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new york survival guide, part 2
electric boogaloo
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
3.6.02
pop culture


Yup. It's official. I've done the math. Do you believe I've been living in New York City for 1,382 days? Do you believe I started this column with a one-word sentence? Do you believe - aww, don't you trust me - me wise magic?

That's for those of you who think I haven't been including enough random Van Halen lyrics in my columns.

Back to New York - the safest little city in the world. Obviously NYC was seen as kind of a crazy place even before September 11; now they have to bribe people with show tickets just to get them to visit. But for many of us, it's home, and we wear that badge with pride. When people talk about New Yorkers, they're talking about my friends and me. Assuming they know my friends and me. Otherwise, they're likely talking about other people.

But what is it intrinsically about being a New Yorker that sets us apart from the rest of the world? And how is it possible to tell a brand new transplant from a seasoned veteran of this urban jungle? Well, I wrote a column a while ago on a few ways to cope with life in the big city. Having continued to live and thrive here, I think I've picked up a few more morsels of wisdom that can be passed on. You can thank me later. Or argue profusely. With these new pills I'm taking, critique just rolls off my back.

1. Buy a black leather coat.

Yes, I know that everyone else on the island of Manhattan is already wearing a black leather coat. And no, if you already own one, I'm not suggesting you need a second (except for you in the glasses; that one looks terrible on you). The idea, survival-wise, is to blend in - if you were in Detroit, you'd wear a mask of fear; in New York City, you wear a black leather coat.

Not only is it like urban camouflage, but a black leather coat is also useful to have because it never goes out of style, and if you get a good one, they're sturdy as hell. On the minus side, at the end of the night, when everyone is trying to get their coat out of a non-attended coatroom, it's not unlike trying to find a needle in a needle stack. However, if you've been practicing your kickboxing like your mother told you to, you should be fine.

2. If a taxi stops for you, jump into it immediately.

These guys don't get paid for sitting halfway into the right lane, blocking traffic while you and your friends stand around outside the cab, trying to decide if you're better off going to 92nd and 1st or 92nd and 2nd. Spend more than 4 seconds not opening the door to get in, and they'll take off faster than an F-14 jet. If you're not sure where you're going, there's really only two solutions: a) wait until you do know where you're going before you hail the cab - there's bound to be another one along, as I think the number of taxis in New York recently surpassed the number of trees. Or b) get in the cab, tell the driver a random intersection in the general area of where you're going, and then keep refining it and changing your minds until he's so happy to get you out of his car that he doesn't notice you just gave him a 70¢ tip on a $7.30 fare.

I have a coworker who recently tried to hail the same taxi as another gentleman, and while they were standing on the side of the street making the "no, it's okay, you can take this one" gesture, the driver sped off, leaving both of them cabless. And people wonder why New Yorkers come off as inconsiderate. The road to Hell may be paved with good intentions, but the road to wherever you're going in New York, apparently, is not.

Oh, and if you're ever thinking about trying to catch a cab at rush hour, don't. These guys have brilliantly decided that at approximately 5:00pm, they're going to change shifts, meaning the odds of them picking you up are just slightly less than the odds of a spaceship picking you up. The main accomplishment of this plan is that at the one time of the day when the most people would be wanting to catch cabs, they're instead greeted with a sea of "Off Duty" lights. It's a wonderful system; I say take a bus.

3. Start peppering your speech with things only a New York resident would know or say.

It doesn't even matter if they're irrelevant. The next time you're in New York and someone says, "pass the salt," simply respond with, "Salt? I can't believe the MTA stopped running the 9 train." (Okay, maybe that's a bit too surreal, but as a bonus, it would also prove that you've been here since last summer, when they did a major overhaul of the subway lines.)

The trick to blending in is not showing your naïveté or ignorance of all things Manhattan. Even for most people who live in one of the other boroughs (Note: there are four others) "the City" is specifically Manhattan. I often find myself saying things like, "I left the City at around midnight to head back to Queens." As though Queens isn't part of New York City (which it is, though the jury's still out on Staten Island).

Other expressions to try to work into conversations: coffee regular, bridge and tunnel crowd, slice, I miss Rudy, blocking the box, no hats - no jeans, bagel cart, 6th floor walk-up, two-fers, $5 for a beer seems reasonable, lox spread (never smoked salmon cream cheese), New York's bravest, and friggin'.

4. Make sure you always know where the best bagel place, diner, pizza, Chinese, and deli in your neighborhood are.

Nothing smacks of Nouveau-Nuevo as much as someone who doesn't know his own neighborhood. Hell, I know people who haven't ventured out of the four-block radius around their apartments in years, but they know who delivers the best beef with broccoli at any hour.

