Monday, December 31, 2007
Sweet dreams kids.
PS. New York, your not helping with this.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
So after watching the video I check the comments on Digg, like you do, and after siffting through comments from old perverts living with thier mothers having nothing good to say, I found comments from old perverst living with thier mothers who have links to Jill Nicolini's playboy pictures from before she became a new anchor. I won't post a direct link here, but if you want to google it, she did them under the name Jill Nikki.
What I'm trying to say is: even if our president doesn't inadvertently nuke us off the face of the Earth, we're still all going to hell. So in the words of my hero Tucker Max: "I hope they serve beer in hell."
Sweet dreams kids.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I'll take the rest of this week off because I have work in Tribeca Saturday and in Long Island Sunday, but I promise I'll be back on Monday with bigger and better things. Expect more rants. A big picture post. And all that fun stuff throughout the next week.
Sweet dreams kids.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Here is my schedule of finals:
Mon. Dec. 17 -
10:00AM - English Lit.
3:30PM - Sociology
Wed. Dec. 19 -
3:30PM - Computer Information Systems
Thu. Dec 20 -
10:30AM - Microeconomics
Normally this wouldn't be bad at all, but this year, as an added bonus, I have to work 4 shows on Saturday and Sunday. English Lit. and Sociology are, without a doubt, my two hardest finals this semester and I won't even have the weekend to study for them. Add to that the fact that I already blew through my first day off (today) doing absolutely nothing, and intend on spending most of tomorrow finding somewhere to go to escape my housekeeper who likes to play 20 questions every time she comes over. Clearly Sunday night is shaping up to be an all-nighter. But what are you gonna do, its not like I go to college to be organized or do things smart. That would be too easy.
Hopefully the weekend at work won't be hard though. Last week was hectic. We had two photo shoots in one day in between two shows, and some guy from the Daily Show (no, not John Stewart) was apparently in the audience.
Yesterday someone told me they would be using one of my posts for an essay for one of their classes. Your plagiarizing off me? Really? Take as much offense as you want, but you have got to be so utterly dumb to copy my work that your child will grow up like this girl.
I'm hungry, and I lost my train of thought. If I come up with anything else I'll update. Till then...
Sweet dreams kids.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
"I am an asshole but, I do contribute to humanity in one very important way. I share my adventures with the world." - Tucker Max
What I'm trying to say is: you won't be getting anything interesting out of me tonight. So instead I'll give you homework. Yea, I give homework now. Its amazing what you could do with a little photoshoped header and a free acount from blogspot. So here is what you have to do:
Go to TuckerMax.com and read the few stories he has posted up on the website. Then come back soon when I'll have my review of his book "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" up. Finally, comment away, buy the book, and do cocaine. Just cause you can.
Sweet dreams kids.
P.S. If I didn't think Bud Light was one of the worse beers on the face of the earth this would be an absolutely perfect paragraph:
"Today we salute you stressed out college student during exam week. As you sit in your lonely cubical in the library, doped up on Starbucks & Adderall, you think to yourself, am I ever going to need to know this stuff in life? The distractions are tempting and you have suddenly diagnosed yourself with ADD along with advanced delusionary schizophrenia with involuntary narcissistic rage, I'm sure by now you know exactly what everyone is doing because you have checked your buddy list 800 times. Christmas is just days away, and your prozac prescription will be in tomorrow. So crack open an ice cold bud light after that last exam, because for most of us, the winter break will be spent in rehab."
Stolen from Jackie's away message, but she probably stole it from someone else too, so its all good.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Brighton Beach. I grew up spending more time there then in my own neighborhood. You have probably, at the very least, heard of it and in some way, shape, or form link it to the Russian Mafia.
Years ago my dad described Brighton as a chunk of Soviet Russia frozen in 1982 and dropped on to South Brooklyn. Fifteen, maybe ten, years ago that was very much the case. Brighton was thriving more than ever and just unpleasant enough to be romantic. It's hard for anyone outside the community to understand what can be romantic about a fat woman named Fanya, with a slight hint of a mustache, pushing you out of the way to reach for a $2.99 box of Ferrero Rocher knockoffs at Zolotoy Kluchik. The romanticism is even harder to fathom when you consider that Fanya, who violently pushed you out of the way, isn't just a bitchy customer trying to skip in line, she's the cashier, and quite possibly the owner of the very store you're in. Customer service? Try a different neighborhood, that's not how we work around here. Vulgarness, lack of service, and even dirt on the streets were all somehow, almost magically and most definitely nostalgically, charming. Much like you were guaranteed no service (in the modern American sense of the word) in a Russian store, it was also inevitable that among the pushing, the shoving, and the cornucopia of Russian curses circa 1982, you would run into your friend Igor, your Cousin Alex, or your Uncle Borya, who would then join you for a walk on the Boardwalk, bag of sunflower seeds in hand. And what walk on the Boardwalk would be complete without dinner at Tatyana or Volna to conclude the night, and of course provide an excuse for downing a 1.75L of Smirnoff among 3 people.
The 90's were a magical time in America, and Brighton was no different. It was a time of prosperity and a time of unity. Russians from all over the world would flock to Brighton Beach to have dinner and a show at National, Arbat, Primorski, or Odessa. Men in leather jackets and women in fur coats from Le Monti could be seen exiting anything from a 1986 Oldsmobile to a brand new S600 Benz and entering the same restaurant to enjoy caviar, escargot, and just about any other delicacy most people in America only dream of. It was all there, it was all plentiful, and it was all accessible. Brighton bought people together. One restaurant would have the Sisters Rose singing, or Mikhail Shufutinski down the block, Luba Uspenskaya across the street, and Gulko two blocks down. It was like the Vegas of Russian New York, local celebrities were known internationally, and you could smoke right under a no-smoking sign and still be handed an ashtray. Designer Italian brands, leather, and fur were the norm, and it was not unusual to see people wearing them while paying for their bread and milk with food stamps. Behind the stores, in the park by the Boardwalk, you could find tables occupied by old men gambling their food stamps away playing dominoes. (My own grandfather being one of them)
Being an American lost on Brighton was an unpleasant experience to say the least. Russian signs permeated every inch of the highly valued land under the above-ground subway and Russian, not English, was the default language. In this little part of America, knowing English did you no good. Knowing English on Brighton was as worthless as knowing Japanese in Ireland, it just wouldn't buy you a pelmeni. Many people, who had spent 20 years living on Brighton, still couldn't speak a word of English. Many still can't because they never needed too. The 90's was a time when the Russian community took care of its own in their own language. Everyone wanted to empower Brighton almost as much as they wanted to make money for themselves, and the only way to do that was to empower its people. Somewhere along the line, however, the desire to make money won out the battle, and Brighton Beach began its slow decline.
