Posted by Elliot Steingart
I feel like half my life is spent waiting for avocados to ripen and the other half is waiting for first dates to find a parking space in Los Feliz. I do prefer both my produce and women local. I shop at the local Albertsons, and search for females on Plentyoffish within a 5 mile radius.
A few days ago I bought a half a dozen bananas and set up a date with a 27 year old black nurse. I was excited to date a nurse because nurses have maternal instincts and are good at changing sheets.
I was meeting a nurse and she was meeting someone who drank a Bud Light in the bathtub and was wearing two different color socks.
I scored comps to see a musical cabaret tribute to the films of Quentin Tarantino. When greeting the nurse she went in for a hand shake while I went in for the hug.
“Bring it in,” I said as she looked down at the ground.
I gave the girl at the door my name. “Oh you have comp tickets,” she declared.
“So you didn’t pay?”
Would she point my socks out to the nurse too?
I led the nurse to our seats where I opened the conversation.
“How do you like Los Feliz?”
“It’s good,” she shared and then looked away.
Maybe she would open up about nursing. “What’s it like being a nurse?” I asked.
“I like it.”
The more questions I asked, the shorter the responses. There were so many uncomfortable silences I was in physical pain. How many times could I comment about the drink menu?
I nodded and waited for her to ask me something. Finally she got the hint.
“Do you like to travel?” she asked.
“Yea, “ I replied. “I love to visit friends, and love camping. Do you ever camp?”
“I’ve never been camping.”
Surprised, I said “You should go, but don’t go too deep in the woods where they don’t take too kindly to black folk.”
She did not get where I was going, and neither did I.
“You don’t hear a lot about black people camping,” I continued. “There aren’t a lot of Jewish campers either. There’s certain places in the woods it’s good to have have a ranger there to protect you.”
I looked at the menu some more. Nothing changed. The drinks were still over priced. I mouthed the words of the entrees like I was reading a gripping detective novel. I even raised my eyebrows to show I was entralled by the thickening plot of Chicken Marsala.
I finished my Newcastle and posed the question of the night. “Are you sure you want to stay for the show?”
“Sure, why not?”
Why not? Because time, precious time! Another beer and two hours of “Son of a Preacher Man” will not make this date any better.
“Okay, cool.” I said instead.
The show started and I paid no attention to the nurse. Each musical number topped the one that preceded. Highlights included my favorite songs from Jackie Brown “Across 110th Street” and “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind this Time.” Then the strong black female playing Jackie took it to a whole other level pulling a gun out on the dude with dreads who played Ordell, Sam Jackson’s character.
Ordell: Is that what I think it is?
Jackie: What do you think it is?
Ordell: I think it’s a gun pressed up against my dick.
Jackie: Well, you thought right. Now take your hands off from around my throat, nigga.
I gave a thunderous applause and looked over to the nurse who was staring out the window.
When the show ended the nurse thanked me for the invite, but did not thank me for the drinks. I walked up the hill feeling slighted by the absence of her personality and a proper thank you.
To make up for my mistake date, I made plans to see a voluptuous 37 year old in Marina Del Ray. The plan was to grab drinks in the Southbay. I was willing to drive 30 minutes for her wonderful melons.
She texted me back two restaurants that both had three dollar signs on yelp. That’s one more dollar sign than I’m used to spending, but to impress a 37 year old I’ll do what I need to do even if my check engine light reappeared and my car started to rattle the previous night on the way back from West Hollywood.
I had a few hours until the date so I turned on the TV and began watching Speed on AMC. Once Sandy Bullock took control of the bus I got scared thinking about the check engine light.
“Pop Quiz Hot Shot. Is this Jewgar worth risking your life?”
With Keanu wrestling Hopper on top of a moving train I left my love interest a message explaining the check engine light situation. She refused to come to Los Feliz.
As this was unfolding, I walked to the laundry room where I saw my cute neighbor Jessica whose clothes were in the dryer. Jessica and I have shared a few brief exchanges, but nothing significant.
My buddy Richard suggested he write me a letter that is addressed to her so she would have to knock on my door to give me the letter. I had a better idea which was to sit on top of the dryer and wait for her. Too bad she already took her clothes out.
I’m starting to think Jessica may be my best prospect. She’s definitely the closest and therefore, the best. I’m going to get that letter in the mail while I wait for these bananas to ripen.