I mean, picture it, you're lying in bed the morning after, next to the woman you've managed to lure back to your place on the pretense that you're a record producer, and she says, "I want you to take me to breakfast." Now, a real New Yorker would, of course, dial the closest place from memory and have it delivered, but you just stare at her and say, "Ummm…I think there might be a coffee place a few blocks away." She's like, "I'm outta here, dude. You're a schmuck." And then when you see her with all of her friends three weeks later while you're playing pool at a bar, she says something to them, causing her group to point at you and start laughing. Your concentration is shot, so you accidentally scratch on the 8 ball, and suddenly you owe some guy named Vito $40 that you don't have. He says he'll call it even if you find a buyer for the gram of coke he's got in his pocket. Unfortunately, the guy you find is actually an off-duty police officer, and within an hour, you find yourself in the Tombs (Manhattan holding cells) overnight, with some guy demanding you give him your shoes ... and take him to breakfast. And all because you couldn't be bothered to learn your neighborhood.

Hey - it could happen.

5. When walking down the street, don't touch anyone around you. Ever.

One major giveaway of the New York City neophyte is his or her inability to avoid physical contact with people on the sidewalk. If you've been living in the City for an extended period of time, your idea of personal space in public gets forced to become significantly smaller, but your need to protect what's left grows exponentially. Not walking into people may sound like a fairly easy thing to do, if you've never been here, but picture the millions of people who live in the New York area all getting out of work at the same time. It's as though suddenly there's upwards of 40 people on each city block, every single one of them having somehow become former Detroit Lions' running back Barry Sanders.

There have been times when I'm actually proud of my walking agility, which sounds kinda sad, I know. But the ability to avoid the oncoming pedestrians, the homeless, the guy handing out "free" cell phones, overly sluggish tourists walking six abreast and gawking at ... well ... everything, bicycle delivery guys, smokers who are seemingly doing their best to hit your black leather jacket with their lit cigarettes, dog walkers, dogs, oblivious middle management types on cell phones, ex-girlfriends, policemen, security guards who think they're policeman, and anyone who looks angrier or crazier than you are is no mean feat.

Actually, this extreme insularity reached a new high for me the other day. I was walking through my neighborhood and I saw what should have been a nice domestic scene: a couple out walking their dog. But in true New York fashion, they were both talking on cell phones (I assume not to each other). Very romantic. It boggles the mind.

My brother recently told me that he was surprised when I first moved to New York, and just didn't see me succeeding here. I was too emotionally soft, he said, for a place as hard as New York City. I think this might appear to be the case for many; as I mentioned earlier, people are afraid to visit here, let alone live here. So, as a bonus, I'll sum it all up in a fast-paced NYC style: Blend in. Hurry up. Be smart. Know the lingo. Get out of my way.

Oh, yeah. And have a nice friggin' day.


ABOUT ADAM KRAEMER

A native of Elkins Park, PA, Adam Kraemer spends way too much of his time repeating "K-R-A-E..." He moved to New York City in 1998 and earned Master's in Journalism at NYU; don't let his writing fool you. He feels he is best known for saying the things no one is thinking, but afterwards wish they had been. He spends his free time wondering where all his free time goes and why he can never come up with a decent kicker for the ends of his articles.

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COMMENTS

matt morin
3.6.02 @ 12:22a

Five of the 1,000,000 reasons I'd never live in New York.

katie morris
3.6.02 @ 2:25a

Everyone who lives in Manhattan is somewhat nutso. (no offense, Adam.) But you have to be a bit crazy to want to live in a place where people willingly pay the most expensive rent in the country to live in cramped apartments on an island with millions of other people that you don't even want to make eye contact with.

But damn, I do miss the pizza.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 8:19a

And the complete unnecessity of owning a car. That might be my favorite thing, honestly: no one having to drive anywhere at the end of the night.

Come on, people, aren't there things that would allow me to better fit in where you live - a mullet in the Midwest, for example. Or brain damage in the deep South and/or Central Pennsylvania.

[edited]

trevor kleiner
3.6.02 @ 9:55a

Hey, you forgot the bit about knowing the place that serves drinks after hours.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 9:59a

Actually, we recently discovered a diner on the Upper East that serves drinks 24/7. Scary, scary stuff. There's probably something terribly wrong about bagels and beer at 6:00 am.

sarah ficke
3.6.02 @ 10:03a

Have you ever been to New Orleans? They have 24 hour daquiri take-out bars.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 10:11a

Could I get a hickory daquiri, Doc?

sarah ficke
3.6.02 @ 10:17a

Ouch.

trevor kleiner
3.6.02 @ 10:21a

Hey, you forgot the bit about knowing the place that serves drinks after hours.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 10:23a

Okay, if you insist. Know the place that serves drinks after hours.

