justin adler, blog, buenos aires, bahia blanca, university of arizona, brooklyn, basketball, travel, paul mcpherson

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Things I no longer do

This is a very inconclusive list of things I once did in life, but I now no longer enjoy doing.

1. Watching football on Sundays - Throughout the entire NFL offseason I was extremely excited for the NFL season to start. Then it started and I have not watched one full game yet. Growing up on the west coast, I still can't figure out what time games start out here and I don't have a TV in my room, which makes spending a whole Sunday in my room watching football much harder.
After Brandon Jennings dominates the NBA and decides to take over the NFL, I will probably begin to watch the sport again.

2. Watching the show "Entourage" - Yes, I once declared that this show was my favorite thing in life. Yes, that's the gayest, most pathetic line any person can say. I apologize to my friends, family and humanity. I am happy to announce that I have missed the past three episodes and I don't plan on ever watching this show again.

3. Voting - I had to think for a second if I had voted in my life in order for it to qualify for this list of "Things I once did, but no longer do." I remember fake voting for the presidential election in second grade in a "Kids can vote" school-wide campaign. I remember writing in Abraham Lincoln because we were studying Honest Abe in class and because I somehow knew DeShawn Stevenson would become my favorite player in the NBA and that one day he would get a portrait of Abe tatted on his neck.

I also voted for real in the 2008 Democratic Primaries. I don't really regret voting in that instance, but it just was not for me.

As a goofy child, who grew up far too infatuated with rap music and black culture, I always said I would not vote for a president until I could vote for a black president. Then when the opportunity presented itself, I was in a tiny town in Argentina getting high with some local kids, trying to skateboard, eating pasta and listening to James Brown, all of which were much more important than voting.

At this point I don't see myself ever feeling compelled to vote again, especially now that I have experienced the sublime rush that comes from not voting.

4. Celebrating Thanksgiving - Like so many of us, I once had grand visions of celebrating Thanksgiving with a thugged-out basketball star in Buenos Aires. Last year I envisioned spending Thanksgiving with P-Mac at a rave, bringing home wildly under-aged girls, then giving him a high-five during the middle of some kind of insane Argentine orgy. I have never been to a rave in my life, but P-Mac, Buenos Aires, Thanksgiving and MDMA all seemed like they were meant to be together.

Then P-Mac ended up being terrible at his craft and I knew we would not be hanging out in Buenos Aires. Having to change my plans, I ended up spending the majority of last Thanksgiving on a 16-hour bus ride from Puerto Madryn to El Chaltén. On the day I ate two apples, a bag of cookies and a strawberry yogurt.

This year I plan on again skipping Thanksgiving to remember the mildly somber experience. My roommate Sep and I plan on drinking and hitting Two Bros Pizza for dollar slices. Maybe if I feel up to it I will watch an episode or six of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Paul McPherson, if you are by chance reading this, please keep in mind that you are also invited to these festivities. And if you want to make it up to me I am sure we can find a Thanksgiving day rave in NYC.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Interview with Sam'ron

Here is a Sam Rubenstein article I wrote for GelfMagazine.com. I grew up reading and loving Sam's work for SLAMonline mainly because I was/still am SLAM's target demographic of young, white male who is a junkie for hoops and hip-hop. And also because Sam is a good writer. For the record wherespmac.com's target demographic is my friends who are bored in class and now my friends who have moved on to being bored at a desk job or simply unemployed and bored.

Rubenstein started at SLAM as "Sam the Intern," before evolving into "SAMonline," "Killa Sam," "Sam'ron," and eventually SLAMonline's online editor.

Then one day he found some divine light in the midst of listening to Dipset and writing Ron Artest album reviews. He decided public school teaching was for him. Long story short, he got his Master's degree, thought he was going to be a full-time teacher, got fucked by the economy and is now quasi-unemployed/ substitute teaching.

To Cliff-note the last few three paragraphs (if you are three paragraphs is too much for you, then God bless you): I think Sam is way cooler than he might actually be. He wrote for SLAM. Knows his rap music damn well. And is now trying to be a teacher.

Sam also wrote these (1, 2, 3) quality pieces if which combine basketball and trying to trick people into believing teaching can be fun.

