Issue #65 – “Trophy Life” – April 11th, 2005

-FREEEEEEDOM!!!  After three months (that’s 89 days or 2,136 hours or 7.7 million seconds) of living at home with my parents, I’ve finally sprung loose and moved back to good ol’ New York City.  No more asking my dad for rides.  No more having my mom throw out my old, holey underwear against my will.  I’ve returned to civilization and I’m ready to experience the city in all of its glory once again.  Just as soon as I can replace those eleven pairs of boxers.

-You learn a lot about your parents when you move back home at twenty-five.  For instance, my dad’s advice consists of eight interchangeable catchphrases: “Don’t worry about anyone but yourself,” “Sometimes you gotta pay your dues,” “It’ll put hair on your chest,” “It builds character,” “Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do,” “Go ask your mother,” “Always look out for number one,” and my personal favorite, “Show some class for God’s sake.”

-My mom, on the other hand, is incapable of remembering my email address, no matter how many times I tell her and despite the fact that she’s been emailing me there for four years.  I’m like, Mom, just email  Which part can’t you remember?

-While home, I discovered that running on your old high school track is like twenty times tougher than running on a treadmill.  Especially when the girls JV lacrosse team is staring at your sorry ass.

-Also, snow isn’t so cool anymore when you have to shovel it yourself.

-Ever wonder what your parents keep in that second, extra refrigerator that’s half-buried in your garage or basement?  Turns out it’s just eight cases of Snapple.

-I told my mom that I would probably need a Foreman for my new apartment.  She was like, “What, like a construction worker?”

-Back in January, I asked my mom how she felt about my moving back home.  She said, “Remember when you and Dad got me a DustBuster for Mother’s Day that year?”  I was like, “Yeah…”  She was like, “Well, that’s how I feel.”  I wasn’t quite sure what that meant, but last week when I asked her how she felt about my moving out again, she said, “Take the DustBuster.”

-In the end, I actually enjoyed my three months at home.  Not just because I got to spend some quality time with my parents as a quasi-adult, or because the rent was free (though that really, really helped), but because of the trophies.  I slept and worked in my old bedroom, which still holds all my old trophies from soccer and camp and whatnot.  And it’s really hard to be bummed about life when you’re surrounded by trophies.  They may be over a decade old and venerate achievements long since forgotten in sports played on a field surrounded by a track that I can’t no longer run around even once, but there’s nothing like a two-foot tall, gold-plated figurine to make you forget how much snow you have to shovel.

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

-Is it gross that the other day I watched “Super Size Me” and then ate an Egg McMuffin a few hours later?  And it was the tastiest goddamn Egg McMuffin I’ve ever had.

-I love how on “Lost” the castaways all go to Jack, the only doctor on the island, for every little problem, even if it’s not medical.  I do the same thing with my friends who are med students.  I’m like, “Hey man, I’ve got this kinda weird rash.  Oh, and my printer is broken.  You think you could fix that, too?”

-Last week, my buddy Gadi was making me watch “Iron Chef America” on the Food Network when all of a sudden he exclaimed, “I can’t stand that chef.  He sucks!”  I don’t get it.  What sucks?  We were just watching TV – he obviously hadn’t tasted the food.  I guess he could have been referring to the chef’s choice of apron, but I actually thought it was quite stylish.

-I just saw some guy in a cast and felt really bad for him.  Not because of his injury, but because he probably has to explain what happened to his wrist and tell the same dumb story over and over again every day.  So let’s add “What happened to your [insert body part in cast]?” to my list of the most annoying questions of all time, joining “How was your trip?”, “How was your test?”, “How was your flight?”, and “How was the funeral?”

-As you know, my former roommate Brian moved in with his girlfriend.  And I’ve been noticing very strange things ever since.  For instance, all of a sudden he has RCFs (Random Couple Friends).  Brian and his girlfriend will have a party at their apartment, and it will be filled with couples I’ve never even seen before.  Where the fuck did these people come from?  Also, Brian has a really high bed in his bedroom.  It’s one of those set-ups where you almost have to do a small hop just to get on top of the mattress.  No one else I know under the age of forty has a high bed like that.  I think it’s a cry for help.

-Kegerator.  I just love that word.  Isn’t it great that we live in a society where kegerators even exist?  World War II was so worth it.

-So my new book comes out in three weeks.  I have the first copies sitting here on my desk.  It’s amazing to think about what went into putting this book together, even when the writing was finished.  A copyeditor scoured it for grammatical errors.  Of course, the way I write, our most heated discussion was whether “mother-fucking” is hyphenated.  Then, a lawyer reviewed the text.  I swear she actually asked me, “So does your friend Claudio actually piss while sitting down?  Because if not, that could be libel.”  Unfortunately for Claudio, I don’t think he has much of a case.

-And, finally, one of the best parts about living alone in my new studio apartment is that, if I shut my cell phone off, no one can talk to me.  No one can bother me, no one can wake me up – it’s utter, silent bliss.  I must have been daydreaming about that possibility as I rode the Long Island Rail Road last week from my hometown to Manhattan for what was to be my triumphant return to the city.  Because I fell dead asleep.  When I woke up, I was in an empty train car in the bowels of Penn Station.  And that’s New York City for you – after we arrived, scores of people must have filed passed me, but not one person talked to me, bothered me, or even woke me up.  And the DustBuster was still at my side.  Fuck me.