This is why we don't simply hit refresh.

trevor kleiner
3.6.02 @ 10:24a

Darn back button! Anyway, how long does it take to get used to the fact that you can go a month without seeing a tree if you never swing by a park?

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 10:25a

Well, there are trees lining some of the sidewalks. And I think I saw a potted shrub once.

I think we need palm trees.

I'd also like to get people's opinions on TV shows that supposedly take place in NYC but are filmed in LA. Less realistic?

[edited]

tracey kelley
3.6.02 @ 11:05a

A mullet in the Midwest? Ah jeez, spoken like a true Eastenah. Are you trying to say New York doesn't have rednecks?

Two words: Joey Buttafucco.



adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 11:18a

Speaking of which, anyone else disappointed that Tonya Harding won't be boxing Amy Fisher?

russ carr
3.6.02 @ 11:24a

As a born Southerner living in the Midwest, and being of very little brain damage and the hair to match, I have this suppository comment (and you know where you can stick it): Supposing the Sipowiczian city's superiority is begotten thru belittlement of the rest of us; just what is the flacid phallus of the five boroughs (as seen geographically) compensating for? And your edifice complex?

And I'm convinced that "green space" in NYC is merely a consensual hallucination.

jason siciliano
3.6.02 @ 11:42a

The term "Bridge and Tunnel" and the necessity of black leather coats are applicable to San Francisco as well. You're not allowed to touch anyone either, unless you're at the Folsom Street Fair, then you can touch as long as you like. (Ahem!)

We only have three cabs. And they're all on the other side of town.

How come they can't make good New York pizza anywhere but New York?



jason siciliano
3.6.02 @ 11:43a

How come every time I post a discussion blurb it's followed by "edit," though I'm not editing?

jason siciliano
3.6.02 @ 11:43a

Damnit!

jael mchenry
3.6.02 @ 11:44a

Because you can, Jason, because you can. If you want to go back and change that "three" cabs to "four," you have the power.

Oh, and I hear the secret to the crust is the water.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 11:47a

True. Same as the secret of the bagels.

And, I'm guessing, the really attractive women.

trevor kleiner
3.6.02 @ 11:53a

It's difficult to believe NYC tap water makes anything better....

mike julianelle
3.6.02 @ 11:59a

The pizza in New Haven is the best in the world.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 11:59a

Hey - joke all you want, but statistically, New York City has some of the cleanest tap water in the country.

Unlike Medford/Somerville....

trevor kleiner
3.6.02 @ 12:03p

hey! I don't live in Medford anymore, i live in Low.... Never mind. Point taken.

jason siciliano
3.6.02 @ 12:04p

So no one else can see the "edit" after my posts? They see it after theirs? Doh! How embarrassing!

jael mchenry
3.6.02 @ 12:09p

You know what New York needs? Dollar bill option on their bus fareboxes.

sarah ficke
3.6.02 @ 12:22p

Mike, if New Haven has the best pizza in the world (and I don't believe you) then that's the only good thing going for it.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 12:24p

Well, there is Yale.

And, Jael, you are so right. Technically, you can pay with bills, but you can't expect to get change, I think.

[edited]

mike julianelle
3.6.02 @ 12:55p

New Haven sucks, I agree, but it is FAMOUS for it's pizza. Pepe's and Sally's. Best in the world. DA BESHT! They even mentioned in on 90210 once, what more do you need, Sarah?

sarah ficke
3.6.02 @ 12:56p

Something to make up for the fact that they mentioned it on 90210? But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and try the pizza next time I'm there.

russ carr
3.6.02 @ 12:59p

Did they ever get all that blood off the streets?

mike julianelle
3.6.02 @ 1:05p

No, and it still stains the roofs and the palm trees of Venice too.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 1:36p

What's a matter, Mike? Peace frog in your throat?