Today, the Brighton of the 90s is a lingering nostalgic thought memorialized in the Brighton that is today. You can still find the vulgarity, lack of service, and even the occasional fur coat on Brighton, but the inspired young businessmen which used to fill its streets have since moved on to newer BMWs, Lexus SUVs, and in many cases Bentleys. With the new cars came the new houses. Some relocated to Jersey, some to Staten Island, and many to new luxury condos, much like my own, all over Brooklyn. Brighton has gone from the place to thrive, to the place to go when you need homemade Russian food without having to cook. The restaurants are still there, and the show still goes on, but it is no longer the celebrity-making congregation it once was. Those who made their money have found new, more exciting, and decidedly more expensive alternatives to Brighton's, now tacky, array of identical restaurants. These people only go back for the nostalgia of sitting at a lavishly plated table with 100 of your family and friends watching the girls dancing to the same 90's music blaring through the speakers ten years later. Neither the streets of Brighton, nor the wooden panels of the boardwalk are filled with young entrepreneurial Russians in furs and minks looking for a good time, but are rather filled with elderly women going for a stroll with their home attendants or buying potatoes while their husbands wait in line outside the store to be served perogi by the same fat, mustached, woman who's attitude towards her customers has never changed. With the exception of a few choice boutiques, which cater to the "Novie Ruskiye" tourist crowd of Russian millionaires, and the local millionaires who still visit Brighton to buy a new watch or pair of glasses, most stores are filled with the elderly who simply prefer a Russian voice when shopping, even if that voice is as condescending as a prison guard at Rikers.
To be continued….
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Until then I'd like to corrupt your minds a little more by ruining "Hey There Delilah" for you. You know the song, its been overplayed worse then "Where'd You Go". I'll admit, its not a bad song, sweet even, until you listen to it again and realize its the stalker anthem of the year. Yes kids if aren't an over-obsessive freak that does research on your music and thus haven't already heard,Tom Higgenson of the Plain White T's is a stalker. Read for yourself http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hey_There_Delilah#Inspiration_and_composition
and when your done with that check out the other 9 Worst Hit Songs of 2007. Make sure you read the descriptions for each one.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Procrastination. You do it. I'm doing it right now. This has been written about before, but these are my 2 cents. We are all constantly procrastinating. If its not homework or studying or buying holiday presents then its something more philosophical like death. Think about it, the human death rate is 100%, your going to die, so whats to stop you from doing it right now? (perhaps putting M1KEYGOD.ru in the suicide note) Your a procrastinator, a lazy procrastinator. You could be dead, but your putting it off. So why would you put off something so terrible instead of just getting it over with? Because your no ordinary procrastinator, your an efficient one. Quite simply, staying alive is efficient. You get more done when your alive as opposed to buried 6 bellow and mingling with Anna Nicole Smith. The trick here is to extend this efficient procrastination habit into your daily life. If your going to stay alive anyway, might as well make something of yourself.
Efficient procrastination begins with knowing what you like to do. This shouldn't be a problem since you probably already know, even if its contentiously, what you'd rather be doing instead of the work you have. Your probably reading this post because you don't feel like getting back to that paper on the Kafka story you read. I don't blame you, I have one just like it due in 2 weeks. But eventually you will have an even longer and more boring paper on something like Organic Chem. So the key here is to due your Kafka paper as an attempt to procrastinate doing your Organic Chem paper. Make a resume to procrastinate the Organic Chem paper, and do the Organic Chem paper to procrastinate paying your dear old Grandma Rosa a visit and having to look at her while imaging what she looks like chewing on bread without her dentures. (thats how bread pudding is made you know, with factories of old people) Ok, so maybe you should go see Grandma Rosa, for all you know she might decide to finally stop procrastinating and drop dead. The point is, if you procrastinate selectively and thus efficiently, you'll find yourself getting much more done then you used too.
This method isn't for everyone. Some people don't have the mental capacity to plan and organize. Those people usually follow my second, and arguably more efficient, idea: cocaine. Do a bump and by the time you start crashing all your work will be done and with more philosophical insite then you knew you had.
Sweet dreams kids.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
If you get into it or even if you don't, I'd still like to recommend, what is hands down my favorite book of all time, "Einstein's Dreams" by Alan Lightman. I don't feel the need to buy many books after reading them, but I had Einstein's Dreams on order from Amazon before I even got past page 10 in the library copy. My high school photography professor once handed us an excerpt, about time being a series of images, from Einstein's Dreams. He said he hard recently begun reading it and recommended it to all of us. Normally a teachers recommendation means as much to me as my grandmother saying her friend's granddaughter is "tall and gorgeous". Tall and gorgeous most likely = freak who needs her grandmother to set her up on a date. Not happening. This, however, was a teacher I trusted. You know how you get this one teacher who is in touch with the world that exists post 1970s, which is coincidently the last decade most teachers stepped outside their home to go anywhere other then work. My high school was full of them, they were mostly ex-hippies, and some were still living the dream. This teacher wasn't a hippie, but he was part of the original punk movement. Apparently those punk kids often grow up to be normal functioning human beings if they don't slit their wrists before the age of 20, who knew. What I'm trying to say is that he was a great person who's opinion I could trust. So I listened to him, and he influenced me. He was the main reason why I still wake up at 4am on summer mornings to out with my camera looking for new images to capture, he is the reason I have blue holiday lights hanging in my room, he is the reason I have photo's I've taken hanging in my room, he is the reason I cary around a Moleskin notebook everywhere I go, and he is the reason I have read Einstein's Dreams at least 14 times. The book is essentially a collection of theories on time and space dumbed down and aestheticized to turn them into awe inspiring vignettes. Its impossible to explain without providing an excerpt. So read this for yourself, go buy it, read the whole thing, then get blazed and read the Borges story.
19 April 1905
It is a cold morning in November and the first snow has fallen. A man in a long leather coat stands on his fourth-floor balcony on Kramgasse overlooking the Zähringer Fountain and the white street below. To the east, he can see the fragile steeple of St. Vincent's Cathedral, to the west, the curved roof of the Zytgloggeturm. But the man is not looking east or west. He is staring down at a tiny red hat left in the snow below, and he is thinking. Should he go to the woman's house in Fribourg? His hands grip the metal balustrade, let go, grip again. Should he visit her? Should he visit her?
He decides not to see her again. She is manipulative and judgmental, and she could make his life miserable. Perhaps she would not be interested in him anyway. So he decides not to see her again. Instead, he keeps to the company of men. He works hard at the pharmaceutical, where he hardly notices the female assistant manager. He goes to the brasserie on Kochergasse in the evenings with his friends and drinks beer, he learns to make fondue. Then, in three years, he meets another woman in a clothing shop in Neuchâtel. She is nice. She makes love to him very very slowly, over a period of months. After a year, she comes to live with him in Berne. They live quietly, take walks together along the Aare, are companions to each other, grow old and contented.
