Category Archives: Begrudged Maturity

St. Patrick’s Day

no-thanks

As a drinker St. Patrick’s Day fails completely as a holiday. What would have normally been an enjoyable night at my local pub has now been ruined by the influx of assholes wearing green that have swarmed seemingly every bar in the city.

When I think of the holiday now, my first thought is not of the Irish, but rather a plague of verdant locus, a green mob of drunken assholes destroying everything that it comes in contact with. My favorite bar? Now overrun with a bunch of animal-house types who have valiantly, yet with no signs of composer or skill, been imbibing since the morning. They crowd the counter and spill their drinks in a misbegotten orgy of high-fives and chest bumps. The sidewalks are splotched with lime tinged vomit. Cabs are impossible to get. That cute girl at my local that I have been slowly mustering the courage to talk is now being hit on by a dozen preppy looking douche bags wearing Guinness baseball hats and green polo shirts. The beer I liked? Now perverted with green food dye. The pub food I crave? Not tonight, they’re too busy. Everything that was sacred at my bar – my temple – unremorsefully stuprated and debauched. What should have been a joyous evening turned into a surreal nightmare of sacrilege.

St. Patrick may have succeeded in driving the snakes out of Ireland, but he also managed to drive all the pricks to the bars one night a year. If you want to find me next St. Patty’s Day I’ll be at home with a bottle of scotch and six-pack of Bass.

Jeff

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My Friends Doing Good Things for Society

my-friends-doing-good-things-for-society

Tristan joined the Peace Corps. Emily did Teach for America. Eric biked across the country building houses for the homeless. And what did I do? I moved to New York like all the other assholes, where I live in a shoebox, drown in dive bars, and complain about the rats and thieves that overrun this city.

To all my friends who are doing good things for society, please stop. You are making me look bad. Maybe not to my parents, who are pleased as punch with this “real job” I’ve managed to hold for a year. Telling their friends I work in advertising sounds a lot better than, “Andrea wants to be a writer/journalist/traveler something.” But this world is a far cry from my naïve, post-graduation Paul Salopek-esque aspirations. It’s like liberal guilt denied.

To make matters worse, I am happy here. Maybe I’m not teaching children to read or building wells or exposing humanitarian injustices, but I am paying off debts and not disappointing my parents.

That’s something to be proud of, right?

Andrea

Birthdays

birthday

Today is my birthday. Yes, thanks for posting on my Facebook wall. Some people call it a milestone, an accomplishment. Do they have such little faith in me? Do they find my life so dangerous? Or did they think I’d off myself by now?

It’s not an issue of age. I look forward to getting older. There is so much ahead: career advancement, falling in love, developing deeper friendships—infinite adventures. There are a whole bunch of places I haven’t been and a long list of books I haven’t read. The future is the most exciting part. My laugh lines will speak for themselves.

Throwing parties in New York is stressful. I can’t expect my friends to pay for dinner, drinks, and dancing (like I so often get dragged into). I can’t front the bill, either. And this Manhattan shoebox apartment can’t fit the crowds my Chicago loft did. I’m left without a celebration venue. I don’t like birthday cake either—too wary of calories and candles (though I endorse a strong birthday cocktail). I think it’s a birthday faux pas not to eat your own cake.

Sometimes I miss my elementary school days, when all you needed was ice cream cake, silly string, and a roller rink to throw a rockin’ party.

Actually, that sounds pretty awesome right now. (As long as they serve beer.)

Andrea

Organic Peanut Butter

yum-(yuck)-organic-peanut-butter

After years of eating out every meal I have finally reached the point where I am starting to make my own lunches. First on my list  was the ever venerable and delicious PB and J. Working across the street from a Whole Foods and not wanting to seem callow around the office, I instinctively did the adult thing and purchased the fanciest, most organic peanut butter I could find. What a mistake. The spread was barely palatable. Thinking I just choose the wrong brand, I went back the next week and picked an equally precocious jar of organic peanut butter. Even worse. As far as I can tell, organic equals bland and disgusting when it comes to spreads.