So how many of you have actually never been to New York?

russ carr
3.6.02 @ 1:47p

Yo, I been. Me and my black leather jacket.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 1:51p

And you fit in perfectly, right?

matt morin
3.6.02 @ 1:59p

I was in NY in mid November for a week. Which means all the hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up for a week.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 2:01p

And you didn't stop in to say hi?
Maybe, Matt, you should start shaving the back of your neck.
So it's a little crowded. And dirty. And dangerous. You should have seen it in the '80s.

russ carr
3.6.02 @ 2:06p

I fit in as well as can be expected. The only thing remotely touristy I did was walk down to Battery Park and ride the ferry to Staten Island and back. I did this mostly because it was free. Took some photos which I'm just now getting to the point where I can look at them again.

The most New York thing I did, tho, was to sit in a deli/diner and slurp down kreplach to fight a cold.

mike julianelle
3.6.02 @ 2:06p

So should you.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 2:12p

How do you know I don't?

Mmmm...kreplach. Good call. My grandmother would be proud of you.

I actually had a Catholic friend recently ask me, "Do you realize how many Jewish people there are in the New York City area?" And I was like, "Ummm...yeah." She'd never noticed it until she started sending out holiday cards for her company.

[edited]

matt morin
3.6.02 @ 2:17p

Adam, I actually sent you an e-mail saying I was coming, but you never responded.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 2:18p

Do I remember that? Was I away and responded late? Did I just not want to meet you?

sarah ficke
3.6.02 @ 2:20p

I think maybe the most NY thing I did was learn the art of dodging other pedestrians and rats on the sidewalk...oh, and spend a good amount of time in all-night diners.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 2:27p

Gotta love it. I think people should have break lights and directional signals installed in the asses of their pants. Make my life easier.

jael mchenry
3.6.02 @ 2:54p

That's the number one thing I can't stand about New York: too many people on the sidewalks. Same thing I can't stand about London. Say what you will, but in DC, we have room on the sidewalk for all the people on the sidewalk.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 3:02p

That's because between the humidity and the crime no one wants to be outside in DC.

[edited]

jael mchenry
3.6.02 @ 3:11p

No, and no. Tell me with a straight face NYC has better air and safer streets than DC. Go on, tell me.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 3:13p

How would you know if my face was straight?

[edited]

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 3:14p

I didn't say we wanted to be outside here, either. Actually, the streets in Manhattan (below 96th Street) are probably safer than those in many DC areas outside the Mall.

tracey kelley
3.6.02 @ 3:36p

I rode the subway from White Plains to NYC, went directly to Grand, walked around Times Square, ate sushi, bugged the TS beat officers until they told us the best place for an all-around view (the Marriott, if I remember correctly) went there, scanned the lights, had a drink, got back on the subway and returned to White Plains - all within about 5 hours.

Oh. Yeah. And it was the middle of January.

jael mchenry
3.6.02 @ 3:50p

Most of Northwest is safe. Like NYC, it's all a matter of where you are. I wouldn't wear a hat made of cold cash money in Chinatown, but if you pay attention it's all perfectly fine.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 4:19p

What would you wear a hat made out of in Chinatown?

russ carr
3.6.02 @ 4:20p

When I was 11, we lived in Falls Church, Va. I rode MetroBus with all the government commuter types to Arlington (and school). And occasionally (in summer) I'd go into DC and just wander. My folks weren't worried a bit, and neither was I. Of course, even at 11, I was bright enough to avoid Anacostia. Can't say I'd have been that comfy in lower Manhattan at 11.

craige moore
3.6.02 @ 4:25p

I can think of several reasons not to own a black leather coat.

Where else can you wear the most outrageous-looking coat possible and people will just say, "Hey, nice threads, man." NYC is the city of individuality. Take advantage of that fact. You'll miss it when you're living in that subdivision later on.

You wanna be trusting that your $300 coat will still be there at the end of the night in a non-attended cloak room?

Wouldn't that outrageous amount of dough you shelled out for a cow coat be better spent on several different coats (ski jacket, overcoat, raincoat, etc.)?

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 4:30p

Hey - it was a gift. And half that price at Franklin Mills Outlet Mall in Philly.

craige moore
3.6.02 @ 4:57p

It was still point numero uno of your ramble. You getting defensive now?

russ carr
3.6.02 @ 4:57p

People who pooh-pooh leather jackets have never owned one. At least not a good one. There's an indescribable frisson on donning it for the first time, the heft of the leather a noticeable weight on your shoulders...the rich smell of it...the first glimpse of yourself in the mirror...