In the second world, the man in the long leather coat decides that he must see the Fribourg woman again. He hardly knows her, she could be manipulative, and her movements hint at volatility, but that way her face softens when she smiles, that laugh, that clever use of words. Yes, he must see her again. He goes to her house in Fribourg, sits on the couch with her, within moments feels his heart pounding, grows weak at the sight of the white of her arms. They make love, loudly and with passion. She persuades him to move to Fribourg. He leaves his job in Berne and begins work at the Fribourg Post Bureau. He burns with his love for her. Every day he comes home at noon. They eat, they make love, they argue, she complains that she needs more money, he pleads with her, she throws pots at him, they make love again, he returns to the Post Bureau. She threatens to leave him, but she does not leave him. He lives for her, and he is happy with his anguish.
In the third world, he also decides that he must see her again. He hardly knows her, she could be manipulative, and her movements hint at volatility, but that smile, that laugh, that clever use of words. Yes, he must see her again. He goes to her house in Fribourg, meets her at the door, has tea with her at her kitchen table. They talk of her work at the library, his job at the pharmaceutical. After an hour, she says that she must leave to help a friend, she says goodbye to him, they shake hands. He travels the thirty kilometers back to Berne, feels empty during the train ride home, goes to his fourth-floor apartment on Kramgasse, stands on the balcony and stares down at the tiny red hat left in the snow.
These three chains of events all indeed happen, simultaneously. For in this world, time has three dimensions, like space. Just as an object may move in three perpendicular directions, corresponding to horizontal, vertical, and longitudinal, so an object may participate in three perpendicular futures. Each future moves in a different direction of time. Each future is real. At every point of decision, whether to visit a woman in Fribourg or to buy a new coat, the world splits into three worlds, each with the same people but with different fates for those people. In time, there are an infinity of worlds.
Some make light of decisions, arguing that all possible decisions will occur. In such a world, how could one be responsible for his actions? Others hold that each decision must be considered and committed to, that without commitment there is chaos. Such people are content to live in contradictory worlds, so long as they know the reason for each.
(Excerpted from "Einstein's Dreams" by Alan Lightman | Vintage Publishing November 2004)
And of course the usual reminder that my birthday is indeed coming up soon and you should make all my dreams come true. Its true you know: [We are the dream, You the dreamer]
Sweet dreams kids
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Walking into 25 Federal Plaza felt like "Spybreak!" should be playing because it was something straight out of the Matrix lobby scene. Your greeted by an armed security guard talking about his girlfriend leaving him on his cell phone while trying to tell you to put your stuff in the x-ray machine. Already I wished I had a trench coat with an arsenal of automatic weapons strapped on my body which I could present to the security guard after the metal detector beeps just to watch his jaw fly open and the phone fly from his hand. Your guarding the fucking building with both Homeland Security and FBI offices inside it, put down the fucking phone and do your job before we all get blown up. He did manage to take my mom's nail file from her purse, which she was clearly going to use to file away at the immigration officer if he didn't give me my certificate. Why wouldn't she? Imagine that headline: [Angry Woman Uses Nail File on Federal Employee: Immigration Reform Imminent]. I'd buy that paper. Once we get upstairs we're greeted by another rent-a-cop. It seems they hired this one straight from the immigrant line. I've never heard a more confusing accent in my life. I think it was African, but thats only based on the fact that he was Black and had a flat nose. Eventually we figured out that he was trying to tell us to turn off our cell phones. Apparently if my mom's nail file plan fails her cell phone is just as dangerous. Just ask Naomi Campbell's hair stylist to tell you how dangerous a cell phone can be. We arrived at 12:10pm for my 12:00pm interview. The room was already packed, because according to the guy sitting next to us apparently we're the only ones with enough balls to show up late to something as important as a citizenship interview. I'm sorry if I don't enjoy wasting my time on something so pointless and redundant as an in person interview for a certificate which I am already legally entitled too. Don't get me wrong, I love and appreciate this wonderful country of ours, but I just don't approve of the way they get things done or its current position in the world.
After a 90 minute wait we are finally escorted to a nicely appointed office where we are told to raise our right hands. "Do you swear to tell the truth... bla bla bla bla ignore me here because there's no reason for you to give me any other answer then I do...so help you God" It took all my might to hold back from screaming out "I AM GOD". And weren't they supposed to get rid of the whole God thing from government? I don't have a problem with it, I mean I'd still say "I do" whether it was God, Satan, or Harry Potter "so helping" me if I lied, but I just think they could get a little more creative. Around this time I realized that the immigration officer has a greater accent then either of my parents. I wonder why the don't just outsource the entire naturalization process to India and save the taxpayers some money. The interview itself was more like him asking me questions to which he already knew the answers and the spending the remaining 1o minutes flirting with my mom after he saw her divorce certificate. I hope you trip, land headfirst onto a flagpole, and lay there penetrated with the American flag waving over your head while Bruce Willis stands over you singing The Star Spangled Banner. Yippie Ka Yay mother fucker. After another 30 minutes of waiting I finally got my citizenship certificate. Image that, almost $300 and 3 hours later, me, an 18 year old who's been in the country legally for over 14 years, as a citizen for the past 7, and speaks better English then everyone working at the immigration office, finally got a piece of paper confirming what I already knew, that I'm a citizen of this here US of A. God Bless America.
- "I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell" by Tucker Max (Which is a MUST READ if you find yourself laughing at my crude humor)
- Cannon EOS 30D or any Digital SLR for that matter
- XBOX 360 because COD4 on XBOX Live = LIFE
- Brigada DVD Set
- Sennheiser HD-595 Headphones
Get on it:
Sweet dreams kids.
Edit: I almost forgot about the passport picture story. I spent $12 on pictures when I sent in the application because they want THREE pictures even though the pictures are sold in pairs of TWO. So fine, I buy 4 pictures, pay $12 and keep one for myself. 4 months later I get the interview letter telling me I need to bring 2 new pictures. Vat Ze Fak? How much can a person have changed that you need new pictures 4 months later. And what the fuck do you need FIVE pictures of me for anyways? Do you give them to gay soldiers in Iraq so they have something to jerk off too when they are on their 3rd tour of duty? Long story short he hand's be back the three pictures I sent in and says they only need the two new ones. And then they wonder why so many immigrants are poor.
