Posted by Elliot Steingart
Because I blow all my money on lottery scratchers, what better way to begin the summer than with some summer savings. A Dodger Dog normally costs $5. That’s why I visit Dodger Stadium on $1 Dodger Dog night.
I was worried about long lines, especially without a hot dog per patron limit. How could the supply ever meet the demand when any fan could easily order 8 dogs at a time? Eating hot dogs or anything for that matter is more exciting than watching nine innings of baseball. That’s why after every pitch you have a new vendor trying to sell you “Peanuts, Cracker Jacks!” or “Ice Cold Coke here!!” No other sport bribes you like baseball.
Make no mistake, the Dodger Dog is a special hot dog. I ordered two to impress my girlfriend. Two Dodgers Dogs is like 32 inches of weiner. My girlfriend and I split the second one so we could enjoy the weiner together. The sun was so insufferable my friend Eli saw we resorted to using napkins as visors. Eli suggested we find new seats. I just ate one and a half Dodger Dogs and was wearing a napkin visor, so Eli’s judgment seemed more on point.
We walked around the lower level of the ballpark until Eli nabbed us four seats in the shade behind home plate. A young female usher guarded our section to prevent any punks from trying to steal back the seats we stole. Meanwhile the girlfriend and I shared a Blue Moon with a sliced orange and enjoyed the sun setting down upon Chavez Ravine.
Only a day earlier the two of us sipped the remaining Modelos from her refrigerator and watched the sun set atop Griffith Park overlooking the entire Southland. From our perch we looked down across Los Angeles trying to ignore the several hikers veering off the trail to relieve themselves in the bushes. One such woman popped a squat right below us. The sound of her pee was the only sound that could be heard. It was a calming waterfall, and much needed as we head into dry season. The woman stood up, and shouted at us “When you gotta go you gotta go!”
“That’s right.” I agreed.
“Boy, you lucky you have a dick,” she shouted back.
“It’s fun having one,” I replied.
She is lucky too that she could enjoy the Memorial Day Sunset in one of our country’s great public parks. To walk through nature’s path, or pee on her brush is all the same. It’s the joy of summer. You shouldn’t have to pay to enjoy summer.
If you are going to pay, find value, or a Sport Chalet tent sale. In my search for new soccer cleats I came across a pair of size 8 Addidas “Predators.” My girlfriend seemed shocked that I tested the “Predators” by running through a deep grassy meadow kicking my knees high in the air while reenacting Brendi Chastaine’s game winning goal from the 98’ Women’s World Cup. The cleats fit okay, but for $25, they fit amazingly.
I hoped to visit Home Goods after Sport Chalet but my girlfriend seemed fed up after I took thirty minutes to decide on a pair of sandals. Granted it’s hard to try them on because they are attached by a plastic string that prevents you from walking around the store. Unless you have a Swiss Army knife, you can only pitter patter around the display rack which is what I did.
I’d be more pleased by my great summer savings if I didn’t blow all the savings on lottery scratchers. At happy hour I admitted to Eli and his girlfriend, Libby that I have a lottery problem. I’m unable to visit Albertsons without buying my favorite scratchers—-Silver and Gold, Luck of the Irish, and the Sevens. When I do win, I re-invest the money in more scratchers. If I do not get a grip on my addiction soon I won’t be allowed to grocery shop. My lone source of food will be Dodger Dogs. Fortunately, I know the night to go.
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8.2.13 at 9:12 am | Guest blog written by my dad
7.24.13 at 9:38 am | Going home
6.25.13 at 9:36 am | The longest day of the year
5.24.13 at 11:43 am | Taking the Socks off
May 23, 2012 | 12:26 pm
Posted by Elliot Steingart
I’m not romantic in the traditional sense. My ex girlfriend said, “How come you never buy me flowers?”
“Because flowers die.” I said.
I would love to be the kind of guy that arrives at his girlfriend’s door step with chocolates. While flowers and chocolates are nice gifts, waiting in line at Rite-Aid is not romantic at all. Plus she lives in a secured apartment building. By the time she comes to the door to buzz me in the chocolates would melt.
I don’t buy into this idealized romantic standard popularized by the films of Freddie Prinze Jr. I’m not going to ever wait in the rain to win love back. She’d be long gone by the time it rained next in LA.
