Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I just hate Dane Cook

Okay, this guy is just awful. Seriously. Have you guys SEEN the god awful World Series commercials that he does?! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?! WHY IS THIS GUY FAMOUS?! I guess complete and utter mediocrity sells extremely well in this day and age. Ugh.

Have you seen this?!

Okay, so the video is parodying him, but apparently, as inconceivable as it is, this song is COMPLETELY FOR REAL. Yes, Dane Cook has come out with a song, and it's serious and absolutely craptastic.

I feel like this isn't really going anywhere, so I'm going to stop now. But I'm sitting here watching the first game of the World Series, and Dane Cook is being forced upon me, so I decided to write about how much he pisses me off. I was listening to an episode of This American Life earlier today, and there was a segment in which a bunch of 10 year-olds said that Dane Cook is their favorite comedian.

I don't really think I need to say anymore. Except that some people, and I'm not talking about the 10-year olds, really like him. And I don't even know what to say about that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Morning Jesus

As I stepped onto the train this morning, I was immediately bombarded with a girl loudly proclaiming that people needed to find Jesus as their savior. First off, having started this whole blogging nonsense, it made me realize that I need to carry my camera around wherever I go. 'Cause I'd love to have a photo of her up right now. Alas, I was sans camera, so you'll just have to make up what she looks like.

But back to the point. I didn't honestly listen to everything she was saying, as I was trying intently to listen to a thrilling episode of Radiolab. I must digress again for a second here. If you haven't had the pleasure of listening to this incredible radio program yet, you're really missing out. You can download the podcast for free from iTunes - just search for Radiolab or NPR in the podcast directory. I promise you won't regret it.

ANYWHO. So this woman on the train...she was speaking rather loudly, so despite my attempts to block her out and be an NPR dork, I couldn't help but overhearing some of what she was saying. Here's the one that really stuck out in my mind:

"If you see a pregnant woman on the train, don't let her stand. She might say it's okay, she can stand. But don't let her stand. Hold Jesus in your heart and get up for her."

I'm probably paraphrasing that a little, but that was basically the gist of it. Now, I'm all about standing up for pregnant women, elderly people, even just women in general when I'm on the train. I usually feel so bad about sitting down when there's a woman standing up that I'll pretend like I'm getting out at the next station and get up so that whatever woman is standing next to me can sit down. Because while I feel bad about sitting down, I also don't know whether a particular woman is going to find it offensive that I'm offering her my seat. think I overthink things sometimes?! And sometimes it backfires on me when whatever douchebag guy standing there decides HE wants to sit down instead.

Okay, I'm rambling. My real point here I really need Jesus to tell me that I should give my seat to a pregnant woman?! I'm sorry to anyone reading this who is Christian and is offended by this...I'm really not trying to offend. But I just think there is a set of rules that we're all supposed to live by, and while it's true that those values are somewhat based in Christianity, they have completely become their own entity. Basically, I've met Christian assholes and non-Christian assholes, and I don't think their faith or lack thereof has anything to do with whether or not they offer their seat to a pregnant woman.

What's really interesting about this whole incident is that, in this particular instance, and I really don't think I've ever seen this...someone actually talked back to her. This guy got fed up enough with her pronouncements that he began to shoot back.

"See, the problem is, no one can get away from what you're saying here. If you were on the street, I'd be fine with this, but people HAVE to listen to what you're saying, and that's not fair."

I was...well...impressed in a weird way. She was pissing me off too. In this city of every culture and religion you could ever want, she was forcing people to listen to her tell them to accept Jesus as their lord and savior. And he was calling her on it. Sometimes I wish I had more balls and could speak my mind like that. I suppose it didn't do anything or make any real difference in the world, but the guy felt it was wrong and decided to say something about it. And you know what...I know there were 100 other people in that same subway car that wanted to say the same thing and didn't. Just like me. And I guess I just appreciate that he felt strong enough in his convictions to be the one that spoke up.

