Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Confused

In reading a post by the wonderful and talented Amie I was inspired to document an internal quarrel of sorts that has been brewing in my brain-parts for a while now.  While not directly on point with Amie's likely more important thesis, I suggest it is not far off.  My conflict involves weighing acting in your own self interest versus constantly doing what, as Amie described, is "the right thing".

I am of two minds in this regard.  For most of my life I have followed what I thought was a kind of Kantian theory on "doing the right thing". I have always been absent of religion and thus found my own sense of morality from reason.  I simply did what I felt was the right other words, what I would want others to do in a given situation if I were in control of them and were looking out for the whole world instead just myself.

The benefits of this practice are nice.  People generally accept it and appreciate your consideration.  Also, you get a heightened sense of self satisfaction from "doing the right thing"...a martyr pride so to speak. However, it does have its drawbacks.  Specifically, you don't always get what you want.  Life appears to be a zero sum game in the end.

This is where my other mind starts screaming.  The little red devil on my left shoulder starts asking where the money and the women are. This inner struggle has festered in me for a few years but has started seriously perculating in the last year or so.

I have been playing Poker for about thirteen years now, fairly competitively.  If there is one thing I have taken away from the chaos and game theory of poker it is that your best mathematical chance of winning is to always take the option in your own self interest.  My question is, do I apply this to life?

When you look around it seems most, though not all, other people are acting purely in self interest.  How are you supposed to "win" if you aren't doing that same?  Is it not just like the poker table?  Or is the act of "doing the right thing" winning in and of itself?

I have found in recent times I am leaning towards acting in self interest. Life is short and all that jazz and I like having things that I want. Women are pretty and money buys fun things.  BUT, I still worry I'm not doing the right thing.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 10 - One Picture

Today is the final day of Huma Rashid's Ten Day Challenge.  We did 10 Sekritz, 9 loves, 8 fears, 7 wants, 6 places, 5 foods, 4 books, 3 films, 2 songs and finally, today, 1 picture.  I'm going to enjoy today.  If you know me, you know I like pictures of me.  I had a bit of a debate about which picture to put up.  Do I go up-to-date? I wondered if I should put a childhood photo up to capture the innocence of my youth.  I wondered if I should make a fool of myself or if I should seduce you wish my masculine masculinity.   In the end...I have a favorite picture of me and I went with it.

The picture below is from the February 2007 (wow, 4 years ago already).  This is post-college, though I was still working in Albany and living with some kids who were still in school since all my friends had moved back to the city.  It's in the school parking lot for some sort of sporting event we were tailgating for.  I still look just about the same.  Maybe a tad thicker.  I like this picture because of how relaxed and content I look.  It reminds me of a stress free part of life.  'Twas a better time for all of us.  Thanks Huma...was a fun ten days.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 9 - Two Songs

Today is Day 9 of Huma Rashid's ten day blogger challenge.  Today I am to list two songs.  I will pick my favorite two songs which also happen to be very important songs to me.  Once again I will not have an entertaining opening paragraph for you...I am not feeling well and my brain hurts.  Enjoy.

1.  "Everyday" by Buddy Holly.  This is the world's most beautifully simple little song.  It flows so smoothly and melodically.  It relaxes me.  Even the lyrics are simple.  He was a wonderful musician.  Favorite Line: "Going faster than a roller coaster".

2.   "With or Without You" by U2.  This is my favorite song by my favorite band in all the world.  This song has followed my life.  It seems every time important love life events occur, this song is inadvertently playing in the background, whether the events were good or bad.  I feel that goes well with the bittersweet message of the lyrics.  This has been my favorite song for well over a decade.  And no...I didn't learn of it on Friends.  I think this is the perfect song.  It has a little bit of everything.  No song hits me with such passion as the crescendo when Bono is wailing at the three minutes mark.  That is my favorite "line" of the song. I get goosebumps every single team I hear that part.  That will likely never change.  I've seen it live twice...and both times I did not move a muscle through the entire thing.  I'm not even sure if I was breathing.  People have told me it's very strange the hold this song has on me.  It really does put me in a trance.  I can't help it.  I just go away when it's on.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 8 - Three Films

