Monthly Archives: January 2011

The day after last Wednesday

Happy Monday, readers! As the first month of Tiles in a Mosaic draws to a close, I have one last snarky and overly bitter service encounter to share with you all. I’ve had this waiting in the wings for a bit, but between the Shore, strap hanging doomsday prophets, and feeding my own narcissism, it fell by the wayside for a few days. I’m just a man.

Last Wednesday, my roommate asked me to help him move– not out of our apartment, but in. You see, my previous roommate got married and moved to New Jersey (you know, like ya do), so at the beginning of the month, another of my friends moved in and took his room. Pretty awesome deal for me, since I didn’t have to spend any time looking for a new roommate and/or have to live with a random jackass off Craigslist who no doubt would have some sort of super-weird “quirk,” like collecting taxidermied song birds or murdering me in my sleep. So, at the beginning of the month, new roomie moved in. The only problem was, old roomie had yet to move all his stuff out of the bedroom, so new roomie couldn’t quite move all his stuff. Therefore, we had two guys’ stuff, but only one room to put it in. (Three guys, if you count my boy who crashed on the couch for like a month in the fall, then got ghost to Indiana, leaving behind an enormous duffel bag for us to safeguard. Sometimes I feel like Forrest Gump’s mom: I usually live with at least one retarded person, and a steady stream of random boarders keep coming and going. The main difference being I’ve never met Elvis…or fucked my son’s principal. Yet.)

As January marched on and old roomie still hadn’t come by for his possessions, new roomie’s old roomie/brother (got that?) started getting about the other bedroom at his place still not being empty. Finally, new roomie has to bite the bullet and clear out his old place before his stuff winds up on the street. Enter: me. (Note the difference between that and “enter me.” The latter is much more traumatizing.) I have a Zipcar membership, so new roomie offered to compensate me for my help by reimbursing the cost of the car and buying me a cheeseburger. As a broke-ass writer, I can’t really afford to be turning down free meals. I was in.

We needed a lot of cargo room, and the weather was rapidly becoming a concern (rain was becoming freezing rain, then hail and I think at some point it was forecasted to morph into giant frogs), so I picked out a 2010 Ford Escape. Now, I’ve never been a shill in my life, and certainly not for an automobile, but let me just say that this particular piece of equipment absolutely crushed it. All wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, heated seats, tires made out of some sort of space-age road-gripping super substance…we loaded the thing to the brim and I rolled through the oncoming storm with no fear whatsoever. Despite the hail/snow/frogs steadily falling and accumulating all around us, never once did I fear anything remotely close to losing control.

Back in Park Slope, we unloaded new roomie’s worldly goods (does anyone really need 6 pillows?). Of course, we had to unload them into the living room, since there was no space in the bedroom due to old roomie’s material footprint still occupying its share. But at any rate, we were done. So we did what anyone would do at 10:30 at night after pulling off a successful crash-move: we drank. The car didn’t need to be returned until the next morning, and I had pulled off one of the most majestic parallel park jobs of my career, so no worries.

The next morning, I arose at 8 to return the car and found that Brooklyn looked something like this:

Just kidding. Everyone knows that’s Manhattan. It actually looked like this:

This was actually taken about 2 hours , and this is Prospect Heights, not Park Slope, but you get the idea. These drifts don’t accurately reflect the state of things on 4th Avenue, where the plow trucks had done a great job of clearing the street, but had plowed in all the cars on the block, including my Escape. The bank barricading it in was easily 2 feet high. I took one look at the situation (situation!) and decided there was no way I was getting that thing out of there, at least not without extensive snow removal, which I sure as shit was not going to do. I assumed (wouldn’t you?) that Zipcar encounters this problem at least occasionally and therefore had systems and solutions in place for it, so I called them.

The customer service rep did that sly “start-talking-just-a-second-before-I-unmute-the-mic” trick, so I never got to hear his name. The odds that he did this on purpose are about 168:1, but I think everything revolves around me and therefore took it exceedingly personally. Since I never got his name, I’m going to arbitrarily assign him one for the purposes of telling the story. He sounded like a…Brad. Yeah, just like a Brad. Plus, there was this kid I hated in middle school named Brad, so it works out perfectly. Already on edge, I explained the situation: car stuck. Not getting out. Send help. Brad offered to extend the reservation two and half hours and suggested that sometimes Zipcars have “a small shovel in the back.” Sigh. Clearly Brad is not anywhere near New York, so I reiterate: seriously, lots of snow. Car not moving any time soon. Do something. Brad says he understands (still kinda feeling like you  don’t, Brad) and put me on hold. I’m going to unnecessarily put a paragraph break in here to symbolize the hold time.

Brad returns a few minutes later, and again says he can extend my reservation at no cost, allowing me time to shovel. He then says if at about 10:00am it’s still not moving to call back and they can try to get some other members to help me. Well, Brad, I guess that sounds like a reasonab– wait, what? That’s your plan? Really? Tell me to do all the work, and then if that doesn’t work, get some more paying customers to pitch in? That’s a hell of a service model. Zipcar: “Where the Customers Pay to Serve Themselves.” You’re really telling me that you do business renting cars in New York and Boston, yet you have NO contingency plan for inclement weather? How is that acceptable? When I was in charge of the shelter, if we weren’t prepared for the weather with adequate staffing and supplies, we still had to make the show go on. I know weather can’t be controlled, but it can be anticipated. Get with it.

