this year in particular has to be the unseasonably warm temperatures on the east coast. (I just can't tell you how many elevator conversations I've had about this topic).

But for some reason former Vice President and current meteorologist, Al Gore, seems to believe that this global warming thing is a full-scale disaster. I have to disagree. 70 degrees in January is just glorious. With apologies to my hypothetical grand-kids, I just can't really get all up in arms for something that may harm us in hundreds of years. For now, my pale-ass will enjoy the sun. (This carefree attitude on the global-warming situation pretty much ensures that my last words will feature a variation of "I'm melting.")

With that I will share a few anecdotes and thoughts from my winter break:

I had the pleasure of visiting Los Angeles a couple weeks ago. Now the trip was a blast and highlighted by an Israeli-rave (though I fell asleep due to my jet-lag), a B-list celeb sighting (the
older bro from malcolm in the middle), and a trip to Venice Beach (the only jurisdiction in the U.S. where herb smoking is legal. Honestly I have never seen such public smoking, but maybe I am sheltered). The more noteworthy part of the journey, however, was the travel itself. On the way there, I was forced to go stand-by after my first flight to Denver was cancelled due to a blizzard (apparently global warming isn't so global). I ended up sleeping on a bench in Dulles Airport and entertaining myself as I asked airline employees how I could get to Krakozhia.

It turns out that life as a stand-by traveler isn't exactly fun, although by the end of the journey we sort of formed a fraternity of stranded travelers. My favorite activity was rooting for the confirmed travelers to miss their flights, which would obviously open up spots for us. Poor Mrs. Jenkins was standing around the gift shop and didn't hear the final boarding call. When the 60-something-year-old lady in a hot pink jumpsuit finally emerged, she was told that her seat had been given away. The stand-by contingency thereby erupted into a smattering of chants to the tune of "Back of the line, Ms. Jenkins!" I felt kind of bad, but I certainly was leading the chants.

By the end of the trip we hugged mothers, girlfriends and siblings of other stand-byers on our way out of LAX airport. We even planned a 5 year reunion. The whole 19 hour experience seemed like some kind of bizarre reality TV show experience, and I would rank it up there in my top ten worst bodily odor moments. (this could be a future posting if I could remember the other nine).

Following the eventful trip to Cali and a long New Year's weekend of absurdity in NY, I returned to MD, and immediately got into an altercation with a homeless man. Beggars apparently can be choosers. (What the hell is a chooser anyway? Do we ever use that term other than this context? I mean you just never hear: "Zev, are you seriously going to dump this girl just because she insists that at all times you refer to her as 'pumpkin'? Man, you are such a chooser!") The point is a homeless man in downtown Baltimore refused my bagel offer. Granted, it was one of my roommates' gross and overly healthy whole-wheat ones, but it was in a sealed Ziploc and was actually pretty fresh.

Of course his refusal caused quite a scene as a random woman witnessing the event jumped in and started yelling at the "chooser" for declining the carbo snack. The event capped off a rough week between the poor man and myself. Just a few days prior to the bagel incident, the dude also chose to drop his blanket, roll over to his side, pull out his member and urinate inches from my leg as I walked to work.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I am a CHILD

by singerz

It is not rare that I will hear the statement, “Zev, you are such a child.” Usually, I take this as a compliment. I’m youthful. I’m energetic. I have soft skin like a baby’s ass. But I have recently started to realize that sometimes, (gasp), most of the time; this is NOT meant as a compliment. It is a dig at my maturity.

Well Mr. I’m-So-Serious-I-Don’t-Laugh-At-Poop-Jokes-And-I-Carry-An-Attache-Case-Even-When-I-Go-To-The-Beach, you have to relax. (Don’t you LOVE saying the word “attache-case”? I do. I really do.) As Frank (who won 4 Jeopardy episodes in a row), answered to a Jeopardy clue about the Bible, there is a time to laugh, a time to cry, blah blah blah. And then Alex didn’t give him credit because he didn’t ask it in question form. Alex is a dick. He doesn’t know as much as he pretends and those fake accents make me want to vomit in his mustache. Actually, I once did…na I’ll leave that crazy-ass story for another time.

And so, here are just a few examples that should prove to you that I am still a child:

-Someone recently said to me: “Awwww, you look SO grown up in that suit!“

-I always like the kids table better. French fries, fish sticks, apple juice and no adults.

-I hate dry wine.

-Whenever anyone offers to set me up on a blind date, I make the joke: “If she’s blind, how will she know where to meet me?”

-As my roommate once explained, I regularly eat as if my parents are away for the weekend. Sugar cereal, soda, devil dogs, licorice…But at least I eat salad: pickles.

