03 July 2016

For the Longest Time

So my friend's wedding happened, it was beautiful, it was in Bryant Park, and the respect you get on the streets for walking around in tuxes was certainly nice. People are so friendly when you’re dressed up! This was the first (and probably last) tux I’d ever worn. From what I can tell, the difference between a tux and a suit is the lapels. Also you’re supposed to wear French cuffs, and there’s fancier buttons and a bow tie involved.

Since my tux came very loose, I had to get the shit tailored out of it. Basically it was like I had to get a whole new outfit made out of baggy drapes. Upon recommendation of my friend, I went to Dejavu Tailoring in the East Village and over the span of two weeks went by a couple of times. Sometimes just to say “hi” because I’m trying to make new friends! And my new semi-friend — I asked for his Facebook, does that count? — pointed me to @TheSalon, where I got my pre-wedding haircut. So you know, I was at peak fancy and it’s all downhill from here. I kind of wanted to have a cummerbund though, since I'd never worn one before. Do they make cummerbund fanny packs?

It’s only the second time I’ve been a groomsman and once again I performed all my duties spectacularly. Actually I really had no duties, aside from just wake up on time and be there without complaining. With those low expectations set, I think I did my absolute best. Thanks K&M for having me!

One of these days someone will ask me to do a speech and I’ll be sooooo ready.

Aside from that to wrap up my first month here, there was an ultimate Eighties / Nineties karaoke session with two of my favorite karaokers. It’s been awhile since we’ve all sang together. And fueled by tequila shots — none for me thank you — and just general joy, we blasted through our jams, new and old. Here’s a sampling of the night’s hits:
  • Billy Joel, “The Longest Time” (1983)
  • Phil Collins, "Against All Odds” (1984)
  • Alphaville, “Forever Young” (1984)
  • The Cure, “Friday I’m in Love” (1992)
  • Meat Loaf, "I Would Do Anything For Love” (1993)
My personal new go-to is “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias. It’s in my range, vocally and emotionally. Bailamos! Also, I’m waiting for that special someone who can do a credible CeCe Peniston's “Finally.” (Is that even a fun karaoke song? Let’s find out!) And while we’re on the subject of singing, watch this twelve year old, Grace VanderWaal, on America’s Got Talent. It’s from last month but it’s worth a share because she’s just amazing.

Went to the NBA draft too, way up in the cheap seats. Watched the Celtics take the guy I didn’t want them to take, and then got bored and left by the latter half of the first round. Verdict: C+. Going to the draft isn’t that fun unless you know who’s being taken. Even with the ESPN app open to watch it on a screen and IRL at the same time. My advice is to just stay home, watch it on TV. And damn Danny Ainge for not taking Dragan Bender...

A week later, I cruised out to a thing for Chuck Klosterman’s newest book, But What If We're Wrong? He was in conversation with Wesley Morris, of Grantland fame and while the conversation they had was overall pretty good, I would probably have enjoyed it better as a podcast. It's just hard to sit there and watch people chat for an hour and a half these days isn't it? Verdict: Decent B.

Also, Klosterman is very tall, Morris is very short. That should make for a winning combination but Morris seemed to be off his moderator game. Very impressed with Klosterman in person though. He's got this nice ability to take an audience member's (inevitably) rambly Q&A and instantly summarize the question into something understandable. He'll listen and then go, "So what you're asking is <insert nice wrap up>." Useful skill to practice and emulate I think.
One of my very first podcast episodes (with Lilly!) was about Klosterman actually, concerning his intellectual douchebaggery. The thing is, Klosterman is super smart, and I do really love his writing and he always brings an interesting twisted perspective to things. So I change my verdict, Klosterman's not really a douchebag at all, with the possible exception that he's likely a serial mansplainer. But is that okay because he just knows so much?!

Last thing, if you’re into ex-Gossip Girl leads, sharks, and beautiful surf scenes, go watch The Shallows. Nobody would go watch it with me so I was forced to see it myself. Well naysayers, you totally missed out because Blake Lively versus shark was everything I wanted it to be and more. Since basically all of the current crop of summer blockbusters are kind of sucking right now, at the very least The Shallows will make you cringe and get nervous for Serena van der Woodsen’s well-being. Shaaaarks!

And this past Friday I hit up a New York beach for the first time, Long Beach, which was way far out there. I wouldn't normally have gone except my friend offered to drive. (I live right by the beach back home, why would I sit on a train for an hour to get to one?) Anyway, you try new things and you learn new things. Two word game changer: beach chairs.