(Aside: for the record, let me just say that in general I love Zipcar. Good service, great cars, reasonable prices, always there for me. Except in this case. Cause they fucked this one up.)

I thank Brad for his help, and go on about my day, resolute in my plan to not shovel a single flake of snow. Instead, I do what any kid from the Northwoods would do: I tried to drive that fucker right out of there. Over the snow, through the snow, whatever; I was getting that thing on the road. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. After about 15 minutes of rocking back and forth, fighting for every inch of traction and positioning, the Escape escaped (so witty!) the clutches of the snow drift and roared on to 4th Avenue. It was, of course, a bittersweet victory. Excited though I was to have defeated the forces of nature, it turned out that I was the asshole for complaining to Brad so much. Sorry, Brad. I still maintain my position that they should be better prepared for circumstances like this. How much would it cost to have one tow truck in each major area? Or even to just contract with a tow company for these types of situations? Can’t be much.

One last word about the Ford Escape: awesome. Driving through the choppy mess that was the streets of Brooklyn on my way back to the garage that morning, I felt like I was in a Humvee on the streets of Fallujah. People were walking in the streets to avoid trudging through banks, lesser cars were stuck in the snow, people went out of their way to dodge the bigger piles left lying around…not me. I charged right through all the mess. In the words of Ferris Bueller: if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

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I wonder what LeBron thinks about somebody else using the “King” title

Disclaimer: it is not the policy or practice of Tiles in a Mosaic to insult, disparage, attack or otherwise speak reckless nonsense about anyone’s religion, spiritual beliefs, or other morally guiding principles. However, pointing out things that are highly illogical and make one look like a crazy person are well within the realm of accepted topics around these parts…especially if it’s funny. Try not to overreact.

Today, I would like to talk about this guy:

This gentleman got on the downtown A train one stop after me this afternoon. He also had a cart:

Astute readers will have already noticed that this cart is, in fact, a stroller. Rest assured there is no child in that unattended stroller. At least, not one that I could detect in any way. Although, now that I think about it, I can neither confirm nor deny the presence or absence of a child in said stroller. Maybe I should have made that a priority before making the snarky observations I am about to impart. I’ll keep that in mind for next time. Onwards and upwards.

Even more astute readers  may have discerned that the sign strapped to the front of the stroller reads “JUDGMENT DAY”…and then will have realized where this post is going and immediately have stopped reading. Shit…I just lost all my readers. But I’m gonna keep going! Let’s look back at the guy. He looks non-descript enough, but that’s just because my subway photography skills suck. See how’s there’s some writing on the front of his windbreaker? I’ll translate it for you. On the (his) right, it reads “Judgment Day Begins May 21, 2011.” On his left, “Cry Mercy Unto God http://www.wecanknow.com.” Finally, let’s take a glance at the back of the windbreaker:

That, of course, says “King Jesus Returns May 21, 2011 Prepare to Meet Thy God Amos xx:xx.” The “xx:xx” was actual chapter and verse numbers, but I wasn’t quick enough to catch it. Not really relevant. While this guy and I cruised down the 8th Avenue Express sitting across from one another, I had the following thoughts:

1. Clearly he hasn’t seen the movie 2012. After that film, everyone knows that the world will be ending next year, not this one. Close, but no day of reckoning, fella. Although, since his jacket clearly reads that judgment day will begin in May 2011, I supposed it’s entirely possible that the whole process could take 7+ months before we get to actual Armageddon. I mean, Jesus does have a shitload of judging to do. It’s only fair that we give him a reasonable timeline.

2. According to the passage he’s citing on the back of the jacket, the actual date of Judgement Day is made explicit in the scripture…in terms of the Gregorian calendar…which only existed about 1500 years after Christ last walked the Earth. I feel like if the date were this apparent, someone would have mentioned it to me at some point during Catechism classes. I would have liked the heads up. As it is now, I on’y have 4 months to prepare. The clergy can be expecting a strongly worded letter from me after this miss.

3. He’s wearing a Jets hat. Since the Jets lost last week, and the world will be ending well before next football season starts, that means he is choosing to support a team that he knows he will never see play again. That, my dear readers, is commitment. Jets fans are masochistic enough, but this guy clearly takes the cake. You gotta respect his loyalty though. Some other doomsday prophets might jump on the bandwagon of a winning team in the face of the oncoming Apocalypse, but not this guy. He’s Gang Green until the bitter end.

I’m actually kind of excited that I happened upon this guy. Not only did I squeeze a blog post out of it, but it gives me a chance to survive yet another end of the world event. I endured Y2K (what an anticlimactic disappointment that was, right?), I intend to make it through 2012 unscathed, and now I get to look forward to making it through this “King Jesus” event in May. Maybe I’ll throw a party. That way if I’m wrong, I at least go down swinging.

