Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dead Week

I hope all of you are having a great week. I’ve been in transit, doing the typical family crap and making my rounds for the past few days, so posting—along with pretty much everything else in my life—has been a little lacking.

I don’t have anything particularly interesting to report—just a couple of uneventful family parties, a couple of tame lunches with friends (I’ve taken the past six months or so off from drinking), and some work when I’ve been able to jam it in.

And for all of you who want to write me posing as the blog editorial police, I’m aware that this post sucks. I didn’t want anyone to think I was disappearing again. I’m still around. I just have shit to do, the same way you do.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sense of Urgency

Here’s some very good advice for living in any big city:

When you finally make it to the front of a line after waiting for several minutes, your best bet is to at least act as though you’re aware there are people waiting behind you—especially since you just wasted a good bit of your own time standing in that same line.

I’m writing this for the benefit of the dick who waited for nearly ten minutes to use the Chase ATM at the corner of 79th and York at 8:15 yesterday morning, then proceeded to talk on the phone instead of sticking his card into the machine—with several people waiting behind him.

Yeah, you’re still a dick. And yeah, that was me who called you one, even though you pretended you didn’t hear me. Twice.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I don’t have much to add about the Newtown shootings other than this:

If you don’t live in New Orleans, you’ve forgotten about Katrina. Maybe you were outraged for a while. Maybe you blamed Bush and considered Ray Nagin a hero for a month or two. Now? Your outrage has dulled.

If you don’t live in Joplin, you’ve forgotten about the tornado and the 189 people it killed—if you’d ever even known about it in the first place.

If you don’t live in New York or New Jersey, you’ve already forgotten about Sandy, because the media’s past telling you how hard it is to find bleach in the Rockaways. That shit doesn’t matter.

And if you don’t live in New York or you don’t have a direct connection to the military, your 9/11 outrage has, in all probability, been replaced by something else entirely. It’s just something that happened to somebody else, just like everything else in the world. It’s as far away as Rwanda.

That’s why nothing will change now. We’ll lose our momentum, the media will move on, and we won’t hear a blessed thing about it until the next lunatic opens fire.

I want to be wrong. If shooting 20 children—along with six adults we shouldn’t ever forget—doesn’t change everything, we’re finished as a society.

I’m not criticizing. I’m no different.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

City Relationships: A Deflection Gone Wrong

The relationship started in the conventional way—a favorable recommendation by a mutual friend, a series of lengthy telephone conversations, an enjoyable first date, and four months of assimilation into each other’s lives.

Then, says attorney Richard Blankenship, relations with his now ex-girlfriend Tiffani Milstead-Kwock began to sour.

“It started after our first fight, although I should have seen this shit coming,” said Mr. Blankenship. “She was fucking paranoid from the day I met her, but fuck me, right?”

Their issues, according to myriad experts in the relationship field, stem from the increasingly widespread practice among young New York women of accusing their dating partners of suffering from serious psychological disorders—especially during arguments where the male partner did nothing wrong. This, Mr. Blankenship says, was Ms. Milstead-Kwock’s first line of defense in any disagreement.

“Oh, man. It was never just a straight-up fight with that fucking idiot. When I complained, I was ‘perseverating.’ When I got mad, it was because of my ‘baggage,’ which meant I had to ‘talk to someone.’ That’s not the first time a girl pulled this shit with me, either. Everybody’s a fucking armchair therapist around here, right? What the fuck?”

It’s been well-documented that young Manhattan women far exceed national averages in terms of active psychological ailments, yet in recent years, it seems as though they’ve adopted something of a table-turning strategy in dealing with their male counterparts, utilizing a form of “mirroring” in which the unstable woman attempts to convince her male partner that he suffers from a similar—or even more acute—condition.

One popular variation of this is known as the “apology gambit,” where despite being completely at fault in a given situation, a young woman will attempt to elicit, from her partner, an inappropriately timed request for forgiveness. According to researchers, the young woman, if unsuccessful, will eventually escalate this move into a full-blown diagnosis of mental illness in her partner, with accusations ranging from dissociative identity disorder (DID) to the Cotard delusion.

“Goddamn,” said East Village couples counseling specialist and author Stephen Thorenstamm. “These girls are so fucking annoying when they come in here. I can’t take this shit. They’ve all obviously been fucked over a thousand times by dating assholes who’ve treated them like shit, so they turn around and try to tell everyone else they’re insane in order to rationalize their inability to get along with anyone when they can’t get exactly what they want when they want it.”