No wonder cows are sacred in India. Think of all the cool stuff they give us... leather...ice cream...cheeseburgers...

matt morin
3.6.02 @ 5:01p

Personally I hate leather jackets...mostly because I don't look good in one. And they're too heavy. You feel like you're inside some sort of Disneyland costume.

craige moore
3.6.02 @ 5:02p

(deleting double posting)

[edited]

craige moore
3.6.02 @ 5:07p

True, I have never owned one. I am no vegetarian by any means and I love me the leather shoes, but when I don a leather jacket I just feel compelled to moo. Lots of people look great in leather jackets. I, however, will never feel sexy wearing a cow coat.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 5:08p

Craige wants a coat made out of supermodels.

craige moore
3.6.02 @ 5:14p

Too damn bony. Won't keep me warm.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 5:36p

Oh, and I suppose cotton doesn't have bones?

katie morris
3.6.02 @ 8:37p

I've never owned a leather jacket because wearing one makes me look like some chick from the Sopranos. Just give me an Italian horn on a gold chain and the tidal wave bangs (sprayed so they stand up vertically) and I'm all set.

adam kraemer
3.6.02 @ 9:11p

Impressive for an Irish girl.

katie morris
3.6.02 @ 10:47p

It's all about the Aqua Net, baby.

d b
3.6.02 @ 10:54p

As a card-carrying member of the bridge and tunnel crowd, I have a couple of observations:

1)One NYism you didn't mention is that people here stand ON line, never IN. (Of course when I catch myself saying it that way, I panic and immediately try to work "wicked" into a sentence - just to reassure myself that I'm still a New Englander.)

2)"The City", capital C, is the financial district of London. Manhattan doesn't need the capital C. It's too big for its britches already.

3)The cell-phone couple - I saw an IDENTICAL scene last weekend, except they were in Times Square (which is where Jael is probably specifically thinking of when she laments the lack of sidewalk space) and they didn't have a dog.

and 4)Adam, I can only assume you came up with that line about Staten Island when you all (okay, when Michelle) drunk-called me last weekend ... wasn't that fun? Heh heh. Come to think of it, literally speaking you're a bridge-and-tunneler yourself, Mr. Astoria.

jason siciliano
3.7.02 @ 3:49a

I was involved in a bar argument tonight over whether White Plains, NY is where all the direct response TV commericials come from.

Yes? No?

"Hey" to Intrepid Media is what "Yeah" is to The West Wing.

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 7:24a

Actually, I like to think of myself as a member of the "bridge and/or tunnel crowd."

jael mchenry
3.7.02 @ 9:22a

Hey is the new Yeah. Orange is the new pink.

Oh, this is bad, I'm quoting Josie and the Pussycats again. Things fall apart, the center cannot hold.

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 9:28a

What direct response TV commercials?

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 9:36a

Someone saw Josie and the Pussycats?

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 9:44a

I saw it. It was cute and irreverant. Not a classic, but definitely more clever than I would have thought.

And I love Kay Hanley's voice.

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 9:57a

I like her voice a lot too. One of the singles from the movie was really good, and the Cleo song "Cruel to be Kind" is awesome.

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 10:05a

Yeah. That's actually one of the 500+ songs I have in Real Jukebox on my computer at work.

Has anyone heard the song "Hey Mister" by some New York skater calling himself Custom? I'm really enjoying that one, but it hasn't made it to radio down here yet.

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 10:32a

I've heard it, it's got some buzz. Haven't heard it enough yet though.

Random band plug time: The White Stripes. Check 'em out.

trevor kleiner
3.7.02 @ 11:23a

What does it say about this site when the people reading it pass up JL's Yeats quote to discuss Josie and the Pussycats.....

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 11:28a

Was I aware that Jael had quoted Yeats?

jael mchenry
3.7.02 @ 11:34a

See, that's the thing.

Things fall apart, the center cannot hold
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned...

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 11:44a

I am the last barman poet / I see America drinking the fabulous cocktails I make / Americans getting stinky on something I stir or shake / The sex on the beach / The schnapps made from peach / The velvet hammer / The alabama slammer. / I make things with juice and froth / The pink squirrel / The 3-toed sloth. / I make drinks so sweat and snazzy / The iced tea / The kamakazi / The orgasm / The death spasm / The Singapore sling / The ding-a-ling. / America you've just been devoted to every flavor I got / But if you want to got loaded / Why don't you just order a shot? / Bar's open.


adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 11:44a

All things being equal, I liked the Josie quote better. "It took 6 whole hours and 5 long days 4 all your lies to come undone. Those 3 small words were way 2 late if you can't see that I'm the 1."

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 11:48a

I'd like to nominate my previous post as the best post in the history of Intrepid. Read it and weep.

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 11:52a

You misspelled "sweet". I hope.

