I never liked playing golf. It’s a sport that breeds frustration, even for those who are more-or-less consistently good. Unlike baseball, a sport in which I was able to make on-the-fly mechanical adjustments—and then excel—to me, golf presented a horse of a different color; I was never able to wrap my head around how fickle the sport could be despite its simplicity. How was it that on one day, I could par a hole, but the next—and on the very same hole, no less—I could shoot a double or triple-bogey? It is still unfathomable to me.
My father was very supportive of me playing golf, despite how its in-game bipolarity took a toll on my enjoyment and eventual “retirement.” He’d offer little pieces of calm advice, which would often become go-to soliloquies when I’d contemplate tomahawking my seven iron into the ravine.
Here were some of my favorites:
“It’s a good sport to know, for business-sake.”
“Don’t worry about that shot, just move onto the next one.”
“Try to develop a rhythm. This game is all about rhythm.”
“Just give yourself an eight on that hole.”
My father wasn’t trying to push me to become a professional golfer or anything, but rather, he felt that I had potential to be a good golfer, and that I might find joy in a sport that I could play into my twilight years. He was right, of course. I stopped playing baseball after high school, and while a bunch of my college buddies attempted to turn tag football and basketball games into a bi-weekly tradition, the idea fizzled out when we realized how white and Jewish we all were. Alas, future old people need sports, too.
And even though, in my non-golf world, I am a very even-keeled person, the lack of “control” I felt while handling a golf club made me prone to angry outbursts on the course. At a certain point, my father stayed mum; no longer bestowing his harmless advice upon my once willing ears. It was unfortunately no longer of use. In my darkest course moment, I told off an elderly lady when she claimed I hadn’t yelled “fore” loud enough, and suggested that I work on my “golf etiquette.” In retrospect, perhaps I should have. But at the time, I called her an “old bitch.” My father had to slip the country club starter a twenty dollar bill to defuse the situation.
Over time, fundamental parts of my golf game deteriorated, and with it, went my pain threshold. While I, at one point, had a pretty steady drive, suddenly, I wasn’t able to hit the ball remotely straight with a driver anymore. Dumping my powerful one-driver for a measly three iron didn’t setup my approach shots, which forced me, psychologically, to make up for it in other ways. Imposing this type of approach on oneself is poison, and thus, my game became poisoned.
What’s odd about golf is that there really is no exterior pressure: it’s just you, your club of choice, and the ball. There’s no defenders in your face, or ninety-five mile-per-hour pitches being hurled in your direction, or any noise, for that matter. The only pressure one feels during even the most casual game of golf, is oneself. And that, for me, was too much.
It doesn’t take much to leave a lasting impression on a little kid. Some of my closest friendships, for instance, were forged on early-life idiosyncrasies like diverse sticker collections, hilarious hand-puppet skills, and even just being tall enough to reach out-of-reach things. Ah, to be young.
But while the kids I knew idealized astronauts, fire fighters, Superman, and even George H.W. Bush (there’s always one eight year-old Republican in every class), my hero was Tim Bogar.
Tim Bogar was a mediocre reserve infielder on the early-to-mid-1990’s New York Mets teams. From 1993 to 1994, his first two seasons in the Major Leagues, the bench player owned a combined .226 batting-average with just five homeruns. But my fandom wasn’t based on statistics. No, I wasn’t that vain back in the 1990’s. Tim Bogar was my hero because he saved my life. Well, sort of.
It all started during Mets Spring Training in the 1995 pre-season. Like all semi-affluent Jewish grandparents, mine had a house in Florida, so our family decided to pay both them—and the New York Mets—a visit.
My dad, who was a big Mets fan in his own right, bought us all Spring Training tickets, and drove the entire Berkon clan to St. Lucie to see some live, pre-season baseball.