In the case of Ms. Milstead-Kwock, such impromptu psychological evaluations likely result from a condition Dr. Narjender Singh, a clinical researcher, calls “entitlement syndrome”—an unfortunate mode of behavior that’s typically augmented by a host of female “enabler” friends who perpetually convince the subject that she’s done nothing wrong, and that her partner is at fault strictly because of his gender.

“What we’re seeing,” said Dr. Singh, “is that unhappy young women tend to gravitate toward one another, congregating in pretentious ‘wine bars’ and the like, and comparing notes on what’s going wrong in their lives. When one young woman is in a relationship and most of her friends aren’t, it’s a recipe for disaster, even with the hot ones. They all have shit you have to deal with, it seems.”

For Mr. Blankenship, it’s a gender equity issue, albeit one with an unpleasant twist.

“She does something annoying, I call her out on it, she tells me I’m bipolar and need medication, and if I tell her what’s on my mind at that point, I’m the asshole because she’s a woman. How’s that fair? I’m a lawyer, bro. I don’t have time for this shit.”

Editor's Note: If you think this is aimed at you, don't worry. It's not. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Why I'm no longer a Verizon subscriber...

Dear Verizon,

Go fuck yourselves.

So, this weekend, I see a commercial you’re running telling me I can “double my internet speed” for “just a few extra bucks a month” by signing up for something called FIOS Quantum.

Thanks, assholes. Thanks for that. You’re about to lose a customer. Here’s why.

When I signed up for your service, you told me I was getting the fastest internet service in existence. Your ads and your paperwork said this so often that you convinced me this was fact. Despite the God-awful outsourced customer service that came with your DSL internet, I bought your entire package—including your premium FIOS TV service and a landline I never use. And although I know your wireless service is unrelated, I’m contracted with you for multiple cell phones—for which you also constantly tell me you’re providing the best service in the world, despite having some sort of bullshit computer glitch that calls my landline on the first of every month telling me a balance is due immediately, even though my payment date is always the 15th. Assholes. Stop that.

Verizon, I can go two ways with this. The first way is the car company model, which is good for you. Let’s say I buy a 2012 Ferrari and drive it for a year. When Ferrari makes improvements to their 2013 models, they’re not obligated to give me a new car for free simply because it’s faster and better than the one I already have. Even though a car is a good, as opposed to a service, you’ll probably use a similar defense to justify offering me this new and improved service at an additional cost. I wouldn’t blame you if you did. This justification makes perfect sense.

But, see, when you’re offering a service, as opposed to a good, what you’re doing, to me, is in bad faith. You essentially sold me the “best service in the world,” but instead of taking my level of service and improving it, you improved it on a parallel plane, where my “best service” is now only half as good as this inaccessible-to-me “best, best service,” for which you’re asking me to pay extra. You took the so-called “best service” and left it exactly the same—to the point where it’s no longer the “best service” and you’re offering something else that you’re saying is twice as good.

So how, as a loyal customer of yours for years now, does this benefit me? Years ago, I started out as a DSL guy. When you told me you had this FIOS shit, I upgraded and let you staple wires all over my fucking floors and walls. One of your technicians even mounted that big white box on the outside of a house I was renting, and it took me nearly a month to get you fuckers back there to install it in the garage—where it was supposed to go in the first place. I’ve done this with you multiple times in multiple places, convinced—by you—that your service was the absolute best I could get. I came to you looking for the best, and that’s what you promised me, but instead of improving my service and keeping “the best” the best, you’re now telling me I have to pay extra for the privilege of still having “the best.”

I don’t even care whether I’m right or wrong. My first instinct as a longtime customer of yours, when I saw your new FIOS Quantum commercial, was to become enraged. Your Quantum service is like one of those rule-bending things that happen in courtrooms and sporting arenas all the time where people say, “What that guy did wasn’t technically outside the lines of decorum, but it didn’t make him any friends.” I can’t think of any good examples right now, but I heard someone say that the other day, and it applies perfectly here.

What you’re doing here isn’t unethical or against the rules in any way, but it’s bullshit, and I don’t want to be your customer any longer.

Nice knowing you, dicks.