Monday, November 26, 2007
I was originally going to write about About a Boy which I saw last night. If you don't know by now, I live for quotes. They permeate my away messages, my Facebook status, my conversations, and my writing. But much like my writing style, I generally care as much about old outdated and over-cliched quotes as that same crack whore of a mother cares what will happen when her baby grows up and finds this article about how her mommy did lines of coke off her 18-week-old stomach while giving a trick head. Then again, who knows, maybe snorting coke off babies will be the next big thing, sort of like eating sushi off naked women. Why not? But back on the topic of quotes, what I'm interested in is the new stuff. The kind of stuff you pause Entourage or Californication for, just to make sure you write down the line. By the way, if you haven't already seen every episode of both shows, close this window, your banned from this blog, and I hope you have to watch your daughter do crack off an aborted fetus at the age of 13. Dark humor and vulgarity makes for good television, and for even better quotes. Its the wittiness, the truthfulness, and the cynicism that attracts me. (I just spent a good 2 minutes looking for the proper spelling of Cynicism. Though you should know) Take this line from About a Boy, said by Will when he's asked to be the Godfather of a soon to be born baby girl: "I'd be the worst possible Godfather. I'd probably drop her on her head at her christening. I'd forget all her birthdays until she was 18. Then I'd take her out and get her drunk. And, let's face it, quite possibly try and shag her." Granted this line is not characteristic of the movie any more then Britney's current public image is characteristic of her first album, but its still just too good to pass up.
The thing with interpreting quotes from British movies like About a Boy is that sometimes the accent throws you off. (For the record, British accents on girls = SEX, British accents on guys = long hot pink hooker nails on a chalkboard in a classroom they'll never be in unless its a schoolgirl/teacher porn shoot) Watching About a Boy, I became hooked on a monologue about what I thought was "the idle age". It turned out to be "the island age" which for all intents and purposes is essentially the same, but I like my idea better. (This was my first time using the phrase "intents and purposes" since I learned 3 weeks ago that it is not "intensive purposes"; the education of American kids really is going downhill, much like the stock market which plummeted again today. But thats for another post) I immediately began to think about the idea of an "idle age". It seems to me that for the moment, things are just... well... idle. I don't have too many complaints about life, but there's nothing supper exciting happening like there used to be. Every day was once an adventure, now its an attempt to create or grasp at adventure. Not that I'm complaining, I much rather be content then miserable, but some excitement would be nice. A Kylie in the backseat of my Accord at 4am with the alarm accidentally going off and old people waking up perhaps, or stealing an Esther to run away upstate with, or maybe even a trip to Kiev. It seems as if the smallest things bought so much excitement in the past, and now everything has either mellowed out, or I've just become jaded. Regardless, all that means is that we have to do things harder, faster, and stronger then ever before.
So my birthday is in exactly a week. Monday, December 3rd. I used to know exactly what I wanted for months in advance and have lists ready and memorized. These days its not so easy. I have everything I've always wanted as a child and just about everything I need now. In fact, I was just talking to Mia the other day about how we both enjoy chilling with spoiled kids who have more then we do, and I realized that I now have more then the kids I thought were spoiled back then ever had. Of course there's always room for more, but all I'm saying is that I'm content.
But that didn't stop me from making a wish list anyways. Why would it? I like stuff. Stuff is nice. Buy me stuff. Make sure you sort it by Priority, and I'll give a detailed description of what I want most in tomorrow's post.
Holy fuck its pouring out there right now. The rain is smashing against my skylight like I wish you were smashing against a 150 mph bullet train. What I'm trying to say is: but me a birthday gift of kill yourself. Put a link to the blog in the suicide letter.
Sweet dreams kids
Friday, November 23, 2007
Please excuse my last post. It was made for Digg. Don't ask. Obviously I'm not pissed about tits on my Facebook. I wouldn't be pissed about tits if they showed up in an episode of Bob the Builder. Tits are awesome.
Now let me tell you about a holiday we call Thanksgiving. It is the day the Pilgrims sat down for dinner with the Indians. Then they raped them. Welcome to America. It is also a day where the whole country seems to forget its in the middle of what they call an "epidemic", and suddenly everyone supports obesity, including Russians. Since when do us Russians buy into American holidays? It only hit me this year that every Russian family I know is completely into Thanksgiving. I guess why wouldn't we, its a reason to take out the bottle. So lets see, your expected to overeat one day and go back to 100 Calorie Packs of nothingness and Diet everything the next. Or maybe you could lose the weight by trampling over people slightly more obese then you, Best Buy circular in hand, at 5am on Black Friday morning trying to score that HDTV you've been eying for $800, all but forgetting that your 3 months behind on the mortgage for your now devalued home, your 401k has tanked along with the market, you just lost $400 in online poker, and your job will probably be shipped off to India tomorrow.
So lets assess the situation:
- Your getting fatter, but your TV is getting skinnier so you can still fit in the same room.
- The room itself is worth 5 times less today then it was 4 years ago.
- Channel No. 5 will soon be cheaper per gallon then gasoline.
- A man named Arjun Gupta is going to be doing your job for 1/5th the pay tomorrow.
- The Brits are taking over Woodbury and FAO Shwartz because 1 Pound can now get you 2 Dollars. Foreign buyers are even getting special private shopping times because they account for 1/3 of total sales at FAO.
- Iraq... well you already know about Iraq.
- Hillary Clinton had a lesbian affair with her Muslim aide while Barack Obama told kids that he did drugs.
- Dumbledoor is gay.
- You found out, after a year of wet-dreams, that Vanessa Anne Hudgens has a bush.
- Japanese dolphin hunters are after Hayden Panettiere.
- You could wear a t-shirt outside yesterday and still be in denial about global warming.
- Did I mention the Brits taking over the first toy store I ever went to in America? SAVE FAO SHWARTZ!
What are you gonna do? To quote Hank Moody quoting the Clash "should I stay or should I rock the casbah?"
I think I'll stay and I think I'll like it. C'est la vie.
I also just spent about 30 minutes looking for a good song to recommend only to realize that theres nothing good out there and you should really just keep listening to Don't Stop by Journey. If your in the mood to stop the world, try Let Go by Frou Frou.
Sweet dreams kids.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I was surfing Facebook today and happened to glance over at one of the ads they now put on the left hand side of the page. Here is what I saw, with the profile blurred for obvious reasons:
Here is a close-up of the ad. Clicking on the image will open the uncensored NSFW version:
Hot free cam on Facebook? Really? I understand that some of the pictures posted on Facebook can at times be rather close to porn, but at least those are not sponsored by Facebook.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for internet porn. I'll be the first to admit that it plays a vital part of getting through certain weeks for me, but I do not want it showing up anywhere I don't expect it to be. Even in the form of a small ad. I often use Facebook from school and work computers with professors, classmates, and co-workers often walking around behind me. While I'm sure most will understand that I am simply surfing Facebook, many of those who are not familiar with the site may think otherwise. Furthermore, I have an communications professor who often uses Facebook and was recently telling us about a presentation she did to her colleagues about the benefits of social networking. Imagine having a nice pair of round tits projected on a 10 foot screen in front of an audience of 300 college professors already skeptical about implementing social networking in their careers.
