So I had a fight with my girlfriend, Kate.  It was a stupid argument that consisted of us both acting foolish (possibly more so on my part) that was entirely over the phone.  I was drinking in a bar, she called me on my cell phone, I stepped out to answer it, we had the fight, and the weekend was ruined.  And I know exactly who to blame for all this hurt and anguish: cell phones.

Maybe it’s my recent bandwagon obsession with the TV show Madmen, but I’ve been overcome with the need to examine a slew of everyday 21st century modern conveniences that we all take for granted in the lens of “How did they used to do this?”  For example, I goof off at work by aimlessly surfing the Internet, but before computers and such dalliances were accomplished via drinking in the middle of the day and sexual harassment (at least that’s what I figure according to AMC’s version of history). And when I examine my most recent spat with Kate, I realize that it wouldn’t have happened before the proliferation of mobile phones. Twenty years ago, the only way Kate would have been able to call me was via my home or office number (yes, theoretically I could have had a Zach Morris phone, but come on—I’m not made of money) and since I would not have been home (or at the office) to answer she would have simply left a message on my answering machine (remember those?).  I’d call her back the next day and the entire fight would have been avoided.

I’m also positive that if you were to graph the frequency of drunk dialing from Alexander Graham Bell on, the line would shoot up after the introduction of cellular telephones.  There’s just something appealing about making a call when you’re stumbling home from the subway.  Hence, the slurring message I left on what I thought was Kate’s voice mail later that night about how she “broke my heart” and “I was going to live on a mountain, away from all women.”  So now my cousin (whose number is for some reason right next to Kate’s in my cell phone’s address book) thinks I’m harboring a secret crush that drives me to drink.  Thanksgiving is going to be awesome.

It just seems that with everyone carrying around these means for instant connection, we’re quicker to reach out, respond, and react to one another, which I’m not sure is such a good idea.  In getting closer, we’ve sacrificed the small bits of space in between that allows us to take a step back and calm down for a second.

That being said, if it wasn’t for my cell phone I wouldn’t have gotten the text message of “I love you” from Kate yesterday, nor would I have been able to respond with an “I love you too.”

[Pic via .au]



So last week I wrote a post in which I called John Stamos out on his bullshit “Full House prequel project” and let slip that I had an ongoing feud with the former Mr. Rebecca Romijn.  A couple of you left comments saying you wanted to hear the story behind the grudge and some even sent me e-mails demanding that I write about it.  Now, I’m not usually one to air my personal disputes, but here it goes.

About a year ago, I was going through a rough time. I was drinking a lot and had gotten really into gambling—you know you’ve got a problem when you’ve moved past horse racing and craps to betting on knife fights between chimpanzees.  Anyway, I met Stamos one night at no-holds-bar gambling bizarre that specialized in blind wagering on inter-species gladiatorial events.

Now you may ask where in New York City does one go to bet on a fight between a chicken with a switchblade taped to its beak and a mongoose.  The back of a Chinese restaurant on the Upper West Side?  The suite of a posh Tribeca hotel?  The Bronx? Brooklyn?  Nope, you’ve got to go to a warehouse in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Anyway, there I was one Thursday night—a glass of whiskey in one hand and a crisp twenty in the other, pushing against a pack of Egyptian businessmen who’d been throwing cash around all night, trying to lay a bet down on a match between a fighting robot and an orangutan (for a pretty sure thing, always bet on the monkey) when guess who walks in with Jaleel White (Urkel)?  That’s right, Uncle Jesse. They were later joined by Sasha Mitchel, the actor who played Cody on Step by Step. Turns out, all the actors on those old TGIF shows still hang out together.  Well, most of them.  When I asked if Dave Coulier would be by later, they got really quiet and Jaleel was like, “Fuck that guy!”  So…

We hung out most of the night and I have to say that Stamos was actually pretty cool.  We had a great conversation about what the other Rippers were up to while watching an obese teenager square off against a kangaroo.  I told him about my passion for writing, he told me about his passion for singing “Kokomo” by the Beach Boys. When the proprietors announced that they were moving on to the night’s final event, a game of Russian Roulette á la the movie Deer Hunter.  Stamos turned to me and whispered, “I’m tapped out from that fight between the Komodo Dragon and the Weasel, can you spot me?”

So I covered Stamos’ bet and he won.  To celebrate, we all went out to Denny’s for breakfast. The place was packed and as soon as we walk in the door, Stamos shouts, “Everybody’s Grand Slams are on me!!”  When the bill came, Stamos paid with all his winnings (including the share that he still owed me). “John,” I said, “what the hell?”  Stamos promised to pay me back with “a bit part in ER including one or two lines.”  At the time, I thought “Wow, that’s pretty cool,” but I never got a call. And only after several phone calls was I  able to get in touch with one of his assistants who said, “Mr. Stamos does not recall such an evening.”  And then ER got canceled.

Later, I was hanging out with Jaleel White at a strip club and he explained such broken promises are a habit with Stamos. “He promised me a supporting role on Jake in Progress after I loaned him some cash to pay a hooker, that never happened,” explained Jaleel, who then slapped a stripper’s ass and said, “Did I do that?” in the Urkel voice.

[Pic via]