After some considerable research (ok, Wikipedia) the only discernible difference between organic peanut butter and normal peanut butter, beyond the drop-off in taste and increase in price, is that the organic variety is grown without the use of any pesticides. And although this sounds lovely, I am not sure I want peanuts that weren’t protected from pests. That doesn’t sound good. I can’t imagine that the normal peanut farmers are just pissing away money on needless chemicals, so their must be some reason.

So, how exactly are the organic producers protecting their crops? Do they have teams of quasi-enslaved peasants on their plantations keeping the pests off by hand? Because if so, that so sounds like the enlightened and humanistic approach to the problem, as opposed to the myopic and backwards approach of employing science and decades of research to safeguard crops with carefully tested chemicals. And aren’t chemicals derived from organic compounds? Would everyone be happy if someone started producing “organic” pesticides?

And all of this wouldn’t matter, if only the more expensive and “environmentally friendly” peanut butter tasted better. But it doesn’t. So I quit this charade of acting like an adult in the kitchen. And I am though pretending to give a damn about soil integrity half way around the world. I’m coming back to you Jiffy. Perhaps the missing ingredients in organic peanut butter were your tasty Monoglycerides, Diglycerides, semi-hydrated…

Jeff

Vegans

Vegans

I don’t have a problem with what they eat—just as I don’t with the eating habits of omnivores or regular, run-of-the-mill vegetarians (like me). But I hate vegans’ smug, condescending approach to people who want to have their animals, and eat them too.

Consider a recent encounter in the East Village. Almost daily, I go for a long walk to look around New York and remind myself why I find it beautiful. One Sunday on Avenue A, a woman interrupted a phone conversation with my mother to hand me a pamphlet on vegetarianism. I waved her away—“Preaching to the converted,” I said. “Then you’ll need this,” she exclaimed and passed off a booklet on going vegan.

I just got 1UPed, herbivore-style. By a woman with dreads.

Aren’t human beings supposed to eat meat? Isn’t that why we have these damn canines? And while I don’t deny that there are major atrocities in the meat and dairy industry, I am not the one to address them. Ignorance is not excuse, but I’ve picked other battles.

I happen to like your potlucks, vegan, but these damn cupcakes are as full of your self-satisfied bullshit as you. Did you give me the chair so you’d get the soapbox?  PETA already gave you a bad name; you don’t need to enforce it.

In this world of in-your-face Big Macs and sneaky beef stock, shouldn’t we of the leafy-green nature unite rather than proselytize? I wasn’t raised catholic: I don’t respond to guilt.

Andrea

Shots

Shots

I have a problem. It’s very serious. I’m going to the University of Chicago vs. NYU basketball game tonight, and I can’t figure out how to stay pleasantly tipsy through the two-plus hours of sloppy comedy they pretend to be “basketball.” If I’m going to watch a group of nerds butcher the game so badly, I’m going to need more than a glass.

The obvious solution would be a flask. I own two. But I can’t stomach the idea of swigging vodka in the middle of a crowded gym that smells like sweat and college students. Or maybe there is a bigger problem: I just don’t like taking shots.

Shots seem like an integral part of the twenty-something experience. Bad day? Shot of whiskey. Goin’ clubbin’? Take tequila. At that horrible East Village bar you can get five shots for $10, but have fun fighting the punks for them. There are fancy shots and flaming shots and foul shots. A shot for every occasion. But not for me.

Shots and I go way back, and I think it’s time to call it quits. We had our fun when I was underage and stupid. But they led to far too many embarrassing situations, questionable men, and bad dance moves. Now 23 (and probably still stupid), I want liquor with more sophistication than a frat party. Especially before midnight.

After the emotional and intellectual torture of college, can you really blame me? I guess this is what “school spirit” gets you these days.

Andrea