Its understandable that Facebook needs money, but please, try to be more tasteful.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is directed by and based on the memoirs of Dito Montiel, a kid from Astoria who went on to get a $1 million dollar record deal with his punk rock group and become described as "the most successful unsuccessful" record deal in history. He basically got a whole bunch of money, but the record flopped and was dropped by the label shortly after its debut. But you don't get to hear about any of that in the movie. The movie is about his life growing up in Queens. Anyone who's ever went to a not-so-safe urban public school can watch this movie and be halfway between a smirk and shivers.
No, I'm not saying I've had to suffer through half of what the movie depicts, not even a tenth. In fact, I had it pretty good. But what I did experience was getting up to move into a different train car when 30 kids in red would jump the one kid in blue and begin to beat the shit out of him as I sat 2 feet away. Or the day we got off the train with Eugine and saw the blood dripping from the kid who got stabbed in the next car. Or the countless number of times our train was stopped and delayed because someone was getting arrested two cars down. Or the stories from your friends about how they got robbed or they got jumped. Or our own fights in high school from which I watched my friends walk away bloody. Or even the time I got mugged myself and ran around with a black eye for 2 weeks. They're all experiences I would never want to have again, but would never want to give up. They are the experiences that pave the way for epiphanies, and the experiences that keep you smiling about the small things your friends shed tears over. What I've experienced in my life doesn't even begin to reach the point of being called "bad", simply because it could be so much worse, but when someone hasn't experienced worse, then even the small things seem like the end of the world. Much like I've talked to people and sat there thinking that I can't begin to imagine how bad their lives must have been, I've also talked to people who are crying like its the end of the world over something that in my life would be considered a minuscule disappointment. I can, off the top of my head, think of three people I've met throughout my life, who have come close enough to death to truly live each day like it was their last. These are the people who can't be bothered by anything short of death itself, and live life as if it is the most glorious thing on earth (which coincidently enough, IT IS). And on the other end of the spectrum you have the ones who cry over being called a bad name by a sibling or a parent, which is fine, until they tell me I don't know what its like without knowing my story first. Like I said, everyone has their own problems.
What I was trying to get at, is that we interpret the world differently depending on what experiences we have had in the past. That is the main reason why I would never trade my upbringing for one filled with money, luxury, and ease. With that said, I would also be reluctant to trade down for one of worse poverty then we experienced and greater hardship. Depending on your views and experiences, you will probably react to A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints differently. Regardless, it is in my opinion a must-watch. Its not one of those movies which is shot by a big Hollywood director pretending to know what it was like. Its a movie about Dito Montiel, directed by Dito Montiel. I won't give away anything because I want you to watch it, but I will tell you that if your anything like me, this will quickly go up on your top movie list right along with Requiem for a Dream and Kids.
On a side note: when the fuck did Shia LeBeouf become a serious actor? Seeing him play Dito in the opening scenes quickly discredited the movie for me. But within 5 minutes he got all my respect back. My respect for him peaked after reading IMDB and finding this: "Dito Montiel was reluctant to cast Shia LaBeouf in the role of young Dito because Montiel was intent on casting an unknown. After the first rejection, however, LaBeouf pushed for one more audition. He came into the casting office, punched a hole in the wall, and convinced Montiel that he could bring a requisite amount of anger to the role." Even Stevens punch a hall in a directors wall during an audition? Good kid.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that it is the best movie of all time. It might not even be in the Top 5. It is surely Top 10 though and a definite must-see, especially for the NYC kids who have ever gotten over being scared to go to school.
Sweet dreams kids.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
All obvious jokes aside (and there are many, especially if your not enough of a geek to recognize all the YouTube starlets in the clip), net neutrality is in danger. Whether you heard something about it or not, its time to do something.
Imagine coming home after school, running over to your computer, and surfing over to your favorite blog on the interwebs to hear what Mikey will bitch about today, only to realize that you don't have the premium internet package and Blogger will therefor take 15 minutes to load (or worse, won't load at all).
All the major telecom companies are currently lobbying Congress to sign a bill which will eliminate net neutrality and therefor allow them to set up web packages much like you have cable tv packages. Imagine shopping for an ISP and looking through brochures like this:
Eliminating net neutrality will mean that each ISP will be able to control which websites you get access too and at what speeds. They'll give you fast unlimited access to their e-mail but will slow or block access to G-Mail or Hotmail. Facebook my open normally, but Myspace will take 10 minutes.
Think its impossible? Think of all the 60 year-old Congressmen who are at this moment sitting in a 5-star restaurant having lunch or dinner paid for by the telecom companies who are lobbying harder then ever for this bill to go through. To the majority of these Congressmen the internet is nothing more then a new media platform, just like television, so why not price it like we price cable TV? Remember your dad calling his friend's friend Oleg who came over and installed the little black box which took off the cable company's filters and gave you all the cartoons you can watch (and later all the porn you can watch) for $100 and the price of your basic cable. Imagine the same concept of blocking certain channels applied to the internet.
The net neutrality bill is currently making its way through Congress and MUST be stopped. Whether your the type to bitch about every move the government makes, the type that likes protest but has been remarkably content lately, or the type who usually couldn't care less, this is the issue to care about. Just think about all the internet porn that will go to waste, or worse, the Myspace access down the drain. Then there's also all the educational aspects of the internet, things like Wikipedia, dictionaries, and all the other stuff you use for school or work (but we're clearly more worried about porn and Myspace, which coincidently may be one and the same depending on who's profile your looking at).
Do something kids. Stand up for your rights. Its 2007 and its easier then ever to help further a cause, especially one that hits so close to home. Go to www.WeAreTheWeb.org, click Take Action, and then Contract a Congressman to send your local Congressman an email. Then tell your friends, and help stop this before it becomes yet another government action for me to bitch about.
