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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mom, Don't Read This One

I caught just a few minutes of the bad bowl game last night between Florida State and UCLA. Some defensive lineman or linebacker was having a pretty good game, and ESPN or whomever was showing it flashed a quick graphic:

Joe Smith
Two Sacks

I don't really remember what his name was, but the important thing here is the impressive statistic, which tells me that his girlfriend must be quite busy most nights.

Sportswriters Are Annoying

Another thing I hate about the sports media is when they harass the hell out of coaches toward the end of a season, asking the coach of Team A if he's interested in the now-vacant job with Team B.

"No comment," the coaches will say.

"But what about--" the reporters will counter.

Do you really think Miami Dolphins' coach Nick Saban is going to speak openly about the high-profile opening at the University of Alabama right now?

I realize you don't want to get scooped by the reporter at the other paper, so you do have to ask once, but it's the sports media itself -- not those who toil in sports -- that should be accountable for some coaches and players getting painted with the ugly brush.

"Oh, you can't trust that coach. He was so full of shit during that whole Alabama fiasco."

How about this? When you're using your work computer to look for a job at another paper or TV station, and taking a "personal day" to perhaps interview elsewhere, before you hear whether you've gotten offered what you think might be a better job, why don't you start telling all your co-workers and bosses that you're looking around? Better yet, why don't you tell your wife that you got drunk covering the Sugar Bowl last year and paid a Bourbon Street hooker to whack it for you in an alley behind your comped hotel? Until then, stop holding those already overglamorized jackasses in the sports world to a completely different standard than the one you'd expect to be set for yourself.


Review: The Good Shepherd

It doesn't take a genius to realize Matt Damon's Edward Wilson character was inspired by J. Edgar Hoover in "The Good Shepherd," but apparently it might have needed one to make the film a little more exciting.

Don't get me wrong; I certainly enjoyed the movie and I definitely recommend it, but I think with DeNiro directing and appearing briefly, and with Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, John Turturro and William Hurt, I figured there would be more excitement.

The story is obviously a serious one, so lighter moments were at a premium, but the whispery mood grew a little tiresome. I like spy movies, even a mindless chase-the-briefcase film, but it almost seemed like the moviemakers were keeping some things secret from the viewers the way secrets were being protected or pursued within the plot.

I know this doesn't sound like an overwhelming thumbs up, but it is. Check it out for yourself and see if you think Wilson was patterned after Hoover.


Happy Holidays!

From the entire staff here at Primpin' Ain't Easy -- including our overseas correspondents who weren't able to be with their families this week -- best wishes for a Happy Holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Holiday Weekend Recap

You've heard me lament about traveling out of LaGuardia and Newark, and knowing that holiday travel on Friday, Dec. 22, at about 5 or 6 p.m. probably wouldn't be any better, I made my flight arrangements out of Long Island's Islip Airport. Taking the train there took a little more than an hour, but since it's a smaller airport, the lines were shorter and fewer planes would seem to mean flights would leave on time.

I sat down near the gate about 20 minutes before boarding, and as soon as I placed my two carry-ons and my coat on the seats around me, I realized I'd committed too early to my seat, as a lovely young gal who looked like -- but better than -- Ellen Pompeo, was seated by herself with no one else around. No biggie, just another pretty gal, right?

So we board our plane and I was in Group A -- Southwest is so fancy -- meaning I boarded early and sat near the front of the plane, a busy leg to Baltimore, which meant a larger plane with many good seats still available -- think Reds games -- in the many empty rows behind me. I sat on the aisle and a friendly teenager sat on the window. We both rested our coats in the middle seat until, moments later, Ms. Pompeo shot me a look that only an intoxicated girl could offer me at 2 a.m. "Is anyone sitting there?"

So Erica sat down and helped make the flight pass by quite quickly.

My second flight to Cleveland was delayed enough to push my 9:40 p.m. landing time to closer to 11 p.m. And when my bags didn't arrive, Mom, Mike and I didn't get out of the airport until close to midnight. Nonetheless, they were plenty determined to grab a drink at Mario's International, at Aurora Inn, close to their house. Our trio made up 75 percent of the patrons at the hotel bar at such the late hour, but we had a great time with Melissa the bartender anyway. Mom said this will be our official new tradition -- hitting this bar each time they pick me up from the airport.


