Thursday, February 28, 2008

Freestyle Mix

This column is a mix of stories/theories/ideas/tangents. Enjoy!

A Few Things I learned in Israel

I traveled with my father and his acquaintances from our temple. So basically, instead of going with my peers, I went with my peers parents. We all bonded on the trip, and by the end, all the Moms and Dads handed over countless emails of nieces, daughters, and family friends for me to go out with. So my new theory is instead of actually dating girls, I can “date” their parents. Once the Mom and Dad love me, I’m in. Then they will force their daughter to like me too. It’s like what Prince Akeem did in Coming to America: you get the girl by getting in good with the Dad first.

(***By the way, my buddy EG, the Giants fan, referenced Coming to America before the Giants-Packers playoff game. Prince Akeem predicted the result: “Oh sir, the Giants of New York took on the Packers of Green Bay. And in the end, the Giants triumphed by kicking an oblong ball made of pigskin through a big "H". It was a most ripping victory.” ***)

Women with Machine Guns

Israeli women must join the army at 18. I came across a unit of soldiers, and chatted with some of the girls. I had trouble staying focused: it wasn’t their chests, it was the M-16 machine gun strapped across them. Talk about pressure. I was very nice to them for several reasons, but mostly because of the large gun. Now that I’ve returned to the States, it is so much easier approaching girls: they don’t even have a gun.

Temple Sinai (Sharon, MA) is on the Map

Congratulations to New England Patriot Andre Tippett for being inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame. For those who don’t know Andre, he is a Jew, and will now be included in Adam Sandler’s 17th Chanukah song: “We got Corey Feldman and Corey Haim, and don’t forget about Andre Tippett who’s now in the Hall of Fame—he converted”) Andre is now the first Hall of Famer to represent my temple. Mazel Tov!

Apologies to Dan Duquette

Remember in the late 90’s when Boston Red Sox GM Dan Duquette said Clemens was in the “twilight of his career?” Maybe he was right. A few months after that statement, Clemens got bombed at a Canseco party and “allegedly” started the Barry Bonds treatment. So we might owe Dan Duquette a little apology.

Speaking of Barry Bonds, what is he thinking right now? Most would say, he is happy. Clemens is getting grilled now, and Bonds is out of the picture. But I’m gonna play devil’s advocate. I think Bonds hates being out of the spotlight whether it be good or bad. And now Bonds can’t use the race card. It’s not because you’re black or white. The media is on people like Bonds and Clemens for 2 reasons: they’re the best at what they do, and they’re assholes.

Cheating in Sports

Marion Jones and the Olympics, MLB steroids, Tour de France, the Patriots: The 21st century’s infamous tagline: Cheaters win, but then they get caught or CWBTTGC. I think there’s been cheating forever, but now the leagues and committees are actually enforcing the rules. My biggest fear is that the MLB and NFL will delete the 2000-2007 records off the book. This would eliminate all of the Boston Championships and prove that CURSES really do exist. How f#cked up would that be?!!

Celtic Pride

The Celtics were winless while I was away. Since I’ve returned from Israel, they have not lost. Lesson learned: never leave the country.

Trivial Pursuit

I like the game pieces and the triangular pies. I don’t mind the really hard questions. But I can’t play this game and I’ll tell you why. The easy questions. Like who was the first president of the United States? Everyone laughs. So easy. But then your mind goes blank. Wait, who is it? Holy shit! If I can’t remember this, everyone will make fun of me for the rest of my life. Then you say: “Thomas Jefferson” and mumble it so they don’t know if you’re serious or not. Everyone laughs awkwardly. He’s kidding, they hope. I’m kidding, you say. And you pray that everyone believes you so you can move on.

It’s kind’ve like a gimme putt in golf. “You’re close enough –I’ll give it you.” But what if your friend doesn’t let you do that? And somehow you miss that 6” putt. Just too much pressure. I can’t handle it.

Morning People

GOOD MORNING!!! HOW ARE YOU! IT’S A GREAT DAY ISN’T IT!!! Shut the hell up. Who are these people? It’s 7:30 in the morning, and you’re all cheery. What are you so happy about? Please go away.