Monday, November 19, 2007
10. Being able to find that one perfect Myspace song to put in your profile.
9. Rain gently tapping on your skylight on a day you can sleep in.
8. Christmas lights hanging in your room year round.
7. Chai, incense, and loud trance late into the night.
6. A small Moleskin notebook constantly in your pocket to write down random things that occur.
5. Being able to gloat about the just-complimented photographs on your walls being your own work.
4. The moment you realize your family dinners play out like a scene from a mafia movie.
3. Random Top 10 lists on obscure blogs.
2. The perfect song that gets your inner rhythm going at any particular moment.
1. Being able to come up with a blog entry just random enough to be amusing when you have nothing else to say.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
There were two big cash seasons every year when I was young: July and December. July was when I finished school and got ready to go upstate to my families summer house on White Lake. It was, without a doubt, the most exciting time of the year for me. In fact, it still is. The first day by the lake every summer is always the day when every stress and worry I have in my life completely melts away. Adding to the excitement was the fact that I would always receive an envelope from my parents. This envelope contained just enough money for me to buy an ice cream a day. It was counted out to the dollar to make sure I wouldn't spend more then was allowed. Of course I would always convince my grandmother to throw in a few extra dollars so I could get the more expensive ice cream, or some candy. When we got upstate on the first day of the summer my grandma would help me unpack my clothes. Once everything was unpacked I would take my cherished envelope and put it under the newspaper which lined my sock drawer. All $120 were safe when they were under that newspaper. Every day at 3:30, after I had eaten lunch, Bob the ice cream man would drive into our colony and ring his bells. No matter where we were, or what we were doing, each and every kid in our colony would drop everything, race to their houses, grab a dollar from the envelope under the protective newspaper and hop on their bikes to race to the truck. Bob knew us all by name, he loved us. Why wouldn't he? We were putting his kids through college. Sometimes he would even let us take rides in the truck and help him sell ice cream at a few colonies. They were good times and the $120 seemed to last forever. Fast forward to Summer '07 where I blew close to $3000 on the summer. Its kind of like a post-puberty inflation.
December was also a big month for me. It was like hitting the lottery one month a year, every year. Not only are all the major cash holidays in December but it is also my birthday. The month started with dollar signs glowing in my eyes every year to this day. The envelopes would come piling in, and after buying that one special game I wanted that year I would take the rest and stuff it into the nicest envelope I had. I felt like hot fucking shit. I had cash. It was mine, and I couldn't wait to brag to my friends about how rich I was. Three hundred fucking dollars. Do you have any idea what I could get for $300? How much ice cream, how much candy, or how many Pokemon cards that could buy. Do you have any idea? I knew I was loaded, and it felt good. Thats right kids, $300 felt good. Today, it barely covers a weekend.
Our money seems to depreciate as we mature. Add that to the fact that my family has essentially multiplied their net worth 20 times over in the past 15 years and that things don't cost what they used to, and what you have are memories of when you could live a year on the cost of a nice dinner today. Almost every time I get paid, for doing next to nothing, I remember the story my father once told me of my first bike. We had just come to America and my parents had yet to find steady jobs. Whatever money we did have was left with the family that stayed in Ukraine. It was time to build a new fortune. But first, I wanted a bike. I was six, why would I care about my parents barely making rent and paying for food. I just wanted a bike. So my dad somehow got a one day gig at a newly built house cleaning up garbage. My father, a respected Ukrainian musician, spent the entire day working his ass off picking up garbage at some rich Russian's new 3 bedroom. He came home that night with $100. I've said before that my dad would spend his last pennies on something that would make me happy. This time was no different. After busting his ass all day and feeling absolutely humiliated by the work he was doing he took those $100 and we went to Toys-R-Us. I got my new bike and knew nothing of the work that was put into getting it. Ten years later me and my dad would be fishing upstate and he would tell me the story of that shiny black and red bike.
When I pick up my paycheck these days and realize I make infinitely more then my dad did that day and put in only 1/7th of the time and 1/100th of the work, I'm grateful. I've always been grateful. I see the housekeeper that comes to make my room shine and remember my dad cleaning the house of somebody who was, without a doubt, no richer then my family is today.
In case it didn't register the first 2 times, let me tell you again: I spend more on a Friday night today then I would in a year 10 years ago. 10 years from now I expect to spend more for brunch then I do today on a Friday night or then I did in a year 10 years ago. I'd say that sums up a whole lot of things in life.
Sweet dreams kids.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Hey, will you look at the time? The big hand says fuck and the little hand says off. Good thing it doesn't have a second hand, huh?
Another day, another set of classes, another realization that things are going good. Slower then usual, but good. Its nice to slow down a bit, though my idea of slowing down is faster then most people's hectic days. It wasn't always like that. There were days when I didn't have to force myself to stop, look around, and marvel at the world. These days were far from carefree, but the wonders of the things around us tend to be easier to take in when we don't have the pressure of a deadline, a flight, or a gig hanging over us.
Julzie: being happy :-)
Yuriy: watchin/playin sports
Vicky: being loved
Larina: rain in africaa
Betty: money and penis
Roman: bitches = ]
Eugine: the perfect girlfriend
Alex: having someone i can relate to.guy or girl..
Sofiya: when I know that the person I'm in love with is in love with me too.
Max: gettin laid
Dima: well im a boy so i think u no the answer lol
Jamie: going to concerts
Anna: seeing scumbags get what they deserve =)
Today I asked the same questions to people I know now. Here were the responses, the first four are the same people as the first three in '04:
Juzie: when things are good
Yuriy: a new car!
Vicky: hallmark moments like these
Rita: my family and my best friends
Michelle: at the moment my bed with a warm blanket
Natalya: seeing my mommy happy and to know a guy cares for u
Irina: my baby
Jackie: shopping, family, pearls, red nailpolish, stilletos, perfume, wine nights, kickboxing, vacationing in other countries, i think thats my top
Yana: eating chocolate
Katie: people i love ;]
Jessica: there's a boy
Some people have yet to get back to me, so it is likely that this post will be edited as new answers come in. I don't have enough answers to be sure, but I think that for the most part those who were dreamers stayed dreamers, and those who wanted more tangible things are still searching for a way to achieve them. Some people were sarcastic, some abstract, but the ones that really interested me were the ones that were honest. For the purpose of privacy I wont reveal specifically who's who so don't ask, but the Michelle that answered sex probably gave the most interesting answer out of all of them. To steal another quote from Californication: "look at the balls on that one". I'm intreuged by it because when pointing out the difference in todays answers and those of '04 I was told "3 years ago u werent like this either." What she really meant to say is that 3 years ago you weren't a prick. Its probably true, depending on who you ask of course, but three years ago I didn't have the habit of spitting out exactly whats on my mind. Today I do. The point is, when someone has the balls to give you an answer without being concerned about how you might interpret it, it means one of two things: (1) They trust that you respect them enough to see beyond the bold, decisive, and sometimes crude statements and understand that their inner intentions are just like yours, if not purer. The only difference is that you censor your language and keep things to yourself while they set their innermost thoughts free and unveil their true personalities for the world to see. OR (2) They are free-spirited enough to just not give a fuck about what you think, because if you can't see beyond the words then you are not worth the effort. The greatest feeling in the world is when you discover that sometimes it is OK to let go. Cliche, I know, but it is hard not to speak in cliches when the world surrounds you in them. I feel like a 75 year-old lesbian feminist for talking like this but there is no other way to put it: Actually saying what is on your mind is perhaps one of the most liberating experiences you can have as a human being, second only to striping down naked and going skinny dipping in pouring rain. Try it. Really. Take pictures. Send them to me. Furthermore, the most obvious and commonly used defense is that being brutally honest helps a lot more then filling your life with white lies. Those that understand that when I tell them their new hair makes me want to punch a baby, it is because I like the blonde better. Take my opinion for what it is: MY OPINION. In the past my opinion has helped a lot of people, but when it comes to being stuburn and disregarding other people's opinions, I am a prime example. Thats why I will tell you once, and won't bring it up again unless you ask or it is a joke. Its up to you to be big boys and girls and be able to accept it as a thought and an opinion and not an insult. (The blonde/brunette example is the first one that came to mind, thankfully I have yet to lose a friendship over that one) A lot of you take a lot of pride for being mature, and then you go and have a hard time differentiating between opinions, honesty, and malevolence. Grow up. Learn things. Speak your mind, and fucking enjoy the fucking sun when it comes up at five fucking thirty on a Thursday fucking morning.