One love.

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Inanity on all fronts

Yesterday, I was talking to someone close to me (like, emotionally…not geographically) who wondered aloud why I write about something as inane as “Jersey Shore” (alternate title: “The Best Part is That These People Would All Still be Doing These Same Things in Different Places, Even if This Show Didn’t Exist”). My response? Well, I don’t know what “inane” means, so I didn’t have one.

Seriously though, writing about the Shore is hard. I watch every episode at least twice, take notes, then spend about two hours plugging away at my laptop. I spend a good 4 hours or more per week  on Shore posts alone, and at the end of each one, I think I’m a little dumber. And I hate myself a little more. Wait a minute, he’s right. Why do I write about this? Oh right: this show is awesome. That’s why. That being said, I found episode 5 disappointing, especially after the epic pile of win that was episode 4. But, that didn’t stop me from writing over 2000 words on it! Peep the full recap:

1: L.I.E. (See what they did there? Cause it’s the Long Island Expressway, which is the route Jenni & Nicole took to J’s house, but it also spells “lie.” As in, to be dishonest. Get it? It’s like a pun. Or something.)
JWoww and Snooki are still at J’s house, cleaning up the aftermath of Tom’s departure. JWoww decides she needs to change the locks. That = good idea. However, she decides that she and Nicole should do it themselves. That = bad idea. Why on Earth would they do that? Aren’t they millionaires now? Hire a damn locksmith. Things like this lend credibility to the theory that the show is scripted. There is literally no reason for them to go DIY style unless MTV told them to in order to generate some extra content. And that breaks my fragile, naive little heart.

Meanwhile, at the house, Ryder shows up for a visit. She’s greeted by Vinny (awk-ward…) and is disappointed to see Snicks is not around. Deena pinch hits and takes her under her wing as the replacement Snooki. Anyone who doesn’t understand my attraction to Ryder (and I have indeed been questioned), watch the “Margaritas” confessional with her and D Rex in this part of the show. Tell me the way she says “mar-ga-ree-tas!” doesn’t ignite something in you. Still nothing, huh? Whatever. I don’t need to defend myself to you.

Memorable quote: “Snooki gave me strict instructions: ‘Do not have sex with Ryder,’ so I really don’t know what to do at this point.” (Here’s a hint, Vin: DON’T HAVE SEX WITH RYDER.)
Fun activity: Fuck/marry/kill. Snooki, Deena, Ryder. Go. (My answer? I feel like I have to fuck Deena at least once in my life. After all, she’s a “blast in a glass.” But she’s certainly not wife material. You know who is? Ryder. Sorry, Snicks, I love you, but you gotta die.)
The question I’m still asking: How have D Rex and Ryder not met before now? Aren’t they Snooki’s two closest friends? Wouldn’t they at least have crossed paths at some point? I mean, I can’t even seem to prevent any of my exes from meeting any of the others, so how have those two worlds not collided? Is Snooki smarter than me? Yikes.

2: Birthday
Snooki and JWoww return to the Shore house, much to Ryder’s delight. Mmm…Ryder’s delight. Such a coincidence, cause I was just thinking about delighting Ryder. If I ever own a race horse, it’s going to be named “Ryder’s Delight.” Done and done.
CABSAREHERE! Everyone heads to Karma (why do they go to the same club literally every night? Is there only one club in Seaside? Is it really that small? Somebody help me out on this one, because I’m sure as hell not risking my life going to New Jersey to find out.) ostensibly to celebrate Ryder’s birthday, but really because that’s just what they do. Oh great, it looks like everyone is going to have a good time! JWoww is freshly single, Roger’s at the club, Vinny and Pauly are making jokes, and– FUCK! Here we go with the Ron and Sammi drama. Sammitch sees Ronnie talking to another girl and loses her shit. Surprise fucking surprise. Ronnie defends himself by saying it’s his boy’s girlfriend who has a kid, but to no avail. Looks like this is going to be yet another episode dominated by those two sniping like petulant children. I mean, they all act like petulant children, but at least Vinny and Pauly are funny petulant children. And Snooki and D Rex are drunk petulant children. Ron and Sam just make me want to hurt myself.
In other news, Situation brings home a grenade. More on that later.

Memorable quote: “She’ll show you her C-section.” (Well played, Ron. Can’t believe that defense didn’t work out for you. Wow.)
My friend Shano’s observation: Vinny and Pauly have evolved to the point that they are now like the hot girls at the club. As in, they don’t have to strategize or wing each other or hit on a bunch of girls and hope one of them bites. Much like the girls who always turn me down, they have the ability to just make a choice and go with it. It’s like choosing a puppy at the shelter for them. Especially Viper. That dude makes it happen.
The question I’m still asking: What kind of man introduces himself as “Nicky Ducks” with a straight face? That’s like me introducing myself as Dang Horsecock. Considering the circumstances, Vinny calling him out by asking if he said “Nicky the Nuts” is totally warranted.