My Dad and I ate breakfast together for 12 years—he’d be getting ready for work, me for school. We both despised morning people. In that time, we only uttered 2 words to each other: Sports Page. Now that’s what I’m talking about.

What 2 Watch

OSCAR GOLD—Jon Stewart should’ve received an award for his hosting duties and his opening monologue. It was pretty funny, and he even made brainless Hollywood stars laugh even if they didn’t get the joke. Although it was one of the lowest viewed broadcasts, I still enjoyed it. This is a weak clip, but it was the best I could find: http://teamsugar.com/user/Vidiot/videos/1069887

LOST—if you never got into this show, I’m sorry. If I were you, I would take next week off of work, rent all the discs, and catch up. And for those who do, and want to know more, check out this blog: http://www.lost-reviews.blogspot.com/

How I Met Your Mother—if you are not watching this show, do so immediately.

The Office on TBS—I just started watching this show in the fall. Thanks to TBS, I am caught up all on all of the episodes and finally saw “Phyllis’s Wedding.” (Michael Scott’s toast, pure genius:
http://www.spike.com/video/2820495 )

Swoosh! Inside Nike by Darren Rovell: I met Darren through my buddy in LA. He’s a good guy, and his biography of Nike is definitely worth checking out.

Employee of the Month: This is the good-bad movie of the month. This movie should be watched on a Tuesday when you’re sick, and the only other things on are WSOP 2004, HBO’s The Making of Norbit, and re-runs of Full House. It’s not a good movie, or an OK movie, it’s a bad movie. But for some reason, I kinda like it. Tell me if I’ve gone crazy.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Next Year In Jerusalem

I will be in Israel for the next 10 days...hope I come back with some good stories.
Shalom and Peace!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

J-DATE 101

I have to admit something. I was very depressed on Sunday February 3rd. I needed to do something to take my mind off of football. So…I…signed up for J-Date. I’m actually not embarrassed by it because I’ve done it before. In fact, I thought it might be helpful to assess and evaluate online dating; specifically J-Date.

Being on J-Date is a lot like following your fantasy football stats on Sunday. You constantly refresh the page hoping more girls view your page and you get new messages. There’s a definite adrenaline rush; it’s 1/3 excitement, 1/3 obsessive-compulsive disorder, and 1/3 me being a loser.

A Hoax?

Before I signed up for the site the 1st time, a friend suggested I display my picture for free (*he actually met his wife this way.*) That way you can see who views your page and checks you out. As a guest, you can even see who’s emailed you, but you have to pay to read the mail. Within 3 days, I had 8 girls email me; 7 were very cute and 1 was an Asian model (Yes, an Asian model on J-Date, it happens.) She was very hot; hotter than Veronica Vaughn!

So what did I do? What do you think I did? I immediately took out my credit card and signed up. I responded to all 8 messages. Nobody replied except for one…the smoking hot Asian model. We’ll call her HotJDateGirl. She told me to check out her Myspace page which was more appealing than her J-Date page…she was right. HotJDateGirl was Asian/Latina and bi-sexual. Her photos left little to the imagination which is always awesome. Her interests included skiing, skydiving, and having sex in front of the mirror. She also had a Jewish fetish.

Sounded unreal…she responded to two of my harmless e-mails, BUT, the important thing is, she responded. When I finally proposed that we meet, I never heard from her again. I think she was too busy with her modeling career. Part of me still believes HotJDateGirl was real and the other part of me thinks it was probably a middle age guy named Frank. But the question is: how the hell did a hot Asian model like HotJDateGirl/Frank get on J-Date? And why did all those girls email me before I signed up and then none after I forked over some cash? Sounds a little suspicious to me.