Today is Day 8 of the Hoomz bloggy challenge.  In this post I will tell you which films are my three favorite movies of all time.  This time, it will be in a particular order...countdown style.  I apologize, I don't have a pithy and/or clever opening paragraph for you to read.  It is late and I did a lot of practice questions today and my brain has turned to a fine criminal lawy paste.  From 3rd to 1st:

3.   Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  The opening scene to this movie is how I test whether I can be friends with someone.  Watch this movie.  If you don't laugh at the opening scene, you might as well stop reading my blog.  Monty Python is the funniest group of people that have ever none.  From the Flying Circus to the Meaning of Life and Holy Grail....everything is comedy gold.  The Holy Grail is the best of the best when it comes to Monty Python.  Watch this scene and you'll see just how amazing they are.  Trust me, watch the whole thing.  I consider the last 1 minute to be my favorite scene of the movie.  "you don't vote for king!"

2.   Clue.  My favorite comedy of all time is Clue.  It has the wonderful dry and reserved sense of humor that hits me hardest.  "To make a long story short"..."too late".  I like any move that literally films several endings and includes them all in the final cut.  Tim Curry absolutely dominates this movie and if you can watch Martin Mull do anything and not laugh, I'd check your pulse.

1.   Almost Famous.  This has been my favorite movie since it came out.  I love the cast.  I love the writing.  I LOVE the soundtrack.  I love the costumes.  I love Kate Hudson.  I love everything about it.  I dare you to watch the Tiny Dancer bus scene and not get goosebumps.  I challenge you to not root as hard as you can for William to land Penny Lane.  Even Zooey Deschanel is outstanding in this movie.  It takes place in the exact era of music I would like to be involved in.  I would listen to Stillwater.  I would pay to see Stillwater.  I want to play poker with Stillwater.  Lester Bangs should be nationally syndicated now.  I just love this movie.

There are so many I had to make a first losers list: Shawshank Redemption, Airplane!, Inglourious Basterds, Billy Madison, Seven, History of the World Part I, Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back, and perhaps after I've had time to think about it, the currently nominated The King's Speech.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day Seven - 4 Books

Today is Day Seven of the Ten Day Huma Rashid Bloggy Challenge.  I shall list four books that I have read and that I suggest other people should read, for I have enjoyed reading them.  Sadly, since I began law school I have a bitter feeling towards the written word.  It offends me that it's all up in my face all the time.  How am I supposed to enjoy you, written word, if I can never get away from you?  I think I have read 3 books altogether since 2007 when this law journey began.  No bueno.  Also, I don't have my books in front of me I can't just look and see.  Sigh.  Well, here is my list of four books, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

1.   Catcher In the Rye.  Yeah, yeah, yeah...very angsty and stereotypical.  Shutup, ya phony.  I read this book once a year.  Mr. Salinger, or J.D. as his friend called him, is my favorite writer of all time.  He writes like people think or speak, which is how I write as well.  This is the one book I read in high school and it has stuck with me ever since.  I love my beaten up old dog-eared copy.  It helps remind me I'm not the only one who is crazy and dislikes most other people.

2.   White Apples. by Jonathan Carroll.  This book single-handedly changed my outlook on life and death.  It is an absolute masterpiece.  I was never a spiritual person, but this made me one.  It has a way of making you look at every day as a piece of a whole and to realize everything you do matters both to you and everyone else.  Jonathan Carroll is a beautiful writer.  I also like him because he's fallible.  I've read about five of his books and three weren't good (though still beautifully written and creative, they just struggled to form a coherent path) but two were outstanding (the other is called Glass Soup).  I like when I can see a writer struggling to find the story every once and a while.  It helps me relate to them as people instead of this person who's able to write a book when I can't.  If I had to suggest one book in the world to others, it would be White Apples.

3.   Hearts in Atlantis.  by Stephen King.  Please ignore the terrible movie that was made based on the book for the purposes of this entry.  This isn't a typical Stephen King book.  It's not creepy or scary or exceptionally weird.  It is still fantasy, it's Stephen King after all, but it's more worldly.  It centers around the sixties and the Vietnam war and involves several stories intertwined into one narrative.  Plus, I love the fact, I wish I was how old I am now, in the sixties.  This book is incredible though.  Go read it.

