Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Welcome to The Olds

Five years ago, when my friend AJ Daulerio turned 30, a friend of his wrote him a letter on Blacktable titled HERE ARE 10 THINGS TO EXPECT AFTER YOU TURN 30. I remember reading it at the time and thinking, "Oh, ha! That's funny! But it doesn't relate to me!" Well. It's still funny, at least.



Somebody we know told me you're turning 30 tomorrow. I'd congratulate you, but frankly, I don't have a goddamn nice thing to say about it. I do, however, take perverse delight in telling you what you can expect or should keep in mind:

1. Lest you forget, everyone you know will remind you that you indeed are fucking old. They're not just giving you a hard time. This in fact is true. You are old.

2. You are now officially too old to be characterized in the press and in critical circles as a "rising star" of avant guard journalism or cultural commentary. That plaudit is for young guys -- guys in their 20s -- whose genius is so precocious they actually develop a sphere of influence all to themselves. College co-eds -- English majors and journalism students -- secretly doodle in their journals about fellating those guys just to be close to the genius. They also make notes in their journals about how guys like you creep them out. They wonder why you're not married.

3. On the upside, you needn't be too concerned about those co-eds anymore. As you progress from 30 to 31 and on to 32, your desire to actually sleep with them will drop precipitously. The healthy post-college-aged guy you once were -- cruising Manhattan any night of the week on booze-fueled sex junkets -- is now the cautious, chronically tired guy of Rolaids commercials and NPR call-in shows. I would tell you this change happens gradually, that you still have 18 months of Wednesday night beer specials and post-2 a.m. bong hits with Kelly and Christina, but in fact you should start feeling the effects by Tuesday.

4. 401K. These four characters were nothing more than unique keys on your Dell yesterday. Tomorrow they will take on a daunting significance that clouds your creativity like charcoal-grey cumulonimbi threatening the Merry Retirement Trailer Community in western Pennsylvania. Overnight, financial desparation switches from sexy artist cachet to a mark of blandness and failure. Is it true you don't yet own a condo?

5. You're only 5 years away from your first prostate exam. Let's get fired up!

6. Speaking of doctors, start scheduling more time for them in your Microsoft Outlook calendar. Organized sports are out of the question at your age, and yes, it's true, you really have been smoking for almost two decades now.

7. No, what you're hearing on that kid's radio in Washington Park is not some Outkast B-side. It's actually a whole new breed of hip hop/trance fusion that you had no idea exists. Yes, I agree, it does sound awfully loud.

8. Remember when you laughed your ass off at Chris Rock's "old guy in the club" bit? (No seriously, I'm asking you... do you remember that? I mean it was quite some time ago. Sometimes those things slip.)

9. Hangovers: they're more than just myth.

10. Starting in 24 hours, you are officially closer to 40 than to 20. How're they hanging now, kid?

Getting Carded

Jess and Chris. For the record, they both look equally lovely in a two-piece.

My favorite birthday card of the day, sent to me by both Jessica and Chris completely independently of each other. These are my friends.

In Which I Add A 30th Ring To My Tree Trunk

Is it just me or does the cake keep getting smaller and smaller?

Monday, July 27, 2009

He/She Is Right About The Relish, By The Way

This is the most enthralling piece of commentary I’ve seen on the fast food industry in years. You got served, Eric Schlosser. I couldn't write anything more entertaining than this so I'm going to just transcribe part of this monologue on "bringing the fever" at Krispy Creme:

Then when we opened up the box, the bitch didn’t even have the order right as far as I’m concerned. Because, Bitch, ain’t nobody asked for all these jelly-filled donuts, Bitch. As far as I’m concerned, as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t ask for no JELLY-FILLED, Boo! I don’t like all this motherfuckin lubrication around my donuts. I don’t like the way it feels when I bite into a donut and there’s all this shit pouring into my mouth. I don’t too much care for that. I don’t too much care for all that jelly motherfuckin navigatin through my mouth like GP -motherfuckin -S, Bitch.

And that’s another thing. Speaking of, let’s just talk about this overall, in fast food in general. I can’t stand when someone gives me an attitude. Because some days I put up with it a little bit, you understand? Because I don’t want no spit or boogers or FECAL MATTER REMNANTS in my meal. And a lot of times, let’s say you get a Big Mac Meal, number one -- special sauce and shit on that ass -- with your fries and your drink, you don’t even too much know. There could be a booger in there, you know? Cuz they got that green little relish in that burger, so therefore you don’t really know if that’s a booger or if that’s relish. You just have to go on faith and hope that shit is relish that you’re looking at. So what I’m saying is you don’t want to take a chance. So you want to be nice and treat people the right way, which is what I do just by nature.

Religion 2.0

I was flipping television channels just now and came across pastor Joel Osteen, who was delivering his weekly sermon to Lakewood Church (and the rest of us, via ABC Family). I’ve never seen his sermons before so I watched for a few minutes. It was pretty much what I expected until he started quoting Bible verses. Mind you, the theme of today’s sermon was “Don’t Have A Critical Spirit” so my hands are a little tied here, but I will say this: it’s been awhile since I’ve read Matthew, but I definitely missed the parts about telephone poles and boomerangs on the first read-through. I can only pray that next week Jesus will be referring to his disciples as his entourage. If you’re going to go for the update, really go for the update, you know?

And speaking of updates, after those riveting pull quotes, you better believe I went to to see what else he had to offer. What I found is that this week's message is already available for online purchase. Impressive! But can it recommend other life lessons I might be interested in? And tell me in what order they're ranked in terms of popularity and allow me to debate their merits with other customers in a protected forum under a catchy pseudonym? If not, I may have to take my business elsewhere. I hear the Jews are pretty good with media.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

If Only It Were True

Reading between the lines outside Zaitzeff on Avenue A.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I've Peaked


Maundi Crater

Horombo Hut campgrounds -- Kilimanjaro in the background to the left (right? whatever) of my head

Zebra Rock

Above the clouds at 12,000 feet

A lot further than it looks

Sunrise on the peak of Kilimanjaro

"Y'all must've been trippin', climbing a mountain in the dark like that."

"Naw sun! We wore flashlights on our hades."

Posing with the totally random, unassuming sign on the top of Kili

Suck it, Everest

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

There's a Red Bull Commercial in Here Somewhere

Me rambling on the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro at six in the morning. Note the excessive use of the word "awesome." I blame the altitude.

That the Red Bull didn't freeze in the minus 10-degree temperatures like the rest of the liquids we'd brought only further makes me question the beverage's ingredients.

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's Not Gay If It's Yourself, Right? Right???

A friend of mine just completed a 300-question survey from some dating site called He emailed this to me with the subject line "Most interesting OkCupid question of the day." When I say "a friend of mine," I actually mean a friend of mine. I have a boyfriend. And if I were answering this question, obviously the answer would be yes.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Made It!

Me just after reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro at sunrise.

Incidentally, after six hours of hiking my arms were the only parts of my body that I could still move.

More to come...