Aside from the usual little-kid lure of Carvel soft serve in a miniature, plastic Mets cap cup, I was specifically obsessed with collecting player’s autographs. Unlike most fans who yearned and beckoned for the likes of Todd Hundley, Rico Brogna, John Franco, or Generation K (Bill Pulsipher, Jason Isringhausen, Paul Wilson) to put sharpie-to-baseball, my prerequisites were a little more simple: a person had to be wearing a New York Mets uniform. I swear I have higher standards for things now.
We arrived at the ballpark early to watch some batting practice, and to ensure I would have ample time to retrieve my precious autographs. Unfortunately, the Mets players were being particularly stingy in the signature department that day. They instead seemed more concerned with their pre-game stretches, hot babe ogling, and pranking each other in the hot Florida sun.
My hopes of adding more Mets autographs to my collection appeared as bleak as my now-soup-textured Carvel. Yet, as I began to retreat up the stadium steps, Tim Bogar poked his head out of the Mets dugout. My disappointment quickly turned to jubilation. By gone it, this was my chance!
I rushed back down the stairs, and towards the Mets infielder, who had already begun to sign some memorabilia for fans. Unbeknownst to me, and perhaps realizing this was too their only chance at nabbing any John Hancocks, hordes of fans followed my tiny footsteps in pursuit of the career .228 hitter’s autograph.
As I eagerly stretched-out my baseball and sharpie towards Bogar, a swarm of older fans bum-rushed the front row. Now pinned up against the bannister—and unable to turn to my older brother or father for support—I did what all scared eight-year olds would do. I began to cry.
Despite my pitiful tears and shrieks for help, the autograph-hungry fans didn’t relent. To them, the quest for retrieving Tim Bogar’s autograph was a classic case of survival of the fittest. And I, unfortunately, was Piggy.
But just when I thought no one would notice my terror and angst, and I would surely be trampled to death in a very mediocre part of Florida, one person did notice: Tim Bogar.
Bogar quickly sprung to action, like a true hero always does, and shouted: “Hey, everyone, can’t you see you’re hurting the kid!”
Bogar’s words had an almost antidote effect on the crowd. The once-crazed fans immediately stopped pushing and shoving, and calmly let me back to the front of the line, where the concerned infielder stood.
“Are you all right, kid?” Bogar asked.
“Yeah, I’m all right,” I said, as I wiped some errant tears from my face.
Bogar, now smiling, took my baseball, signed it, and thanked me for being such a big fan.
I can’t recall if the Mets won that game, or really anything else about that Florida trip. But as long as I have my marbles, I’ll never forget how Tim Bogar, who really had one of the most subpar baseball careers in history, saved my life.
- Donate a sizable chunk of my bi-monthly paycheck to the Westboro Baptist Church
- Drink Rogaine on the reg as if it’s a tasty new Snapple flavor
- Read up about euro shams, and subsequently become a “euro sham snob”
- Genuinely inform prospective employers that my favorite film is Air Bud, and demand that they would also have to hire my wheelchair-strapped sister, Jess (pronounced: YES)
- Eat Panda Express for every meal, and consume it while using an elliptical machine at Equinox
- Wear ill-fitting penny loafers with very thick socks
- Celebrate Hitler’s birthday like it’s Christmas
The hurricane has struck, most if not all of your loved ones are dead, and the civilized society we once knew has subsequently been overrun by zombies. While this is all new and quite scary, it doesn’t mean that you should just let yourself go from a health perspective.
Below are five tips on how to eat healthy and stay fit during a post-hurricane/apocalyptic world:
(1) Not all human protein has the same health benefits. For instance, Korean females contain the lowest amount of cholesterol, while African-American males contain the highest. So be sure to set your cold-blood murder targets accordingly if you want to look tight at the beach.
(2) Portions are the key to a balanced, cannibalistic diet. After you slaughter your best friend, who willingly let you into his/her home, you don’t have to eat the whole body in one sitting. You will surely be full after eating his/her arm, leg, or breast meat, so don’t let the memories of your early-childhood sleepovers, Summer teenage trips to Jones Beach, and best man/woman wedding speeches send you into a binge-eating frenzy.
