1) I enjoyed the Olympics. I just like the concept of people working their whole lives for this one all-important moment, all so I can sit on the couch in sweatpants, eating Wheat Thins, and half paying attention to them. Sitting around lazily is always a little more fun when someone on the TV is undergoing severe stress and strenuous physical activity. The fact that they're also outside in the freezing cold is icing on the cake. This is the same exact reason watching football on Thanksgiving and New Years Day is fun. Some further Olympic thoughts:
- Watching figure skaters fall lands me in a classic dilemma. On one hand, theatrical and sassy skaters wiping out and ruining their dreams is very funny. On the other hand, part of me feels bad for them, and watching post-fall skaters finish their program is depressing. It's a tough one to figure out. The only easy one is Evgeni Plushenko, who's a pure joy to root against.
- My favorite event to watch is short-track speed skating. I find it completely captivating. And Apolo Ohno is one of my favorite athletes. (He should have nine.)
- The snowboarding half-pipe event is really fun to watch. Shaun White and I have a complicated relationship. Every time I lay eyes on him, I have immediate disdain for him, and then I listen to him in an interview and like him, and then he snowboards and completely wins me over. Then I forget all that and see him on a magazine cover a few days later and have total disdain for him.
- There are few activities that seem more miserable than partaking in a 30k cross-country ski race.
- I was really happy that that fat American frat-dude led his team to the bobsledding gold, but this is one of many events that's boring to watch. Why? Because all the sleds look the same when they're going, and you just sit there and wait to see their final time. Long-track speed skating and skiing present the same problem for me. That's why I love short-track so much—they're all battling each other simultaneously.
- I was ridiculously excited about the men's hockey gold medal final, but I was out and couldn't see it live. I Tivo'd (Tivoed?) it and was incredibly careful not to talk to anyone who had watched it. I didn't get near ESPN.com. I told my friends not to text me about it. Then, minutes before getting back to my apartment and watching it, my CNN iPhone app sent me a "breaking news alert" text message telling me the final score. Thanks CNN!
- One nice thing about the Winter Olympics is that it fills the Superbowl-to-March Madness sports void really nicely. The gap is only two weeks long this year.
3) When the cashier hands me change that includes pennies, I usually leave the pennies on the counter. If I'm feeling ballsy I'll throw them in the trash. Both options are better than the two alternatives: insulting the cashier by putting pennies in the tip jar or putting them in your pocket and having to deal with pennies later.
4) A couple more things that people say are gross that really aren't:
- Going to a public bathroom barefoot. Bear with me here. So in Case 1, you get someone's urine on your foot. Granted, this isn't optimal. But when do you ever touch the soles of your feet? And when you take a shower, it's gone—right? In Case 2, you get urine on your shoe. You touch your shoe a lot, every time you put it on and take it off. And you never wash your shoes. So the urine is now a part of your life. So I guess I'm not really saying that it's not gross to go to the bathroom barefoot—I'm saying it's less gross than going with shoes on.
- The other day, I took a tea bag out of my tea cup and threw it in the trash. Then I drank my tea. Then I wanted more tea. But I had used the last bag. So I reached in the trash and reused the tea bag. People gasped. But what the hell? What's so gross about the trash? Did someone poop in the trash? No. Were there used needles in the trash? No. All that was in the trash was some paper that I had thrown in there myself (recycling is hard). So I took the bag off of a piece of paper. Not gross.
5) When I got off the subway the other day, this old lady in front of me took 200 years to exit. As a result, when I finally got out the doors were closing. I managed to slip out, but I was holding my laptop bag in my hand and the doors closed on the handle of my bag with most of the bag still inside. So I'm outside the subway, my laptop's inside, and my hand is clutching the bag's handle. A chaotic scene ensued, during which a guy inside the subway joined me in frantically trying the wrest the doors open. On my outside, I was furiously trying to open the subway doors. On my inside, I was sighing, amused by my life. Eventually, the doors opened.
6) When it comes to shopping for groceries and cooking them, I'm one of the laziest people that exist. The process that starts with me thinking, "I need to go to the grocery store," and ends with all the groceries bought and put away in my apartment is incredibly long and arduous. And while things like junk food and pasta are pretty easy to cook, healthy food like vegetables and meat are confusing and difficult. Like, vegetables in bags in the fridge are very far away from being on a plate ready to eat. You have to do hard, complicated things like steaming them and sauteing them and cutting them. So what normally happens is I buy all of this d-bag produce at the grocery store, and then every time I'm hungry, I elect to make pasta or eat junk food or order out over trying to conquer the healthy food, and then after a few days I start to worry that the healthy food may have begun to perish, and without knowing whether it actually did or didn't, I'll throw it away.
But two things have happened recently that have changed everything.
First, I began using FreshDirect.com, the greatest service in the world, so now I don't have to go grocery shopping anymore. I was so excited when my first delivery arrived that I couldn't help but give the delivery guy my sexy eyes, which in turn left him with the willies.
Second, I bought a Vita-Mix, a ridiculously powerful, mannish blender, because my friend is a Vita-Mix salesman and I heard his sales pitch one too many times. Now, when I see daunting vegetables in bags in the fridge, I just pile them into the blender, throw in like 17 random condiments and spices, and three minutes later I'm eating delicious salsa and the kitchen is clean. When I see fruit, I just throw it in, stems, seeds and all, and I end up with a smoothie. If I put vegetables in and leave the blender going for a five minutes, I end up with soup (which is steaming hot at that point because the blades go so fast). Something like making hummus would normally be completely bewildering and impenetrable, but last week, I just clicked the hummus ingredients when ordering from FreshDirect, and I actually ended up making hummus.
But it's not all roses. I talked this machine up the other night to my friend and then brought him to the house where I made him ice cream, one of the Vita-Mix's best tricks (that's right, I brought my male friend to my apartment for a homemade ice cream party), except I got cocky and forgot multiple key ingredients and it was inedible.
Further, now that it's getting warmer, I'm starting to walk home from work, which takes me through Chinatown, which leaves me with no option but to buy Chinese food, which means that none of the above is relevant and I'm going to have a blood-MSG level of .2 until next winter when I start taking the subway again.
7) This is great news. Why only for the playoffs?
8) I decided I was smarter than everyone else at the bar the other night and instead of dealing with the coat check line, I left my coat in the corner of a booth. Yes, it was quite the trick. Then at the end of the night everyone got in line again to get their coats and mine was stolen. Earlier that day, someone stole my sandwich from the office fridge.
9) My friend Melissa told me a couple years ago that she and a friend were writing and starring in a web series called Let's Get Laid about two girls in their early twenties and their various dating debacles. Sounded like a good idea. She said they were basing the stories on their real-life dating debacles—which was upsetting because she was dating me at the time. In any case, they actually made it happen—the most recent episode is here. It's very funny and I hope it ends up as a TV series at some point soon. (Note to struggling actors -- this is the way to get your career going. Create and produce something yourself, cast yourself as the lead, and broadcast it on the internet. It's way more effective than clawing for parts in auditions.)
10) My grandparents just had their 67th anniversary. They started dating 69 years ago. Someone who was in the womb when they first started seeing each other is now beginning preparations for their 70th birthday bash. Marriage is a pretty important thing to get right, huh?
11) When so many things that are supposed to be funny aren't, it's nice that The Onion always delivers.