11.25.13 at 8:30 am | Learning code of conduct
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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
March 7, 2012 | 3:21 pm
Posted by Elliot Steingart
Part of being an uncle is not laughing at synagogue. I don’t go to temple often so it’s usually not a problem.
I was commanded by my sister, the almighty Ariel, to attend Dylan’s Hebrew baby naming at a reform congregation in Deerfield, Illinois. Since I already knew Dylan’s Hebrew name was Shoshanna Chava, it took the element of surprise out of the service. Plus I’ve heard the prayers before so it’s not like I was going to experience anything revelatory.
“It’s important. It’s Dylan’s biggest day of her life,” said my sister.
I guess when you have only been alive for two months getting a Hebrew name that no one will ever call you is the biggest day of your life.
My brother-in-law Brian’s family, the Silvers, were out in full force. All the stars came out: Brian’s parents, Howard and Barbara, Uncle Mitchel, and Aunt Valerie, cousin Barry and his hot wife, Scott and Amy, and a bunch of other people I’m not related to. As the lone Steingart, I had to represent. Literally, I had no choice.
I found my main man, Cousin Robby, Brian’s brother who, like me, is also Dylan’s uncle. While Rob was busy greeting relatives I was scoping out the Jewish literature in the hallway finding time honored classics such as “Pray Ball” the spiritual insights of a Jewish sports fan and “My Life in Swim Trunks: the Life and Times of Mark Spitz.”
Rob and I entered the sanctuary without yarmulkes or prayer books. As if to say, “Step aside for the Uncles who aren’t very Jewish.”
The sanctuary was beautiful and modern and the stage was filled with two rabbis, two cantors, two guitarists, a bassist, and a bald bongo player. Once the music started I was drawn into the beauty of the one cantor with a voice like an angel sent from high up in the heavens of Skokie.
“That cantor is pretty hot,” I whispired to Rob.
“I think she looks like Ariel.”
“No,” I lied. “I was talking about the other cantor. He’s a very handsome cantor.”
“Tonight is a very special night,” announced the Rabbi. “We have a baby naming.”
As the rabbi introduced Ariel, Brian and Dylan to the podium, another baby started crying.
“This is not your night, you big baby!”
The entire congregation kept that same glowing smile at the sight of baby Dylan on the bimah. Even though Ariel said she was nervous earlier in the night, she did not seem so for all she had to was stand there and not look anything like the hot cantor.
“We’d like to welcome Shoshannah Chana, daughter of Avriel and Ben Moshe Silver.”
It was interesting hearing Ariel’s hebrew name because I always thought Ariel’s hebrew name was Ariel.
“Shoshannah means Rose and Chava means life. We look forward to seeing Shoshannah grow to become the beautiful Rose that she is.”
The Rabbi lifted Shoshannah and the band kicked into a wild rendition of “Siman Tov, a Mazel Tov.”
Rob and I along with the rest of the congregation clapped our hands in welcoming Shoshannah to this suburban Illinois folk concert/religious ceremony. Shoshannah began crying and was promptly escorted out by Brian and Ariel, leaving the rest of us to sit through the next hour of the service.
I zoned in and out of conciousness until the Rabbi mentioned the story of Isaiah in which God spoke to Jesse. Upon hearing the name Jesse, I turned to Rob.
“I don’t remember God ever talking to a Jesse. Does God chill with hipsters?”
I was too busy making wise cracks to hear what God said to Jesse. I bet God said to Jesse something about KCRW.
Jesse was a passing symbol en route to the Rabbi’s allegory about the holiday of Purim in which Esther stands up against the evil Hamen who determined to annialiate the Jews. “Each day you have the opportunity to fight against injustice,” told the Rabbi.
I’m probably more like Jesse in that I’d rather stand up against the man by watching “Real Time with Bill Maher” than thwarting an evil dictator.
The service began with the naming of a baby and ended with the names of those who died, a somewhat curious, but fitting juxtaposition. The rabbi slowly and carefully pronounced each member of the community who passed away. Each name was better than the next.
“Solomon Rosenzweig… Albert Kantrowitz… Harvey H. Maldovan,” the Rabbi began.
The names continued, and continued, and continued until the Rabbi arrived at one particular name.
“Elmer,” she stated, before taking a long, drawn out breath. “Freud.”
