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Can't One Alum Donate a New Copy Machine?

Can't One Alum Donate a New Copy Machine?

There’s like one day every few months where toiling away like a douchey L.A. stereotype by sitting in Insomnia Cafe writing on a pirated Final Draft 7, having no money, no social life, living in a worthless city and going back to undergrad when I’m uncomfortably old for it, can be slightly justified.

So, fuck it, for once I want to brag. A TV pilot I wrote is a finalist in a screenwriting competition: and it feels fucking fantastic whether it wins or not.

As in maybe, just maybe, ditching a kickass Astoria apartment (36th Street stop, $700/month, my own bathroom and my own balcony), regular temp work in Manhattan that paid over $20/hour and the thing that makes New York best of all – New York girls live there, for the cultural wasteland of L.A. might not have been the worst choice I could have made.

And another thing is that I’m going to argue that my jubilation today is a case for pessimism. Because I had discounted myself so much and forgotten about the script entirely and wrote it off as just another stack of papers to the “learning experience” pile, I was even more happy when I found out that it’s doing well. If I was optimistic about it and expected it to get there, I would either fail and be let down, or succeed and be happy but not thrilled.

But what if I keep writing and the scripts get a little bit better with each one and something gets sold some day and with enough work and focus and good ideas I can actually become a working writer.

Keep the expectations low.

But holy shit man.


The Bayonne Bridge connects New Jersey douche bags and Staten Island douche bags

The Bayonne Bridge connects New Jersey douche bags and Staten Island douche bags

The pinnacle for an architect is no longer recognition and awards, but rather it’s getting your structure destroyed in a Michael Bay disaster movie. I wonder if the architects of crappy structures and landmarks – be it in major cities or crappy towns across the Midwest (I’m looking at you, Cincinnati) – dream of this during construction.

Slate did an article last week on movies always blowing up the same landmarks: It seems to be the same buildings in every disaster movie: Empire State Building, the White House, Golden Gate Bridge (somehow still standing when Star Trek takes place. Just to have it be destroyed), the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument. I’m sure something would get destroyed in L.A. if anything iconic existed in L.A. I don’t feel like aliens are going to travel thousands of light years to destroy In and Out Burger.

But what about the lowly World’s Largest Ball of Yarn or the World’s Largest Ball of Twine or that ridiculous Ferris Wheel in London that always gets neglected for destruction for Big Ben?

I think it would be more meaningful if the aliens came to Earth and destroyed some stuff while making a point about the state of modern architecture. Yeah the symbolism in destroying the Statue of Liberty is more significant, but does that really pass for a metaphor right now? Ending your freedom by destroying the symbol of freedom? Can’t you come up with something just slightly more clever?

I think it says something more significant if you have a master race destroy the Pompidou Center and the Disney Concert Hall in an ardent stance against Postmodern Architecture. Aliens can be snobs too.

The closest we ever came to achieve this goal was in the Tom Cruise version of War of the Worlds. The aliens travel all the way to Earth and what New York-area bridge do they destroy? George Washington? Brooklyn? Verrezano-Narrows? Nope, they destroy the Bayonne Bridge, connecting Staten Island and New Jersey. Nice. Aliens waged a war with Earth, but took out the vital pipeline of Jersey douche bags and Staten Island douche bags. That’s an alien race that I can get behind.

The underrated art of eavesdropping on other people's dates

The underrated art of eavesdropping on other people's dates

Dating in Los Angeles is miserable, not so much because of the rarity of a really good date, but because there’s nothing good about the bad dates. In New York an extremely bad date can be arguably just as good as a pretty good date. In New York, a great date is the best, but after that I think I’d rather have a really bad date before a pretty good date.

This is all based on the formal scientific rankings of: very good, good, pretty good, kinda good, and so-so. But a very bad date in New York City is awesome.

