Archive for the ‘Personal’ category

An Evening with Michael Pollan

October 9, 2010

Hahahah never heard that one before....

Back in September of 2001, I was a nerdy, overweight freshman at Rutgers.  During that first semester, I took Expository Writing 101 (AKA Ex-Pos), the dreaded freshman writing course.  The first assignment for that class was to read an essay about genetically engineered potatoes and write a paper about it.  The author of that essay was a certain Michael Pollan, a fact I only remember because I thought how funny it was that a guy named Pollan wrote about plants.

Before the teacher handed back those first assignments, she said most of the class did pretty poorly.  She explained how that can be expected on our first papers and that we shouldn’t get too discouraged; we can only get better.  When she handed my paper back, I was shocked by my grade.  It was a B+.  That’s when it happened.  It was at this point, dear reader, that your humble narrator realized he could write.  Since then, I’ve pursued writing educationally, personally, professionally, and blogally.

So where am I going with all this?

Nine years (holy shit) after that fateful day, I heard that Michael Pollan was giving a talk at Rutgers.  I couldn’t pass up the chance to hear the guy who indirectly launched my writing career at the place where it started.  So, this past Wednesday, I headed up to the College Ave gym, where the talk was being held.  On the way, I passed the Rutgers Student Center.  There was a big sign in front of the building saying there was going to be a memorial for Tyler Clementi that night.  The sign also said that both New Jersey senators, Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez, were going to be there.  I thought about ditching Pollan and going to this event for no other reason than the remote chance that I could convince one of the senators to sit down for an in-depth interview for this little old blog.  But they clearly had something more important to do that night. (more…)

The Wild, The Inebriated, and The E Street Shuffle

October 5, 2010


One of my souveniers from the night...the other was a hangover.


I’ve never been one to make a big deal out of my birthday.  Well, aside from my epic 21st birthday weekend (My birthday was on a Friday that year, so we went to the bars at midnight on Thursday, went to the Breakfast Club Friday, and had a house party Saturday), that’s mostly true.

This year, things were a little different.  Now that I have a beautiful apartment in Belmar, along with plenty of bars within walking distance, why not go all out?  So I invited a bunch of people over to check out the place and then hang out at a bar.  Even though my birthday was once again on a Friday this year, I limited the celebrating to only one night.

After the guests started arriving, I tried to order a couple monster pizzas from 3 Brothers.  Alas, they never answered the phone.  After calling a dozen times, and after a few other people tried to no avail, I ordered pizza from some other place.  Though perfectly adequate, this regular pizza is nothing compared to giant 3 Brothers pizza.

After hanging out at the apartment for a while and getting sauced up, we headed out for the Boathouse.  As luck would have it, there was a live band there that night.  Even luckier, it was The E Street Shuffle, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band!  Though I never heard of them before that night, I was impressed.  They did a great job, playing both the hits and the lesser known songs. (more…)

More Stuff

June 8, 2010

Well I’m back from vacation.  After spending a week in California, it’s great to be back in the Armpit of America.    Now that I’m back, you can expect me to post more regularly.  And you can expect a couple entries comparing New Jersey to that state on the west coast in the near future.  Who needs California and its beautiful scenery, laid back atmosphere, and readily available medical marijuana anyway?

Now onto some other stuff.  About two weeks ago, I got an e-mail from someone at a PR company.  She told me that her company is launching a new website and a campaign aimed at defending New Jersey from all the bullying it falls victim to.  The name of the campaign?  “Jersey Doesn’t Stink.”  Naturally, I assumed this was all a joke.  Who in their right mind would spend the time to create  a website defending the Armpit of America (aside from me, of course).

Well, I was just notified that the site has launched and it is indeed real.  It contains a petition to stand up for our little state.  There’s also a hilarious video in which this guy walks around New York City asking people how they feel about New Jersey.  So if you love New Jersey as much as I do, then go check out Jersey Doesn’t Stink and join their fight.


May 29, 2010

I meant to put up a new entry this week, but that didn’t pan out.  Instead, you can read my entry on the Jersey City pimp again!  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to update for another week, as I’m going on a much needed vacation today.  (However, there is a chance a guest blogger will post a new entry; stay tuned.)

Anyway, I’ll be heading out of state (shocking, I know).  But as much as I love New Jersey, it’s good to get away every now and then.  Although, whenever I’m in another state, I come appreciate the Armpit of America even more.  What makes California so special anyway, compared to New Jersey?  Well you can find out with a new State vs. State entry at some point after my return.

Now for some more self-promotion!  If you like what you read here, you can subscribe to this blog by putting your e-mail address in the box to the right.  As soon as I post new entries, you can read them in right in your e-mail.  Also, you can follow me on Twitter @armpitnj and visit my YouTube channel.

Well that’s it for today.  We’re about to head out on the Turnpike to go to Newark Liberty Airport.  Wish me luck – I’ll need it.

Winter in New Jersey Sucks!

February 4, 2010

What the hell is up with weather in New Jersey this winter?  Our state is going to be barraged by up to two feet of snow this weekend.  Yeah, I know some other states are gonna have it worse, but those states don’t matter.  Is Maryland even a state?  I forget sometimes.

Anyway, this will be the third snowstorm to hit the Armpit of America this season.  And it is the third snowstorm that will occur on a Saturday.  And this is the third weekend where the weather has ruined my plans.

I was all set to go to Atlantic City yet again.  If you’ve kept up with this blog, you’d know that I spend all the important holidays in AC, like Halloween, Christmas, and the Saturday After Martin Luther King Day.  Well, I was all set to celebrate the Weekend Before Valentine’s Day in Atlantic City, but now those plans have been canceled.  Thanks a lot, you worthless cumulus clouds!

According to that stupid groundhog out in Pennsylvania, we have six more weeks of winter.  One weekend of those six is already ruined.  Let’s hope the other five are okay.  If not, I say it’s groundhog hunting season out in our neighbor to the left.  Who’s with me?

By the way, you can follow me on Twitter @armpitnj!  And you can get my latest blog entries right in your e-mail by subscribing up in the left hand corner!