3: Pizza
Back at the house, everyone continues to have a good time…except for the Fucking Moron Twins, Ronnie and Sammitch. Seriously: it’s Ryder’s birthday (mmm…), Roger’s over, all of MVP made successful pulls at the club, they ordered pizza, and D Rex still exists…how can anyone not be having fun? It’s like the two of them make an effort to be miserable. I hate that I’ve already written this much about them. If my eyes start bleeding halfway through this post, I’m blaming those fucking knuckleheads. Anyway, they keep arguing, Sam storms out and blah blah blah until Ron tosses all of Sam’s stuff across the room and tells her she should pack it up and leave. Shockingly, Sammitch is calm through the whole incident, calmly eating pizza and making comments like, “that’s not funny.” Is it just because she’s super drunk? If so, she should get hammered more often. She’s almost bearable when she’s this subdued. Whoops, spoke too soon. She’s crying. Never mind. I take it back; I still can’t stand her.
Meanwhile on the patio, Pauly realizes he  the girl he brought home was a grenade and sets about putting on a demonstration in the “art of dodging a grenade.” Vin takes the opportunity to debut the Grenade Horn (is that a vuvuzela?) to inform everyone that an uggo is in fact on the premises. From where I sit, there’s only one problem with this: BOTH GIRLS ARE GRENADES. If anything, Situation’s girl is much more deserving of the horn blow. Pauly’s girl may be thick, but the skeletal remains of Sitch’s girl vaguely resemble Avril Lavigne’s ugly sister…Ugril Lavigne. Ooh, I like that. We’ll be sticking with that one for the duration.

Memorable quote: “What have I done to her in Jersey?” (I love how Ron always has to qualify that shit. He knows he was a dog, but only in Miami. It’s like he feels like an extradition treaty should be in effect. Didn’t happen in this state, so leave me alone. He may just be a genius.)
The question I’m still asking: Did anyone else notice Sam’s drunk voice? Her voice was completely different throughout this whole part of the episode. It was so much less screechy. Seriously, watch this part again (you know you DVR’d that shit just like I do, so don’t try to deny it) and then watch ANY other scene from the entire series. Totally different.
Commercial note: Ronnie’s trying to sell us Xenadrine. I don’t actually know what that is, but it sounds like it causes instant death. I’ll pass.

Steven Tyler (or is it the other way around?)

Sammitch

4. Uncle
The rare but devastating familial cock block comes into play when Gina’s (the girl Vin brought home) uncle shows up to steal her away. Viper likens it to “Romeo and Juliet”…close, Vin. Did either of you commit suicide? Sooo, not so much like a Shakespearean tragedy then. Valiant effort with the literary allusion, though. On a more personal note, it breaks my heart when Vinny doesn’t get laid. I’m rooting for that guy 100% of the time.
OH MY GOD WE’RE STILL DEALING WITH SAM AND RON. This is interminable. JWoww consoles Ron, who’s crying in the living room. She whispers something about Sammy being hideous and looking like Steven Tyler on this season of “American Idol.” OK, OK, she didn’t actually say that. Instead she said some other nonsense. But that’s what she should have said.
Upstairs, Situation wakes Sammitch’s drunk waxy ass up to ask if she has any condoms. She tells him to see if “Ronald” (WTF?) has any, then asks where this “Ronald” character is. Oh, he’s downstairs talking to Jenni? It is ON. It’s on like Donkey Kong. Sammi goes from passed out drunk chick to berserker rage in an unprecedented 3.1 seconds. Remarkable. She screams from the balcony, “Are you friends with her? Let me know now!” Her hatred for JWoww simply cannot be contained as she runs down the stairs crazily muttering to herself. I have flashbacks from The Shining. Brrr.
Blah blah blah Sam yells at Ron blah blah blah Ron ignores Sam blah blah blah SAM PUNCHES RON IN THE FACE! Just straight snuffed him. Cocked back, right cross to the jaw, full follow through. Say what you want about Sammitch (lord knows I do), but that little stick figure packs a wallop. You can immediately tell from Ron’s reaction that shit hurt. I don’t care who hits you, a shot like that does some damage. And I should know: I’m super obnoxious and a pathetic weakling, so I’ve been hit a lot.

Memorable quote: “You need to salvage that…and get it in with your girl.” (Nice Hail Mary try at a three-way, Sitch. Maybe you’ll get ’em next time.)
Other shit that was going on: Throwing Ryder a birthday party. Ryder’s passed out. Probably dreaming of me. Mmm.
Commercial note: An ad for Plan B One Step. That’s just good marketing right there. Way to know your demographic.