All I heard was “Elmer Fudd.”
Sweat dripped from my arm pits and my pants began sticking to my ankles. I looked at Robby for a quick second, and cleared my throat and immediately looked away. If I couldn’t get it together my name would be the next to be called.
I was defenseless thinking that Elmer Fudd had just died, along with half of the congregation this week. And the names had just started. There were so many more!
“Is she even Jewish?”
And more names….“Burt Hamburger,” Pause. “Lazer Weinbaum,” breathe. “Murray Lipsitz,” wait for it.. “Ziggy Tanzer.”
I looked at Robby once more who was now biting his upper lip. He let out a tiny squeal and I looked down at my shoes hoping that I could conjure the slightest bit of sadness. I thought of Jesse and it didn’t help.
Fortunately, only half a dozen or so congregants died thereafter. And we had survived!
Dylan was still crying in the hallway. It was a lot of Judaism for one night, but it was a celebratory occasion. For she will be the next in a long line of family members to laugh at synogagogue.
March 2, 2012 | 11:54 am
Posted by Elliot Steingart
I flew to Chicago both for business and to meet my baby niece, Dylan. As I cradled baby Dylan in my arms for the first time, she let out a harmless little fart. I knew she took after her uncle.
Dylan is a beautiful little angel. It’s hard to say who she looks like. I think she looks a bit like my sister, Ariel and more like my brother in law, Brian, and a little bit like the milk man.
Initially I didn’t see much of Dylan because she was sleeping and I had to wake up early for work. I had to suppress Uncle Elliot and become Elliot, the businessman. I dressed the part and asked my sister how I presented myself.
“Change your socks! They don’t match.”
I became Elliot the businessman who wears his brother in law’s socks. Dressing like a businessman is one thing, acting like a businessman is another.
A great way of doing business is bribing your partners with Dunkin Donuts. Riding around Chicago in a rented Chevy Impala with my boss I felt like we were a donut delivery service. We’d show up with donuts, smile, talk about our partnership, let them know all the great things we could do for them, and then shake hands and drive to the next meeting.
Because I work in the business of live entertainment, we received tours of numerous theatres in Chicago. I made up a game called, “Guess the capacity of the theatre,” not to be confused with my favorite made up game, “Guess Your Co-Worker’s Parents’ Names” and “Guess the name of the Driver in the next lane.” I was only off by 400 seats at the Goodman.
Standing on stage at the legendary Chicago Theatre I was awestruck and a bit nervous standing in front of 3,500 empty seats as I’m used to standing in front of only 50 empties. The Chicago Theatre is like a suped-up version of Rodef Shalom in Pittsburgh, but less Jewish. We walked backstage where we saw hundreds of signatures that covered the walls, everyone from Frank Sinatra to Jerry Seinfeld. There wasn’t quite space for “Elliot was here in 2012.”
Driving through downtown Chicago is like playing a video game. Cabs cut you off, buses stop in the middle of the street, and you have to swerve to avoid all the J walkers stepping right in front of your car. Midwesterners are at least nice about J walking. “I’m just going to walk right in front of your moving vehicle, if ya don’t mind.”
“Oh, sure. Please do.”
After all the driving all I wanted to do was grab a cold one at nearby J Patrick’s, but instead I’d walk through the door, throw off my winter jacket, and announce, “Uncle Elliot’s in the house!”
Elliot and Dylan time took full effect, until she’d poo in which Elliot and Dylan time turned into Ariel and Dylan time. Freshly diapered Dylan was back in my arms with me serenading her with “I Believe that Children are our Future,” and the made up tune, “You are my niece…You are my niece…You are my niece.”
I walked in as Ariel was giving Dylan a bath. Like her uncle, Dylan enjoys a good bath. Her bath only lasted four minutes because she doesn’t have much body to clean. As my short work week almost finished I looked forward to more Elliot and Dylan time, but I still had one more day of meetings.
On our last day of meetings we transitioned from donuts to cupcakes. Partners were even more excited to receive mini cupcakes than you would expect, and they also seemed to really like working with us. For our last meeting we showed up an hour early. The secretary came back and said, “You can wait here or come back because Judy isn’t here.”
“Who the hell is Judy?” I wondered.
Because we had an hour to kill, my boss headed back to her hotel and gave me the cupcakes to carry.