Nor can I imagine spending thousands of dollars on an engagement ring. If I do, my future fiancee better be okay that I’m purchasing our honeymoon on Groupon Getaways. I hope she’ll be excited about our two night stay in Catalina.
As a practical romantic, I’m attentive to her own needs while also looking after my own. I always offer my lady water when I am thirsty. I tell her she looks pretty and rub the back of her neck when she makes me.
Most of all, I like to try new things. I’m not afraid to switch it up. I invited her to take a bath with me which was like trying to fit two uncooperative Tetris pieces into a tiny box. It is that kind of spontaneity that I enjoy most. Any guy and gal can shower together, but there is greater risk involved as it is easy to slip and fall, and hit one’s head. Also one person must wait to get under the water and might get cold. A bath is the better option especially when you ask her to make waves.
I enjoy taking her places that will impress her like taking her out to see Lindsay Buckingham at the Wiltern.We drank John Jamesons, our favorite whiskey, and waited for Lindsay to play his hits like “Not That Funny” and “Tusk.” Instead he played his new song “Poor Little Raven.” The crowd was enchanted while we whispered in each other’s ears about how poor we felt for listening to “The Raven.”
We left our seats and snuck down to the floor level where we were an arm grab away from the Raven himself. After the show we stumbled into a Korean Karaoke bar where we rented a room and sang for as long as Lindsay played singing drunken duets of Death Cab for Cutie’s “I’ll Follow you into the Dark” and “Can’t Stop” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
I’m excited by the little moments that we share together. Going splitsville on lottery scratchers and then taking turns scratching each row is romantic to me. Helping adjust her golf swing at the driving range was a romantic moment. Her treating me to lunch at the Roosevelt Cafe overlooking the golf course because she lost our driving contest by 165 yards was also romantic in the most endearing way possible.
I asked her if it was okay to mention her in my blog again. “I love when you write about me,” she said.
I told her my idea was to write about how I don’t consider myself romantic because I don’t buy flowers and chocolates. “Romance isn’t about that kind of stuff. Romance is about wanting to see each other a lot and I feel that’s how you are with me.”
She’s right. And by that definition I’m a lot more romantic than I thought. I’m at least more romantic than some. Imagine how David Blaine’s girlfriend feels.
“Honey, can we order in tonight? Maybe watch a movie?”
“You know I would if I didn’t have to bury myself alive for the next seven days.”
Like David Blaine, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Perhaps a weekend getaway, or another couple of blog mentions. Maybe I’ll even buy her a cactus. Cacti don’t die…
May 16, 2012 | 11:35 am
Posted by Elliot Steingart
My favorite song this week is “Between Trains” by Robby Robertson written for the “King of Comedy” soundtrack back in 1983 and for me to hum to on my recent train trip aboard the Pacific Surfliner to Solana Beach station.
Following a sleepless night, I wanted to close my eyes and wake up to the sight of the ocean hearing the twang of Robertson singing “There ain’t no place …Where there’s a home I could claim ...And I’m still between trains…”
It’s hard to sleep on the train knowing you are waiting on a train conductor to ask you for your ticket. I am also self-conscious about other people watching me sleep. My move is to put my jacket over my head, and hope for the best. It’s also a great way to ward off chit-chat. No one with any social intelligence will start a conversation with the guy covering his head with a Starter jacket.
After handing my ticket to the conductor, I reached for my jacket when the elderly lady applying masquara sitting next to me asked, “Are you from the Middle East?”
“I’m from Pittsburgh.”
I then covered my face.
Instead of sleeping I wondered if the elderly woman was a secret agent of the Department of Homeland Security. She sees I have a five o’clock shadow. I’m not smiling. She asks one simple question about my ethnic background and then I hide under a jacket. I could hear Robby Robertson singing “But I’m on the run from these chains….And I’m just between trains.”
It’s a lot easier to commit a felony and board the Surfliner then it is to book a flight, print your boarding pass, present ID, go through security. The conductor didn’t check my ticket until we arrived in Irvine. I could have robbed a Credit Union and hopped off in Fullerton.
Across the aisle I could hear a woman yapping to someone named Jennifer. “Just take a deep breath, okay Jennifer? Breathe in. Now breathe out.”
I pretended I was Jennifer so I could take a few deep breaths en route to falling into a deep sleep.
“Jennifer! I’m not going to tell you again. Get a hold of yourself and take a deep breath.”