Mom and Mike live near a pretty cool outlet strip, and Mike wanted to buy me a few things. When I'm visiting them, I play by their rules, so who am I to argue? When in Rome, right?

Total loot intake: shoes and a new navy blazer from Saks and some other haberdashery from Brooks Brothers. Yes, I am a 36-year-old namedropper.

Returning in time for the Florida-Ohio State tipoff, I got cozy on the couch and realized I haven't been able to fully extend my six-foot-tall body on a couch since, well, the last time I was in Cleveland. It was a lovely midday nap, and came at the expense of missing much of Florida drilling the Buckeyes on the hardwood, but we all know what's going to happen on Jan. 8, right?

Later that night, it was off to Willoughby Hills for some bar action. Marc and Matt and some other friends were out. My charm outlasted that of the other nine male patrons in our group, and Theresa the bartender clearly was smitten. I really don't blame her. I should hang out with those clowns more often.

Some of Matt's old college wrestling buddies were out, and I impressed them with the story of how when Dan Hanson won his fourth high school state championship, I had goosebumps when he stood atop the podium in a deafening St. John Arena in Columbus. My armhair was standing up just telling the story nearly 20 years after the monumental event.


Family time and a visit to the cousins' house. The O'Neills in Cleveland used to have a big to-do on Christmas Eve, with relatives and neighbors and friends, complete with a mass in their sizable Shaker Hts. home.

But now that people have moved on and Aunt Marilyn's six sons are all growns up, it's now just an affair for the boys and their wives and their small children. Of course, stray cat John Wise shows up and brings a weak holiday card each year.

The highlight of the night, however, was coming home and staying up late with Mom and Mike, watching "The Last Samurai," one of my favorite movies that they hadn't yet seen. They loved it. If you haven't seen a movie in a while in which Tom Cruise was actually good, check this one out. It really is worth it.


Christmas Day, as usual, was outstanding. Mom outdoes herself every year, and 2006 was no exception. Gifts, money and food. There ya have it.

If there was one complaint about the visit home, it's that Mom's three cats are annoyingly shy. I wasn't able to pet any of them once.


My friend John Boel often opines that driving a long distance makes more sense than flying. He drives to Wisconsin two or three times a year, and gets there in about seven or eight hours, which is about how long it would take between the two legs of his flight and a layover.

I now think I agree with him that driving might be better.

Mom, Mike and I left their place Tuesday at 7 a.m. for the airport, and I walked in my door at 5 p.m. Ten hours. Ten FREAKING hours. That sucked.


Nice to be home now. Off to Chicago Friday for New Year's Eve. More on that later. Hope your holiday was lovely. Good night.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Flashback: 1984

Mary Lou RettonMary Lou Retton was in the building today. Some of you know where this bad story is headed.

I had a pommel-horse sized crush on her back when she vaulted into the hearts of Americans in the summer of 1984.

After she took gold, the endorsement line rang off the hook for the West Virginia native. I wrote to her fan club and got in return a 5x7 black-n-white postcard with her publicity headshot, her infectious smile and a cool-for-the-80s thumbs up.

With that vivacious personality of hers, she pitched batteries among other things. Energizer became the brand of choice for zitfaced early teens like myself. I even imagined her coming to the front door of my condo, stopping by to say what's up as if she was merely one of my around-the-way girls.

There's no real exciting end to this story. I just thought I'd make you laugh at my expense again with a tale of a queer crush from 20 years ago.

Dick In A Box

I'm probably a day or two late on this, but if you haven't seen it, be patient, then laugh a lot.

SNL's Andy Samberg and guest host Justin Timberlake team up on this entertaining short:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gawking, Flinching and Meeting

Dave sent in a pretty good link today about oft-used cliches or expressions that turn writing and blogging into bad writing and bad blogging. It's right here on gawker.com.

Is there a word/cliche to describe not being cool enough to contribute comments to gawker.com?

And you must watch the trailer on this site.

Lastly, hot female co-worker wants to introduce me to her friend, a national anchor whose name obviously I won't drop. Yet.