5. AM (See what they did there? See, because it’s the fifth part of the episode, but it’s also like 5:00 in the morning. More clever puns from the Shore.)
Sammitch packs her stuff and calls her mom to come pick her up. The gang (minus Ron & Jenni) inconceivably try to convince her to stay. Why anyone would do such a thing is beyond me. I’m totally bored with this whole storyline, so let’s talk about something else that’s going on at the same time.
Watch as the group slowly congregates in Sammi’s room to make their appeals. Vinny comes in first, then Snooki, followed by Pauly and Ryder — who is apparently just bored and dragging herself around with the crowd, since she hates Sammi too. Now, watch as Ryder, enters the room. Who is that in the background? It’s Ugril! Where did she come from? And where is she going? Situation is nowhere to be found…whoop, there he is, in Sam’s room. So what’s his girl doing? Ah, of course: an overhead shot of her in the Smash Room– BY HERSELF. A minute later, Sitch is back downstairs playing with JWoww’s dog. Then, after that, he’s in his own bed in the room he shares with Ron & Sam. This dude still has not gotten it in. Remember my speculation about him from last time? Just sayin’.
Sun’s coming up. Ronnie and Sammitch are reconciling. Symbolism abounds. I’m vomiting profusely.

Memorable quote: “I need her…to shut the other one up, so I can get it in.” (Everyone say it with me: get some, son!)
Memorable quote #2: “God isn’t your ego.” (Vinny is like a combination of Yoda and Rainman…and Seabiscuit.)
The question I’m still asking: Seriously, why did Situation not bang that girl? How is no one talking about this?

6. Sorry
Yeah, I’m sorry, too. I’m sorry this whole part of the episode exists. Nothing even remotely interesting happens until the stripper pole thing, which everyone saw coming at some point. Stripper pole in the Shore house = only a matter of time. The barber shop scene at the end finally woke me up, but we can get into the implications of that in the next bit. Otherwise this was a 6 minute snooze fest. I think I took a nap.

7. Gym
After getting haircuts, the guys head to the gym. D Rex and JWoww are also there, so Situation (of course) decides to instigate some shit by sharing what the boys heard at the barber shop. You see, it seems Dean (the Ronnie lookalike that D Rex’s has been hooking up with) shared some personal info with the barbers. (You know, like ya do. Do people really share intimate life details with the people who cut their hair? That seems horribly uncomfortable to me.) In this case, Dean spread the rumor that– well, how do I put this delicately? Let’s say that if D Rex were in a middle school band, she’d be more likely to play the trombone than the clarinet, if you catch my drift. And if you don’t, just watch the episode. Or, if you don’t have time for that, go eat a salad. Freshly tossed. You with me yet?
Deena was understandably upset about this rumor, so later that night (CABSAREHERE!) at Karma, she curses Dean out. I guess that’s the end of Dean. End of episode. What? It’s not? Oh right, JWoww and Sammitch make up. Who gives a fuck?

Memorable quote: “Karma’s a bitch, literally!” (A third pun! Well, kind of. It’s actually D Rex’s poorly executed attempt at a pun. But she’s trying, and I respect that. She also allegedly likes to lick asses, and I respect that, too.)
The question I’m still asking: Deena admitted to liking something that was at least a little weird sexually, or so the tone of the conversation leads us to believe. So, if it’s not “that,” what is it? I’m legitimately curious. My fascination with this creature only increases with each passing week.
Next time on the Shore: Ron and Sam fight some more. I die a little inside. Ronnie apparently bleeds out of his rectum. All true.

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Meet the author

It’s time to get a little personal. I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Why? Why on Earth would you do that to us? We had such a good thing going. You write amateurish posts about “Jersey Shore” episodes, we read and them and pretend they don’t look like they were written by the kid who used to eat paste back in elementary school. It works for everyone. Also, why are you doing this hackneyed readers’-inner-monologue gimmick? You must really suck.” Well, some of you are thinking that. By my calculations, it’s somewhere around 0.12% of the people who read this blog. The rest are my friends and family who I guilt trip into reading in order to get my hit count up and assuage my ego (Hi Mom!).

Well, at any rate, this is happening, so let’s all just learn to accept it. I decided to go video style for this one. Just seemed a little more creepy personal. Since I can’t natively embed video on my free host (why a free host? You’ll understand after the video.), check out the Vimeo below. For those who prefer reading, or don’t want to spend the time watching the video (it’s good), or just don’t want to look at my face (understandable), the script of the video follows the link. For a fun game, try reading along while you watch and counting all my mistakes! As if you could do any better. You perfectionist bastard.

—–

I’m Dan, a.k.a. nosleeptil OR no_sleep_til OR no.sleep.til (it depends). OR, on Twitter: @tilesinamosaic (follow me! shameless plug!).

About a month, I decided to quit my job. I used to run a children’s shelter. It was fulfilling, I was making a difference, the pay was surprisingly good. And, I was good at it (seriously). But still, after a year of it (and almost 5 years in human services), I was miserable. So, as of 5 days ago, I QUIT.

…to be a writer.

My parents weren’t exactly ecstatic. But it had to be done.

When I tell people what I’ve done, I get a lot of questions:
“Are you looking for another job?” (No.)
“What will you write?” (Whatever I want.)
“Are you the dumbest person alive?” (Entirely possible.)
“Do you have a plan?” (Ish.)

I did not get into this because I have answers. I did it because I have questions.