Either Jennifer was in serious danger, or the lady across the aisle sucked at teaching Yoga.
I lifted the jacket from upon my face and saw the elderly woman had left her seat. I covered up again and I closed my eyes.
In an hour I would be in San Diego. The next day our family would visit my grandmother’s grave site, almost year after she passed away. Initially my Aunt Barb wanted to put a picture of my grandma on her grave stone along with one or two quotes. Between the picture and the quotes it would look less like a gravestone and more like a Facebook page. It was hard to believe it had been nearly a year since I lost my grandma.
I texted my mom to see what she had planned for the day. “Vietnamese and beer tasting,” my mom replied.
I have to come home more often, I thought to myself. At Solana Beach my mom greeted me by saying “Guess what we did last night?”
Before I could guess, my dad boasted, “We saw Maroon Five, and Kris Kalifa. As we were leaving an 18 year old girl patted me on the back. She said, ‘I just have to tell you that you were the coolest people here.’”
“I’m sure you were the coolest Kris Kalifa fans.”
After Vietnamese we visited three North County San Diego breweries. It was nice for us to drink beer together as a family until my dad started unleashing his jokes on unsuspecting bartenders.
“Charles Dickens walks into a bar and orders a martini. Bartender says, what will you have?‘Olive or Twist?”
At dinner my mom bugged my dad about finally starting his blog. Because my dad spends so much time in the bathroom, my mom is making him write a blog called “The Bathrooms of San Diego.”
“Just be careful that you aren’t taking a picture of anyone’s dong,” I advised.
My dad took a photograph of the urinal.
On the morning of the unveiling my mom was not pleased that I would be wearing my vintage Pirate Starter Jacket to the cemetery. “The deceased don’t judge,” I argued.
I felt better when I saw that my Aunt Barb, Uncle Larry and Cousin Ari came toward the gravesite with their two Bedlington Terriors. It was a casual family affair, the way my grandma would have wanted.
We said the Mourners Kadish and each shared something nice about my grandma. After brunch we all went our separate ways. In just a few short hours I could cover my face again.
“I guess I’ll always be between trains…”
May 9, 2012 | 2:44 pm
Posted by Elliot Steingart
I find myself waiting to hear if I’m Jewish enough to play “the Jew” in a reality TV pilot. If I am not chosen, it’s all good. I think we already have enough Jewish stereotypes on TV. I ‘ve watched CNBC’s American Greed marathon. You’d think they could have spaced us out just a little bit.
I’ve reached a point in which being Jewish is not my entire identity. I write a blog for the Jewish Journal and drink seltzer. That’s really about it. I park my car in the church parking lot. Father O’Malley sees that I park my Hyundai in between the lines. When the barista at Coffee Bean asks for my name I tell them it’s Christian. I’m the only Jewish male in my office and on my soccer team. And that’s the way I like it. There’s less competition, and my quirks are more unique.
Amazingly, writing a blog for the Jewish Journal has made me less Jewish. The last thing I want is to be labeled a “Jewish Blogger.” I’d prefer Jewish over the term “blogger.”
I don’t keep Kosher. In fact, I really like pork. And even though I used part of my Christmas bonus to renew my subscription for JDATE, I’m very happy dating a girl who isn’t Jewish. In fact, my lady friend graduated from The Mayfield Senior School of the Holy Child Jesus. When she first told me that the name of her school was the Mayfield Senior School of the Holy Child Jesus I repeated the name of her school back to her as, “The Mayonnaise Christmas School of the Sweet Christian Jesus.”
I can’t fault her for attending a somewhat wordy and religious senior high school. Her religion only makes me more curious.
“Do you pray to God or Jesus?” I asked her.
“I pray to Jesus and God,” she said.
“Are they on speaker phone?”
“No,” She laughed. “It’s a conference call.”
It’s refreshing to date someone who isn’t Jewish. Aside from religion, we have other things in common like sharing food when we eat out. And we love to sing and drink and play lottery scratchers. She is a wonderful person not to be Jewish with.
If I was selected for the pilot I would need to take time off work just to be Jewish. With my lady friend, I’d prefer to take a vacation from being Jewish. I want to take her to Orange County. We’ll drink white wine and then go boating. Maybe I’ll even swim without waiting 30 minutes to digest my lunch.