4.   Prosser on Torts Angela's Ashes.  by Frank McCourt.  Did you really not think this was going to happen?  This is an autobiographical story about a poor Irish family who moved to New York City from Limerick, Ireland.  I mean...c'mon!  It is full of sadness and dark, Irish humor.  It was meant for micks like me.  I read it while in Ireland, in particular, while in Limerick.  I remember walking down the River Shannon and picturing it as a sad reminder of the horrors these poor Irish folk had to deal with.  It was quite the connection.  And then I went to a Pub and felt better (I was 15).  

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day Six - 5 Foods

This is Day Six of our ten day bloggy challenge and it will be the easiest day of them all.  When I was growing up I was a rather picky eater.  A lot of things grossed me out.  I didn't eat cheeseburgers, onion rings, grilled chicken, Chinese food, anything mushy, or really anything at all.  Family members called me "Timbones" because I was around 140 pounds until I was 14.  Though I still can't eat some things (I'm lookin at you Bleu Cheese, salmon, and anything that smells like fish), I am making up for some serious lost time.  I eat everything in site now.  Well, let's get down to it.

1.   Blue Nine Burger.  Perhaps you follow me on twitter, perhaps you don't.  If you do, you probably have seen me tweet about the Blue Nine Burger.  It is my favorite burger in all the world.  I have eaten it with people who have had the famous In-N-Out burger and while nobody has said it's better, they have said it is the only thing in NYC that is comparable...which I'll take, having never been to the west coast.  I have it with onions and firecracker sauce and then I sleep.  It is amazing.  I wish I had one right now.  Actually I wish I had four right now.

2.  Breakfast Sandwich.  Oh breakfast sandwich, how I love you.  Nothing improves a walk-of-shame like stopping for a bacon-egg-n-cheese on a sesame bagel with salt-peppah-ketchup.  It is greasy, fatty, and the most perfect morning treat in all the world.

3.   Macaroni and Cheese.  Do I really have to explain this?  It's good.  Done.

4.   Steak.  I can't not put steak and keep my man card.  It just so happens that I love steak.  My favorite steak is Delmonico's Mignon (also one block from 10 Hanover Sq).  This also happens to be David Wright's (3rd basemen, NY Mets) favorite restaurant.  I used to go there once a year for restaurant week because well, that's the only time it's affordable, but haven't been there in a while.  Second on the list is the Cowboy Steak from Rare that I have once a year at my friend Secret Santa extravaganza.  They are perfectly lean and buttery.  You barely have to chew'em.

Delmonico's (the picture is worth clicking,
the detail is beautiful)
5.   Steamed Dumplings.  We never ate Chinese food growing up.  I never had any in college.  It wasn't until after college that I tried it and god did I love it.  I still have Chang's restaurant from Albany in my phone and will never delete it.  My favorite dish to order is steamed pork dumplings.  I simply love them.        

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 5 - Six Places

Today is Day 5 of Huma's ten day bloggy challenge.  So far we have done sekritz, loves, fears, and wants.  Now I will name Six places that are tremendously important to me.  I like this one very much because reminiscing is one of my favorite things in the world to do.  Think about it, you can't go wrong.  If it's a good memory you are reminiscing about, you enjoy it because it makes you smile.  If it is a bad memory, at least it is already behind you.  This post allows me to remember important times in my life.  It also lets me search around for pictures and such which allows me to waste time instead of studying.  I'm all for that.  Here they are, in no particular order.

1.  South Shore Little League.  I know I've talked about baseball a lot so far in these posts, but it really is an important part of my life.  South Shore Little League is where I learned to play baseball, spent time with my father, learned how to be friends, learned how to deal with jerks, stayed out of trouble, and had the best times of my life.  Every day after school I would come home and do my homework as fast as possible so that when my dad got home at five we'd eat dinner and then both head off to the baseball field whether or not our team (he was my coach) was playing.  On any given weeknight there was at least 15 kids there to play in the back fields with and on weekends it was closer to 30.  I remember playing suicide (otherwise knows as "asses up"), "running bases", handball, throwball,  and even sometimes baseball.  

