Posted by Elliot Steingart
It’s always good to take a break, even from yourself. I live alone and have five mirrors above my bed. I’m not that vain that I want to look at myself all the time, just when having sex. Since that hasn’t happened in a little while, I routinely rehearse karaoke songs and flex my muscles in the mirror.
I am flattered when anyone invites me to hang out because I get tired of hanging out with this weird Warren Zevon fan that looks a lot like me.
I welcomed the invitation by Ilana Angel, the Jewish Journal’s most popular blogger, to sit on a three person panel alongside her and Seth Menachem of “My Single Peeps” about being single for the Journal’s “Anti-Valentines Day Event.”
Danielle Berrin, the “Hollywood Jew,” moderated a lively discussion to an audience of 115 Jewish singles of all ages. I’m not used to being asked questions in front of a large audience so in the middle of Danielle’s questions I would drift off. Ilana would answer the question while I looked to see which girls were cute in the audience. Then Danielle turned to me and asked “What about you, Elliot?”
“Sorry, can you repeat the question?” I asked. Other times I went off on tangents about what a great moderator Danielle was.
We covered topics like whether it’s okay to date outside of Judiasm and if it’s okay to be single when society tells you it’s not. I made up a bunch of stuff and then was happy when the conversation shifted to online dating. I recommended OkCupid because it’s free and you can easily meet girls who like ethnic food and look like Janis Joplin. The word “Free” got the crowd excited, as you can imagine.
“What’s been your experience with JDATE?” Danielle asked.
“I was on JDATE a few years ago and then went back to visit. A lot of the same girls are still on the site, even if you click refresh.” I paused. “Borders has more new inventory than JDATE.”
Someone mentioned that JDATE is expensive. “I’m waiting for JDATE to do a Groupon” I remarked. “I want half-off, or at least a half-Jew.”
Then during the panel I realized my shoe was untied. I apologized to Danielle, and the audience.
“You deserve better from a panelist.” A few people laughed. Most were confused.
After the panel was over I made my rounds, and wound up meeting some nice Jewish girls. I was even invited back to the next singles event in May.
An even better invitation was still to come…
My buddy Jay invited me to join him and three friends to see Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam at Dodger Stadium. Fittingly I wore my jean jacket and blue jeans-denim on denim. Jay wore flannel, a tank top and a Firestone ball cap. Jay and I dressed like the Pittsburghers we are.
The crowd was mainly Mexican men and their five year old sons and white folk you don’t normally see in the city. It would have been the first kiss cam where no one had any teeth. And then there we were, five members of the Los Angeles Jewish community ready to see “Maximum Destruction” fly through the air and destroy any vehicle in sight!
“Are you ready to see this RV get smashed to pieces?” yelled the PA announcer.
“We are!” I yelled.
Out came the one and only “Gravedigger.” We stood on our feet cheering and pumping our fists as Gravedigger awed us by demolishing the RV. It was Gravedigger’s All-American moment. Flying through the air and smashing the RV to pieces was not only an homage to sponsor, Advance Auto Parts, but a indeed a tribute to Whitney Houston.
“It’s tee-shirt time!” barked the PA announcer.
A go kart circled the stadium shooting tee-shirts at the crowd. It was a real life drive-by shooting. I am not above screaming for a tee-shirt. I danced a little bit too. Wearing denim on denim while drinking a bud light I could fart and people would cheer.
And what’s Monster Jam without a beach ball? Monster Jam is like the Oscars for beach balls. We did the wave and finally had to sit down. We were jammed out.
I accept I’m just as weird in public as I am in private. I’m glad others accept that too.
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February 15, 2012 | 11:33 am
Posted by Elliot Steingart
Last week I wrote about my tennis partner who solicits gay sex on Craigslist. He suggested I go on Craigslist to find a female sex partner. I dismissed the idea until I got home later that night.
After a few glasses of Dickel’s Tennessee Whiskey, I posted the following:
5’8, Easy Going and Ready to Go. (near Silverlake).
28 years old. Look like a cross between Zach Braff and Jerry Seinfeld. Happy to host. Pic for pic.
I took some liberties so I wouldn’t be outed. I lied about my height and age. I’m not 5’8 or 28. hahahahah! I’m 5’7, and 27!
What would become of the night? Would I drink more Dickel’s and sit by the computer? Would I delete the post, and pretend I wasn’t seeking sex on the internet?
I needed to channel my adrenaline, and make a move. Once the thought occurred there was no turning back. There I was three Dickel’s deep and off to see an NC-17 movie by myself.
You try going up to the box office and say I’ll have one for “Shame” with a straight face. The box office manager repeated into the microphone in pure Dolby Digital surround sound, “That’s 1 for Shame?”