I’ll certainly encounter some obstacles. I plan on being hungry sometimes. I plan on having to turn down social engagements because I can’t afford them. I plan on getting completely discouraged and cursing the day I made such a reckless decision. And, I plan on all those things being temporary. I plan on being happy. I plan on succeeding. I plan to not give up until those things happen.

This is week 1 (one, uno, un) of this experiment.

So, how do I spend my time now?

I journal. I blog (https://nosleeptil.wordpress.com). I do pretentious things, like wear scarves indoors…but I like to think I don’t take myself too seriously.

Essentially, I just write. A lot. Every day. In my notebook. Or my other notebook. Or for clients (this morning, I wrote about prostate cancer. Later, I’ll be writing about hotels in Jackson, MS.). Or, just in my head.

So far, I’m not hungry. Or socially cut off. Or discouraged and wallowing in regret. But again, this is only week 1.

This is gonna be a fun ride.

Keep reading…

—–

[Credit where credit is due: inspiration for this post came from this guy. Check it out. It’s good.]
[Musical credit: “The Garden” by Cut Chemist, from the album “The Audience’s Listening.” You can buy it on Amazon. Please don’t sue me.]

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Boobs.

Now that we’re four episodes deep in season 3 of “Jersey Shore” (alternate title: “What Do You Mean, the Lab Results Don’t Look Good?”), we’ve all had a chance to get a feel for the vibe each character is bringing to the house. Since Miami, everyone has gotten a little older, maybe a little wiser, maybe someone choked on a bottle cap and is at the bottom of a river (*cough*Angelina*cough*). What? I’m not saying I hope she died. I’m happy she got the Heimlich maneuver and dodged an ugly incident with that Corona situation, and I wish her all the best on her river snorkeling vacation. Don’t judge me because you jump to really grisly conclusions. That’s a fucked up mind you got there. Psycho.

At any rate, now seems like a logical point in the season to examine each of our heroes and heroines. What order shall we go in? Alphabetical? Chronological? Venereal? No wait, not the last one. I know! Let’s go from pale to tan. which obviously kicks us off with…

Vinnie (a.k.a. Viper, a.k.a. Seabiscuit)
Viper’s been a little off the radar, but I think that’s by design. Aside from the stalker scene and his out-Situation of the Situation, he hasn’t gotten himself involved much. That also means he’s stayed out of drama, which was never really up Vinnie’s alley. Or maybe he’s just laying low because Seabiscuit brought too much drama in the offseason by banging Ryder (respect). Or maybe he’s just growing up. Of course, we know from this episode that Ryder will be showing her little minx face (I think she’s super hot, but in like a trashy, I-kinda-feel-like-I’m-too-good-for-her-but-she’s-also-out-of-my-league-at-the-same-time kind of way. Am I crazy? Maybe I just have no standards. Whatever. She’s cute…for a white girl) in Seaside soon, so Viper may find himself in some shenanigans sooner than later.

Ronnie
Ronnie is like wallpaper; I can’t get a read on the fucking guy. One second I hate him for making me pop pills over his agonizingly nonsensical Sammitch drama, then the next he’s grilling turkey burgers and chilling with Vinnie at 4am, then he’s covertly blowing up JWoww’s spot in the confessional. Not to mention, he’s had two of the funniest single lines of the season: the mind condom from episode 3, and this week’s “Is that Dean?” I don’t know if this show is scripted, but if it is, whoever wrote those is a genius. All this adds up to me being really conflicted. Do I hate Ronnie? Do I love him? Are questions like these the reason my therapist won’t take my calls? I swear I don’t know anything any more.

Sammie (a.k.a. Sammitch)
I can’t even write about this useless human being. She’s like a vestigial (Google it. I don’t have time to explain everything to you.) organ…except she also spews batshit crazy nonsense out of her mouth, looks like she has a drum skin stretched over her entire body, and will occasionally punch a bitch. OK, so that last bit I like, but still. We barely saw her this episode and I’m glad of it. Looks like she’ll be pulling an Angelina and bouncing next week anyway. Praise Jebus. Seriously: FUCK. HER.

Situation
First off, I refuse to call this dude Mike. His name is Situation. There is no Mike on this show. Got it? Good. Moving on. I only have one (OK, two. The next one comes later) question about Sitch: why will he not fuck D Rex? I realize she’s not a dime; in fact, some assholes have even compared her to an extinct lizard, but that’s never stopped him before. Situation has 100% banged girls way uglier than Deena. Plus, she keeps flinging herself at him. Even in the last episode when Viper locked Sitch out of the threesome, he still wouldn’t go for it. He was all revved up and got shut down, he was drunk, and she plainly offered…there’s no way I’m turning that down. Not in a million years. That situation (see what I did there?) is a desperate one. I’m talking “IMing ex-girlfriends” level desperate. It’s not often life just put a silver medal down right in front of you. You gotta snatch those up.

This of course, raises the logical question: is Situation gay? Think about it. He’s always the last guy ready, because he puts time into consistently being the most flamboyantly dressed guy. Even more so than Pauly. He’s the best cook in the house. And so far this season we have yet to see him hook up with a single girl. For the Situation, that last stat is unprecedented. (I know what you’re thinking: he hooked up with Paula and he made out with Deena. The D Rex thing didn’t count, because even he admits there was nothing there when he kissed her. And did we actually see him do anything with Paula? To my recollection, you see them go upstairs, then the next 5 minutes are about Vinnie and Ron hanging out. Check it out.)