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 11:56a

I actually cut and pasted the poem. But I know most of it. You know what it's from right? The funniest movie of the '80s.

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 12:00p

Who's That Girl?

Just kidding.

[edited]

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 12:01p

Nice one.

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 12:03p

You think Cocktail was the funniest movie of the '80s? Or am I just off?

[edited]

jael mchenry
3.7.02 @ 12:07p

Josie: If I could go back in time, I'd take back everything I said.

Melody: If I could go back in time, I'd want to meet Snoopy.

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 12:08p

You are right about it being Cocktail, and I don't mean it's intentionally funny. It's so unbelievably inane that it is hilarious. There's one scene where Cruise and F/X are dancing behind the bar to "Hippie Hippie Shake", ugh!, and some customer goes, "What are you guys doing at this dive, you should be stars!!!" What? Celebrity bartenders? Who writes this crap?!

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 12:40p

Heywood Gould, apparently.

jael mchenry
3.7.02 @ 12:45p

Also, Cocktail is directly responsible for my high school chorus singing "Iko Iko."

That's gotta be actionable in some states.

sarah ficke
3.7.02 @ 12:46p

If high school choruses could be sued for terrible music, they'd all go broke.

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 12:54p

I thought Iko Iko was in Rain Man.

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 1:03p

I think you're right. Kokomo was in Cocktail. The last hit John Phillips ever wrote.

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 1:06p

Kokomo. Awesome, AWESOME lyrics. Plus, John Stamos on bongos in the video. Shoot me now.

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 1:10p

Speaking of people I'm enormously jealous of, how exactly does someone wind up getting on a succesful (albiet vacuous) TV show, playing percussion with the Beach Boys, and marrying a supermodel?

jael mchenry
3.7.02 @ 1:20p

Okay, my bad, but my high school chorus also sang "Kokomo", not to mention ("I've Had) The Time of My Life." Now which one had "Don't Worry, Be Happy"?

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 1:27p

I think that was Cocktail. I think.

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 2:04p

Yeah, Cocktail was Don't Worry. And the Hippie Hippe Shake, ohmyGod that's a bad song. My mother LOVES the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

I have no answer for the conundrum that is John Stamos' life, but I would not count a role on Full House as a career highlight. If I remained a temp for the rest of my life, except for 5 years starring on that show, I still wouldn't count it as a career highlight.

sarah ficke
3.7.02 @ 2:29p

Yet, I remember when Full House was the coolest show on TV...wait. That might just have been my pathetic childhood, never mind.

And don't knock the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. It's infinitely better than Cocktail's.

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 2:34p

I wasn't knocking jack, I just mentioned that my mother loved it. I remember getting home from junior high and high school and hearing that all over the house.

Random story: There was a pub and cinema near me for a short period of time, where you could eat and drink while watching movies. I went as a kid, so didn't drink, but since the two movies I saw were All of Me and Dirty Dancing, I wish I had snuck in a flask.

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 3:37p

Hell, just hearing the titles makes me want a drink.

Don't dis the Georgia Satellites, though. Their cover of Hippy Hippy Shake kinda rocked.

sarah ficke
3.7.02 @ 3:54p

I said the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing was good, not the movie itself. I find it pretty watchable, but I realize not everyone shares my enthusiasm for a dancing Patrick Swayze.

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 3:59p

Point taken, Sarah, but do you share MY enthusiasm for a zen-minded, mullet-headed, jugular-tearing, nonsense-spouting, Road House ("pain don't hurt") Patrick Swayze?

sarah ficke
3.7.02 @ 4:00p

Don't know, since I never saw the movie. But jugular-tearing does sound interesting.

matt morin
3.7.02 @ 4:06p

Other than Point Break, I have never seen a Patrick Swayze movie.

And I am oddly proud of that.

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 4:11p

Point Break. Don't me started on how funny that movie is. Keanu, Swayze, and Gary Busey = COMIC MASTERPIECE. "I. AM AN. F. B. I. A-GENT!" And why does Swayze so often play tough guys with spiritual sides? Ugh.

Sarah, Road House is hilariously stupid. The jugular-tearing scene really delivers.

Matt, if you haven't seen Red Dawn, stop talking to me until you do.

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 4:14p

Who was using the term "Swayziest" the other night to describe how cool a bar was?

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 4:18p

I wish it had been me.



