Monday, February 25, 2008

Beefsteak: Prep Week

On Thursday, I’ll be attending an event called a beefsteak. For a simple explanation of the history of the beefsteak, I’ll reference a passage from a New York Times article:

Back in the days before cholesterol testing, beefsteaks — boisterous mass feeds featuring unlimited servings of steak, lamb chops, bacon-wrapped lamb kidneys, crabmeat, shrimp and beer, all consumed without such niceties as silverware, napkins or women — held sway in New York for the better part of a century.

The ritual was documented by the writer Joseph Mitchell for the New Yorker magazine in his 1939 article “All You Can Hold for Five Bucks.” As Mr. Mitchell told it, the beefsteak came into being in the mid-1800s, became popular as a political fund-raiser and vote-buyer, and began a slow decline when women started taking part after being granted suffrage in 1920.

Damn women. Damn suffrage. OK just kidding. I support women’s right to eat…and vote, I suppose. You can also get historical accounts at this blog: The Big Apple.

Supposedly, beefsteaks have become extinct in NYC, but they are very popular in New Jersey. My roommates’ classmate got wind of this travesty and decided to resurrect the beefsteak in his Upper West Side apartment. He hired a chef who specializes in catering beefsteaks in NJ. For $29 (including tip), the chef will provide beef, salad, ice cream and two servers. There is a BYOB policy.

Though I was aching for the bacon-wrapped lamb kidneys, beefsteaks have evolved into a steak-only affair. Also, I think those sketchballs in Jersey bastardized the event with salad. I’m not complaining about ice cream. I like ice cream. (Hopefully, he’ll bring non-chocolate toppings so I can abide by my Lenten sacrifice.)

An interesting characteristic about beefsteaks is that they also serve as an eating competition. The strips of beef are served on slices of bread. Rather than eating the bread, you stack the bread beside your plate to keep track of how much beef you’ve eaten. This competition angle will definitely prevent me from drinking. At most, I think I’ll only have two beers, hopefully of the light variety. I need to show these rich, advantaged law school kids how much a poor migrant Mexican (Filipino) slave worker (advertising account executive) can eat.

In anticipation of this eating showcase, I’ve also decided to put my stomach on a training regimen. This past Friday, I started increasing my meal portions and caloric intake. The goal is to eat 1.5 pounds of beef. I’m not exactly sure what 1.5 pounds of beef looks like, but I’m sure it’s more than my body can handle. But I must persevere.

If I don’t die from a clogged artery after the beefsteak, I’ll write a follow-up to the event. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Freckled Treasure

This Sunday, I was taking a break from my constant playing of Guitar Hero by watching Terminator 2. (Side Note: T2 was airing on AMC, and deservedly so. The special effects still hold up even 17 years after it first played in theatres. Also, watching the Governator spit lines such as, “My CPU is a neural net processor, a learning computer. The more contact I have with humans, the more I learn” is a great source of laughter. And why did an advanced killer cyborg from the future have an Austrian accent?) I was also simultaneously surfing the Web and found a link pointing to nude pictures of Lindsay Lohan in New York magazine. My first thought was “NO F%CKING WAY,” so I immediately clicked on the link to see if it was true.

Not surprisingly, it took about 15 minutes just for the first page of the slideshow to load. It took about another 10 minutes just for me to get to the second slide. At that point, I gave up and decided to wait until the traffic subsided. I think everyone was trying to access those photos on Sunday afternoon. (And, according to Forbes.com, Monday and Tuesday as well: “For a site that's averaged around a million page views a day lately…NYmag.com recorded a total of more than 40 million page views Monday and Tuesday, more than 34 million of which came from the Lohan portfolio.”)

I was finally able to access the slideshow in a decent amount of time on Sunday evening. I was going through the photos, and then it happened…Lindsay Lohan’s breasts finally revealed themselves to me. My first thought upon seeing the side angle shot: “NO F%CKING WAY!”

The release of these photos is definitely a pivotal moment in the history of man. Ever since Lindsay debuted her chest’s potential in the highly entertaining Mean Girls, she has been teasing us with pictures like this and this.

