Elster's World

Friday, September 02, 2005

Throw It At a Wall and See What Sticks

Random thoughts for a pre-Holiday weekend:

- I don't have many irrational fears but I've had a few doosies in my time. When I was about 15, our burglar alarm went off in the middle of the night. My dad checked out the house and it was clean. Everyone went back to sleep. As I lay in my room, blanket over my head, I suddenly realized that there was someone in my room. I didn't see him, but I felt his presense. It was black. Evil. I felt it dripping off him like malignant ooze. I was facing away from the desk and I was scared. in all honesty, it was probbaly the most scared I've ever been in my life. I couldn't move or breath. I was frozen in fear. I lay like that until my lungs ached for oxygen. When I couldn't take it anymore, I summoned up whatever courage I possessed, flung off my blanket, and shot out of the bed with a terrified yelp, ready to die like the scared little boy that i was. Of course, there was no one there. But the terror I felt that night stays with me to this day. And yes, I had an overactive imagination as a child (still do).

Why do I mention this? Because I'm also irrationally afraid of vampires. I don't believe that they exist, but if they did, I think that would royally suck for us all. Before my writing career is over, I will write a book about vampires trying to take over the world. Unlike the vampires themselves, vampire books are cool.

- On my walk to the train yesterday I was thinking about Zeppelin. They are my favorite band of all time. They broke up in 1980 after their drummer, John Bonham died "turning the wrong way" after a night of heavy drinking (basically he was an alchoholic and he choked on him own vomit - sorry). Anyway, in 1980, I probably had never even heard of Zeppelin. I discoverd them in college, many years later. But during my second year after graduating law school, my mormon buddy Fred, a card carrying member of The Black Crows fanclub, tells me he's got two tickets to see Jimmy Page playing with the Black Crows at one of those small theaters in the city and did I want to go with him? Did I want to go with him? This was my only chance to see one of my absolute music heros of all time. Of course I did. And so, we wnet. Me and Fred and a couple hundred other people packed together in the room. There was no place to sit. I was shoulder to shoulder with people I wouild normally cross the street from. But it didn't matter. There was Jimmy. He looked old. He looked like his years battleing the demon heroin had taken their toll on him. When he started playing, it took him a while for those famous fingers to loosen up. But when they did, oh boy. it was awsome. I left that night with a cool t-shirt, a cd, and Jimmy's guitar ringing in my ears. I can only imagine what going to one of thier open air stadium shows in the 70's must have been like....

- I don't have any plans for the weekend but I know this; I'm blasting out of work early today. Really early. Like before 2:00. It's like a ghost town in the office. I could probably walk the halls naked and no one would be around to see. I apologize for the imagery. I'm also going to send out a bunch more query letters to agents this weekend. I just used the company high speed photocopier to make 20 copies of the first 25 pages of the book. I am such a thief. But hey, if they are allowed to steal my soul, I can hit them for some paper, right?

- My wife told me that my daughter just got her ears pierced. She's four and a half. I am so proud of her. She took it like a big girl. She also went on the roller coaster last week at Sesame Place. Go her.

- I went to the US Open last night and watched two good tennis players dismantle two mediocre Russian tennis players. So it was a little boring. But as I always say, never look a gift (free sports tickets horse) in the mouth.

- McAryeh at A Whispering Soul was asking about dating stories (great /interesting dates). To be honest, I didn't really have so many of those. Most of the girls I went out with were kinda dud-like. Which always made me wonder why I was getting set up with dud-like girls, but I digress.

Anyway, when I was in law school, I once went out with this girl from Monsey. She had a load of self-confidence and a Jennifer Aniston haircut. We were eating at a now defunct kosher establishment on the West Side and I excused myself to go to the bathroom. When I got back my date said to me "the lady at the next table leaned over to me when you left and said 'you are lucky to go out with a guy like that, he is hysterical'". We both got a good laugh out of the fact that this woman was listening in on our date. But deep down I felt really good that this random person though I was so funny. When I strike it rich, I will ask my shrink what he thinks about that.

Here's my other favorite dating story: About seven and a half years ago I took my girlfriend (different girl) to Battery Park. We sat at an umbrella table and had a picnic in the pouring rain. I read her a poem I had written (my first and only), told her I loved her, and asked her to marry me. She said yes. That was a pretty good date, too.

Have a good weekend everyone.


  • El - This is one of my favorite posts of yours - interesting, funny, sweet AND random - best of all worlds.

    Had similar experiences as a child.

    vampires + suck = funny.

    I don't think paper makes up for a stolen soul. You should sue.

    The last date you mention is the best kind...sweet.

    Enjoy the early start to the weekend..and shabbat!

    By Blogger MC Aryeh, at 12:56 PM  

  • Mc:

    I added a paragraph about Jimmy Page. Did you see it?

    By Blogger Elster, at 1:05 PM  

  • Is that how you proposed??? That really is sweet. Sigh... :)

    By Blogger BrownsvilleGirl, at 12:06 AM  

  • No lie. Mr other name is Mr. Romantic.

    By Blogger Elster, at 7:51 PM  

  • Whooops, I mean My other name.

    By Blogger Elster, at 8:09 PM  

  • Mr. Romantic, would have loved to have seen Jimmy Page play with the Crowes. Wow. Do you remember which songs he played on? Can't even imagine what he could do with the guitar solo in "Hard To Handle"....

    By Blogger MC Aryeh, at 10:23 PM  

  • How was the weekend?