Together we are experiencing cultures different from our own. Perhaps not by coincidence, twice in the last two weeks we have seen a gay deaf black guy and his partner in Los Feliz. I guess it’s a sign of the times. That, and we hang out at the same spots as a gay deaf black guy and his partner.
Recently at Pavillions I asked one of the employees where I could find the pistachios. She turned around and indicated that she could not hear and was in fact deaf. The only thing harder than opening pistachios is pantomiming opening pistachios.
Stereotyping the hearing impaired is just as dangerous as stereotyping a Jewish blogger like myself or those who talk to God and Jesus at the same time. I guess it makes for good television, or an interesting blog. It’s for you to judge.
May 2, 2012 | 11:13 am
Posted by Elliot Steingart
It’s hard to take yourself too seriously when you ask the girl you’re seeing how it feels to be f*cking a blogger. She likes me for the blogger I am. She doesn’t judge me for going to movies by myself or sipping on John Jameson in my underpants and dialing Mario at Time Warner Cable to swindle HBO. She lauds me for also bundling Showtime and Starz for the same price. Better yet, she encourages my effort as I blog to glory.
And she couldn’t believe that a reality TV producer discovered my blog and wanted me to audition for the role of a young, charismatic Jewish guy to befriend a back country hick to show him Jews aren’t so bad afterall.
The producer said she wasn’t looking for some actor. I was a real live Jew, I assured her.
“What’s kind of budget are we talking?” I asked.
“It’s not yet finalized. It could be $5. It could be $500.”
“How about $500?” I inferred.
I looked up audition tips on Youtube. I was told to wear blue because blue is a neutral color. Blinking was also discouraged. Since my dad is a male model I learned that is helps if you look Asian.
I felt very confident going into the audition knowing I only had to be myself. I’ve gotten jobs and had sex being that person. If they didn’t like me at least it would not be because of my acting. It would be on account of my personality.
I sat in the waiting area of a Sunset Strip agency like that you would see on Entourage. The producer greeted me and asked If I needed anything.
“Water sounds great.” I said pretending to read the Hollywood reporter. I sat crossing my legs, holding in a fart.
She returned with a bottled water. “We’ll get started in a moment. We are just waiting on Greg.”
“Sure, of course.” I replied.
“Greg? Who the hell is Greg?” I wondered
I liked the idea of Greg, not so much the idea of waiting for him. The exciting part was anyone in the lobby could be Greg, except for the Mexican guy.
A few fake Gregs walked by with their heads down until one offered me a head nod and raced in the other direction. Maybe Greg had to shit too?
I couldn’t tell what Greg looked like until he finally approached me with a pair of cool glasses and a moustache. I figured there was no chance I could keep a straight face, but he wasn’t the Hollywood hotshot I was expecting. He was a hip dude from Silverlake.
“So you like records,” he opened. “What records do you like?”
“Mainly classic rock and singer/song writers.” I replied to Greg who led me and his two other producers to a large board room shielded by glass doors.
“How much do records cost?” asked the producer.
“You can find some decent vinyl and some rare vintage stuff for $20,” said Greg.
“Or $2 if you like Jackson Browne,” I added.
Greg made me feel at ease as he repeated many of the same details I learned over the phone about how the pilot would help introduce the subject to new cultures and dispel any preconceived notions about minorities.
“How comfortable are you answering questions about Judiasm?” Greg wanted to know.
I name dropped every Jewish organization of my past—the JCC, Emma Kaufmann Camp, Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Chabad Telethon. I figured I couldn’t get more Jewish.
“Are you meeting with a lot of people?” I asked.
“We just met with a mohel. He was so funny,” laughed the producer.
And that’s when I realized I could get more Jewish. How can I compete with a mohel?
“Do you drive?” the producer asked.
Aha! Take that mohel. “Yes, with two hands,” I clarified. “And on Fridays and Saturdays.”
Everyone smiled and looked at each other. I smiled and looked at everyone back. “So, what’s the next step?” I asked.
“We’ll be meeting with some more people and should have an answer next week sometime.”
“In the meantime,” the producer interjected. “If you know of any one else, please send em our way.”
That’s like hearing a date tell you, you’re nice but I’d rather f*ck one of your friends.
I’d rather not get typecast as a Jew, then again I will if you pay me. Blogging about myself got me to this point, and it’s getting me laid. Might as well keep doing what I’m doing.