JWoww
Is J tanner than Sitch? I can’t tell. It’s nebulous, which is a word that cannot be used to describe JWoww’s boobs. I realize that’s a terrible segue; I just like to mention her boobs at every opportunity.

I really want to feel bad for JWoww with this whole Tom situation, but I’m struggling to find the emotion. I mean, he’s definitely a scumbag. And apparently he has a penchant for ladies’ watches, which is super weird and probably a little pathological. I’m all for spiting (is that a word? Maybe I just mean smiting, but that doesn’t really express what I’m trying to convey here) one’s ex, but larceny? Possible animal cruelty? Necrophilia? I know, there was no mention of necrophilia in this episode…but they also didn’t say he didn’t bang corpses, did they? Makes a guy wonder. Oh yeah: boobs.

Deena (a.k.a. D Rex)
No one’s stock has risen higher in my book this season than D Rex. Every week she amazes me more and more. Last week she was flashing her vajayjay to the whole club and then getting booted. This week she’s got chicks doing body shots off her before making out with them and then taking home Ronnie’s twin. (Quick aside: did anyone else think the Deena/Dean and Nicole/Nick meetings were providence? I mean, what with the gender name pairings and all? No? I’m the only one who thinks about these things? Alright then.) I feel like I spend every episode gushing about how awesome she is. And this is coming from the dude who thought she was going to be like Alanis Morrisette’s career: painful to listen to, depressing to watch, endures for way too long. I could not have been more wrong. I owe D Rex an apology. Or maybe a new nickname. Nah, I’ll just apologize.

Pauly D
My frontrunner for the Most Underrated Award this season. If this house is a baseball team, Pauly is Michael Cuddyer. (I got these weird quotas to fill. Obscure baseball reference? Check.) He keeps his head down, he fills his role, he’s a part of everything but somehow always in a positive way, and he makes everyone around him better. His pact with Vinnie this week mocking the whole JWoww/Snooki/Sammitch letter situation from Miami? Sheer genius. Dude should get a writing credit on the show. Not to mention the glorious line, “You can’t just show up on Sunday with a giant banana, and expect everything to be peaches.” Someone please enshrine that line somewhere right now. If we were cavemen, that line would get chiseled on a wall. It needs to be preserved.
Let’s also not forget that Pauly D gave us the T-shirt time song, and “Cabsarehere!” I just don’t understand how and why he got so effing weird in the middle of last season…but I like it. Also, the over/under on the number of episodes until he unleashes one of his rage screams — a la “ARE YOU TOUCHING ME??” to Angelina — is 2.5. I’m going under.

Snooki
Of course, that brings us to Snicks. I don’t care what Pauly says, Snickers is the tannest in the house. Four episodes into her return to Seaside, here’s what we know about Snooki:
1. She has — or at least we are being led to believe she has — a drinking problem.
2. She uses booze to replace a boy she can love. Or to replace bronzer. Or her Bump-it. I wasn’t paying much attention, really.
3. She desperately wants to bang Vinnie.
4. She poops when she’s nervous.

Read those 4 again, but instead of thinking of them as describing Snooki, think of your weird aunt instead. Seem about right? She’s like one lesbian encounter and 2 acid trips away from spending a year touring Mexico on a motorcycle, sending tiny packages of local candy to JWoww at every stop. OK, I confess: I have no idea what the fuck that last part means. After 1500 words, I don’t have the energy to change it. Let’s wrap this up: Nicole is a drunk.

Boobs.

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Build a better mouse trap, and– OH MY GOD SOMEBODY SEND HELP!

New Yorkers make a certain number of concessions as part of living in this city. From minor inconveniences to possible health hazards, we accept them. We are well aware that our apartments are almost always about 20 degrees too hot year round, except in the awkward spring and fall months when the heat is off but it’s still cold out, so our living rooms turn into meat lockers. These, of course, are the same apartments we pay about 800% above market value to live in, simply because we insist on jamming ourselves into a city where 9 million other people also live. Dirty streets, subway smells, crazy homeless people yelling at us– we tolerate all these things, simply for the right to call ourselves New Yorkers. We want the title. We just want to be that cool.

In that same vane (My spellcheck underlined that word. Is it supposed to be vein? Vain? No, it can’t be “vain.” Oh right– I don’t care), we also tolerate pests. We know full well that no matter how well we clean, no matter what preventive measures we take, we run a significant risk of running into at least the occasional roach. It’s gross, sometimes the bugs look prehistorically creepy, and depending on the social context it can be damaging to one’s mojo, but again: we just need to be that cool. So, with all the being said, I have a confession to make: I have mice. (And possibly chlamydia. We’re still waiting for the blood work to come back. Not really relevant to this discussion though. I digress.) For those who know me, the mice situation (Situation!) has been something of an ongoing saga in my house for quite some time. For the rest of you, I’ll sum it up here. Please have a seat and try to slow your breathing. I know you’re really excited, but I’d really rather you didn’t have a cardiac episode. Tiles in a Mosaic can’t afford any blood on its young hands.