Mr. Tolino at the Field
You see, in Staten Island baseball is kind of a big deal, in particular Little League baseball.  My team, the very one I played for when I was 11 and 12, made it to the little league world series in 2009 (see here).  I knew the coach of that team, I played with his son.  So, during night games the place was filled with at least a few hundred people every night.  If you were playing that night, you felt like a superstar.  At the end of the year, when all-star games started (that's really what the season was about) there were perhaps a thousand people at each game and I am not exaggerating.  I loved that.  It really did feel like you were a professional playing in the world series.  Lots of people say it's too much pressure for kids and parents take these things too seriously, and they have a point...but I cannot remember ever feeling better about myself than when I was on the field in front of the entire island representing my league.  I can remember playing for Mr. Tolino when I was on the 9-10 yr old all stars...he taught me to play second base, the position I remained until I blew out my knee at 15.  He was also my fathers coach at that very same little league approximately 33 years prior.  He passed away last year, but I will never forget him sitting out in the left field bleachers in his traditional spot.  I love that place so much.  It is the only place on that horrible island I love.  It basically made me who I am today.

2.   Waterville, Ireland.  I'm not going to talk about this place again.  I've mentioned it already.  It's the most beautiful place on the planet.  You should go there.  See 9 Loves post for explanations.

3.   Mount. Vista, Pennsylvania.  My family didn't do vacations.  Instead of trips we spent every summer in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania at Mountain Vista Campground.  We had a trailer, a nice one...not like white trash trailer but one meant for camping, that we housed in a giant campground all year round.  Each summer, once baseball ended, me and my mother would go up there and stay until the day before school started.  My dad would come up on weekends.  And then once school started we went up on weekends until November when it got too cold.  This place had everything.  Hiking, basketball, ping-pong, tennis, swimming, volleyball, badminton, bocce ball, softball, football, bands, summer flames, movies, games, and my summer friends and some family.  I made some of my closest friends there and had all my first loves.  I had my first kiss with Laurie Markussen when I was 10 years old on the top part of the two level swing-set down by the pavilion.

4.   10 Hanover Square.  This is where I lived from March 2009 until July 2010.  It is the best place I have ever lived by far and I absolutely love it.  It was just a nice apartment building that hosts some of my favorite memories.  Not only that but it gave me a wonderful place to go home to every night that I was extremely proud to call my home.  My goal in life is to be able to afford to live there once again.  Not only that, but it was a block from Wall Street, a block from the South Street Seaport, a block from Stone Street and about 100 yards from my favorite bar in the world.  God I loved this place.

10 Hanover Sq.

5.   Ulysses Folk House.  That favorite bar I mentioned above...that's Ulysses Folk House on historical Stone Street (still cobblestone). It's the perfect Irish tavern.  I went their for my birthday in 2009 and had a wonderful time.  When I needed to kill an hour and there was nothing on TV I would run down for a pint.  On Mondays we would go down for their seafood lunch platter...mmmm lobster.  And, because I'm Irish, when I'm pissed off or down, I go to Ulysses, sit at the bar and order a Guinness.  They have several genuine Irish bartenders, a wonderful Scotch selection, a great menu, a nice dimly lit ambiance, good music, and a decently calm clientele.  

1/3 of the Scotch List
6.   The Brooklyn Bridge at Sunrise.  I've done this once and it's all I needed.  It was an August morning and I've never experienced the city so calm.  I think it was around 6 am.  These colors don't usually happen in Manhattan...but ever since then I've loved the Brooklyn Bridge.  Prior to this I never understood the I do.  The pictures are below.

And your humble correspondent.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 4 - Seven Wants

Today is Day 4 of the Ten Day Challenge.  Here are my sekritz, my loves, and my fears.  Below I will list my wants.  This is a tough list to come up with because, well, I want lots of stuff.  I like having things, it makes me happy.  You can play with things and playing is fun.  I think some people want stuff for other people....I want things for me...because I like to have things.  So here are seven things I want.

1.   Baseball.  Namely, I wish to play every day like I used to.  From the moment I could walk until around the age of 20 I played baseball every single day (weather permitting).  I loved it.  Every time I walk/drive by a baseball field I get a little sad that I don't play anymore.  It was the best part of my youth.  I loved being on a team and having a common goal with a group of people.  I loved the travel,  meeting players on other teams from all around the country, and the ego boost that comes from being really good at something.  I really want to play baseball again.  

