28 August 2013

The Wisdom of a Friend

On Tuesday, I found this gem of a note from way back in February 2004 still saved in my office computer system. (In iNews, for those of you who know what that is.)

It's called "Maiman's Rules," advice from my bro Justin Maiman. 

I told him I had met a girl in a bar, had a great convo with her, but was too chicken to ask for her number that night. However, the next day I found her profile and email on her law firm's website.

I asked Justin if he thought it'd be OK to email her or if it seemed too "stalker-y."

His answer? He presented me with "Maiman's Rules":





I reminded Justin of this message Tuesday night, and he said he still stands by these rules.

Indeed, I did email that girl -- she emailed me back within 10 minutes. We went out (thankfully only once).

But the point is that I am wiser because of these rules, that's for sure. I made many mistakes over the years, but the fine wisdom of Justin and his wonderful wife (and my friend) Natasha Chuk is why I cherish their assessment that my beloved Erin was in fact someone awesome. In late 2011, they made sure to tell me that "Oh, we *like* her" and went on to envelope her in their friendship.

This week, just days before E moves in, Justin checked in with me on how the preparations are going and how I feel. I told him I was excited and oddly comforted -- but also nervous and stressed by the logistics of decluttering and rearranging the apartment, and combining two households.

He told me: "This is a big moment, I imagine it will only make [you] a stronger couple. Have fun."


Thanks, brother.

19 October 2012

The Alex Rodriguez Question

Do I like Alex Rodriguez, the person? Notsomuch. Do I think that he could demonstrate better sportsmanship and attitude? Of course. Do I think he deserves a "free pass" because he still has 5 years on his bajillion-dollar contract? No.

But come on, people. He's been a Yankee for NINE SEASONS. Yes, nine. That's two more than he spent in Seattle. That's four more seasons in pinstripes than Reggie Jackson has. Stop acting like he's still a visitor.

And what about his numbers in those nine seasons? 1366 hits, 302 home runs, .538 slugging percentage, .292 batting average, and two -- yes TWO -- American League MVP awards.

If he's really past his prime, then sure he should retire. But as Joe Girardi said yesterday: virtually the ENTIRE lineup went cold. It wasn't just A-Rod.

That said, if the Yankees trade him then so be it. But do they really want to pay him millions of dollars to play somewhere else? How'd that work out for the Rangers?

11 October 2012

Baseball Postseason Celebrations

A modest proposal: Teams that win the 1-game Wild Card playoff should not celebrate with champagne-spray parties in the clubhouse. Dudes, you just played one dumb game and advanced the next round of playoffs after NOT winning your division. You didn't actually win anything.

In fact, I'd say teams shouldn't even celebrate an ALDS win. You didn't win a title; you're just advancing a round in the playoffs. Do you see tennis players celebrating a quarterfinal win at the US Open? Does Phil Mickelson break open the bubbly when leading the pack after 18 holes in Round 1 at Augusta?

At least with a division or ALCS win, teams are celebrating the wining of a title -- division champs, league champs.

30 December 2011

Giving Back: My Favorite Nonprofits

Exactly a year ago, I write a blog entry about my charitable giving. Well, here is this year's edition.

Every year, I try to back a few charities, causes, and other nonprofits. Usually this means writing a few checks for relatively small amounts of money. If I were richer (and spent less money on coffee and running shoes), I would be more generous.

These are some organizations, charities, cultural institutions, and other entities I have supported in recent times (or will soon support) via donations, fundraising, admission fees, memberships, volunteerism, promotion, and retail shopping. (I may be forgetting some museums and such that I have visited but can't recall right now.)

As I have said before, I do not vouch for any of these charities. If you choose to give, I encourage you to do some due diligence and only give to causes you believe in.
What are your favorite nonprofits?

23 November 2011

Be Thankful

Pvt. Jackie L. Diener II was 20 years old. I say "was" because he is dead. The high school graduate and Cavalry scout from Boyne City, Michigan, died in Afghanistan this week.

At 20, Diener should have had decades ahead of him to do stupid but fun things, make friends, find a life partner, travel the world, lay down roots, make a career... you know the spiel.

Instead, this Thanksgiving Diener's parents will be in mourning.

I am thankful this Thanksgiving. Thankful for my health. For my family. For my girlfriend. My freedom. My paycheck.

I am also very thankful that I haven't had to face a reality that THOUSANDS of American families are asked to endure: Having a loved one in a war zone... And I am also thankful that I personally have not been asked to leave my family behind and fight a war in a strange land.

Part of my job is to write/post stories about service men and women either from or stationed in or with ties to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A danger exists when positing these stories; one can become a bit desensitized to what the press releases from the DoD mean for the real people behind the names.

These soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen would probably say they do not need to be idolized or lionized. And in fact we shouldn't gloss over the truth that they -- like us -- are simply human, with all the flaws and strengths and hopes and dreams of humans.

But the big difference is they are doing something we aren't being asked to do and bearing a burden we don't have to worry about. They leave home -- often small towns they have lived in their entire lives -- and are put in harm's way for causes, missions, and goals that sometimes are debatable and vague and fleeting.

What we should do is simple: Remember and appreciate what they and their families go through -- after 10 years of war and counting -- and find some way to say thank you and help.

To that end, these are some organizations that do help; consider volunteering or donating:


For an amazing perspective on what war in Afghanistan is like for U.S. troops, read Sebastian Junger's "War."

02 September 2011

ArunwithaView's Fall TV Predictions

(1) "Pan Am" will feature a mile-high-club scene within the first 2 episodes, horny and chauvinistic men pilots will objectify the stewardesses (yes, they will be referred to as such), and the characters will been seen smoking on the airplanes… A LOT.

(2) "X Factor" will feature Simon Cowell alternating between making contestants cry with mean-spirited critiques and making them smile with "You're going to be a big stah, Love."

(3) Despite the presence of the uberhot (and newly single) Minka Kelly, "Charlie's Angels" will be so cringe-inducing GOD-AWFUL that ABC will cancel it midway through the airing of the first EPISODE.