Friday, October 21, 2011

Qaddafi's Departure - Be The Better Man

I won't usually weigh into politics because its not really my thing. But following the story of Qaddafi's capture and subsequent execution pisses me off.

Now, don't ever get me wrong in thinking that I'm in Qaddafi's corner (or was), because the guy is a capital D - Douche Bag. He was a despot that operated like one, i.e. torture, armed repression, religious intolerance, Lockerbie, plus some. And to be perfectly honest, the bastard got what was coming to him.

But, and there is a sizable but here - by stooping Qaddafi's level, the rebels really trashed their international "street cred". That whole 'eye for an eye' thing is crap. Be the better man, and you'll be remembered for it. Be the same man, and you'll likely be taken out by the next guy in line.

There is serious truth to the phrase, "Those who stare long enough into the abyss must be sure that abyss doesn't stare back." These rebels should have taken especially good care to be fighting Qaddafi - both militarily and ideologically. You don't depose a violent autocrat by blowing his brains out in a back room, you give him the trial that he refused to give Libya for the past half a century. 

And add a little pomp and circumstance to it. Show off you're accomplishment, and show as many people as you can that you are ethically and morally above a monster like Qaddafi in every way, without question. Try his ass for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and a slew of other charges in a fair trial. And come on, a fair trial for someone who is guilty BEYOND QUESTION would be fairly sentenced to the chopping block. It's not like he would be exonerated. The whole 'just following orders thing' wouldn't have really worked here.

Why would these rebels sacrifice one inch of moral high ground? Half of politics is marketing and spin; show your countrymen that you're the light of Libya, with peace and justice for all. Not only would you be essentially guaranteed a spot in Libyan politics for the next 20 years, but you'd go down in the world history books as a hero and a bad ass. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Buck the Gym

Pay 70 bucks a month for a gym membership? Unless you go every day, and even twice a day with an optional swim/sauna wind down to your workout - unless you're a gym rat and want to pay like one, who can defend this expense? It seems more like you're paying for a status symbol and bragging rights rather than something useful.

NY Sports Club, one of the most popular gyms in New York, costs $69.99 per month for a "Core," or basic membership to one club location. And you get soaked an additional $7.50 if you go to any other clubs around the city. Other gyms may cost more or less, but the premise is the same.

This is robbery, pure and simple. If you want to work out, take a run and do some push-ups. Running around New York lets you see some of the cooler sights in the city. For those who aren't runners, have joint issues, or may just be starting out in the whole exercise thing, try out a work-out video that you can do in your own home. P-90X is a great routine, and you can stream the whole thing for free here

For anyone new to P-90X, the "X" stands for Extreme, and they're not kidding. But it's all resistance and aerobic training - nothing high impact, and the beauty is that you can do as little or as much as you want.

If you really need to go hit the weights and show how buff you are, NYC Parks and Rec has gym memberships available at sites all around the city. And its only $8.30 a month, or $100 a year. A bit better than the $840 it costs for an NY Sports Club membership every year. 

So, if you're in the mood to bust a sweat, don't be the asshole that pays $70+ to go and pump some iron once a week. NY Sports Club might give you a sweet tote bag, but just remember how much you paid for it.   

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tie Guy

I'm a temp. I've been temping for a bit. While it's not my personal preference, temping kept me in the city while I could hunt for a full time job. My first post was at an accounting firm. The pay wasn't bad but the work sucked. Like REALLY sucked. Data entry, filing, more data entry...and then some data entry on top of that.

So while the job was boring and essentially thankless, I went in there every damned day in a suit and tie - and I looked good. Like GQ good. Usually, I was dressed better than the Directors and Partners, which made me stand out.

At the end of the original project that I was brought for, as I saw temps getting the cut day by day, I got recruited to work in another department that paid more, with the possibility of a permanent position. The reason? My office nickname was "The Tie Guy," and the CFO wanted to look at this sharp-dressed kid's resume.

While the permanent position thing never quite panned out, I got three months of awesome pay, and some kick-ass experience all for wearing a tie.

So remember folks, there is serious truth to that saying, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Headliner

When I first moved to Sugar Hill, which is a sub-neighborhood of Harlem, I found myself living with two actors in a cheap but nice place on St. Nicholas Ave. I was subletting their third roommate's room, who also happened to be a stage manager for various shows around town.

I used to do theater in high school and loved it, but I got out as quickly as I could in college because I realized that there is just way too much "drama" in theater. About 70 percent of the people that act are great; nice people, level headed, and down to earth. But the other 30 percent....Jesus. We're talking boarder-line socio-paths with a deep running complex and a bad attitude. My first girlfriend in college was in theater, which didn't help either.

But I moved in with these two actors, one guy and one girl, (who now I live across the hall from) and its really interesting the people you can meet through an actor. The guy, who we'll call Steve for the time being, was best friends with what I might call a "headliner" on Broadway. Among other things, Steve's friend was up for a Tony Award this past fall for Best Actor. A Tony Award! That's the top prize in theater. Not too shabby. While he didn't win, this headliner is pulling what some CEO's don't make. I think I heard something like $5,000-7,000 a during the run of his show. That's between $250,000 and $350,000 a year, not including the national commercials he was signed on to.

The kicker is that this headliner is maybe two years older than I am, and I've played Nazi Zombies with him before (kicked his ass). Down to Earth, nicest guy you could meet. But will I see him sign a million dollar movie contract in the next few years? I'd be surprised if I didn't.

So now I can say that I've known, been loose friends with, and kicked the crap out of a Tony-nominated future millionaire in Nazi Zombies. Hell ya.

So it Begins

Hey everyone, 

So here begins a true outsider's view from the inside. The place where it all happens, where people come to pursue their dreams and make their fortunes. It kind of sounds like Vegas and Hollywood rolled into one but hey, that's New York, baby. 

It has to be a special place when both Sinatra and Jay-Z are singing about how awesome this city is, and I've found myself smack in the middle of it. So what will I do, where am I going to go, and how will I end up in that city that never sleeps? 

I thought it would be cool to track my progress and share a unique perspective. Everything here is still new to me, and it's going to be fun ride taking an inside look at New York City. Wish me luck!