My point in this rather massive tangent is that sometimes its worth it to just throw it all away and start over as yourself.
I know that as always I have completely deviated from what I was going to talk about, but you'll have to live with what I give you, because I'm the author here bitches. I think I'll be perusing this list further and asking more people. Please comment on anything I write about or even something random. Just say hi, tell me your alive. And tell your friends, more people should be forced to endure the diarrhea that spills out of my head through my fingertips. I'll update and talk more about the "What makes you happy?" list as time goes on, but for now, I've got TV to catch up on.
Sweet Dreams Kids.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Nothing to say. Nothing to talk about. Nothing to go off on. Things are just content.
Stock market went up. Thats nice. I made $90 on Deutsche Telekom today. I like making money doing nothing so thats exciting.
Since there's not much to actually talk about I'll just go through the day and see if something pops up.
I woke up at 8:30am as usual and after realizing it was dark and raining outside I reluctantly stumbled into the shower and turned the water temperature as hot as I could take it. After 30 minutes of shampoo, relaxation, and nakedness I stumbled out and brushed my teeth. Got dressed, took the one book I need for class: "Spook Country" by William Gibson which has nothing to do with the class but helps make the lecture fly by quicker. Its not like you actually need to pay attention in microeconomics. 500 person lecture durring which we're usually taking pictures, playing Nintendo on my phone, or bullshitting amongst ourselves with Anna, Olga, or Maria. Good times.
Took the train in, fell asleep from Kings Highway all the way to Canal Street. The stop after Canal Street is Union Square - my stop - so I suppose its nice I woke up in time, though a ride through the city might have added a little excitement to the morning. So I show up at school and go to the back. (I don't think I've ever actually entered the building through the front because everyone is always around back) And yes, buildings are the only thing I enter from the back. Kill yourself.
...you know what... I don't feel like typing a story no body will find interesting. So long story short, Olga convinced me not to go to class so I spent the day outside chillin and talking like old times. I once again ended up not going to the only class I have today and the whole reason I woke up early and made the 1 hour and 30 min commute. Productive, I know. On the way home I got a haircut. Now I can go out and not feel like a dirty prick with hair everywhere. Its nice to have free time. Its been a while since I've had any.
Heres a schedule for the next 2 weeks copied straight from my Dash which I am now using to somehow organize my life. Feel free to schedule yourself in on the free spots if you find any:
Wednesday 11/14 - Classes 10:45am - 5:35pm
Thursday 11/15 - Class 10:45am - 12pm
Theater Haverim Rehearsals - 4pm - 7pm
Friday 11/16 - Leaving for Boston show? (tentative)
Saturday 11/17 - Boston? (tentative)
Sunday 11/18 - New Haven, CT? (tentative)
Theater Haverim Show in Brooklyn - 3pm - 7pm
Monday 11/19 -Class 10:45 - 2:05
Info Speech for COM1010 - 12:50 - 2:05
Registration - 3:30pm
JFK pickup - 10:30pm
Tuesday 11/20 - Class - 10:45 - 12pm
Zoya's Party - 8:30pm
Wednesday 11/21 -
Thursday 11/22 -
Friday 11/23 -
Saturday 11/24 - Tribeca Performing Arts Center - 9:30am - 7pm
Sunday 11/25 - Tribeca Performing Arts Center - 9:30am - 7pm
So this week and the next one aren't so bad. Its more free time then I've had in months. I'm still not sure if they are going to have me do the Boston and New Haven shows because my producer likes to keep me in suspense until the last minute. Who knows, maybe I'll even get an actual weekend off. Except Sunday when I'm working another show in Brooklyn. Wednesday - Friday actually look open too. Other then family Thanksgiving dinner, I think I might be free to catch up with some people. Unless my producer finds something else for me to do.
Sweet dreams kids.
Monday, November 12, 2007
In my search for good quotes I stumbled back upon www.overheardinnewyork.com. I used to check it quite often. Its entertaining, funny, and sometimes inspiring.
This one sounds like something I would do, if of course I somehow became a bagel guy and stayed alive after my carbohydrate intake suddenly shot through the roof:
Girl: I'll have a dozen bagels.
Bagel guy: I can't pass up on this opportunity. I have to tell you that you're really cute.
Bagel guy: Do you know what the difference between cute and not cute is?
Girl: ... Nooo, what?
Bagel guy: Three bagels. [Hands girl 15 bagels.]
--Jumbo Bagels, 57th & 2nd
Overheard by: paid full price
I could copy tons which I laughed at, but I rather you just check it out yourself.
Download "I've Just Seen a Face" from the Across the Universe soundtrack while your at it, its been on loop around here the past few days. In fact, I like just about everything from that soundtrack, its a well remade collection of Beatles songs.
Google Options Make Masseuse a Multimillionaire
On a lark, she answered an ad for an in-house masseuse at Google, then a Silicon Valley start-up with 40 employees. She was offered the part-time job, which started out at $450 a week but included a pile of Google stock options that she figured might never be worth a penny.
After five years of kneading engineers’ backs, Ms. Brown retired, cashing in most of her stock options, which were worth millions of dollars.
Ms. Brown, 52, who now lives in a 3,000-square-foot house in Nevada, gets her own massages at least once a week and has a private Pilates instructor. She has traveled the world to oversee a charitable foundation she started with her Google wealth and has written a book, still unpublished, “Giigle: How I Got Lucky Massaging Google.”
Talk about employee rewards. Reminds me of the story I heard about the janitor from Microsoft standing in front of his Ferrari. Stock options have their perks if your with the right company.