Getting Banned

Yes, I am one of the few people to ever get banned from J-Date. Apparently, if you send too many emails (like 50 in a day) you get banned from the site. I actually received an email suggesting I mellow out and slow down. It’s quality not quantity. I beg to differ…

The Numbers Game

Much like hitting on girls in a bar, the internet is all about numbers. Let’s say you email 50 girls. My response rate is about 20% so that means about 10 girls will email me back. And maybe you go out with half of those girls at most. That leaves five dates—and who knows how that’s gonna go? (Just keep reading and you’ll find out about some of them.) So that’s why I email as many girls as possible. Maybe I would be more effective if I didn’t use a basic template for every girl (Hey, how’s it going? I really like your profile. We should chat sometime.) But it’s so much easier to cut/paste your message. My theory is they don’t read the messages anyways. (I certainly don’t—I go straight to the “physical info.”)

Physical Info

Yes, I am a little shallow, but physical looks are important. Unless a girl is listed as athletic/fit or lean/slender, they probably fit into one of the following euphemisms.

In an effort to be somewhat sensitive, you can decide what you think each term means on your own:

Cuddly
Husky
Quebertesque
Zaftig
Human Knish
Stocky
Proportional
A few extra pounds
Rotund

Bad Experiences

It’s gonna happen when you are online dating.

Girl #1 When I told her I had a background in psychology, she unveiled her entire life story including the time she tried to kill herself.

Girl #2 She was cool until we entered a well lit bar and I discovered she had a modest beard.

Girl #3 We were instant messaging and she seemed cool until...

Me: How was your day?
Girl: It was eh. I was just in class with 30 reggins.
Me: Oh, ok. What’s a reggin?
Girl: That’s the “N” word backwards. Me and my friend’s secret code.

I was immediately offended and shocked. I called my buddy just to make sure reggin wasn’t a new hip rap lyric all the kids were using. It was most definitely not. She wrote me back.

Girl: What’s wrong?
Me: I’m sorry, but I don’t date racists.

The Hidden Gem: The Jasian

Every once in a while, something amazing happens in your life. For me, it was the discovery of the Jasian—the Jewish Asian girl. The Jasian is one of those rare combinations which please both the Jewish man and his mother. For three months I had an incredible romance with a Jasian girl. All was fine until she went crazy and moved away. But I’ll never forget those 3 months and being, oh so close, to living the dream.

Picture Choice

As a user, you can display 1-4 photos. The major issue is most girls have the 2-face. They look great in one photo and terrible in another. This is what kills me. Why would you put up the bad photo? You don’t have to put that one up. Please stop doing this.

No Picture, No Thank You

Some girls don’t put up photos. Of course just a little part of me thinks: maybe the girl is SO hot, she can’t put her picture up because she’d be bombarded by emails. But 99% of the time, it’s because she’s been bopped by the ugly stick.

My Friends Are Obsessed

My friends that are in relationships love J-Date. They sign in under my name and play “the game.” They love pimping me out; sending out emails, IM’s. Maybe it’s the idea that if they fail, they’re not getting rejected, I am. Or they’re really bored and have no life. I don’t know. Either way, there’s really no way to lose. My favorite time was when my buddy JR emailed a bunch of girls with the same email: “Please acknowledge my existence.” It’s safe to say that nobody replied.

You’re Saying There’s A Chance

One of my best friends met his wife on J-Date so it is possible. Maybe it’s a million-to-one shot, but I’m saying there’s a chance. As long as she never reads my insensitive and misogynistic blog, I should be OK.

A Quick Thought on E-Harmony

I spent 90 minutes on E-Harmony filling out a survey only to discover I had ZERO matches; a definite confidence booster. Maybe I was too specific with my requests as there are not that many Jewish, Asian, bi-sexual models with a Master’s Degree…well…except on J-Date.

For J-Date 202, click on:

http://thecorner33.blogspot.com/2008/08/j-date-202.html

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I’LL TRADE YOU SHAWN MARION FOR SHAQUILLE O’NEAL

Sounds like a big fantasy trade. Rarely, do you see big trades like this, but I guess it’s happening more and more in the NBA. Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, Shaq, Marion.

Most reactions from this trade were: What was Phoenix thinking? But I’m gonna defend the trade for the following reasons.