(3) Contrary to mainstream rhetoric, light snacking of bodily extremities throughout the day is perfectly fine. Aside from the nuts, seeds, and fruit one might find along the way, a new study from the Zombiatic Ministry of Health asserts that human toes, fingers, hands, and feet are just as nutritious as the “usual suspects” and are far more fulfilling to boot.
(4) Use human oil for cooking purposes. Believe it or not, the oil one can extract from the skin of a recently butchered human body is more healthy than grapeseed, walnut, and avocado oil combined. Also, be sure to check out this delicious human blood vinaigrette recipe from Zombie Food Network.
(5) Eat kale.
Dear my dearest dear,
I miss you like God is good. I miss the way you open your eyes in the morning. I miss the way you smile during your favorite television shows. I miss the way you flip the pages of your voraciously read women’s literature. I even miss how excited you got after you tried on that new pair of Louboutins you said “don’t worry” in reference to you paying me back for it. Of course I’m not worried!
I miss the way you scratch your ears, wiggle your nose, and nibble on your bottom lip. I miss the way your toes curl in a cold room, or how you sit on the air conditioner after a hot Summer’s day. Speaking of which, I had to pay Con Edison for June, July, and August’s bill since your checking account had a negative balance. You should probably look into that, my sweetness.
But that shouldn’t get in the way of our undying love for one another. Our too-rare visits are moments I will cherish for eternity. There’s nothing more heart-warming than when I see you get off the Acela Amtrak train—which you make me pay for, for some reason. When you jump into my arms and kiss me, it almost makes me forget that I routinely spend my entire paycheck and more on dinners, theater tickets, and drinks for you and your friends whenever we’re together. But you’re worth every penny—or $87,984.39 to be exact.
I look forward to the day we’ll be together again, and I won’t have to write lofty letters punctuating my adoration for you. In fact, I wouldn’t even write you letters if I felt you weren’t intentionally ignoring my voice messages, texts, and emails—all of which clearly outline how the money you owe me significantly trumps my remaining student debt.
I’d hate for this whole money thing to create a rift between the two of us. I know that we will get beyond this, and it might even be something we look back and laugh about. That said, please don’t be upset with me when you get served. Trust me, it’s for the best. For us.
So please, my dear, pay me back. I could even put you on a friendly, thirty-year payment plan. Just—somehow—acknowledge that you’re receiving this.
P.S. You also owe me $337 for dry cleaning, $930 for that vintage trunk from Restoration Hardware, $89 per month for your phone service, $143 for your half of Brittany’s wedding gift, $229 for those bottles of organic Acai juice cleanse, $499 for the new iPad, $1,225 for your Bikrim Yoga classes, and $9.99 for the new Taylor Swift album.
For those who care deeply about the environment—and about picking-up chicks—use the following:
1. When you walk into a room, you light it up like a Light-Emitting Diodes bulb.
2. Our bond is so rare, it should be above the Crested Ibus on the endangered species list.
3. We’re like two peas in an organic, locally grown pod.
4. You’re more precious than a recently-planted tree in a country with high levels of deforestation.
5. I bet just kissing you would lower my greenhouse gas emissions.
6. You’d make me as happy as a grass-fed cow.
7. Our union makes sense, like when a highly-funded university implements solar paneling for its new science lab.
8. Your beauty is more stunning than a wind turbine at sea.
9. Your carbon footprint is so low, it makes Jill Stein look like a Republican.
10. Sex with me would last for hours, like a well-charged Chevrolet Volt.
At its core, BBH’s recent “Susan Glenn” Axe campaign is hardly presenting a new revelation or message in the wide world of advertising. The brand’s prior campaign, which more or less featured six-pack-equipped males with lustful, skimpy girls hanging off them, wasn’t truly different, ideologically, from their recent “Susan Glenn” sensation. Both campaigns essentially state that, with Axe, you get what you want in life—which, of course, are hot chicks. However, the key difference between the two is that “Susan Glenn” delves into the—until-now—untapped psyche of the average teenager. And boy, is this powerful stuff.