Then there are people like Thomas DeGeest who, at 37, has quit his job as an IBM consultant and bought a big yellow truck out of which he sells Belgian waffles. Granted, those waffles taste amazing, but would you really turn in a well paying consultant job to sell $5 dollar waffles out of a big yellow truck you call "Waffles and Dinges". You know, I probably would. Like I've said before, if there is one reason I'm not successful in life it will be because I will drop everything I'm doing on a whim and go upstate to sell cigarettes out of my trunk for 2 months. True story. I even passed up a prestigious internship with lots of advancement opportunity.
Its like Sean Mills, the president of The Onion, "America's Finest News Source" (which happens to be headquartered in SoHo), says about his previous job on Wall Street: "I knew I wouldn't last long when I noticed my boss had a little crocheted plaque hanging on his cubicle that read, ‘Don't worry, Friday is on the way.'" Mills left that job to come work for The Onion and now feels like he has one of the best jobs he could ask for. (http://www.nypost.com/seven/11122007/jobs/dream_job__sean_mills_358771.htm)
You've got to enjoy what you do. I meet so many people in my college who are majoring in Accounting or Business because "thats where the money is". Sure, it probably is, but you'll never make enough of it because you can't be driven in a field that you have no interest in. The big money comes at the top, and the way to get to the top is by having enough passion to come to work every day with a smile and do all you can do, not because you have to, but because you want to.
I've watched my dad struggle, through what would essentially be described as just above poverty, for years while he worked for one of my uncles doing a job he clearly did not enjoy. He is a musician at heart, and doing anything other then music did not give him any sense of fulfillment other then what comes from being able to pay the bills month to month. Then one day he met the leader of an Italian wedding band and got himself a weekend gig as a drummer. He still kept his previous job to pay the bills but did what he loved on the weekends. It was the first time I saw my dad happy to go to work. After a while he met a Russian wedding band leader, who happened to also be an up and coming NYC based Russian producer. Taking a huge risk he quit his day job and started perusing his music dreams full time. That was when I watched him, now without a day job, fall into massive debt. The thing about my father is that even when he was down to his last $5, that $5 was spent on taking me to get a milkshake. Even when he was broke, he was happy, because come 8pm he would be behind his drum set doing what he loved. Fast forward 5 years and he is now producing himself and riding around in limos on tour with huge Russian celebs. Even if he had achieved any sort of success at his old job, I doubt he would ever be as content with his life as he is working in the music business.
I too have learned that I am the type of person that needs to be doing what he likes in order to succeed in it. Even if that means working twice as hard to find success. Working twice as hard is easier when your enjoying yourself.
She's gotta know.
Sweet dreams kids.
Friday, November 9, 2007
"When was the last time you closed something huh? You couldn't close a fuckin' window you moron! " -Richie (Boiler Room)
"And there is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can't. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close?" - Boiler Room
So this guy, lets call him Alex, closed on one of the most important parts of his pitch, getting into the house. What he didn't know is that I'm a rather amusing mix of a caring grandson and a shear asshole; I intended to wait for him to get there and make sure my grandmother wasn't pressured into buying a thing, all the while ripping him to shreds as only a cocky 18 year-old business student could. Alex came in wearing a surprisingly nice and unwrinkled suit but towing behind him a giant device draped in an "AquaLife" case. This was going to be fun. I had a cynical smile on my face which my grandmother noticed and chuckled about. He gave them the gift he promised and immediately went in to his pitch, despite several interruptions from my grandmother telling him he only had 15 minutes of her time to not sell her anything and my grandfather asking how to use the free gift and why it didn't come with free batteries. I love my Jewish family. I sat patiantly on the couch only interupting a few times to make it absolutly clear that he was wasting his breath. He seemed to be aggrivated with me, but then again, who wouldnt be, I was destroying the mood he was trying to set. He took his attention off my grandparents for a moment and tried to convince me that he wasn't trying to sell anything, I cut him off midsentence and told him to save his breath, I knew what a sales pitch looked like. He smiled awkwardly and turned back to my grandparents. Thirty minutes into this 15 minute time limit he had my grandparents clearly terrified about the horrible air in their home and convinced that they need to do something about it. They even asked how much his magical device cost, but like any good salesman he simply said "a lot". Good answer sir, good answer. Apparently their salesmen just pitch, the managers close over the phone. Seems like a smart enough four step plan:
Step 1: Offer a gift to entice a meeting.
Step 2: Scare the vulnerable old people shitless. (as if they didn't have enough bowel problems)
Step 3: Give them time to think over how remarkable their lives could be.
Step 4: Call and close the deal if they don't call you first shivering with fear.
Makes sense. I threw in a few witty remarks every now and then which he eventually just started to ignore. I made my grandmother laugh though. After the pitch I jumped up for damage control. I asked him if his company had exlusive rights to this product. He said yes. I asked why they are pitching this miralicolous invention to old Russian people instead of making thier millions on the American market. I asked why he feels my grandmother should pay $2500 (a figure I finally got out of him) for this machine when she could get the tested and proven Ionic Breeze from Sharper Image which does the same thing for $300. That is when poor Alex's pitch broke down. The once composed and articulate middle-aged man in the expensive suit began to stutter and sweat, no doubt wrinkling his well-ironed white shirt. With my grandparents listening intently he began to tell me stories about how their technology is patented and about how he has an article about the Ionic Breeze being sued for a reason he can't recall. I'm not sure if he expected me to take his word for it, but I obviously asked to see the article. The next 5 minutes were spent shuffling through papers looking for an article which he conveniently "must have left in the office". But hey, who can blame him, after all, I'm sure its been a while since one of his senior citizen Russian clients asked him to defend his product against a leading American competitor with a product 1/8th the price. He managed to find another product that looked similar to the Ionic Breeze and proceeded to show me all of its downfalls. Again I rudely interrupted mid-sentence and asked him if there are other products on the market that physically look like his. He said yes, clearly understanding where I was going with this. He already began to close his book, but just for kicks I laid out the fact that just because a product looks similar does not mean it is the same product. Within 30 seconds after this conversation he was packed and out the door. I even held it open for him as he walked out. I'm just that nice of a guy.
So what was the point of telling you all that, and not to mention doing it at all? Why would I want to berate a middle aged salesman just trying to make a living to feed his wife and kids? Because he's feeding his wife and kids by instilling fear in old people and having them throw their money out in spite of millions of alternatives which they simply know nothing about. I'm sure he's a great guy and he seemed to have a great work ethic. The problem was his ethics in work. Oh, and of course it was a completely exhilarating blast to be the asshole kid who ruins the day of someone 3 times my age. I never cease to get a kick out of it, though I do get to boss around people just as old on a daily basis at work.
Welcome to America kids.
Sweet dreams kids.