[edited]

matt morin
3.7.02 @ 4:46p

How on Earth could I forget Red Dawn? I ammend my previous statement.

mike julianelle
3.7.02 @ 4:49p

Thank God. I figured you might have forgotten Swayze's stirring portrayal of Zed, the high school hero turned guerilla leader. WOLVERINES! Unfortunately for Patrick, his fine work was overshadowed by C. Thomas Howell's brilliant depiction of Robert, the litle boy turned bloodthirsty killer.

"All that hate's gonna burn you up, boy."
- "Keeps me warm.

jael mchenry
3.7.02 @ 4:52p

Adam, it was either you (which makes it odd you'd ask) or joe. Maybe it was joe.

Dirty Dancing has a fun soundtrack. And I remember a time when I was unhappy missing a new episode of "Perfect Strangers." Ah, Balki, we hardly knew ye.

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 4:58p

Oh, we so knew him. Anyone see the new commercials with Alf? I can't decide if that's a bad idea or not.

trevor kleiner
3.7.02 @ 5:04p

He should have stayed on Melmak.

jael mchenry
3.7.02 @ 5:23p

Have we already reached the age of Alf nostalgia? I just thought it was weird.

trevor kleiner
3.7.02 @ 5:32p

No nostalgia. Having the slob nextdoor on a popular show with the same name as you while going to school is a fate I wouldn't wish on many.

adam kraemer
3.7.02 @ 5:34p

I can only imagine. I didn't know your name was Raquel.

jack bradley
3.7.02 @ 6:38p

Jael, it was weird. I thought the name "Gordon Schumway" was inspired writing, though.

But I'm weird, too.


mike julianelle
3.8.02 @ 9:36a

Remember Alf? He's back! In POG form!

jael mchenry
3.8.02 @ 11:26a

Oh, no, I meant having him in a commercial in 2002 is weird. The show? I plead something-or-other.

The best Alf thing I've ever seen is the thinly veiled slightly fictionalized Alf in Permanent Midnight. He's much scarier, apparently, when you're coked out of your mind. Or was Stahl on heroin? I forget.

mike julianelle
3.8.02 @ 11:38a

heroin. although prolly both. Is that a good movie? I saw some, and it was interesting enough...

adam kraemer
3.8.02 @ 1:54p

I've heard the movie's good, but not Ben Stiller's funniest work.

jael mchenry
3.8.02 @ 1:58p

Yeah, "interesting enough" pretty much does it. I was very happy to catch it on IFC since I'd always been interested, and Stiller was good, but if I'd paid for it in the theatre I might've felt jipped.

adam kraemer
3.8.02 @ 2:06p

Great cast, actually.

mike julianelle
3.8.02 @ 2:18p

Yeah, that's where I caught parts, on IFC. It never looked like a theater go. Anyone got any rental recommendations? I'm looking at a slow weekend.

adam kraemer
3.8.02 @ 2:49p

I hear good things about "Wet Hot American Summer." If you like The State, it's a must-see.

jael mchenry
3.8.02 @ 3:18p

Hm, what have I liked lately... hey, Mike, I did finish The Limey. Didn't love it, but Soderbergh is never afraid to get all whacked-out, which he did on that one. Have you seen Series 7? Right up your alley.

russ carr
3.8.02 @ 3:25p

I could see Mikey liking Series 7 for its pure sadism. But I think any irony was lost in campiness. Great idea, poor (pardon the pun) execution.

mike julianelle
3.8.02 @ 3:28p

I saw Series 7 and I agree with Russ, almost totally. Something was lost in the execution. I like the Limey a lot, I LOVE Fonda in it: "I don't freak out any more!"

I also saw Wet Hot and was disappointed. I was also half in the bag when I watched it, so...

adam kraemer
3.8.02 @ 3:28p

And again, a nice discussion turns to movies. We're astounding.

mike julianelle
3.8.02 @ 3:29p

My bad!

adam kraemer
3.8.02 @ 3:38p

That's okay. It's a logical jump from New York City and John Stamos.

Speaking of New York, I saw something screwy on Wednesday - a helicopter holding perfectly still about a block from the Empire State Building for, like, an hour before flying away. Kinda freaky.

mike julianelle
3.8.02 @ 3:38p

That is freaky. Maybe Piss Kong should come down there and guard the building.

adam kraemer
3.8.02 @ 3:43p

Hey - a crossover reference from the boards. Good job, Mike.