I don’t know if it’s because there are more people around and there’s public transportation, so you always have an out, or because the crazy people are the craziest in the planet. But in New York, I’ve been on dates with girls who have done the following: told me a detailed account of her rape story; taken Xanax which was kept in her necklace locket; tried to have sex without a condom and she wasn’t on the pill; was asked to role play as a rapist.

Those are awesome bad first dates. And in New York, you’re always around people, so you can go up to someone else and say, “Hey, look at the psycho I’m on a date with.”

But in Los Angeles, bad first dates are just bland. There is nothing exciting about them, because most just consist of boring actresses who talk about their attempted careers all night. They hide the psychosis and make you stick around for a while to find them, which isn’t fun for anyone.

Plus if you’re on a bad date in L.A., you’re stuck in the car with the girl all night, so there’s no escape. In New York, you can be near any subway stop and say, “OK, see ya,” but in L.A., you can’t necessarily be out at dinner near La Cienega and Melrose, and walk away with a hearty, “Good luck.” You could, but you’ll lose the chance to ask her friends out.

Do what you can to get out of NY apartment

Do what you can to get out of NY apartment

This one will probably annoy a lot of people, but those are the ones that tend to get all the traffic, so let’s go for it. Why is that joggers always get raped, mugged and sexually assaulted? Shouldn’t they be jogging? I mean, how in-shape are these rapists?

This makes no sense to me. They’re already jogging. How important can the jogging routine possibly be that you’ll refuse to run any faster when you see a guy with a knife? Does the willingness to get assaulted outweigh the conditioning that’s dependent on a consistent heart rate from steady pacing?

This is why you always hear about joggers getting assaulted. You never read a news article about a runner being attacked. Or a sprinter. They’re good. They’re really running. Very few rapists target the marathon. No stamina.

And how are all these rapists getting in such tip-top shape to catch up with these joggers? Is this an LA Fitness class that I haven’t heard about? “Are you hear for Abs Express?” “Nah, where’s rape cross-training?”

Although now that I think about it, rapists should be the motivation for people to start running. How about a campaign to solve obesity and overcrowded prisons at the same time? We release the rapists – we’ll keep collars on them so they know where they are and when they’ve gone too far – and they stalk lazy folk. This gets people jogging, and more importantly, gets them jogging fast.

No more assaults on joggers because they’ll all be better runners.

Subtitle: "You lazy bastard."

Subtitle: "You lazy bastard."

The problem with living in Morningside Heights has nothing to do with its distance from lower Manhattan. I have no problem with waiting for the late-night 1 train, the time it takes to get uptown isn’t a problem and the neighborhood is one of the best in the city.

But it seems like my patience for all of that immediately dissolves every single time the 1 train has to make a stop at that goddamn 18th Street Station. That one stop is a singlehanded “Fuck you” compliments of the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

This has to be the most unnecessary stop in the entire system. Is it really that much of a pain in your daily routine to walk from 14th Street the entire four blocks to 18th Street. I’m so glad we could create an entirely new stop to cater to these people who just deem that kind of trek as being ridiculous.

And the weird thing is that I could care less when the train stops at 18th Street any other time of day. It’s only when it happens at 1:30 A.M., that I think the entire train lets out a collective, “Oh, come on! Really?”

500 lb. Maury Pauvich guest in America

500 lb. Maury Pauvich guest in America

I’ve had a lot of success with European women in the past. Not relegated to¬†any country in specific, but just as a continent, I seem to do better there than women in any other continent (maybe neck-and-neck with North America).

I was discussing this with other likeminded New York Jews (by the way, doesn’t that sound like a last-place Major League Soccer team? F.C. New York Jews?), and was shocked by similar results. It was unanimous: European girls love New York Jewish guys.

I thought about it for a while and figured out why this is: we’re the safe experimentation version for Europeans to try dating an American. They’ve all heard about that Wild West cowboy, frontier, hunter uncivilized New Worlder (that’s right, New Worldler), but they don’t really want to have to put up with it, so they go half-way and date a New Yorker.

