Posted by Elliot Steingart
Elliot is on vacation this week and asked me to guest write his blog again. I have been dating Elliot for nearly four months now and I am crazy about him, though our relationship does come with its share of challenges.
Elliot and I live in the same neighborhood not three blocks from each other. This is very convenient for when we want to spend time together but not as much when we need our space. Hanging out night after night is exciting at first but can get old, especially when he wants to watch “Polyamory” on Showtime, or “Jack and Jill.” Even when we try to spend time apart we see each other. Like running into each other last Friday in the Albertson’s parking lot before heading off to separate social engagements.
When two strong personalities date, they often clash. Elliot calls it “being on a different wavelength.” Often, being the laid back and mellow guy that he is, he wants to “chill.” I don’t “chill.” I am very energetic and often very hyper and this annoys him. I get just as annoyed during the chill times too. For example, Elliot and I often make plans to go out after work. Being the businessman he is, Elliot spends his days making deals and negotiating which can wear a man out. When the time comes to go to the fancy dinner, or the outside movie, Elliot will start negotiating with me.
“Liv, I’m tired.”
“Doesn’t my couch feel nice?”
“Want to just order in?”
This often results in death stares from my direction. The secret I have discovered however is that Elliot will always get a second wind, whether it be from a Michael Jackson dance around the apartment complete with crotch grab or a clip of comedy on YouTube. I just have to be patient during the chill times and have faith in the second wind.
Elliot can’t help it, but oftentimes, his stomach is a source of trouble for him (please see http://www.jewishjournal.com/some_reservations/item/irritable_week_syndrome_20120118/).
I would never blame him for this, but it has put us in some uncomfortable situations. Picture a sunset dinner overlooking beautiful Mono Lake, CA. Everything was right, the food, the company and the wine. However, after half of a delectable filet mignon, Elliot gave me a pained look and said “my stomach.” I spent the next 30 minutes waiting in the lobby of The Inn at Mono Lake hoping he hadn’t fallen in. Mind you, there was one bathroom for the whole restaurant. They should have changed the name from restroom to “Elliot.”
Things got extra hairy on the 4th of July. The memories of his issues with beef weeks before had long faded away and he decided to cook me Steingart burgers. They were delicious and after consuming them we headed out on a hike up through Griffith Park to catch the whole cities fireworks. As dusk settled on Los Angeles, I turned to Elliot and he gave me that same look I had seen at the Mono Inn. This time, the situation was serious with no bathroom for over two miles according to my iPhone. I knew I had to get us safely down the mountain. I acted like a life coach, pep talks and all. Finally, I saw the streetlights at the trail head like a light at the end of the IBS tunnel and just when I thought we were out of the woods my boyfriend went running back into the shrubbery of Griffith yelling “I just can’t make it.” The end of romance really came when I heard about how he left his underwear in the park.
In conclusion, I still like Elliot as much as I did when I met him, scratch that, ten times more. And as he flies off the to the other side of the country I already miss him. But a few days away from each other, and from Albertson’s, is sure to do this relationship good.
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July 18, 2012 | 11:29 am
Posted by Elliot Steingart
While walking to lunch I walked past a swastika etched in the ground on a quiet side street near my office in Pasadena. I was walking with two work buddies, the temperature was cool for summer, and we were almost at Zankou Chicken. My natural reaction was “Oh, a swastika.”
I was surprised as a swastika is not a symbol you expect to ever see in Pasadena. On the bright side, If there was a preferred time to see a swastika it would be the summer. The swastika is a hurtful image, but with the right company and a slight breeze it’s just a piece of shitty art. If the weather wasn’t so calm I would have reacted differently. If I was in Chicago in 108 degrees humidity and saw a swastika I might turn into Stieglitz from Inglorious Bastards.
It’s upsetting that some coward would take the time to scratch a swastika into the pavement on Chester Street. Aside from its proximity to Zankou and Daisy Mint Thai Restaurant, Chester is a nothing street. It’s not a street where your swastika gets recognized. The perpetrator didn’t even sign his name or make an initial other than SS. How original.