It's not Jane Skinner, I'll tell you that much. But if such an introduction does materialize, you know one of my first questions shall be, "So, can I write about this on my blog?" That's what a lot of eligible single men apparently do here in New York, but they first make sure the gal is way out of his league and try to ask the question before she sees how broke he is.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Weekend Recap

The company holiday party was outstanding Friday night. I'd heard stories months in advance about how my employer goes all out for this party, and that's exactly what happened. What a huge event it was. The theme was something like "Take Me Around The World" or something, and for the several thousand people in attendance, all five or six of the ballrooms on the ballroom floor at the Hilton in Midtown represented a different continent.

There was karaoke in the Asia room, an aboriginal man playing a didgeridoo outside the Australia room, salsa dancing in the Latin America room, bad bass music and a casino in the USA room and Europe I didn't really check out too wholeheartedly. But there were drinks and food unique to those locations in each of the rooms, with plenty of servers roaming around and never a bar too far away.

I had no idea how many beautiful women work for my company. I'll just leave it at that.

Shortly before the party ended, I caught up with my high school homecoming date. Remember Lisa? She and some of her people dragged me down the street to some Irish pub, where two women visiting from Chicago bought all of my drinks, presumably because I'm quite charming. A handful of us ended up in my neigborhood later, at my local Irish joint, the Trinity Pub. No further details are available.

Saturday was supposed to be productive, but got off to a late and sluggish start. I grabbed lunch with my friend Kristen and then returned to the couch, hoping to catch the end of the Louisville-UK game and then watch OSU-Cincinnati. Next thing I knew, I was waking up on the couch at about 6 o'clock and realized I hadn't accomplished anything.

It turns out that a gal I met at the company party the night before lives near me and was having her own holiday party on Saturday night. That too was excellent. Being from the sleepy midwest, I'd never previously had so much interaction with Jewish people, but there's no shortage of them here in NYC.

So I put the holiday shopping off until Sunday, and that ended up being quite fruitful. A very late dinner with Madeleine was OK since I don't have to work today. So all I need to do is get this stuff in the mail today and everything should arrive on time, or maybe by the 28th. It's funny; all my adult life I've worked in a deadline-driven business and yet outside of my work, I absolutely hate deadlines and seldom meet them. I think I'll think about that for a while today while I go back to the couch. Screw the post office.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday Entertainment

From Brokedickdog . . .

A drunk company director was in court today after passing out on a railway track in the afternoon rush hour. Read all about it here.

Shortest Book Ever

I've got some plans for a few creative projects for the new year, and one of them is to write the shortest book ever.

It shall be called, "That Sri-Lankan Kid From Science Class Gets All The Girls."

What do you think?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Special Holiday Offer

I used to manage a television station's news Web site. I thought I did a pretty good job with it, but one thing I wasn't crazy about was some occasional filler content I'd have to add to a prominent space on the home page because it was either a station directive, a sponsored element or just some necessary viewer-service-oriented bullshit that generated only few page views.

That said, have you signed up to receive alerts from Big Primpin' so you'll know when a new blog entry has been posted? Signing up is quick and easy; look for the form just over to the right a little, near where it says "Subscribe Me!" Plus, if you register today, I'll send you a coupon for a free Cadillac Escalade. Either that or continued free access to this site. Everybody wins, so sign up today!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Prepare For A Marathon ... The Smart Way

Remember this important running tip from a few years ago? Bottom line, don't use Burt's Beeswax lip balm on the insides of your upper thighs to prevent chafing from running long distances.

Today I've got an even more important note for you. If you're out of briefs, a pair or skimpy orange Hooters shorts will make a splendid substitute.

What; you don't have a pair?

Many of you know that I own a Hooter's outfit, and many of you have had the pleasure of seeing me in it.

But yesterday, with my laundry at the service down the block (Ming and Yao -- not to be confused with Yao Ming -- now take care of my clothing), I needed some hip grippers for a short run, but I had none. So I figured I'd wear a pair of boxers underneath the Hooter's shorts, in order to keep the boys close to home. Bouncing can be very painful, ladies.

And sure enough, I ran pain-free down to 56th Street, turned west a few blocks, up to 57th and back to Madison Ave., then completed the run home. I felt like I had the regular tighties on.

So there you have it. Next time you're out of clean briefs, just pull on those Hooter's shorts.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Moments After Troy Smith Won The Heisman . . .