THE MATRIX RELOADED

Shawn Marion is an amazing athlete. His nickname is The Matrix. I originally thought it was because of his Keanu Reeves impressions, (”I know Kung-fu.”) but it was really because of his acrobatic moves to the basket. I have a soft spot for him too because he shoots the ball with 2 hands just like me----so if your coach ever tells you to change your shot because it looks funny, just look to Marion as defense case #1. But here’s the thing: How good is Marion without Nash? In fact, look at some of Nash’s teammates in the past and the present: Quentin Richardson, Joe Johnson, Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa—around Nash they are sick, but without him, they’re OK. Marion will do fine in Miami, but my point is, he may not be missed too much in Phoenix because Nash can make anyone into a scoring machine.

SHAQ’S HEALTH

Shaq is washed up. His health has deteriorated and even his acting career has diminished. (He’s gone from leading roles, Kazaam and Blue Chips, to doing awful Vitamin Water commercials where he rides a donkey.) But the Suns didn’t acquire Shaq for his acting prowess or even for the regular season; he’s there for the playoffs. The Suns will rest him for the next 3 months (since the NBA season is like 11 months long, you can do things like that.) And they will still finish in the top 4 in the West. People might say: “Shaq doesn’t fit into their style of offense!” That style has bounced the Suns from the playoffs every year. Why? Because the playoffs are different: teams actually play defense and it’s more of a half-court game. So if Shaq can rest up and get healthy over the next 100 days, the Suns could finally go from scary regular season team to very scary playoff team.

THEY NEVER WOULD’VE BEATEN THE SPURS

Now they have a chance. In the past, it’s pretty clear; the Suns didn’t stand a chance against the World Champs. This throws a curveball at Tim Duncan and his boys. Do you think the Spurs are excited to face Shaq regardless of how old, fat, and annoying he is? Probably not.

RISK/REWARD

The Suns lost in the 2nd round of the playoffs last year. Sure, one of the refs was betting against them, but do you think that really mattered? Once again, there is no way the Suns could ever beat the Spurs in a 7 game series. But now, things could change. And if they don’t, so what? They lost in the 2nd round last year. If they lose in the 1st round instead, is it really that much of a difference?

AN INTERESTING PATTERN

If you were to work four jobs in 4 different cities, where would you wanna go? Shaq has been to Orlando, L.A., Miami, and now Phoenix. All warm weather climates with hot girls. A pretty lucky man. And oh yeah, he’s won championships in L.A. (3 of ‘em), Miami, and made it to the finals in Orlando. I wonder if this pattern is a coincidence or if it has something to do with his ability and leadership. I guess we’ll find out in a few months.

Monday, February 4, 2008

THE DAY AFTER

I can’t do an in-depth re-cap of this game. It’s too painful. I feel like I’m dying which bring me to THE FIVE STAGES OF DEALING WITH A TRAGIC SPORTS LOSS:

STAGE I, Denial: I have not watched TV, used the internet, or read the paper. In my mind, Super Bowl 42 was never played.

This is pretty hard to do when you live in NY. The following things have happened in the last 24 hours. My friend and I were taunted out of a diner by the manager because we still had our Patriots shirts on. Simultaneously, I received the following text messages:

1) Take that, BITCHES!
2) How bout them Giants!
3) My condolences. The flowers are in the mail. Go Giants!
4) A perfect season 4 nothing!
5) Ha ha!
6) You suck balls!

And signs at work included:

1) Welcome to New York City “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”
NYG 17 NE 14

2) LOSER!!! 18-1, GO GIANTS

3) Regular season tickets: $58, Super Bowl Tickets: $1000, Watching the Giants beat the Patriots: Priceless

4) Please stop stealing my food! (This sign may not have been related.)

Stupid co-workers actually took the time to create and hang these signs up on my wall. I’ve never felt so hated in my life. I guess, now I know, what a Yankees fan feels like.

(*I just want to add, I have one great friend who is a Giants fan. He was humble and I actually felt happy for him and his father. He’s a real fan and has endured living in New England as a Giants fan for his whole life. I’m happy for him, but everyone else can suck my…*)

STAGE II, Anger: If I see one more Giants fan, I’m going to kill him. Definitely not a good thing when you live in New York City.

