Issue #51 – “Five-Ring Circus” – August 30th, 2004

-Thank God the Summer Games are over.  For the past two weeks I have become a raging Olympics-whore.  I couldn’t go to bed without the soothing voice of Bob Costas lulling me to sleep.  When I was up late, I was watching skeet-shooting qualifying on Telemundo.  And you know you’re getting too into the Olympics when you can no longer become aroused without the sight of scantily-clad women’s beach volleyball players embracing in the sand.

-Memo to American medal-winners: perhaps learning the words to the National Anthem should have been part of your training regiment.  You guys lip-sync worse than Milli Vanilli with a speech impediment.

-Memo to all Americans: should we be concerned that there were at least a dozen countries competing that none of us had ever even HEARD of?

-When I wasn’t watching the Olympics, I was closely following my beloved Yankees.  Since I was forcing my girlfriend to watch hours of baseball against her will, I figured it would be worthwhile to teach her a little about my team and its players.  I’ve discovered that Girlfriend is learning about baseball at almost exactly the same rate as my three year-old cousin Daniel.  My conversations with the two of them are remarkably similar: “OK, who’s up at bat now?  No, not A-Rod, but close…  Hi… Hid… Hidek… That’s right – Hideki Matsui!  Good job!  And what’s his nickname?  Come on, I know you know this… Godzilla, right again!  Good girl!  Now let’s get you some ice cream.”

-My girlfriend is an unrepentant party animal like myself.  However, no one gets drunk and embarrasses themselves quite like I do.  The other day, when Girlfriend claimed she is a bigger idiot than me when wasted, I actually took offense.  I was like, “Are you saying that if we were equally drunk, you could out-embarrass me?  No way!”  And she’s like, “But Karo, if I’m drunk and someone tells me to do something stupid, I’ll do it.”  I said, “Darling, if I’m drunk, I come up with the stupid ideas myself AND execute them.  I’m like a one-stop-shop of embarrassment.”  That really put her in her place.

-My buddy Claudio is seeing this chick with a very strange policy.  She will only meet him in the middle.  If they’re going out for dinner, she’s only willing to go to a restaurant equidistant from their apartments.  If they’re both out at different bars and want to meet up, she’ll only go to a third-party bar in between.  Last time they hooked up, I asked Claud how far he’d gotten.  He said, “Halfway.”

-Back in my single days, I was hitting on this girl in a bar when she asked me a strange question.  She asked, “If you take a shower before bed, do you put deodorant on?”  Being drunk and wanting to hook up with this girl without having to answer brain teasers, I avoided the question.  She wouldn’t have that and we ended up getting into a huge fight over this seemingly innocuous dilemma.  Eventually she stormed off in disgust.  That experience taught me two things: psycho women take the fun out of being single and you should always shower in the morning.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Speaking of deodorant, or lack thereof, I was in the pizza place down the block a couple of weeks ago when a couple of Phish fans walked in.  They were nice guys and they told me they were just stopping by on their way up to Vermont for the band’s farewell concert.  Then I looked down and realized they were barefoot.  In a pizza place.  On Third Avenue.  It was quite possibly the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.  I mean, I know you want to be one with nature and all, but what happens if you step in gum?

-Even with footwear on, New York City can be a rough place.  In a story that I couldn’t have made up if I tried, my buddy Jud moved to the city to go to business school at NYU.  Two days after moving in, his apartment was robbed blind.  Seeing how upset he was, I tried to comfort him.  I joked, “Hey, you’re going to business school, right?  You’re going to learn all kinds of things that will help you earn the money to replace all your belongings.  Just take good notes!”  “Karo,” he said, distraught, “They took my pens.”

-I think the television networks are going a little overboard with the weather advisories they scroll incessantly across the screen these days.  It’s always a condition I don’t care about in a place nowhere nearby.  I know we all want to be prepared, but is it really necessary to advise me of a drizzle warning in Connecticut?  Besides, I’m watching women’s beach volleyball here and the scroll is covering their asses.

-There’s nothing worse than someone you know stopping to talk to you while you’re running the treadmill at the gym.  First you just smile and nod because you think they’re going to walk by, but when they stop you’re now forced to remove your headphones and attempt to carry on a conversation without hyperventilating and just when you think it’s all over and you get back to your workout, the person passes by again, again stops to talk, again you have to annoyingly take your headphones off and try to speak without wheezing and soon you start to wonder whether pressing the person’s face against the tread while you do two miles will cause permanent damage.

-I recently left the fancy gym I’d been working out in since graduation because they raised my rates astronomically.  Actually, they finally figured out that my corporate discount should have expired two years ago, but that’s a different story.  So now I belong to a new, not so fancy gym.  What a different world.  The personal trainers are all fat and smoke cigarettes behind the building.  The towels are stiff and dirty.  The televisions seem to only play music videos from artists who died in the late ‘90s and the ancient fluorescent ceiling bulbs are positioned in such a way that if you lay on your back to bench press, you’re virtually blinded.  One day, I wore a t-shirt from my old, fancy gym to my new gym, hoping that would gain me some respect among the overworked staff.  I walked in, the guy at the desk took one look at my shirt and said, “Hey man, you think you could get me a job there?”

-And, finally, as I mentioned in Ruminations #42, my friend Claudio is a bad-introducer.  He never introduces me to anyone he meets, even when I’m standing right there.  I, on the other hand, am an over-introducer.  When I go out drinking, I embarrass myself by introducing everyone two, three, four times.  Partying with Claudio is strange because as bad-introducer and over-introducer, respectively, I end up introducing him to his own friends who I’ve only just met.  Did you get all that?  Good!  Now let’s get you some ice cream.  Fuck me.