2.   A Lake house.  This passed (past?) Summer I went to Vermont with my cousin and his family for a week to stay at a friends lake house.  It was incredible.  This place had no TV, no Internet connection, no phone signal (alright, that one bothered me), and no dvd player.  It was us, a lake, a lot of food, a lot of booze, and several books.  I loved it.  Each day we'd wake up and make a huge breakfast, read, then swim in the lake, then eat again, then read again, then swim again, then perhaps hike or kayak or row, then eat again, then drink, then sleep.  That is the life I want.  

The dock at the lake house.
3.   Colbert Report Writer.   I really think I can write for the Colbert Report.  Back in the day when Colbert wasn't his own show yet I thought I could write for the Daily Show but my style of comedy is a little more silly, immature and adult oriented than what the Daily Show usually brings.  It fits perfectly with the zany antics of the Colbert crew.  Plus, they work like 6 feet from where I live.  I already watch/read all the political news every day on my own and me and my friends sit around thinking of funny skits with each other as characters anyway.  I think I could do this and I really want to.

4.   A Job.  Will you hire me?  I really like working.  I like being in an office setting.  I even like working long hours in an office setting.  Anything that gives me an excuse to wear a tie and pretend I hate work at a late happy hour is great by me.  I want to lawyer...I really do.  I really, really want to feel like I'm doing something.    It's just so difficult to get a job.  I never thought it would be this way.  C'mon, I'm friendly, smart, and look good in a double windsor...won't you give me a shot?

5.   Beer Sandwich.  Me and my friend Chris have been trying to figure out how to make a beer sandwich that lives up to our expectations for years.  No, beer soaked bread/meat doesn't count.  It's just not a beer sandwich.  If we as a people can put a man on the moon, we surely can make a sandwich out of beer....somehow.  This is silly, but I really want it.

6.   The Perfect Wifey.  Not right now.  God KNOWS, not right now.  But in the future I want a woman who's everything I want and nothing less.  I'll knows it when I sees it.  I refuse to settle for anything less.  I will never divorce anyone, ever.  I won't marry someone unless it seems utterly impossible not to...that's how I'll know.  I won't get into what the perfect women is for me, but that's what I want...probably more than anything.

7.   Samuel Adams Utopia.  For this last one I was bouncing between Utopia and world peace.  I eventually settled on the beer.  However, this isn't just any beer.  This is the strongest beer ever brewed (not anymore) at 27% alcohol!  Also, it is illegal in something like 13 states.  Samuel Adams is my favorite beer company and this is their most prized brew.  Depending on the year prices can run from a hundred dollars to six hundred.  The thing is, one bottle is only 24 oz.  I can't afford that business.  I guess it'll remain a want, instead of a have, for now.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 3 - Eight Fears

Welcome to Day three of the 10 day Blogger challenge.  Day One brought with it a list of 10 sekritz, some of which have already gotten me in trouble.  Day Two brought you 9 loves, one or two of which have also gotten me yelled at.  All in all it's been fun so I thought I would move on to Day Three...8 fears.  This is a good one.  Fears come from a deeper place than most things.  If you really want to know what a person's insecurities or anguish is about, really look into their'll find it.  I propose this will be the most interesting read of the ten days.

1.  Gas Masks.  This one actually came up just the other day when a friend pulled out his brand new gas mask.  He is a weird kid.  Generally, I have a little bit of a problem with people in masks, but it is not overwhelming.  However, you put someone in a gas mask, or god forbid try to put one on me, I will seriously freak out.  To me it is the single creepiest thing on the planet.  There is no possible good that can come of ever having/needing/using a gas mask.  Everything is bad.  Just seeing one makes me really, really uncomfortable.  I've never touched one and never will.  

2.  Blood.  This one is probably rather common.  I have something called vasovagal syncope.  This is a syndrome that causes people to faint via certain triggers.  I have two.  When I become dehydrated and feel any sort of pain, I can easily pass out.  Second, if I give or see someone giving blood I will get light headed.  This is the cause of my logical fear.  The illogical side arises when I see a needle go into an arm. If on TV I immediately turn my head.  However, if I watch something Like Jason movies or Saw I'm fine.  Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  Seeing blood purposefully removed from someones body just seems so unnatural that it scares me.