On the other hand, the building's still standing, so maybe it was a good thing. If King Kong ever attacked New York, do you think George W. would declare war on giant gorillas?

matt morin
3.8.02 @ 3:45p

Speaking of John Stamos, my brush with celebrity was that one of my old roommates went to college and is best friends with Rebecca. She even came to a house party we had - it was about a month before she became really famous from the SI swimsuit edition. She was much shorter than I thought she'd be, and she's much more intelligent and funnier than I though, too.

adam kraemer
3.8.02 @ 3:48p

You think John Stamos would marry an idiot?

jael mchenry
3.8.02 @ 3:49p

Funny -- one of my grad school housemates went to high school with her. Said she wasn't one of the popular girls, kinda quiet. Good to hear she's good people.

matt morin
3.8.02 @ 3:53p

No Adam, but apparently Rebecca would...

mike julianelle
3.8.02 @ 4:25p

Matt and Adam: Nice work. Both of you.

adam kraemer
3.8.02 @ 4:32p

Thank you. We're thinking of turning it into an act.

mike julianelle
3.8.02 @ 4:35p

Piss Kong can open.

Sorry to beat this Piss King thing into the ground, but I really love it.

adam kraemer
3.8.02 @ 4:39p

Thanks. Just doin' my part.

matt morin
3.8.02 @ 4:47p

We work well together.

mike julianelle
3.8.02 @ 4:48p

I think between the three of us we have a good combination of wry, angry, and random.

[edited]

jael mchenry
3.8.02 @ 4:49p

I think between the three of you, you have a good combination of Sleepy, Grumpy, and Doc.

(Now y'all can fight about who's which.)

mike julianelle
3.8.02 @ 4:50p

I don't think anyone else will stake a claim to Grumpy.

adam kraemer
3.8.02 @ 4:51p

I am so definitely Sleepy.

jael mchenry
3.8.02 @ 4:55p

Well, that didn't take nearly as long as I thought it might.

matt morin
3.8.02 @ 4:57p

Now if you'd thrown Dopey into the mix, well, it may have gotten more interesting.

jack bradley
3.8.02 @ 11:10p

Always, especially if its brownie mix.

Oh, wait...you said Dopey...


adam kraemer
3.11.02 @ 9:41a

What's the rule about that - don't mix dwarves and baked goods. Even Keebler uses elves.

russ carr
3.12.02 @ 1:05p

The Last Word on Rebecca Romijn-Stamos: A girl who did her homework.

adam kraemer
3.12.02 @ 1:17p

See? He's the luckiest man in the world. And I now have another movie to see.

I gotta say, though, I need to do no homework to tell which side of my bed is buttered.

jael mchenry
3.12.02 @ 5:26p

The outside, hopefully.

adam kraemer
3.12.02 @ 5:30p

Did Jael just express hope that the outside of my bed is buttered?

russ carr
3.12.02 @ 9:00p

Can't speak for everyone, Adam, but I don't want to know what you're doing in bed with the butter. Sure, it's creamy and edible and Iowans can sculpt livestock out of it...but really, enough's enough.

adam kraemer
3.13.02 @ 9:35a

How about I Can't Believe It's Not Butter? That way my bed has less cholesterol.

jael mchenry
3.13.02 @ 9:56a

For your sake, Adam. The inside would be much more difficult, and eventually rancid.

Hm. Much less pleasant than Russ' spin.

adam kraemer
3.13.02 @ 10:03a

I still don't think I'd have to experiment with homosexuality to insure that I'm not gay. But I admire Ms. Romijn-Stamos for biting the bullet, so to speak.

adam kraemer
3.14.02 @ 9:50a

Okay, so I saw a guy

[edited]

adam kraemer
3.14.02 @ 3:16p

Whoops. Okay, so I saw a guy outside my office yesterday, sitting in his little Honda in the rain. Some big livery cab is trying to parallel park in front of him, but has just enough space to fit, but not really enough to move up and back. The cab accidentally taps the bumper of the Honda, but the guy doesn't back up (he had about 4 feet behind him). So the cab pulls forward and on his second readjustment, the same thing happens. The guy gets out of his Honda, walks over to the driver's side of the cab in the rain and yells, "Hey - stop hitting my car!" Then gets back into his Honda and still doesn't back up. What an ass. Sometimes this city pisses me off.

juli mccarthy
3.14.02 @ 7:04p

Yeah...what a dumb livery driver. You don't park where there's not enough room, you do like everyone else and circle the block endlessly until a semi pulls out and you have PLENTY of room to park my ...er, YOUR car.

adam kraemer
3.14.02 @ 11:20p

Or you double park and cross your fingers.

I could only guess that the asshole in the Honda was a cop on a stakeout.

adam kraemer
3.18.02 @ 5:21p

So here's a weird thing - someone just pointed out to me today that he can't think of a single 7-11 in Manhattan.



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