Monday, February 22, 2010

Gold for Mediocrity

Last week, one of the stories the press wanted us to get excited about was the prospect of Apolo Ohno becoming the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian. He was attempting to surpass fellow speedskater, Bonnie Blair, who won five gold medals and one bronze throughout the 80s and 90s. Ohno got his seventh medal this past weekend, a bronze in the 1,000 meter short track competition, bringing his medal tally to two gold, two silver and three bronze.

When I first heard sportscasters saying, "Tune in and watch Apolo Ohno go for history," I thought he was going for something awesome, like his seventh career gold medal. Instead, I was completely underwhelmed when I found out he was just going for a medal of any type, just so he could reach that record. I refuse to buy into this hype. I understand NBC needs to create interest for their telecast, but why are they, and the rest of the U.S. media, OK with glorifying mediocrity? Why should I be excited that some guy lost his competition?

Think about it -- this guy is happy because he "won" third place. This doesn't happen in other sports. They eliminated the consolation game in the World Cup because nobody gives a damn about who gets third place. Look at the picture above. He's holding up seven fingers like he's Michael Phelps. Congratulations! You got your fifth medal for losing. For all of the hype Ohno and his 90s grunge bandana receive, he is a pretty overwhelming underachiever. Is he really supposed to be, as the NY Times refers to him, the "U.S. King of Winter?"

On the flip side of things, there is Shaun White, who is universally accepted as the best in his sport and has exceeded all expectations. He was expected to defend his gold medal in halfpipe, and,with the weight of the world on his shoulders, he did so in crushing fashion. Even though he already had gold secured, he went on his second run as if winning the competition depended on it. White nearly got a perfect score and landed an insane trick that he invented. That guy is clutch and deserves everything he gets. As my friend, Brando, said that night, "I want to be that happy."

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I Need A New Roommate

My roommate, Old Guy, has decided he wants to get his own apartment in NY. Why, after three glorious years, he would want to leave me...I have no idea. I'm baffled; it's the end of an era. In any case, I hate moving -- it's time-consuming, labor-intensive and costly. Besides, you know how many boxes I'm going to need just for my shoes and t-shirts?

In an effort to avoid moving, I am looking for a new roommate. The lease starts on May 1, but I need to renew by March 1. We can discuss rent, lease term, etc. if I've deemed you to be a solid lead. I'm open to living with a guy or girl. Please let me know if you're interested, and feel free to forward to any non-sketchy people who you think will be interested. If you wouldn't want to live with him/her, please don't torture me by recommending him/her to me. Also, I realize some of you don't live in NY, but being a global society, I figure you might know someone.

Here is some info:

Apartment
- It's a 5th-floor walk-up. Don't be scared. It's only tough the first couple days. It's good to climb stairs. Compliments on how nice your ass looks will start to roll in. You won't even need EasyTones.
- 1.5 baths. We won't have to fight over the toilet. You know this is very important.
- Hardwood floors
- Excellent property management company. They are very responsive and have immediately addressed the very few issues we've encountered.

Location
- East Houston (between Orchard Street and Allen Street)
- I'm located in the LES very near what Kramer dubbed, "the nexus of the universe." There are tons of restaurants, bars/clubs and shops.
- I live right above Russ & Daughters, and Katz's is a block away. It's perfect if you're into lox, babka, deli sandwiches without cheese, and all those other Jewish goodies.
- I'm above an American Apparel, so if you're into purchasing high-priced, simple clothing, you win. Also, they have a few hot employees.
- One word: Libation.
- Ray's (pizza), Philly's (cheesesteaks) and Bereket (Turkish) are a block away, and I'm pretty sure they're open 24 hours. Welcome back, Freshman 15!
- OK. Libation was a joke. Forgive me.

Surrounding Neighborhoods

- You're a hop, skip and a jump away from the East Village and Alphabet City, which both also have tons of restaurants, bars/clubs and shops.
- You're a ten-minute walk from Nolita and about twenty minutes from Chinatown, Soho and NYU (college chicks!)

Transportation

- Trains: The F is just across the street. The 6 is 10 minutes away on Houston. The N/R/W is 15 minutes away at Prince & Broadway.
- Buses: The M101 is around the corner and will take you straight up 1st Avenue. The M15 is across the street and will take you down to Chinatown and the Financial District. The M21 takes you crosstown via Houston.

Miscellaneous
- Wii with two guitars for Guitar Hero. Chicks dig it. Trust me.
- I have two Nerf guns, so we can battle each other.
- I'll let you use my skateboard, mainly because I'm hoping you'll know how to teach me how to ride it properly.
- I have an autographed Hanson CD. Also, a chick-magnet.

Me
- If none of the aforementioned items is enough, I've been told that I'm somewhat tolerable and mildly handsome.