Troy Smith #3I was chillin' at home watching the beginning of the Heisman Trophy Presentation Saturday night when it hit me that perhaps the show would be playing on one of the big Times Square screens. So I put a hat over my hair that hasn't been shampooed since Friday morning, put on the jeans that I wore most of the day yesterday and today, and jumped on the 4 to Grand Central.

Watch The Low-Quality Video Below

Underneath my Victorinox puffer jacket was a lambswool V-neck sweater over a long-sleeve T-shirt. Running from Grand Central to Times Square made me regret wearing the heavy layers, even in what's quickly becoming a miserably cold NYC winter.

I got on the set at about 8:40 p.m., and couldn't see anything Heisman, so I asked a cop where he thought I might be able to see Troy Smith become the latest Ohio State Buckeye to earn the prestigious award. He suggested I duck into Hard Rock, which I did.

I ran down the steps and saw a long line just to get in the restaurant, so I ran back up, waited for a security dork to turn his back, stepped over the red velvet rope and went down the same stairs, but on the apparently exclusive side.

It turned out the party I crashed was the media room, where scribes and TV pretties were awaiting first the announcement that Smith had won, then the arrival of the three finalists. Yes, without a credential around my neck, but with sweat pouring down my back, a frat-boy looking ski hat, four days of facial hair, dirty blue jeans and tennis shoes -- I looked like House of Pain -- I was waiting for Troy Smith, Brady Quinn and Darren McFadden to arrive.

And below is some of what I captured with my Canon PowerShot G5. If I'm going to start doing video (the one below takes a moment to buffer; please be patient!), I must get a better gadget. Enjoy anyway.

One last thing, and Dave Thomas will love this because we like to ridicule the large percentage of television reporters and anchors who have their high-profile jobs because of their looks rather than qualifications; A New York sports reporter opened his live, one-on-one interview with runner-up Darren McFadden by asking, "Darren, what are your thoughts on pulling off the surprise that many of us thought was going to happen?" Fucking moron.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Review (Kind Of): Forbidden Broadway

Anne convinced me to leave work an hour early Wednesday to see a musical called "Forbidden Broadway."

Not being a real experienced theatergoer means this is one production I should have waited to see in a few years since the entire script is full of references to other well-known musicals that I haven't yet seen. Most jokes went over my head, so I dozed off a few times instead.

But I was awakened each time by hearty laughter, particularly from the baritone pipes of the man sitting directly behind me in the small theater. By that measure, I guess I'd recommend "Forbidden Broadway," but for someone who's a Broadway novice, put this on your to-do list for 2008 or later, and plan to see a few things in the meantime.


Got Passion?

I don't know if it's the holiday spirit in the air, the fact that I'm drunk at work at this very minute (just kidding) or if it's the peaceful, relaxing feeling I have about an upcoming weekend with finally and thankfully very little on the social agenda, but things are getting back to big happy.

The depression that consumed me a month ago has given way to a much more enthusiastic outlook for 2007. I've got some good plans for some creative projects next year, and I've joined a gym and a running group, so I'll go ahead and go on record for friends and strangers alike and say that I plan to run at least the half-marathon in Louisville in April, perhaps the full one.

Happiness and positivity are back, and so is passion. I've seen too many friends over the years live without these things, and I've always been curious about that. Even a girlfriend or two along the way seemed to get excited about very little. I've never understood how people can go through life without feeling strongly about things and/or other people. So I'm here today to urge you to shake up your normal routine and do something you don't typically do. Got fear? Get over it by doing exactly what it is you're scared to do.

Kiss somebody for the first time, and maybe do it on a busy sidewalk in the middle of a weekday afternoon with plenty of people around. Just like the movies.

Say hi to a stranger. And then say hi to the next stranger you see. And the next one. And do this all with a smile on your face.

Don't wait until mom and day say "I love you" to say it back to them. Call today and say it first.

Buy a gift this holiday season for someone who's not expecting anything from you. Nothing fancy, just something to let him or her know you care. Even if you're not entirely altruistic about it; heck, the return might be more than worth it next year.

Better yet, don't buy that gift; make it. Take a picture and frame it. Write a poem. It doesn't have to rhyme. Burn a CD of songs or pictures. Simple gestures are anything but simple to an unsuspecting recipient.

