Footie Frenzy

Soccer. Yeah, I've never heard of it either.

According to CNN’s “This Just In” blog, the most anticipated news of the upcoming week will be the announcement of the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. I find this hard to believe for a number of reasons.

-CNN is an American network. The most anticipated news in America NEVER has to do with soccer. Kim Kardashian will get more media coverage for parting her hair differently than the World Cup will get. Pizza bagels will get more air time, just for being pizza bagels.

-Anything happening in 2018 or beyond is not to be anticipated. People can’t think more than two weeks in advance. Watch this: Hey everybody, it’s almost December, which means it’s almost 2011! Did you see all the faces people made. “Oh my goodness, can you believe it? Time just flies! It just flies!” 2018 is seven full years from now. By that time I won’t even be in my twenties, and that is a disgusting prospect. And 2022? It doesn’t even sound like a year. I don’t even believe in it.

-In relation to the time between the announcement and the actual games, people should take into consideration that things will be a lot different by 2018 and 2022. Soccer as we know it will probably be obsolete. It’s likely that by that time (or as I like to call it “The Future”) one team will consist of human players while the other team will consist of holograms. This will be cool, especially when they decide to make an all Beckham team. Just a bunch of David Beckham holograms running around, kicking and whatnot. Eventually humans will drop out entirely, as they will realize themselves to be obsolete, and because soccer is hard. A select group of people, chosen by a visit to a chocolate factory, will get to create their own teams, with the holograms of their choice. Mine will  be Jonathan Taylor Thomas.  

So you see, no one in the U.S. is really in great anticipation of this World Cup announcement. If it still even exists by that time, who will care? What with flying cars, teleportation and the like, the World Cup will seem like nothing but a game.

 

Courtesy is Contagious

My obsession with the MTA subway system continues, and this week I would like to express my feelings about the “Courtesy is Contagious” message. It goes a lil something like this:

 “If you see an elderly, pregnant, or handicapped person near, you offer your seat.  You’ll be standing up for what’s right.  Courtesy is contagious, and it starts with you.”

See. She's just fine.

Now there are a lot of things that are contagious on the subway (you’re roommates left eye wasn’t always like that), but I’m not so sure courtesy is one of them. Have you ever seen someone give a homeless person money on the train. They always looked so ashamed afterwards, as the rest of us heartless, incompassionate beasts stare daggers through him. What are you, new?

A second issue I take with this message is that there are obviously asking us to target these incapable people. It’s all fine and well to be a polite young person and offer up your seat to an old lady, but then you feel like a real jerk when she looks you in the eye and says “I’m 42.” You remain standing, and link elbows with her to help her down. She punches you in the throat. Thanks, MTA announcement!

If these oldies are so desperate for a seat, they should be like, “Hey, Jerk-wad. Stand.”

And then you’ll be like, “Why?”

And they’ll be like, “I’m so old. Sooooo olllllldddd” (said in a really oldie voice). Everyone on the train will stare at you as you fumble with your iPhone, and you’ll have to stand. All of the other under 65 crowd will hope that there are no more of “these people” on the train, because although they would have judged you for remaining seated, they just left Urban Outfitters, where there were standing for 45 minutes, and it would just really suck to stand while wearing those HEAVY headphones. It would really suck.

I’m waiting for the day when I encounter an elderly pregnant woman on crutches on the train. She’ll wheel herself on (because obviously, there would be no one caring for her in her delicate state), and she’ll look directly at me. In my eyes. For 10 straight seconds. I’ll just stare back, wondering why no one else is offering this old pregnant crutchy lady their seat. Then, at the next stop, the doors will open, and I’ll push her off the train. She’ll say, “Whyyyyyyy?????” and I’ll just stare back as stands (just barely), bitter tears streaming down her wrinkled face.

Here’s an idea, MTA: get a special car for the people we have to stand up for. Sure, it would be imossible to determine where on the platform these people will be (unless there is a handicapped section–a duh), but we can work out the kinks once their far away from me. I mean, the last thing I need to do when I’m going out on a Saturday night in my heels (not), is to stand because some lady who is nine months pregnant thinks she needs to go somewhere. Let’s get her a special car, with big, giant seats, so that I don’t have to suffer for up to 10 minutes at a time.

Yoga to What?

Ohhhhhhhhhhh, siggghhhhhhhh

Yoga To The People is the seedy underbelly of New York yoga culture. While many spend $20 a class to study from well-educated yogis in serene studios, more choose to go to these bootleg classes where you can slip your “suggested donation” into the empty Kleenex box at the the end of class.