I think we spotted the first mouse some time last summer. Let’s say six months ago. My initial thought was that considering my best friend is a rat terrier, a dog that was bred specifically for hunting and killing vermin, that a rodent presence is completely unacceptable. So, I immediately turned my attention to Gizmo, interrogating him as to how he could possibly allow this to happen within his domain. Not surprisingly, he had no answers. He did have super cute little bat ears though, so I spent the next ten minutes rubbing his belly until we both fell asleep on the couch. I forgot about the mice for a while after that. Not a great start to the extermination effort.

Over the ensuing weeks and months, I tried a number of strategies to reduce or eliminate the mouse threat. First, I built the standard Upper Peninsula Deer Camp Mouse Trap (UPDCMT for short) using a plastic bucket, a wire hanger, a coffee can, some duct tape, a broom handle and some peanut butter as bait. That caught one mouse, which escaped shortly thereafter (I opted not to use the lethal UPDCMT design, which calls for the bucket to have water in it). I also tried the toilet-paper-roll-on-a-ledge-dropping-into-a-bag-technique and caught nothing. Some of the bandits were good enough to trap themselves in my pasta drawer. Two of these met their untimely demise at the paws (and jaws) of Gizmo. One I captured and named “Chance.” Most escaped back into the bush.

 

Chance

Later, another trapped himself by falling into a paper bag and was unable to climb out. This one also became my pet and was dubbed “Lucky.” Chance eventually engineered a daring escape from captivity and is currently unaccounted for. Lucky died in captivity. I guess you could say his luck ran out. But don’t you dare actually say that, because that would be cruel, you insensitive dick. Show a little respect for the dead.

Lucky

At one point, I got so desperate that my roommate and I resorted to throwing knives at them. Yes, really. We have the holes to prove it. I guess I shouldn’t count on getting my deposit back… The point is, my attempts to contain the mouse population have been relatively ineffective. It doesn’t help that I live above a bar, so they have a constant food source and easy access to the confines of my abode. I’ve pretty much accepted that no matter what, I’m fighting a battle I can’t win (see first paragraph). The mice are like Blake Griffin, or Lindsay Lohan’s penchant for driving drunk: you can’t stop it, you can only hope to contain it.

Fast forward to today. The mice have been pretty bold and visible lately, especially with Gizmo being on vacation since Thanksgiving. He at least keeps them at bay. I’ll never take that little knucklehead for granted again. Yesterday, I bought two traps and placed them strategically in my kitchen. This morning, when I went to make coffee, I was shocked to find this:

How exactly do I put this in words so that you can understand how terrifying this scene truly is? I’ll give it a shot. That’s one of those spring loaded traps that you bait in the middle and set open. Mouse goes into the tunnel to get the bait, trap slams shut and kills him, you can throw the whole thing away with no graphic mouse violence. As you can see, there’s a hole in this particular trap. And that dark circular thing on the right side of the picture? That’s the spring. Do you understand the implications of this yet? No? Really? Fine…I’ll spell it out for you. Our mouse friend here circumvented the trap by chewing through the label on the top and removing the spring, thereby deactivating the trap. He then ate the bait and made a clean getaway. I’ll reiterate: THE MOUSE DISASSEMBLED THE TRAP!

I am petrified. These are clearly not garden variety mice I’m dealing with. I suspect they may be cyborgs. At the very least, one of them has some sort of engineering degree. For those of you who don’t believe in evolution (i.e., crazy whack jobs who don’t understand how science works), take a good hard look at this picture. That shit exists, and in this case it has brought about intelligent mutant mice…with an unquenchable lust for peanut butter…and possibly opposable thumbs. I literally have no idea what to do next. These rodents have thwarted my every move. They are quicker, sneakier, and apparently more cunning than I am. And now they’re reverse engineering shit. They’re one step away from organizing a coordinated coup. Plus they’re nocturnal, so they could easily attack in my sleep. I may have to move. At the very least, I’m going to write a letter to d-CON so that in the event of my demise at the paws (claws?) of these fucking terrifying mutant cyborg engineer mice, they will know that my blood is on their hands.

Gah I think I just saw one! Anyone got a couch I can sleep on for the next year or so? It has to be in New York though. You know, cause I need to be cool.

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My kingdom for a better cable company!

So, in addition to failing to delivering random Internet outages, Time Warner is also excellent at interrupting my cable service at exactly the right time. And by that I mean, tonight’s episode of “Jersey Shore” (alternate title: “Empirical Evidence Refuting the Theory of Evolution”) was interrupted by some kind of stupid DVR outage. The point is I haven’t seen it. So I can’t blog it. No arguing with that logic.

I’m taping the encore, but there’s no way I’m staying up to watch it. You’ll have to be patient for the new post. Or just stop caring and move on with your life, which is probably what you should do.

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