It’s the trans-Atlantic version of a white girl who wants to date a black guy, but sorta hedges her bets by dating a light-skinned black guy, or a guy with one black parent and one white one. She wants to rebel against her parents, but doesn’t want to get in too deep in the process. That’s where New York Jews come in handy.

A housecat got revenge by popping a hole.

A housecat got revenge by popping a hole.

Ever try and cross a street, but your path manages to perfectly intersect a massive street demonstration and you find yourself accidentally leading the gay pride parade?

One second you’re just minding your own business, trying to walk across town and the next you’re leading a movement of sorts. It’s a difficult position because you want to get to where you’re going, but you don’t want to come off as a scab.

You want it to be a good parade also, not something embarrassing. If you find yourself at the head of the KKK rally simply because you were trying to cross the street at an inopportune time, you don’t want 60 Minutes throwing a camera in your face and being like, “You, sir, what do you have to say on behalf of your fellow racists?”

Lose-lose situation kinda thing.

Pulitzer Prize gay sex inside

Pulitzer Prize gay sex inside

Ever read a book in a place where people can read over your shoulder, like a bus, subway or airplane, and all of a sudden you get ambushed by a hardcore gay sex scene that comes out of nowhere?

I don’t have a problem with gay stories, but it’s when you get ambushed by the gay part of straight stories that I could use a warning.

This happened the other week when I was reading an excellent book, Kavalier and Clay, on the subway. As any real New Yorker knows, the book you’re reading is more important for showing off to other riders than actually enjoying reading it.

So I’m proud of my great book, showing its Pulitzer Prize medal to anyone who happens to walk by and wonder what that intelligent-looking guy is indulging in now. But that’s when one of the main characters turns out to be gay and has a descriptive gay sex scene written with the precision of Pulitzer Prize fiction.

Normally, no problem at all. But it’s the fact that the train was packed and there were clearly people reading over my shoulder that I ran into trouble. This all could have been easily avoided if there had been a footnote a few pages prior to the gay sex scene simply saying, “Listen this is gonna get real gay soon, so heads up if you’re on the A train.”

This is opposed to people intentionally sharing a book like, “The art of gay sex” for everyone on the subway to notice, which, hey, go all out, right?

Resume is in there somewhere

Resume is in there somewhere

Ever see a homeless guy who’s so organized and efficient at collecting empty bottle and soda cans that you’re shocked he’s unemployed and homeless?

Every time I see one of those people (and by ‘those people,’ obviously I mean black people), it doesn’t cease to baffle me. Not because of the fact that they’re doing it, but because they do it with such gusto that surely they could be better than me at any job I’ve ever had.

I’m talking about the guys with hooks and pulleys and levers and balanced equilibrium put into motion. The shopping cart is more like a tow truck than a broken grocery transporter.

It’s like they’ll equalize the torque by factoring the weight of each specific soda can measured exponentially against the rotational force rationalized off the decreasing density from a 40 of Miller Genuine Draft. But somehow, they can’t get their resume together and get a job. You can have mine, because I will never be smart enough to do yours.

Man in top left scares bat away by acting like bear

Man in top left scares bat away by acting like bear

I like going to ball parks at stadiums other than Yankee Stadium, because it would seem as though going to the game is actually an enjoyable pleasant experience that doesn’t make you want to kill people.

The difference I immediately notice is the ushers at the competing parks. I was at a game in Colorado and a foul ball was ripped into the stands. I was shocked by what happened next. An usher actually came over to the fans and asked if everyone was OK.

Are you kidding me? Yankee Stadium ushers would never offer such a comment. They’d be laughing with their friends throwing around, “Ah shit’s,” and, “Damn, tha’s gotta hurt.”

This isn’t even to mention the fact that when a guy almost got his head knocked off by a line drive, the priority was to help him. Stunning. As any true New Yorker knows, the priority is to get the foul ball. You’re at a baseball game.

The stupid Colorado usher was there making sure that the guy wasn’t dead. In New York, you’re lying inches away from death, and the ushers, along with every other logical fan, are climbing over you trying to get the ball.

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August 2019
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