I still can’t believe there is a Pasadena Nazi. Father of the Bride was shot in Pasadena. It’s the birthplace of Jackie Robinson, graduate of Pasadena City College where I’ll drink a boba now and then. I wasn’t the first minority to drink boba in the PCC cafeteria. I like to think Jackie paved the way and broke the Boba barrier. Now this?
I might work on the same street as this Nazi. He very well could be a neighbor, maybe one with whom I exchange friendly waves.
I know I have an ally in Mel Cohen Insurance. There was a rumor that he once tried to take one of our company parking spots. To calm matters I offered to speak to Mel, man-to-man, Jew to Jew. Mel backed off, but now is the time for Mel and I to step up and investigate who is responsible. We know that we do not have many neighbors on our block. There is a Curves across the street. What kind of Nazi hangs outside of Curves? Female abdominal training was not meant to trigger such hatred towards the Jewish people, just the instructor.
Unfortunately, the swastika continues to make the news. A couple of teenage girls in the Valley marked a swastika on a classmates porch whose mother was a childhood friend of Jon Lovitz .
It’s troubling to think that the swastika is making its way from the Valley to the Westside, especially in LA traffic.
The encouraging part is that if the Nazi’s most public display in Pasadena is on the corner of Chester and Green Streets then they really aren’t marketing effectively nor reaching new audiences. If you offend Mel and I and a few others you have not succeeded.
In the spirit of Jackie Robinson we will stand tall and hopefully arrange a time to spray paint over the swastika and then grab corned beef. If Mel and I are on the lookout that’s a start. We’ll ensure the swastika’s demise. Free of charge. If that swastika is there in the fall once the weather turns then we really have a problem. That’s when we call in Lovitz.
July 11, 2012 | 12:39 pm
Posted by Elliot Steingart
It’s hard for me to live a private life now that I write a blog that gets 200 hits a week. I miss the days when I could casually walk through the streets of Los Feliz and not get asked, “Are you Elliot Steingart, blogger for “Some Reservations?”
When I am asked to sign someone’s copy of the Jewish Journal, I do even if I’m not featured in the print edition; anything for my readers.
I’m not just a critically adored blogger. I am a human being who should not have to look in his rearview mirror to find cars following him, and passengers snapping photographs and shouting “Steingart! Steingart!”
What if I didn’t write about myself at all? What if I took a vacation from blogging and took up golf? No one would know where to find me, nor my golfball.
What if I kept my relationship private? I could harmoniously argue with my girlfriend without involving anyone else.
I’ve considered taking an extended vacation where I could enjoy the summer months without the added pressure. Who would I be letting down? You or me?
Besides there has been much speculation about the upcoming Jewish Blogger Awards. I’ve been nominated in the past, but this is my year. This is the time where I will finally win the Jewie for “Some Reservations!”
The host, my friend and editor Jay Firestone will present the Jewie to me in person at a privately held luncheon in West Los Angeles.We will harken back to the early days of “Gifelte Bitch” when we took the written word for granted.
“How could I follow up such highly acclaimed blogs as “My Dad’s an Asian Male Model?” I would ask Jay.
“You did. That’s what’s important.” He’ll assure me with a pat on the back.
I’ll remember that as I continue to strive for excellence in blogging, the benchmark for any freelance blogger. I know this blogging comes at a price. There are people that know way too much about me. There are people who judge me.
Even my girlfriend said recently, “I like you because you are controversial. That’s why some people don’t like you, but it’s what I respect about you.”
“Controversial?” I asked.
I’ve never made a racist comment or spoken bad about a political party. I wrote about her period, but I thought it flowed.
Out of respect to her I have never once mentioned my girlfriend’s name. She has one too. It’s a nice, unusual name that means something in a foreign language. She is not some imaginary girlfriend I conceived for this blog. She is real and alive and maybe sharing this blog with a friend of hers. She is supportive and has pushed me to continue on. For that, I thank her.
I cannot control if someone will read this blog and judge me. He or she should as long as the judgment is fair, and positive.
As long as I can remain honest I will remain relevant to my readers. I will not be stricken with writer’s block. For no writer will ever cock block me from coming up with a new idea. It’s up to me. And that’s the speech I’ll make to thunderous applause while finally holding my Jewie high in the air.