I must say that the spread was done elegantly. I think we had all expected her to pose in Hustler at least five years down the road when she was severely used up, out of rehab for the tenth time and desperate for cash. Now, she surprises us by remaking a classic shoot of an American icon after she’s only moderately used up, been through rehab only a couple of times and supposedly even posed free of charge.

With all the positive vibe created by this great photo spread, let us take some time to remember there was a loser—the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. After years of not mattering whatsoever, this year’s issue actually got some attention during its release last week. It had a fairly well-organized Web presence and chose a gorgeous cover model. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone is purchasing the Swimsuit Issue over New York magazine.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why I Enjoy The New Yorker

I just read Anthony Lane's review of Jumper in The New Yorker. On Hayden Christensen, he writes:

"'Star Wars' fans will remember Hayden Christensen as the young Anakin Skywalker, or, to be more accurate, as a kind of handsome void where Anakin was supposed to be. One day, I feel sure, the rich mantle of charisma will descend upon him, but 'Jumper' is not that occasion."

I can't believe George Lucas actually made this guy a star. I could've learned how to look angry and wave a light sabre, and I guarantee I wouldn't have had any problems professing my fake loveor so I would have people believefor Natalie Portman.

(So really, I just needed a halfway decent excuse to post a picture of Natalie Portman.)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

HGOC Sexifies NYC...and Gets The Dirty Burrito Drunk

Last week, Northwestern University’s inaugural Hottest Guy on Campus came to NYC for a legal technology conference. What was supposed to be a boring business trip with lawyers and tech geeks quickly turned into an orgy of booze.

A week of drinking included partying with a 25-year-old Swedish anthropologist who went home with a not-so-attractive cougar, sake bombing & karaoke (one can never go wrong with Billy Ocean & Soft Cell), warning my roommate not to go home with a girl with herpes, drunkenly proposing to my girlfriend—who was standing about 50 feet away—at a shady Irish pub as I was on the verge of passing out, single-handedly eating 75% of a dulce de leche fondue and blackouts galore. (And I’m talking college-style blackouts, the kind I would experience every Thursday and Saturday night, and sometimes on Wednesday night, at The Blackout Mecca—Rick’s.)

You can check out all the debauchery at my photo site, but the best picture is the one above that is posted on PM Buzz. HGOC is so hot that he managed to get The Dirty Burrito on a nightlife Web site, despite the fact that I was bringing down the picture with my three-quarter sleeve, hand-me-down softball uniform. I like to think the fedora classed it up a little, but it was probably due to the HGOC effect...and The GF...and Adam, who was celebrating fashion week with a fabulous bow tie & handkerchief combination.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

40 Days & 40 Nights

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It is customary for Christians all across the globe to give up something during this holy season. This means you must abstain from that thing until Easter Sunday.

It’s supposed to be representative of the sacrifice Christ made in giving up his life so that our sins may be forgiven. I’m sure this practice was started with good intentions, but I don’t believe that giving up soda until Easter really means anything.

I have not even attempted to give up anything for Lent in years. However, this year I’ve decided to give up something very dear to me. Chocolate. I know what a lot of you are saying. “Everyone gives up chocolate.” This is true, but chocolate doesn’t mean as much to you as it does to me.

The chocolate river scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory isn’t just a scene from a movie. It’s something I hope I’ll one day be able to experience.

Chocolate bars were on sale at Rite Aid for a quarter, and I bought ten 5th Avenues and five Heath bars. And I finished them within a week.

I worked at Godiva and constantly stole truffles from the display case and the backroom.

I determine the quality of Mother’s Day brunch on the sole factor of whether there is a chocolate fountain.

I went to Hong Kong, and my major purchase was twenty boxes of Meiji Meltykiss.

This will be a huge test of fortitude. Will I be able to contain my cravings? I have no idea. I just hope it’ll last longer than my attempt in college to give up alcohol. We threw a party the Saturday after Ash Wednesday, and it just wouldn’t have been right for the host to not drink.