    Regarding vampires, I know one personally. Albeit vegeterian, she could bleed freely out of mouth and nose, and scare the hell out of us all.

    All this talk about the Crows and music reminded me of my favorite Counting Crows piece [ok, we digress. So?]:
    "She's talking in her sleep
    It's keeping me awake and Anna begins to toss and turn
    And every word is nonsense but I understand and
    Oh lord, I'm not ready for this sort of thing"
    [August and Everything After]

    Great, sweet and touching post. Oh, and very well written. Anecdotes suit you.

    By Blogger Tamponella, at 9:08 AM  

  • MC - They played mostly Zepelin, though they did play hard to handle. It was cool to see him perform.

    Tamp - The weekend was very good, serious family time. I ate alot too.

    By Blogger Elster, at 9:12 AM  

  • El - I don't think I was ever as scared as when I flew to Israel the week after 9/11. I may have been 21, but I would've buried myself under the covers if I could've. I can still feel the fear that you describe so well.

    I also have no good dating stories. All my friends seem to have. But if I can have that last one, it'll all be worth it.

    By Blogger Josh, at 11:59 PM  

  • Any comment on the Jets - specifically the abysmal performances by Herm Edwards and Chad Pennington? Will Chad ever be able to handle the blitz?

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 3:51 PM  

  • Joe:

    It was my sincere desire to write a weekly Elster's view recap of all Jet games this season - Kinda a Monday Morning Quarterback - Jets only style. However, after watching yesterday's stinkfest (and believe me, that's not how I really want to descriibe it), I have nothing to say. That being said, a few points (none of them good):

    1. I'm really concerned about Pennington - Not only does his arm not look right, I don't think he's the right guy for this offense. The West Coast offense was a good fit for him. I'm begining to wonder if he was a one-hit wonder fraud. I think I'm having a min-stroke even thginking about thgis.

    2. Is it me or did Curtis Martin suddenly lose three and a half steps. Considering how "fresh" he should have been, he looked abysmal - No speed to the hole, not cutability. Did he suddenly morph into 2003's version of Emmitt Smith? Did our 1,300 hundred plus yard guy just become a 900 yard guy?

    3. Defense: Peter King warned us we would miss Fergy, but do we really miss him that badly? Everyone, especially the linebackers, looked a step slow. Oy vey.

    My guy reaction is to forget this game ever happened and start fresh next week. QAny team can just be flat and get shellacked. It happens. Next week will be very teling.

    By Blogger Elster, at 4:19 PM  

  • I agree fully about Pennington and Martin. Re: Martin, why not put in Blaylock, at least for a few carries? He's getting paid quite a bit for a backup, taking up cap space that could be used elsewhere.

    Pennington cannot handle the blitz. I too fear '02 was a fluke. His decision-making has gotten worse and worse. I don't think it's the system. The Jets were able to drive downfield and had open receivers. Chad just imploded in Chiefs' territory.

    BTW, I'm feeling nostalgic about the Mets' last game at Busch (remember the great series in '85) and Messier's retirement.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 4:26 PM  

  • I love and Hate messier. I love him for '94 and hate him for pretty much everything that happened thereafter. He gave us the Cup - somethng every Ranger fan can never forget. But he did as much damage to this franchise as Joe Walton did to the jets back in the 80's.

    By Blogger Elster, at 5:07 PM  

  • I have to disagree. Messier was too controlling within the organization after '94 (and some might say before then too with the firing of Roger Nielson as one example), but even in his last season of his original tenure - 96-97, the Rangers went to the Eastern Conference finals vs. the Flyers (beating the Panthers and Devils in the playoffs).

    If you're referring to the trading of young players for overpaid vets, doesn't Neil Smith have to take most of the blame?

    And remember when Smith get rid of Messier after '97, and signed Joe Sakic to an offer sheet, only to have Sakic go back to Colorado and the Rangers go quickly to the pathetic team they've become?

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 5:22 PM  

  • I blame the entire organization, from the inept owners to Smith, to Sather and yes, to Mess. They have collectively dropped the ball here. For years we were told that New York fans would never stand for a rebuild, only a re-tool. SO yewar after year we were treated to the Ulf Samuellsons, Darius Kasparaituses, Bobby Holiks, etc etc etc of the world - The past their prime "stars" lookiong for the last big paycheck. Well guess what: Every true ranger fan would have gladly allowed for rebuilding. Don't say the fans wouldnt stand for it say the truth - the rich corporations paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for luxury boxes wouldnt have stood for it. The rangers were pretty much everything that was wrong with corporate sports america. hell, at least the yankees overpaid but won. Jeez....

    By Blogger Elster, at 5:27 PM  

  • You surely cannot blame Messier for what went on post-'97. The Rangers got worse and worse while he was away. When Sather was hired, he was sure to trade all of the prospects drafted by Neil Smith, which wasn't Messier's fault either.

    I actually think Neil Smith would be a good choice to replace Sather to rebuild the team the way he built them in the early 90's.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 5:36 PM  

  • Well, I do so miss his hair

    By Blogger Elster, at 5:51 PM  

  • Elster, I enjoyed your post immencely. good stuff!

    By Blogger Lvnsm27, at 4:30 PM  

  • I enjoy your posts and dont even understand a thing about football - the markk of good writing is that i dont need to fully understand to enjoy. sucha sweet dating story. always nice to give random compliments to strangers (and not just as pick-up lines) stop by any time!

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