If you live in the NYC area and also enjoy basketball, hip-hop, teaching, chess or privileged, bitter girls, come to Gelf Magazine's Non-Motivational Speaker Series this Thursday night. Sam Rubenstein, Eliot Weiss, coach of HS chess powerhouse Edward R. Murrow High School, and Hannah Friedman, author of prep school memoir "Everything Sucks" will all be speaking at the event. Here are some important event details.

Here's part of my interview with Sam Rubenstein:

Five days a week Sam Rubenstein dissected the previous night's NBA action in a Manhattan office. He immersed himself in the basketball blogosphere as he ran the website for SLAM Magazine, one of the biggest sports rags in the country. After four years at SLAM, Rubenstein decided that partying (uh…reporting) in Las Vegas for the All-Star game, attending each game of the NBA finals, and hanging out with superstars was no longer for him. He went back to school, studying towards a Master's in education at Fordham University in hopes of teaching at a New York City public school.

Then our nation's economy collapsed on itself, taking out with it, at least temporarily, Rubenstein's dream of dropping some knowledge full-time. The New York City Department of Education is currently in a hiring freeze, and Rubenstein now finds himself working as a substitute, honing his skills and waiting until the city starts employing again. (Basically, it's just like that time Ron Artest worked out while he was suspended from the NBA, except that Rubenstein can't work in his field because of a dismal economy, not because he tried to fight half of Detroit.)

Gelf caught up with Rubenstein, who is 31 and lives in Brooklyn's Carroll Gardens neighborhood, 20 blocks away from his childhood home in Brooklyn Heights. In the following interview, which has been edited for clarity, Rubenstein discusses why the hell he left SLAM to teach in the NYC public school system, how his student-teaching gig compares with basketball, and his unrelenting love for all things Dipset.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

8 million stories minus 7,999,995

I have not blogged in a while. My apologies.

Catching up...

Silly anecdotes from work:

Big Ra is still Big Ra, but recently the other half of the dish washing duo has been more entertaining. His name is Greg. After knowing Greg for a few weeks I asked him what his previous occupation was, since I am always curious why 53-year-old man is wash dishes.

His response: "I used to sell pussy in Philadelphia."

"That sounds about right," I thought to myself. Then Greg continued to talk about his days in the pussy-trading market in Philly. He attempted to justify his former job for a while, then he told me about his moment of clarity, which came while he was in the car while one of his employees was fellating a client.

Then he started talking about spirituality and I lost all interest.

Greg is a kind man though. Every Friday night he offers to take me out with the assurance that one of his lady friends will fellate me. I always politely decline because I like to spend my post-work Friday nights laying in bed watching "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia." But I am sure that getting your dick sucked in Far Rockaway is just as fun.

Greg also provided my favorite quote in recent memory. While talking about taking his girlfriend, who "looks 50, but is really 60," he told me he wanted to take her to the zoo, although she wanted to go to Dave and Busters.

"You know Justin, with the right girl the zoo can be a very sexual place," Greg said with his I-used-to-be-a-pimp-so-I-still-try-to-talk-like-one voice. "I like to go to the zoo and put my mack game down."


Best e-mail I have received in a while:

From Facebook. Subject: Jordan Hill suggested you become a fan of Jordan Hill.

Since he insisted, I electronically confirmed my fandom.


On DJ Drama & Pharrell "In My Mind (The prequel) Mixtape" Pharrell says he was "hurt, stunned, astounded, amazed, dazed and confused" in reference to listening to Slick Rick as a child.

That is pretty much how I feel every time I read Pearlman's blog. I enjoy the material. It's updated frequently. And yet that all upsets me because Pearlman has a job, a wife, kids and a lot of other grown-up responsibilities and he still manages to churn out a post or two a day.

And that makes me feel like shit. Especially because Pearlman wrote the kindest words anyone has ever wrote about wherespmac. In short, every time I read Pearlman's blog I get mad at myself for not writing more and then usually I'll do something else instead of write and this cycle will repeat itself with every new post on his blog.


The coolest woman alive:

My friend Seppy sent me this article about the coolest woman alive. It's worth a read.


Your token Dipset post:

Last night in between parties my friends and I stopped at the corner bodega to purchase more beer. It was 12-something and for whatever reason the store had gone from open doors to make-you-purchase-through-bullet-proof-box mode. It was myself, my friends, and some other people.