Her confirming my GA ticket to “Shame” only echoed from Echo Park to Eagle Rock.
“Shame” follows Michael Fassbender having sex with things for 90 minutes. His performance was amazing. His acting was good too.
The film documents the emptiness and emotional pain that results from sex addiction. Not the best movie to see before your first try at Craigslist sex.
The next morning I returned back to normal checking my email when I discovered some surprises. The first surprise was from “Adella” who wrote the following:
“Interested? I can send pictures.”
Adella’s email address included four $$$$ leading me to believe she was not a real person, or it really was Grammy Award winning sex fiend Adele and the extra L and A in “Adella” were part of the facade.
I didn’t respond, but I did enjoy her performance on the Grammy’s.
The second email was from Sharon:
“New approach—look like a cross between Zach Braff and Jerry Seinfeld.”
Sharon sent the email at 7:50am. I hadn’t even had a cup of coffee yet and she’s emailing me for morning sex. How much Dickel’s did she put in her coffee?
I didn’t want Sharon to know my name, or email. I asked my buddy if “ljohnson28” would be a good fake email address.
“Yea, tell her your name is Leroy.”
That’s genius, I thought. You can picture a guy who looks like a cross between Braff and Seinfeld would be named Leroy Johnson.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Leroy Johnson. Never had an STD, and don’t plan on getting one. You?”
While eating dumplings at a round table with 15 of my co-workers I told everyone how I drank Dickel’s and saw an NC-17 movie by myself. I received looks of pity.
“I think you need some friends,” someone remarked.
Before I could blame it on the pervert juice some one exclaimed, “I want to see Pina in 3D.”
Had they got a hold of the Dickel’s too? 3D Penis? “I don’t want to see Penis in any dimension.”
Sharon does, but she aint hearing from Leroy. The last thing Leroy needs is a glass of Dickel’s.
February 8, 2012 | 11:21 am
Posted by Elliot Steingart
Every great tennis player needs a rival to elevate his game. Sampras had Agassi, Federer has Nadal and I have a 40 year old gay man from Long Beach who is ranked #1 in my internet tennis league.
The first time I met Jerry he told me to meet him at night at courts that didn’t have lights. We relocated to the courts on Riverside Drive where before our match I stretched my quads and he stood over my shoulder jumping rope. I just thought “There is no way I can lose to this guy.”
Not only did he beat me decisively in the first set, but up 30-love he stops the point, and says, “Sorry, but I gotta pee” and runs off the court.
I’ve never seen anyone pee in between points. A brilliant psych out. Thereafter, each time I threw the ball in the air to serve I wondered if I too had to pee. I even farted chasing a backhand.
Our second match I kept it closer by driving the ball down the alley and incorporating my drop shot, but on a crucial break-point his forehand may have grazed the line, but it was too close to call.
“Was it in?” He asked.
“I couldn’t see. Why don’t we replay the point?”
To which he replied, “According to USTA rules if you aren’t sure, the point goes to the other player.”
What does the USTA say about peeing midpoint? I gave him the point. Besides as a line judge who can’t see at night, I’m sure I already called half of his winners, “Deep!”
Our third match I came ready to avenge my previous losses in my favorite hot dog tee shirt. He wasn’t psyched out.
“Have you been playing a lot?” he asked me.
“Here and there. You?”
“I’ve been playing in a lot of tournaments.”
“Oh, that’s cool” I remarked.
“It’s not just for gays. Straights can play too.”
I don’t see myself earning a trophy inscribed ELLIOT STEINGART, GAY TENNIS CHAMPION!! I already can’t beat one homosexual. I doubt I can beat a whole bracket full.
In between sets Jerry began eating chips. “Want some chips?” He offered.
“I’m good, thanks.”
I checked my phone and saw a text from Lori who I’ve taken out on three dates. Lori postponed our forth date, pizza and a Red Box at my place.
“Want to go see a movie in the theaters next week?” She texted.
I threw my raquet to the ground. “Women!” I said to Jerry.
“What’s wrong?” He inquired.
“She wants to go to the movies on our fourth date, but she still hasn’t come over. At this point I’d like to have her over instead of doing another activity.”
“You mean come over to have sex?”
“Yea, don’t get me wrong I love activities, but I prefer sex.”
“Why don’t you go on Craigslist?”
An interesting and unexpected suggestion. “I’ve found apartments, jobs, and roommates off craigslist, but never sex. Why? Have you?”
“F*ck yea!” He exclaimed.
When my tennis rival isn’t hitting to my backhand he is soliciting gay sex on Craiglist. He’s very strategic, i’ll give him that.
“I don’t know if I’ve reached that point. I don’t want any weirdos coming to my place.”