“I have to go to the bathroom,” I shared.
“It’s okay. Just take them with you.”
An hour later, we gave Judy bathroom cupcakes ending an eventful few days worth of business.
Uncle Elliot is now enjoying the final few days chillin’ with Dylan. As an Uncle, it’s kind of a great vantage point in that I get to show my face, play a little, and then come back in a few months. It’s a lot more rewarding than giving a partner donuts and cupcakes, even though Dylan literally has no idea who I am. She will soon enough.
February 22, 2012 | 11:47 am
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.
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.
January 25, 2012 | 11:33 am
Posted by Elliot Steingart
I was asked to sit on a panel about being single. I’m like an expert at not having a girlfriend. I’m honored and look forward to sharing personal stories about my sex life in front of strangers, like when I perform comedy.
I have nothing to hide, and try to always be honest. I would say I’m honest except if I’m uncomfortable telling the truth. At the end of the work day on Friday our CEO’s daughter and her Girl Scout troop infiltrated my cube.
“Do you want to buy some Girl Scout cookies?”
“Sorry girls, I don’t have any money on me.”
“Oh! That’s okay. You can pay when you get the cookies!”
I was caught in a lie, so I told the truth. “Thanks, but I’m trying to lose weight.”
The girls ran off to Matt’s cubicle where I overhead them giggle and shout “He’s not buying cookies! He wants to lose weight!”
I was the only one in the office to reject these cute little girls right to their face. I felt bad, and as I was leaving I overheard one of the scout’s mothers announce the proceeds of the cookie sales will be sent to the troops. I left for the weekend rather quickly!
I appreciate being honest because it gives an indication of just how weird you are. I’m fine being vulnerable if it leads to sex. There are so many girls in their 20’s around town who’ve gotten to know me. They didn’t sleep with me, but at least they know how I felt after my grandma died.
On a second date with Lori, we saw a play at the Skylight theatre in Los Feliz then sat in a romantic outdoor space between two heat lamps. Lori and I had a connection rather instantly. Both of us couldn’t stop smiling when we met for coffee a few days earlier. Lori, unlike many of my previous dates, asked wonderful open ended questions that kept me guessing.
“What do you like to eat?” she asked.
Not an easy question to answer, but I answered the best I could.
“Now that I live on my own I eat a lot of weird food because no one is there to judge me. I’ve been eating a lot of green beans and Kashi. My move is eating handfuls of Kashi crumbs over the sink so whatever doesn’t land in my mouth falls in to the sink. What kinds of foods do you like?”
“I like all sorts of food.”
“Do you like Thai food?” I asked.
“I’ve actually never had Thai food.”
“Wow!” I exclaimed.
If I had more time to think I wouldn’t have described Thai food as a “Cousin of Chinese.”
“You’ll love Thai food,” I assured her.
I barely knew her, so I really had no idea if she would. I just knew I loved Thai food.
We talked about work, and she asked me another riveting question to which I had never before answered. “What is the worst job you ever had?”
“Hmm.” I thought. “Probably working as a waiter at a country club. I would wait on a member named Dr. Gross. I didn’t know his name for the first couple months so I called him Mr. Davis.”
“Why didn’t you know his name?”
“I don’t know, but he never corrected me. The first time he ordered chicken he told me he wanted it rare. ‘Can you make sure it’s a little pink?’ he asked.”
“Wait. What?” She interrupted.
“Yea, I know. So I said, ‘you sure you don’t mean beef?’ He insisted he wanted chicken. It’s a country club so if he wants raw chicken, we’ll give him raw chicken.
“That’s how you know you’re not at a top tier country club. When you’re members eat raw chicken and don’t even know their own name.”
She laughed, and I did too.
We walked to another of my favorite spots in Los Feliz, “The Drawing Room.” I offered her a sip of my Pabst since she never tried one before.
“It’s great. Isn’t it?”
“Yea, it is.” She remarked.
“Do you like to walk?” I asked.
“I love to walk. How about you?”
“Me too. I especially like walking away from my problems. ‘You need to talk to me about something important? Actually i’m just going to walk over here for a moment.”
“You’re funny” she said.
Lori’s questions lead me to think that she is in fact interested in getting to know me. I too am interested in getting to know her, but will take things slowly for fear that if things do work out then I may not have much more to write about for this blog. Just being honest.