STAGE III, Bargaining: I promise to be a better person. I will stop watching football. Instead, I will spend Sundays volunteering at soup kitchens. In return, please let a big news story hit quickly so everyone forgets about the game. Like maybe we get hit by a meteor something. Then nobody will talk about the game anymore.

STAGE IV, Depression: I wasted my time watching this team all year. My team, and thus ME, will go down as chokers. I can’t believe I spent 100’s of hours watching my team play, and actually thinking I had an impact on the game. Forget this. Next year, on Sunday’s I’m going to read in the park, learn to crochet, and take up the clarinet. Why not? I have nothing else in my life. I am the worst.

STAGE V, Acceptance: It’s not the end of the world. The underdog won and I usually root for them anyways. The Patriots have won too much and needed to be humbled. The Giants played better. Good for them.

This is what should happen, but I’m still at the hybrid stage of depression/anger/denial. Last night I had nightmares and slept 3 hours. Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t a sports fan at all which leads me to…

RATIONAL VS IRRATIONAL FANS

Rational Fans: usually consists of women and casual fans. They root for their team, but are just as interested in the food or drink they’re consuming. They may have a t-shirt or hat, but it was probably a gift from someone else. They may get mad, but it’s usually at the wrong time. If their team loses, they feel bad, but then perk up with: “We’ll get ‘em next time.” The rational fan does not believe their hopes, prayers, and actions will have an effect on the game.

Irrational Fans: These people actually believe their hopes, prayers, and actions will have an impact on the game. Highly superstitious, these people will change seats, wear lucky shirts, knock on wood, turn on/off the lights, open/close the window. I experienced my 1st irrational fan when I was 5. MK was hardcore: shouted at the TV, bit his nails, lined up the remote controls in a perfect formation. MK actually believed if a new person came into the room it could change its energy. So when MK’s mom came into the room, and the Patriots started losing, something had to change. MK and the father immediately banished the Mom from the TV Room and she was never seen again (She didn’t put up much of a fight as this must’ve been commonplace.) After she was exiled, the patriots went on a run and won the game; that moment stuck in my head, and I was never the same again.

I, unfortunately, am an irrational fan. Last night’s loss was incredibly painful. When people see my misery, they ask: Did you lose a lot on the game or something? Nope, just my heart and soul. There’s nothing sweeter than winning. But a loss, like last night, will plague me for a long, long time.

My Apologies to Plaxico

Plaxico must’ve taken the Delorian into the future last week. He missed the actual score, but how the hell did he know the Patriots would score so few points? I heard the Giants hired Matt Walsh and friends (Eric Mangini, Kurt Warner, and Arlen Specter) to tape the Patriot’s practice so they knew what to expect.

The Play

Eli’s scramble and then Tyree’s unbelievable catch with 30 seconds left will go down as one of the best plays of all time. Walking the streets of NY last night and today, I overheard cops, lawyers, stockbrokers, teachers, even women discussing that play. All it needs is a name. There’s the Immaculate Reception, The Catch, The Holy Roller. I was thinking this could be called: “The…Holy Shit!”

Asante Samuel’s Near INT

Tom Petty summed this up with his song, American Girl: God it’s so painful. Something that’s so close. And still so far out of reach.

When it fell off of Asante’s fingertips, I lost feeling in my entire body. I knew I was going to throw up, and the Patriots were going to lose.

Where were you, Adam Vinateri?

Every Patriots Super Bowl in the decade has been decided by 1 field goal. What’s the point of having another kicker if the Patriots have no intention of using him?

Excitement She Wrote

You can love or hate the Patriots, but every Super Bowl they’ve been in this decade has been exciting. Super Bowl 42 was the highest rated ever with almost 100 million people watching in the US alone.

On to the Celtics

Guess who has the best record in the league? (Yeah, I know. It doesn’t mean anything.) But I can promise you this: they’re not gonna lose to the Knicks in the playoffs!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

He Could Go All the Way...

Even Chris Berman has his bad days. This will take your mind off spy-gate and all the pre-pre-pre Super Bowl Hoopla. Enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnC8BtNBNLo

Friday, February 1, 2008

Guarantees, Predictions, and A Few Other Things

BEST WEEK EVER

Season premiere of LOST and the SUPER BOWL in the same week: Is this the best week of my life? No, but it could be in the top ten.