3.  Cancer.  I can't explain this.  Doesn't run in the family.  Haven't seen it in anybody I'm close to.  I don't know...I guess I just picture it being something that happens to me.  See number 7.  

4.  The Mets.  If I never see the Mets win the World Series, that might just be the worst thing that could ever happen.  It has to happen, it just has to.  This is a genuine fear.  It might seem silly, and I suppose it is...but IT HAS TO HAPPEN!

5.  Being Alone.  And by this I mean just simply being in a room or anywhere really for extended periods of time without the physical presence of another person.  When I'm there and I am alone it doesn't seem to bother me as much.  It really is the prospect of being alone beforehand that freaks me out.  It's not a fear of anything happening to me.  Generally, I feel safe all the time.  It's just having nobody around to talk to, or help, or interact with...I don't know, it just seems like such a waste.  It seems like you don't matter at that point.  I always label myself a social person.  Perhaps that is just so I don't have to be alone.

6.  Women.  Yeah, you scare me.  If you had any idea how much of the world you control men wouldn't stand a chance.  The power you have over me, and all [straight] men really, is beyond any power anybody has ever had over anybody else in the history of ever.  Personally, I have been in situations where I was completely and utterly blind to how I was being treated because the women were pretty, smiled nice and tricked me into thinking they were good for me using their feminine form and lady weapons.  I consider myself a rather stubborn, strong-minded male and yet still found myself in that situation unbeknownst to me.  It's frightening when you think about it.  

7.  Bad Luck.  I'm pretty superstitious for a person who is tends to be empirically inclined.  I usually don't believe in things that can't be proven but I swear there is nothing worse than a streak of bad things.  Also, I'm a poker player so I am convinced bad luck exists.  As a gambler I fear any swings in the card gods.  Also, I'm a Mets fan.

8.  Financial Discomfort.  Growing up pops was a cop and momz was a special aid school aid so while I had everything I needed and some of what I wanted, I could see the financial strain on my parents.  My parents made a lot of sacrifices so me and my brother could have stuff.  I don't want to have to make any sacrifices.  I fear living paycheck to paycheck.  And I fear retirement.  I know how irritated and stressed I get when I'm financially strapped and it's terrible.  I don't know that I could live a whole life like that as my parents did.  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 2 - Nine Loves

Today marks day two of Ms. Huma Rashid's bloggy challenge where I am to divulge nine things that I love.  Several other wonderful folks have joined in the fun as well.  I like this day better than last.  Yesterday involved a very strange weighing of what I knew were my sekritz versus what I was willing to divulge publically.  I have no such hesitation when it comes to things I love.  My only fear is that not listing Huma will bring with it a backlash of Hoomzian proportion.  I guess that'll have to wait for the fear day.  ON WITH IT!

1.   The New York Mets.  I know, this is rather stereotypical of a guy to name his sports team as one of his loves...but I really do have a serious emotional connection with this team that goes beyond sports.  The Mets are the not-so-lovable losers.  They don't have the resources of their city brethren, the pedigree, the history or background, the advantages, or the admiration of their peers.  My insecurities lead me to identify with these sorts of problems.  I am a first generation college student, first generation lawyer, and first generation move the hell out of Staten Island-er.  A few years ago when the Giants won the Superbowl, I teared up, mostly because the Giants are the only team I share with my father, with whom I don't get along.  If the Mets were to ever win the World Series (big if!), I would be a balling, blubbering mess.  Literally, typing that sentence just now actually made my eyes slightly tear up.  This team means the world to me...not just because it's baseball...but because it's me. 

2.   Swimming.  I love swimming.  Not like exercisey swimming, but just jumping in a pool or lake and splashing around for a long, long time.  I didn't have a pool in my backyard growing up.  However, my family spent each summer in the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains where my campground had a pool.  I used to go down to the pool at 10 am and not leave until 5 pm.  I was out of the pool for maybe 1 hour in between.  Even now, when I have access to a pool I never get out.  I sit there and prune up and splash around like a ten year old.  