-When my friend who I share this blog with comes to visit as he did this past new years weekend, we are more excited to lay in bed next to each other having ‘pillow talk’ then we are to go out and meet girls (actually, that’s more gay than it is childish, but let me have that one, will ya?)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Relax We Are on Vacation

By Mink

We have been flooded with emails, some expressing discontent with our infrequency of posting, while others seem to believe that we should be using Viagra (must be the plethora of old man pun jokes made on this site). Anyway, I am just writing to let you know that we are on a garbage dump vacation and we will be back to entertain ourselves and infuriate the anoynmous readers when we feel like it. I will, however, give you a quick run down of some stuff going on with us. Some of this may appear in more detail later on, but for now just sit back drink some egg nog and watch a Scrubs or Arrested re-run. We miss you too.

---The Mink's travel plans to LA take an expected (not a typo) turn for the worst as his connecting flight goes through Denver International Airport, which is closed for a blizzard. Oh good Karma where art thou?

---SingerZ tries to enjoy his law school winter break but his stomach hurts, and he can't fall asleep so he just sits in bed eating fried cheese.

---Benito (see The Odd Couple post) gets an offer to play professional baseball overseas. The Mink is furious, as he now needs to find a replacement at shortstop for his overly-competitive summer softball league.

---Mink's friend finds out that her boyfriend was 1. Married 2. Has two young children 3. Does not really have cancer. You may have to read number 3 again, because it is the most insane thing I have ever heard. Even George Constanza isn't that twisted.

---The Dumpers will be tearing up the Big Apple on New Year's Eve. We encourage all female blog readers to find us under the mistletoe when the clock strikes 12. Extreme and outrageous behavior are strongly encouraged. The Garbage Dumpers are always looking for some good action......or any action at all for that matter.

---And finally, Cal Ripken is about to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I am writing this mainly because SingerZ hates when I write anything sports related but also because I have a shrine to him in my parents' house, including a life size growth chart of the man as well as his jock strap. I had the pleasure of meeting him at a wedding, a year and a half ago, and my mother made sure to repeatedly embarrass me by telling Cal about the chart and other symbols of my man crush. Well at least she snapped this shot of us.

For any sports fans here, this is a great article about Calvin and his Hall of Fame worthiness. I plan on attending the Cooperstown induction in July, and you should too.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Odd Couple

By Mink

Well, I have been sharing my thoughts and mental illnesses on this blog for over a year now but for some reason I have yet to really write about my current living partner. Benito and I are going on 18 months now (which I believe is generally accepted as the absolute cut-off for any prohibition for flatulence-in-public between couples). Like a true married couple we eat dinner to Scrubs re-runs, wear matching green "going out t-shirts," and ask each other if we look obese in certain articles of clothing. He even makes me waffles on Sunday mornings! (a real keeper, I know).

More importantly we are about as opposite as Michael Richards and Martin Luther King. (Editor's Tangent: I was watching a Seinfeld re-run the other day and was very worried that Kramer's real life tirade would taint my enjoyment. But to my surprise, the experience went better than expected. I kind of likened it to a hypothetical scenario where I would walk in on a female guest sitting on the toilet at a dinner party hosted by my parents. Upon her return to the table, it would certainly be awkward but then at a certain point I would probably realize that this person is friends with my parents and that I would thus be required to block out the unfortunate imagery and act as if nothing happened. I would then resume socializing with this lady and maybe even laugh at her jokes. Similarly, about 5 minutes into Seinfeld, the characters and I were cool and I was enjoying all the jokes to the fullest. In sitcom world, Kramer is pals with Jerry, George and Elaine and for that I must pretend like nothing happened in the real world.)

Ok that was a long digression. The point is Benito and I are the Odd Couple. He folds his clothes neatly; I use my bathroom floor as a hamper. He has a daily workout regimen; I have a daily Entenmanns eating regimen. He is handy and is known in the D.C. area for his satisfying wall-jobs (he builds dry-walls for people's apartments); I am not handy and make immature sexual jokes about wall-jobs.

The point is that while we generally get along great, my roommate is shall we say Type A and I am shall we say somewhere around Type T (on the lesser known A-Z scale). I will illustrate this with the recent incident of the missing apples:

I rarely purchase apples but for some reason one Sunday night I decided to act healthy and purchase a few for the upcoming work week. Unbeknownst to me, Benito made a similar decision the day before, although there was a glaring difference in the grade and quality of our respective apple selections. Whereas I picked out some standard yellow/green-bruised-dirt covered granny apples from Shoppers, the Type-A roommate spent his Saturday night at Wegman's where he carefully hand-selected some shinny-red-Grade-A candies of nature.