“One time I brought someone back that was weird, but it’s not like he had a knife or anything.”
I can always keep my tennis racquet close by if I get into trouble.
Our third match was a battle. Long rallies, aces, slams, and the time I called myself “a son of a dick” for missing an open winner.
1st set: 3-6,
2nd set: 6-4,
3rd set: 2-4
Before we could finish our third set a husband and wife stepped onto the court signaling our time was up . Had we not been talking about finding sexual partners on craigslist I would have earned the W. It’s fine. I’ll concede losing to Jerry even if it means the end of our rivalry. Besides, I can always find tennis partners on Craigslist.
February 1, 2012 | 11:40 am
Posted by Elliot Steingart
I have no idea how to behave on my birthday. I spend so much time writing jokes, tweeting and blogging about myself, the one day I’m supposed to celebrate my life I’m shy and extra weird.
While I love attention, I’m unsettled by the notion of a premeditated event dedicated to my existence, except for a funeral which I definitely want. Really, my story is no different than yours except I was born into this world tush first.
I think it’s the idea of inviting people to celebrate my birthday that’s weird to me. It seems more like a cry for help. “Eat with me! Drink with me! Buy me gift cards! Love me!”
I’d rather count all the “Happy Bdays” I get on Facebook and internalize why someone wished me a “Happy Bday” and I didn’t return the favor.
Ever since college I’ve been very aware of how many people write happy birthday on my wall. Taylor Skillin, the most popular kid in our freshman class was the benchmark for success. 114 Happy Birthdays to my 22. Since then I’d wish some people a happy birthday just to get one back. It helped inflate my numbers and make me feel better about being born an asshole.
And I know those “friends” who snubbed me or forgot. I’m not that strong, but man can I hold a grudge! Don’t wish me a happy birthday, and I’ll remember not to remember your birthday. Same goes for engagement, marriage or birth of a child. Test me!
I knew going into the day if I didn’t get at least 30 well wishes my life would be for nothing. The tone was set early when Anthony caught me listening to “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” on Spotify at 9am.
“Celebrate that birthday by listening to some Rod Stewart! Is this a birthday routine?” He asked.
“It ought to be,” I replied. “Rod is a sex machine and doesn’t have to watch Youtube to tie a tie.”
I was surprised to hear from my office rival, Elliott S, the Steeler fan. “Hey, I saw it’s your birthday today.”
“Yea, what’s it to ya?”
“You’re not going to believe this but it’s mine too.”
“Of course it is!”
Fortunately, everyone wants to make sure you will have a great day. “So, what are you doing for your birthday? Any big plans?”
I spent the weekend in San Diego running around with family, and figured that was good enough. I was fine having a low key birthday, especially on a Monday, but the questions kept pouring in. “What’s in store for the big night??”
On the spot, I scrambled to think of something and somehow blurted out “Karaoke at the Big Foot Lodge.”
Of course, none of my friends knew about this plan. I hadn’t mentioned my birthday to anyone nor did I realize this was my plan. I texted friends and others I might not otherwise have invited. What if none of my friends showed, but the acquaintances did? They would think I have no friends on my birthday, or worse, they’d think they are my only friends.
My parents gave me money to take myself out to a nice dinner. “Go someplace nice,” they insisted.
I walked to a dimly lit Sushi joint, peered inside, looked at the menu, and man, did I chicken out. I just couldn’t do it. I retreated to the Coffee Bean next door where my head spun, tweets flew and began thinking about the possibility of someone catching me at the Coffee Bean alone on my 27th birthday.
“Hey, isn’t it your birthday?”
“I’m singing Rod Stewart at Karaoke tonight if you’d like to come, or you can just write on my wall, if it’s easier!”
I still hadn’t learned the words to “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” nor had I rehearsed any of my cool new moves. I didn’t want to go, but I had to because I told my co-workers, friends and family that I was singing karaoke for my birthday. I needed to complete the narrative.
So I went to karaoke by myself on my birthday. The Bigfoot Lodge was pretty empty but I figured I’d sit at the bar and order a drink. It took a few moments for the bartender to notice me and even longer for her to pour me a Murphy’s. I didn’t want to drink alone. Why would I? I wanted to check my Facebook to see the latest string of birthday wishes. Before she could pour my beer I said, “Sorry, but I’m good, thanks” and left the bar.
I planned on driving home but kept driving, until I parked the car and popped in to Public House on Vermont for comedy night. I even ordered a beer that I drank. I ran into Jason Nash, a comedian friend who performed a solid set that made laugh.
The night ended with 66 “Happy Birthdays” and the belated wishes are still coming in. I’ll be accepting them until tomorrow. Thanks for checking.