This one guy was playing Juelz Santana on his phone. After 30 seconds he began to sing along, not one to pass up a cypher I joined in. Then he yelled, "He knows the words!" and sprinted away in amazement. He ran a full block away and then returned. We exchanged pleasantries and daps.

For some reason he had to have my phone number. At this point it made sense for me to get his. It just seemed like the courteous thing to do. So now we exchanged numbers, but now I barely remember his name... Jacqwon or something along those lines.

I asked my friend where I go from here and he quipped back, "I guess you buy weed from him."

I have no real reason to call this guy (by the way many "no homo"s were uttered during our conversation), but maybe next weekend I will and I'll party with Jacqwon. Who knows, maybe I'll end up in Far Rockaway running into Greg and his lady friends.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Things I enjoy

"Things I enjoy" may or may not become a series on WPM. If it does become a series, expect each post to be about a rap lyric. However for it to become a series I would have to update this blog regularly, and we all know that probably won't happen.

This is something I enjoy:

The opening to Cam'ron's "We Make Change" off his album Killa Season.

Cam begins the track singing "People lie/ I don't know why/ and then they die/ and mothers cry/ and I can't find my alibi/ it's so so fly/ it's Dipset! Dipset!"

I enjoy that part, yes, but not nearly as much as the conversatoin between Cam and Lil' Ja that follows.

Cam'ron: What up Ja?
Lil Ja: Whattup
Cam: What's the deal?
Ja: Nuttin. Cam you can't be feedin' n*ggas
An iquisitive Cam: Why not?
Ja: 'Cause they don't appreciate shit... Guess they gonna learn when the get in the car (Cam'ron adlibs a "Killa!") start it up and boom (the "boom" echoes out until Cam starts rapping)

I enjoy this for the following reasons:

Outside of having Phillip Garrido for a father, I can't imagine weirder childhood than being raised in the Dipset family.

Lil Ja cannot be much older than six and he is featured on Cam's Killa Season discussing murder. The fact that Cam felt the need to adlib on top of the conversation and then add an echo effect a six year old talking about plotting a murder is... well it's a lot to take in.

I could over analyze this for days, but the jokes would only get progressively less funny than they already are.

After some quick Googling I learned Lil Ja is short for Ja'Quaye, who is Juelz Santana's little nephew. He's also featured in Juelz's "There it go" video. If you want to lose all hope for society and at the same time feel extremely creepy for looking at a six year old's MySpace, go to myspace.com/datniggaliljah.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

A knowledgeable Haitian

Two weeks ago I was playing tour guide to my friend who was visiting New York City. It was his first time in the city and whenever I am showing somebody the city I like to stretch the truth a little bit.

When we walked to ground zero I told him that he just missed out. "If you would have came here last week, you could have seen the Twin Towers, but they just took them down for an episode of 'Entourage.' It was something about their shadow messing up a shot of Vince."

Then we sat on some steps of a building just east of the WTC site for some heavy thinking. And so my friend could call a stripper he is kinda in love with. I personally do not like strippers, although I am sure some are good people, but my friend loves strippers. Not in the silly, ironic way I love Cameron Giles, but he genuinely loves strippers. To each their own.

Then as I sat on the steps pondering how I could tie Turtle into my poor Twin Towers joke and still be respectful of the thousands who lost their lives, my train of thought was broken by a security guard.

"Hey is that a River Plate jersey?" he asked in reference to the Boca Juniors jersey I wore.

"No, it's a Boca jersey," I responded.

"(laughs) I know I was just giving you a hard time," he said, before offering an unsolicited history lesson on soccer in Buenos Aires.

"Are you from Argentina?" I asked, knowing damn well he was not from Argentina and that he was probably from Haiti.

"No, I'm from Haiti, but I'm just a big soccer fan," he said.

"Cool," I said before shaking his hand and wishing him a good day.

Then he continued to yell at people who were trying to take pictures of the WTC site over the fence that surrounds the construction zone. I'm not sure what good that does, since there hundreds of other ways to get pictures of the construction site. But I am glad to know that a cool Haitian guy who is so knowledgeable on Argentine soccer is doing his part to prevent future terrorism.

And that was my day two weeks ago. Maybe I will catch up on other silly, worthless anecdotes I have not blogged about another day.

note: the photo above is not the nice security guard, but someone who came up on a Google image search of 'Haiti'