OYE COMO VA

Santana goes to the Mets pending a contract agreement. I don’t have much to say right now, but I wanted to write the headline, Oye Como Va.

GUARANTEES

“But there's a problem. There's no guarantee on the box.”

“Because they know all they solda ya was a guaranteed piece of shit. That's all it is. Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for right now, for your sake, for your daughter's sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality item from me.” (Tommy Boy)

Tommy eloquently points out how stupid guarantees are. Unfortunately, Plexiglass Burress has never seen Tommy Boy. What the hell was he thinking? The Patriots take anything you say and put it on the bulletin board. Why would you give them any material at all? Coughlin seemed thrilled: "I will speak with Plaxico in a private way and that's where it will remain." My theory with Plaxico's statement is this: he loves attention. If he’s right, he will be famous. If he’s wrong he will be infamous. What does that mean, in-famous? “In-famous is when you're MORE than famous. You’re not just famous, you’re IN-famous!” (Three Amigos)

TEN PREDICTIONS

1)Manning has not thrown an interception in the playoffs in 85 attempts. (Not Peyton, but Eli…it’s true.) That streak will end because the announcers will state that fact over and over again until he throws one.

2)The Patriots will lose the coin toss. They’ve lost the last four. (Belichick is disappointed with the team’s inability to predict the coin toss despite watching several hours of film. But he insists that as long as they take it one coin toss at a time, they should be OK.)

3)The best commercial will involve a monkey and/or midget.

4)Tom Petty will have a wardrobe malfunction and expose his rib cage.

5)Peyton Manning will have as much airtime as his lil bro.

6)Spygate and BootGate will be brought up 274 times during the pre-pre-pre-Superbowl shows.

7)Happy Madison Productions Strange Wilderness (previously titled Straight to Video) will be advertised 14 times during the broadcast. Each time it will look worse and you’ll wonder if you were friends with Sandler, if he’d let you make a movie too.

8)The winner of the Super Bowl will not score more than Kobe Bryant (he’s playing the Wizards that day and will have at least 40 points.)

9)Tom Coughlin’s face will be red and chapped the whole game, and Belichick will sport his gray hoodie. This will happen despite the game being played in warm weather.

10)I will stop talking to people four minutes into the first quarter; that’s when I go into game mode…

THE SUPER BOWL PARTY

Usually, a great concept. Good food. You meet people. Watch the game. Watch the commercials. Maybe throw the ball around at halftime. But when your team is in it, the last thing you want around you are distractions:

People who don’t know football: “What’s an onside kick?”

People who talk over the TV and think they’re funny: “You call that a commercial…that was more like an info-mercial!”

People that ask: “What do you do?”

Leave me alone. I’m watching the game. I don’t want to flirt, get to know anyone, or discuss my life. I just want to watch the game which leads me to…

…One of my favorite anecdotes. I was at a bar in NYC watching the Red Sox vs. Indians Game 2 (the 13 inning game.) The bar was geared towards the game: tons of flatscreens, sound on, all sports fans (mostly Sox fans.) But once midnight hit, the bar metamorphasized into a fraternity/sorority bar. Girls with skimpy outfits and too much make-up poured in. Dudes sporting visors and polo shirts with the collars up bumped into everything. 80’s music blasted from the speakers. The TV’s stayed on, but no more sound.

Four gorgeous girls strutted by us and sat at the bar. They were HOT, and they knew it. But the best part was, NOBODY CARED. We were watching the game. The girls sat, played with their hair and their cell phones (we could talk about the obsession with texting here, but that’s a whole ‘nother tangent,) and waited for someone to buy them a drink. But nobody did. We were too focused with the game. After 40 minutes, all four girls stood up in frustration, grabbed their coats, and left. It was one of the few victories a nice guy will ever have over a hot girl. When the game is on, nothing else matters. Not even hot girls.

Which reminds me…the game starts in 48 hours. I’ve got to mentally prepare.
Peace.