Narrated by the perennially-real-sounding Kiefer Sutherland, the spot explores the ultimate unattainable fruit—one’s high school crush. The copy is written retrospectively, with good ole Kiefer almost wistfully recalling his supposed crush, Susan Glenn. Yet Susan wasn’t just the girl that got away, but rather, the girl that was never in reach. This is an important distinction.
Similar to the campaign’s vanilla surface point, the usage of Sutherland is too nothing new to advertising. The former 24 star is a voice-over king, and, in general, having celebrities endorsing consumer products is as old as dirt. Yet, in the case of Axe/”Susan Glenn,” seeing a celebrity like Kiefer—who seemingly has it all—touch on something so intrinsically human, not only helps sell the spot, but also, more importantly, casts a completely different, more relatable—and haunting, for that matter—vibe than Axe’s former faux fantasy-land agenda.
But perhaps it is the the close of the spot that truly takes the [deodorant] cake. Up to this point, Sutherland is just the voice-over; but BBH had another gem up their sleeve. The audience sees the spot transition from Sutherland’s yonder year’s world into his present-day, “I’m Kiefer friggin’ Sutherland” world. Now, speaking directly to us, he states, “If I could do it again, I’d do it differently”—and then we’re hit with a tagline of, “Fear No Susan Glenn.” Woah. Did you just get chills? I know I did.
There is no doubt that BBH’s “Susan Glenn” campaign is superior to its previous campaign, but that doesn’t really matter. The real question is whether “Susan Glenn” can help Axe win back the incredible volume of customers it lost to Old Spice over the past few years. One can make the argument that while “smell[ing] like a man” is important (ala Old Spice), “having the confidence of a man”—as Axe is now, more or less, suggesting—is the more effective, provocatively psychological selling point.
I was fourteen years old on September 11, 2001. It was the beginning of 9th Grade, and I was very nervous. I was nervous because I was a little on the chubby side, and had braces. I was nervous because just the year before, the girl who I liked (and still continued to like) informed me she would only lose her virginity to Brad Pitt. And I was nervous because I was terrible at Spanish, and my Spanish class was scheduled to be my first class that day.
Like most mornings, I arrived at school, and went to the cafeteria to hang out with friends, and grab some breakfast. Liz, the much beloved Hispanic cafeteria lady, made a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich that would even make Gordon Ramsey a little wet. Said sandwich probably played a supporting role in my above mentioned chubbiness. As I waited for my sandwich to be prepared, I started watching the miniature-sized television Liz always had set-up near her cooking station. Usually, her television clamored with Spanish soap operas or unintelligible interviews with, I assume, Hispanic celebrities. This morning, however, it was the local news, in Spanish.
Out of boredom, I tuned in, and attempted to understand the foreign language that completely befuddled me for my Middle School and High School years. The slick-looking anchor mentioned something about an “avion” and an “edificio.” Coincidentally, these were two of the very few Spanish words I actually knew. I thought to myself, “Plane and building! I can understand Spanish! I did it!” I was basically fluent now. But then the news segment cut to b-roll of the “avion” crashing into the “edificio.” My moment of self-celebration and approval turned quite somber and scared. What the fuck just happened? Moments later, the Dean of my grade entered the cafeteria, and announced that there would be an emergency school-wide meeting in the auditorium. I grabbed my egg sandwich (remember, I was chubby), and joined my schoolmates towards the auditorium.
I took a random seat in the packed audience, and braced myself for the news. The auditorium was usually a place where we watched awkward Jewish girls attempt hip-hop dancing, student-presidential candidates promise us the likes of installing vending machines (a notoriously impossible, but popular platform), and even that one time when my school thought it would be a good idea to let a zoo keeper come in and release a hawk. For better or worse, the school’s auditorium was always used as a vehicle for positive events. But over the course of the next ten or so minutes, its oft-light-hearted stage and podium informed us that New York—that we—were under attack.