Will any of these displays make you sick or injured or broke? Will others like or respect you less for them? Is displaying affection really that difficult? Will a show of kindness make your life worse?

Making new friends is fun, and not as hard to do here in New York as I thought it was going to be. But maintaining the friendships that have always been there is just as good, even if a little work is required.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Important Review

Miles Drinkish sent along a review he found about a bar called Holiday Cocktail Lounge:

Holiday Cocktail Lounge
  • 75 Saint Marks Place (Cross Street: Between First Avenue and Second Avenue)
  • New York, NY 10003-7944
  • (212) 777-9637
  • Directions: 6 at Astor Place

    Editorial Review by Lance Esplund

    In Short:

    A curved bar adorned with Christmas lights and a larger rear section with tables and chairs make up this low-ceilinged basement space. Old-timers and struggling young writers in the first stages of alcoholism are welcome; chino-clad frat boys get glares. This is neither a pickup bar nor an intimate nightcap spot. With the drinks coming in well below $5, this is the kind of place where you dump your girlfriend or go to hide.

  • Nick Nolte Celebrity Lookalike

    Rip Torn DUIBy The Associated Press

    NORTH SALEM, N.Y. -- Rip Torn, who was acquitted of drunken-driving charges two years ago in New York City, was arrested again Monday in a city suburb after a collision, state police said.

    No one was hurt in the crash in North Salem, Trooper Edward Gillespie said. The 75-year-old character actor refused a sobriety test and would be arraigned on a charge of driving while intoxicated, Gillespie said.

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    Knicks, Ewing, Meatpacking . . .

    Missy and I had floor seats to the Knicks game Saturday, and it turned out to be a fairly good game between them and the Toronto Raptors. I hadn't been to an NBA game in a while, and had forgotten how many girls like to paint on their tightest outfits and parade around through the arena, hoping to gain the attention of rich NBA players so they could have a drink or maybe get impregnated afterward. Whores.

    And it was Legends' Night at Madison Square Garden, so several former Knicks, including Patrick Ewing, were honored at halftime. And about an hour after the game, as I was talking to Missy at Pastis in the meatpacking district, I noticed her eyes get bigger than the red wine stain I just provided on her new white winter coat when Ewing slid toward the hostess' desk.

    That man is tall.

    But the place was so bustling that even he couldn't get a table for a late dinner, so he left. And Missy wanted to continue to stargaze after we finished our drinks, so we went down the way to Cielo, the line for which didn't move for a half hour because the place really wasn't even open yet. But once we got in, the place got crowded quite quickly, and not surprising for a velvet-rope establishment, most of the people were pretty darn attractive.

    That's not typically my scene unless the friendly and hot cocktail waitress asks me why I look so familiar and engages me in a lengthy conversation. In this city, I don't think I look familiar to anyone, but perhaps she liked my new sweater or how my ass looked in those jeans. I was asked the same question by a Scarlett Johanson-looking gal -- true story -- whose boyfriend was on her arm. An hour or two later, we found ourselves together on the dance floor as my sister used her own charm to stall the curious boyfriend. I can't remember the gal's name but it's on a bar napkin in one of my pockets somewhere, and she felt intoxicated enough to tell my sister that she was going to marry me.

    The fun even continued on the ride home. All the cabs seemed taken, but there were a lot of other cars providing service uptown, and two gals remembered Missy and I from Cielo, and asked if we wanted to get in and join them to split the fare. Lovely of them, wasn't it?

    Saturday, December 02, 2006

    First Friday At The Guggenheim

    When I'm not busy bringing sexy back, I'm demanding to my girls that they loosen up my buttons babe.

    Are these seriously the top songs of current pop culture?

    If on the off chance I'm not doing either of those things, I'm spending Friday nights at a hot-ass party at the Guggenheim Museum on NYC's Upper East Side, not too far from my apartment.

    I'm somewhat buzzed right now at 3 a.m., but wanted to post a short little video clip from inside the Guggenheim. It was my first time there. Everyone there was beautiful, and if my sister spotted me not talking to an attractive gal, she was pointing out one for me to say hello to. I wish I had some of that on video, but instead I just took a generic wide shot of the scene. Art, music and sexy all came together for one fine evening. Memo to friends consdiering an NYC visit: Come on the first weekend of a new month, and I'll get us on the media list for this event. I can't wait to go again.