3.   Scotch.  Yeah, I love Scotch.  Yesterday I mentioned a fear of alcoholism, but this is different.  It goes to a lot of aspects of my personality.  I love socializing.  I always wish to be out with people to converse with and there is no better place than sitting and having a drink.  I don't believe any spirit conduces itself to debate, sharing, hilarity, or reminiscing more than two fingers of Black Label.  I like that it burns a little bit.  It lets you know it's there.  I love the sophistication of it.  It makes me feel better about myself.  It's something to be earned.  As Roger Sterling of Mad Men, a noted Scotch drinker said, "we drink because it's good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it.  We drink because it's what men do".  

4.   Waterville, Ireland.  This is the greatest place I have ever been.  If I ever become wealthy enough to maintain three residences, I will have one here.  I consider it the most beautiful place on earth.  When I was 14 I went on a trip through Ireland with my older brother and cousin.  We pretty much stumbled upon this place accidentally and couldn't believe what we saw.  You can see pictures of it in this post.

5.   Blondes.  This is certainly not to the exclusion of other hair colored women...but I am an absolute sucker for a blonde girl.  It has caused....problems.  I have absolutely no idea why that is, or what it is about blondes...but I have trouble saying no.

6.   Manhattan.  I remember coming to the city as a child and always being amazed.  I was sure the only people that lived here were obscenely rich and important.  While I now know that not to be true, I think there is a subconscious adherence to that line of thought in my brain.  Even outside of that association I love everything about this city.  I love that I don't need a car and I can get anything I want, and I mean anything, in under a half an hour.  I love that I take the subway with my really famous mayor.  I love that there is a place for everything and everybody.  I love the way I feel when I'm walking around the streets.  I love that if you stay outside for just a few hours you will definitely see something amazing that you've never seen before.  I love that everyone has business to take care of and doesn't have time for pleasantries.  I love that a lot of the country thinks everyone here wears suits and ties to the office when in fact a vast majority of our workforce are blue collar to the core.  Most of all though, I love that I live in a place that to a lot of the world is a grand and impossible place to imagine living, much like I did as a kid.

7.   Breakfast.  By far the best meal of the day.  I think everyone can agree on we can move on from there.  My perfect breakfast includes: orange juice, tea, unlimited bacon, unlimited toast, sunny-side up eggs, sausage links, blood pudding, and one piece of french toast.  

8.   U2.  This is my favorite band.  When their music comes on, I go into a trance.  "With or Without You" is my favorite song of all time...go ahead and mock me.  When we went on that Ireland trip I mentioned earlier we rented a car and had one cd CASSETTE with us, U2 the best of 1980-1990.  I fell in love on those car rides listening to an Irish band while driving by the fields, mountains and pubs of Ireland.  I've seen them live twice, once in May of 2004 and once in September 2009 and both were beyond amazing.  I know, Bono is kind of a douche...I get it.  I love his music.

9.   My Friends.  I know I mentioned them yesterday but it's worth mentioning again.  These people are my family and without them I would not survive.  I have a very, very close group of nine or ten people who have been close to me since 2005 and close to each other since 2003.  I have never been so comfortable with a group of people like this.  I struggle with the idea that some may leave one day, or marry themselves out of regular visits, or move on.  But while we are all still together I try to take advantage of every opportunity.

That was easier.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

10 Days in the Tree

So I have not blogged since November.  I apologize.  I am taking the Bar exam in three weeks and decided the distraction of thinking of hullabaloo to present to you sparkling masses was too much of a burden for my measly mind.  That is until Faux Trixie (via the love of my life: Huma) presented something I could blog about where I did not have to think much. THAT.... I can hop on board with.

This Ten day challenge starts with 10 secrets about the Tree (me).  Back when I first planted the Tree I was regularly over-exposed in its pages.  I would divulge anything and, in fact, did.  I even attached my name to it....stupid tree.  Nowadays, a tad wiser, a pinch more damaged, and far less trusting...I find myself uncomfortable telling too much.  I am scared of people knowing too much about me, namely, people involved in my career.  I don't like this.  I consider myself open and honest and thus...will take part in this ten day challenge.  So, in no particular order:

1.   To those who don't know me very, very well I come off as a bit of a class-clown and sometimes even a person who takes important things so lightly as to be considered lazy.  I fear a vast majority of my law school classmates think this about me.  This actually offends me quite a bit.  I am far more thoughtful and passionate than people think and when others don't take me seriously, because I like to make people laugh any way I can, it seriously irks me.  I don't really tell people that....mostly because they wouldn't find it funny.  It is the thing in the world that bothers me most.

