There’s definitely a lot of HTML/technical crap that i have no idea about, thank god for wordpress which is kind of moron proof (hopefully). I am going to try to put some content on this sweet blog, so that i can work towards my new goal in life: becoming a pundit. I almost aspired to become a VH1 pundit, but wanted to be at least somewhat realistic.
What’s that old axiom? “those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” Teaching seems like a lot of work and a decent chance that you’ll end up dealing with some stupid asses. I prefer “those who can’t, criticize.” That seems more leisurely.
For historical perspective, I’ve decided to recount some of my ill-advised antics on this sweet blog. These indelible recordings will allow for an accurate estimation of my place in history when all is said and done. You may notice a simple formula in my stories that roughly breaks down as “alcohol+gambling-shirt=screaming+requests to leave”.
Apologies in advance for the long read, but the upside is if we ever meet in person you can cut me off when i start in with the stories.
ATLANTIS – TRIP #1, JUNE 2008
This was actually a work mandated outing for our entire group (this seemed like a bad idea in like august 2007 – by 2008 the idea of 50 people going to the caribbean for 3 days of drinking/eating/tanning was clearly idiotic). First off, I love the Bahamas, ever since me and my boys won like $30 playing craps at Paradise Island in the summer of 1991 (preferred strategy at the time: field bets when there had been 3 non-field rolls in a row). But given the prevailing work environment at the time – probably like a military unit that was pinned deep in enemy territory, knowing there would be severe casualties – it didn’t really feel like a good time for people to be getting hammered together. we all knew a ton of people would get canned within 2 weeks (which did happen). Also it is almost never a great idea to hang out with coworkers in bathing suits – can lead to some awkwardness later (“ladies, it seems weird not seeing you in bikinis!” actual quote from a guy who i’m pretty sure was on To Catch a Predator).
Anyway, prior to this trip i got stuck going to london. for a 2 hour meeting. at which, at most, i said 10 words. So i left NYC on the latest flight on Tuesday night, got to london, showered, went to meeting, and went right back to airport. The customs guy asked me how long i was going to be in London.
Me: 6 hours.
Him: You must be very important.
Me: Quite the contrary, i am the most junior guy on the team who can reasonably demonstrate our “commitment/interest” for this garbage project that has exactly a zero percent chance of ever happening. the sole reason i am qualifed to be our emissary is that i have some gray hair. seriously. so i’m pretty unimportant.
Boarding the flight to London i saw a familiar looking chubby black dude on his laptop; i told my SO “i think that’s Cee-lo of Gnarls Barkley.” This was confirmed when i later saw he and Danger Mouse (dressed as Superman) on the moving sidewalk. Got to tell them i really enjoy their music – i’m sure they were excited that they have made headway into the highly desirably middle-aged white guy demographic.
Anyway i got back to NYC late on Wednesday and we had a 6:30 AM flight on Thursday. Although 6:00 AM is about 7 hours too early for me, i did witness one of the funniest/saddest things ever that morning at the airport. One of our analysts (who had traveled to the caribbean before) didn’t have a passport and thought you could still travel to the bahamas rocking just a drivers license. He was arguing with the counter people and when i went to see what was up he assured me it was all good. Because his dad was going to email him a picture of his birth certificate. which he would then show to the counter people on his cell phone. Hmmm….seemed unlikely given that our flight was leaving in like 20 mins….i believe he’s still at the counter negotiating.
So we get to the hotel and folks head to the pool. I am cursed with a “due diligence” call with a very loquacious client…so i stay in my room to get ready for this call and finish up some other stuff- i’m nervous because our booze cruise starts at like 5:30 pm or something and the diligence call started at 3:00. If i miss the boat launch i’m fucked. So we have the call and it predictably lasts til 5:45 as the goober CFO wants to wax philosophical about yes/no questions – i had to haul ass but caught up with the group.
Investment bankers are an odd lot – we are on a boat in the bahamas in June, it’s like 115 degrees. I get there and i’m one of 2 guys wearing shorts! long pants and button down shirts? seriously? WTF? Anyway, the food on this booze cruise leaves a bit to be desired as it’s been sitting around for what appeared to be 3 or 4 days – given the heat and the flies, it seemed like botulism was a best case scenario. So i skipped eating and kept with the drinking. I think rum punch with extra rum was the choice bev for the first hour or two.
Then i had a brilliant idea – why not have an Everclear drinking competition? If you’ve never had Everclear, next time you are pumping some gas just have a little sip and you’ll get the idea…anyway, i’d fared pretty well in drinking competitions in my day (including making a girly canadian puke at the bar in a goldschlager war) so i was comfortable that i would dominate this one…but people were manning up like crazy, so i probably had 5-6 sips (let me not exaggerate here – they were teeny, tiny microsips – but the Clear will fuck you up really bad) and this german guy was also right with me…starts to get somewhat hazy from there, but i’ve heard enough from various sources to be able to fill you in….
it was a case of two destinies. mine. and the german guy’s. German guy spewed just after exiting the boat – some of my colleagues basically walked him back to his room, tucked him in and probably gave him some warm milk or a massage or something.
Me? They let me run around like a fucking lunatic in the Atlantis Casino for like 6 hours (especially bitter because my SO was there and stood idly by while i nearly died and/or became insolvent). I do enjoy gaming quite a bit, it goes hand in hand with my passion for drinking. That night, in my completely addled state, i was determined to be The Big Man. I crushed a credit card cash advance for $5k right away and was splashing that shit around like crazy – we were playing craps, talking shit, yelling. And then i don’t really know what happened – i vaguely recall getting another cash advance and seeing some familiar people at various points.
Some conversations that i had the next few days:
“Dude, i saw you win $6k playing blackjack in like 3 minutes! How much did you win?”
“I saw you lose $8k in 5 minutes and start crying – are you okay?”
“Did you know that everyone was only pretending to drink the Everclear but you and (german guy)?”
I woke up outside on a patch of grass (there isn’t much grass at atlantis, i think i must’ve jumped/fell over a little hedge in the path between hotel towers). I had no wallet. i didn’t feel well. and i had a sneaking suspicion that i’d lost a little dough. Most of the rest of the weekend was spent on the lazy river – which actually isn’t all that lazy at atlantis, you can definitely get toes busted and knees scraped…ability to drink further was impaired by the fact that i’m pretty sure i almost expired and my body summarily rejected all further efforts to “loosen up.”
Total damage was ~$19k (a number that i can only begrudgingly come to terms with now – but if id had that cash in equities i would have lost a large amount as well so what the fuck…). I did get some pretty stellar comps though (covered a big portion of a $1500 tab for a large nobu dinner) and constantly get invited back…in fact i did go back in september 2008….more on that later…
Takeaways from this trip: don’t enter Everclear drinking competitions on an empty stomache, always carb up beforehand.