Before you even make it to the top of the first flight stairs, the environment becomes clear. Dozens of NYU students and broke twenty-somethings clog the stairwells, half going, half coming. You’ll likely see someone you know on the way up. “Oh hey!” You’ll say to each other, glad to be going in oppostite directions, because honestly, you can’t remember her name. By the time you get to the second floor, the studio if full, and the door is directing people up to the next studio. You finally make your way up, rolling your mat out in whatever spot you find. You have to go to the bathroom, but the line is long, and class is about to start. You lay there in savasana, realizing that you’ve made a big mistake. You’ll being holding it in THE ENTIRE TIME.

The Postal Service or Ryan Adams starts playing, and the instructor, a 20 year old girl with a loose ponytail and voice that strives to calm, says something about “making your way to child’s pose.” The 100 of you do it. Eventually you’re in downward facing dog (a favorite for both humans and canines). Things are going well, until people start to exhale. It’s fine at first, but then things get out of hand.  You think that maybe someone just had a baby. And wait, is that a…cow? Did someone bring a cow? Enough, you think, as people begin to take their moans and groans to orgasmic levels. Enough.

The girl keeps saying things like, “This is your practice,” but you can’t help but look at all these jerk-faces around you. It’s a diverse crowd, but there are definite themes. There are a number of young, fit fellows who have opted to remove their shirts prior to the start of class. You’re fine with it, totally fine with it, but you wonder how they ALL came to the conclusion that this was appropriate and/or necessary. Likewise, there are a number of girls in the room who have decided, to hell with this “shirt.” I’m gonna sports bra it up tonight. You roll your eyes. We get it. You’re skinny. Slut. You can’t help but feel that this yoga class is really some sort of live-action Ok Cupid-type scene. You wonder if these kids have been drinking.

But by this point you’ve got to get back to yourself, because you can’t feel your arms anymore. My god, you can’t feel your arms. Child’s pose. People keep doing the loud moan thing, so you get back into your flow, to distract yourself from their nonsense. This works, until sweat begins pouring into your eyes a light speed. Son of a….You can’t see. You are entering dangerous territory. Warrior two. One eye closed. Slippery arms. You are stable, until the instructor says something like, “Now lift your right leg, and put your left and on your right shoulder.” What? You can’t quite tell your right from your left. You’re getting a bit tangled, and the sweat just won’t stop flowing. Someone in the back is like, “Ohhhhhhhhhhh, yaaaaaaaaa,” and you black out.

When you come to, the instructor is reading a quote by Hellen Keller. She does the thing with the Tibetan singing bowl, and you think your head is going to explode. After the ringing in your ears stops, and Norah Jones starts singing in the background, you look around the dark room. Everyone is laying there, really into it. Meditating, or maybe they’ve fallen asleep. You don’t care, you just need to get the hell out of there. You roll up your mat and stumble over the bodies to the back of the room. It takes you three mintues to find your bag, and by that time everyone is up, and you’ve lost your chance to slip out before the masses. You find $3, a far cry from the suggested $10,( but my god, you were unconscious for half the class) and put it in the tissue box, looking into the instructors eyes to ensure that she’s not looking at your ones and judging. “Thank you,” you smile.

You walk down the steps, wobbly kneed, proud to have survived, curious as to whether anyone has ever died in one of those classes. You pass someone you met one time. She’s on her way in. You smile at each other. She’s already in her sports bra. Slut.

Layover

Last night I purchased my ticket home for the holidays (December 24-31, just enough time to eat a lot of food and see everybody without wanting to take a slow walk into the Mississippi River). The most exciting part of this trip, though, is that I have a layover in Minneapolis on the way home, and my return flight in fact drops me in Newark, the gem of the northeast.

A postcard from Minneapolis? Never send me one of these.

In preparation for my 40 minute layover, I’ve done some research on Minneapolis, so that I’ll be able to kill sometime before my flight to Hell. Below are some fun facts about the City of Lakes to feed your geographical appetite:

  • In the winter of 1983-84, the city received 98.4 incheas of snow. Wowwweeeeee!!!!!
  • The gargoyle is the city’s representative fiction character.
  • The Dakota Sioux were the region’s original inhabitants before the French came and ruined everything and gave everyone bronchitis.
  • Secret is considered a unisex deodorant.
  • Organized squirrel fights are a recognized form of recreation in the city.
  • The Minneapolis park system has been called the best-designed, best-financed, and best-maintained in America. We get it already.
  • Fettucine alfredo is not available for purchase within city limits. Parks don’t make up for that little tidbit, do they?