Many students began crying. Others were just silent with their thoughts. And some, unfortunately, realized that their family members worked in or around the World Trade Center area. We all had different emotional reactions. For me, it was the first time—ever, in fact—I stopped thinking about my low self-esteem, the supposed “girl of my dreams,” and the fact that I sucked, really hard, at Spanish. This moment was much more significant than anything comparatively petty that had happened in my privileged life.
With the help of a friend’s parent in the neighboring area, I walked across the bridge, from the Bronx, and back into Manhattan. I hailed a cab, and arrived home. Upon entering my apartment, I instantly hugged my parents. Once their expected, Jewish neuroticism subsided, and I assured them that I was—obviously—okay, we all sat down to watch the news. Over the course of days, we tuned in—glued to the television—trying to cope with and understand the how, why, and who’s of this tragic attack.
There are still many facets of September 11, 2001 that remain unknown, and might never be fully unearthed, but a lot has happened to me in eleven years. I have since graduated High School and College, I’ve gotten laid a few times (though not by my former crush), and I’ve lost weight and proudly sport straight teeth. Yet, as those various life events—important in their own right—become a combined blur, it is still that incredible isolated moment—awaiting my breakfast sandwich, and beginning to realize the calamity of, arguably, our nation’s greatest moment of vulnerability—that I will never forget. And for the record, I am still terrible at Spanish.
…And I’m going to have to punch that person square in his/her fucking face.
As a professional person and frequently bearded adult (pronounced “a-DOLT”), it is my duty to drink as much coffee as possible in a given day. It tastes pretty good, looks super cool, and makes you go to the bathroom often (which, subsequently, positions you to work less). These are all good traits. However, when you drink too much coffee (or espresso, specifically), as I did yesterday, bad things happen.
Maybe it was because the espresso at Ost Cafe in the East Village was particularly powerful, or perhaps I was just concerned about dying alone, but regardless, it got to me. I was shaking. And not “shaking” like how many girls describe themselves angrily reacting to something minuscule, like Starbucks running out of pump caramel syrup, for instance. No, this was real shaking. Twitching, in fact. My heart was sweating.
Yet, I don’t know why I feel the need to fill my body with that much caffeine. There are some people who literally cannot wake up in the morning until their first cup of Joe; but for me, it’s not like that. There’s often days where I don’t take one sip of coffee. So it must be out of impulsive indulgence.
On a final note, before I curl up into a ball on the floor, I think that if my body were to be described by a pop, love ballad from the past ten or so years—but with slightly altered lyrics to properly address my current state—it would have to be “[My] Body is a Wonderland [With Lots of Caffeine-Induced Earthquakes].” So thanks a lot, John Mayer.
This is that blog post where the blogger (me) apologizes for not writing on his/her blog.
The following are my excuses for not having the time to write something new here for almost two months:
-worked on a postmortem, prospective Amelia Earhart Playboy spread
-staged a coup in a Third-World country in order to monopolize the export of bananas and import of scantily-dressed East Coast Jewish girls
-tried to create a genetically-engineered Pinto bean that would make men’s junk bigger (and succeeded in doing so)
-went on a strict diet of mall-chain frozen yogurt
-got fucking shit-faced
-wrote an 800 page book relating post-World War II existentialism to present-day mass consumption of cheap box wine and Trader Joe’s frozen pizza
-toned my body for bikini season*
-was too busy at work, where they specifically pay me to do their work, not write blog posts on a blog no one reads
*”bikini season” was a yearly Mayan season where men drained blood from their body for weeks on end in order to look good during the warmer temperatures in their traditional cotton breechclout (aka “bikinis”).