2.   I hate children.  Like, not just a little bit...but a lot.  My main exposure of late has been my almost 4 year old niece and nephew, both of whom I love very much, but both of whom I am more than happy to give back after an hour.  I have zero urge to have children....ever.  Now this can change, as many of my elder statesman have said it would....but I just don't see it.  I want to spend my time and my money on me and my future wife....and that is all.  I want to do as much as possible, and while "possible" includes children, they are most certainly to the detriment of everything else in the pie graph of "possible".

3.   In my life, up until about 4 years ago, I was never sure that any person ever liked me.  That's why I appreciate my college/current friends so much.  When I was growing up I spent a majority of my time at the baseball field.  My father was my coach, he was on the little league and babe ruth league board of directors and was the all-star team coach.  I was always certain that all my "friends" of that era A) didn't like me because they all felt I was only on all-star teams and playing a lot because my dad was in charge, and B) treated me well because they didn't want to upset the son of the guy in charge.  Then, throughout High School I went through the regular High School social structure and wasn't treated well.  I vowed to be different in college, but the same insecurities always hit me.  That changed in the fall of 2005, in my psychology lab.  (p.s. I was really good at baseball so eff them!)  

4.   I lost my virginity on September 11, 2002.  Yes, not quite as bad as one year prior...but still, that's kind of inappropriate.  Given, in reality it was 3 am of the night prior....but still, technically it was 9/11/02.  Not my proudest biographical statistic.

5.   I only went to law school so that I could be a sports agent and then made barely any attempt to make that happen.  I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do after college.  Before graduating with a degree in psychology I was accepted to several quality psychology graduate programs but decided not too long before the December '06 LSAT to attend law school and forgo seven years of psy. schooling.  I still hold on to that dream, but I have no idea how to make it happen, and sadly, very little faith that it is possible.  And now I'm stuck in a profession I'm not sure I like with no secure path to success within it.

6.   I have been in a relationship with someone (3 people) for 5.5 of the past 9 years and have never cheated on anyone.  The secret is that I came extremely close to cheating on one of them on two different occasions and was likely only an aggressive move from my counterpart away from it actually happening.  I guess that's not much of a secret, but if you know me, you know I'm pretty ashamed of that.

7.   On a not-so-completely unrelated note, I have personally ended two different relationships of two years or more including one engagement and almost fatally interfered with another two year-er, by being the other guy.  Note, it wasn't just fooling around, all three of them led to those relationships listed above.  I used to wear that as a badge of honor, as if I had conquered some guy.  Now, having grown a bit, and having now been on the other side of that coin...I see the error of my ways and why that is absolutely nothing to be prideful about.  I don't regret having done it, because I loved those relationships...I regret having taken advantage of their personal situations in a way that hurt someone else so much.

8.   I have at least two or three major stories that I tell people on a regular basis that are completely, completely made up.  These stories are about very serious subjects and I tell them in great, great detail.  I tell them often, I tell them in important situations, and I won't tell anyone which ones they are....but they exist.

9.   The one and only reason I have not moved to Europe is my friends.  They are the one thing I can't live without that is currently in my life.  If it weren't for them, THOSE BASTARDS, I would currently live in either France or Ireland...most likely France.  I love Europe, I'm not a huge fan of 'murrica right now, and I miss going to the doctor.

10.   I don't believe in God anymore.  At least, not in the traditional sense.  I used to self-identify as agnostic meaning I thought there was a higher power, who cared about us, I just refused to say it was Jebus, or Allah or Vishnu or whatever....because I could never know for sure and as long as God was good, he/she/it would forgive me.  Now, I always questioned this belief because I'm very weary of faith so it wasn't going to take much, but the last year of my life has eradicated any belief in a caring and observant God.  Nowadays, I believe there is some higher force or power that created everything at the "beginning" and had fulfilled it's duties at that time.  Although, on occasion, I still talk to my Grandpa.  I figure if anyone/anything up there will listen and care for me, it would be him.

Well, there's that.