After reading this list, I think I’ll just stay in the airport while I’m in Minneapolis. But Newark will be a lot of fun. Here is what I’ve learned about this diamond in the rough:

  • Newark is Dutch for “indigestion.”
  • The city was founded by Connecticut Puritans in 1666 who had become tired of madras plaid and topsiders.
  • There’s only one rule in Newark: There are no rules! And no loitering. So two rules, I guess.
  • The city is 53.46% black. Heeeeeeeyyyyyy.
  • If you can hold your breath for 2 minutes, you win a special prize, and I’m not saying I know what it is, but it’s a gift certificate to Macaroni Grill.
  • 28.4% of the population lives below the poverty line (sorry to be a Debbie Downer…)
  • One in four cats in Newark can speak.

Yes, Newark will be a nice detour on the way back to Manhattan. I think I will learn a lot in both of these cities, and these visits will deepen my appreciation for New York City, where fettucine flows freely and cats know to keep their stinking mouths shut.

Running N 2 Jimbo

Some of you loyal and devoted friends may have noticed that I did not post this past week. I could make up a story about how Gayle King kidnapped me and sent me to outer space, but I actually did not see Gayle at all this week, save for reading an article about why she has turned down “Dancing with the Stars” numerous times (I read the article three times, and I still don’t understand how she could make such a mistake).

No, the truth is…I had a cold. Stay calm. I’m fine. Sure, I’m a little shaky from all the DayQuil and soup, but I’m regaining my strength, and soon I’ll be juggling babies just like the old days.

Something miraculous did occur last week, however, and I think tonight (just before election day) is the perfect time to tell you. I met Jimmy McMillan, the leader of the Rent is 2 Damn High party, who has admitted to not actually paying rent at all. I did not see Jimbo. I met him.

He had on a top hat kind of deal when I saw him. Subtle.

I was walking up 6th Avenue around 19th street on Friday afternoon when I noticed a tall man with alarming facial hair standing outside of Men’s Warehouse. I was reaching for my pepper spray when I realized that I knew that facial hair. McMillan’s face has been all over the New York paper’s, and Kenan of Kenan ‘n’ Kel fame even plays him on SNL (side note: what happened to Kel, the funnier one?). And there he was standing before me like a statue of chocolate and hair. For a moment I thought it was someone in a Halloween costume, but the beard was too…right. I gave him a few glances, but he didn’t really do anything, so I just kept going.

Naturally, I needed to call my mother. “Go back and take his picture!” she commanded. When I told her that was weird she pointed out that he probably wanted someone to notice him, and well, no one was. So, after withdrawing $20 at Bank of America (why would I EVER need more than that?), I headed back to MW.

But alas, he had vanished. Oh well, I shrugged. Just then, I looked up to see him standing on the corner. We made eye contact, and I began to turn the corner.

“Hello!” he shouted. I turned around. “I saw you lookin’ at me!” The single most beautiful thing one human being can say to another. “You know who I am!” And that one, I’m just going to use for fun. I walked over and smiled.

“Rent is too damn high,” I said.

“I could tell you knew who I was,” he said, reaching out his gloved hand. “Jimmy McMillan.” We shook.

“Lauren,” I said. “Nice to meet you.”

“They made a big mistake,” he said. Oh no. Should I have grabbed the pepper spray? “I can’t believe they made a celebrity out of me. Why would you give a fool a million dollars?” That’s one tactic to use as a politician. “Now they got me out here shoppin’.” He lifted up his tiny bag from men’s warehouse. I imagine two pairs of socks were inside. “I’m out here shoppin’ at Men’s Warehouse!” I shook my head in commiseration and confusion. “Are you going to Brooklyn?” he asked. There was a black Lincoln near the curb with a woman next to it waving him over.

“Later, but not right now, thank you,” I said. I should have just gotten in. I should have invited him to come to BAM with me and see Empty Moves by Ballet Preljocaj later that evening. This is the sort of regret I will never get over.

“Come on,” the mean, evil woman shouted, waving harder and crazier.

“Well, I gotta go, but vote for me on November 2nd. Jimmy McMillan. Tell all your friends. Spread the word.” We bade each other adieu, and off we both went.

And so now, I am keeping my promise to Jimmy McMillan and inviting you, one and all, to vote for him tomorrow. He is a self-proclaimed idiot who has created his own political party with a number replacing a word in the title, but isn’t that why you should vote for him?

Ten minutes later, I saw Kourtney Kardashian’s ex-boyfriend Scott standing outside of a hotel in casual attire, being a general jerkface to someone on his celly. It was the most D-listastic day of all.

PS,

If you did not click the link above, please do so here, if only to listen to McMillan’s hot new track: http://www.rentistoodamnhigh.org/