On Monday morning, I went to grab some food for my lunch and decided to take the whole batch of my apples to leave in my office fridge. Being my absent-minded self, I obviously had no recollection of the color of the apples, whichI had purchased less than 8 hours before. I grabbed a bag of 5 red apples, thought nothing of it, and headed to work. At lunch, I excitedly washed an apple off and ate it after finishing my standard cheese sandwich. I then offered some of the remaining ones to several co-workers. Fortunately, only one person took me up on the offer. So I was down to 3 shiny-red-roommate-apples.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning. I woke up about an hour after my roommate and headed to the bathroom for the morning pee. With my contacts not yet in my eyes, I glanced over at the mirror and noticed the following message on 2 post-it-notes:

Matter of Life and Death.......I think you took my apples. Please return, I don't want your yellow shitty apples. I want my red ones for tomorrow. They're from Wegman's. Thanks,


My bad, my bad. Ben is now vacationing out of the country and I am home alone with only some deformed yellow "shitty" apples to keep me company.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Dump's Anniversary Reading List

by singerz

Many of you said we wouldn’t make it. By many of you, I mean that guy I bumped into on the train a year ago. Well, you stinky little man with small hands, screw you. We lasted a year and are going strong. And no, I didn’t forget the Garbage Dump’s one year anniversary. I’m just mad that Mink never takes me out anymore. The first few months were great, but since then I feel like he takes me for granted.

Anyway, in honor of our anniversary, I have put together a reading list of books I either wish existed or I want to write myself. Feel free to add your own. I already know “Anonymous” is going to add “This Blog Sucks But I Still Check it 6 times a Week.” And now, the list:

101 Things That Make Me Vomit

Why We Should Wash Our Hands After We Pee

10 Better Ways to Spend a Saturday Morning Than in Synagogue

The secrets of AOL IM: How to be someone youre not when talking to girls

Sweatpants: A Novel

Facial Hair - part two

When You're Hungry, You Should Eat

Secrets of Law School: Don't Go

Snood: Gross hair covering or addictive video game?

Candy is Better than Vegetables, No matter What Mom Says

I Started this Blog to Get Girls and its Just Not Working

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Anniversary Edition

By Mink

Well it is official. SingerZ has forgotten our one-year anniversary. I came home the other night wearing a racy new outfit, had the scented candles out, fried up some of his favorite goat cheese and even cleaned out that gross brownish ring that lives right about the water of my John.* (I just want to add for the record that it hasn't always been easy having a name that also stands for a place where people go to move their bowels. Yet recently I have come to embrace it, and on occasion I will even sign a thank you note or an email with a: "Sitting on the, Jon.")

Anyway, getting back to the humiliation of the forgotten anniversary....On November 19th, we reached a major milestone in our blogging relationship. We have just completed one glorious year of sharing stories about escapades involving manicures, woman cramps, haircuts, and insulting dead guys. Yet for whatever reason, SingerZ seems to take this for granted and instead chooses to live the American dream in Manhattan, spending his wild nights eating bad pizza and loudly over-analyzing Grey's Anatomy with an all- male gathering.

So I sit here alone, eating a carton of Ben and Jerry's while watching When Harry Met Sally. And I am left with no choice but to share some of my mis-adventures with anyone who is really bored at work reading this (or just to my mother's 50-something- year-old pals who apparently comprise 90 percent of our readership).

Note: All of the events below are one hundred percent accurate. Only the timing of the occurrences has been altered to enhance my debacle- filled week:

Monday was supposed to be an exciting one as I was replacing my cancer- infested '96 Accord with a "new" '01 Camry. In the previous weeks I tried to play the "educated consumer card" and began talking out of my bunghole as I asked various car dealers about V-6 engines, gas mileage and rotary girders. In reality, I was just pleased to be driving something with brakes and a radio that actually works (My old radio would work on occassion but usually I would have to bash it in with my fist for this to occur. Such violence caused many a bloody hand as well as many an awkward conversation with passengers who were convinced I had a bad case of Tourette's).

But as expected, things refused to go smoothly, and within minutes of coming into possession of my burgundy bundle of joy, I found myself garbage- bagging shut the driver- side window when it refused to go up. I then was unsuccessful in filling the tank with gasoline because the gas hatch was broken and locked shut. Finally, to add insult to injury, the seatbelt decided not to lock into place. (I don't generally use the "insult to injury" phrase but here it is applicable because after finding each little blemish with the new car, a voice inside of me actually was loudly hurling insults my way. By the time I discovered the seatbelt problem it was actually screaming, "Jon you are an ASSHOLE")

Feeling as if I had just purchased a lemon, I decided to relax by laboring on a paper for work. I actually was semi-productive for a few hours, before somehow accidentally saving the document as a temp file and then over-writing it and in the process losing about 8 hours of work. After a couple hours on the phone with the tech people and learning more than I ever want to learn about temp files, I realized it was a lost cause.