Oh, and did I mention that I love New York?! Goddamn, I really do.

*P.S. As I was on the train heading home from work, about 2 hours after I had finished writing this, a pregnant woman got on the train and I gave her my seat. can you not just chuckle at life sometimes?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

60 crowns for a new wallet

Sometimes I'm just amazed by how the world works.

In May and June of this year, I took a trip with a friend of mine - the lovely Karina who will be posting on here once in a while - to Europe. She and I flew to London, spent a few days there so she could visit some friends of hers. Then it was off to Amsterdam for a few days that I don't remember so well, and then the Czech Republic. Little side note - if you haven't been to Prague, holy crap, it's beautiful and cheap and you should go immediately! Seriously, I had one of the better meals of my life there for what amounted to about $25 for 2 people combined. Including tip! Ridiculous.

But, as is often the case, I digress. So back to the point at hand. After visiting the Czechs in all their glory, Karina was to head home and I was to continue onto Croatia for two weeks of some intimidating but exciting solo traveling.

Alas, on our last day in Prague, one of those moments you always hear about but never expect to happen to you...well one of those moments actually did happen to me. I lost my wallet. After throwing Karina's water bottle on the ground and breaking it - a point that she continues to not let me live down - I went and made all the necessary phone calls to cancel and order new cards and all that fun crap.

At this point, I was ready to give up. How was I to survive with no access to funds? Karina gave me a bunch of cash, but it definitely wasn't going to get me through another two weeks in a country where I most certainly didn't speak the language. I seriously thought about packing it in, sucking it up, and just heading home.

Perhaps I was being completely irrational, but something made me decide against that whole plan. "No!" I thought. "I must see Croatia. It's what I came for!" So on I went, not knowing how I was going to survive.

Now maybe this sounds completely cliche, but I honestly don't care - turns out losing that wallet was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Bear with me for a second here.

My plan was to fly to Dubrovnik - the Southern-most major city in Croatia - stay there for two days, and then rent a car and drive around Croatia, hitting some national parks and other major cities along the way. Well that plan was out - no driver's license, remember? Plus, I had asked AmEx and Citibank to send my cards to the hostel I was staying at in Dubrovnik, so I had to wait around for those to arrive.

Long story short - although I guess I can't avoid making this kind of long at this point - by staying for 6 days instead of 2 at this particular hostel, I met some of the most amazing people I have ever had the privilege to know. Here's a link to the wonderful hostel I stayed at - PLEASE stay there if you ever happen to be in Dubrovnik:

These new friends I had made and I ended up renting an apartment for 3 days on the island of Hvar. Those 3 days were among the best days of my whole life. (Yes, that's me jumping off of a wall 30 feet high into the ocean - and I didn't even break my legs!!)

Taking it even further, I recently took a trip up to Montreal to visit one of those friends I had made in Croatia. On the train up there, I happened to sit next to a very cute girl. We ended up chatting for 8 hours, I got her number. Now we're dating and it's rather fantastic, I have to say.

The point is, I realized the other day that absolutely none of this would have happened had I not lost my wallet. I would have stayed in Dubrovnik for two days and then gone off, by myself, in a car to whatever national park I felt like exploring that day. I never would've met Monika, my Canadian friend who eventually prompted my trip to Montreal, and thus never would have met a girl on the train who I've become rather fond of.

So - and I hope I don't sound preachy or anything here - sometimes when something seemingly terrible and devastating happens...well, just realize that maybe there's a good reason for it after all. I think life is mischievous like that sometimes.


Okay, let me start off by saying I have no idea what I’m doing with this whole blog thing. In fact, I don’t even think exactly know what I’m going to put up here. But I’ve been meaning to write about well, something…anything…for as long as I can remember. And I’ve never done it. And I think I have some interesting things to say about the world. So I think it’s about damn time I just started.

So here it is, in all its glory. I seriously have NO idea how this is all going to turn out, but I hope that whatever it becomes, you enjoy it, as much as I hope I enjoy writing it.