I just want to put this out there before I get started. Jennifer, I am in no way a stalker or pervert. While I enjoy the occasional Friends re-run and think you’re a relatively pleasant screen actress, I do not possess a single Jennifer Aniston poster, cardboard standout, or shrine/sniffing closet. Frankly, if it were to come down to seeing one of your movies versus not, I would probably choose the latter. That all being said, I would date you. Hard.
In the past, you have dated some extremely handsome and cool people. The likes of Brad Pitt, Vince Vaughn, Paul Sculfor, John Mayer, and Justin Theroux come to mind. I cannot pretend to physically or socially live-up to any of those men (though people have said I resemble Zachary Quinto and/or Eli Roth), but where I might lack in those departments, I excel in being “nice.” For instance, after a long day of being an incredibly super hot celebrity, I would cook you a nice dinner (do you like eggplant parmesan?), ask you how your day was (I’m assuming awesome), and totes be down to watch any of your critically-panned movies (even The Bounty Hunter). Did any of those above mentioned guys ever do that for you? Doubt it.
But like any hypothetical and completely irrational celebrity/normal person coupling, there would be some hurdles. For starters, you live in Los Angeles, and I reside in New York. Someone would have to move, and seeing as you can be Men’s Health magazine’s “Sexiest Woman of All Time” anywhere in the world—whereas my current job is in New York—I’m sort of thinking you’d have to move here. Also, while I dig your mix of Greek, Scottish, Italian, and Irish ancestry, I plan on raising my kids Jewish. Wikipedia didn’t mention how religious you are, but we would have to broach the subject of you converting to Judaism (or at the very least learning enough Hebrew to help our prospective children with memorizing their Haftorah portion). Lastly, I am currently in a long-term, and very stable relationship with my girlfriend. I wouldn’t suggest a “fight to the death” over me, but maybe some sort of wet-tee wrestling match. This can be decided later.
In conclusion, I think it’s pretty obvious we will never be together. Perhaps it’s for the best. Judging by the slew of sexy dudes who’s loins you’ve frequented over the years, it’s possible you will never look to date/marry a genuinely “nice” person like myself. But in the event you decide to make the change, I will be here, waiting to love you like you’ve never been loved (assuming you move to New York, become a Jew, and maybe mud wrestle my wonderful girlfriend out of the picture).
It’s the middle of January, so naturally, it’s the perfect time to be thinking about girls dressing slutty for Halloween. Throughout my long history of slut-watching on Halloween, I’ve observed slutty cops, slutty cowgirls, slutty nurses, and various other slutty outfits. But the one constant through this sluttiness has been its lacking slut-originality. So for the zero ladies out there reading this, maybe this October, try out the following slutty costumes: slutty DMV worker, slutty Verizon customer service representative stationed in India, slutty long-tenured Walmart employee without health care, and maybe even slutty delusional Ron Paul supporter. The above slutty-suggestions will most certainly turn some heads, and still guarantee that Derrick from Sigma Alpha Epsilon roofies your jungle juice.
Black people have it good. Maybe not in areas of the country where they still fly the Confederate flag and think “ya’ll” is a word real adults use, but in the less incestuous, pro-sodomite sectors, black folk are king. This is simply due to three life-altering abilities that white people do not possess: wearing orange or purple button-down shirts, sporting classic dress hats, and casually shaving their heads. The combination of these three things nets the average black person more booty* than Rod Stewart scored in his prime. But, on the other end of the race spectrum, if a white person were to attempt any of these three styles, without fail, they would look extremely goofy, be unanimously bald, and die alone.
*not gold-filled treasure
After a long workday, there is something both wildly disturbing and incontrovertibly cathartic about waiting for the train. These soiled walls and floors, hobo-commandeered benches, and rat-inhabited tracks all inspired the likes of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and even Cameo to make some pretty incredible music. But once that nostalgic moment filled with subway-idiosyncrasies passes you by, you realize that you’ve been standing in the same place (probably next to or in a pile of human feces) for a very full seven minutes, and the God damn, fucking train still hasn’t arrived.