Then to cap off the smooth day, I tried to chill out with some wine and Sportscenter before retiring to sleep for the night. But somehow my bedroom television had become unplugged and I had to fumble around in the dark to reconnect the damn thing. In the process, I knocked over my cup of spare coins, scattering them into the various clothing piles that reside on my floor. At that point I threw up my hands and cried myself to sleep. Ok maybe I was laughing, but certainly not with myself (My timing must have been way off because I was constantly a few giggles off my own pace**).

That was my manic Monday and a perfect way to usher in year 2 of the Garbage Dump. Here is to another year of insanity, L'hayim. Happy Anniversary!

*For those interested in learning of the origins of the name "John" as a bathroom name check this out:

**FYI this was meant to be a pun

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Day for the Eavesdrop

by Mink

Whether it is on a subway, at a restaurant or when peering through a hole you created in the ladies bathroom, eavesdropping (weird word...try saying it a few times) is unavoidable. Yesterday unintentional eavesdropping was the theme, as well as the highlight, of my day. Please allow me to share with the class.

I was walking near the law school when I overheard a snippet of a female student's cell phone conversation. She emphatically told the poor soul on the other line that "it is not just about Miami G-d damn it!!!!!)" I found myself intrigued and tried to eavesdrop.

Inner monologue:

---What could possibly be negatively associated with Miami? Did your boyfriend cheat on you there? If so are you single now? Looking for a pseudo-functional rebound guy?

---Was it something you ate in South Beach? a bad sunburn? (spf 45 aloe vera works like a charm and doesn't leave that oily residue) distraught over the UMiami player who was murdered?

----And if it wasn't just about Miami what the hell is this all about? Perhaps the voice on the other line was a movie-scene ruiner spoiling all the lines from the Borat movie that she planned to see this weekend. Or perhaps it was just a roomate who failed to wash one dish too many.

---Ok buddy you just need to simmer down and get a hold of yourself. (not sure if this was directed to myself or the hostile phone converser).

---And did she just use the word G-d in the same sentence with Miami? I think the last time I heard the two linked was when a favorite college professor of mine proclaimed "Miami, otherwise known as G-d's waiting room." (editor's note--- I am not using the "-" so much for religious reasons as I am trying to protect the heavenly father from having this absurd site come up on a google search of His own name).

Well after an awkward and abrupt pause in my walk and a non-discrete stare, I decided I would not get any answers and was on my way. This bizzare street eavesdrop sadly was the highlight of my otherwise uneventful day. However, thanks to the paper thin walls of my apartment building I was blessed with a much better eavesdrop moment after dark.

The night-time soundbyte was not really a conversation, rather I would more appropriately describe what I heard as the "moans of passion" or the "grunts of love."

Inner monologue #2:

---Is that a female voice screaming for help? Should I go knock on their door?

---No that is not a yell, sounds more like moan.

---Wait, let me find a better ear angle...... there we go.....yeah repeated expressions of jubilation.....Sounds like Maria Sharapova playing tennis.

---Sexytime, wawaweewa!

---Wow, still going.....will this be weird when I get my mail tommorrow and this couple says hello? Should I give them accolades for this performance?

---Ok I need to get some sleep. Should I go knock on their door?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Choose Your Own Adventure

by singerz

Growing up (which many people claim I have not done yet), I used to love reading those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. There was nothing more exciting to me than having an adventure, and being able to choose it, on my own. Simply fantastic.

Admittedly, I cheated. Whenever I made a choice, I would hold my finger in the place in the book where I was reading, look ahead to the page where my choice led me, and decide whether it was the right choice. Needless to say, I always beat the villain, never became the villain, never accidentally killed my friend, never got eaten by a three-headed wooly mammoth, always solved the crime, and once, I even got the girl (that was in my older years when getting the girl was the good result and not the bad one - ewwww girls).

Not that it was so difficult to choose what the correct choice should be. I will give you an example: You’re walking in the woods. There is a fork in the road. You pick it up and put in your pocket with your spoon (sorry, I had to say it). Then the road splits and you have two choices:

If you decide to walk down the scary dark path with snakes on it, a skull and crossbones marking it, and evil maniacal laughter emanating from down the path, turn to page 4.

If you decide to walk down the path with sunshine, roses, gold, ping pong tables, fair maidens giving out free snacks, and unlimited soda fountains, turn to page 5.

Tough decision, eh? I should write a psychology book entitled “You know your child is a sociopath if he finds himself on page 4.”

And now, for this weeks Choose Your Own Adventure: You live in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Two different friends are offering to set you up on dates with different girls:

If you decide to go out with the ‘bearded lady’, turn to page 10

If you decide to go out with Jo-Jo the dog-faced albino, turn to page 14.

Correct answer: Burn the book.